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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 6

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)

Analysts: PC market shrunk up to 6.7% in Q1, businesses stop upgrading

According to analysts Gartner and IDC, the computer market has shrunk over Q1 2015 by between 5.2% and 6.7%. The analysts say this is due to many companies halting their OS upgrades from Windows XP.

 

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Many businesses that wanted to modernize their PCs have already done so, so they've stopped this upgrade path and the market is feeling it. The IDC is claiming that Q1 2015 witnessed the lowest volume of PC shipments since the beginning of 2009, which is a big call considering that the world was still feeling the global financial crisis (GFC) at the time.

 

But, it's not all doom and gloom as companies like Lenovo and ASUS are seeing a big resurgence, thanks to the two companies pushing into larger Windows tablets - according to Gartner's report, anyway. Acer, Dell and many other system builders are still looking into troubles - but there is hope: Windows 10 is nearly here, which should see gamers, businesses and everyone in between upgrading.

Apple reportedly talking with artists about exclusivity deals

Taylor Swift has enough pull in the industry that wherever she goes, millions of users will follow. So the reports of Apple looking to score exclusive deals with big artists for iTunes, or Beats Music, shouldn't be a surprise.

 

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The Cupertino-based iGiant has reportedly talked with over a dozen artists about exclusivity deals, including Florence and the Machine, and Taylor Swift. With Swift removing her entire library from Spotify last year claiming that artists weren't being fairly compensated for their work making big headlines.

 

Apple is reportedly talking with artists for limited streaming rights to a track with Florence and the Machine, as well as approaching Swift about partnerships. The idea behind the exclusives is to have consumers sucked into paying for subscriptions with Apple over its competitors, with a rumored pricing of $14.99 per month for a family plan on its Beats subscription plan.

 

But is exclusive content enough to have you jump ship from Spotify, Pandora or Play Music?

IDC: PC shipments beat expectations, but still dropped 6.7%

The global PC market racked up 68.5 million units shipped during Q1 2015, a 6.7 percent year-over-year drop, though was still better than previous estimates, according to the IDC research group.

 

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Lenovo has 19.6 percent market share, ahead of Hewlett-Packard (19 percent), Dell (13.5 percent), Acer (7.1 percent) and ASUS (7.0 percent), according to IDC figures.

 

"Despite the decline, PC shipment in the United States declined at a slower rate than all other regions in first quarter, outperforming worldwide trends for the eleventh consecutive quarter," said Rajani Singh, Senior Research Analyst of the Personal Computing division at IDC.

Continue reading 'IDC: PC shipments beat expectations, but still dropped 6.7%' (full post)

Alibaba announces foray into automobiles

Said to include automotive financing, second-hand purchases and local services, Alibaba has announced that they have established a car division to provide users with online-to-offline services.

 

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Over 50 car manufacturers will be supported alongside more then 10,000 car dealerships and 20,000 service centers all partnered with this massive Chinese movement.

 

Lead by Wand Licheng, Alibaba's former Juhuasuan leader, this move is said to be due to competing companies also investing in the automotive industry. This news is paired with previous reports of SAIC Motor Corp co-investing 1 billion yuan ($161m) with Alibaba into development of internet-connected automobiles.

 

According to reports, Alibaba sold a massive 50,700 cars over 24 hours in China - known as the online shopping frenzy of 'Singles Day'.

AT&T agrees to pay $25M after data breach exposes 280,000 US customers

AT&T has agreed to pay a $25 million civil penalty to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) related to data breaches that left 280,000 US customers at risk.

 

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Employees at AT&T call centers in the Philippines, Mexico and Colombia accessed information without proper authorization - and some employees accessed data so they could pass along customer names, Social Security numbers and other data to third-parties.

 

"As the nation's expert agency on communications networks, the Commission cannot- and will not- stand idly by when a carrier's lax data security practices expose the personal information of hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable Americans to identity theft and fraud," said Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC.

Continue reading 'AT&T agrees to pay $25M after data breach exposes 280,000 US customers' (full post)

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