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Intel Buys Machine Vision Specialist Movidius

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Intel Buys Machine Vision Specialist Movidius

Intel invests in improving the way computers see the world as it acquires Movidius, a machine vision specialist whose technology is found in products from the likes of DJI, Lenovo and Google.

The financial details of the deal are not available.

One might recall Chipzilla already has an interest in machine vision, having developed the RealSense depth-sensing camera system. As such, Movidius technology will surely be integrated with the Intel offering, not to mention other recent Chipzilla acquisitions in the field such as machine-learning startup Nervana systems.

“The ability to track, navigate, map and recognise both scenes and objects using Movidius’ low power and high performance (chips) opens up opportunities in areas where heat, battery life and form factors are key,” Intel says. “Specifically, we will look to deploy the technology across our efforts in augmented, virtual and merged reality, drones, robotics, digital security cameras and beyond.”

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EC Hits Apple With €13 billion Tax Bill!

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EC Hits Apple With €13 billion Tax Bill!

Following a lengthy investigation the European Commission (EC) concludes the Irish government granted "undue tax benefits" to Apple-- leading to a tax bill worth up to €13 billion plus interest.

According to Reuters the sum is 40x bigger than any previous EC demand to a company in a tax-related case. However it can be reduced if other countries do like Ireland and demand more tax from Apple.

Ireland already has a relatively low corporation tax rate of 12.5%, but Apple managed to get a deal from the Irish government of a corporate tax rate of just 1% in 2003. This was lowered even further to 0.005% in 2014. Such selective tax treatment is deemed illegal under EU state rules, and as a result EC demands the Irish government has to recover unpaid taxes for the 2003-2014 period.

The investigation kicked off in 2014 following claims the Irish government broke EU laws with tax rulings agreed with Apple in 1991 and 2007.

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Microsoft and Lenovo Deepen Relationship

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Microsoft and Lenovo Deepen Relationship

Microsoft announces a "deepening of strategic relationships" with Lenovo in a deal having Lenovo preload Microsoft apps on select devices, as well as a "patent cross-licensing agreement."

The Microsoft apps in question are of the productivity variety, such as Office, OneDrive and Skype. They will be found in premium Android-powered Lenovo smartphones and tablets.

“Our collaboration with Microsoft will create new opportunities for our customers to take advantage of some of Microsoft’s most popular apps,” Lenovo says. “Installing Microsoft apps and services on our devices will bring additional value to consumers around the globe.”

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Foxconn Completes Sharp Takeover

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Foxconn Completes Sharp Takeover

Foxconn finalises the $3.5 billion acquisition of struggling Japanese display maker Sharp after months of negotion, not to mention a prolonged review of the deal by Chinese anti-monopoly authorities.

"Sharp hereby announces that all examinations by the competition authorities of the relevant countries have been completed," a statement from the company reads. "Herewith, the conditions precedent to the payment of the New Shares have been satisfied. Therefore, transaction from the Planned Allottees are expected to be made in accordance with our agreement as soon as possible."

Following the acquisition Sharp CEO Kozo Takahashi steps down. Replacing him is Foxconn vice chairman Tai Jeng-wu.

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Incipio Buys Griffin

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Incipio Buys Griffin

Incipio follows the June Skullcandy buy with the acquisition of Griffin Technology, the maker of mobile device accessories, for an undisclosed sum.

"Griffin has a 25-year history of designing, manufacturing and distributing iconic mobile accessories," Incipio says. "As part of Incipio Group, Griffin strengthens our product development and manufacturing capabilities, complements our existing product lines in rugged cases, power and connectivity, and allows our brands to reach a broader domestic and international audience through enhanced distribution in the business-to-business, enterprise and education verticals."

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Intel Wants Out of the PC Business

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Intel Wants Out of the PC Business

Intel appears to want out of the industry that made its fortune-- the company's latest 10-Q filing shows PCs no longer have a place in the Intel vision chart, being thrown under the "Things & Devices" umbrella.

Such a move might not come as so much of a surprise, seeing how the PC industry is currently all about woes related to sales declines. And since it failed to capitalise on the success of mobile devices (another product category currently going through less than stellar fortunes, mind), Chipzilla appears to be shifting attentions wholly towards datacentres and the myriad things making the Internet of Things.

"As more 'things and devices' become smart and connected to the cloud, there is greater demand for data centers to not only connect these devices, but also to capture and analyze the data they create," the filing reads.

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Toshiba Details European PC Plans

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Toshiba Details European PC Plans

Toshiba unveils its European PC plans for next financial year, with hopes for double-digit growth across key verticals through a "more focused" distribution strategy.

“For us, last year was about refocusing and ensuring we put ourselves in the best possible position to thrive in a competitive sector. We focused on laying the foundations for a structure that gives us the freedom to forge deeper and even more effective relationships with our partners and end-users," the company says. "This was crucial in informing the direction we take our range of dedicated business devices and future solutions, as we take the unique step of assuming complete control of the design and manufacturing process.”

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Incipio Buys Skullcandy

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Incipio Buys Skullcandy

Accessory maker Incipio buys into audio with headphone vendor Skullcandy, in a deal worth approximately $177 million in cash.

The deal covers the two headphone brands owned by the company, Skullcandy and Astro Gaming.

“We have long admired Skullcandy’s culture of innovation and ability to create pioneering audio experiences with quality and style," Incipio says. "Skullcandy and Astro amplify our dynamic mix of products and brands, while bolstering the technical and operational capabilities that serve as the foundation of our platform. The team at Skullcandy and its international presence will also allow us to accelerate the global impact of our multi-brand offense.”

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Intel Continues Fighting EU Antitrust Fine

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Intel Continues Fighting EU Antitrust Fine

In 2009 the European Commission fined Intel €1.06 billion for abusing of its dominant market position. Seven years on Intel is still fighting the ruling as it files a final appeal to get it overturned.

The decision came about through an EU probe on whether a company with very large market share "can pursue a commercial strategy, the focus of which is the marginalisation or even the elimination of its only competitor.” According to the EC was attempting to do so through loyalty rebates to lower retail prices, thus unfairly squeezing out AMD.

Other anti-competitive practices from Intel during the 2002-2005 uncovered by the probe include restrictive conditions on rival processor use on PC makers (specifically Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC) and payments to retails who exclusively sold Intel Inside PCs.

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