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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 4

Bitcoin still not dead, but needs to better promote itself

The bitcoin cryptocurrency may be able to generate a large amount of buzz, but still has a major sales and marketing problem.

 

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"Bitcoin has a sales job to getting people to trust it, which is ironic because it was set up to be a trustless system," said Paul Vigna, co-author of "The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order, in a statement to CBS News. "It is sort of opaque and hard to understand and esoteric because it is so new."

 

Bitcoin won't go away any time soon, and there is around $50 million bitcoin-related transactions carried out per day. It's an extremely small figure compared to the entire financial market, but is an indicator that people remain interested.

Continue reading 'Bitcoin still not dead, but needs to better promote itself' (full post)

Rooster Teeth animator Monty Oum has died at 33 years of age

The Rooster Teeth community is in shock right now, with the creator of RWBY, Monty Oum, dying at the young age of 33. Oum died due to an extreme allergic reaction during a routine medical procedure. Oum fell into a coma, and never recovered, where he passed away at 4:34pm on February 1 "surrounded by people who loved him very much".

 

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Rooster Teeth has released a message to its fans, saying: "As for honoring Monty, we will do that in our own way. In lieu of flowers or gifts, we ask that you simply do something creative. Use your imagination to make the world a better place in any way that you can. If you know Monty like we do, then you know he would certainly be doing that if he were able to".

 

There's already a GoFundMe campaign that has been opened up, to help Oum's family with the medical costs. Our thoughts are with his family, as it's such a sad way to go. Did you enjoy Oum's work? Are you a fan of Red vs. Blue?

Sprint set to buy half of RadioShack stores, possibly close others

It looks like this is the end for RadioShack, as the company will sell almost half of its retail stores to Sprint, while the rest will be shuttered. Sprint will operate the RadioShack locations under its own brand name, according to sources.

 

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It's still possible Sprint and RadioShack won't finalize a deal, or something could change, with both companies previously discussing a co-branded retail effort.

 

There are about 4,300 RadioShack stores in North America, and half of those stores will close if the company is unable to entice another suitor. Employees have been ordered to slash prices and ship inventory other locations, in anticipation of future store closures.

Continue reading 'Sprint set to buy half of RadioShack stores, possibly close others' (full post)

Jay Z wants to buy Aspiro music streaming service for $56 million

Rap mogul Jay Z wants to expand his business empire even more, offering $56 million to purchase the Swedish Aspiro music streaming service. The Roc Nation entertainment company would receive additional exposure, in addition to acquiring Aspiro's WiMP and Tidal services.

 

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"The recent developments in the entertainment industry, with the migration to media streaming, offers great potential for increased entertainment consumption and an opportunity for artists to further promote their music," according to a statement from Jay Z's Project Panther.

 

Streaming Media OS, which owns 76 percent of the Aspiro brand, is expected to accept the deal - and helps Jay Z jump into the competitive, yet lucrative streaming music business. The streaming music business is booming - and while companies like Pandora and may struggle to create long-lasting revenue - it could make for a wise investment for Jay Z.

Microsoft is reportedly investing in Cyanogen, hurting Google

It looks like Microsoft will be a minority investor in a new round of funding for Cyanogen, shelling up $70 million for the company that makes its money making custom versions of Google's mobile OS, Android.

 

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that other companies and investors could jump in, throwing their hats into the ring for investment into Cyanogen, something that would take parts of Android's dominance away from Google. But with Microsoft sitting in the corner with its own mobile OS in Windows Phone, this is an interesting turn for the Redmond-based software giant.

 

With a market share of around 3%, Microsoft needs to claw some of that mobile OS market share away from Android and get people using its Windows Phone platform. Something we could see Microsoft do with an investment into Cyanogen is bake its Bing search engine into it, something that can't be done on an Android-based smartphone.

Google's $66 billion pull for 2014 was less than Apple's Q4 results

Google has posted both its Q4 and full year 2014 results, where we see the Mountain View-based giant raking in an impressive $66 billion for the year. This is up 19% from 2013, with its Q4 2014 seeing revenues reach $18.1 billion, up 15% year-over-year.

 

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The company said that its Google-owned sites saw $12.43 billion in revenues for Q4 2014 which is up 18%, while its partner sites pulled $3.72 billion in revenue, up 6%. When it came to revenues secured outside of the United States, Google saw 56% of its total revenue made outside the US. The UK for example, made up 9% of its revenues. Google added an additional 2000 employees to its roster in Q4, too.

 

Comparing this to Apple, which made $74.6 billion for Q4 2014, more than Google's entire full year revenue, these results are great, but don't touch Apple in the slightest.

Spotify reportedly raising another $500 million in funding

Spotify is continuing its streaming domination, where the music giant is reporting looking to raise an additional $500 million in funding according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

 

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The Journal is reporting that Spotify is discussing the financial deal with Goldman Sachs, but the streaming giant has not commented just yet. In its Series F round of funding in late 2013, Spotify was valued at $4 billion. The latest round of funding would see the company valued at around $6 billion, if not more, with some estimating that the company could be worth over $7 billion.

 

It was only earlier this month that Spotify announced it had 15 million paying subscribers, with over 60 million users in total. Even with those customers, Spotify posted a net loss of $80 million across 2014, with revenues of around $1 billion.

First regulated bitcoin exchange is now open, thanks to Coinbase

Coinbase has launched the first regulated bitcoin exchange in the United States, dubbing the new service Coinbase Exchange, available for residents in 24 states. The company has worked with federal regulators for more than one year, trying to create guidelines to promote safety for current clients.

 

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The new service is designed "to bring increased stability to the bitcoin ecosystem," which has endured extreme volatility - and recent high-profile bitcoin heists. Coinbase serves as a storage facility so consumers and merchants are able to make transactions, and allows interested buyers to bid on and trade their cryptocurrency stash.

 

"A proper U.S. exchange that's trustworthy, that's insured, we were the first guys to get insurance on our bitcoin in some form, this will really help bring a dampening of volatility," said Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase, while speaking on CNBC's Squawk on the Street. "I think the New York Stock Exchange sees this as an important trend."

Sony postpones earnings reports due to hacking attack

The beleaguered Sony has announced a delay in reporting their third-quarter earnings. The delay comes as a result of the intense hacking attack suffered at the hands of the North Korean government, if you believe the FBI. The hack was purportedly undertaken as a means of punishing Sony Pictures for the forthcoming movie 'The Interview', which soundly blasts the benevolent Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jung-un.

 

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Sony has requested an approval to delay their earnings report, chalking the issue up to damaged network hardware and the loss of a large amount of data. The reference to network hardware likely means their networked storage, such as HDDs in a SAN or NAS, as the bug wiped the drives clean once the hackers were done stealing data.

 

Sony continues to experience severe disruption of its internal computer systems in the wake of the attack. They initially shut down the entire system, but parts are now functioning again. However, crucial segments, such as financial and accounting applications, are shuttered until the middle of February.

Continue reading 'Sony postpones earnings reports due to hacking attack' (full post)

Xiaomi could be worth $100 billion, a billionaire investor claims

Xiaomi's estimated valuation could reach $100 billion due to increased interest from potential investors, according to billionaire investor Yuri Milner. The Chinese smartphone maker has seen a continued rise of its low-cost smartphones and tablets, while expanding in select markets outside of China.

 

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"I was attracted by the size of the opportunity ahead of them," said Yuri Milner, a billionaire investor, in an interview with Bloomberg. "I don't think there's any company that has reached $1 billion in revenue as fast as Xiaomi. In every conceivable benchmark, it's almost unprecedented in terms of its speed of growth."

 

Xiaomi wants to become the first major global consumer brand from China, and while the company avoids the United States, will develop its business in China, Brazil, and other select nations.

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