Top Headlines - part 9

GE Aviation To Build New Jet Engine Plant For $100 Million

GE Aviation To Build New Jet Engine Plant For $100 Million

BUSINESS

  • New GE plant in Indiana to create 200 high-paying jobs starting in 2015
  • Indiana incentives include $332,000 in training grants and up to $1.35 million in industrial development funding
  • New site to produce innovative LEAP engine, with orders totalling over 6,000

GE Aviation, a world leader in aircraft systems and jet engines, will open a new $100 million Lafayette, Indiana site for jet engine production.

The 225,000-square-foot Lafayette, Indiana site will be GE Aviation’s seventh US aviation facility launched in the past seven years, with other locations in Asheville, NC; Batesville, MS; Greenville, SC; Ellisville, MS; Auburn, AL; and Dayton, OH.

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Auto Update: Nissan Recalls 1 Million Vehicles In North America

Auto Update: Nissan Recalls 1 Million Vehicles In North America

BUSINESS

  • Error detected in Nissan airbag software
  • Auto recall marks fifth this year in the US for automakers  
  • Nissan 2013-2014 models affected

Japanese automaker Nissan has recalled nearly a million vehicles in North America after an error was detected in its front passenger airbag deployment software.

Because of a malfunction in the sensitivity of the software calibration, the software might detect a seat as empty when it’s occupied. The software is federally mandated.

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Facebook Buys Virtual Reality Technology Startup Oculus For $2 Billion

Facebook Buys Virtual Reality Technology Startup Oculus For $2 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Startup makes virtual reality technology
  • Analysts and others critical of deal
  • Facebook trying to establish relationships with gamers

Facebook Inc., the world’s largest social network, has agreed to purchase startup Oculus VR for $2 billion, hoping wearable hardware will change how people will interact with content, information and their online friends.

Facebook will pay $1.6 billion in stock and $400 million in cash. Up to an additional $300 million may be paid depending on Oculus’s performance. The deal is Facebook’s second-largest acquisition and should help Facebook compete with hardware manufacturers such as Amazon and Google.

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Electronics Giant LG Enters Smart Lighting Industry with Smart Lamp

Electronics Giant LG Enters Smart Lighting Industry with Smart Lamp

BUSINESS

  • LG’s Smart Lamp offers users various innovative security and lighting features via an LED controlled by Android and Apple iOS smartphones
  • Smart Lamp can be set as an alarm clock or “disco light” and notifies users of incoming calls
  • Philips one of the Smart Lamp’s stiffest direct competitors, with 2012 ‘Hue’ smart light bulb

South Korea-based electronics corporation LG recently announced its newest home lighting product, the Smart Lamp—a light-emitting diode (LED) lightbulb that can be managed via Apple iOS 4.0 and 6.0 and Android 4.3 (and over) smartphones.

Soon the Smart Lamp will be available for purchase in South Korea at a 35,000 won (approximately $32) price tag; there is no news of the Smart Lamp being available in different markets.

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Retail Giant Walmart Buying Into $2 Billion Used Game Industry

Retail Giant Walmart Buying Into $2 Billion Used Game Industry

BUSINESS

  • Walmart implementing new program to let customers trade in used video games for a range of Walmart and Sam’s Club products
  • Trade-in values, ranging from a few dollars to over $35, to depend on console, title and age
  • World’s largest video game retailer GameStop overtakes Walmart by having in-house refurbishing ability as well as own software for pricing

Walmart Stores Inc., the leading global retailer, is looking to buy into the $2-billion used video-game industry led by Grapevine, Texas-based GameStop Corp.

Walmart is letting customers exchange their used video games for gift cards redeemable for groceries, new games and any other Walmart or Sam’s Club products.

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Network Equipment Giant Cisco Invests $1 Billion In Cloud Computing Services

Network Equipment Giant Cisco Invests $1 Billion In Cloud Computing Services

BUSINESS

  • Services to be hosted by a global, data center network
  • Cisco rationally a networking hardware provider
  • Services to be offered with partners

American networking-equipment company Cisco Systems Inc. plans to invest $1 billion over two years in cloud computing services and applications.

The new service, Cisco Cloud Services, is an extension of the Cisco Powered program. Nicknamed Intercloud by Cisco, it is based on the OpenStack platform and will be hosted by a network of Cisco and partner data centers worldwide. It is designed to allow users to move applications and data between both public and private clouds.

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Starbucks Adds Alcohol To Its US Menu

Starbucks Adds Alcohol To Its US Menu

BUSINESS

  • New offerings to bring in customers during slow times
  • Starbucks Evenings to be available in 40 locations by 2015
  • Company making other changes to lure customers

Coffee retailer Starbucks Corp. is adding evening alcohol and light meals to its US menu in an effort to bring in customers during the slow part of its business day. The company’s busiest time is during the morning rush hour.

In October 2010, alcohol was introduced at a Seattle store. In January 2012, Starbucks Evenings began to be tested in 25 locations in three states. It will be available in 40 locations by the end of the year. 

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Europe Automotive Sales Increase For 6th Subsequent Month

Europe Automotive Sales Increase For 6th Subsequent Month

BUSINESS

  • EU vehicle sales increased by roughly 8% from last February, signaling that EU automobile market to see recovery after six years of contraction
  • Increased demand attributed to general economic recovery as well as discounted prices for new vehicles
  • Analysts caution that economic and cultural factors may slow down recovery of cars sales until end of decade

Last month, European auto sales rose for the sixth-successive month but stayed at low levels as the sector made a slow revival from the downturn of the economy. Recently the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA) reported that new passenger vehicle sales in the EU rose by 8% in February to 861,058 units.

The ACEA also reported that car registrations had risen from 831,371 last year to 894,730 at present, or growth of 7.6%.

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Google Project Seeks Software For Smartwatch Apps

Google Project Seeks Software For Smartwatch Apps

BUSINESS

  • Several smartwatches to be on market this year
  • Android Wear similar to smartphone software
  • Wearable computers might be niche market

Search engine Google Inc. is partnering with software, technology and fashion companies to control the course of smartwatch development.

Later this year, voice controlled smartwatches are expected to debut on the market. The watches would be used to respond to text messages, open garage doors and access music, among other uses. They would connect to smartphones and sensors.

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French Telecom Giant Vivendi Chooses Numericable For SFR Acquisition

French Telecom Giant Vivendi Chooses Numericable For SFR Acquisition

BUSINESS

  • Vivendi decides on Altice’s slightly higher bid over that of Bouygues for SFR deal to shorten wait time and regulatory complications
  • Vivendi to shed its telecommunications division and focus on pay television, music 
  • Bouygues unveiled that if deal with Vivendi went through, it would sell spectrum and network assets to Free Mobile

A recent bidding war for French mobile network operator SFR, which belongs to Paris-based telecommunications and media company Vivendi, saw Altice-owned cable group Numericable win out over telecommunications and construction company Bouygues, both also with Paris headquarters.

Altice, Numericable’s parent company, offered Vivendi  a counter bid of €11.75 billion (over $16.4 billion USD) as well as a hefty stake (of at least 32%) in the united Numericable/SFR.

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