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Google's privacy director has announced internally that she is stepping down from her post with intentions to retire. Alma Whitten became Google's first director of privacy in 2010 after being an engineer with the company. Her job was to oversee future products and prevent the release of products that invaded privacy too much.
Whitten will remain with the privacy team for a few more months as Lawrence You transitions to her position. You is based in Mountain View, California and has been a Google engineer for eight years.
Google said in a statement:
During her 10 years at Google, Alma has done so much to improve our products and protect our users. The privacy and security teams, and everyone else at Google, will continue this hard work to ensure that our users' data is kept safe and secure.
Apple has announced that its Q2 2013 financial results call will take place on April 23. On that day, Apple's second quarter results will be detailed and investors will be scrutinizing the company's performance. Will Apple's stock price increase or decrease after the announcement? Let us know in the comments.
The call will take place at 2PM Pacific and 5PM Eastern and will be available via the Internet.
A judge has ruled that users do not have the right or ability to resell songs purchased through iTunes as one might do with used CDs or DVDs. This is one of the on-going arguments that relate to digital media and ownership. Much like software, it would appear that users are granted a license, rather than an owned copy, to use a song.
This ruling comes about from a lawsuit between ReDigi and Universal Music Group's Capitol Records. Universal sued the start-up saying that the company was violating the former's copyrights by enabling users to resell purchased iTunes music.
U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan's ruling says that (paraphrased) without explicit permission from a copyright holder, you are not allowed to resell a digital media file. The full decision is available US' Archive site.
This morning Sony has announced that it will be merging its Japanese and Asian divisions into a single streamlined unit. This merger comes after lower than expected quarterly financial reports for the first quarter were released.
Sony's gaming division lost 15.1-percent in sales over the same period last year and the company posted a net loss of $124 million overall. The new division will reportedly be called Sony Japan Asia and will be headed up by Senior Vice President Hiroshi Kawano with current SCE Asia president Hiroyuki Oda becoming the deputy president.
Other Japan and Asia management are being shuffled around inside the new division with some managers remaining in their regional post and others seeing a merger of regions. Sony has also set up a new Asian Network Planning Department as well as restructured its Product Management and Loan Management positions.
Facebook have received permission from the authorities of Menlo Park to build a second campus which will be designed by Frank Gehry. The second campus will be built near the current Facebook campus, on a new 22-acre site west of Bayfront Expressway in California.
The new campus will have a rooftop park and an underground tunnel to connect to two Facebook campuses together, which is part of its design. The 433,555-square-foot location was originally set to have parts of the building "flaring out like butterfly wings," but these plans were dropped because they were "too flashy."
Facebook's second campus will have an average height of 45 feet, topping out at 73 feet in some parts, but it will be mostly hidden away by landscaping in order to keep Facebook's management's request for a low-key building.
The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) have rejected Apple's application for a trademark on their iPad mini. Apple received the letter on January 24, but it has only been made public recently, with the USPTO saying that the addition of "mini" to "iPad" was not distinct enough from Apple's iPad trademark to warrant its own filing. Apple's rejection letter states:
In this case, both the individual components and the composite result are descriptive of applicant's goods and do not create a unique, incongruous or non-descriptive meaning in relation to the goods being small handheld mobile devices comprising tablet computers capable of providing Internet access.
Apple has up until July 24 to submit an amended application for the iPad mini trademark, where Apple will have to justify why the term 'iPad mini' is distinct from their existing trademark on 'iPad.'
If you've ever wondered into a Best Buy store, you would know that there are dedicated "Apple Shop" sections, where you can buy - you guessed it - Apple goodies. Well, the tables are slowly turning, with news that there could be similar shops in Best Buy stores, from Samsung.
It would be perfect timing with the company's launch of the Galaxy S4, with Geek.com reporting it might be happening very soon:
Geek.com has been told that the first wave of high traffic Best Buy locations will soon be receiving instruction to remove two aisles next to their mobile department and prepare to install a new Samsung store. This new section will be dressed in large Samsung signage and offer custom demo stations for many of Samsung's products. Locations with the new section will be issuing special training sessions for employees in the mobile department, focusing heavily on how to show off Samsung-specific features.
Rolling the clock back to 2011, Twitter was making nothing from mobile advertisements - but what about now and going into 2014? eMarketer have said that 53% of Twitter's ad revenue comes from just mobile advertisements.
eMarketer expects that Twitter's ad revenue will be around $582.8 million for 2012, with $308.9 million coming from mobile ads. These figures will blow out to around $1 billion for 2014, with 2015's numbers estimated to be around $1.33 billion with an expected 60% of which coming from mobile advertisements.
eBay started off as something small, but has grown into something incredibly powerful and profitable. So much so that the Internet auction site is estimated that their total volume of merchandise sold will reach $110 billion by 2015.
The Internet auction site also sees a very large portion of their growth from developing markets, which will see a nice injection of both consumers and profits in the coming years. Bloomberg have noted that they estimate eBay to pull in between $21.5 billion and $23.5 billion in the year 2015 with their current business model.
eBay's continued success is thanks to current CEO John Donahue, who pushed for new features like mobile applications and local shopping tools. These goals have seen eBay's shares surge 75% since he took over from Meg Whitman in 2008. Just last year, eBay's sales grew 21%.
Bitcoins have slowly but surely been plowing their way into the market, where they represent a billion dollar market. Bitcoins are an open source, unregulated peer-to-peer currency, with around 10.9 million bitcoins in circulation on a single marketplace.
Bitcoins, at the moment, have a value of around $90, with the 10.9 million of them creating the billion dollar market. Bitcoins have stayed mostly away from the media's attention, but with the digital currency continuing to grow at breakneck speeds, I'm sure we're going to see some intervention soon enough. This rings especially true as bitcoins are used regularly as the currency of choice for the black market, assassins and drug dealers.
The digital currency does have a big upside, in the way that governments in economic troubles freeze citizens' bank accounts - bitcoins are safe from that. They're also easy to transfer between people without requiring citizens' personal information. There are of course downsides, with the growth of the digital currency possibly creating a bubble which will eventually pop, with people losing hundreds or thousands of dollars.