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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 49

Amazon offering $5000 to any of its staff who quit their job

If your boss walked up to you today and offered you $5000 to quit your job and never look back, would you take the offer, or would you realize that $5000 is just a drop in the bucket over the long-term? Many Amazon employees are experiencing that exact scenario right now. Amazon says that it is offering its warehouse workers $2000 to quit their jobs, and increases the price by $1000 every year to those who refuse until the amount reaches $5000.

 

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Amazon says that it makes this offer to employees as an effort to see who really wants to work for Amazon, and to weed out those who are just there for the job. The idea is not new though, and was pioneered by Zappos who made similar offers to its employees. In his earnings call to investors Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, elaborated on the idea behind offering employees rewards for quitting their jobs.

 

"The second program is called Pay to Quit. It was invented by the clever people at Zappos, and the Amazon fulfillment centers have been iterating on it. Pay to Quit is pretty simple. Once a year, we offer to pay our associates to quit. The first year the offer is made, it's for $2,000. Then it goes up one thousand dollars a year until it reaches $5,000. The headline on the offer is "Please Don't Take This Offer," Bezos said "We hope they don't take the offer; we want them to stay. Why do we make this offer? The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don't want to be isn't healthy for the employee or the company."

Sony confirms VAIO Fit 11A battery fire hazard

If you own a Sony VAIO Fit 11A notebook computer, you need to be aware that a battery issues has been identified. This issue, like most battery problems on notebook computers, can result in a fire. The big problem for users of these Sony notebooks is that the battery inside the machines isn't removable.

 

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That means you will have to return the entire notebook for repairs. Sony wants people to stop using the machines, unplug them, and return them to be repaired or replaced. There are 25,905 machines affected by this issue globally.

Continue reading 'Sony confirms VAIO Fit 11A battery fire hazard' (full post)

Amazon acquires comiXology, a digital comic provider

Amazon has just announced it is acquiring comiXology, a digital comics platform. There's no details available on what Amazon shelled out for the company, but comiXology was one of the best places to source comics from, so it makes sense for Amazon to bolster its comic business.

 

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ComiXology said: "ComiXology's mission is to spread the love of comics and graphic novels in all forms. There is no better home for comiXology than Amazon to see this vision through. Working together, we look to accelerate a new age for comic books and graphic novel". Amazon's Vice President of Content Acquisition and Independent Publishing, David Naggar, said: "Amazon and comiXology share a passion for reinventing reading in a digital world. We've long admired the passion comiXology brings to changing the way we buy and read comics and graphic novels. We look forward to investing in the business, growing the team, and together, bringing comics and graphic novels to even more readers".

 

No one knows what is going to happen in the immediate future, but we should see Amazon make a move in the comic space this year thanks to the acquisition of comiXology.

Solar Impulse 2 aircraft to fly around the globe on electricity alone

You can walk outside, look up at the sky, and see propeller aircraft flying around on any given day. The thing all those propeller aircraft have in common is that they need some sort of fuel to burn in their engines. Some gliders can fly without a motor, but most aircraft still burn fuel of some sort.

 

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An electric airplane called the Solar Impulse 2 is getting ready for a voyage that will see it travel around the globe using no fuel. It looks a lot like a glider with long and thin wings and it does have propellers. Rather than spinning them with fossil fuels this plane uses solar power.

 

Inside the fuselage are some sort of battery packs that store the energy from the solar panels on the tops of the wing surface. Those batteries store enough power that the airplane can fly at night. It will hold two pilots who will fly the aircraft around the world.

Continue reading 'Solar Impulse 2 aircraft to fly around the globe on electricity alone' (full post)

Samsung is nipping at Apple's tablet market share heels

There was once a time when the iPad was invincible, selling millions upon millions of tablets for Apple, making the Cupertino-based company the leader in tablets. But, with Samsung shipping over 14 million tablets in Q1 2014 alone, Samsung is quickly ccatching up.

 

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One Samsung official spoke with ZDNet, who said: "We have implemented a comprehensive sales plan for tablets, from emerging countries to developed ones. We have overcome last year's weak fourth quarter (for the first quarter this year)". Samsung's mobile boss has promised that the South Korean giant will be the leader in tablets before 2014 is wrapped up.

 

As it stands, Apple controls 30% of the global tablet shipments for the previous quarter, according to an internal Samsung estimation. In the previous quarter, Apple sold a record 26 million iPads. In 2013, Samsung shipped over 40 million tablets, double what it shipped the previous year. For 2014, Samsung has some big hopes, where it wants to ship as many as 100 million slates.

Intel shutters its doors in Costa Rica, lays off 1,500 workers

Earlier today, Intel announced that it will be closing the doors on its assembly and testing facility located in Costa Rica. This unfortunate announcement will result in the loss of jobs for more than 1,500 employees, and will most certainly cause a ripple effect in the economy close to the facility.

 

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Intel says that this closure is part of the company's on-going effort to cut five-percent of its global workforce by the end of the year. Intel is making these cuts to ensure that it remains out of the red as PC saled continue to dwindle in a market saturated by tablets and smartphones. "We have to be more efficient and effective," said Chuck Mulloy, an Intel spokesman.

Amazon now officially employs more people than Microsoft at 110,000

While unemployment numbers continue to rise in America, one major company is reporting that it now has more employees than ever before. Amazon released it's earnings report today and amidst all of the financial numbers, the company also announced that it now employs almost 110,000 individuals world wide. That number puts it well ahead of Microsoft's barely 100,000, and far out of reach of Google's 37,000-ish employees.

 

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The rise in employee numbers is attributed to the companies unprecedented growth over the last three years, with it tripling in size since 2011. Unfortunately, this massive growth and rising employee numbers has taken its toll on the Seattle, Washington-based company which today reported its second straight quarter operating in the red. This morning Amazon announced that it lost more than $41 million during the last quarter despite a net sales of $17.1 billion.

 

"It's been a busy few months-we launched a new Paperwhite and new Kindle Fires to positive reviews and surprised people with the revolutionary Mayday button-average Mayday response times are just 11 seconds!" Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a press release.

Facebook facing class-action lawsuit in Canada for privacy invasion

Facebook is facing a class-action lawsuit in the Ontario Superior Cout, acused of intercepting website addresses shared among its members via private messages, according to the lawsuit.

 

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Security researchers discovered what Facebook was doing, and the controversial action was stopped in October 2012. Facebook was able to scan and intercept private messages to allegedly improve its efforts for successful targeted advertising campaigns.

 

"Facebook intercepted its users' private messages for its own commercial gain and has never acknowledged or apologized for its behavior," said Joel Rochon, partner at Rochon Genova, the law firm representing clients in the lawsuit. "Social networking sites such as this need to be held publicly accountable. Surreptitious surveillance of private communications cannot be tolerated in a democratic society."

Continue reading 'Facebook facing class-action lawsuit in Canada for privacy invasion' (full post)

Newegg begins pilot program to ship products to the UK, and Australia

Newegg is looking to expand its reach across the pond, into the United Kingdom and Australia with a new pilot program. Customers located in the new countries Newegg is shipping to will be able to order a limited range of products from the US giant.

 

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Each country will have a select range of products to choose from, but there are several thousands to choose from right now. Customers can also enable a "Newegg Global Eligible" filter which will show purely internationally-shippable products, where the cart will display the estimated shipping charges, tax, and duty to any orders placed.

 

Newegg's Chief Marketing Officer, Soren Mills, said in a statement: "We're extending the Newegg customer experience beyond North America, selectively addressing English-speaking countries overseas to begin that process. This is an important step forward for our company and we're taking a very deliberate approach to our international growth".

Twitter acquires Cover, an Android lockscreen start-up

We talked about Cover last year, knowing it was going to get big - but big enough for Twitter to acquire? I didn't see that coming. The social network has acquired the Android-focused start-up.

 

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Cover took to its blog to talk about the acquisition, where it said: "Twitter, like Cover, believes in the incredible potential of Android. They share our vision that smartphones can be a lot smarter - more useful and more contextual - and together we're going to make that happen". Cover launched last year, where it used your location and app usage history to predict which apps you would use next. It provided these apps in a beautiful quick access menu on your lockscreen, depending on where you were - home, at work, in the car, or when you're out.

 

With this acquisition, we can see that Twitter wants to be more of a force to be reckoned with on Android, and rightly so, considering that 75% of Twitter users are using the social network on their smartphones. Just what will Twitter do with Cover? That remains to me seen, but I'm now very interested in what the company will do with the exciting new start-up.

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