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Apple has been operating a series of very successful retail stores around the world for a number of years. The stores Apple operates are so successful that Microsoft and others have tried to offer their own retail locations with varying degrees of success.
Last year rumors started to pop up that Google was eyeing its own permanent retail stores. The rumors suggested that the retail stores would begin to show up at the end of 2013. Those stores never materialized, but a new rumor suggests that Google's first retail store might go up in Manhattan.
Google is tipped to be looking at a retail space at 131 Greene St that is about 4100 square feet and located near high-end retailers in the popular SoHo district. Sources claim that Google is close to signing the lease on the space and if it does this will be the first permanent brick and mortar store for the firm.
During a recent interview with Charlie Rose, Sprint's chairman, Massayoshi Son said that he would like to see his company purchase T-Mobile in a effort to truly compete with AT&T and Verizon in the mobile phone marketplace. Sprint is currently running at the number 3 position with T-Mobile following closely behind and gaining more traction every month.
Reports suggest that Sprint has been planning the acquisition of T-Mobile for months now and has been working with OEMs in the industry, and has even secured banks to help provide the financing needed to make such a large acquisition. One major hurdle is those at the Securities and Exchange Commission who might see the acquisition as bordering on Antitrust laws, but executives from both T-Mobile and Sprint have told regulators that a merger would be beneficial to consumers as it would allow more fair competition with AT&T and Verizon.
SXSW is in full swing in Austin, Texas and music fans from around the world are at the show and needing a way to get around. That means that cabs and public transport in Austin are very busy. Austin PD recently tweeted a warning to visitors at SXSW telling them to only use approved transport providers.
The core of the post is that most Uber services aren't approved and therefore SXSW attendees shouldn't use Uber even though there may be some drivers signed up in the Austin area. The Austin PD was later specifically asked if Uber rides were permitted, and responded, "No, they are not."
Uber has been on hand at SXSW the last few years and has skirted rules in Austin that prevent its service from operating normally. One way it has skirted the rules is by offering free rides. Austin PD says that any for hire service driver must have an operators permit, commercial insurance, and a chauffer's permit.
If you surf the web and read news on just about any topic, you are apt to run across little disclaimers saying that an image came from Getty Images or Shutterstock. Images from both these places cost money to license and use for commercial activities.
Not too long ago, Getty Images announced that it was allowing non-commercial use of some of its images at no charge. The catch to the free use of these images was that you can't use them for commercial purposes and Getty gets to serve ads over the top of the images.
The announcement from Getty sent stocks tumbling a bit for Shutterstock. Shutterstock CEO Jon Oringer has come out and said that the free Getty Images aren't a concern for him. He says that his firm gets 99.9% of its business from the commercial sector and that it will keep working that sector.
The Japanese government want to tax purchases made with bitcoins, following the public demise of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. Japan's national tax agency and finance ministry are researching methods to try and tax residents in Japan using bitcoin to make sell and make purchases.
Trying to find the appropriate manner to battle bitcoin has been difficult for governments - and trying to ban the cryptocurrency wouldn't be successful - and since it's not an official currency, many banks and insurers aren't yet interested in trying to protect it.
"However, many countries including Japan do not have concrete frameworks to levy taxes (on bitcoin transactions),"the Japanese newspaper reported.
Cryptocurrency bitcoin has had a bumpy road over the past few months, with major security issues while more consumers become familiar with the digital currency. Bitcoin should help disrupt global payment systems, driving efficiency of the current payment and commerce ecosystem, according to a blog published by Forrester Research.
The bitcoin currency remains a complex and risky investment proposition for consumers, though an increasing number of retailers now accept payment for the digital currency.
"Here's the bottom line: Bitcoin is deeply flawed as an alternative currency or payment method for mainstream consumers," Forrester said in a blog post. "It will, however, be a catalyst for a more efficient global payments system because it demonstrates one way to tackle the many embedded inefficiencies."
Ad Age has sources that have whispered to them that Instagram has reportedly inked an advertising deal with ad agency Omnicom to the tune of around $100 million.
Considering Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion, Facebook should soon be making the money it spent on Instagram back quickly. The deal will see Instagram users across the world see ads pushed to their Instagram feeds sometime in the near future.
Apple has reportedly ordered some 90 million iPhone 6 smartphones from Foxconn Electronics, with those 90 million handsets orders for just 2014 alone. It looks like Apple is quite confident its next smartphone will be a smash hit, ordering that massive quantity of devices.
Taiwan-based Commercial Times newspaper has said that its sources of Citigroup Global Markets analysts have said that Foxconn is expected to receive the massive orders from Apple for the new iPhones this year. The market observers believe that iPhone shipments should increase 23% in 2014, compared to the 13% growth seen last year.
90 million iPhoness sounds like a lot, but considering Apple sold around 85 million iPhones in the second half of last year, this shouldn't be that hard of a task for the company.
We have been following the Google Barge for a while now. The barge was first spied sitting at its dock at Treasure Island in San Francisco. Google was forced to move the barge not long ago because it didn't have the proper permits needed for construction.
We learned last week that the barge would be moving from San Francisco to Stockton, California. The trek took the barge about 80 miles. Google's barge is now docked at a pier on Rough and Ready island in Stockton, California. Sources say that Google is paying around $10,000 to $12,000 per month for its pier.
Google has reportedly agreed to pay the port docking fees for a minimum of three months. The lease could be shorter or longer depending on construction needs according to Stockton port director Richard Aschieris.
If you are ever in the mood for beer, whatever game happens to be on, and hot wings, Buffalo Wild Wings is a good place to find. You can even watch the UFC fights there on a fight weekend. If you have ever been in one of these places when it is busy, you know it can be hard to get your server to come to the table when you want them.
Buffalo Wild Wings has announced that it is now using tablets at all tables in 150 company owned stores around the US. The tablets will be rolling out to another 500 stores by the end of 2014 and then by next year all stores will have the tablets.
These tablets will serve many uses. Patrons to the eatery will be able to play games on the tablet including multi-player games. The tablets are called Beond and in addition to playing games, you will be able to make food and drink orders from the tablets.