Sony reports record annual loss of $5.7 billion

By on May 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM.

Sony reports record annual loss of $5.7 billion

Sony Reports Record Annual Loss

Sony on Thursday reported a net loss of $3.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 to close its fourth straight year in the red. The electronics and entertainment giant struggled throughout the year, reporting an annual loss of $5.7 billion, the worst in the company’s 66-year history. Sony’s factories and supply chains were plagued by last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan as well as massive flooding in Thailand. The company’s annual sales plunged nearly 10% to $81 billion, with shipments of flat-panel TVs, video and digital cameras, game consoles and personal computers falling short of expectations. The Japanese manufacturer’s newly appointed president, Kazuo Hirai, said the company will return to profit in March 2013 thanks to to its growing smartphone and tablet business, as well as a recovery from last year’s natural disasters. More →

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Contract customers continue fleeing T-Mobile in Q1

By on May 10, 2012 at 7:35 AM.

Contract customers continue fleeing T-Mobile in Q1

T-Mobile Reports Earnings

Following a rough holiday quarter for the nation’s No.4 carrier, T-Mobile on Thursday reported results for the first quarter of 2012. Adjusted OIBDA was up 7.2% from the first quarter last year to $1.27 billion and average revenue per user grew to $58 from $56 in the year-ago quarter. The carrier still saw significant contract subscriber losses, however, with 510,000 T-Mobile-brand contract customers having left the carrier last quarter. Net subscriber additions swung from a loss of 526,000 customers in the fourth quarter to a gain of 187,000 subscribers, however, and the carrier was home to 33.4 million subscribers at the end of the first quarter. T-Mobile’s full press release follows below. More →

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More than 100 startups eye floating pirate city outside Silicon Valley

By on May 7, 2012 at 6:05 PM.

More than 100 startups eye floating pirate city outside Silicon Valley

Floating city attracts more than 100 residents

More than 100 international technology companies have interest in becoming residents of a floating city located in international waters outside of Silicon Valley. The project, called Blueseed, was co-founded by Max Marty and Dario Mutabdzija and lead by venture capitalist and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. The company is looking to either convert a cruise ship or remodel a barge in into a pirate island that would provide living accommodations, working space and entertainment facilities for approximately 1,000 customers paying between $1,200 and $3,000 each per month. Read on for more. More →

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Microsoft hires 14 Yahoo researchers for new NYC lab

By on May 3, 2012 at 10:30 PM.

Microsoft hires 14 Yahoo researchers for new NYC lab

Microsoft hires 14 Yahoo researchers

Microsoft has hired 14 Yahoo researchers for its brand new New York research lab, AllThingsD reported. The hires come after Yahoo made significant layoffs last month to its research and development unit. According to Jennifer Chayes, who manages Microsoft Research in New England and New York, the researchers were’t hired as a package deal. “I don’t feel like we hired a group; I feel like we hired 15 amazing individuals, some of which became available because there were some problems at Yahoo,” she said. The software giant has an extensive research division that includes some 850 Ph.Ds, and the New York City lab will be the company’s 13th global office. More →

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Facebook posts Q1 results: $205 million in profit on $1.06 billion in revenue

By on April 23, 2012 at 4:30 PM.

Facebook posts Q1 results: $205 million in profit on $1.06 billion in revenue

Facebook on Monday filed an updated version of its S-1 that included the company’s first-quarter results. The social networking giant saw $1.06 billion in revenue, up from $731 million in the same quarter last year but down from $1.131 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. Facebook saw net income of $205 million, down from $233 million in the same quarter last year and down $302 million sequentially. The website now has 532 million daily active users, up from 372 million last year and 483 million in December. Facebook’s monthly active user count rose from 680 million last year to 901 million, and users uploaded 300 million photos per day on average while generating 3.2 billion combined likes and comments. The updated filing also reveals that Facebook acquired Instagram for $300 million in cash and 23 million shares of stock.

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Nokia breaks ground on new manufacturing facility in Vietnam

By on April 23, 2012 at 3:30 PM.

Nokia breaks ground on new manufacturing facility in Vietnam

As previously reported, Nokia on Monday held a groundbreaking ceremony that kicked-off development of the company’s first manufacturing facility in Vietnam. The new plant is located in Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park in Bac Ninh province and is beng developed on 42 acres of land. Nokia plans to open the factory in early 2013 and create as many as 10,000 new jobs while producing 45 million handsets by the end of 2014. “Thanks to the valued support from the Vietnamese government, our manufacturing program in Vietnam has been progressing well,” said Mary McDowell, Nokia’s Executive Vice President of Mobile Phones. “The new Nokia manufacturing plant will produce and provide new devices for compelling and affordable, localized mobile experiences, particularly in the growth markets.” Nokia’s press release follows below. More →

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Megaupload was working on IPO prior to shutdown

By on April 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM.

Megaupload was working on IPO prior to shutdown

Before Megaupload was shut down by the United States government, the company was preparing to go public and enter the U.S. stock market with a multi-billion dollar initial public offering, TorrentFreak reported on Tuesday. Megaupload was reportedly having discussions with top auditors and several of the world’s largest investments banks, however these plans ended abruptly in January. The company’s founder Kim Dotcom, along with six others, were arrested and charged with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering. Read on for more. More →

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Nokia to announce its first manufacturing plant in Vietnam on April 23rd

By on April 16, 2012 at 9:10 PM.

Nokia to announce its first manufacturing plant in Vietnam on April 23rd

Over the last few months, Nokia has closed scaled back several of its Western factories and shed over 3,000 employees in a recent effort to cut costs. The Finnish handset maker will shift its manufacturing business to Asia and is planning to build a plant in Vietnam, a move that is expected to cost some $300 million according to Vietnamese news organization BaoMoi. “Shifting device assembly to Asia is targeted at improving our time to market. By working more closely with our suppliers, we believe that we will be able to introduce innovations into the market more quickly and ultimately be more competitive,” Nokia EVP of Markets Niklas Savander previously said. The company will reportedly hold a press conference to officially announce the project on April 23rd. The plant could create as many as 10,000 new jobs and is expected to produce 45 million handsets by the end of 2014. More →

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Netflix paid $1 million for a recommendation algorithm it never used

By on April 13, 2012 at 3:20 PM.

Netflix paid $1 million for a recommendation algorithm it never used

Netflix in 2006 held an open competition to find the collaborative filtering algorithm that would best predict whether or not a user would like a particular film or TV show based on previous ratings. The grand prize of $1 million was awarded to a team called “BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos” in 2009. The team’s algorithm was found to be 10% more effect than Netflix’s own recommendation service, however the company never implemented the team’s solution into its own service. “We evaluated some of the new methods offline but the additional accuracy gains that we measured did not seem to justify the engineering effort needed to bring them into a production environment,” Netflix finally explained in a recent blog post. “Also, our focus on improving Netflix personalization had shifted to the next level by then.” The company said because the majority its users were streaming videos rather than renting DVDs, it wasn’t logical to integrate the algorithm into its recommendation service, which is different for its streaming service and DVD rental program. More →

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Following Apple dividend, Google shareholders seek the same

By on April 12, 2012 at 3:20 PM.

Following Apple dividend, Google shareholders seek the same

A number of Google shareholders are asking for the Internet giant to follow in Apple’s footsteps and return part of its $44.6 billion in cash to investors, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. Google has more cash as a percentage of market value than five of its largest competitors, including Apple. The iPhone maker recently reinstated a dividend and unveiled plans for a $10 billion stock buyout last month. Google is currently the only U.S. technology company with a market value of more than $125 billion that doesn’t offer a regular shareholder payout. The Mountain View-based company’s cash has almost doubled since 2009, and it has increased by between $2 billion and $3 billion each quarter. A dividend would ease the tensions between the company and its investors, who have endured a 1.5% decline this year. “There’s a pattern here that makes sense, and I’m sure Google will figure out the right thing to do,” said Michael Holland, chairman of Holland & Co., a New York investment firm that oversees more than $4 billion in assets. “It’s a little bit of a victory dance, if you will, to be able to have the sort of cash surplus that a company like Apple does and Google does. To share some of it is sharing the victory dance.” More →

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AT&T fails to reach terms with workers union

By on April 10, 2012 at 12:45 AM.

AT&T fails to reach terms with workers union

AT&T was unable to reach a settlement with the Communications Workers of America by the April 7th deadline to extend Four Core Wireline contracts. More than 40,000 employees will continue to work under the terms of the expired contract, however, as negotiations between the two parties continue. “The ongoing negotiation reflects the spirit of the longstanding relationship between the company and the union,” AT&T said. The carrier is looking to reduce worker benefits to cut costs in its wireline business, which has declined rapidly in recent years. The workers union has said that AT&T is seeking too many concessions, however, and instead wants the company to make adjustments to workers’ healthcare plans. The Communications Worker of America represents nearly 16% of AT&T’s 256,000 workers and it does possess the ability to call a strike if agreements on new contracts are not reached. AT&T’s press release follows below. More →

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Sony to cut approximately 10,000 jobs

By on April 9, 2012 at 11:30 PM.

Sony to cut approximately 10,000 jobs

Sony will reportedly cut 10,000 jobs, or roughly 6% of its global workforce, in an effort to bring the electronics giant back to profit, Nikkei reported on Monday. The majority of the layoffs will apparently come from consolidating the company’s chemicals and small and mid-size LCD operations, and are expected to be made over the next two years.  The report claims Sony’s new CEO Kazuo Hirai will announce his restructuring plan on April 12th, and the company may also ask seven executive directors, including Hirai and former CEO Howard Stringer, to give up their bonuses for the fiscal year that ended in March. Sony has denied the report. More →

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AOL sells 800 patents to Microsoft in $1 billion deal

By on April 9, 2012 at 8:40 AM.

AOL sells 800 patents to Microsoft in $1 billion deal

AOL and Microsoft on Monday announced an agreement in which the software giant will purchase 800 patents from AOL in a $1.056 billion cash deal. Microsoft will also license more than 300 additional patents from AOL as part of the agreement. “The agreement with Microsoft represents the culmination of a robust auction process for our patent portfolio,” said Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chairman and CEO. “We continue to hold a valuable patent portfolio as highlighted by the license we entered into with Microsoft. The combined sale and licensing arrangement unlocks current dollar value for our shareholders and enables AOL to continue to aggressively execute on our strategy to create long-term shareholder value.” The portfolio sold relates to advertising, search, content generation and management, social networking, mapping, multimedia/streaming and security. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of 2012, pending regulatory approval. Read on for AOL’s press release. More →

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