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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 57

Elon Musk plans to serve as Tesla CEO for another 4-5 years, he says

Elon Musk, current CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, said he plans to lead the popular electric-car company for at least four or five more years, but understands he has limited time at the helm. The 42-year-old has been successful leading both companies, but trying to maintain full-time workloads at both companies will become difficult, especially as SpaceX and Tesla both expand later down the road.

 

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Some industry analysts believed Musk would have to give up his position at one of the companies - likely Tesla over SpaceX - sooner rather than later, but the 4-5 year time frame means he will still be around when the Generation III enters mass production.

 

"No one is a CEO forever," Musk said during a recent Tesla shareholders meeting. "Eventually they carry you out. It is quite difficult to be CEO at two companies."

Continue reading 'Elon Musk plans to serve as Tesla CEO for another 4-5 years, he says' (full post)

Patent royalties make up over 25% of a smartphone's price

Two of the lawyers from the law firm that Apple used in its patent fight against Samsung, and an executive from Intel, have released a paper that shows just how much we're paying in smartphone royalty fees - a figure that won't see you smiling.

 

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In a report titled "The Smartphone Royalty Stack: Surveying Royalty Demands for the Components Within Modern Smartphones," we now have a dollar amount when it comes to patent royalty fees on the average smartphone. The average smartphone is priced at $400, with patent royalties costing a huge $120 of that $400 - or more than 30%.

 

Considering the build of materials, or BoM, is usually less than that - smartphone owners are paying more in patent royalties, than the physical hardware that makes up the smartphone. The paper was written by WilmerHale intellectual property litigators Joe Mueller and Tim Syrett, who were joined by Intel's Vice President and Associate General Counsel Ann Armstrong, who all used public information to calculate the patent royalty costs.

Continue reading 'Patent royalties make up over 25% of a smartphone's price' (full post)

FCC to change its baseline speed of what it considers broadband

It looks like the Federal Communications Commission could finally change what it deems as the definition of broadband, which right now sits at 4Mbps - but this is going to change, considerably.

 

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In the new age of Internet, where everyone is streaming, downloading and playing games, 4Mbps doesn't really cut it, and that doesn't count going into the future with 4K from Netflix as one example. The FCC is planning to take in public comments soon, about what it should have the baseline of broadband speeds at - whether it be 10Mbps, or even 25Mbps.

 

The FCC will ask "whether the FCC should adopt a tiered set of definitions to account for varying speeds in different regions or during different times of day".

BlackBerry chief John Chen ups company's survival rate by 30%

BlackBerry's chief exec John Chen has claimed there's just a 20 percent chance the beleaguered company will perish. Just over half a year in, Chen said at California's Re/code conference that the odds for survival have improved to roughly 80 percent, up considerably from his earlier, gloomy estimation of 50-50.

 

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Chen did admit BlackBerry is hardly out of the fire, but he expects things to improve. "I am quite confident we'll be able to save the patient," Chen said. He declined to comment on a question from the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg about turning to Android handsets. But he did say he has a "plan to make money on the handsets and the market will have to tell me whether that's a business I should or should not be in."

 

"I'll be able to create a lot of value for our shareholders even without the handset business," Chen said, according to Canadian Press, before adding that with the handset business there is a "chance to even create more."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donates $120 million to Bay Area schools

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will donate $120 million to low-income schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, at a unique time in Silicon Valley. Companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other major tech companies have been accused of turning their backs on the community, as affluent tech workers continue to drive up rental prices in an already pricey market even further.

 

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The $120 million will be used over the next five years to create new public and charter schools, purchase equipment, improve training procedures, and boost other struggling programs.

 

"The world's most innovative community shouldn't also be a home for struggling public schools," Zuckerberg recently wrote. "There are many heroic educators doing their best to serve students here. But the challenges are much greater than the resources they receive."

Continue reading 'Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donates $120 million to Bay Area schools' (full post)

YouTube access to be resorted in Turkey after court order

Back in late March, access to the video streaming site YouTube was blocked in Turkey. The blockage came after videos that claimed officials in the country were corrupt began to air. The turkey constitutional court has now ruled that the blockage of YouTube violates laws in the country that govern freedom of expression.

 

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Telecommunications firms are now being notified by the court to lift the blockade. The blockage against YouTube was officially lifted last month. However, limits have remained despite lower courts calling for the block to be lifted.

Continue reading 'YouTube access to be resorted in Turkey after court order' (full post)

US legislation seeks to bar FCC from classifying broadband as utility

A new legislation is pending in the US House that would seek to prevent the FCC from reclassifying broadband as a carrier utility. The reclassification as a utility is something that many net neutrality supporters have been calling for. Representative Bob Latta introduced the new legislation to the US House of Representatives.

 

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If approved the legislation would block the FCC from reclassifying broadband as a common-carrier telecom service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. The move to reclassify broadband comes after the FCC chairman suggested a move that would allow carriers to engage in "commercially reasonable" traffic management on their networks.

Continue reading 'US legislation seeks to bar FCC from classifying broadband as utility' (full post)

T-Mobile USA to be sold to SoftBank according to reports

A report is making the rounds that originated with a Japanese publication called Kyodo News. The report claims that Deutsche Telekom has agreed to sell T-Mobile USA to Softbank. The Japanese report didn't offer details on the transaction such as pricing or the structure.

 

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Another report on the topic from Reuters claims that no decision is close on the deal. Reuters claims that while the two firms are interested in making a deal for T-Mobile, there are numerous hurdles to overcome.

Continue reading 'T-Mobile USA to be sold to SoftBank according to reports' (full post)

Google launches form for people exercising their right to be forgotten

Recently the top courts in Europe ruled that people have the right to be forgotten on Google and other search engines. The ruling says that people can have outdated information removed from search listings at their request. To facilitate this removal of outdated information, Google has now set up a special form on its site to handle requests from users.

 

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The form requires users to enter details, provide a photo ID, and links to the outdated information. People sending in requests also have to list why they think the data should be removed from Google's listings.

 

Google also notes that the form is the first attempt at meeting the new law in Europe and that it will be working with authorities in the future to develop the process further. The photo Id is required to keep competitors and nefarious users from requesting that information about competitors and impersonators from having legitimate information removed.

iTunes passes 35 billion songs sold according to Eddy Cue

Eddy Cue has shared some of the latest stats about iTunes during an interview that he gave with Jimmy Lovine during the Code Conference. Cue said that Apple has sold 35 billion songs on iTunes as of last week. That is a huge number of tracks and a massive increase since Apple announced 25 billion songs had been sold as of February of last year.

 

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The assumption is that the 35 billion number includes songs purchased and downloaded. Another interesting stat that Cue gave up was that iTunes has about 800 million customers in total. Apple also enjoys 40 million iTunes Radio listeners in the US and Australia.

Continue reading 'iTunes passes 35 billion songs sold according to Eddy Cue' (full post)

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