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Samsung ranked as world’s second-biggest R&D spender of 2014

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Barring Volkswagen, Samsung Electronics has surpassed all other global companies in terms of R&D spending this year, according to a report from Strategy&. The South Korean company has been ranked No. 1 among all technology companies and No. 2 across all industries.

According to the sustainability report 2014, the company has boosted its R&D workforce by 27% since 2010, which now stands at 63,628 employees. In 2012, Samsung opened an R&D center in Finland, followed by one in Silicon Valley the next year. This year, the company has spent around 6.4 percent of its total revenue, or $13.4 billion, on research and development. Read more »

Samsung selling its fiber optics business to Corning

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A day after the company announced annual management changes, which turned out to be smaller than expected, Samsung Electronics announced that it has agreed to sell its optical material business to US-based specialty glass maker Corning.

“We have decided to sell our fibre optics business, in order to focus on our core business areas,” a company spokesperson said. Read more »

Google tracks Santa once again, introduces kids to coding

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Google has had a long history of offering tailored holiday experiences and contributing to festivities, especially around this time of the year. Google’s Santa tracker will again allow kids and holiday spirited parents to keep tabs on jolly old saint Nick as he goes about his Christmas activities.

The experience is now more interactive that ever, with users getting a chance to not only follow Santa on his trip around the world on Christmas eve, but to visit a fully interactive, animated HTML5 version of his famous North Pole village. The small snowy community is complete with everything from reindeer to elves and decorations, all created in a very slick and whimsical art style that, as one would expect, is very much in tune with current Google design language. Read more »

Samsung announces $2 billion share buyback

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Samsung has let the markets know that it wants to buy back $2 billion worth of its own shares. Specifically, the electronics giant will nab 1.65 million common shares and 250,000 preferred shares. The move represents its first share buyback since 2007, and the second biggest one ever.

The point of the buyback is reportedly for Samsung to stabilise its share price and boost value for its shareholders, who have been none too happy with the Korean company’s latest results, especially its falling profits. Read more »

Samsung sued by Milk Studios for name misuse

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Milk Studios, an advertising agency based in New York, has filed a lawsuit against Samsung over the use of their name.

The Korean giant has, according to an official statement “internationally, willingly and knowingly” been using the Milk brand mane in its services. Read more »

Google is about to light up a giant interactive billboard in New York City

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Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Google is set to light up a giant interactive billboard in New York City. Powered by Mitsubishi Electric, the Diamond Vision AVL-ODT10 display will become the largest electronic billboard to ever grace the iconic Times Square.

The display is located on Broadway, not far from the search giant’s HD in Gotham. Read more »

Sony to open the world-first Xperia Aquatech Store in Dubai on December 3

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Sony has announced that the first of its kind Xperia Aquatech Store is near completion and is set to debut off the coast of Dubai on December 3. The shop will offer its customers the chance to go test the latest Sony smartphones, tablets and accessories under water.

One of the main stars in the aqua store are going to be the Xperia Z3 Tablet, Xperia Z3 Compact and they are going to sit four meters below the sea surface for visitors to check out. Read more »

The Google Calendar seasonal backgrounds are now available to download

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Google has updated the majority of its apps with Material Design looks to prepare them for the Android 5.0 Lollipop launch and the Calendar is one of the best looking. It features beautiful artwork for each month and now these backgrounds are available for you to download as wallpapers.

The images are done in the unmistakable Google fashion and are best viewed in the Calendar app when used on a tablet. Now, you can use them outside of the app as your custom homescreen background. Read more »

Linksys announces EA9200 and E8350 high-end routers

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The Linksys EA9200 and E8350 are now official with a lot of features for heavy network users. Both routers pack 802.11 ac connectivity and are aimed at home or small corporations with multiple users who need excellent range for their Wi-Fi networks. To achieve that, the EA9200 (pictured below) packs six active antennas – 3 external and 3 internal – to achieve six data streams.

The router also features three Wi-Fi radios – one operating at 2.4GHz and two at 5GHz. Powering the EA9200 is a 1GHz dual-core CPU and three integrated co-processors. Data transfers are rated up to 600Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1.3Gbps on 5GHz. Read more »

AMD releases Q3 earnings report, announces 7% workforce slash

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AMD has released its financial results for the Q3 2014 and it looks like things didn’t go according to plan. Because of missing targets, the company plans to lay off 7% of its workforce. The $1.43 billion in revenue is lower than both the previous quarter ($1.47 billion) and the same period of last year. Sadly for AMD, the expectations for its financial performance in Q4 2014 aren’t rosy either as it expects a further 13% decline in revenue.

Still, for Q3 AMD reports a gross margin of 35% and net income of $17 million. However, because of unsubstantial demand for its products, it will take measures to make sure the fiscal year stays on a positive track. Read more »

Apple iPhone 6 sales reach 21 million, detailed in an infographic

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It has been almost a month since Apple launches the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and the smartphone duo has already reached more than 21 million customers. According to data obtained by Typhone.nl, Apple sold about 4 million iPhone 6 Plus and 17 million iPhone 6 units.

This calls for an interesting infographic that puts things into perspective. Did you know that the cumulative charge of all the batteries inside the 21 million smartphones is enough to power a Tesla Model S go around the world 25 times? Well, we didn’t either, but that’s not the only fun fact you can share with your friends and colleagues. Read more »

Bono makes an apology for the automatic U2 album download on iTunes

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U2 members did a Facebook interview recently answering fan questions and inevitably, they were asked not to ever do another iTunes automatic album deal. The fan asking the question described it as “rude”, which really ticked the members. However, after that Bono went on to apologist on behalf of the group.

The band’s front man said he was sorry and that U2 got “carried away” as they were concerned that the music they’ve poured years of hard work into might remain unheard. Read more »

Breathometer Breeze is a Bluetooth touting wearable breathalyzer

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Breathometer has unveiled the Breeze today. This is a new breathalyzer that the company claims is the industry’s first such device to be “truly wearable”. It’s small, has a built-in mouthpiece, and it comes with a wearable clip, keychain, and a mouthpiece cover.

It apparently delivers ultra fast and ultra accurate results, and it uses Bluetooth LE to talk to your iPhone or Android smartphone – on which you install the Breathometer app. Read more »

Air Umbrella uses air flow to shelter you from the rain

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A team of Chinese designers has taken to Kickstarter to fund a nifty little idea called Air Umbrella. It’s an umbrella that’s powered by a “force field” of air. It uses this to replace the fabric in a normal umbrella, with the air flow deflecting the rain drops from you.

The inventors have already received more pledges than they asked for – right now around $17,000 have been pledged by people eager to replace their umbrellas with something more high-tech, and the goal was just $10,000. There are 9 days to go in the Kickstarter campaign, but since the goal has been surpassed this thing should become reality. Read more »

BT4.0-enabled August Smart Lock arrives in Apple stores this week

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If you haven’t heard of it, the August Smart Lock uses Bluetooth 4.0 LE and a smartphone in place of old-fashioned keys. It works with iPhones 4s and up (iOS 7 and later) and certain Androids (KitKat and later). The lock replaces a deadbolt and can be opened with a key in case you forget your phone or something goes amiss.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because starting this week you can grab one from an Apple retail store. Read more »