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Google is facing fines this morning after six European Union data protection regulators started enforcement measures over the company's failure to fix flaws in one of its new privacy policies.
France's National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties started follow-up measures in line with French laws after a meeting with Google brought forth no changes. UK, German, Spanish and Dutch authorities are also considering enacting similar follow up procedures.
The CNIL notified Google's Chief Executive Officer Larry Page in October, saying Google "empowers itself to collect vast amounts of personal data about Internet users without demonstrating that this collection was proportionate," and asked the company to align its policy with EU rules.
The follow-up measures could result in heavy fines for Google, but if you look at the scale of things, CNIL's heaviest fine to date was 100,000 euros ($128,340) against Google and that is but a mere drop in the bucket for such a large company.
A while back I reported on Apple posting a Siri based job that expressly required OSX development, which I thought might lead to integration of Siri into OSX. Over the weekend, Apple listed 12 new Siri based jobs that lend further credit to my prediction that Siri is coming to Mac devices.
The list consist of mostly software engineers who will be charged with "helping invent new techniques for conversational interaction, and building practices, processes, and standards that will become a foundation for design and innovation far into the future."
Other Siri job listings include Runtime Engineer, Hadoop Engineer, Monitoring Architect, Integration Engineer, Build / Release engineer and a pair of Data related Software Engineering positions. Of course Apple is keeping silent on if Siri will make an appearance on OSX. Another safe bet is that the company is working hard on integrating Siri with the less powerful hardware of the cheaper iPhone expected to release later this year.
If you thought Dell were going to be moving away from the consumer space in the midst of their effort to go private, don't worry - Michael Dell has your back. The company founder said there's no reason to worry in a company memo that Dell published through the SEC.
Dell has said to his employees that the company will "significantly increase investment" in PCs and tablets once they go private. He hasn't exactly laid out the company plans on the table, but he has said that there will be a shift away from valuing gross margins, which is a great thing. This means that the company won't take in as much profits, but they'll want to drive sales of their products in other ways - experimentation, marketing, pushes into developing markets, and more.
Google's privacy director has announced internally that she is stepping down from her post with intentions to retire. Alma Whitten became Google's first director of privacy in 2010 after being an engineer with the company. Her job was to oversee future products and prevent the release of products that invaded privacy too much.
Whitten will remain with the privacy team for a few more months as Lawrence You transitions to her position. You is based in Mountain View, California and has been a Google engineer for eight years.
Google said in a statement:
During her 10 years at Google, Alma has done so much to improve our products and protect our users. The privacy and security teams, and everyone else at Google, will continue this hard work to ensure that our users' data is kept safe and secure.
Apple has announced that its Q2 2013 financial results call will take place on April 23. On that day, Apple's second quarter results will be detailed and investors will be scrutinizing the company's performance. Will Apple's stock price increase or decrease after the announcement? Let us know in the comments.
The call will take place at 2PM Pacific and 5PM Eastern and will be available via the Internet.
A judge has ruled that users do not have the right or ability to resell songs purchased through iTunes as one might do with used CDs or DVDs. This is one of the on-going arguments that relate to digital media and ownership. Much like software, it would appear that users are granted a license, rather than an owned copy, to use a song.
This ruling comes about from a lawsuit between ReDigi and Universal Music Group's Capitol Records. Universal sued the start-up saying that the company was violating the former's copyrights by enabling users to resell purchased iTunes music.
U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan's ruling says that (paraphrased) without explicit permission from a copyright holder, you are not allowed to resell a digital media file. The full decision is available US' Archive site.
This morning Sony has announced that it will be merging its Japanese and Asian divisions into a single streamlined unit. This merger comes after lower than expected quarterly financial reports for the first quarter were released.
Sony's gaming division lost 15.1-percent in sales over the same period last year and the company posted a net loss of $124 million overall. The new division will reportedly be called Sony Japan Asia and will be headed up by Senior Vice President Hiroshi Kawano with current SCE Asia president Hiroyuki Oda becoming the deputy president.
Other Japan and Asia management are being shuffled around inside the new division with some managers remaining in their regional post and others seeing a merger of regions. Sony has also set up a new Asian Network Planning Department as well as restructured its Product Management and Loan Management positions.
Facebook have received permission from the authorities of Menlo Park to build a second campus which will be designed by Frank Gehry. The second campus will be built near the current Facebook campus, on a new 22-acre site west of Bayfront Expressway in California.
The new campus will have a rooftop park and an underground tunnel to connect to two Facebook campuses together, which is part of its design. The 433,555-square-foot location was originally set to have parts of the building "flaring out like butterfly wings," but these plans were dropped because they were "too flashy."
Facebook's second campus will have an average height of 45 feet, topping out at 73 feet in some parts, but it will be mostly hidden away by landscaping in order to keep Facebook's management's request for a low-key building.
The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) have rejected Apple's application for a trademark on their iPad mini. Apple received the letter on January 24, but it has only been made public recently, with the USPTO saying that the addition of "mini" to "iPad" was not distinct enough from Apple's iPad trademark to warrant its own filing. Apple's rejection letter states:
In this case, both the individual components and the composite result are descriptive of applicant's goods and do not create a unique, incongruous or non-descriptive meaning in relation to the goods being small handheld mobile devices comprising tablet computers capable of providing Internet access.
Apple has up until July 24 to submit an amended application for the iPad mini trademark, where Apple will have to justify why the term 'iPad mini' is distinct from their existing trademark on 'iPad.'
If you've ever wondered into a Best Buy store, you would know that there are dedicated "Apple Shop" sections, where you can buy - you guessed it - Apple goodies. Well, the tables are slowly turning, with news that there could be similar shops in Best Buy stores, from Samsung.
It would be perfect timing with the company's launch of the Galaxy S4, with Geek.com reporting it might be happening very soon:
Geek.com has been told that the first wave of high traffic Best Buy locations will soon be receiving instruction to remove two aisles next to their mobile department and prepare to install a new Samsung store. This new section will be dressed in large Samsung signage and offer custom demo stations for many of Samsung's products. Locations with the new section will be issuing special training sessions for employees in the mobile department, focusing heavily on how to show off Samsung-specific features.