Business, Politics & Money
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Barnes & Noble do it different, submit your best cookie recipe to win

Barnes & Noble hit the Black Friday sales hard last week, listing their 7" Galaxy Tab stock for sale at only $129 - offering a large range of extra's to be included with the sale.

 

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As according to their latest press release, they're about to start running a competition where users will bid their best cookie recipes in the hope to win the grand prize of $2,500 and their specialty baked good to be made and sold in-store over the 2014 holiday period. The top three entrants will win a trip to New York City, baking their cookies with a renowned chef and see them judged by an official panel. Alongside this, all top 75 recipes will be featured in 'The Barnes & Noble Cookie Bake-Off Book', set for release in 2015.

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EU and US authorities crack down upon and seize 292 domain names

In an effort to diminish counterfeit product sales, United States and European authorities have conducted a large-scale seizure of domain names just in time for the Christmas period.

 

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Codenamed "Project In Our Sites Transatlantic V", this operation saw 292 domain names seized in total by police across several countries within Europe and including the United States. Based mainly around websites selling counterfeit luxury goods, sportswear, electronics, pharmaceuticals and pirated movies and music, this information has come about by a direct statement thanks to Europol.

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Apple's market value tips over $700 billion

Apple has become the first company to jump over the $700 billion milestone, thanks to a rise in shares pushing them to this evaluation earlier today.

 

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Apple shares experienced an almost-one percent rise this morning in the US market, seeing them now valued at $119.75 and meaning their market capitalization was made equal to around $701.7 billion.

 

This marks a massive 48% rise in 2014, with constant improvement seen since April. Reportedly due to Apple claiming they will go to extra measures to boost their share price, they announced its first stock split in nine years - claiming it would buy back another $30 billion in stock. This coupled with a quarterly dividend raise has shown massive success for the tech giant.

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IM app 'Slack' lets employers tap their staff conversations

Sometimes as a boss, you've got to be sitting there in your executive chair wondering what your staff are doing at that exact moment. Are they planning world domination, are they doing hard work or are they on Reddit?

 

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Well, if they're discussing that "ludicrous display last night" (See: IT Crowd) over instant messaging app 'Slack' - they could now be in some hot water. Slack's upcoming paid Plus plan includes a handy new feature named "Compliance Exports".

 

Announced to the public on Monday, Compliance Exports will make you feel like more of a vicious dictator than ever before, allowing management to peak into their employee's private communications - public and private. They've also included the ability to edit your workers messages or mark them for deletion - helping manage any conversation as you see fit.

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Apple supports world AIDS Day with Black Friday Sales

(RED) is a nonprofit organization that was originally founded by U2's lead man Bono to combat the rise of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Apple will be supporting this cause in the upcoming Black Friday sales and beyond/

 

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Set to be providing (RED)-branded iTunes gift cards with every purchase of selected Apple products on Black Friday, they will also be providing proceeds from every Apple sale on Cyber Monday towards the charity. Cyber Monday falls on World AIDS day, which is a convenience and a blessing for (RED).

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Ferguson Grand Jury reaches decision

The grand jury empaneled to decide whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown has reached a decision, which will be released later today. Local, state, and federal law enforcement have been bracing for a spate of renewed protests and violent actions in the wake of the pending announcement. Ferguson law enforcement has been asked by community groups to warn them 48 hours prior to the release of the decision so they could brace for public reaction. Many have also decried that as merely a plan for protesters to get organized and prepared for mass violent protests.

 

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Ferguson officials are apparently not providing the aforementioned warning, and plan to announce the verdict this afternoon. Businesses have been boarding up storefronts over the weekend in anticipation of the ruling, which is due any hour now. Even if there is a decision to indict Darren Wilson it may not be enough to assuage protesters.

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Apple Mac's pirate flag remade for resale

30 years later, Susan Kare has listed reproductions of the famous Apple Mac Pirate Flag on her website for sale. Originally flying back in 1983, these hand painted copies will be sold at a price of up to $2,500 US.

 

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Kare was originally assigned the painting of this flag near the beginning of Apples existence, the design said to be inspired by a slogan of the late Steve Jobs to inspire his team. It was an amalgamation of three sayings tied into one and read: "Real artists ship. It's better to be a pirate than join the navy. Mac in a book by 1986."

 

Steve Capps, a Macintosh programmer suggested that Jobs convert this into a symbol - a flag. The birth of this object has been described as: "LA few days before we moved into the new building, Capps bought some black cloth and sewed it into a flag. He asked Susan Kare to paint a big skull and crossbones in white at the center. The final touch was the requisite eye-patch, rendered by a large, rainbow-colored Apple logo decal."

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Apple nearing big Australian real estate deal

Apple is reportedly on the verge of snapping up some prime office space in Pembroke Real Estate's quoted $250 million AU new development, located at 20 Martin Place in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

 

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Set to reserve 5,000 square meters (53,819 sq. ft.) of this US-based project, this move is possibly to signal Apple's approach to increasing their Australian presence and interest in the central CBD. Said to be mainly a place for legal firms and financial institutions, it's not unlike technology giants to 'make their mark' and throw cash around to prove that they're also a legitimate and profitable business - something that's often forgotten by 'traditional' big business owners and corporate staff.

 

Pembroke reportedly purchased the Martin Place development block in 2011, said to be their first foray into Australian property. Set for completion late next year, the almost-20,000 square meter tower is set to stand at 21-floors tall and will certainly fetch a premium price from any interested tenants. Originally development was started without any paying tenants confirmed. A gutsy move by Pembroke, but given this latest piece of news, it seems to have paid off.

Apple fines sapphire screen maker $50 million for leaking info

Apple is cracking a whip to set an example over smaller companies and suppliers who received (or will receive) contracts from the company to make components for its devices. The company slapped a sapphire display maker with a $50 million fine for leaking the information about its devices' specification and other information that they were obligated to be silent about.

 

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According to the report, the information came out because GT Advanced Technologies filed for bankruptcy once they have decided to sell off their sapphire crystal manufacturing factories. The company was responsible for leaking information about the presence of sapphire display for iPhone 6 before its release. But at the time when it was found that iPhone 6 will be using 'ion-strengthened glass', the share prices took a nose dive. Furthermore, the company owes about $600 million for the displays that are not used.

 

According to the bankruptcy report, the company said that its deal with Apple for iPhone screens was oppressive and burdensome where they had to terminate the agreement to deal with the situation. As a result, the company's facilities in Arizona and Massachusetts will close down, affecting up to 890 people's jobs. 13 employees would be getting bonuses adding up to $64,700.

Finland's Prime Minister blames Apple for killing two industries

Some blame the recession and the weak economy for many businesses failing: small, medium and large. But Finland's Prime Minister Alexander Stubb suggested that Apple is the company that killed two of its important export industries. The first one is paper, the second one in Finnish-based, once-dominant and well-known maker of phones, Nokia.

 

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During an interview with CNBC, Finnish PM said, "I guess one could say that the iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the Finnish paper industry,". He added, "The iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the paper industry, but we'll make a comeback". Recently, ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the country's rating from AAA to AA+. Finland's GDP has been taking a nose dive for three years in a row, and started to reflect a negative perspective about the country's economy.

 

Though blaming Apple (or anyone) is simply wrong. Nokia's dominance collapsed not only it stuck with Symbian OS to a point that switching to other OS was too late. Android and iOS picked up the pace and dominated, not to mention Samsung's various smartphones and feature phone spree in almost every price range. Paper on the other hand gets replaced with other electronic devices, especially e-readers and tablets. Even airline pilots have slowly started replacing manuals and maps for a tablet where required information is easily available. At one point, even Apple had trouble and was in the brink of collapse, which was the turning point when the company brought back Steve Jobs in the '90s.

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