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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 9

Uber rumored to be valued at an insane $50 billion

It was only in February of 2011 that Uber raised $11 million and was valued at $60 million, in just nine months the company raised another $37.5 million for a $330 million valuation. But now, the ride sharing giant is said to be valued at a mind boggling $50 billion.

 

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VentureBeat has an impressive image that we've got above, showing just how far Uber has come in four short years. Since 2009, Uber has grown into over 300 cities across the planet, where the valuation of $50 billion has venture capitalists throwing their money at the ride sharing company. The reason? Uber can expand ever so easily from the taxi industry, into couriers, moving services, food delivery and so much more. This has investors creating an expanding bubble of hope for Uber.

 

Where to from here though? The company could file an IPO, or raise a few more billion dollars to keep them afloat. Whatever happens, the future is brighter than ever for Uber.

Cute robot toy aims to teach children electronics and robotics

Kay Yang has asked the Kickstarter community to help her raise $100,000 in order to fund 'Tinker the Robot', described in the page title as "An Interactive Robot for Kids."

 

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Not to be confused with the Dota2 hero, Tinker sets out to solve a problem that Yang feels is common in children today - a lack of circuitry knowledge. Driven by personal experience, Yang shared that as a child she "loved taking things apart and figuring out how things worked. . .except electronics. I [She] would just stare at the circuit board. To me, electronic circuits were black boxes that didn't make sense."

 

This small toy robot combines electronics, coding and physical accessories together. The basic pack involves three LEDs and a light sensor with future plans for accessories to be developed such as a motorized track for movement purposes.

Continue reading 'Cute robot toy aims to teach children electronics and robotics' (full post)

Zynga tries to save $100 million by laying off 18% of its workforce

Zynga is trying to cut $100 million in jobs, so it is getting rid of 18% of its workforce. Zynga, the maker of hit games like Farmville and Words with Friends, has announced that it will be cutting the jobs of around 364 people.

 

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Company CEO Mark Pincus has said in a statement: "For our people, we need to create an empowered, entrepreneurial culture that fosters more creativity and innovation. Over the years we've seen that tighter, more nimble teams can drive faster innovation and deliver more player value. As a result, today we announced a cost reduction program to focus, simplify and align us against our most promising opportunities... This was a hard but necessary decision and I believe this plan puts us in the best long term position for success".

 

Zynga said that the layoffs will be completed by the end of the year, and will help the company save around $45 million. An additional $55 million will be saved, something the company expects to be completed by Q3 2016.

Uber wants Nokia's Here mapping technology, offers $3 billion

Uber might be experiencing on and off again issues in Portland, but that hasn't stopped the ridesharing giant from bidding $3 billion to acquire Nokia's Here mapping technology, according to The New York Times.

 

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Multiple car manufacturers have reportedly thrown their bids into the same hat, with giants like Audi, BMW and Mercedez Benz, as well as Chinese search engine, Baidu. While Google Maps is the mapping behemoth in the US and most parts of the world, it isn't the force most think it is outside of the US. The New York Times reports that Nokia's Here technology has 80% of the in-car GPS market share.

 

Uber's interest in the mapping technology could lend a very big hand to Uber Pool's car-pooling market, but it will also help in the development and guidance of autonomous vehicles, taking away any future reliance on Google's technology.

BlackBerry trying to recreate image that was left in pieces

BlackBerry CEO John Chen took control of BlackBerry less than two years ago, continuing to rebuild the company following a once uncertain future. During its most recent quarter, the company saw continued sales, but saw a profit of $28 million - as Chen tries to revamp the BlackBerry brand after numerous roadblocks.

 

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"Not long ago, the company was in deep trouble," Chen recently said during a chamber of commerce meeting in Canada. "We are now out of trouble in terms of financial, but we haven't established a growth... until that happens nobody will go willingly buy our products."

 

BlackBerry is still best known for its once popular smartphones - before the Apple iPhone and Google Android - which clearly left the company behind. Chen noted handsets are "important," but there are other solutions that must be explored. In addition to releasing a wide variety of consumer smartphones and tablets, expect BlackBerry to focus more on enterprise hardware and software.

Nintendo actually turned a profit of $350 million

Nintendo generated $350 million in net profit for the fiscal year which recently ended in March, a massive increase over a predicted $250 million profit. It's an impressive turnaround for Nintendo, which hasn't turned a profit since 2011 - as the company deals with drastically changing software and hardware markets.

 

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The Japanese gaming company hopes software game sales for the Wii U and 3DS will help add additional revenue - even though it predicted 3.4 million Wii U console sales and a drop in 3DS sales for the current fiscal year.

 

Even though Nintendo hasn't been able to compete with the Sony PlayStation 4 or Microsoft Xbox One, there are still bright signs for the future. The company's partnership with DeNA, for example, to take a more active role in mobile gaming should offer new life into the company: "A new source of revenue is expected from a gaming application for smart devices which will be released this year," according to Nintendo.

Australian government offers $198.7 million US upgrade to Bureau IT

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has been granted a massive $198.7 million US ($250m AUD) budget in order to upgrade its out of date IT services.

 

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This is noted as an answer to the ABS desperately searching for IT upgrades of their old architecture, with manager Jonathan Palmer stating in their last annual report that "the age, fragility, and inflexibility of our systems continues to be a concern," adding "we need to update and transform our business processes if we are to continue to provide timely, relevant and accessible statistics and services in an increasingly complex and connected digital world."

 

Some of the systems in place at the ABS are reportedly over 30 years old as this upgrade is a much needed helping hand for a division based mainly around technology.

Continue reading 'Australian government offers $198.7 million US upgrade to Bureau IT' (full post)

Basemark steps out from Rightware's shadow, becomes its own identity

Up until now, Basemark has been a staple of most mobile benchmarking, ours included. But now the announcement of a new company, Basemark, has been formed and they have acquired the rights to the business unit of Rightware.

 

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Tero Sarkkinen, the founder and CEO of Basemark told TweakTown "immensely excited about this new chapter in my life and in the growth opportunities now available for Basemark as a separate entity". Sarkkinen added that he could see that Rightware would continue to expand, but he wanted to do something new and saw the potential to grow the benchmarking software with its own, separate focus. The new vision of Basemark is to "become the world's largest testing house focused on gaming and graphics technologies".

 

Basemark has some serious partners that help out in the benchmarking process, including AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, Marvell, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Samsung. Their benchmark portfolio "is the largest in the world" which spans across Android, iOS and Windows Phone, as well as OpenGL ES, OpenCL and even in-browser benchmarking.

Razer CEO gives every employee the new 14-inch Blade gaming laptop

Exclusive: We've just had a source of ours reach out to us to inform us that Razer has reportedly given out a 14-inch Blade gaming laptop to each and every single person who works at Razer.

 

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The source said that "everyone in the company" was given the new 14-inch Blade gaming laptop, and it's "not a 'work use' machine, but something to just game on and personal use". This is part of Razer's company motto that Razer is "For Games. By Gamers" with company CEO Min-Liang Tan wanting to make sure that everyone in the company could game for as long as they wanted.

 

Considering the 14-inch Blade starts at $2399 on Amazon, that's quite the early Christmas present.

Consumers aren't sure if they should trust mobile payments just yet

The mobile payments ecosystem is on the rise in the United States, with Apple Pay helping bring much-needed attention to the surging industry. However, it looks like Americans are unsure what to make of mobile payment security, especially after several notable point-of-sale (PoS) data breaches.

 

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Twenty-four percent of survey respondents believe mobile payments are more secure than debit and credit card payments, though 27 percent feel there are more issues, according to 451 Research. Consumers want to use mobile payments that are available to them, and with Apple Pay only available to iPhone owners, there is room for multiple companies to make an impact.

 

"The introduction of Apple Pay has catalyzed a wave of strategic moves across the mobile payments ecosystem," said Jordan McKee, senior mobile payments analyst at 451 Research.

Continue reading 'Consumers aren't sure if they should trust mobile payments just yet' (full post)

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