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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 73

Amazon now have over 97,000 employees, tripling in size in just three years

I knew Amazon were big, but being based in Australia, I never see the true scope of them. Well, Amazon.com reported their quarterly earnings today, disclosing a $7 million loss for the company.

 

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But there was a bright side to this news: they employ over 97,000 people. This includes both full- and part-time employees as of June 30, and is a number that is three times larger than what the company reported in 2010 of just 28,300 employees. This number does not include temporary workers, or contractors.

 

Amazon's employee count does include workers at their fulfillment centers around the world, so it's not just Americans that we're talking about here. But it's a number that shows just how big Amazon have gotten in the last three years alone.

Samsung enjoys record profits in Q2 2013 thanks to their Galaxy S4 smartphone

The Galaxy S4 has launched from Samsung, but just how much did it help them with their Q2 2013 earnings? Well, they made $8.5 billion in operating profits over revenues of an astonishing $51 billion. Both of these amounts are the highest Samsung have ever posted in a single quarter, but they still fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

 

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Samsung have said: "smartphone shipments and revenue increased from the March quarter" which is thanks to the launch of their flagship Galaxy S4 and that "quarterly revenue for the mobile sector climbed 9 percent compared with the prior". The South Korean giant has promised that smartphone sales would increase, stating they would "pick up in the third quarter and outperform global market forecasts".

 

Samsung did see a large increase in their profits on display panels, with a 46% increase in quarterly profits thanks to the high demand for large TVs. When talking tablets, Samsung said they expect the market to grow "in the mid-10 percent range with the introduction of new tablets".

WikiLeaks Party launches in Australia, gets slammed by a DDoS from an American 'hacktivist'

Julian Assange has launched the WikiLeaks Party in Australia, all the way from his current 'home' in London's Ecuadorian embassy. The WikiLeaks Party have announced their candidates, shortly after their site went down due to a denial-of-service (DDoS) attack from an American "hacktivist".

 

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The candidates for the WikiLeaks Party for the upcoming federal election in Australia are standing for New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. In New South Wales, we have human rights lawyer, Kellie Tranter, and academic, journalist and former public servant with the Department of External Affairs and Department of Foreign Affairs, Dr Alison Brionowski.

 

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Journalist, Gerry Georgatos and economist and CEO of the Epilepsy Association for Western Australia, Suresh Rajan, are standing for Western Australia. Victoria will see Julian Assange himself standing, as well as author, ethicist and activist, Dr Leslie Cannold and RMIT lecturer, Dr Binoy Kampmark.

Continue reading 'WikiLeaks Party launches in Australia, gets slammed by a DDoS from an American 'hacktivist'' (full post)

Intel declares quarterly cash dividend of 22.5 cents per share

If you just happen to be sitting on top of a few million shares of stock from the chip making giant Intel, then you are in for a treat on September 1. Intel's Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of 22.5 cents per share of the company's common stock. Only stockholders on record by August 7, 2013, will be eligible for the dividend.

 

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The previous quarter has been fairly nice to tech shareholders with many of Silicon Valley's biggest residents declaring quarterly dividends. The list includes telecommunications giant AT&T declaring 49 cents per share of common stock, and Apple being the biggest by paying $3.05 per share of common stock. Unfortunately, I misplaced that extra million shares of Apple I had laying around, so I guess all of you wonderful readers out there will just have to put up with me for at least another quarter of the year.

BlackBerry ship continues to sink as it lays off 250 more employees

Last year, BlackBerry laid off over 500 employees in an attempt to lower overhead and operating costs and in more recent months, the company has seen several of its top-level management depart for one reason or another. Yesterday, Anthony Garreffa reported that the head of the now failed Playbook, David Smith, had resigned from the company as well. Call it what you want, but I call it a sinking ship.

 

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Today we have learned that things are continuing to look darker for the once king of smartphones as the company lays off 250 more employees, this time from its New Product Testing and R&D Department. CEO Thorsten Heins says that these layoffs are part of the company's "complex transition phase."

 

A statement from BlackBerry's Lisette Kwong said:

 

I can confirm on the record, that BlackBerry on Tuesday informed 250 employees of their termination in Waterloo. These employees were part of the New Product Testing Facility, a department that supports BlackBerry's manufacturing and R&D efforts.This is part of the next stage of our turnaround plan to increase efficiencies and scale our company correctly for new opportunities in mobile computing. We will be as transparent as possible as those plans evolve.

Guess who EA's top retail partner is... too late, it's Apple

This week, Electronic Arts reported their first-quarter earnings, stating that digital sales have now passed the numbers of physical store sales. This is a huge turn for EA, but considering they now have 50 million+ gamers on Origin, not so much.

 

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Who are EA's top retail partner? We kinda spoiled it in the title, but it's Apple. Most would point their fingers at companies like Walmart, Amazon, GameSpot, but it's Apple. EA's COO, Peter Moore, explains: "Our quarter was notable for its strong digital sales. To that end, Apple was EA's biggest retail partner as measured by sales. That is a first."

 

Out of $495 million in total revenue that EA pulled in over the three-month period, $378 million of that was thanks to digital sales. $90 million or so of that came from smart devices, such as smartphones and tablets. $90 million isn't going to break records, but considering EA are the third-largest gaming company in the world, and we all know how big Apple is, this is quite interesting.

Facebook enjoy their Q2 2013, pulling in $333 million in profit from $1.8 billion in revenue

Facebook have just reported their Q2 2013 earnings, which saw the social networking pulling down a nice $1.8 billion in revenue, and enjoying $333 million in profits from the three-month period.

 

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Investors are enjoying this news, with stock in the social network rising 17% in after-hours trading. Facebook's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission tells us that they're seeing daily active users of "699 million on average for June 2013, an increase of 27 percent year-over-year." When talking mobile numbers, their daily active users are sitting at "469 million on average for June 2013."

 

Facebook managed to beat analysts' expectations, leading most to believe that the social network might be making more money than previously thought. Michael Pachter, a Wedbush Securities analyst told the Wall Street Journal: "The revenue beat is huge. They are clearly doing a great job with local ad sales."

The man in charge of BlackBerry's PlayBook resigns

David J. Smith, BlackBerry's Vice President in charge of their PlayBook tablet, has resigned. Smith had been working for the company for 8 years, taking over the PlayBook project after it was released back in 2011.

 

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We all know how BlackBerry's PlayBook has played out in the market, with the company pushing it as the "first professional tablet" but with a bunch of delays, it never took off. It missed huge features such as e-mail and more, something RIM (the name of the company at the time) made a very bad bet on. The company saw a near $500 million writedown on the tablet, which didn't help.

FTC and Google come to terms in Motorola Mobility case

Today, Google and the FTC have finally settled a case in which the giant was accused of attempting to ward off competition with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. The FTC says that following a public comment period, it has approved a modified final order that requires Google to abide by its commitments to license its standard-essential patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms.

 

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These Essential Patents are the ones that are based around the technology needed to create smartphones, tablets, laptops, and gaming consoles. These were the areas in which it says Google was attempting to block licensing of its patents on. The commission's vote was 2-1-1, with commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen voting no and Commissioner Joshua D. Wright recused.

 

From the FTC Release:

 

After considering the 25 public comments that were submitted, the FTC made technical modifications to several provisions in the Order, including those pertaining to the arbitration process established to resolve disputes over FRAND terms. In a letter sent to the commenters, the agency also provided further explanation for the basis and the rationale behind several other provisions in the Google-MMI Order.

Newegg has been denied Motion to Compel Discovery from patent troll, says it will seek further review

Any of my regular readers know that I absolutely, positively, 100 percent hate patent trolls. They do nothing to further innovation and quite frankly, they hurt the US economy more than anything else. Today, Newegg informed us of updates in a pending patent infringement case in which they have been battling a lawsuit filled by the notorious patent troll TQP Development, LLC.

 

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Based in East Texas, TQP has filed hundreds of lawsuits against pretty much every kind of business imaginable over patent infringement. In the case against Newegg, TQP says that Newegg has violated its patent on encryption used on eCommerce websites. Newegg filed a Motion to Compel Discovery of TQP's communications with its patent monetization firm IP Navigation Group, which is associated with yet another patent troll, Erich Spangenberg.

 

Magistrate Judge Payne of the Eastern District of Texas denied Newegg's Motion on July 23, and said that the communication between TQP and IP Navigation was privileged as "work product" and were to be treated as mental impressions and notes created during litigation. This ruling came even though TQP never argued that its privilege applied to any of its briefs. Additionally, the judge ordered Newegg to pay 50 percent of TQP's reasonable costs and legal fees that occurred as a result of the motion filed by Newegg.

Continue reading 'Newegg has been denied Motion to Compel Discovery from patent troll, says it will seek further review' (full post)

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