A History Lesson On ME
I can't believe that I'm writing this article, a major milestone not just for me personally, but professionally. This post is my 15,000th article that I've written for TweakTown, a massive journey that started in 2010. But where did I come from?
We're told throughout life that we need to finish school, go into further study, and spend our 20s 'finding ourselves' and trying out different jobs. Well, I've always been someone who doesn't want to do things the way everyone else does it - and this is how I've approached most of my life, including my career.
I was never someone who spent much time thinking about my career when I was a teenager, and went from a factory/laboring job directly into IT retail for just under 10 years. I worked at a small IT retailer in South Australia called Getright Computers, right up until the end of the world - 12/21/12... the end of the Mayan calendar, 21st December, 2012 - the day I quit my day job and started writing for TweakTown full-time.
Aaaand the story continues.
CenturyLink is set to acquire fellow international ISP and telecommunications company Level 3 Communications for a staggering $34 billion. The deal means CenturyLink has followed suit with other internet giants Verizon and Yahoo, and AT&T and Time Warner, who also combined forces in recent times.
Combined, CenturyLink and Level 3 will operate in over 60 countries and bolster their now collective reputation as some of the largest companies of their kind as well as expand the former company's network by 200,000 miles of fiber.
Once the transaction is complete, CenturyLink will own approximately 51 percent of Level 3, the latter of which will relocate to Monroe, Louisiana from Broomfield, Colorado. CenturyLink CEO Glen Post will remain in his position, while Level 3's CFO and CenturyLink's chairmain of the board.
Qualcomm is spending big on its acquisition of NXP Semiconductor, with an all-cash deal of $47 billion, leaving Qualcomm with a future of diversifying its business as sales of smartphones using Snapdragon processors begins to slow down in saturated markets, reports TechSpot.
Who is NXP Semiconductor? They're a large supplier for the automotive industry, so Qualcomm's acquisition is teasing that we could see Qualcomm step into the automotive industry in a very, very big way. It wasn't too long ago that Analogix Semiconductor were purchased by a Chinese consortium for $500 million, but this $47 billion deal makes that acquisition look tiny in comparison.
Qualcomm isn't acquiring NXP to begin its future in the automotive market, as it'll allow Qualcomm to get a better grip on the networking market, as well as the Internet of Things and security - both of which are expanding at rates that most companies can't keep up with.
We should expect the Qualcomm/NXP deal to close by the end of 2017.
Tesla Motors published its third-quarter earning report, and for the first time in three years, they have made a profit. Last time they reported a quarterly net profit was is the first quarter of 2013, three years after the company went public.
For the last quarter, Q3 2016, they recorded net income of $21.9 million, or 14 cents per share. A year earlier, they announced a loss of $229.9 million, or $1.78 per share.
Total revenue more than doubled compared to the same quarter last year and is now $2.3 billion.
In Q3, combined net orders for new Model S and Model X vehicles grew 68%, compared with the same period last year. During the quarter, we opened 17 new stores and service centers to increase our customer support network to 250 locations globally. We achieved record production levels in Q3, rising to 25,185 vehicles for an increase of 37% from Q2 and an increase of 92% from Q3 last year.
Verizon has announced it is acquiring subscription video service Vessel, but it's the swift closure of Vessel that is surprising.
Vessel worked with YouTube giants and other video creators in its first few months on the block, offering early access to their videos for $2.99 per month. The company raised over $130 million from investors, too. Jason Kilar was Hulu's former CEO before he founded Vessel with Richard Tom, who was Vessel's CTO - Tom will stay with Verizon/Vessel, but Kilar won't be around after the transition of the acquisition later this year.
In a blog post, the Vessel founders said: "At the heart of this transaction is the Vessel technology, product and team that we have built. These three things will be married with Verizon's ambitions in online video. Though the team and the actual tech + product will live on at Verizon in ways that will become apparent in the months and years ahead, sadly we will be sunsetting the Vessel service at the end of this month (October 31)".
What will Verizon do with Vessel? The company has plans to throw some of Vessel's social features into existing Verizon products, and it will be looking into subscription business models for its video content.
According to the newest report from IDC, the worldwide smartwatch market experienced a round of growing pains in the third quarter of 2016, resulting in a "year-over-year decline in shipment volumes." To put that in numbers, the sales dropped by 51.6 percent, aka from 5.6 million sold last year in this quarter to 2.7 million this year.
It is noted that Apple had the biggest drop - almost 72 percent, although they still maintained their position as the overall leader of the worldwide smartwatch market. Interestingly, the highest growth among the leading companies was Garmin, who has tripled its sales to 600,000 watches in 3Q 2016.
However, we also have to have in mind that last year we had more new smartwatches in the market. In the Q3 2015, Apple's Watch had widespread retail availability after a limited online launch. Meanwhile, the second generation Apple Watch was only available in the last two weeks of 3Q16. Samsung has yet to release their Gear S3, and Pebble 2 sales started in September.
AT&T has struck a deal to acquire Time Warner, with the merger mounting towards over $80 billion. The news has been reported by the likes of The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Bloomberg, and has the deal reportedly ballooning out to $85 billion, once it's all done and dusted.
If the deal is inked, AT&T will find itself owning HBO, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and CNN - these companies own some of the biggest entertainment and media companies under their respective umbrellas. HBO has the rights to shows like Game of Thrones, while Warner Bros. has Batman, Superman, the upcoming Wonder Woman and Justice League movies, and so much more. Now AT&T will own them, so could we expect some big changes in the way AT&T stream media to their wireless customers?
What I'd like to be right now: a fly on the wall of the likes of Netflix, and AT&T's competitors - as well as other media and entertainment companies. This $80 billion deal is mammoth, and it'll have big waves for the entire industry.
AMD has posted their Q3 earnings, reporting revenues of $1.3 billion for the quarter, beating analysts expectations of $1.21 billion for the three-month period.
AMD is riding record semi-custom SoC designs that made it into Microsoft's new Xbox One S, as well as their upcoming Xbox Scorpio console, and Sony's new PS4 and PS4 Pro consoles. The company also reported higher GPU and mobile APU sales, but were partially offset by client desktop processor and chipset sales.
Lisa Su, AMD's president and CEO said in a statement: "Our third quarter financial results highlight the progress we are making across our business. We now expect to deliver higher 2016 annual revenue based on stronger demand for AMD semi-custom solutions and Polaris GPUs. This positions us well to accelerate our growth in 2017 as we introduce new high-performance computing and graphics products".
Xiaomi is the fourth biggest phone manufacturer in the world, and their phones regularly get positive consumer response.
Now, Xiaomi has announced that they sold one million phones in India, which is one of their most important markets, in only 18 days.
"When we entered India, there was extremely fierce competition. We have achieved such extraordinary growth in India firstly because of our vision to bring innovation to everyone with our high-quality products at incredible prices", said the company's CEO Lei Jun.
Audiophiles have been behind THX since the 70s, with the iconic launch of Star Wars being the debut of THX's audio technology in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi back in 1983, the year THX was founded by George Lucas.
Razer has announced it has acquired THX, with company co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan saying: "Razer has a vision for innovation at every level of entertainment, a vision which THX has championed since its inception more than 30 years ago. This acquisition will allow us to reinforce Razer's leadership in gaming and extend the brand into broader areas of entertainment, while at the same time empowering THX to develop into a global powerhouse, independently".
It might not make sense why a gaming peripheral company would buy a cinematic audio company, but THX has been slowly expanding its certification to live entertainment and concert experiences, but THX also certifies audio electronics, non-Internet-connected speakers, TVs, projectors, automotive audio systems and foresees further adoption in immersive audio and HDR as used by headsets, AR and VR systems, reports Hexus.
THX Ltd CEO Ty Ahmad-Taylor said that the company will continue with its certification business, growing its THX Live! and THX Inside operations, while the Razer acquisition will provide THX with "a rock-solid foundation for executing on the three core areas of business". He added that both of the companies have a "shared vision for creating great products that solve customer problems".