Microsoft announced late last week that it would be laying off 18,000 people, many of whom were brought to the company with its acquisition of Nokia’s hardware business. The layoffs have been received negatively by many people, and even some prominent politicians have begun criticizing Microsoft for its decision.
Bitcoin is now accepted by Dell for all of its products, including Alienware laptops and desktop computers. Dell is just the latest company to accept Bitcoin as a valid payment method, and other companies like Overstock have been accepting it for months. By using Coinbase as a payment processor for the digital currency, Dell never has to deal with converting the coins to more usable US dollars, since Coinbase takes care of that.
Microsoft completed its $7.2 billion acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services Division, taking in almost 25,000 employees across the globe. As with every other merger, there’s a high chance of layoffs since the companies don’t want redundant positions. There have been rumors circulating all over the internet that Microsoft may axe over 10,000 employees in the coming week. Well, it turns out its way more than that. Recently, Satya Nadella sent out an email to the employees, notifying there will be over 18,000 job cuts in the next year.
Beats Electronics has revealed that it is suing multiple Chinese companies involved in the production and sale of counterfeit Beats headphones. Counterfeit items are a major problem in the technology industry, and China unfortunately remains a safe haven for many counterfeiters. This lawsuit alleges that many of the counterfeiters have created websites purportedly selling genuine Beats headphones. Even though some customers may recognize that the sites are not legitimate, the counterfeiters use Beats trademarks and logos to convince others that they are really being sold Beats products.
Most consumer electronics companies are turning their attention towards smart home products and the Internet of Things. Many of the new and impressive entries into the smart home market are coming from small startups which has resulted in many acquisition talks and multi-million dollar deals. The latest deal could be between Samsung and SmartThings. TechCrunch reports that Samsung could buy the smart home company for $200 million, but the tech giant has not publicly confirmed or hinted at any acquisition.
Child labor might not be a major issue in Samsung’s Chinese factories, but a report commissioned by the company shows that working conditions do need to be improved. Samsung’s 2014 Sustainability Report includes data from third-party groups that examined the working conditions inside of at least 100 Samsung suppliers. At the very least, the suppliers didn’t even comply with some of the basic requirements put in place by the Chinese government.
Patent trolls are far too common in the technology industry, but the Supreme Court is at least taking one major step towards reducing the number of patent disputes. The court has ruled that patenting an idea is not allowed, and while it would be possible to patent ways for the implementation of that idea, the idea itself cannot be protected. Certain technology companies have been patenting little more than an idea that is thought of, which prevents other companies from actually moving forward with new devices and software.
Girls should not be left out of coding, and Google is donating $50 million to a new initiative that aims to make sure they aren’t. Google released a diversity report last week showing that, like most technology companies, its workforce is dominated by white men. By backing a new program, Made with Code, Google hopes to change the playing field so that companies can hire more females for coding positions. The Made with Code programs will involve outreach through youth organizations and actual coding projects.
Google and LinkedIn have both revealed their workplace diversity statistics, and now Yahoo is publishing its own for the first time. As one would expect, Yahoo is primarily male and white, but not to the same extent as Google. Even with a female CEO, Yahoo’s employees in its leadership roles are primarily male, with females only leading males in non-tech roles.
Tesla has been confronted with multiple legal disputes in recent months as certain states try to prevent the company from selling directly to consumers. At least one more state is giving in and will not block Tesla from selling to consumers. A law has been enacted in New York that lets the car company sell directly to consumers in its five current locations, but any future locations must be dealerships. This compromise will at least allow Tesla to maintain its presence in the state.
Alex Kibkalo, the former Microsoft employee who leaked the code for the ARM devices version of Windows 8, has plead guilty to stealing company secrets. As a result of his guilty plea, Kibkalo will have to pay a $100 fine and serve three months in jail. The Kibkalo case is not particularly interesting given that people leak information and go to jail on a regular basis. What is interesting, however, is the way that he was caught by Microsoft.
A European court has ruled that regulators were not too harsh when deciding Intel should pay a $1.4 billion fine in 2009. Intel had attempted to challenge the massive fine in court, but Thursday’s ruling means that the chipmaker must pay or move its case to the highest court in the EU.