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Apple, as part of its culture, takes a serious stand against pornography. It's banned from the App Store, even if it only has a little to with it. This is fine for Apple to do in its App Store, but the argument for censoring private iCloud e-mails isn't nearly as strong.
One writer was attempting to send an e-mail to his director from an iCloud account. He ended up cutting the script up into pieces so he could figure out which part was getting blocked:
AND THEN I SAW IT - a line in the script, describing a character viewing an advertisement for a pornographic site on his computer screen. Upon modifying this line, the entire document was delivered with no problem.
Apple's terms of service do state that they can "pre-screen, move, refuse, modify and/or remove Content at any time, without prior notice and in its sole discretion, if such Content is found to be in violation of this Agreement or is otherwise objectionable."
Now, is this something Apple should be doing? What do you think?
While there isn't anything that can be proven to be nefarious about Google's actions, it does open up the possibility for posts calling the action into question. Google donated $25,000 to Common Sense Media for a party that the group was throwing in honor of the FTC's chairman's work for kids.
Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but the fact they did it while they were undergoing an investigation by the FTC could bring unwanted or unwarranted scrutiny of the company's actions. This isn't the first Google has done something like this. Previously, Google reportedly spent $80,000 honoring FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
Of course, these actions could be coincidental. We'll likely never know for sure, but there will be plenty of people alleging that they were done to try and buy favor.
Facebook has confirmed that they will be purchasing Microsoft's Atlas Ad Suite. Facebook will keep the current Atlas team as they are and Facebook is looking to invest in back-end scaling and better measurement tools. We've previously reported about the rumored acquisition of Atlas by Facebook here.
We plan to improve Atlas' capabilities by investing in scaling its back-end measurement systems and enhancing its current suite of advertiser tools on desktop and mobile. We will also work to improve the user interface and functionality with the goal of making Atlas the most effective, intuitive, and powerful ad serving, management and measurement platform in the industry. Ultimately, Atlas's powerful platform, combined with Nielsen and Datalogix, will help advertisers close the loop and compare their Facebook campaigns to the rest of their ad spend across the web on desktop and mobile.
Facebook and Microsoft did not disclose the purchase price, though the price was rumored to be under 100 million.
Game of Thrones is an undeniable hit, so big that it was the most downloaded show of 2012, but how does the director of the show feel being downloaded so many times? David Petrarca, director of Game of Thrones said that you simply shrug your shoulder at piracy, and that illegal downloads don't really matter because your show thrives on cultural buzz.
When talking to a group of panelists at the Perth Writer's Festival over the weekend, the Game of Thrones director said that shows like the HBO smash hit capitalize on the social commentary they create, adding "that's how they survive." Just how many times was the show downloaded? It was averaging roughly 3.9 million downloads per episode in 2012. The closest downloaded show to this was How I Met Your Mother, with around 3 million downloads per episode.
HBO is unique, as the premium cable channel has 26 million US-based subscribers, and 60 million or so across the world. With that amount of subscribers, they can afford to allow illegal downloads as it gets their show some serious press - not just in the normal forms - but socially across Facebook, etc. The director also talked about other huge shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy, saying that while they do well, they can all be consumed whenever, and wherever.
Unfortunately for those who missed the Google Glass pre-order, there is really only one other way to get a headset before everyone else: buy one from someone who pre-ordered a set. Since the competition to win a chance to buy a pair ends today, you're basically left waiting for the public release or buying a pre-release product from one of those lucky few who have purchased one already.
One such person put up an auction on Ebay, which has now been pulled. The auction started at $1,500, the sunk price for the headset, though it quickly skyrocketed to over $15,000 before being pulled. It's not clear whether the user pulled the auction or whether Ebay and/or Google had something to do with it.
From the auction's description:
I've been selected as an early adapter for Google's upcoming release. you are buying a brand new unopened pair of Google's Project Glass glasses. i will be personally attending and picking up my pair in either Los Angeles, or New York at Google's Project Glass launch event, which will take place some time after Feburary 27th.
Is it really worth 10 times the asking price? I'd say no, but there are people who have plenty of money laying around that they could drop on something like this.
During Apple's shareholder meeting today, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said that Apple is considering new product categories. "Obviously, we're looking at new categories. We don't talk about them, but we're looking at them."
Rumors of an upcoming iWatch are running rampant and this could be the very category that Cook was thinking of when he made those comments. There have also been rumors of an Apple-built TV, though these have yet to prove to be true. Apple has missed analyst predictions numerous times when it comes to releasing an iTV.
In other Apple news, Cook believes Apple will move into the new "spaceship" headquarters in 2016.
Last week, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer pissed off a bunch of her employees by banning them from working remotely. Working from home can be great for some people, but now if you did that at Yahoo, you'll have to completely change your day-to-day life and work at a Yahoo office.
Jackie Reses, Yahoo's Human Resources boss, sent a memo out, advising that all remote employees would need to be working in Yahoo offices by June. This will mostly affect parents of young children, where working from home can be a massive benefit. Where it gets weird, is that Mayer herself had a child last year, and is a CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world - so how does she do it? How does she balance the trials and tribulations of motherhood, with the responsibilities of being a CEO?
Well, she builds her own nursery in her office, that's how! This will not bode well with mothers at Yahoo who currently work remotely, and so they should be upset. If it's good for Mayer, and not for them, what does that mean for working parents at Yahoo? Why not just build a nursery and staff it within Yahoo to keep everyone happy? I know that's what I'd do - keep your employees happy, at all costs.
If you thought THQ had sold everything they owned when we first reported on the case, you were wrong, as they still have plenty to get rid of. The remaining franchises that THQ own are now being sold as part of a "court-approved sales process".
This court-approved sale is getting rid of THQ properties such as Darksiders, Homeworld, Red Faction and Destroy All Humans! If you want to get in quick, the final bids on the properties are due no later than April 15. THQ have said that they've already received over "100 expressions of interest" regarding "various titles" they still hold the rights to. There will be six items to be sold off, with four properties available individually, and two "bundle" deals, one for internal properties, the other for licensed IP.
The games to be sold separately include Darksiders, Homeworld, MX and Red Faction. The internal bundle will include Big Beach Sports, Destroy All Humans!, Summoner and "more". Marvel Super Hero, Supreme Commander, Worms and "more" will be included in the licensed bundle.
According to a study by The NPD Group, the number of consumers engaging in illegal music sharing via the P2P protocol decreased by 17 percent in 2012 from the previous year. Other forms of music sharing also saw a decrease in 2012, which NPD Group attributes to the rise of free alternatives, such as Pandora and Spotify.
Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD:
For the music industry, which has been battling digital piracy for over a decade, last year was a year of progress. Among other factors, the increased use of legal and licensed streaming services has proven to be an alternative for music fans who formerly used P2P networks to obtain music
The volume of P2P music files downloaded decreased by 26 percent, CD ripping by friends and family fell 44 percent, the number of files transferred via hard drives fell 25 percent, and the volume of music downloaded from digital lockers decreased 28 percent.
Douglas Kass, a contributor for The Street, has tweeted that a stock split will be announced at tomorrow's shareholders meeting. We'd caution everyone that this is just a rumor and that he hasn't backed it up with any sort of hard evidence that a split will actually be announced.
High above the Alps my Gnome is hearing a rumor that Apple will announce a stock split at tomorrow's shareholder meeting
Apple's stock (AAPL) is up 1.38 percent to $448.90 after being down earlier this morning.