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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 14

HTC ceases stock trading, takeover likely

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 12 hours, 3 mins ago

Beleaguered Taiwanese smartphone-maker HTC has halted trading of its shares, lending credence to buyout rumors.

 

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HTC today announced that it has paused all trading of company stock on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ahead of a "major announcement," which is likely an official takeover reveal. The company, which once sat alongside the biggest phone-makers in the industry, recently reported its eighth straight consecutive loss in May, with losses of $66 million in first quarter of the current fiscal year.

 

Speculation indicates HTC will sell its research and development and smartphone divisions to Alphabet Inc, and other reports say the company will likewise spin off its VR division that's responsible for the HTC Vive headset.

 

As The China Post reports, HTC has seen a significant drop in stock value in the last few years. The company's shares currently sit at NT $69.30, only 5% of the company's all-time TSE high of NT $1,300 achieved in 2011.

EA CEO Andrew Wilson joins Intel's board of directors

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 2 days, 12 hours ago

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson has joined Intel's board of directors, and will continue his role leading EA while advising the hardware giant.

 

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Tech titan Intel has elected EA's Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson onto its board of directors to help guide the company's future, the Santa Clara-based corporation today announced. "Andrew understands first-hand how technology and data create opportunity with his transformation of EA from offline packaged goods to a leader in online digital services," said Intel Chairman Andy Bryant in an official press release. "In addition to his experience leading and growing a global, technology-driven company, Andrew possesses a combination of creativity and business acumen that will further strengthen Intel's board."

 

With billions in yearly revenues, Electronic Arts is one of the biggest games companies in the industry, and sits at the forefront of the gaming world in regards to next-gen gaming technologies and monetization strategies. In fact, the games titan earned more from live services than it did from full game sales in its fiscal Q1'17 earnings. Live services, which include extra content/DLC/microtransactions from Ultimate Team and all subscription earnings, were up 22% year-over-year raking in $420 million or a whopping 61.67% of EA's first quarter digital net sales earnings.

 

EA is currently researching new tech including AR, VR, machine learning and even AI under its new SEED division in an attempt to understand how these emerging technologies can be integrated into the gaming sphere.

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Bids for Toshiba chip unit reach $22 billion

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 4 days ago

The leading bid for Toshiba Memory Corp are now up to $22 billion, sources have told Reuters.

 

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A consortium of buyers made up of chip-maker SK Hynix, investment firm Bain Capital, and numerous Japanese investors have raised their bid on Toshiba's storage chip business to 2.4 trillion yen, or $22.3 billion, sources familiar with the matter tell Reuters. Toshiba seeks to sell its storage business in an attempt to plug a massive earnings hole left by its failed Westinghouse nuclear business, which caused the company to lose $8.7 billion in its 2016 fiscal year.

 

U.S.-based Western Digital, who led a major bid for Toshiba's chip unit, has reportedly dropped out of the runnings. Sources say Toshiba is reviewing three consortium offers for the storage business, which included bids from a group led by Foxconn. Interestingly enough, tech giant Apple has backed all offers for Toshiba Memory Corp in an attempt to become closer to the source of storage memory to power its slate of iPhone devices.

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Game of Thrones S7 has been pirated over 1 billion times

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 7, 2017 2:35 am

Game of Thrones' latest season has just wrapped up, with one piracy monitoring company stating the S7 of Game of Thrones was pirated over one billion times.

 

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Andy Chatterly, CEO and co-founder of Muso, recently spoke with Torrent Freak where he said: "It's no secret that HBO has been plagued by security breaches throughout the latest season, which has seen some episodes leak before broadcast and added to unlicensed activity".

 

He added: "In addition to the scale of piracy when it comes to popular shows, these numbers demonstrate that unlicensed streaming can be a far more significant type of piracy than torrent downloads".

Continue reading 'Game of Thrones S7 has been pirated over 1 billion times' (full post)

Toshiba to open new chip plant in Japan

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 6, 2017 7:17 pm

As demand for flash memory soars, Japanese storage-maker Toshiba has announced that it will build a new semiconductor manufacturing facility in Iwate, northern Japan.

 

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Beleaguered tech giant Toshiba is currently negotiating a sale of its Toshiba Memory Corporation chip business for up to $8.8 billion to plug vast losses of revenue, but that hasn't stopped the company from laying plans to open a new fabrication facility in Japan. This new plant, which is planned to go up in Iwate sometime next year, would be the memory-maker's second such facility, with the first located in Yokkaichi, central Japan.

 

The conglomerate may partner with SanDisk, the Western Digital-owned memory company, to help raise investment funds for the plant. With flash memory in major demand for consumer electronics, it will be interesting to see if this new facility helps alleviate the memory shortage that plagues key segments as well as Japanese-owned companies like Nintendo.

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Pay for your KFC in China by smiling at a camera

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Sep 5, 2017 5:51 am

KFC is really making some big moves in China, first by launching their own smartphone, and then launching a VR training app, but now KFC China has introduced a new facial recognition payment system.

 

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KFC China's new 'Smile to Pay' system lets customers pay for their orders by simply smiling into a kiosk, and second later the computer will identify you as it analyzes over 600 facial features in order to match them to the photo ID stored on the Alipay system. KFC China includes a "live-ness detection algorithm" which stops people from scamming the system if they were wearing wigs or heavy make up.

 

Jidong Chen, Ant's Director of Biometric Identification Technology explains: "Combined with a 3D camera and liveness detection algorithm, Smile to Pay can effectively block spoofing attempts using other people's photos or video recordings and ensure account safety".

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HP posts earnings growth for fourth straight quarter

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 23, 2017 10:43 pm

Technology giant HP Inc has reported its fourth straight quarter of strong earnings growth driven by its Personal Systems segment.

 

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HP's fiscal third quarter 2017 earnings mark the fourth consistent period the company has one-upped its total net revenues. The company earned $13.1 billion in net revenues in the three-month period ending July 31, 2017, up 10% year-over-year. HP's Personal Systems segment, which includes its lucrative commercial and consumer PCs as well as workstations, thin clients, and tablets, accounted for roughly 64% of fiscal Q3'17 net revenues, or $8.404 billion in net revenues and up 12% year-over-year. Commercial and Consumer segment net revenues increased by 11% and 14% respectively, and Notebook segment revenues were also up 12% with Desktop units down 3% year-over-year.

 

The tech titan's Printing segment earned $4.698 billion in net revenues in the period, up 6% year-over-year.

 

"Q3 was another outstanding quarter of successfully executing our reinvention strategy," said Dion Weisler, President and CEO, HP Inc.

 

"We stabilized supplies revenue a quarter earlier than expected, posted double-digit revenue growth, delivered non-GAAP earnings per share at the high-end of our previously provided outlook range and generated approximately $1.7 billion in free cash flow."

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Apple expected to spend $1 billion on shows

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 17, 2017 1:19 pm

Apple is already a force in apps and music. However, they're still a nobody in the world of video. It seems that Apple wishes to change this and to change it pretty soon.

 

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The rumors coming from Hollywood are saying that Apple is prepared to spend up to $1 billion of their own money to buy and create original video content.

 

Apple's move into the original content video space is mostly a reaction to Netflix's success with original content. Companies like Disney and others are already looking at creating their own streaming services, which will make it increasingly more difficult to fill a large library like Apple is used to having.

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MoviePass charges $10 for daily movie screenings

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 16, 2017 2:32 pm

Netflix co-founder Mitch Lowe aims to provide a similar business model to theater moviegoers by dropping MoviePass subscription to just $10 a month.

 

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Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are taking a big bite out of movie ticket sales as traditional moviegoers are simply staying home to consume content. This summer was one of the lowest periods in years with movie ticket sales down 12.4%, the Wall Street Journal reports. AMC reported dismal quarterly earnings due to the summer drought, triggering shares of the theater chain to slide dramatically. "The quarter was simply a bust," said AMC CEO Adam Aron during the company's quarterly earnings call.

 

MoviePass, a subscription service that allows subscribers to watch a film a day across the entire month, may be a solution to boost theater attendance. The service has recently lowered its price tag from $30 to just $10 a month in a bid to attract typical Netflix subscribers. MoviePass holders can watch a showing of a non-3D or IMAX film every day at any U.S. box office that accepts debit cards, and the company will actually pay the theater full price for the tickets. There's a trade-off, however: the company has essentially sold subscriber data to an analyst firm.

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Amazon Instant Pickup has orders ready in two minutes

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 15, 2017 9:30 pm

With its new Instant Pickup initiative, Amazon has made a big move on convenience stores, big box retailers, and traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

 

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Amazon has rolled out its new Instant Pickup program, which allows customers to pick up select "daily essential" products ordered on Amazon.com. Instant Pickup locations will have orders ready within 2 minutes, Reuters reports, and targets quick impulse buys such as cold drinks, pre-packaged food, and other products like phone chargers. Company execs affirm Instant Pickup aims at bridging the gaps in Amazon's delivery service by offering convenient and fast pickup stations for items that don't translate well to delivery.

 

"I want to buy a can of coke because I'm thirsty," Amazon's director of student programs Ripley MacDonald told Reuters. "There's no chance I'm going to order that on Amazon.com and wait however long it's going to take for that to ship to me."

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