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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 49

Microsoft read bloggers Hotmail messages to plug leak

Yesterday I mentioned that an ex-Microsoft employee had been arrested for leaking secrets to a French blogger having to do with windows 8. I thought it was stupid that the man who was arrested used Microsoft platforms like SkyDrive to leak the details. A smart criminal would have taken his illegal activities to another platform.

 

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Microsoft has now admitted that to catch the source of the leak, it had read messages in the bloggers hotmail account. Microsoft still hasn't said who the blogger is, but it has said it read his emails to catch the leaker.

 

Microsoft says that its search is technically legal, but that in the future it will consult outside consul before reading private emails. As you might know, Hotmail is owned by Microsoft and is now called Outlook.com.

Continue reading 'Microsoft read bloggers Hotmail messages to plug leak' (full post)

Former Microsoft worker arrested for leaking software secrets

A former Microsoft employee was arrested this week for allegedly leaking details of Windows 8 and other software to an unnamed technology blogger. The former workers is Alex Kibkalo, who was previously a senior architect at the software giant.

 

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The man was arrested this week and according to the complaint filed on March 17, he passed trade secrets having to do with Windows 8 to a French blogger. Microsoft says that its investigation found that Kibkalo had uploaded software that includes pre-release versions of updates for Windows 8 RT tablets and the Microsoft Activation Server Software Development Kit.

 

The former Microsoft worker had uploaded the files to a computer located in Redmond, Washington. He later uploaded that software to his personal Windows Live SkyDrive account where he provided the blogger links to the software and a password.

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EA is a contender once again for 'Worst Company in America'

One has to wonder if EA keeps The Consumerist's 'Worst Company in America' awards somewhere, but the company is up for the award yet again - the third year in a row.

 

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Other contenders include Microsoft, Monsanto, Seaworld and Time Warner Cable. Back in 2012, EA won the Worst Company in America award after the controversial ending of Mass Effect 3, and then won it again last year after SimCity arrived nice and broken. This year, I'm sure the company will take the award home again, as Battlefield 4 has been more broken than SimCity ever was.

Microsoft Office for iPad rumored for March 27

One of the most profitable software products that Microsoft has is Office. Office has been around for years and so far, Microsoft has kept it off the iPad. There is a version for the iPhone, but you have to subscribe to Office 365 to get it.

 

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Rumors are swirling that new CEO Satya Nadella might be rolling out a version of Office for the iPad on March 27. According to a source claiming to be familiar with the event, the announcement will happen.

 

Microsoft has sent invites out to press for the March 27 date promising announcements in cloud and mobile. Some analysts think that Microsoft has been giving up as much as $2.5 billion a year in revenue by not having the productivity suite on the iPad.

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SpainCoin aims to stabilize cryptocurrency as real payment method

To help the Spanish people "break free from their shackles," the new SpainCoin will pre-mine and share 50 percent of Spaincoins to Spanish nationals.

 

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The cryptocurrency is valued around $50 million.

 

"Using SpainCoin is a way for the individual to get back his freedom and have 100% control over his money and assets, breaking free from the shackles of central banks," the official SpainCoin website notes. "Unlike other cryptocoins, less accessible for the general population, SpainCoin will be distributed among all Spaniards."

 

Those interested in learning more about Spaincoin can view this forum post, or visit the official Spaincoin website.

Continue reading 'SpainCoin aims to stabilize cryptocurrency as real payment method' (full post)

EU pushes in a law for a common smartphone charging standard

The European Union is pushing for a new voluntary adoption of a smartphone charging standard years ago, but is now much closer to that goal. The European Parliament has voted in favor of a draft law requiring that smartphones work with a common charger.

 

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Now the EU needs the Council of Ministers approval, where European Union countries will have until 2016 to get it into their local laws, and smartphone makers have a year more to change their hardware. Most phone makers already support the concept, but there will be some companies who don't want to change, or need a little push to fall into line.

First curved coins from USMint unveiled, commemorate Baseball HoF

Traditionally coins minted in the US have a very distinctive round and flat shape, but a new release from the US Mint has all but shattered that pattern. A new commemorative design will soon roll out that honors the National Baseball Hall of Fame's 75th birthday in the form of the country's first curved coin. The round coin takes the profile of a baseball and is featured in both gold and silver mintings.

 

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The coins profile and design are loosely based on the curved shape of the International Year of Astronomy coins minted by France back in 2009, as well as Australia's Southern Cross coins. Designed by California Artist, Cassie McFarland, the coins feature a baseball on the front and a catchers mitt on the reverse. Her winning "Hand full of Gold" design was chosen from a pool of 178 entries and was based off of a baseball glove she used as a kid.

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Google Maps explores Colorado River with Street View

Google Street View is a cool service that shows you what streets and landmarks look like at the level you would see in a car or on foot. Back in 2012, Google took a tour of the Grand Canyon with a Trekker backpack that let you virtually explore trails around the canyon.

 

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Google has now strapped one of those Trekker systems into a raft and explored the Colorado River. The footage is very cool and makes you feel like you are right on the water. The footage required two Trekker cameras attached to rafts shooting images every 2.5 seconds.

 

The journey down the Colorado River was made in partnership with American Rivers organization that tries to protect endangered rivers. Google worked with Arizona River Runners for the actual journey. Google started at Lee's Ferry and ended at Pearce Ferry.

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Paypal adjust policies to fix issues surrounding crowdfunding

When it comes to crowdfunding, Paypal is not the most popular of choices when it comes to transaction processing. This is because the company has withheld funds in the past when taking crowdfunding donations on behalf of project creators. This is a problem because the whole idea of crowdfunding is to generate the funding needed to move forward with a project. Paypal is looking to change its image with the crowdfunding crowd by altering its policies on the subject.

 

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PayPal's Chief Risk Officer, Tomer Barel, says that his company now contacts campaign owners early in the crowdfunding process in an effort to better understand the projects goals. Different government regulations apply based on if the campaign is fundraising or simply offering pre-order sales. PayPal also has varying policies based on this as well and says it will not put limits on the account if the campaign is strictly fundraising. Restrictions will apply however if the capaign is strictly a pre-order type project. "We enable their campaigns without interrupting payments under the condition that the campaign owner is explicit and transparent to their contributors that there is no guarantee of delivery regarding the rewards being offered upon contribution," Barel says.

AT&T acquisition of Leap Wireless gets FCC approval

AT&T has been working on an acquisition of Leap Wireless for a while. Leap is a pre paid carrier favored by mobile users that don't like contracts. AT&T's purchase will cost it $1.2 billion and the FCC gave the deal the green light this week.

 

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Leap Wireless is also the owner of the Cricket brand of devices and service. The deal was first announced in July 2013 and no objections were raised by the DOJ against the deal. That meant all that AT&T needed was FCC approval.

 

The FCC had initially said that the deal raised concerns about competition in the marketplace. However, the FCC later decided that any concerns about reduced competition were offset by AT&T's plans to roll out LTE services on spectrum that Leap is currently using.

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