Softbank

Softbank acquires robotics company Boston Dynamics from Google

Softbank acquires robotics company Boston Dynamics from Google

Robotics aficionados may have mixed feelings right now. On the one hand, Alphabet, Google's parent compny has just sold Boston Dynamics, potentially saving the robotics company from descending into obsolescence in the company. On the other hand, the buyer is none other than Japan's Softbank, which may raise a few eyebrows within the tech industry and raising the biggest question of all: what does Softbank plan to do with Boston Dynamics' giant robots?

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Sprint, T-Mobile once again discussing possible merger

Sprint, T-Mobile once again discussing possible merger

It's been a few years now since US mobile carriers Sprint and T-Mobile held negotiations over a merger between the two companies, only to eventually be shut down by government regulators. But now that some time has passed, along with a freeze on such discussions due to the recent spectrum auction, Sprint's parent SoftBank and T-Mobile's parent Deutsche Telekom AG are looking to revive their merger talks.

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T-Mobile, Sprint merger may have SoftBank put it all on the line

T-Mobile, Sprint merger may have SoftBank put it all on the line

Today we're hearing a whopper of a rumor that could have pretty big implications for the US carrier space. SoftBank is apparently eager to see Sprint, one of its subsidiaries, merge with T-Mobile, but resistance from T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom would make such a merger difficult. With Deutsche Telekom unwilling to sell its stake in T-Mobile, it sounds like SoftBank is prepared to put a lot on the line - namely, giving up its majority share in Sprint.

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Japan is getting new Star Wars smartphones from SoftBank

Japan is getting new Star Wars smartphones from SoftBank

A new Star Wars movie is coming out soon, so that means lots of tie-in merchandise. And few countries love big-name brands and media properties more than Japan. Put the two together and it means Japan is getting exclusive Star Wars-themed smartphones in celebration of the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

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Honda Softbank partnership to deliver smarter AI for cars

Honda Softbank partnership to deliver smarter AI for cars

Artificial Intelligence will be a primary focus for a new team-up between auto brand Honda Motor Co. and internet company SoftBank. Artificial Intelligence for vehicles - AI that makes vehicles able to read emotions and react to its driver intelligently. This announcement comes not long after release of a deal which would have SoftBank acquire chipmaker ARM. The collaboration between SoftBank and Honda is not an acquisition, but a brand team-up.

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SoftBank acquiring ARM Holdings for $31.4-billion

SoftBank acquiring ARM Holdings for $31.4-billion

This week the folks at SoftBank have announced plans to acquire ARM Holdings for a cool $31.4-billion USD. An agreement between the companies has been reached which suggests that an all cash acquisition will be made. This acquisition will have SoftBank acquiring ARM, making ARM a "wholly-owned subsidiary of SoftBank." According to the release on this acquisition, "The consideration values the entire existing issued and to be issued share capital of ARM at approximately £24.3 billion."

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Softbank’s Pepper robot enrolls in Japanese high school

Softbank’s Pepper robot enrolls in Japanese high school

Softbank’s Pepper robot is leaving its customer service lifestyle and heading to school, enrolling in Japan’s Hisashi High School in the Fukushima Prefecture. This is the first time the humanoid robot is going to school, and it will, hopefully, positively impact students, inspiring them to hit the books. Pepper speaks both English and Japanese, and will be spending most of its time in English classes, showing off some of its skills and non-retail uses in the process.

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SoftBank tightens Sprint’s fiscal belt

SoftBank tightens Sprint’s fiscal belt

Thousands of jobs are at stake this week as Sprint receives word from parent company SoftBank that they'll be needing to cut costs significantly. Straight from a SoftBank earnings call this week for the quarter ending at the end of September, 2015, it would appear that though Sprint is the "only carrier with growth" in the USA for Postpaid devices - though their charts don't actually have numbers attached. Despite this, Sprint will be needing to cut back on cash spent to keep their business running.

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Pepper robot’s first stop outside Japan is France [UPDATED]

Pepper robot’s first stop outside Japan is France [UPDATED]

Given the growing number of more human-looking robots as well as those that are supposedly "emotionally intelligent", there is once more a resurgence of debates surrounding these hi-tech computers encased in humanoid form. Despite that, it seems that Softbank's own Pepper is doing quite well in a limited Japanese market, well enough that Japanese telecom giant has taken the robot outside of the country for the first time. Sadly, it's not the expected US debut just yet. Instead, Pepper's first destination is France.

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Japan’s Pepper robot will soon have a snarky U.S. personality

Japan’s Pepper robot will soon have a snarky U.S. personality

Japan’s Pepper robot, the adorable little robotic helper that works at some stores in Japan, is getting a new personality for use in the United States. It is expected Pepper will come to the US in 2016, and when it does, it will be a little more sarcastic than its Japanese counterpart. Rather than bowing, the robot will offer up a high-five. And if you ask it a dumb question, you might get a sassy remark back.

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SoftBank’s emotion-sensing robot Pepper goes on sale in Japan on June 20

SoftBank’s emotion-sensing robot Pepper goes on sale in Japan on June 20

SoftBank, one of Japan's three largest telecom companies, has just announced that Pepper, its "emotionally intelligent" robot, will finally begin limited sales on June 20th. The launch will be limited to just 1,000 units sold within Japan only, with robot priced at roughly $9,000, including several fees paid over a 3-year period. First unveiled last June, Pepper is said to be capable of understanding emotions including joy, sadness, and anger, as well as analyzing expressions, gestures, and voice tones.

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IBM, SoftBank team up to tech Watson Japanese

IBM, SoftBank team up to tech Watson Japanese

IBM’s Watson knows quite a bit — enough to compete on Jeopardy. A brilliant database of info, Watson isn’t so great at other languages. To help with learning Japanese, IBM has enlisted the help of SoftBank to train Watson in Japanese. The aim of this partnership is to bring Watson to a new enterprise space; beyond that, IBM and SoftBank either don’t specifically know what they will do with Watson, or just aren’t saying. What they do know is that Watson needs to learn the native tongue before anything else.

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