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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 64

Apple forced to pay $32.5 million for in-app purchases settlement

Some parents' kids racked up some massive in-app purchases through iOS-based game, which ended up in a Federal Trade Commission complaint. This complaint has ended with Apple having to hand over $32.5 million.

 

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The FTC's complaint alleges that Apple failed to tell parents that by entering a password, they were allowing single in-app purchases, as well as additional purchases that their children could make without the parent intervening again. FTC chair Edith Ramirez said: "This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple's unfair billing, and a signal to the business community: whether you're doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply. You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize."

 

The FTC had received tens of thousands of complaints about unauthorized purchases by parents of children who used their iOS devices. One consumer saw a massive $2,600 bill from a game called Tap Pet Hotel.

Radionomy is now the proud owner of Winamp

Online radio aggregator, Radionomy, has acquired both Winamp and Shoutcast from AOL. A source close to TechCrunch has said that Radionomy paid somewhere between $5 million and $10 million.

 

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The deal included a 12% stake in Radionomy for AOL, too. AOL purchased Nullsoft, the creator of Winamp and Shoutcast, for $80 million back in 1999. So to sell them for close to 10% of that must hurt. Acquiring Winamp and Shoutcast is a boon for Radionomy, as it will make them one of the bigger competitors in the online radio business.

Seeking Alpha contributor says "Bitcoin fails as a currency"

The rise and fall of digital currency Bitcoin, has been interesting to say the least. But now we have Seeking Alpha contributor, Robert Wagner, chiming in with a new piece, calling out the digital currency, where he expects the bubble to pop.

 

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Wagner says that Bitcoin's "first flaw is its very foundation", citing that one of the reasons people wanted a new digital currency was to get away from the central bank, fiat-based dollar. Wagner goes into some incredible detail, which you can read all about right here, but do you agree? Do you think the great Bitcoin crash will happen, soon?

Google takes ownership of Nest in $3.2 billion acquisition

Nest was one of the hottest companies in 2013, and wowed tech insiders world wide with the release of its smart smoke alarms and thermostats. Based in Palo Alto, California, Nest was in the center of silicon valley and had attracted the attention of some of the biggest investors and companies in the business, one of which has just acquired the company.

 

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Google has just announced that it has acquired Nest for a whopping $3.2 billion in cash, which now adds Google's name to yet another market space that directly affects our daily lives. Nest will further Google's push into the so-called "Internet of Things," and will further allow it to continue its growth into the home automation realm.

 

"We're thrilled to join Google," Fadell, 44, said in a statement. "With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world." Google CEO Larry Page said "Fadell and his Nest co-founder Matt Rogers had built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family."

Ford CEO Alan Mulally turns down potential to lead Microsoft

Ford CEO Alan Mulally has confirmed he will remain with the U.S. automaker and not become the next Microsoft CEO, which will be vacated when Steve Ballmer steps down. Last August, Ballmer said he would resign - and leave within 12 months - but is trying to help the company ease into the transition. However, that's going to be difficult when there is uncertainty about the company's short-term stability.

 

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"I would like to end the Microsoft speculation because I have no other plans to do anything other than serve Ford," Mulally told reporters. "You don't have to worry about me leaving."

 

Microsoft's hunt for Ballmer's replacement has been extremely difficult, as there are only a handful of skilled candidates seeking the job. Microsoft is currently considering both internal and external candidates as the company needs to buckle down and find a new leader.

Microsoft replaces 'Metro' with new 'Mod' trademark for Windows 8

We've already seen Microsoft change its "Metro" name for "Windows 8-style UI" with all those problems when Windows 8 launched, but now we're seeing a new name, "Mod", which would be the new, new name for the UI.

 

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The news is coming from ZDNet, with Mary Jo Foley reporting that Microsoft applied to trademark the word "Mod", which Foley thinks the software giant will use to refer the new modern design in future iterations of Windows. The company has also filed for more words with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, with the following words: "Windows Mod", "Office Mod", and "Microsoft Office Mod".

FarmVille creator, Zynga, now supports Bitcoins

The all-digital game creator Zynga has announced that it is launching an experiment, where it will accept Bitcoins for in-game purchases on some of its games.

 

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Zynga is working with Bitpay that will allow gamers to use the digital currency in FarmVille 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows, and CityVille. Does this change your mind about Zynga, that it is now accepting Bitcoin? It won't do much for most, but it's a step in the right direction for Zynga.

Analyst lowers his expectations for Samsung Q4 2013 profits

There are countless Galaxy smartphones and tablets in the wild now, but according to Barrons, Jefferies & Co. analyst, Hyunwoo Doh, it looks like Samsung's Q4 2013 profit estimate might not be as strong as previously thought.

 

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The analyst lowered his estimates for Samsung's Q4 2013 "to reflect higher bonus payouts, adjustments to the company's manufacturing of display panels, and the decline of the U.S. dollar against the Korean Won." Doh has faith in the South Korean giants mobile division, which is doing very good business.

 

He added: "[T]he [IT & Mobile Communications] division should see a decrease in earnings, due to slower high-end smartphone sales and inventory destocking. As such, its share price momentum should weaken until an earnings recovery is seen."

Alicia Keys out as BlackBerry's Global Creative Director

During BlackBerry's event in 2013 announcing BlackBerry 10, the company surprised everyone by appointing singer, Alicia Keys, as the new Global Creative Director. While this position was mostly for publicity, it represented the length that BlackBerry was willing to go to save itself from financial ruin.

 

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Now less than a year later, and with new management steering the ship, Alicia Keys has been relieved of her duty. While no official reason has been mentioned for her departure from her honorary position, it could be due to the fact that Keys never really gave up her iPhone or iPad for BlackBerry devices. Just weeks after the BB10 announcement, Keys tweeted from the iPhone she reportedly gave up for the new at the time BlackBerry Z10.

Coinye coins look to be the next Bitcoin, Kanye West's ego swells

With the cryptocurrency quickly becoming the next big bubble, new "coins" are popping up every day. Today coders has announced a new digital currency called Coinye West, and is based on the open source Bitcoin code. "Coinye West is a cryptocurrency for the masses," says its creators.

 

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While this is most definitely nothing more than an elaborate joke, the Coinye West coins could take of and actually gain some kind of value, similar to how the Dogecoin, another joke turned real cryptocurrency did. One thing is for sure though, investing is advised as if the Coinye West coins do inflate to anything near the size of Kanye's ego, we all will be billionaires!

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