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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 69

Google agrees to pay $17 million to states for privacy intrusion

Google bypassed security settings on Apple's Safari browser to implant cookies. Google promised to pay $17 million to 37 states for disregarding user privacy. Google will be removing the cookies and "shall not employ HTTP Form POST functionality that uses javascript to submit a form without affirmative user action."

 

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Google had a similar incident last year which they paid $22.5 million in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The lawsuit says users specified they did not want to be followed and Google was still tracking them.

 

New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman: "Consumers should be able to know whether there are other eyes surfing the web with them. By tracking millions of people without their knowledge, Google violated not only their privacy, but also their trust."

Bitcoin soars past $600, US agencies think twice about its validity

In the past 9 days or so Bitcoin prices have soared to levels no one expected to see after the shutdown of Silk Road. The surge is most likely the result of senate hearings that begin today in which several US agencies will testify to the legitimacy of Bitcoin, and the impact it is having on the global economy.

 

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Today the value of a single Bitcoin soard past $650 and while it has since declined a little, the fact still stands that the digital currency was sitting at a value of just $85 a few months ago. The increase in value can also be attributed to the fact that Ben Bernake, Chairman of the Federal Reserve said that his agency has no intentions of attempting to regulate Bitcoin anytime soon.

 

"The FBI's approach to virtual currencies is guided by a recognition that online payment systems, both centralized and decentralized, offer legitimate financial services," said Peter Kadzik, principal deputy assistant attorney general, in a letter ahead of the Senate hearing. "Like any financial service, virtual currency system[s] of either type can be exploited by malicious actors, but centralized and decentralized online payment systems can vary significantly in the types and degrees of illicit financial risk they pose."

Continue reading 'Bitcoin soars past $600, US agencies think twice about its validity' (full post)

Apple acquires the company behind the original Kinect system

An interesting move by Apple, which has reportedly acquired PrimeSense, the motion sensing technology company that was behind the first Kinect sensor. PrimeSense helped Microsoft design the original Kinect, and has reportedly been scooped up by Apple for a nice $345 million over the weekend.

 

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PrimeSense told TheNextWeb, that it refers to the report as a "recycled rumor," adding that it "does not comment on what any of our partners, customers or potential customers are doing." Apple is reportedly after the motion sensing tech for its Apple TV, but I think we might see it gel between its TV set, and maybe a new form of touchscreen tech. Apple might not push touchscreens onto its MacBook line of products, but a motion sensing tech? Possibly.

RumorTT: PS4 problems stemming from possible sabotage at Foxconn

Well, the small number of PS4s that are experiencing issues could be the result of interns at the Foxconn manufacturing plant in Yantai, China, sabotaging it. Yes, sabotage!

 

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The news broke on the IGN forums, but the forum was eventually locked. This particular manufacturing plant has hit the news headlines before, from the mistreatment of staff, and more. The intern notes that because Foxconn didn't treat them well, they sabotage the manufacturing of the PS4. The intern said: "The ps4 console we assemble can be turned on at best."

 

This would explain some of the issues some owners are experiencing, but if this is true, those interns are going to be in quite a lot of trouble with Foxconn.

HTC looking at changing its global PR, wants to swing things around

HTC continues to hit road bumps, but the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer is hoping to swing things around, as it looks into its global public relation efforts.

 

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The news is coming from a report by the Advertising Age, who says that HTC is looking into some of the world's largest PR firms, including Waggener Edstrom, and more. The company is looking to better position itself in the market in the mindset of its customers. This should be big news, considering the company saw its head of global public relations retire.

 

Once its head of global PR retired, HTC's chief marketing officer filled his shoes, which is where we saw the Robert Downey Jr.-starring ads begin to roll out. It should be interesting to see where this leads the company, and whether it will help stem the losses it has posted lately.

Candy Crush has a user base of over 500 million, next step: IPO?

Just how many people play Candy Crush? Over 500 million... yes, half a billion people are playing Candy Crush, a mind-blowing number. Then we have an upcoming IPO that will reportedly hit soon from developer King.

 

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With those 500 million users, how many games of Candy Crush have been played? A massive 150 billion individual games to date - just mammoth numbers. King sees over 1 billion gameplays daily, which is gigantic for a game that has been out for a year - and because of this - King is celebrating Candy Crush's first birthday.

 

Rewind back to February, and King was seeing 9 billion gameplays per month across all of its titles, including games like Bubble Witch Saga and Pet Rescue. So putting things into perspective, King has moved from 9 billion gameplays per month across all its titles, to 1 billion gameplays daily of Candy Crush alone.

RumorTT: Google offered $4 billion to Snapchat, which was turned down

It was only a few days ago that we reported that Snapchat refused a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook, but now unnamed sources of Valleywag have said that Google offered the company $4 billion, which it also turned down.

 

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The same sources say that Snapchat is going to wait until next year to raise funds, because it wants to increase the number of photos its users share each day to more than the number of photos shared through Facebook each day. If this does happen, the valuation will be exponentially more, which will make the current $3 and $4 billion offers feel like nothing. If it were me, I'd be happy with $4 billion...

Apple is under investigation in Italy for $1.3 billion in tax fraud

Apple is in trouble with Italian authorities, to the tune of $1.3 billion of alleged tax fraud. The Italian government believes that the iPhone maker has tucked away, hidden from the Italian tax authority and investigators in the country.

 

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Reuters is the one with the report, where they said: "The maker of the iPhone is the latest prominent corporation to become the target of a tax probe in Italy amid a global crackdown on tax cheating by multinationals. In Italy, where tax authorities have become more aggressive in their dealings with global companies, fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were handed in June a 20-month suspended prison sentence and a heavy fine for hiding hundreds of millions of euros in unpaid taxes. Both deny any wrongdoing."

RumorTT: Facebook tried to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion

Facebook has reportedly offered Snapchat a nice $3 billion to acquire the picture-sharing startup, but Snapchat refused the deal. The reason for the decline is that Snapchat is currently enjoying multiple companies bidding for them, which is a great reason, isn't it?

 

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Considering Facebook paid - at the time a huge $1 billion for Instagram, this isn't chump change by any measure. But, Snapchat is also huge, as it is one of the most popular messaging apps over mobile devices right now. The social network reportedly put another bid in previously, at $1 billion, so an increase to $3 billion shows just how powerful the messaging application is.

 

There are around 350 million messages sent per day through Snapchat, just to give you an idea of how big it is.

Google's ad revenue demolishes newspaper, magazine industries

Google is a gigantic company, a company that pretty much just prints its own money from advertising. Well, according to Business Insider's Henry Blodget, Google's yearly ad revenue has soared - and has overtaken both the magazine and newspaper industries.

 

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If you look at the graph above, you can see that Google wasn't making that much money from ads in 2004... but each year sees a massive increase in profits made, and each year that Google makes more and more profits, the magazine and newspaper industries take an even bigger hit. Sure, back in 2004, the US newspaper industry was doing great business, but that has been knocked down, considerably.

 

If Google can keep at this pace, it will demolish the newspaper and magazine industries' profits in just a few years time.

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