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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 115

Google's Eric Schmidt to visit North Korea on humanitarian mission

It looks like Google chairman Eric Schmidt is travelling to North Korea, and will take along former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson as well as Google Ideas creator Jared Cohen and Richardson's advisor, Dr. KA Namkung.


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The trip is said to be a humanitarian mission, and reports of Schmidt's trip started to pop up last week and the US State Department soon had concerns over the trip where they cited political sensitivities relating to North Korea's recent satellite launch. The entire reasoning behind the trip isn't clear, and we don't know what Schmidt and Richardson will be doing in the country.


No media is allowed on the trip, with Richardson set to offer a briefing to media at the Beijing Airport on January 10th.

Lenovo will split into two new groups - Lenovo Business Group and Think Business Group - effective in April

Ever since its acquisition of IBM's personal computer business back in 2005, Lenovo have done quite well for themselves, but it looks like that's not enough. According to an internal e-mail from CEO Yang Yuanqing, who admitted that despite trying, the Lenovo brand is still only doing well in the mainstream and low-end markets.


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The Think brand is the company's best performer in the high-end market, and is the only brand that can compete against Apple in the high-end market. Yang has announced in the same e-mail for the sake of better brand positioning and better efficiency that Lenovo will split into two new groups: Lenovo Business Group (LBG) and Think Business Group (TBG).


The fresh start will begin on April 1st, where LBG will be headed by Senior Vice President of Mobile Internet Digital Home, Liu Jun, who will put all of energies into mainstream consumer and business desktops, laptops and tablets, as well as smartphones and smart TVs. TBG will be have current Senior Vice President of Product Groups, Dr. Peter Hortensius at the helm.

Continue reading 'Lenovo will split into two new groups - Lenovo Business Group and Think Business Group - effective in April' (full post)

IBM loses Senior VP after 36 years on the job

After 36 years on the job, Mike Daniels has left IBM according to a spokesperson from the company. Erich Clementi who currently serves as Senior Vice President for Global Technology Services, and Bridget van Kralingen, who is the current Senior Vice President for Global Business Services will be filling in for Daniels' spot when he leaves.


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Clementi and Kralingen will report directly to the CEO. Daniels was once the head of Global Services in the Asia Pacific region, and also acted as IBM's Sales and Distribution operations in the US, Canada and Latin America. Daniels' other positions included responsibility for sales in regards to IBM's IT products, marketing and services. He was also seen by most as an economizer in regards to saving money for IBM, and secondly as a trailblazer in regards to computer management services.


Daniels missed out on the CEO position, but was passed over for Ginni Rometty just over twelve months ago. Rometty ended up becoming IBM's first female in charge of operations.

$635k worth of counterfeit Apple products seized in Alaska

A shipment from China was seized in Alaska by US Customs and Border Protection agents. The shipment, valued at more than $635,000, was a collection of counterfeit Apple Lightning Cables, complete with logos and everything. The agents say it was easy to tell they were fakes due to the sub-par packaging.


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Frank Falcon, a spokesperson for the agency said they were sealed in "cardboard blister packs that were sub-standard compared to Apple's trademark white packaging." This isn't the first time fake Apple products have been seized by agents. Last July, a shipment worth more than $4 million was seized in North Texas.


"We intercepted 281 cartons that contained cell phone cases that included a paper insert that infringed on the Apple Inc. trademark," said CBP spokesperson Yolanda Choates. "The importer would ship these cases out and a consumer would look at the case and see the Apple logo and just assume that it was an Apple product."

US DoD to bring Windows 8 to 75% of employees, signs deal with Microsoft

At least one major employer feels Windows 8 is the right thing to have in the workplace. The US Department of Defense has signed a new deal with Microsoft to bring the latest version of Windows to 75 percent of its employees. The three-year licensing agreement will see Windows 8, Office 2013, and SharePoint 2013 Enterprise to 75 percent of DoD personnel.


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This is Microsoft's biggest deal yet, valued at around $617 million. The Army believes it will save $70 million a year because of the upgrade.


"There's a move afoot throughout the department to bring about efficiencies in the [information technology] world," David L. DeVries, DOD deputy chief information officer, told American Forces Press Service. "We took a long, hard look at it ... realizing that the Department of Defense relies upon the network and upon information technology to do its business."


Is this the start of Windows 8 catching on?

Megaupload says US government lied so they could get a search warrant

The Megaupload saga continues, this time with Megaupload complaining that the US government lied in order to get a search warrant. According to the motion, a recently unsealed search warrant shows that the US Department of Justice asked Megaupload to keep 39 copies of copyrighted movies on its servers for an investigation.


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The part they didn't mention? It was an investigation into Megaupload. They then used the fact that the files were still on Megaupload's servers as primary proof that the company knowingling harbored copyrighted content:


By all indications, the Government tapped Carpathia to convey the June 24, 2010 warrant to Megaupload, thereby planting what the Government would later claim, for purposes of this case, amounted to criminal knowledge that Megaupload was hosting infringing files, while simultaneously lulling Megaupload into thinking it was not a target of its ongoing investigation (which the Government dubbed its 'Mega Conspiracy' investigation) - and, what is worse, affirmatively leading Megaupload to understand from the warrant's sealing order and Carpathia's representations that Megaupload should take no action with respect to the infringing files lest it tip off the ostensible targets. In sum, the Government came to paint as criminal the very course of conduct by Megaupload that the Government had induced in requesting good-faith cooperation with an investigation that was to remain secret. Most incredibly of all, however, the Gover

Continue reading 'Megaupload says US government lied so they could get a search warrant' (full post)

Teens drug milkshake to get more time on the Internet

Two teenagers in the Sacramento, California area were hauled off to juvenile hall after the parents suspected they were drugged. The two teen girls, aged 15 and 16, reportedly offered to get milkshakes for the parents of one of the girls. They then drugged these milkshakes so that they would be able to go on the Internet past 10p.m.


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The parents only drank about a quarter of the milkshakes, before deciding they tasted funny and had a grainy texture. The shakes had been filled with prescription sleep aids that were procured by the friend and the parents fell asleep. The next morning, the parents felt groggy and hungover, so they went to the local police department for a drug test kit.


"The girls wanted to use the Internet, and they'd go to whatever means they had to," the police department spokesperson said. "If they were adults, they could be facing prison time."


This appears to be the first instance of something like this happening.

FTC ends anti-trust investigation, orders Google to stop excluding competitors from Motorola SEPs

The on-going anti-trust investigation into Google has finally been completed with a 4-1 ruling that Google must stop excluding competitors from using standards essential patents owned by subsidiary Motorola. These patents are what the FTC call the "cornerstone of the interoperability standards that we have taken for granted."


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Google is also making two voluntary changes to the way some of its products work:


  • More choice for websites: Websites can already opt out of Google Search, and they can now remove content (for example reviews) from specialized search results pages, such as local, travel and shopping;
  • More ad campaign control: Advertisers can already export their ad campaignsfrom Google AdWords. They will now be able to mix and copy ad campaign data within third-party services that use our AdWords API.


"The changes Google has agreed to make will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of competition in the online marketplace and in the market for innovative wireless devices they enjoy," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. "This was an incredibly thorough and careful investigation by the Commission, and the outcome is a strong and enforceable set of agreements."


Google appears to have gotten off with another slap on the wrist, just like it did back in August, 2012, when it paid out $22.5 million to settle charges of knowingly bypassing Safari's privacy settings.

Continue reading 'FTC ends anti-trust investigation, orders Google to stop excluding competitors from Motorola SEPs' (full post)

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