Posts in category Business


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Oculus Rift vs. Nintendo’s Virtual Boy: A super-serious comparison

It’s time for the virtual reality showdown you’ve all been waiting for: the Oculus Rift vs. the Virtual Boy. Sure, 20 years of technological advancements separate the two — and many consider the Virtual Boy to be one of worst products that Nintendo has ever made  — but GamesBeat still thinks it’s important to see […]

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Kuvee raises $6 million for smart wine bottles, sells out preorders in 3 hours

Drink up! Or not. Now, you can save as much wine as you want for up to 30 days after opening a bottle — if you drink out of Kuvee‘s new smart wine bottle. The Boston-based winery startup announced today that it served itself a $6 million investment led by General Catalyst and Founder Collective. Kuvee’s […]

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LinkedIn will let Connectifier live on, but changes are coming to the recruiting service

LinkedIn today announced its initial plan for integrating recruiting service Connectifier, which LinkedIn acquired earlier this year. Connectifier will get to live on as a standalone service, with some changes. “We’ve spent a lot of time in the last few weeks learning about each other, and figuring out the path forward, especially in terms of […]

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How to bypass the Oculus Store and play SteamVR games on Rift

Oculus VR has its own store for the Rift virtual reality headset, but you don’t have to use it. The first wave of Rifts are heading out today to people who preordered and backed the crowdfunding project on Kickstarter, and the device has launched with 30 games that you can buy through the Oculus Store […]

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Virtual Desktop for Oculus Rift enabled me to spend an entire day in VR without enraging my boss

Most virtual reality experiences are over after about 20 minutes, so of course I just spent six hours doing my job inside of a simulated computer environment. Virtual Desktop is an upcoming PC program that will enable anyone with an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headset to emulate their desktop inside of a VR world. […]

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ApprovedBusinessBusiness and finance

Taiwan 2.0

THE takeover bid by Hon Hai of Taiwan for Sharp, a chronically loss-making Japanese electronics firm, is being watched closely as a test of Japan’s openness to foreign investment. But it is also being scrutinised back in Taiwan. The deal may yet falter: as The Economist went to press, Hon Hai was reportedly seeking to knock around $900m off its earlier offer of $5.4 billion including assumed debt. But if it does go ahead, and Terry Gou, Hon Hai’s boss, succeeds in absorbing Sharp’s brand and technology, he will be able to offer his big customers, such as Apple, a broader array of parts, and may even transform his firm into a seller of innovative consumer goods. The deal could serve as a model for other Taiwanese electronics firms which want to go global, says the island’s economics minister, John Deng.

Electronics firms together contribute 40% of Taiwanese exports, and 15% of its GDP. For more than two decades they have achieved great success assembling computers and other gadgets for Western companies. At first their factories were all in Taiwan, but as China opened up, they shifted some to the mainland. The combination of…Continue reading

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Money that grows on trees

The margins are high too

LOOK north from atop the 120-metre (390-foot) bleaching tower at the Horizonte 1 pulp mill, and all you see is plantations of tall, slender eucalyptus trees. They stretch from the factory gate, across the gentle undulations of Mato Grosso do Sul, a state in Brazil’s centre-west, all the way to the horizon. “That’s our competitive advantage,” explains Alexandre Figueiredo, who is in charge of production at the plant. Its owner, Fibria, is the world’s biggest producer of “short-fibre” cellulose pulp, which is used to make such things as newsprint, nappies and banknotes. (“Long-fibre” is used for high-grade paper and packaging.)

As its name suggests, Mato Grosso do Sul (roughly, “southern thick bush” in Portuguese) has vast expanses of cerrado, or tropical savannah, a chunk of which was long ago turned into farmland, some of which has more recently been planted with eucalyptus. Most of Fibria’s 568,000 hectares of plantations lie within 200km of its mills. Eldorado, a rival with a mill on the other side of Três Lagoas (a city of 115,000 that is fast…Continue reading

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The man who put Intel inside

IN HIS book, “Giants of Enterprise”, Richard Tedlow of Harvard Business School argues that America has an extraordinary ability to produce business titans. Italy produces a disproportionate number of great opera composers, he writes, and Russia an abundance of great novelists. America’s unique genius lies in nurturing business heroes. Whether this remains true in the future as American capitalism becomes mired in red tape, protectionist pressure mounts, and business dynamism shifts to the emerging world, is open to debate. But Andy Grove certainly stood squarely in this great tradition.

Just as Andrew Carnegie helped to usher in the steel age and John D. Rockefeller the oil age, Mr Grove, Intel’s former boss, who died this week, helped to bring about the computer age. And just as Carnegie and Rockefeller worked their magic by building organisations rather than inventing new products, Mr Grove, though a brilliant technologist, worked his by building Intel from a startup into the world’s dominant semiconductor firm. Like Carnegie and Rockefeller, he built huge plants employing thousands; but whereas they flaunted their wealth and power, Mr…Continue reading

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