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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 9

Saleen modifies Tesla Model S EV, calls it the FourSixteen

One of the cool parts about an electric vehicle is that all the torque the electric motor produces is available as soon as you step on the pedal. That makes the car perform very well and makes it fun to drive. Tesla makes one of the most popular electric vehicles on the market with its Model S and car modifier Saleen Automotive has taken that vehicle and turned it up a few notches.

 

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Saleen is most known for modifying Ford Mustangs to make them faster and the company is now turning its hand to improving the performance of the Model S. The car gets a new front bumper, hood, a carbon fiber rear diffuser, and a trunk lid lip spoiler. All the upgrades are aimed at improved aerodynamics.

 

The Saleen car is called the FourSixteen and it keeps the stock 416hp power rating the Model S has. It does get a new 11.39:1 final gear ratio for better acceleration and a locking differential to improve handling. The suspension is also changed to coilovers and the car gets new sway bars to help cornering ability. Saleen also gave the car new brakes and changed up the Interior.

Nintendo stock surges on reports Pokemon game is heading to iPad

Nintendo has had a very hard time in the gaming market over the last few years. Sales of the firm's game consoles are down as are sales of game software. Some have been clamoring for Nintendo to support other platforms with its first party games, but so far, Nintendo has refused.

 

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A new report is making the rounds that claims Nintendo and affiliate The Pokemon Co. may be getting ready to put Pokemon onto the iPad. If the report is true, this will be the first time that the Pokemon franchise has been available on iOS hardware. The Pokemon Co has said that an online trading card game will hit the iPad.

 

Word that Nintendo has sold over a million copies of Mario Kart 8 also helped send Nintendo shares up in trading. Mario Kart 8 has become only the second game on the Wii U to sell over a million copies; Super Mario Bros. U was the first game to hit that milestone. The Pokemon game will hit the US and Europe on the iPad, but no official launch date has been offered.

Apple shareholder sues estate of Steve Jobs over Valley poaching deal

An Apple shareholder is suing the estate of deceased founder and CEO Steve Jobs, claiming that his actions compromised the company's value and put stock holders at risk.

 

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In particular, R Andre Klein's complaint lies with Steve Jobs' hiring agreements with other Silicon Valley companies, which essentially amounted to a no-poaching agreement. Critics say that in effect, this secret deal could have stagnated wages and prevented workers from getting what they were due. Klein, who is filing on behalf of all Apple shareholders, says that this behavior violates the US Securities and Exchange act.

 

"Jobs's conduct is a reminder that even widely respected businessmen can knowingly commit unlawful acts in the zealous pursuit of profits," it was stated in court papers. "In this case, Jobs and the other individual defendants knowingly caused Apple to enter into agreements that violated California law and US antitrust laws." The present CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, is also a defendant. Klein is seeking a payment from Apple for damages to shareholders, Sky reports.

Twitter upsets some by displaying favorite tweets on timelines

Twitter is experimenting with something that has some users of the service upset. The experiment is making tweets that users favorite display on their timeline, making the favorite tweets act as if they were retweets. Presumably, the change is an effort on Twitter's part to get people more involved with the content.

 

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Many users were complaining that their timelines were cluttered and useless. Twitter hasn't commented directly on the complaints yet, but did point out a blog post where it notes that it has the right to experiment. This change may not be seen by everyone who uses Twitter.

 

The blog post reads, "A common thread across recent releases has been experimentation. We've tested various features with small groups of our 200 million users before determining what we'll release. These tests are essential to delivering the best possible user experience."

SEGA settles Aliens: Colonial Marines lawsuit for $1.25 million

SEGA has settled its class-action lawsuit that was taken against it for allegedly false advertising its first-person shooter from last year, Aliens: Colonial Marines, for a cool $1.25 million.

 

 

From the $1.25 million, plaintiffs Damion Perrine and John Locke would see $2,500 each, while their attorney fees would chew up a massive $312,500. Administration fees tick up to $200,000 leaving $735,000 to be split up among everyone in the class-action lawsuit, a number that will not exceed $59.99 per person.

 

How many people clustered into the class-action lawsuit? According to Game Informer, a huge 135,000 people signed up, which should see around $5.44 per person from the $735,000 remaining. While this isn't a huge amount of money, let's hope that it deters publishers and game developers from lying to gamers in the videos and various teasers of their games, and then bait and switching when it hits gamers' HDDs.

Continue reading 'SEGA settles Aliens: Colonial Marines lawsuit for $1.25 million' (full post)

Samsung purchases smart home firm SmartThings for $200 million

Samsung has made a purchase of a smaller company that makes part home products called SmartThings. The official sales price wasn't disclosed by Samsung or SmartThings, but sources claiming to be familiar with the deal say the purchase cost Samsung $200 million.

 

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Under Samsung, SmartThings will continue to be operated by CEO and founder Alex Hawkinson and the company will operate independently. The company will be relocated to Palo Alto, California and will be part of the Samsung Open Innovation Center, which is located in the city.

 

Hawkinson said, "I think at a high level, it has always been our vision to go really big. It's just scale and reach all around the world - imagine reaching hundreds of millions of consumers and many more developers."

Owner of Tinder buys Ask FM and vows to improve online safety

Following a spate of high profile bullying cases and suicides that were linked by pundits to the service, Ask.fm has been taken over by Ask.com and social dating app Tinder.

 

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IAC, which arranged the deal, said it plans on spending millions on improving the safety of the site, while Ask.fm's founders are due to leave. It will "revamp" its safety policies and procedures, according to an official safety agreement between the new owners and New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman.

 

Ask.fm, the BBC reports, started in 2010 and has a hefty userbase of 180 million per month - but complaints surfaced after it was linked to the deaths of teenagers and online abuse. But IAC said it will focus on child safety, including by employing more moderators.

German capital Berlin bans Uber from operating in the city

The German capital of Berlin has officially banned smartphone taxi service Uber, effective immediately, over concerns that the company's drivers and vehicles are not officially licensed.

 

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Berlin authorities issued a warning that Uber faces a 25,000 euro fine each time it is found in violation of the city's Public Transport Act. The Act states that drivers must be background checked, as well as own a valid driving licence. Berlin's authorities said that the safety of its citizens takes precedence over Uber's right to operate. "As the supervisory and regulatory body, the agency for citizen's affairs and public order cannot tolerate, that passengers are entrusted to unlicensed drivers or vehicles, and where in the case of an accident they are not insured," a statement said.

 

Uber hit back by claiming the city is preventing its citizens from making their own choices, and insists the only service it is providing is connecting would-be drivers with would-be passengers.

Overstock estimates $6 million to $8 million in 2014 bitcoin sales

Overstock.com has seen $15,000 per day in bitcoin sales, totaling $300,000 per month, serving as one of the leading brands now accepting the cryptocurrency. Accepting bitcoin is reportedly going to add 4 cents per share to the company's financial earnings in 2014, and sales have exceeded $2 million.

 

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The company expects to see anywhere from an estimated $6 million up to $8 million in bitcoin sales this year, with new customers now shopping with the e-tailer.

 

"We're in bitcoin for the long haul, I intend to make it permanent," said Patrick Byrne, Overstock CEO, in a statement to Reuters. "Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are going to be around for as long as the law of mathematics works."

Continue reading 'Overstock estimates $6 million to $8 million in 2014 bitcoin sales' (full post)

Cisco announces restructuring and layoffs with 6000 job cuts

Cisco is one of the largest networking firms in the US. The company recently announced its latest quarterly earnings and along with those earnings announced continued plans for restructuring. The company will lay off about 6000 people, equating to about 8% of its workforce.

 

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This round of layoffs is the largest restructuring action since restructuring began in 2011. The company plans to take as much as $700 million in restructuring charges, with half that amount coming in the quarter that ends in October.

 

CEO John Chambers said in a statement, "I'm pleased with how we are transforming our company over the past several years and that journey continues. ... We are focused on growth, innovation and talent, especially in the areas of security, data center, software, cloud and Internet of everything. Our strategy is sound, our financials are strong, and our market leadership is secure. We have the team in place to deliver and are uniquely positioned to help our customers solve their biggest business problems."

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