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AOL CEO: AOL-Yahoo merger just a 'dead notion' at this point

AOL and Yahoo will not merge together despite financial industry rumors, and the former ISP giant is focusing on developing niche business units. An AOL-Yahoo merger has been rumored for years, but investors from both companies said it's not worth the trouble of bringing up a possible merger until it's seriously brought to the table.

 

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"We have to really make a decision whether we want to take a step back, and go back and think about doing something like [a merger], versus, do we focus on growth?" said Tim Armstrong, chairman and CEO of AOL, in a statement to CNBC.

 

Instead of worrying about a merger, AOL will seriously consider acquisitions that help its supply business, customer data, and video and automated ads. "You should assume we're going to do everything we possibly can to move those three things forward."

Continue reading 'AOL CEO: AOL-Yahoo merger just a 'dead notion' at this point' (full post)

Looks like Charter wants another go at acquiring Time Warner Cable

Last week, Comcast dropped its effort to take over Time Warner Cable, as antitrust regulators and business watchdog groups showed their displeasure with the takeover attempt.

 

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"Today, we move on," said Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast, following news of Comcast's decision to leave behind TWC. "Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn't agree, we could walk away."

 

However, it looks like Charter Communications, the No. 4 largest cable company in the United States, is considering another effort to acquire TWC. Prior to Comcast's effort to purchase TWC last year for almost $159 per share, Charter offered $130 and $132 per share for TWC - which the company rejected.

Continue reading 'Looks like Charter wants another go at acquiring Time Warner Cable' (full post)

UberX gets unbanned from Portland, now with a new $1 Safe Rides Fee

It wasn't long ago that Uber was banned in Portland, but the US city has just unbanend the ridesharing company's operations, after months of talks between civic and community leaders.

 

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Uber has now relaunched in Portland with a "safer and more reliable" version of its UberX in Rose City, with the new agreement seeing Uber drivers having to pass background and driving history checks. Their cars must also pass a vehicle safety inspection which needs to be done by a certified mechanic.

 

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Each UberX fare will also feature a $1 Safe Rides Fee, which you can see in the table above.

Logitech reports best earnings in seven years thanks to sales growth

As according to the latest press release, Logitech has reportedly exceeded its fiscal year 2015 expectations with a 28 percent growth in sales in the category of gaming, tablet and other accessories.

 

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Logitech's GAAP operating income was rated at $141 million with its GAAP earnings per share equaling $0.81 compared to $0.46 last year. This massive growth marks its best earnings per share rating since the 2008 fiscal year.

 

When asked about future development plans, president and CEO Bracken Darrell stated "we will accelerate our transformation of Logitech into a simpler, faster, growing company. We will focus on our growing Retail Strategic business."

WB signs massive multi-picture tentpole deal with IMAX through to 2020

Warner Bros. has some seriously large tentpole movies coming out in the next five years, with movies like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice next year, followed by Suicide Squad, Godzilla 2 and many more.

 

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The company has announced a new multi-picture agreement with IMAX Corporation that will see 30 films from Warner Bros. upcoming line up through 2020, as a continuation of the companies' continued partnership. Under this new agreement, "IMAX will be part of a number of high-profile tentpoles from Warner Bros. Pictures, including The Man from U.N.C.L.E., In the Heart of the Sea, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Tarzan movie, the King Arthur movie, Suicide Squad, Geostorm, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Jungle Book: Origins, and Godzilla 2. The deal also encompasses a number of upcoming DC tentpoles, as well as future LEGO movies, including The LEGO Movie Sequel", reports Cosmic Book News.

 

IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond has said: "We've had an incredible partnership with Warner Bros. for more than 10 years, which has helped IMAX filmgoers enjoy Warner movies around the world. We're excited and grateful to extend that partnership".

 

This is exciting news, especially with Warner Bros. upcoming movies like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Godzilla 2 and many more of DC's tentpoles splashing up onto IMAX's screens.

Elon Musk was very close to selling Tesla Motors to Google in 2013

Tesla Motors has been enjoying some great sales of late, but Elon Musk nearly sold the electric vehicle maker to Google in early 2013. Musk was reportedly very close to securing a deal for Google to buy Tesla, at a time when Tesla wasn't selling too many cars.

 

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The deal would've seen Musk maintain control of the company for eight years, or when Tesla's mainstream electric vehicle hit the road. The deal disintegrated because Tesla quickly became successful. Now, both Tesla Motors and Google have so far refused to comment on the rumor of Tesla being sold to Google.

TSMC aiming for 10nm production next year, followed by 7nm in 2017

During its Q1 2015 earnings conference, TSMC has said that it will be enter 10nm production next year, following with 7nm production in 2017. The Taiwanese giant has said that its 16nm production is behind, but still promises 10nm for 2016.

 

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With its recent troubles with the 16nm FinFET manufacturing process, with three major setbacks that have resulted in nine months of delay to 16nm-based products. TSMC had troubles with its 16nm node, forcing Qualcomm to ask Samsung to produce its shrunken technology, and there's even rumors that NVIDIA could rely on Samsung for its next-gen node.

 

TSMC has stated that its issues are behind them now, with 10nm and 7nm on track for 2016 and 2017, respectively. TSMC has already displayed working 10nm silicon, with the process expected to be nailed down later this year and 10nm products into consumers hands by late 2016, after which expanded volume production in early 2017 will take place. This will have a roll on effect with the sales of 10nm hitting TSMC's hands, that will push into the second batch of 10nm, and into 7nm, too.

Tesla's gigafactory is coming together, thanks to satellite images

One of the most exciting projects right now is Tesla Motors' gigafactory, which is being built in the middle of the Nevada desert. Construction has been underway since last July reports Mashable, which is also reporting some new satellite imagery of the secretive facility.

 

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Mashable got its hands on the satellite imagery, which shows how far construction has come since July last year. Back in 2013, Tesla Motors founder and real life Tony Stark told Forbes: "This will be a giant facility. We are talking about something that is comparable to all of the lithium-ion battery production in the world - in one factory".

 

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With the gigafactory being a gigantic battery producing beast, it needs some serious power - with Tesla looking to use many forms of renewable energy. The company will be using sources like solar panels, wind turbines and hydroelectric plants in order to power 500,000 electric vehicles by 2020. Once the facility is finalized, it will take up around 5 million square feet of space, with a final cost of around $5 billion.

Continue reading 'Tesla's gigafactory is coming together, thanks to satellite images' (full post)

Local piracy rates heavily influence Netflix's pricing in the region

Netflix has come out on record saying that it takes in the local piracy rates of a country to determine the pricing of it subscription, so if there is a high level of pirate downloads in the country, Netflix is cheaper for you.

 

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With over 60 million subscribers and counting, Netflix doesn't have much competition - apart from piracy. But Netflix looks at online piracy as a form of competition, which is great, as it can tune its pricing model to entice those who would otherwise download the episodes illegally. Netflix CFO David Wells has explained: "Piracy is a governor in terms of our price in high piracy markets outside the US. We wouldn't want to come out with a high price because there's a lot of piracy, so we have to compete with that".

Qualcomm has made $9.2 billion in royalties from Samsung over 4 years

Samsung released their Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge handsets a little over a week ago now, with Qualcomm feeling the loss of getting its Snapdragon processors into the new handsets.

 

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With the previous Galaxy S smartphones, Samsung has usually had its Exynos processor in certain models, while Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor makes it into another. Not this time around, and rightly so since Qualcomm reportedly asks for 2.5 to 5% of the selling price of every handset that is powered by its Snapdragon processor. This is a big chunk of sales, especially when handsets are spilling over the $1000 mark.

 

Samsung has thus saved itself many millions of dollars by opting for its own Exynos processor in the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, and after giving Qualcomm $9.2 billion in royalties over four years, this has come to an end. Qualcomm continues to expand its pile of cash, which is hovering at around the $30 billion mark right now. Most of this $30 billion has been made from the patent and licensing royalties, and not just from its processors - a smart move by Qualcomm.

Continue reading 'Qualcomm has made $9.2 billion in royalties from Samsung over 4 years' (full post)

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