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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 106

Twitter complied with 69% of US data requests

Following in the footsteps of Google, Twitter has released its second transparency report. The report details that Twitter complied with 69 percent of US data requests, which is less than the 88 percent of requests that Google responded to. It seems that Twitter puts a bit more effort in blocking data requests.

 

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The report also detailed that the US government led the pack in sheer quantity of data requests. For last year, Twitter said it received a total of 1,858 requests for information from governments, 6,646 reports of copyright violations, and 48 demands from governments demanding material to be removed.

 

We've been thinking about ways in which we can more effectively share this information, with an aim to make it more meaningful and accessible to the community at largeWe believe the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. To that end, it is vital for us (and other Internet services) to be transparent about government requests for user information and government requests to withhold content from the Internet; these growing inquiries can have a serious chilling effect on free expression -- and real privacy implications.

 

815 cases came from the United States government, with 69 percent of those being fulfilled to some capacity. 60 percent of the US requests were from subpoenas, 11 percent were court orders, and 19 percent were search warrants.

Continue reading 'Twitter complied with 69% of US data requests' (full post)

Google facing lawsuit from UK-based Safari users over browser tracking

Google thought it was out of the woods after it settled allegations of tracking Safari users even though their settings were set to "Do Not Track." It looks like they don't have this fully behind them quite yet as 12 Safari users in the UK have filed suit against the company over the tracking fiasco.

 

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Law firm Olswang is handling the case and states that between summer 2011 and spring 2012, cookies were used to track Safari users, even though Google promised not to. "Google has a responsibility to consumers and should be accountable for the trust placed in them. We hope that they will take this opportunity to give Safari users a proper explanation about what happened, to apologize and, where appropriate, compensate the victims of their intrusion," says Olswang partner Dan Tench.

 

Prior to this lawsuit, representatives of the US government fined Google $22.5 million for the same cause of action. This lends some credibility and standing to the lawsuit. Because of this, it's somewhat likely Google will settle out of court with the twelve users.


Chinese government could soon lift ban on consoles after a 12-year ban has been in place

It looks like Chinese officials are in discussions to remove their ban on gaming consoles that has been in place for twelve years now. If this ban is lifted, it would open a gigantic market for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo - without even considering Valve's Steam Box, the OUYA console, and more.

 

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The news is coming from China Daily, where they have a source within the Ministry of Culture telling the paper:

 

We are reviewing the policy and have conducted some surveys and held discussions with other ministries on the possibility of opening up the game console market.

 

Lifting the ban won't be easy, as it requires all seven ministries that issued the ban to approve the decision to lift the ban itself. The ban was implemented originally in order to protect impressionable youth from video games. A grey market for consoles exists in the country, but lifting the ban should see all sorts of new markets popping up - developers, retailers, and more.

Continue reading 'Chinese government could soon lift ban on consoles after a 12-year ban has been in place' (full post)

iPhone begins to lose its appeal in Asia's trend-setting cities

There was a time when the Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone was the undisputed champion, overlooking the grassy knolls quietly whispering 'this changes everything, again' to itself, but those days are behind it thanks to huge competition coming in from what seems like all sides.

 

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Well, Asia's more well-off consumers in Singapore and Hong Kong are slowly switching from iPhone's to the competition - something Reuters is reporting as 'iPhone fatigue'. The problem also comes from consumers wanting to try out other brands, such as South Korea-based Samsung's Galaxy range of devices, seriously chewing into Apple's market share.

 

Since 2010, Apple has been completely controlling Singapore in terms of market share, with more devices in Singapore running iOS per capita than anywhere else in the world. This is where StatCounter - gs.statcounter.com, who measure traffic collected from a network of 3 million websites, calculate Apple's share of mobile devices in Singapore.

Continue reading 'iPhone begins to lose its appeal in Asia's trend-setting cities' (full post)

The Internet is an 'essential' part of life, rules German court

The Internet has been ruled as an essential part of life in Germany, with a Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe pushing it into law. German law already mandates that citizens can be compensated for the loss of use of essential material items.

 

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This means that citizens have the right to go after compensation if something happens to disrupt their access to the Internet by their Internet Service Provider (ISP). The court reached their verdict after they listened to a case of a man who was unable to use his home Internet connection for nearly two months. This affected both his telephone and fax services, too, making all three inoperable from late 2008 to early 2009.

 

The man in question had received compensation from the ISP because he had to rely on a mobile phone for Internet connectivity, but he wanted compensation for not being able to use his home Internet connection.

Continue reading 'The Internet is an 'essential' part of life, rules German court' (full post)

Apple cuts suppliers off who have repeatedly hired underage workers

Apple's recently released Supplier Responsibility Report covers the progress they're making for everything from empowering workers to labor and human right issues within their supply chain. The report highlighted results for 393 audits performed over the last twelve months, a 72% increase over the number of audits performed in 2011.

 

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Apple have said that its worker empowerment program providing education on local laws and the company's supplier code of conduct was extended to 1.3 million employees last year. This is a 100% increase in the amount of workers trained in the program since 2008.

 

The report also had some information regarding a Chinese labor agency that had forged documents for underage employees to work within Apple-connected suppliers. After the company had discovered 74 cases of workers under the age of 16 during an audit of a circuit board supplier in January 2011, Apple cut all ties to their contract with the company and is now going after the agency who did the hiring. The report states:

 

In January 2012, for example, we audited a supplier, Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Co., Ltd. (PZ) that produces a standard circuit board component used by many other companies in many industries. Our auditors were dismayed to discover 74 cases of workers under age 16-a core violation of our Code of Conduct. As a result, we terminated our business relationship with PZ.

Continue reading 'Apple cuts suppliers off who have repeatedly hired underage workers' (full post)

Apple stock continues slide after financial results, now second most valuable company

Poor Apple. Investors continue to hammer the stock, even after they posted their best-ever revenues and profits. Because of this pounding, Apple's market cap has been shrinking and it finally has shrunk enough that Exxon Mobil has regained the title of most valuable company in the world.

 

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Apple's stock prices have fallen to $439.88 at the close of the market, giving Apple a market cap of $413.06 billion. Not too shabby. Exxon Mobile, on the other hand, has a market cap of $418.23 billion. Last January is when Apple took over the top spot as most valuable company, taking it away from Exxon Mobil.

 

Apple's stock has plunged from the $510 it was before the earnings report came out. Investors are fearful of competitors, such as Samsung, who are quickly gaining ground on the company. They also don't like that Apple's profits are increasing as quickly as they used to be. How low do you think Apple's stock will fall? Let us know in the comments!

Apple adds Quanta Computer, located in CA, USA, to list of suppliers

Apple sparked a bit of interest when some of the new iMacs arrived with a tag that said "Assembled in USA." May were curious just how much assembly was taking place in the United States and just how many were being assembled in the US. Apple has updated their list of suppliers and it now includes Quanta Computers located in Fremont, California.

 

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Fremont plays host to several tech companies, including Corsair, and now plays host to a Mac assembly factory. Tim Cook has expressed the desire to bring back manufacturing of at least some Macs to the US, so this appears to be one of the first steps in that direction.

 

If you purchase an iMac assembled in the US, it most likely came from Quanta. Quanta is located at 44350 Nobel Drive Fremont, California, just a stone's throw from Cupertino, Apple's headquarters. It should be noted that Quanta also has a facility in Tennessee, though previous shipping labels have shown devices being shipped from San Jose, CA.

Woman suing Match.com after date stabbed her 10 times

One woman isn't too happy with the date Match.com set her up with. It's an understandable position to take, as the man she met on the dating site stabbed her ten times in an ambush attack that took place in her garage. Because of this, she is suing Match.com for $10 million in compensation.

 

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Mary Kay Beckman argues that Match.com misled her and failed to alert her of the potential dangers of online matchmaking. She met Wade Ridley in September 2010 via the service. Several online conversations took place and after 10 days of dating, she broke it off. The next day, Beckman alleges Ridley sent threatening text messages.

 

January 2011, he reportedly hid in her garage and stabbed her ten times. Beckman is looking for the $10 million as compensation for the multiple surgeries she underwent.

 

Beckman says that Match.com misrepresented that the "site was safe, consistently lead[ing] to loving relationships, and was comprised of individuals seeking healthy relationships." The site's terms of service does say that users are solely responsible for interactions.

Continue reading 'Woman suing Match.com after date stabbed her 10 times' (full post)

Nokia to pay Microsoft $1 billion for Windows Phone license

Just how much does Microsoft charge for a Windows Phone license? If you're Nokia, it's around $1 billion. In Nokia's earnings report, it announced that Microsoft will be getting a $1 billion payment in royalties for using Windows Phone. Previously, Microsoft had paid Nokia "platform support payments," amounting to $250 million each quarter, and this amount always exceeded how much Nokia had to pay Microsoft.

 

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"To date the amount of platform support payments received by Nokia has exceeded the amount of minimum royalty commitment payments to Microsoft," Nokia wrote in its earnings report. "Thus for the remainder of the life of the agreement the total amount of the minimum software royalty commitment payments are expected to exceed the total amount of the platform support payments."

 

This should indicate that Nokia will be shipping more Windows Phone devices, likely through its popular and flagship line of Lumias. Nokia sold just 4.4 million Lumia devices in the last quarter of 2012, which is 4 times higher than it managed in 2011. Windows Phone continues to increase in popularity, which partially explains why Nokia can ship more devices.

 

Of course, iOS and Android continue to take the large portion of the market, but this piece of information at least shows that Microsoft and Nokia have a chance. IDC expects Windows Phone market share to increase to 11.4 percent by 2016. It currently sits at about 2.6 percent.

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