Business News - part 43
BUSINESS September 1, 2011 | 6:25 PM
- Toshiba, Hitachi and Sony combine LCD panel businesses
- Merger gives access to $2.6 billion of government money and will be operated by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan
- New entity, Japan Display, set to become world’s biggest small and medium-sized LCD manufacturer
Toshiba, Sony and Hitachi are forming a new partnership to make liquid crystal displays for smartphones and tablet PCs. The new entity, which will be known as Japan Display, will be run by the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), and will draw on $2.6 billion of government money to help stand up to growing competition from rivals in Taiwan and South Korea.
Terms for the joint venture are expected to be finalized by spring 2012, and the new company is expected to leap ahead of Sharp and Samsung to become the largest manufacturer of small and medium-sized LCD panels worldwide.Read more »
BUSINESS September 1, 2011 | 6:19 PM
- US government starts lawsuit to block AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile, saying move would be anti-competitive
- AT&T rejects suggestions and plans to seek court hearing
- AT&T will owe $3 billion to T-Mobile to owner Deutsche Telekom if deal not signed
The United States government filed suit Wednesday to block the proposed AT&T buyout of T-Mobile USA, calling the takeover anti-competitive.
The US Justice Department said that the second-biggest telecom company in the US acquiring the fourth-biggest would likely result in higher prices for consumers.Read more »
BUSINESS September 1, 2011 | 4:32 PM
- Exxon Mobil and Rosneft to invest $3.2 billion in oil and gas extraction in Russian Artic, Black Sea
- Rosneft holds 66% extraction ownership; drilling to begin in 2015
- Exxon and Americas Petrogas target shale oil and gas in Argentina with $54 million funding
In a joint agreement, Exxon and Rosneft are investing $3.2 billion for oil and gas extraction in the Russian Arctic and the Black Sea. Total resources for the Arctic agreement are estimated to be 110 billion barrels, over four times Exxon's global oil reserves.
The agreement represents the most meaningful US-Russian company deal since US President Obama's move toward stronger ties.Read more »
BUSINESS September 1, 2011 | 2:28 PM
- More than 1,000 jobs cut as Solyndra closes its doors
- Solyndra borrowed $527 million of $535 million government loan guarantee
- US solar manufacturing industry up 30%
US solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra has wound up operations, leaving more than 1,000 jobless and putting a dent in the US State budget as over $527 million in government loans go unpaid.
Under President Obama’s administration the company was intended to serve as an exemplary case in creating employment in the clean technology sector.Read more »
BUSINESS September 1, 2011 | 10:10 AM
- Oracle under criminal investigation for at least a year; officials looking into software sales in Western and Central Africa
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act used in crackdown on corporate bribery
- $2 billion paid in US criminal penalties over two-year period ending 2010; up from $11 million in 2004
Software company Oracle is under criminal investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice to discern whether or not the company may have broken federal laws against bribery in business dealings in Africa.
As part of the investigation, officials are examining whether Oracle representatives may have made unlawful payments to obtain applications software and database sales. The investigation is ongoing and is believed to have begun at least a year ago. The software sales under scrutiny took place in Western and Central Africa.Read more »
BUSINESS September 1, 2011 | 9:17 AM
- Examination launched after oil seen rising to surface of Gulf of Mexico
- Victims of last year’s BP oil spill paid $5 billion
- Mining listed as one of most dangerous jobs in 2010
After an American newspaper reported several oil patches rising to the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard and oil giant BP have returned to the site of last year’s Deepwater Horizon disaster to investigate if petroleum might have been spilled, again.
Atlanta-based Mobile Press-Register reports that “hundreds of small, circular patches of oily sheen dotted the surface within a mile of the wellhead.” The publication also posted photographs of the oil, roughly 50 yards wide and a quarter of a mile long, in the water.Read more »
BUSINESS August 31, 2011 | 5:17 PM
- Changes aimed at making settings more visible and easier to understand
- Privacy updates launched in response to Google+
- Governments and academics concerned Facebook’s facial recognition system could be violating privacy laws
Facebook has once again tweaked its privacy settings, this time introducing a range of changes that are designed to allow users greater control over how they share their personal information on the world's number one social networking site.
Most of the changes are aimed at making Facebook privacy settings easier to understand and above all more visible. They include such features as Inline Controls, which place the options allowing users to decide who sees each post right next to the post itself; and Profile Tag Review and Content Tag Review options, which give users the possibility to, respectively, approve any content in which they are tagged by others before it appears in their own profile, and approve any tags left by others on the content they publish.Read more »
BUSINESS August 31, 2011 | 11:39 AM
- EIA drops gas reserve estimates for Marcellus Shale to fall in line with revised USGS appraisals
- Residents fear gas extraction will affect air and water quality
- Gas to account for 40% of US electricity by 2035
Forecasts predicted by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) regarding gas reserves on Marcellus Shale, a rock formation in the northeastern region of the US, have been cut by as much as 80%.
EIA slashed its original estimates, which were based on 410 trillion cubic feet of exploitable natural gas, to fall in line with a report by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS document specified that there are just less than 84 trillion cubic feet of exploitable natural gas left undiscovered along with almost 3.5 billion barrels of natural gas liquid that could be recovered.Read more »
BUSINESS August 30, 2011 | 8:46 AM
- Apple CEO steps down, presumably for health reasons
- COO Tim Cook takes over at the helm
- Paul Schiller, senior VP of worldwide product marketing, may also have an important role to play
Last week, it finally happened: Steve Jobs announced his resignation from Apple. Jobs gave no explicit reason for stepping down as CEO of the Cupertino-based firm, but he has been fighting cancer since 2003, and received a liver transplant in 2009.
Jobs, who is to stay on at Apple as Chairman, wrote in his resignation letter to the board: “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."Read more »
BUSINESS August 29, 2011 | 5:19 PM
- IBM announces new computer chip that can mimic human brain activity
- New technology could lead to a learning computer system that can reproduce brain functions like cognition, perception and emotion
- Long-term goal to build a computer system that resembles human brain
IBM has unveiled a new generation of microprocessor that is designed to emulate the human brain. The “neurosynaptic computing chips” use advanced algorithms to reproduce the brain’s abilities for cognition, perception, emotion and sensation, mimicking activity between neurons and synapses with silicon circuitry.
Researchers say that this technology could lead to cognitive computer systems that are able to create new programs through their own experiences, making connections between events and drawing conclusions based on the outcomes – otherwise known as learning.Read more »