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Like a company on Facebook and forget about future legal action

Throughout the course of modern day history, companies have paid billions to lawyers to come up with elaborate plans to prevent consumers, workers, and other companies from having the right to file a lawsuit against them. Today we have learned that cereal maker, General Mills, has quietly slipped in a clause within its privacy policy that bars consumers from bringing forth litigation on the company if that individual uses a coupon offered by the company, enters a sweepstakes, or even "Likes" the company on social media.

 

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The new policy states: "Anyone who has received anything that could be construed as a benefit and who then has a dispute with the company over its products will have to use informal negotiation via email or go through arbitration to seek relief, according to the new terms posted on its site." This is also known as "forced arbitration."

 

General Mills is clearly trying to avoid costly lawsuits such as one last year over packaging of a product that resulted in $8.5 million in settlement fees. The new policy is forcing consumers to enter into arbitration which means that your lawyer and their lawyer will meet in a room somewhere, and hash out how much compensation, if any, will be given to you. With companies sneaking in clauses like this into their privacy policy and forcing US citizens to give up rights, it may be time to rethink who you give your money too.

HTC hires former Samsung marketing exec on three-month contract

It looks like HTC is desperate, with the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer hiring Paul Golden, who was previously in a marketing position at Samsung. With HTC continuing to experience all sorts of obstacles in front of it being successful, this is an important bit of news.

 

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Golden has been hired by HTC on a three-month contract, where we're sure he'll come in and talk to the company about how to better market its smartphone against the likes of Samsung and Apple. HTC's just-released One M8 has been met with positive reactions from both the press and consumers, but I don't think it has been a big enough success for HTC against Samsung - which is set to ship a massive 35 million Galaxy S5's in Q2 2014 alone.


BlackBerry buys stake in healthcare IT firm, NantHealth

This week, BlackBerry's CEO Jon Chen, announced that his company had purchased a minority stake in a privately held healthcare IT firm called NantHealth. Chen said that he sees healthcare as one of the business sectors that BlackBerry can do very well in due to its enterprise security concerns.

 

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The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we do know that the investment was small enough to be considered a minority investment, and BlackBerry is not as wealthy as it once was. I do see this entry into such a niche market as a good move for BlackBerry, and if the company continues to make smart investments it could pull itself out of the big hole it currently resides in.

Continue reading 'BlackBerry buys stake in healthcare IT firm, NantHealth' (full post)

Trinity portable wind turbine charges your USB gadgets

Wind turbines are being used around the world in different sizes to generate electricity used to power homes and business. A new smaller scale wind turbine project has hit Kickstarter that is called the Trinity.

 

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Trinity is a small 12-inch cylinder when folded down to make it portable. It is designed to generate power that can be used to charge up any USB gadget that you might have. Trinity is able to produce 15W of power and has its own internal 15000-mAh battery.

Continue reading 'Trinity portable wind turbine charges your USB gadgets' (full post)

Mt. Gox tosses out idea of rebuilding, will try to liquidate assets

The shuttered Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange has asked a Japanese court to grant liquidation of the company's assets, and will no longer seek bankruptcy protection. Following the catastrophic loss of bitcoin currency, the site quickly shuttered - with customers essentially left out in the cold.

 

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The company doesn't seemingly have a realistic approach to rehabilitating the company - and Mt. Gox creditors and investors spread across the world - it would simply be too difficult to arrange necessary meetings. There was initially hope an outside investor would buy the exchange, promising creditors a cut of future profits, but they will now settle for a slice of the liquidation.

 

Mt. Gox founder Mark Karpeles didn't want to visit the United States to explain his defunct company's actions which led to millions of dollars of bitcoin cryptocurrency lost.

Samsung expects to ship 35 million Galaxy S5's in Q2 2014 alone

The Galaxy S5 is here, with millions already enjoying their new flagship smartphone from Samsung, but just how many Galaxy S5 handsets does Samsung expect to ship in the next couple of months? 35 million - that's how many.

 

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According to The Korea Times, Samsung shipped 1.3 times as many Galaxy S5 smartphones in the first 24 hours of sales than the South Korean giant did with the S4 launch. Both investors and analysts are impressed with how well the S5 is selling, removing the fears they once had about market saturation or a shift away from Samsung.

 

One Senior Fund Manager spoke with The Korea Times, saying: "Against earlier expectations, the S5 was well-received by consumers in the global market. We don't have any plans to advise our big clients to unload their Samsung stock". According to insiders at Samsung, the company is hoping to ship over 35 million Galaxy S5 units by the end of Q2 2014.

Continue reading 'Samsung expects to ship 35 million Galaxy S5's in Q2 2014 alone' (full post)

Google acquires drone company, Titan Aerospace

For weeks now it has appeared that Facebook would be swooping in and buying up drone manufacturer, Titan Aerospace, but today Google has apparently beaten Facebook to the punch and picked up the company itself. While no price has been mentioned on how much the deal cost Google, it does mark the third company of this type that the Mountain View-based company has added to its stables.

 

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"Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world. It's still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation," said a Google spokesperson.

Continue reading 'Google acquires drone company, Titan Aerospace' (full post)

Samsung sees great launch day sales of its Galaxy S5 handset

Samsung has launched its new flagship smartphone around the world, with over 125 countries receiving the Galaxy S5. ZDNet Korea has reported that the launch day sales of the Galaxy S5 have been quite strong.

 

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Samsung has reportedly moved around 1.3 times as many Galaxy S5's on April 11 than it did with its Galaxy S4 last year. Some European countries are seeing over 100% more demand for the Galaxy S5 versus the S4 from last year. In the UK, there were some massive lines outside of the new Samsung Experience Stories, where launch day sales were double that of the S4.

 

There has been talk of the premium handset market being saturated, but it looks like Samsung has proven them wrong yet again with the launch of the Galaxy S5.

Amazon offering $5000 to any of its staff who quit their job

If your boss walked up to you today and offered you $5000 to quit your job and never look back, would you take the offer, or would you realize that $5000 is just a drop in the bucket over the long-term? Many Amazon employees are experiencing that exact scenario right now. Amazon says that it is offering its warehouse workers $2000 to quit their jobs, and increases the price by $1000 every year to those who refuse until the amount reaches $5000.

 

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Amazon says that it makes this offer to employees as an effort to see who really wants to work for Amazon, and to weed out those who are just there for the job. The idea is not new though, and was pioneered by Zappos who made similar offers to its employees. In his earnings call to investors Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, elaborated on the idea behind offering employees rewards for quitting their jobs.

 

"The second program is called Pay to Quit. It was invented by the clever people at Zappos, and the Amazon fulfillment centers have been iterating on it. Pay to Quit is pretty simple. Once a year, we offer to pay our associates to quit. The first year the offer is made, it's for $2,000. Then it goes up one thousand dollars a year until it reaches $5,000. The headline on the offer is "Please Don't Take This Offer," Bezos said "We hope they don't take the offer; we want them to stay. Why do we make this offer? The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don't want to be isn't healthy for the employee or the company."

Sony confirms VAIO Fit 11A battery fire hazard

If you own a Sony VAIO Fit 11A notebook computer, you need to be aware that a battery issues has been identified. This issue, like most battery problems on notebook computers, can result in a fire. The big problem for users of these Sony notebooks is that the battery inside the machines isn't removable.

 

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That means you will have to return the entire notebook for repairs. Sony wants people to stop using the machines, unplug them, and return them to be repaired or replaced. There are 25,905 machines affected by this issue globally.

Continue reading 'Sony confirms VAIO Fit 11A battery fire hazard' (full post)

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