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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 56

Apple fined $667,000 in Taiwan for messing with carrier prices

It's not turning out to be a Merry Christmas for Apple, which was just fined by the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission. The iPhone maker was hit with a $667,000 fine because it was "interfering with mobile service providers and handset distributors' pricing."

 

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Apple could face an additional fine of $1.67 million, if it doesn't stop its ways, messing around with carriers and other retailers in regards to iPhone prices. Taiwan's FTC also said in a statement: "Through the email correspondence between Apple and these three telecom companies we discovered the companies submit their pricing plans to Apple to be approved or confirmed before the products hit the market."

Target continuing to feel backlash after security breach

Target, the No. 2 discount retailer in the United States, isn't having a Merry Christmas following a data breach affecting 40 million customers one week ago.

 

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It appears malware installed on the store's point-of-sale (POS) cash registers contributed to the credit theft, with federal investigators involved in the ongoing investigation. The breach has led to around two dozen customer-filed lawsuits, with other lawsuits expected in the future. The lawsuits were filed in state and federal courts ranging from Minnesota and California to New York.

 

After first reports of a Target breach earlier in the month, some stolen credit and debit card numbers were hitting the black market within days. The company will almost certainly face increased scrutiny after the holidays, as the retailer is hearing reports of clever e-mail scams targeting customers. To battle against scammers, Target is creating a custom section on its website to communicate directly to customers interested in learning more.

Apple teases 'desk-free' PC, patents the idea

Wireless charging is something I've fallen in love with this year, but Apple is behind the game when it comes to pushing wireless charging technology into its devices, such as the iPhone. This is all set to change with a new patent from the Cupertino-based giant.

 

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Apple's research labs have presented a surprise to the world, with an early patent filing that sees the company thinking about wireless charging being the next big thing. Apple was awarded a patent last week for a "desk-free computer". The description sees a device that is small, such as a Mac mini, that features a projector lens on one of its sides.

 

The device would also carry an accelerometer and a proximity sensor that would detect how far the device is away from the wall, where the image would be projected. The patent states: "The integrated projector may also provide flexibility in the location, relative to the computer system and/or the user, and/or in the size of the projected image. Display screens for both laptops and desktops are fixed in size, and have limited flexibility in location relative to the computer, either by wired connection and/or other physical constraint."

 

Of course the stand out feature here is definitely the wireless charging, with the device capable of being a mobile solution, which would cut down the amount of cords running to your PC. We don't know when this technology would come, but I would say it would be years away. Apple needs to catch up on getting wireless charging in its iPhones first.

Acer's new CEO has TSMC and Intel under his belt

Acer has appointed itself a new CEO, someone who has quite a lot of experience in the industry: Jason Chen. Chen is the former Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), where he was the President and CEO.

 

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Chen recently resigned from TSMC, where he will join Acer on January 1, 2014. Before joining TSMC, Chen worked with Intel as the Corporate Vice President and Co-Director of the Worldwide Sales and Marketing Group. His extensive experience in the industry should help push Acer forward, something it has needed for quite sometime now.

ReportTT: Kim Dotcom ratted out Megaupload rivals

The US Department of Justice has just released a new batch of evidence against the infamous Kim Dotcom. Last week the US Government filed a 191-page document outlining its case against Dotcom that included evidence such as emails, Skype transcripts, and other information.

 

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Perhaps the biggest disclosure is that Dotcom had seeded information on, identified, and helped locate individuals who ran rival file sharing sites to Megaupload. Dotcom even went as far as contacting payment services to inform them of his competition's illegal activities. As all of this occurred, Megaupload thrived as its watched many of its biggest competitors fold under and their traffic slowly trickle into its service.

First major US retailer to accept Bitcoin in the second half of 2014

Overstock.com CEO, Patrick Byrne, has said that his company would be one of the first to accept Bitcoin, where it will accept the digital currency in the second half of next year.

 

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Byrne spilled the news during an interview with the Financial Times, where he said there is going to be a market in Bitcoin, and he wanted his company to embrace it. Byrne believes Bitcoin will hold its value better than the fiat-based dollar, thanks to the fact that it is mathematically constrained, versus the limitless printing of the dollar through the Federal Reserve and government authorities.

 

The Overstock.com CEO stated that his company would bank the digital currency in the event that similar digital funds increase in popularity. If, however, the digital currency begins to deflate, the company would transfer Bitcoins to dollars on a daily basis.

Former EA Senior VP joins Oculus VR as head of worldwide publishing

Oculus is securing talent every couple of weeks it seems, with the brain child of Doom and Quake, John Carmack, stepping on board as Chief Technology Officer not too long ago. Now have news that the VR outfit has secured a former EA Senior VP to join as the head of worldwide publishing.

 

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This department is fresh, with the aim of the new department to help developers create games that work with the Oculus Rift. David DeMartini is the man for the job, and in a statement to Gamasutra, DeMartini described his position as "not particularly different from what I did for seven years" when he was involved with the EA Partners program.

 

He continued: "I'm figuring out how to partner effectively with big developers, small developers, all the way down to the individual who just wants to make something great for the Rift."

Stolen Target credit cards hitting black market

Major retailer Target is under fire after 40 million customers have been affected by a credit and debit card security threat, as some account information has hit the open market.

 

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An unnamed bank had its security team purchase back stolen account information of its customers from an online forum, with account information available on sometimes sophisticated online trading places. It seems that credit cards were the main focus of the breach, with Target claiming there hasn't been impact to debit card PIN numbers.

 

This is a frustrating situation for Target, banks, and consumers - banks are hesitant to issue new cards, due to the high price ($3-$5 per card, on average), while customers are worried about their financial security.

Mark Zuckerberg is selling $2.3 billion worth of Facebook stock

Mark Zuckerberg is selling $2.3 billion worth of shares in the social network he founded, and is the CEO of. He isn't just selling the shares for cash, he's selling them to pay massive tax bills on options that he is exercising.

 

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The sale is part of a 70 million share offering, with Zuckerberg selling 41.3 million of those shares. Marc Andreessen, a Facebook investor, is selling 1.6 million. According to a press release from the social network, Facebook "intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for working capital and other general corporate purposes."

Cyanogen secures $23 million in funding, this is just the beginning

Cyanogen Inc. secured $7 million in Series A funding a few months ago, but Series B funding has come and gone, with $23 million being secured. The Series B funding was led by Andreessen Horowitz, the same company that is working closely with Oculus VR and its latest Series B funding round.

 

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One of the interesting points to take away from this is that Cyanogen Inc. is planning to launch a mass consumer brand or service late next year, or early 2015. We should hear more about the hardware side of things in the coming weeks and months, with the first CyanogenMod-powered smartphone, the CyanogenMod Edition of the Oppo N1 available.

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