While unemployment numbers continue to rise in America, one major company is reporting that it now has more employees than ever before. Amazon released it's earnings report today and amidst all of the financial numbers, the company also announced that it now employs almost 110,000 individuals world wide. That number puts it well ahead of Microsoft's barely 100,000, and far out of reach of Google's 37,000-ish employees.
The rise in employee numbers is attributed to the companies unprecedented growth over the last three years, with it tripling in size since 2011. Unfortunately, this massive growth and rising employee numbers has taken its toll on the Seattle, Washington-based company which today reported its second straight quarter operating in the red. This morning Amazon announced that it lost more than $41 million during the last quarter despite a net sales of $17.1 billion.
"It's been a busy few months-we launched a new Paperwhite and new Kindle Fires to positive reviews and surprised people with the revolutionary Mayday button-average Mayday response times are just 11 seconds!" Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a press release.
Facebook is facing a class-action lawsuit in the Ontario Superior Cout, acused of intercepting website addresses shared among its members via private messages, according to the lawsuit.
Security researchers discovered what Facebook was doing, and the controversial action was stopped in October 2012. Facebook was able to scan and intercept private messages to allegedly improve its efforts for successful targeted advertising campaigns.
"Facebook intercepted its users' private messages for its own commercial gain and has never acknowledged or apologized for its behavior," said Joel Rochon, partner at Rochon Genova, the law firm representing clients in the lawsuit. "Social networking sites such as this need to be held publicly accountable. Surreptitious surveillance of private communications cannot be tolerated in a democratic society."
There is a legal case in Florida that could set an important precedent in the United States: how criminal law can deal with bitcoins and other forms of cryptocurrency being used by criminals to commit money laundering.
Two men, described as bitcoin "enthusiasts," were arrested trying to purchase bitcoins with money related to the Target malware hacking breach, according to the US Secret Service and Miami Beach Police Department.
Pascal Reid, 29, and Michell Espinoza, 30, face up to 25 years in prison if they are convicted of money laundering and for running an unlicensed money service business. The first transactions started around $500, but progressed up to a proposed $30,000 cash-for-bitcoin swap, according to federal investigators.
During the Warner Music YouTube blackout in 2009, Warner musicians sold more songs and albums during the hiatus, indicating YouTube hurts music album sales, according to Fairfield University and the University of Colorado.
The research believes top music labels lose out in total sales due to listeners heading to YouTube to listen to new songs - and watch music videos - instead of purchasing individual tracks and albums.
"We showed that the removal of content from YouTube had a casual impact on album sales by upwards of on average 10,000 units per week for top albums," according to the research. "While a great deal has been said about the potential role of these services in promoting and discovering new artists and music, our results cast some double on this widely believed notion, at least with regards to top selling albums."
Local law enforcement and federal authorities are trying to find methods to clamp down on organized criminals stealing personal information and later using ATMs to cash-out with stolen information.
Cybercriminals often use malware or phishing techniques to first compromise users, and migrate to opening new lines of credit - or stealing bank information which leads to fraudulent ATM transactions.
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) recently said that banks must work harder to mitigate cyberattacks - and there are continually new stories about cybercriminals either compromising ATMs, or stealing identities and cashing out later.
The "Heartbleed" security vulnerability discovered by the security company Codenomicon found that the OpenSSL bug has opened up millions of Internet users to security risk. Although OpenSSL is designed to help keep sensitive information secure, Heartbleed may have led to website visitors susceptible to spying, according to researchers.
Heartbleed targets any OpenSSL version over the past two years (OpenSSL 1.0.1 up to 1.0.1f), and cybercriminals are able to access the server's system memory, and encrypted information such as usernames, passwords, debit and credit card information is up for grabs.
Here is what Codenomicon noted:
"We have tested some of our own services from attacker's perspective. We attacked ourselves from outside, without leaving a trace. Without using any privileged information or credentials we were able to steal from ourselves the secret keys used for our X.509 certificates, usernames and passwords, instant messages, emails and business critical documents and communication."
When I first saw the Samsung Gear Fit device, one of the things that bothered me most about it was that the content on the screen was shown in horizontal orientation only. That's not exactly ideal for viewing in all situations when you are wearing the device on your wrist.
I'm not the only one that bothered with Samsung announced that the Gear Fit has been updated with a new option that lets the content on its little screen be offered in a vertical orientation. Having the content on the screen in a normal watch orientation will definitely make it easier to use.
The feature was reportedly confirmed as available on a Gear Fit on display in the official Samsung Store in South Korea. There is no word on when the update will roll out to other countries. If you have the update or the ability to view content on the screen in vertical orientation let us know.
If you are a fan of Netflix original programming, the streaming network has a new series that is coming and production has started. The new series is called Marco Polo and is a series not based on the summer time swimming pool game, but rather on the adventures of the explorer Marco Polo.
The show will have ten episodes for the first seasons and they will shoot in locations around the world. Shoot locations include Italy, Kazakhstan, and Pinewood Studios in Malaysia. The series will premiere in late 2014.
No exact premiere date has been announced at this time. The show follows Marco Polo as his journey takes him into the center of a war in China in the 13th century. The show sounds very exciting promising martial arts and spectacular battles.
Nokia makes a ton of mobile phones. While it's not super popular in the high-end phone segment, it does very well around the world with its basic phones. Nokia has rolled out a new mobile phone called the Nokia 225 that is aiming right at the low-end of the smartphone market.
The 225 comes in a dual SIM version as well as a single SIM version. Nokia doesn't mention what processor the device uses, but consider the 39 euro price of the single SIM version and you know this isn't a device made for performance.
That little money gets a device with a 2.8-inch screen and a physical keyboard. The internal battery promises up to 36 days on standby depending on the model and up to 21 hours of talk. The smartphone has Bluetooth 3.0 and supports microSD cards up to 32GB.
GPS company Garmin has announced the Edge 1000 cycling GPS unit, featuring new technologies to appease cyclists with deeper pockets. The device has a full-color 3" touchscreen providing 240x400 resolution, and a reported battery life up to 15 hours.
Although running GPS units from Garmin have greatly advanced, some in the cycling industry think enough wasn't being done to promote new bike-centric GPS units. However, Garmin pulled out all of the stops with the Edge 1000, including built-in Wi-Fi so map data can be downloaded faster - and GPS-based turn-by-turn directions while out in the saddle.
Cyclists can also use ANT+ sensors to connect the Edge 1000 to a heart rate monitor, power meters, or cadence sensors, Garmin said in the press release.