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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 77

Toshiba's TV division in trouble: 50% reduction in staff soon

It looks like another Japanese giant is experiencing trouble, with Toshiba looking to reduce its TV staff by up to 50%. The company will also stop production at two of its three overseas factories before the end of this fiscal year.

 

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Toshiba has said it will also increase outsourced production to 70%, up from 40%, and reduce the amount of its global staff in the TV division by 3,000 with two-thirds of these positions held overseas. Toshiba hasn't penciled in which two factories would be closed, but we should find that out soon enough.

 

Toshiba has been experiencing losses in its TV division for over two years now, which is blamed on a slowdown in Europe and a drop in domestic demand for its TVs. I'm sure the huge competition from Samsung doesn't help, either.

Twitch lands $20 million in series C funding thanks to Thrive Capital

Twitch.tv, everyone's favorite social video game footage sharing site, has just announced that its series C round of funding has been a massive success. The company managed to raise $20 million thanks to efforts led by Thrive Capital, Take-Two Interactive, and WestSummit Capital.

 

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At the moment, Twitch sees more than 45 million monthly visitors, and with the upcoming release of next-gen consoles, we expect to see that number rise significantly. While no mention has been made with how the company will use the funds, we would imagine that some of it will go towards beefing up its servers, as well as improving on its services offered to gamers who live stream their gameplay to the site.

Google to acquire a bunch of ex-BlackBerry engineers

BlackBerry is quite quickly circling the sink, ready to be sucked into it, but before then it looks like Google is acquiring a bunch of ex-BlackBerry engineers.

 

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Reuters reports that Google's Motorola Mobility division is setting up a new hub in Waterloo, Ontario - BlackBerry's hometown. The company is looking to take in people who have backgrounds in engineering and computer science. Even with BlackBerry starting to fade, Waterloo is a massive hub of talent thanks to the University of Waterloo's top-notch computer science program.

 

The Engineering Director at Motorola Canada, Derek Phillips, has told Reuters that Motorola is looking to "get just as many people who are interested to come out and hire as many people as we can."

China finally lifting ban on game consoles, just in time for next-gen

After a massive 13-year ban on gaming consoles, it looks like China is about to open the flood gates to all consoles. Rewinding the clock back to 2000, we saw the country put a ban on gaming consoles because of the influence violent and mature games could have on the youth of China.

 

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We heard about the Shanghai free-trade zone, which the console ban being lifted is all a part of. In order for gaming consoles to be sold in China, game developers and console retailers will need to set up shop in the free-trade zone in Shanghai, pending official approval they can sell their products to the mainland market.

 

Microsoft has already sprinted to the market, striking a deal with Chinese company BesTV in order to develop games in the free-trade zone. The free-trade zone is opening up in Shanghai on September 29, which should see billions upon billions of dollars being pumped into the industry.

Beats buys back final half of HTC partnership, cost $265 million

The partnership between headphone manufacturer Beats and handset giant HTC has finally came to an end. This morning, Beats announced that it has bought back the remaining stake held by HTC for $265 million. The two companies partnered up back in 2011, when HTC picked up a 50.1 percent controlling interest for $300 million.

 

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Just a year later, Beats bought back half of that stake for $150 million. With today's buyback, HTC has profited over $115 million from the deal, not including any royalties and unseen payments that have taken place. No reason was given for the split, but with HTC in financial trouble, we are sure that the sudden influx of cash is a welcomed one.

Evernote and 3M are pushing note-taking to a new level

It looks like 3M, the company behind the Post-It note (you know, the one from Romy & Michele's High School Reunion) has been working with Evernote, the note-taking provider, to make sure that sticky notes continue to be used in this digital age we live in.

 

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As of today, any photo taken with the new Post-it Note camera feature in Evernote for iOS 7 will digitize any Post-It Note in real life, and create a file that can be shared with anyone, anywhere. Captured Post-Its can also be categorized by color. So, for example, a green Post-It Note could be used as a homework reminder, while a yellow note could be a shopping list.

 

Captured notes are searched through the cloud-based platform, making it easier to keep track of your various notes.

Motorola looking to hire ex-BlackBerry engineers

Motorola has opened an engineering hub right down the road from BlackBerry's global headquarters in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada. This is an obvious move to quickly acquire some of the amazing engineering talent that BlackBerry will be laying off in the coming weeks.

 

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While no specific mention of BlackBerry employees was made, Derek Philips, engineering director for Motorola Canada, said, "We're always looking for places where there's lots of opportunity for growth and it's not always easy to find places that have significant tech talent in a variety of areas, but especially mobile."

 

In my opinion, I feel that this is a good move for both Google/Motorola and those who worked at BlackBerry. The engineers will be able to find work in their field, and Motorola will be able to hire on some amazing talent who can help take their phones to the next level.

eBay acquires Braintree, a competitor to its PayPal service for $800M

Today, eBay has announced that it will be acquiring the mobile payments platform Braintree for a staggering $800 million in cash. The deal will includes Braintree's payment app Venmo, and the company's CEO, Bill Ready, will report directly to PayPal president David Marcus.

 

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The rest of the Braintree staff will stay on in their current positions and business will continue as usual. For now, Braintree will operate as a separate company under eBay ownership. This acquisition is an interesting one, and at the moment, I am not sure if the buyout was to eliminate competition or acquire some IP that eBay did not want to license.

Google intros same-day local delivery in San Francisco

Google has pushed out same-day delivery to the general public in the Bay Area peninsula, which spans from San Francisco to San Jose. The service is called Google Shopping Express.

 

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Shopping can browser inventory through a web-based shopping portal, or through a new mobile app that will soon be made available to iOS and Android devices. Google will be working with participating retailers like smaller local retailers and grocers, as well as bigger retailers such as Target, Walgreens and REI.

 

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The Mountain View-based giant is offering a promotion for free unlimited delivery for six months, with standard pricing set at $5 per store, per order.

Samsung's new "Solutions Exchange" will better Android for business

Today, Samsung announced that it has created the all new Samsung Solutions Exchange, a new portal that helps developers usher in a new era of Android for the enterprise. Samsung says that the Exchange will feature an all-new App Store specifically designed for business related apps and will also feature a device software development kit that includes more than 1000 "enterprise APIs."

 

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Samsung hopes that this new initiative will help build a strong Android presence in the business and enterprise market, which at the moment is still dominated by Apple and BlackBerry. Samsung says that the new Solutions Exchange will provide a place for developers to connect with businesses who need cutting edge enterprise-grade applications for Samsung's line of smartphones.

 

"This engagement model is truly an industry first, aimed at achieving shared value across our rapidly growing ecosystem of enterprise customers, sales channels and alliances," Samsung VP Timothy Wagner said in a statement. "We are launching the Samsung Solutions Exchange as a way to help our end customers accelerate their business success."

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