Microsoft is appealing a ruling and doesn't plan to turn over customer emails that are stored overseas, after the order was lifted by Judge Loretta Preska, from the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, might lead to the company being found in contempt. The judge previously supported the feds with a ruling in late July, but gave Microsoft time to appeal, and both sides have until September 5 to determine how to move forward.
Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith noted that the company plans to protect user privacy both in the United States and overseas. It's a confusing legal case, especially considering Microsoft keeps data store overseas, but legal experts previously said the data is under the control of a company based in the U.S. - and that's why the emails must be turned over.
"Microsoft will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal," a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters in an interview. "Everyone agrees this case can and will proceed to the appeals court. This is simply about finding the appropriate procedure for that to happen."
Storage giant Seagate has finalized the acquisition of LSI's Accelerated Solutions Division (ASD) and Avago's Flash Components Division (FCD). As the storage industry continues to evolve, Seagate wants to continue to expand its flash storage abilities. Seagate hopes to use the LSI ASD business unit's experience in PCIe flash products to help grow its own market share moving forward.
"There is a growing opportunity for mobile and enterprise flash-based storage solutions, which is why we're excited about this strategic technology acquisition," said Steve Luczo, Seagate CEO, in a press statement. "Integrating LSI's Enterprise PCIe flash and SSD controller products, and its engineering capabilities into Seagate's leading storage technology portfolio and product development will expand our ability to meet a broader base of customers' needs and drive new revenue opportunities."
The storage industry has been extremely competitive - and relatively volatile over the past few years - with a number of high-profile acquisitions. Seagate has remained competitive against EMC, Western Digital, and other companies in the consumer and enterprise markets.
Home Depot is now working with banks and law enforcement to investigate a data breach that led cybercriminals to steal customer payment information, including debit and credit card data. The Home Depot breach could have started in April or May, and reportedly affected a large number of customers. The data made its way to an underground forum and was called "American Sanctions," reportedly in response to further U.S. and European sanctions against Russia.
"Protecting our customers' information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers," said Paula Drake, Home Depot spokesperson.
Consumers are urged to use cash or credit card payments in retail stores - debit card payments can be risky, forcing shoppers to closely track their bank statements. Hackers taking a political stance, trying to retaliate against the U.S. for further sanctions in a tense situation between Russia and the Ukraine, adds another layer of chaos to data breaches.
A Purdue University professor of electrical and computer engineering has spearheaded research of a new app, Estar, able to reveal how quickly smartphone apps will drain a smartphone's battery. The app also provides more energy-efficient apps for users to choose from.
"While users are frustrated by the limited battery life, they often do not know which apps drain batteries the quickest, and as a result don't know what to do about it," said Y Charlie Hu, Estar app creator, in an interview with the media. "We created the free Estar app specifically to empower smartphone users to extend their smartphone battery life by exposing energy footprints of all the popular apps in the app market."
The Estar app is available to download via Google Play for free, and utilizes a five-star energy rating for apps, based on how fast a smartphone's battery will be drained.
Microsoft is already looking ahead to Windows 9, but still hopes its struggling Windows 8 operating system will replace older versions. Windows 8 accounted for 6.28 percent market share while Windows 8.1 had 7.09 percent market share in August, according to Web analytics company Net Applications.
Meanwhile, Windows 7 still leads with 51.21 percent market share, and Windows XP - the recently retired OS - still accounts for 23.89 percent market share, as it continues to slide. Despite a large marketing campaign, including pushing its value-added resellers (VARs) to sell Windows 8/8.1-powered devices, Microsoft has struggled to entice users to the touch-centric OS.
Microsoft "Threshold," which will be Windows 9, is expected to launch in preview mode at the end of September - and a full release is scheduled for April 2015. The software company will include a Start menu and has made changes to try to woo users away from Windows 7.
The FBI is now investigating the celebrity hacker that posted numerous photos of celebrities on the Internet over the weekend. Many of the images, originally posted on 4chan and later shared on Reddit, Twitter and Imgur, featured celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Jenny McCarthy, and Mary Winstead.
Here is what the FBI noted: "The FBI is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter," said Laura Eimiller, FBI spokesperson, in a statement. "Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time."
Apple also is investigating the incident, as many of the images were reportedly stored online using its iCloud service.
Ahead of its press event later this month, Apple reportedly has agreed to partnerships with American Express, Visa and MasterCard, in an attempt to turn the upcoming iPhone 6 into a mobile wallet. Not surprisingly, consumers will have to wait until the official Apple event for confirmation of the deal - but it could help usher in mobile payments to casual users.
Using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology coupled with a Touch ID fingerprint scanner, the mobile payment system would be more secure. If implemented properly, customers would be able to make purchases at select retailers just with their fingerprint.
"Love it or hate, Apple drives a lot of standards in the industry," said Ben Majarin, Creative Strategies analyst. "They are the mover in these markets. When they do something, the industry seems to follow."
AMD has just announced that it is dropping the price of its Radeon R9 295X2 GPU to just $999, down $500 from its original price of $1499, through a series of retailer-specific promotions.
Normally these kinds of deals are for distrbutors and OEMs, where the price savings aren't as big for consumers - well, not this time. The $999 deal on the Radeon R9 295X2 is open to all, but just limited to specific retailers. The Radeon Rewards package is still included, so the $999 price still includes over a dozen free games.
If you were waiting on a single card to drive your high-res monitors, or 4K display, the $999 price on the Radeon R9 295X2 shouldn't last too long.
Samsung has teamed up with Swarovski, where the latter company has cut crystals so that they will "perfectly complement the chic, curved design of the Gear S."
The strap that is shown above is manufactured using a new process called Crystal Fine Mesh, which will "integrates the crystals directly into the Strap's metal mesh making it one of the most exclusive products in the Swarovski assortment," so there's no need to worry about the crystal arrangement.
Swarovski teases that it is also working on its next collaboration with Samsung, something that will see the company make back covers for its next flagship smartphone - anyone want to take a guess at what that will be?
Microsoft China has just unofficially teased Windows 9 through a post on Weibo the company asked "Microsoft's latest OS Windows 9 is coming soon, do you think the start menu at the left bottom will make a come back?: and teased the Windows 9 logo, below.
The post was quickly removed, but this is the Internet - so now we have a very clear look at the possible logo for Microsoft's next desktop operating system. Microsoft is holding a press event on September 30 where it should announce Windows 9, with a Technology Preview to be made available to developers and enterprise users sometime late this month or early October.