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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reportedly will head to China sometime in September as the Chinese government launches an antitrust investigation targeting Microsoft. The Chinese government said it doesn't believe Microsoft was transparent regarding Windows and Office sales, and Chinese antitrust regulators also want to investigate Internet Explorer and the Windows Media Player.
The timing of the antitrust probe seems rather confusing, with Microsoft settling antitrust issues in the United States and Europe more than 10 years ago. Furthermore, the popularity of Google Android and Apple iOS devices in the smartphone and tablet markets has forced Microsoft to revamp - problems that didn't exist during previous antitrust investigations.
Microsoft and other major corporations have a delicate relationship with China, amid growing antitrust probes that seem to target western companies. As Washington and Beijing continue to blame one another for spying and snooping, it looks like Microsoft, Google, and other companies are getting caught in the crossfire - if Microsoft gave the Chinese government access to data, for example, western lawmakers and journalists will heavily criticize the company.
Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee commands some serious behavior changes in his employees, where during one factory visit, workers were told to not look at Lee through the windows as he entered the building. Why? Because they should not look down at him.
Factory employees were told to park their peasantry vehiecles in the rear lot so that Lee wouldn't have to see them, as they weren't nice enough for him to look at. In the bathrooms, mints were provided to improve employees' breath, and a red carpet was laid out for the chairman to walk down as he entered the factory.
A few months ago, Lindsay Lohan filed a lawsuit against Take Two, the publisher behind Grand Theft Auto V, where she alleged that the publisher used her likeness in GTA V. But now Take Two's lawyers are firing back at the actress, saying that she filed the lawsuit "for publicity purposes".
Take Two is now aiming to have the lawsuit dismissed, with legal fees being pushed across the desk in Lohan's direction. Lohan's complaint alleged that Take Two "incorporated her image, likeness, clothing, outfits, [Lohan's] clothing line products, ensemble in the form of hats, hair style, sunglasses" and jeans worn by Lohan into GTA V as the character Lacey Jonas.
Technology giant Hewlett-Packard is recalling 5.6 million power cords, model LS-15, which were shipped with HP and Compaq notebooks, along with mini-notebooks and docking stations. HP received almost 30 reports of overheating cords that melted or charred, with 13 claims of minor property damage and two minor burn claims, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The cords were sold to consumers from September 2010 to June 2012, and consumers using this type of AC adapters should immediately stop using the power cords and unplug it. HP is offering free replacements for customers impacted by the safety risk. If you have a model LS-15 power cord, call 877-219-6676 - or visit the HP "Recalls" portion of the website to learn more.
"HP believes that certain power cords shipped with notebook PC products and AC adapter accessories may pose a risk of a fire and burn hazard to customers," HP said on its website. "We are taking this action as part of our commitment to provide the highest quality of service to our notebook customers."
It looks like EA will be rolling in cash that it has made from add-on content and DLC sales this year, with an estimated $1 billion or more for 2014 alone, according to Bloomberg.
John Reseburg, a spokesperson for EA, confirmed with Bloomberg that the Madden NFC add-on content revenue has grown by a gigantic 350% year-on-year in the financial quarter ending June 30. Madden NFL 15 will be a "major contributor" to EA's expected revenue growth in its sports sector according to Reseburg.
It wasn't long ago that we were reporting that according to multiple sources, Google were in the process of acquiring Twitch in a deal worth $1 billion. But now Amazon has confirmed today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Twitch for $970 million, with the deal closing in the coming months.
Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, said: "Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month - from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old. Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community."
Twitch CEO Emmett Shear had the following to say: "Amazon and Twitch optimize for our customers first and are both believers in the future of gaming. Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community. We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world."
Google has just announced it has agreed to purchase Gecko Design Inc. for an unknown amount of money, with Gecko Design's president and four other employees joining the ranks of Google's super-secret Google X labs.
Gecko Design has worked on countless projects, and while you might know who they are (don't worry, I don't either) you've probably seen, or use a product that they've worked on. The company was founded back in 1996, and is based out of Los Gatos, California, specializing in designing consumer electronics before it started getting into manufacturing.
Jacques Gagné, president of Gecko Design spoke with The Wall Street Journal, where he said that people seek his company as they don't know how to turn their ideas into real products, especially when it's something completely new, that someone else hasn't thought of yet. This is what attracted Google X to Gecko Design, according to Gagné. Gagné also teased that his company began working with Google last year on a project for the secret lab, but declined to add any details to that. So we can presume that it was this project that had the companies talking, leading to the acquisition.
In the ongoing effort to attract new subscribers, T-Mobile hopes current subscribers will help attract friends and family to join the company. Any subscriber able to convince someone they know to leave rival Verizon Wireless, AT&T or Sprint will receive one year of unlimited LTE data for free.
A subscriber that lends a hand to T-Mobile can fill out something online, and is required to enter their T-Mobile phone number and the number of the friend or family member.
"It continues to amaze me to see the old carriers failing to listen to their customers - or reward them for their loyalty," said John Legere, T-Mobile president and CEO, in a press statement. "That arrogance and indifference has defined the U.S. wireless industry for too long. We're changing all that. In fact, this entire Un-carrier consumer movement is built on the simple act of listening to customers."
Auction site eBay might spinoff the PayPal online payments company as early as 2015, with a search for a new PayPal CEO currently underway. It's unknown if eBay is interested in spinning off the entire PayPal business unit, or just part of the company - and likely won't be known until something is officially announced.
Investor Carl Icahn has long wanted eBay and PayPal to separate, but eBay CEO John Donahoe said PayPal was integral to eBay's overall business success. However, Icahn simmered down his demands in April, saying now isn't quite the time for an eBay-PayPal spinoff, but other investors hope PayPal as an independent business unit could attract new interest.
"The eBay board and management team remain focused on maximizing shareholder value," said Amanda Miller, eBay spokeswoman, in a statement to the media. "As we discussed during proxy season and in our second-quarter financial results call, the board will continue to assess all alternatives to create that long term value and to enhance the growth and competitive positions of both eBay and PayPal. This position has not changed."
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is enjoying his retirement from the technology world, recently stepping down from the Microsoft board. Ballmer looks forward to teaching, learning, and owning the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team during his retirement, as the Stanford dropout heads back into the classroom.
Ballmer is a Harvard University graduate, and then attended Stanford Graduate School of Business for one year. The billionaire wants to stay busy during his retirement, which is why he wants to teach at two of the leading schools in the country - he'll teach at the USC Marshall School of Business next spring, but it's uncertain which course he'll lead.
"This combination of an experienced practitioner with a tenured faculty member is a hallmark of the teaching experience at Stanford Graduate School of Business," said Helen Chang, Stanford spokeswoman, in a statement to the media.