The technology business week: Stripe goes live in UK, is BlackBerry calling it a day?


19 Aug 2013

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Stripe co-founders Patrick and John Collison

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A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week.

Collison brothers’ Stripe e-payments platform goes live in UK

After beta testing the technology in Ireland, the UK has become the next country in which the Collison brothers’ Stripe has gone live. Businesses in the UK can now process card payments via their websites in sterling, euros and US dollars.

Stripe’s UK country manager Andy Young says the service supports all major card types, including American Express.

UK pricing starts at 2.4pc plus stg£0.20 per transaction, plus VAT. Volume pricing is available for businesses at scale.

Stripe is an online payments engine built by John and Patrick Collison, brothers from Limerick, that simplifies the purchase of content and goods on websites.

BlackBerry to consider its options – may put itself up for sale

Smartphone maker BlackBerry looks like it is to call it a day. The company ceased trading shares last week to announce it has established a special committee to consider a number of alternatives for the troubled company – a sale, a joint venture or partnership.

The company said the job of the committee is to “explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment.”

The committee is comprised of CEO Thorsten Heins, Barbara Stymiest, Richard Lynch, Bert Nordberg and will be chaired by Timothy Dattels.

Facebook buys speech recognition firm Mobile Technologies

Social networking giant Facebook has acquired speech recognition company Mobile Technologies for an undisclosed sum in what looks like a move to help users overcome language barriers.

Mobile Technologies develops speech recognition and machine translation technology. Its main cross-lingual communication tool is Jibbigo, which the company describes as “the world’s first speech-to-speech translator on a phone that runs online and even offline, independent from the internet”.

Under the deal, many of Mobile Technologies’ employees will join Facebook at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

IBM to acquire cybersecurity solutions provider Trusteer

In a move to help fight financial fraud and advanced security threats, as well as further push its investment in cloud-delivered software and services, IBM is to acquire Trusteer for an undisclosed sum.

Trusteer helps organisations protect web apps, mobile devices, and employee and customer computers by providing cybercrime prevention software.

Tech giant IBM is also forming a cybersecurity software lab in Israel for Trusteer and IBM researchers and developers to focus on malware, counter-fraud, financial crimes, advanced security threats, and mobile and app security.

Cisco to cut 4,000 jobs despite net profit increase

Despite an 18pc increase in net profit, networking equipment maker Cisco is to cut 4,000 jobs, or about 5pc of its workforce, in an effort to reduce costs while demand for its equipment remains shaky.

Cisco reported net income of US$2.3bn in the fourth quarter, up from US$1.9bn in the year-ago period.

John Chambers, Cisco’s chairman and CEO, told analysts in a conference call that the jobs cuts were down to to weaker sales in China, Japan and Europe and a “slower and more inconsistent economic recovery”.

Dell reports 72pc fall in earnings on flat Q2 revenues

In what may be the final earnings report from Dell as a public company, the computer giant reported flat revenues of US$14.5bn compared with the previous year. Net income was down 72pc to US$204m.

Dell’s PC division reported revenues of US$9.1bn, down 5pc. Operating income from this division was down 71pc to US$205m. Mobility revenues fell 10pc, desktops and thin client were down 1pc and peripherals were down 5pc.

According to IDC, Dell was the only global top 5 vendor to increase PC market share year-over-year in the last two sequential calendar quarters.

In light of the ongoing merger plan, which it described as “definitive”, to take Dell private, the company did not provide an outlook for the next quarter.

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