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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 103

FBI arrests Chinese "spy", thought he had precious NASA secrets, but it was filled with porn

The FBI thought they had another Chinese spy on their hands when they boarded a plane at Dulles International Airport to arrest Bo Jiang, a Chinese national with a doctorate in electrical engineering from Old Dominion University.

 

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Jiang was a former contractor with NASA at their Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and was fired because of pressure from Republican congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia. Wolf claimed that Jiang and other Chinese engineers employed by NASA contrators were a security risk, and the day of his flight back to China, he had a NASA-owned laptop in his possession.

 

All that Jiang did wrong, was violate NASA policies, as there was no evidence of any sensitive material on his laptop, and Jiang had not had clearance to the secret projects at Langley as an employee of the National Institute of Aerospace. Investigators did find the laptop filled to the brim with porn and pirated movies. There was a press release issued by Wolf after the arrest, with a copy of Jiang's arrest warrant disappearing off the congressman's website. It was cached by Google though, where Wolf said:

 

I am particularly concerned that (the) information (on Jiang's laptop) may pertain to the source code for high-tech imaging technology that Jiang has been working on with NASA. This information could have significant military applications for the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army.

Netflix's Ted Sarandos says piracy drops in territories shortly after Netflix launches

Ted Sarandos, Netflix's Chief Content Officer, recently completed an interview with Stuff.tv. Most of the information was rather boring, though you can read the full interview at Source #1 below. The one interesting piece, at least to me, is that Sarandos says piracy drops in a region shortly after Netflix launches.

 

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One of the things is we get ISPs to publicise their connection speeds - and when we launch in a territory the Bittorrent traffic drops as the Netflix traffic grows. So I think people do want a great experience and they want access - people are mostly honest. The best way to combat piracy isn't legislatively or criminally but by giving good options. One of the side effects of growth of content is an expectation to have access to it. You can't use the internet as a marketing vehicle and then not as a delivery vehicle.

 

It does make quite a bit of sense. Often times people are forced to turn to BitTorrent to get the content they want to watch. However, most people are willing to pay for that content if the content providers would just license it to the region. This is similar to what has been seen with Spotify and other offerings. People are willing to pay as long as they can get the content they want.

Intel picks Brian Krzanich as new CEO as Paul Otellini steps down

Paul Otellini, the former CEO of Intel, announced last year in November that he would be retiring this year. This meant that Intel needed to find a replacement CEO. The competition boiled down to two candidates: Intel's current COO and current CFO. We now know who won. Welcome to Brian Krzanich, the former COO of Intel.

 

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Krzanich has been with the company for more than 31 years, an impressive track record for anyone. He worked his way up from a process engineer all the way to COO. The stock market seems to be indifferent about the selection as Intel's stock price hasn't fluctuated much throughout the day.

 

I'm sure you'll all join us in wishing Brian Krzanich the best.

Three Samsung workers have been injured in acid leak at chip plant

Samsung's main chip factory in the city of Hwaseong has suffered a second major leak of the toxic hydrofluoric acid, a chemical used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. Three employees have been injured and admitted to a local hospital for further examination.

 

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Samsung had a similar leak just three months ago. Samsung was fined a minuscule $1,000 and received a telling-off from police investigators. It clearly wasn't enough as a second leak occurred earlier today. The three injured staff were contract workers who were upgrading parts of the facility.

 

At approximately 11:30 a.m. on May 2, three external contract workers were partially exposed to diluted hydrofluoric acid at Samsung's semiconductor manufacturing facility in Hwaseong, Korea. The workers received immediate first aid attention on site and were admitted to hospital for further examination. This occurred while the workers were upgrading parts of an existing facility in line with Ministry of Employment and Labor requirements. Samsung has reported the incident to the appropriate local authorities and is fully cooperating with investigations. We take the health and safety of workers very seriously and are committed to addressing any issues regarding the well-being of those working in our facilities.

Microsoft being sued by patent troll alleging technologies used in Skype infringe on patents held by the company

Microsoft is the latest to fall victim to a patent troll. Microsoft is being sued by CopyTele, a company that prides itself in being "specialists in patent monetization and patent assertion." They allege that some of Skype's technology relies on patents held by its subsidiary, Secure Web Conference Corp.

 

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The specific patents alleged in the complaint are: "Method and apparatus for securing e-mail attachments" and "Portable telecommunication security device." Both were granted to the company in 2005 and both relate to security for Web-based peer-to-peer communications.

 

The second patent listed above specifically covers a security device and CopyTele is alleging that a PC or smartphone falls within that definition.

Continue reading 'Microsoft being sued by patent troll alleging technologies used in Skype infringe on patents held by the company' (full post)

Nintendo pushes out message to Internet-connected Wii consoles explaining Wii U is an 'entirely new system'

We've reported on the rather slow sales of the Nintendo Wii U, but the cause of these slow sales has been a bit more elusive. Nintendo apparently thinks they know why sales are slow and are attempting to fix the problem...by sending out a message to all Internet-connected Wii consoles.

 

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Did you know that you can play nearly all your existing Wii games on Wii U? Your Wii controllers and many Wii accessories can also be used with a new Wii U console -- along with any downloaded games, save data, and other info stored in your existing Wii console.

 

It's time to discover Wii U

 

Wii U is the all-new home console from Nintendo. It's not just an upgrade -- it's an entirely new system that will change the way you and your family experience games and entertainment.

 

The second screen on the included Wii U GamePad controller enables never-before-seen ways to play games and enjoy TV. And for the first time ever, you can see Mario and your favorite Nintendo franchises in glorious HD.

 

Learn more about Wii U at Nintendo.com/WiiU

 

Apparently Nintendo believes that Wii owners think the Wii U is just a Wii with a GamePad. We obviously know the difference, but for the less technically inclined, I can see where the problem may be. For instance, they have extremely similar names. However, whether or not this message will help clear up confusion and drive Wii U sales remains to be seen.

Tablet market share has Android on top, Apple playing second fiddle

Last year was a totally different game, with iOS completely dominating the tablet market share game, this year, not so much. IDC's market share estimates point for the first quarter of 2013 are out, and they paint a very interesting picture.

 

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As you can see, the top tablet OS market share for Q1 2013 has changed from the same quarter of last year. Android now have the top position with 56.5%, pushing iOS into second place with 39.6%. Apple lost quite a lot of ground in the past twelve months, as this time last year they had 58.1% of the tablet OS market share, leaving Android with 39.4%.

 

All of Apple's lost ground is sucked into the vacuum that is Android. Microsoft saw Windows' market share increased from 1% last year, to 3.3% this year. In terms of shipments for the quarter, IDC's estimates peg iOS-based tablets (iPad, iPad mini) at 19.5 million units, and Android-based slates (countless companies and models) at 27.8 million. Windows-based tablets saw 1.6 million units shipped and Windows RT-based tablets shipped just 200,000 units.

BlackBerry gains market share at Apple's expense, Z10 appears to have helped

According to data released by Net Applications, BlackBerry picked up a bit of market share in the month of April. Net Applications watches mobile web usage, which is different to normal market share estimates that are based solely on the number of devices sold and in circulation.

 

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Net Application's data shows that BlackBerry gained a small amount of market share. BlackBerry climbed to 1.51 percent for April, up from February's 1.39 percent. iOS, meanwhile, fell by about 1.5 percent to a still-impressive 59.04 percent. Android claimed 26.02 percent of the market, up about one percent.

Facebook reports average earnings, hits and misses some Wall Street expectations for Q1

Facebook has reported its first-quarter earnings today, with mixed results. In some regards, Facebook has done well; in others, Facebook didn't quite make the mark. For instance, Facebook pulled in a total of $1.46 billion in revenue, up 38 percent year-over-year. This beat analyst expectations of $1.44 billion.

 

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On the other hand, Facebook reported earnings per share of 12 cents, which was below the analyst expectations of 13 cents per share. Mobile advertising accounted for 30 percent of Facebook's advertising revenue that totaled $1.25 billion.

 

Facebook is touting 1.11 billion active monthly users as of March 31, with 665 million being daily users. Mobile monthly active users came in at 751 million, a 54 percent growth year-over-year. Facebook still has some issues to work out, but at least it didn't completely miss the mark. Shares closed at $27.43, but are up slighting in after-hours trading.

Siri creator claims study that showed voice texting as bad as normal texting while driving was flawed

We recently reported a study which showed that using voice commands to text, such as Siri, was as bad for safety as texting manually. However, Siri's co-inventor, Adam Cheyer, claims that the study's findings is invalid. He argues that the study "seems to have misunderstood how Siri was designed to be used."

 

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According to Cheyer, they purposely designed a car mode for Siri. When in car mode, Siri is prevented from running commands that would require looking at the screen or pushing buttons. "Of course your driving performance is going to be degraded if you're reading screens and pushing buttons."

 

Siri will automatically read back dictated text when connected to a wired or Bluetooth headset. Texas Transportation Institute, when asked about this, confirmed that the study did not make use of Siri's car mode, which does validate the claim of Cheyer that the study's findings may not be completely applicable to iPhones.

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