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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 2

New York state won't require bitcoin developers to have license

The State of New York recently said bitcoin software developers aren't required to hold a "BitLicense" to work inside of the state. The BitLicense plan was introduced in New York in July, with a revised proposal expected before the end of the month - with bitcoin-related companies able to offer input and comments on the regulations.

 

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"We are regulating financial intermediaries," said Benjamin Lawsky, New York state superintendent of financial services. "We are not regulating software development. To clarify, we do not intend to regulate software as software or software development. For example, a software developer who creates and provides wallet software to customers for their own use will not need a license."

 

Thousands of retailers currently accept bitcoin - with additional businesses expected to jump on the bandwagon in 2015 - but the cryptocurrency's volatility remains a significant concern. Governments and major banks have been hesitant to try to embrace bitcoin, and that likely won't change any time soon.

Consumers, businesses testing out bitcoins, regulators not as happy

Thousands of businesses and e-tailers might have jumped on the bitcoin bandwagon, but that doesn't mean regulators are as enthusiastic. Without legal guidelines to help draw a clear road map, there is a risk that bitcoin innovation will be limited - even with more consumers interested in making purchases from retailers using the cryptocurrency.

 

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"We have sought to strike an appropriate balance that helps protect consumers and root out illegal activity - without stifling beneficial innovation," said Benjamin Lawsky, New York Superintendent Financial Services. "Setting up common sense rules of the road is vital to the long-term future of the virtual currency industry, as well as the safety and soundness of customer assets."

 

Bitcoins aren't insured or backed by banks, and that could make it difficult for regular users that want to keep the cryptocurrencies as an investment - and with some countries, such as Ecuador banning bitcoins - these type of problems will remain a significant problem moving forward.

Google expanding U.S. shopping delivery service, competing with Amazon

Google is planning to expand its same-day delivery service for U.S. consumers, in an effort to compete with Amazon and other companies interested in jumping into the online shopping market. Google Express will expand to Boston, Chicago and Washington D.C., in addition to current markets in parts of California and New York City.

 

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The service costs $10 per month - or $95 per year - slightly cheaper than the $99 per year cost of Amazon Prime. When consumers shop online, Amazon is one of their first stops while browsing, which is why Google hopes to shake up the industry a bit further.

 

Google is including additional retailers for its service, such as PetSmart and Vitamin Shoppe, with more retailers expected to jump on the bandwagon next year.

Twitter partners with French Bank to test out money transfers

Social media site Twitter has partnered with Groupe BPCE to test transferring money using tweets, as Twitter continues to show interest in online payments. Meanwhile, Groupe BPCE is the second largest bank in France based on total number of customers, with the money transfers available to customers of any bank.

 

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The bank's S-Money service will be responsible for managing Twitter-based payments, and already supports text message money transfers.

 

"(S-Money) offers Twitter users in France a new way to send each other money, irrespective of their bank and without having to enter the beneficiary's bank details, with a simple tweet," said S-Money chief executive, in a press statement.

Google could beat Apple to be the world's first $1 trillion company

It was only April of 2014 where most, ourselves included, thought Apple were well on its way to be valued at over $1 trillion. But, it looks like Google will beat Apple to this milestone, but it would have to more than double Apple's stock performance before 2020.

 

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While Apple makes consumer electronics and online services, like the iPhone, iTunes, and more, Google steps right out of those boundaries. It has a massively used search engine, mobile OS and hardware, partnerships with virtually every player in the technology and manufacturing industry, artificial intelligence, robotics, health technology, the list truly goes on.

 

Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Capital, wrote in a research note to clients on Friday: "If you look at the range of [projects] Google is attacking, it represents opportunities on a much more massive scale than Apple is addressing". He added: "What are we going to get from Apple - a thinner iPad?". Right now, Apple is the most valuable US company, with a market capitalization of $599 billion, compared to Google's $372 billion.

Apple remains the No. 1 most valuable brand in the world

Apple has been awarded the most valuable brand in the world for a second consecutive year, worth an estimated $119 billion, according to the Interbrands 2014 Best Global Brands list. There are four technology companies in the top 10 this year, though tech remains extremely fickle, forcing companies to try to adapt to changing customer demands.

 

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"A lot of our thinking about this year's report is really around the 'Age of You,'" said Alfred DuPuy, Interbrand Executive Director.

 

Trailing behind Apple is Google ($107.4 billion), a 15 percent increase year-over-year, and Coca-Cola round out the top three - with IBM, Microsoft, General Electric, Samsung, Toyota, McDonald's, and Mercedes-Benz round out the top 10 overall most valued brands in the world. As an honorable mention, Facebook's value increased 86 percent, and the company jumped up to No. 29 on the list - and will likely continue to rise.

1,000 workers walked off their jobs at Foxconn, are now on strike

Foxconn is in the headlines again, where it's being reported that around 1,000 workers at Foxconn's factory in southwest China walked off their jobs, to go on strike. The workers are demanding higher pay, after a recent increase in production, and reduction in overtime.

 

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The company is working with labor unions and its workers, in order to find a resolution for their issue. Foxconn has said that these strikes haven't halted production at the Chongqing production site. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that these issues started when management "continuously increased production volumes, and even required individual workers to take on tasks that used to require two workers to handle. The increase in workload wasn't compensated. Some workers are not happy because the company (Foxconn) has reduced overtime hours, a key component of their salaries".

 

These claims are coming from the WSJ's source, who is a Foxconn employee who wishes to remain anonymous. With around 30,000 workers at its Chongqing factory, the 1,000 or so workers on strike only represents a small number of workers, but is still a large amount of people to be on strike at once.

Man sues Red Bull because the energy drink didn't give him wings

Ever enjoyed a Red Bull, but wondered why you didn't grow wings? Well, so did Benjamin Careathers, who has sued the energy drink company. Careathers filed a lawsuit last year with the US District Court of the South District of New York, arguing that Red Bull mislead him and consumers about their claim that "Red Bull gives you wings", as well as the claims of increased performance, concentration and reaction speed.

 

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His suit argued: "Such deceptive conduct and practices mean that (Red Bull's) advertising and marketing is not just 'puffery,' but is instead deceptive and fraudulent and is therefore actionable". The result of his lawsuit? Red Bull agreeing to pay $13 million to settle the US class-action lawsuit, for his claims of false and misleading advertising.

 

The settlement includes many millions of people who had purchased at least one Red Bull in their life, over the last 12 years. Red Bull has offered class members the option of either a $10 reimbursement, or $15 worth of Red Bull products, which probably won't give you wings. This means that if you've purchased one if their energy drinks between January 1, 2002 and October 3, 2014, you can claim either of the two options from Red Bull, without proof of purchase required.

AMD's new CEO is Dr Lisa Su, who replaces Rory Read

AMD has just announced its new Chief Executive Officer, with Dr. Lisa Su stepping in to replace interim CEO Rory Read. Read will stay with AMD, supporting the transition of Dr. Su as the new CEO in an advisory role, staying with the company for the rest of the year.

 

 

Before sitting down into the Iron Throne of AMD, Su was responsible for AMD's embedded and professional products, but stayed in this position for a short period of time before jumping into the position of CEO. Su was the GM of Global Business units. Su is AMD's first female CEO, with a slew of women taking serious roles in the IT industry of late.

Continue reading 'AMD's new CEO is Dr Lisa Su, who replaces Rory Read' (full post)

Samsung is preparing for a 60% drop in profits for Q3 2014

Samsung is anticipating a massive drop in its profits for Q3 2014, with the company forecasting an operating profit of $3.8 billion for Q3 2014, which represents a massive 59.7% decline compared to the same three-month period from 2013. Total sales for the quarter are expected to be at around $43.9 billion, which is a 20% drop from the same quarter of 2013.

 

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Analysts had expected much better results from the company, which just launched its Galaxy Note 4, and has had an extremely good run with its Galaxy S5 smartphone. But, these declines are going to represent the biggest the company has experienced in five years. Analysts were expecting the South Korean electronics giant to have operating profits drop by 42% to $5.52 billion, while sales were pegged at dropping 14% to $47.6 billion.

 

Right now, according to Sanford Bernstein analyst Mark Newman, Samsung's only strong spot on its upcoming earnings report is its memory department.

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