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Another quarter, another slew of trucks backing up to Apple's HQ and dumping piles of money. Apple profits have gone through the roof for the past three months, surpassing the record-breaking quarter Apple enjoyed in Q3 2015.
Apple's Q4 2015 was magical, with $18.4 billion in profits from $75.9 billion in revenue. Apple noted the inflated profits and revenue to the average sale price of its best-selling devices - the iPhone, iPad and Mac - was also a record high, boosting Apple's margins to 40.1%. The company has also predicted its Q1 2016 results, where it's expected to hit $50-$53 billion, down from the $58 billion it pulled in during the same time last year.
Considering Apple only launched one new devices during the quarter, the oh-so-meh iPad Pro, it's surprising Apple did so well. But then you consider the insanely popular iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus smartphones, and it begins to make sense. Apple is also seeing a decline in orders with its suppliers, but of course, Apple didn't talk about that with its earnings release - for obvious reasons.
Sprint has just laid off a huge 2500 employees, with most of the job losses coming from customer service centers spread through the United States, according to Reuters.
These layoffs will see Sprint closing four of its call centers, and scaling back two others. Customer service jobs are the most affected, with 2000 to be laid off from customer service rolls. The remaining 500 jobs will be cut from Sprint HQ. The company started off the year with 33,000 employees - but the layoffs have been expected for a while now, reports The Verge.
The company has fallen into fourth place in the wireless market, with Sprint trying to cut costs wherever it can - attempting to save $2.5 billion. Sprint's parent company said months ago that thousands of job cuts were in its immediate future, with the company set to notify employees by the end of the month.
A peer-reviewed study was just published in May at the annual Association for Computing Machinery's Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in San Jose, and this novel study shows that both Bitcoin users and non-users have some surprising misconceptions about the digital currency.
Simply put, the researchers found that people that didn't have experience with Bitcoin found it intimidating to use, and similarly those that are familiar with it were also not so well informed as to how it works. One of the most surprising findings was that those surveyed had misconception as to the ability of Bitcoin to actually protect someone's identity and help them remain anonymous. And they trust the security methods more than they should, and mostly without understanding how the underlying Bitcoin transaction process actually works.
Furthermore, at least half of the participants felt that the government should regulate, the currency or at the very least provide some sort of assurance against any fraud, which can occur. But overall the studies participants seemed to feel that a currency to Bitcoin would be ideal in a perfect world, because of the features it does have.
Last year we reported about Oculus founder Palmer Luckey being caught up in an alleged case of misusing confidential data from his previous employer, and passing it off as his own.
A judge ruled that Luckey has to face the core claim, which accuses him of breaching his contract with his previous employer - Total Recall Technologies - by using its proprietary knowledge to build the first Oculus Rift prototype. Even though he's being pulled into court over this piece of the puzzle, Luckey has dodged some VR bullets with the judge throwing out several other claims, including fraud.
Luckey says that Total Recall Technologies is just trying to get some of the $2 billion that Facebook paid for the VR startup, but now Luckey to show that he used specific technology, and not just his general experience, to get the first Oculus Rift made.
The advancement of lithium-ion batteries doesn't come cheap, with reports stating that Panasonic will be throwing a $1.6 billion investment towards Tesla for its Gigafactory.
The factory is set to cost a total of $5 billion once completed and is currently being built just outside of Reno, Nevada. This investment by Panasonic has been stated as an attempt in order to cement a strong place in the future of vehicle technologies, confirmed by president Kazuhiro Tsuga at CES 2016 in Las Vegas.
While the Gigafactory will be working on advancements of batteries for Tesla automobiles, it will also function as a house battery builder, with these products set to store gathered solar energy on private homes and businesses alike.
In a recent speech, Donald Trump expanded on another way that he's planning to make the US "greater than ever before," telling all that he plans to ensure Apple manufacturers its products on US soil.
"We're going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries," said Trump, with that being basically all that was mentioned on this topic. In addition to this, Trump explained that he has a similar vision for Ford, stating that "For every car, truck and whatever else you're building, you're going to pay a 35 percent tax every time you bring a car across the border." This tax came about due to Ford investing in Mexican manufacturing plants, rather than focusing on US production.
ZDNet reported that Apple's only all-US product is the Mac Pro, while this tech giant does stipulate that 31 of the 50 US states are used to provide Apple with parts, marerials and equipment.
With TSMC saying that they're looking at hitting 10nm in the next few months, and even 7nm by 2018, news has broken that the Taiwanese firm will open a 5nm fabrication facility by 202.
TSMC is expected to push 5nm in the first half of 2020 but notes that the production of chips using the 7nm process will happen in early 2018. If this happens without any issues, we could see a 50% reduction in current fabrication technology, in the span of only two years. Developing the manufacturing process capable of sub-7nm lithography has been extremely hard, but TSMC says it has hopes in extreme ultraviolet lithography (UAV).
TSMC says that they've made "significant process" in using UAV, where they're expected to use the technology make the 5nm production happen.
Last year one of our biggest stories was the discrete GPU market share numbers, with NVIDIA dominating, taking in a huge 82% of the market - leaving AMD with only 18%.
Well, now we have AMD's full-year financials to look at, with the company reporting a 28% decline in revenue for 2015. AMD reported revenues of $3.99 billion for the year, down from $5.5 billion in 2014. In Q4 2015, AMD saw a 10% decline in revenue compared to Q3, with $958 million compared to $1.06 billion in the previous three-month period.
If we look at the performance of AMD's separate businesses, the computing and graphics part of AMD saw an 11% increase in Q4, with revenues of $470 million. AMD shipped considerable numbers of high-end notebook processors, especially their Carrizo-based APUs and FX processors. The enterprise, embedded and semi-custom side of AMD didn't do well, with $488 million in revenue, and a 23% decline compared to the previous quarter.
If you're someone who uses a VPN, Tor or another proxy network to get around the region blocking on Netflix - you won't be allowed to do that for much longer. Considering Netflix is a powerful player, spending $6 billion in 2016 on original content, you'd think they'd want to keep as many consumers as happy as they can.
Netflix lawyers who write up content licensing agreements with studios and networks think that region blocking makes sense, but to those of us in the real-world, it doesn't. As Boing Boing writes "We just want to be able to watch the stuff we love, wherever and whoever we are".
According to Netflix's Vice President of Content Delivery Architecture, David Fullagar, "If all of our content were globally available, there wouldn't be a reason for members to use proxies or 'unblockers' to fool our systems into thinking they're in a different country than they're actually in". He added: "In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location".
Netflix has made huge waves in the last year or so, and especially with gigantic hits like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Marvel's Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
Well, the streaming content giant is committing a huge $6 billion over 2016, which should secure itself as the leader in streaming content. During the Television Critics Association press tour, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said: "Is there too much TV?" he asked, adding "I'll pause for a second", knowing that reporters would want to note down his next quote: "We don't think there's too much TV. And if there is too much TV, someone else is going to have to slow down, because we have big plans for 2016 and beyond".
Sarandos said that Netflix will have over 600 hours of original content in 2016, adding that 2016's budget is huge. He said: "We're going to spend in 2016 about $5 billion dollars on content on a P&L basis, which means about $6 billion in cash. We are running a global network, one that is not easily comparable either in business or cultural terms ... We're not courting advertisers, because we're not targeting a single demographic".