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Apple is under investigation in Italy for $1.3 billion in tax fraud

Apple is in trouble with Italian authorities, to the tune of $1.3 billion of alleged tax fraud. The Italian government believes that the iPhone maker has tucked away, hidden from the Italian tax authority and investigators in the country.

 

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Reuters is the one with the report, where they said: "The maker of the iPhone is the latest prominent corporation to become the target of a tax probe in Italy amid a global crackdown on tax cheating by multinationals. In Italy, where tax authorities have become more aggressive in their dealings with global companies, fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were handed in June a 20-month suspended prison sentence and a heavy fine for hiding hundreds of millions of euros in unpaid taxes. Both deny any wrongdoing."

RumorTT: Facebook tried to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion

Facebook has reportedly offered Snapchat a nice $3 billion to acquire the picture-sharing startup, but Snapchat refused the deal. The reason for the decline is that Snapchat is currently enjoying multiple companies bidding for them, which is a great reason, isn't it?

 

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Considering Facebook paid - at the time a huge $1 billion for Instagram, this isn't chump change by any measure. But, Snapchat is also huge, as it is one of the most popular messaging apps over mobile devices right now. The social network reportedly put another bid in previously, at $1 billion, so an increase to $3 billion shows just how powerful the messaging application is.

 

There are around 350 million messages sent per day through Snapchat, just to give you an idea of how big it is.

Google's ad revenue demolishes newspaper, magazine industries

Google is a gigantic company, a company that pretty much just prints its own money from advertising. Well, according to Business Insider's Henry Blodget, Google's yearly ad revenue has soared - and has overtaken both the magazine and newspaper industries.

 

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If you look at the graph above, you can see that Google wasn't making that much money from ads in 2004... but each year sees a massive increase in profits made, and each year that Google makes more and more profits, the magazine and newspaper industries take an even bigger hit. Sure, back in 2004, the US newspaper industry was doing great business, but that has been knocked down, considerably.

 

If Google can keep at this pace, it will demolish the newspaper and magazine industries' profits in just a few years time.

Microsoft promotes teamwork, gets rid of its employee-ranking system

For years Microsoft has used a employee ranking system. Which former employees at Microsoft say the ranking system was competitive. CEO Steve Ballmer is trying to make Microsoft a more team like environment ahead of his retirement.This new system is going to be a big change for employees at Microsoft.

 

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Microsoft HR chief Lisa Brummel mentions in the memo-"This is a fundamentally new approach to performance and development designed to promote new levels of teamwork and agility for breakthrough business impact"

Continue reading 'Microsoft promotes teamwork, gets rid of its employee-ranking system' (full post)

Smartphone sales expected to boom to 5.6 billion units in 2019

If I was to look around my desks where I'm typing this news, I have a Nexus 5, LG G2, and both Nexus 7 tablets - last years model, and this years - I'm a tech addict like most of you out there. But just how many smartphones are out in the wild right now? Around 1.9 billion, which is expected to blow out to a huge 5.6 billion devices in 2019.

 

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5.6 billion smartphones is a mammoth number, with the estimation coming from communications technology company, Ericsson. According to Ericsson's latest quarterly report, 55% of all handsets sold worldwide were smartphones, even though smartphones represent just 25-30% of all active mobile phone subscriptions.

 

But, over the next 6 years, we should see smartphone adoption hitting 60% of all mobile phone subscriptions. This means that of the 9.3 billion phones in use by 2019, 5.6 billion (or over half) of them will be smartphones. The biggest reason for this is going to be the emerging markets like China and India, and I personally think another big push is going to be Android 4.4 KitKat, which has much lower minimum requirements - which will push smartphone technology into cheaper smartphones, and help drive sales in emerging markets, in droves.

Twitter shares down 4-percent on day 2, OCZ back up to $0.85

After a first day of trading that can only be called a smashing success, Twitters stock price has saw a slight dip in trading on Friday. Yesterday the stock opened at $45.10 per share with an initial transaction for more than 11 million shares, but the market has been less kind to Twitter today with the stock hovering around $42 per share all day.

 

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While a five percent drop in price on the second day of trading may seem like a big deal, this was actually expected by many market analyst, and is not an uncommon event for newly listed companies. The real tell tell signs will come next Thursday and if the stock has managed to stay in the $40-45 or higher range.

 

While we are on the subject of the financial markets, you might remember that earlier this week, OCZ, saw its stock take a nosedive towards the bottom. With the release of a new SSD that has been met with good reviews, it appears that some investors have renewed confidence in the SSD manufacturer. Today the stock is up around $0.85 per share which represents a rebound of over 90-percent since Tuesday.

Continue reading 'Twitter shares down 4-percent on day 2, OCZ back up to $0.85' (full post)

Microsoft is making a cool $2 billion per year from Android

Microsoft doesn't really need Windows Phone sales to explode overnight when its generating an estimated $2 billion from Android sales, for, well, doing nothing. Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund has estimated that Microsoft is pulling in all that revenue each year from Google thanks to patent royalties from Android vendors.

 

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The analyst adds that Microsoft's margin on Android-based patent royalties is a hefty 95%, which would mean that Microsoft's truck load of billions of dollars each year is pure, golden profit. Sherlund also says that Microsoft is using the cash piles it's making from Google's mobile OS to patch up the massive losses that its Xbox division creates each year, which is around $2 billion per year according to Sherlund.

Microsoft opens a new facility in Germany, wants startup action

Is this yet another step in the right direction for Microsoft? It would seem so: Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, is in Germany at the moment, where he joined Christian P. Illek, chairman of Microsoft Germany's managing board, where they opened up a new facility in Germany.

 

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The new facility is built in the historic building "Unter den Linden 17," which is a massive 3,000 square meter building that has been converted into a technology hub that is primed at getting customers, businesses partners, the media, startups, and the community better acquainted. The new facility includes a "Digital Eatery" which is a consumer lounge on the first floor that invites visitors to come in and try out Microsoft's latest and greatest products.

 

Ballmer said: "We've always believed that technology creates opportunities for people and organizations to achieve their dreams. Right now, we are incredibly passionate about delivering the next generation of high value activities through devices and services that people love and organizations need all over the world. The Microsoft Berlin Innovation Center provides a unique environment to foster innovation, forge new partnerships with entrepreneurs and exchange ideas with our customers."

Apple grabs back its most valuable brand crown

Apple may have lost hundreds of billions of dollars from its market cap, but that doesn't stop them from continuing on to be one of the strongest brands on the planet. Forbes has rated Apple as the world's most valuable brand, above some of the biggest names in the world.

 

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Apple beat Google, Microsoft, IBM and Coca-Cola to be the world's most valuable brand, with Forbes stating that Apple's brand is worth $104.3 billion, double that of second place, which happens to be Microsoft. Forbes does note that Samsung is rising quite quickly up the chart, which "had the strongest one-year gain of any brand in the top 100" which is up 53% from last year. Nokia has sunk, by a massive 55% since last year, with BlackBerry disappearing off the top 100 list completely.

Lenovo sells a record 29 million devices, $9.8 billion in revenue

Lenovo has posted up its results for its second fiscal quarter, which ended on September 30. Revenue for the three-month period sat at $9.8 billion, which is a 13% increase year-over-year. Lenovo also saw its second quarter profit grow very quickly, with pre-tax income growing up 30% year-over-year to $265 million.

 

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Earnings also increased, a nice 36% year-over-year to around $220 million. The biggest news here is just how many devices Lenovo sold in the quarter, which was a hefty 29 million devices, which equates to around 4 devices sold, every single second. This has helped Lenovo keep its 'world's largest PC vendor' statement for the second quarter running, with the highest-ever quarterly market share of 17.7%, which is up 2% year-over-year.

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