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Cisco is one of the largest networking firms in the US. The company recently announced its latest quarterly earnings and along with those earnings announced continued plans for restructuring. The company will lay off about 6000 people, equating to about 8% of its workforce.
This round of layoffs is the largest restructuring action since restructuring began in 2011. The company plans to take as much as $700 million in restructuring charges, with half that amount coming in the quarter that ends in October.
CEO John Chambers said in a statement, "I'm pleased with how we are transforming our company over the past several years and that journey continues. ... We are focused on growth, innovation and talent, especially in the areas of security, data center, software, cloud and Internet of everything. Our strategy is sound, our financials are strong, and our market leadership is secure. We have the team in place to deliver and are uniquely positioned to help our customers solve their biggest business problems."
Way back in 2000 a man named Neil Stammer was accused of sex crimes involving a child as well as kidnapping and other charges in New Mexico. The man was released on bond and then he skipped town and remained at large for 14 years. He was recently captured after facial recognition tech was used on his photograph.
The case was shelved years ago after no new evidence surfaced and the criminal couldn't be located. Things changed earlier this year when the Diplomatic Security Service began using facial recognition tech to crack down on bogus US passports. Authorities ran the facial recognition tech on Stammer's old photo and came up with a match.
The old photo matched a photo of a man named Kevin Hodges, who was actually Stammer living under a new name in Nepal. Stammer was teaching English to children there and was described as "comfortable" in Nepal.
T-Mobile has announced that it is getting ready to begin throttling users on unlimited LTE data plans who are using the data allowance for things outside the terms and conditions imposed on the plan. According to T-Mobile, users that are using their data for torrents or p2p will begin being throttled on August 17.
The company wrote, "T-mobile has identified customers who are heavy data users and are engaged in peer-to-peer file sharing, and tethering outside of T-Mobile's Terms and Conditions (T&C). This results in a negative data network experience for T-Mobile customers. Beginning August 17, T-Mobile will begin to address customers who are conducting activities outside of T-Mobile's T&Cs."
The throttling will only apply to those on the old $70 unlimited or new $80 Simple Choice plans. Those who violate will see their speeds reduced until the next billing cycle.
Less than one month after apologizing for an embarrassing and "unacceptable" customer call, Comcast will have even more egg on its face. YouTube user Aaron Spain wanted to have service installed in his new apartment, but after technicians didn't show up on several different occasions, he tried to cancel. Spain was on hold for more than three hours, and was simply on hold until the call center simply closed for the day.
"I'd also been assured so many times that their service department was 24/7," Spain noted. "No distinction or clarification was ever made by anyone that their 'retention' department closed at any time."
Spain did note that the people he spoke with were polite, despite being put on hold until the call center actually closed for the day.
Amazon has launched its own card reader and accompanying app to allow small businesses to get paid. The Amazon card reader is called Amazon Local Register and it is aiming directly at Square and PayPal. One of the big features of the Amazon offering is that it has lower costs than Square and PayPal.
Amazon offers a flat charge of 1.75% per payment until the beginning of 2016, which is 1% lower than the fees required by both of the competing providers. On January 1 2016, the fees will increase to 2.5%, which is still lower than both competitors current pricing.
The card reader and apps are available for Fire OS, Android, and iOS devices. No monthly fees are charged and the card reader hardware will cost $10. Buyers of the card reader will get a $10 credit in processing fees making the reader free.
Tech giant Apple is promoting its HealthKit personal health-tracking application for iPhones, speaking with several companies specializing as health organizations and electronic record companies. Apple already works with Allscripts, Nike and Mayo Clinic, while speaking with Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic and Mount Sinai about its service.
HealthKit will be released on the iPhone 6 next month, and will provide instant access to blood pressure and other critical medical data available - which can be monitored by patients and easily shared with doctors.
"Apple is going into this space with a data play," noted Skip Snow, Forrester Research health care unit analyst, in a statement. "They want to be a hub of health data."
Competition is fierce in the car hailing app realm with Uber and Lyft among the two most popular firms in the market. Lyft is claiming that Uber is resorting to underhanded tactics in the effort to come out on top. According to Lyft, Uber employees have ordered and canceled over 50000 rides using the Lyft app since last October.
Some may think that only a couple employees are doing this, but according to Lyft over 177 Uber employees have booked and cancelled rides during that time frame. By booking and cancelling rides using the app, it reduces the avialbitiy of Lyft drivers. Presumably, that could make real riders looking for a Lyft ride look to Uber instead.
Lyft drivers also report that when the Uber workers do actually get in the car and ride, the rides are short and unprofitable. Lyft workers go so far as to say that the main crux of the ride isn't to get somewhere for Uber workers, but to try to talk the drivers into coming to work for Uber. Lyft says that the data was gleaned by cross-referencing a list of known Uber recruiters with cancelled Lyft rides.
Mega-social network Facebook is being told to disclose just how many of its users are underage, at least in Northern Ireland.
Belfast's High Court has ruled that Facebook must provide records for all account holders under the age of 13 in Northern Ireland or the UK between 2011 and 2014. It comes as part of a lawsuit against the company for negligence, as a young girl allegedly published inappropriate photographs on the website from the age of 11, reportedly leading to the girl receiving extreme sexual content from men. Her accounts were deactivated when Facebook was notified, the BBC says.
Although a judge blocked wider requests for information from Facebook, it was asserted that if the company has details on underage users, they "should be discovered". "If they do not have them, then obviously they can properly indicate that they do not have such information in their possession, custody or power," the judge said. It was claimed gaining access to this information could be important to understanding the risk posed to young children on Facebook.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued an advisory against the use of bitcoins and cryptocurrencies, saying there are far too many uncertainties. As such, bitcoins are popular targets for hackers and may lead to higher costs than cash and credit cards because of exchange rates and other considerations.
Furthermore, there is an increase in the amount of bitcoin-related fraud, and bitcoin wallet companies are struggling to stay secure from attack.
"Virtual currencies are not backed by any government or central bank, and at this point consumers are stepping into the Wild West when they engage them in the market," said Richard Cordray, CFPB Director, in a statement.
Amazon is one of the most likely places that many movie fans go to pre-order a DVD or Blu-ray before the film launches. Amazon is so popular that it has used its popularity for pre-orders in contract disputes with companies in the past. Amazon has recently stopped taking pre-orders on some Disney films as part of a contract dispute with the company.
Pre-orders for some popular coming Disney films like Muppets Most Wanted, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Million Dollar Arm, and Maleficent are unavailable in physical form. Amazon didn't want to cut off its own nose, so digital versions of these films via Amazon Instant video are still available.
In the past Amazon has used this same tactic with Warner Home Video and pulled pre-orders for The Lego Movie, Transcendence, and 300: Rise of an Empire off the site. The etail giant has also done something similar with publisher Hachette. It's unclear exactly what part of the contract between the two has led to the dispute.