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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 69

AT&T hopes to announce DirecTV deal by Monday, according to reports

AT&T reportedly wants to purchase DirecTV in a $48 billion acquisition, which could be finalized in the next few days, though the deal is still rather fragile at the moment, sources recently noted. DirecTV remained dedicated to its TV subscription offering, as the company doesn't have a phone or competitive Internet package to woo potential subscribers.

 

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A proposed AT&T-DirecTV deal was expected to take longer, though is an important step forward for AT&T, giving the conglomerate a nationwide satellite TV provider - boosting wireless phone service with television and high-speed Internet access. However, DirecTV would continue to operate, under control of AT&T, according to media reports released over the past few weeks.

 

Federal regulators, already trying to determine if Comcast should be able to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, will also analyze AT&T's $48 billion acquisition of DirecTV.

It looks like the thermonuclear war between Apple and Google is over

Well, here's something you probably didn't expect: Apple and Google have dropped all remaining patent suits that they have against each other, taking an entirely new direction: pushing for patent reform in the United States.

 

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An interesting note to take away from this is that Apple is still gunning after Samsung, as its big lawsuit wasn't as lucrative as it thought it would be. As for the "thermonuclear war" that Steve Jobs waged against Google, it looks like it's finally over!

Google acquires Quest Visual, possibly for use with Google Glass

Another day, another acquisition, with Google acquiring Quest Visual, the company behind iOS app Word Lens. Word Lens uses the camera on the rear of the iPhone, translating the text to your desired language in front of your eyes.

 

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The technology that makes Word Lens work will be baked into Google Translate, but I think we'll also see it work its way into Google Glass, too. While Quest Visual is rolled into Google, the company will make the Word Lens language packs free to consumers, where it said: "As a thank you to everybody who supported us on our journey, we've made both the app and the language packs free to download for a limited time while we transition to Google".

Bitcoin Foundation loses members, as they are angry of new director

The recent announcement of Brock Pierce, a former Disney child star and bitcoin supporter, as new Bitcoin Foundation director has angered some within the organization - and at least 10 members of the Foundation have resigned due to the announcement. Pierce was accused of giving drugs and pressuring minors for sex during his reign as leader of the Digital Entertainment Network, a company that later went bankrupt.

 

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"The track record of prominent Bitcoin Foundation members has been abysmal," said Patrick Alexander, one of the Foundation members resigning. "I no longer want to be associated with these people."

 

Although bitcoin is receiving mainstream publicity, it has proven to be a difficult journey to reach this point. The downfall of Mt. Gox and a well-known bitcoin executive getting busted in a Silk Road money laundering scheme certainly didn't help - but the sky is still the limit for the volatile cryptocurrency.

Skylock smart bike lock is solar powered and allows sharing

In some areas if you don't lock your bike up, it will be gone before you come back out to get it. In those areas, a bike lock is a requirement. However, if you want to share your bike with a friend, you have to tell them your combination or give them a key and that can be a problem if you aren't nearby. A new high-tech bike lock called the Skylock is looking to help solve that problem.

 

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Skylock is a U-lock that has a solar powered rechargeable battery inside. The lock is able to send the owner theft and crash alerts. It also has keyless entry and opens the ability to share your bike without having to be there.

Continue reading 'Skylock smart bike lock is solar powered and allows sharing' (full post)

Lead engineer on Google Glass leaves to work on Oculus Rift

The Lead Electrical Engineer on Google Glass, Adrian Wong, has just left the Mountain View-based search giant for Facebook, where he will work on the Oculus Rift.

 

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Wong's LinkedIn page is where the information came from, with his last day at Google being around two weeks ago now. He posted a goodbye message on Facebook, to his friends at Google. When he was with Google, he was the man responsible for the main PCB and display electronic subsystems on Google's wearable device.

Autodesk steps into the 3D printer market with Spark open platform

Autodesk is a name that is very well known in the 3D modeling software market. The company has stepped into the 3D printing market with a new open platform called Spark. Autodesk CEO Carl Bass says that Spark will "make it more reliable yet simpler to print 3D models, and easier to control how that model is actually printed."

 

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Autodesk will also unveil its own 3D printer that will serve as a reference implementation for Spark. Bass promises that the 3D printer will set a "new benchmark" for 3D printing. Autodesk plans to promote free licensing of the printer and Spark to manufacturers and other parties.

Continue reading 'Autodesk steps into the 3D printer market with Spark open platform' (full post)

Sony's financials battered, forecasts losses until 2015

Japanese electronics giant Sony expects a massive $489 million loss during this financial year, as company CEO Kazuo Hirai struggles to turn his company around. Meanwhile, Sony will spend up to $1.32 billion to try and restructure through March 31, 2015, and financial analysts believe it will take some time before Sony can try to recover.

 

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Earlier in the year, Sony confirmed it would sell off its PC unit and TV business, along with laying off 5,000 employees. The VAIO PC sale will be completed by July, as Japan Industrial Partners will try to add some sales and marketing power to the brand.

 

Here is what Sony CFO Kenichiro Yoshida said during a financial call: "In previous years the restructuring was mostly within business units and in manufacturing. This time the difference is that we are quitting businesses entirely."

Amazon opening Silicon Valley distribution center in Newark

Popular e-tailer Amazon is hiring for a new distribution center that will be located in Newark, California, located 20 miles from San Jose and about 40 miles from San Francisco. The new warehouse will be located in a 574,000-square-foot building, and should open up hundreds of new jobs in Silicon Valley, according to Newark Mayor Alan Nagy.

 

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"That's going to mean, I believe, a couple hundred jobs, which certainly this area can use," Mayor Nagy told the San Francisco Business Times. "I think it bodes well for our Newark residents that want to apply for a job there, that want to work close to home."

 

In the Bay Area, Amazon Prime members tend to receive product orders in one or two days, shipped from a distribution center located in North Las Vegas. Amazon has a research and development center already located in the South Bay, and with high demand of Northern California shoppers, a Newark-based facility makes sense.

Apple seeks to improve online sales by offering faster refunds

One of the important parts of making sure people will buy items from an online store is to make sure that those who are unhappy with their items can return them easily. The flip side to that coin is making sure that once the items are returned the buyer gets a fast refund of their money. Apple has reportedly made refunds much faster for people who return items purchased at its online store.

 

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Reports indicate that it now takes about half the time it used to for a refund to be issued. A company called StellaService says that people can get a refund from Apple in less than a week now. It used to take ten days to get a refund in the past.

Continue reading 'Apple seeks to improve online sales by offering faster refunds' (full post)

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