Toshiba slashes jobs, downgrades profit outlook

The boss of struggling Toshiba said Thursday he would cut 7,000 jobs over the next five years as the Japanese engineering firm pulled out of foreign investments and downgraded its annual profit forecasts. “Over the next five years, we expect a reduction of 7,000 jobs,” many coming from early retirement, CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani told reporters in Tokyo. In addition, efficiency gains from improved IT and the planned retirement of about 3,000 employees every year will contribute to the job cuts, he said. Toshiba also expects to scrap or consolidate some…

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Chip labour: Robots replace waiters on China restaurant

The little robotic waiter wheels up to the table, raises its glass lid to reveal a steaming plate of local Shanghai-style crayfish and announces in low, mechanical tones, “Enjoy your meal.” The futuristic restaurant concept is the latest initiative in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s push to modernise service and retail in a country where robotics and artificial intelligence are increasingly being integrated into commerce. Raising efficiency and lowering labour costs are the objectives at Alibaba’s “Robot.He” diners, where waiters have been replaced by robots about the size of microwave ovens,…

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EU set to fine Google billions over Android

The EU is set to fine US internet giant Google several billion euros this week for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system, sources said, in a ruling that risks fresh tensions with Washington. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is expected to say on Wednesday that Google abused its dominant position in the market by making tie-ups with phone makers like South Korea’s Samsung and China’s Huawei. The long-awaited decision comes as fears of a transatlantic trade war mount due to President Donald Trump’s shock decision to impose tariffs…

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Firm to boost agriculture trading with block-chain technology

Binkabi, a London-based start-up firm said on Saturday that it was set to boost agriculture trading through its block-chain technology. The Chief Executive Officer of Binkabi, Mr Quan Le, said during a meet-up with entrepreneurs in Lagos that such technology would be leveraged to make agriculture commodity trading fairer and more profitable. According to him, the company is a decentralised commodity network for emerging market that changed food commodities to tokens which would be redeemed for real commodities. Le said that agriculture commodities played a key role in propelling growth…

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Facebook boss Zuckerberg now world’s third richest

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now the third richest man in the world, overtaking Warren Buffett on Bloomberg’s list of the world’s richest people. Zuckerberg passed Buffett Friday as Facebook shares rose 2.4 percent, Bloomberg reported. Above Zuckerberg were Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in the No. 1 spot, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. The daily rankings of the world’s 500 richest people listed in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index showed the top 3 remained the same Saturday. Zuckerberg is now worth $81.6 billion, nearly $400 million more than Buffett, chairman of…

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Samsung profits slow due to weak smartphone sales

South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics estimated on Friday earnings grew at the slowest pace in more than a year in the second quarter, as analysts said weak smartphone sales likely offset record high chip earnings. Samsung shares fell 2 percent as the guidance gave investors insight into how badly the decline in smartphone profitability is hurting the company’s bottom line, after it warned in April of an earnings slowdown amid tougher competition. The world’s biggest maker of memory chips, smartphones and TVs said April-June operating profit would grow 5.2…

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Google invests $22 million in the OS powering Nokia feature phones

Google is investing $22 million into KaiOS, the feature phone operating system that has risen from the ashes of Mozilla’s Firefox OS. While Google rules the smartphone world with Android, KaiOS is slowly emerging as a popular choice for feature phones, particularly in emerging markets. KaiOS started last year as a forked version of Firefox OS, and the operating system ships on some Nokia-branded feature phones like the Nokia 8110. Devices from TCL and Micromax are also powered by KaiOS. Google’s investment might seem odd given its Android dominance, and its efforts with…

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Nigerian firm automates garri production

A Nigerian company, Dalisatech Limited, has produced a machine that  automates garri production, from cassava  peeling to frying into the end product, a popular staple in the country. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the machine was invented  by Dalistech after four years of research. Until now, cassava  had to be peeled manually before being processed by a machine, for mostly manual frying. Part of the garri processing plant NAN reports that Dalisatech garri processing plant however, peels cassava, washes it, grinds it, presses it and fries it into garri.…

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Instagram launches app for long videos, rivals You Tube

Facebook Inc-owned social network Instagram launched a mobile app on Wednesday dedicated to user-generated videos up to an hour long, intensifying the competition for consumers’ time among ad-supported streaming services such as YouTube. Called IGTV in a nod to traditional television, the service plans to feature videos from rising internet celebrities, artists and pets, some of whom have tens of millions of social media followers. “Teens are now watching 40 percent less TV than they did five years ago,” Instagram Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said at an event to announce…

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Facebook introduces video monetization tools to lure creators away from YouTube

Facebook launched a matchmaking system Tuesday to cultivate partnerships between advertisers and video creators as the world’s largest social media company tries to quickly parallel the variety of commercial opportunities offered by its video rival YouTube. Some advertisers have tested the Brand Collabs Manager, which identifies video makers that may be good fits for product placement or endorsement deals. Facebook also said it was allowing more content creators to run ad breaks in longer videos, and offer subscriptions for $4.99 a month to fans. Subscribers receive perks, such as exclusive…

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