Samsung wasted no time in sending a team of executives to one of its suppliers' factories in China to investigate claims that it may be using child labor. The in-house investigation is in rapid response to a China Labor Watch (CLW) report alleging to have found issues of underage workers and student labor exploitation at HEG, which builds mobile phones, DVDs, stereo equipment, and MP3 players for Samsung.
Samsung and Hynix, two of the world's largest NAND flash memory producers, are reportedly planning to scale back production in order to deal with an oversupply situation that is forcing prices down. Toshiba is said to have already slowed down its operations at one of its Japan plants for the very same reason, and now that the first domino has fallen, others are expected to follow suit.
San Jose's networking kingpin Cisco is planning to hand out about 1,300 pink slips, which equates to 2 percent of its workforce, as it attempts to cope with a sluggish global economy and flat sales. The latest round of layoffs come just one year after Cisco announced 6,500 job cuts, but reducing jobs is not a cure-all to Cisco's problems, nor is a weak economy the only thing the company has to worry about.
Apple late Tuesday announced financial results for its fiscal 2012 third quarter ended June 30, 2012, and the numbers are nothing short of obscene. All those iDevices, app sales, and other products and services combined to rake in an $8.8 billion profit on quarterly revenue of $35 billion, compared to $7.3 billion profit on $28.6 billion in revenue during the same quarter one year ago. Nonetheless, analysts collectively shrugged their shoulders and said, 'Meh, it could have been better.'
Imagine if the windows in your home or automobile weren't just windows, but transparent solar panels collecting light energy and converting it into electricity? Such a concept could have a monumental impact on future hybrid cars, and could potentially shave your monthly electricity bill. If transparent solar cells existed, of course. Well guess what? Not only do they exist, but researchers at UCLA say they've developed a new kind of transparent solar cell that's better than anything out there.
By all means, Intel was on top of its game in the second quarter of 2012. The Santa Clara chip maker reported quarterly revenue of $13.5 billion, operating income of $3.8 billion, and net income of $2.8 billion. Talk all you want about the PC sales slump, Intel still performed well, with its PC Client Group pulling in $8.7 billion in revenue, up 3 percent sequentially, along with its Data Center Group adding another $2.8 billion (up 14 percent sequentially). If the numbers are so strong, why is Wall Street on edge?
Even for a company as financially stable as Intel, paying a $1.3 billion fine doesn't come easy, or without hesitation. It's even tougher to fork over the funds when it's believed the fine is based on "profoundly inadequate" evidence, as the Santa Clara chip maker referred to the European Commission's investigation, which led to the record breaking penalty. Intel is hoping to have the three-year-old fine removed, or at least reduced, via appeal.
Researchers from Rice University have cooked up a rather interesting and promising battery technology capable of turning any surface into a lithium-ion battery. The technology consists of five spray-painted layers that make up all the components of a traditional battery, including two current collectors, a cathode, an anode, and a polymer separator in the middle. All that remains is a power source, and as the researchers demonstrated, spray-paintable batteries can be combined with solar cells.
One of the many technologies Google talked about yesterday on Day 1 of its three-day Google I/O conference is Project Glass, a wearable computer of sorts that essentially integrates the functions of a smartphone into a pair of slim glasses. A rather exhilarating demo showed a series of stunts captured on video by people wearing the glasses, from skydiving over San Francisco to scaling Moscone Center, and you can't help but get at least a little excited seeing the technology come to fruition right before your eyes. We're not talking 10 years from now, either. In fact, programmers attending the conference have the option of pre-ordering an "Explorer Edition" prototype for $1,500, which will ship out early next year.
The Internet community is obsessed with cats, so if you're going to build a neural network consisting of 16,000 computer processors designed to simulate the human brain, then what better task is there than to have it scour the Web for felines? Researchers from Google's X laboratory saw the logic in doing exactly that, and remarkably, the massive neural network actually taught itself to recognize the Internet's favorite type of furball with surprising accuracy.