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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 6

Spotify hits 40 million subscribers

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 14, 2016 10:00 pm

Earlier this year, Spotify's subscriber base sat at an impressive 30 million (out of 100 million total users).

 

 

Now, the company's CEO and founder Daniel Ek has indicated on Twitter that subscriber number has drastically increased to 40 million. Given the rapid ascent, it appears then this is the point at which the service truly begins to take off.

Continue reading 'Spotify hits 40 million subscribers' (full post)

Warcraft, Diablo co-creator Chris Metzen retires

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 13, 2016 7:02 pm

Co-creator of Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo, Warcraft, and Starcraft franchises Chris Metzen has retired at age 42. Starting his career as an animator and artist at the then-startup company, he rose the ranks and eventually found himself the senior vice president of story and franchise development.

 

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Metzen says his decision was motivated by a desire to spend more time with his family, including his newborn baby. In a farewell forum post on Battle.net, he speaks fondly of his 22-year history with Blizzard, describing it as "the time of my life" and says his fellow employees were a "second family" (complete with all the ups and downs).

HP acquires Samsung's printer business for $1.05 billion

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 13, 2016 2:51 am

Samsung has just exited the printer business, selling its printer division to HP for $1.05 billion, where HP says the purchase is intended to "disrupt and reinvent" the $55 billion printing industry, something that "hasn't innovated in decades".

 

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HP said in a statement: "Copiers are outdated, complicated machines with dozens of replaceable parts requiring inefficient service and maintenance agreements". Samsung will spin its printing business into a separate company that will be sold to HP, with 6000 employees included. Samsung will continue selling printers branded as Samsung on its home turf in South Korea, but it will source them from HP.

John McAfee sues Intel over the right to use his name

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 6, 2016 6:32 pm

John McAfee is in the headlines again, this time, the founder of McAfee is suing chipmaker Intel, claiming that they don't have the right to use his name, throwing trademark issues into the mix.

 

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McAfee recently joined MGT Capital Investments, an online gaming company, as its CEO and chairman, and had planned to rename the company to John McAfee Global Technologies Inc., but Intel owns McAfee's "trademarks, tradenames, and associated goodwill" and warned that McAfee would be infringing on those properties.

 

MGT and McAfee argued in a complaint to the New York District Court that "at no point in the Agreement did McAfee assign the rights to his personal name [...] or agree to restrict his right to do business using his own name", and that the agreement with Intel "did not contain any non-compete provisions of any kind".

Continue reading 'John McAfee sues Intel over the right to use his name' (full post)

Warner Bros. flags its own websites as pirate sites

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 5, 2016 2:33 pm

If the mess that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice wasn't enough for Warner Bros. to cry itself to sleep at night, then the news that the company reported its own websites as piracy sites should be.

 

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Warner Bros. and many other major Hollywood studios think that Google is making it way too easy for people to find pirated content, so they want to hand Google mountains of money in order to remove torrent sites like The Pirate Bay from search results entirely, reports TorrentFreak.

 

Thanks to its anti-piracy partner Vobile, Warner asked Google to censor a bunch of URLs, including some of its own. TorrentFreak has some screenshots from its DCMA notice, which lists some of Warner Bros. own pages, including The Dark Knight and Matrix websites. Not only are some of Warner's websites on the DCMA notice, but there are links to Amazon stores where you can buy or rent copies of The Dark Knight, but Google noticed their mistakes and didn't take any action against Amazon or IMBd links.

Apple ordered to pay €13bn in back taxes to Ireland

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 30, 2016 8:29 pm

Apple is facing a record €13bn ($14.5bn) fine after a probe by the European Commission, which found the company was routing profits through Ireland to minimize taxes.

 

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According to the probe, Apple's scheme allowed it to pay as little as 0.005% on its European profits, or £50 in taxes for every £1m of profit (a "completely made-up number", according to Chief financial officer Luca Maestri). It's said to have achieved its goal by setting up virtual offices with no employees, offices, or real activity and enacting provisions of Irish law no longer in use.

 

Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company has done no wrong and he doesn't expect the decision to stick.

Continue reading 'Apple ordered to pay €13bn in back taxes to Ireland' (full post)

Massachusetts first state to tax Uber, Lyft

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 23, 2016 6:29 pm

Massachusetts, USA is introducing a first of its kind tax on ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft, a portion of which will be funneled into the taxi industry. It's said the money will help the industry adopt "new technologies and advanced service, safety and operational capabilities", as well as develop the workforce.

 

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The tax will be 20 cents per trip and will be sourced from the ride hailing companies themselves; 5 cents will go toward taxi companies, with 10 going to cities and towns, and 5 toward state transportation. Currently, Uber and Lyft alone account for 2.5 million rides per month in the state, so raising millions per year is plausible.

 

The move is part of Republican Governor Charlie Baker's plan to regulate the industry with a broad package, which ride services aren't happy with.

Continue reading 'Massachusetts first state to tax Uber, Lyft' (full post)

Twitch acquiring Curse for undisclosed sum

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 17, 2016 7:54 pm

Twitch is all set to acquire Curse, the company behind the Curse client, which offers streaming tools, text and voice chat, an in-game overlay, and various other functions. As Twitch is itself owned by Amazon, this will make Curse a subsidiary of a subsidiary.

 

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Logic says Twitch will likely use the acquisition to offer its own client to streamers, as opposed to now where users are required to use external programs like Xsplit, OBS, and so on in order to stream. I'd expect integrated live chat and other functionality as well.

 

"We've long been fans of Curse, which is an innovator in the games industry with a strong culture built around its offerings-from Curse Voice and Curse Client to Gamepedia," said Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch. "While it's still early days for Twitch and Curse, we're kindred spirits in many ways and are looking forward to working together to enhance our users' gaming experience."

Apple to begin work on an R&D center in China this year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 17, 2016 4:35 pm

Apple has announced it has plans to build a new R&D center in China by the end of this year, and while the company didn't elaborate on the plans, it's part of an "overall increased investment in Apple's second-largest market," reports Engadget.

 

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China regulators haven't been happy with large investments in companies like local ridesharing giant Didi Chuxing merging with Uber in a $35 billion deal, who have been outright banning services, and aren't sold on large American companies coming in and doing big business in their country. Apple is trying something new here with the R&D center plans for China, where it can show the country that it can create jobs in China, and discover new talent in the country.

 

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi is known as the 'Apple of China' so you can just imagine that they won't be pleased with this news, especially with the IDC estimating that Xiaomi had a 38.4% year-over-year decline in smartphone shipments.

Intel acquires AI startup Nervana, competes with NVIDIA

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 12, 2016 8:28 pm

Intel is now set to compete against NVIDIA in the deep learning and AI arena, acquiring AI startup Nervana. Nervana specializes in processor-based "deep learning as a service" through technology like its upcoming Nervana Engine, a dedicated AI hardware accelerator due out in early 2017.

 

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Intel wants to utilize Nervana's expertise to help its AI performance on its Xeon and Xeon Phi processors, as it sees AI as a big future for the company. NVIDIA is already knee deep in deep learning, with self-driving cars, AI, and more.

 

NVIDIA could face serious competition in the deep learning and AI space if Nervana can help Intel tune its processors for machine learning tasks. Whatever happens, it's an exciting time to be alive! To my future Skynet overlords: please make Half-Life 3 a reality with your AI brains.

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