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Uber has had a massive year, and a massive journey since it rolled out across the world, with its one billionth ride taking place in London on Christmas Eve.
The company launched back in 2010, which means it has seen an average of 15 million trips per month. It would've started to snowball in the last couple of years, as Uber has become incredibly popular - hitting a recent valuation of around $65 billion.
The list of investors continues to grow, and so does its customer base. Uber is having an uber time, that's for sure.
Former Google communications leader Gabriel Stricker has returned to the tech giant (well, technically Alphabet now) to head up its Google Fiber Policy and Communications division. He starts January 4.
Stricker left Google in 2012 to lead Twitter's communications department, but resigned earlier this year when co-founder Jack Dorsey returned as CEO. Of the new position, he says he's "thrilled" to be apart of the "quest to make the Web better and faster for all."
A class action lawsuit was filed with the New York district court yesterday and claims Apple intentionally slowed down older iPhones, particularly the iPhone 4s, with its recent iOS 9 upgrade. The motivation: added revenue from new phone purchases and carrier contracts.
The suit boasts more than 100 members, which seek $5 million in damages, pending the option to treble (triple the amount).
On Christmas Eve, Fujitsu finalized plans to spin off its PC and mobile divisions into two separate subsidiary companies, dubbed Fujitsu Client Computing Limited and Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited, respectively.
Fujitsu's motivation boils down to a desire for more efficiency and distinction, particularly in the face of the ever-crowded PC and mobile markets.
The company will allocate 400 million yen (about 3.3 million USD) and 8,000 shares to each of the new subsidiaries.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to break records, with its latest record-breaking achievement being the fastest movie to make $1 billion at the box office.
It only took 12 days for The Force Awakens to make its $1 billion, thanks to the holiday weekend seeing the latest Star Wars movie making $153.5 million domestically, and $133.3 million overseas. This brings The Force Awakens to around $1.09 billion in 12 days, making its second weekend bigger than all of the other biggest openings of all time, except nine of them. That's a huge achievement in itself, too.
Jurassic World was the previous movie to have the record, as it reached $1 billion in 13 days. I think we're going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens break Avatar's box office haul of $2.78 billion - with The Force Awakens, in my opinion, to make between $3 billion and $3.2 billion. The next big movie to compete against it at the box office will be next year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which is the most expensive movie of all time, according to reports), which arrives on March 23.
North Korea may have successfully landed a man on the Sun, but it looks like the country is a bit paranoid when it comes to its own Linux distribution, Red Star OS.
Red Star OS has been pulled apart by researchers, showing just how closed off it really is. The Linux distribution watermarks files on USB sticks, so that Pyongyang can track contraband material, and the OS also doesn't like modifications. Red Star OS will reboot the PC immediately if it discovers changes to system files, too.
The built-in antivirus software and web browser both direct themselves to internal servers, with the encryption on Red Star OS custom-developed - most likely to keep the prying eyes of the NSA and GCHQ away. The walls that North Korea has built up within Red Star OS is to keep its citizens unaware of the world around them, so if they did modify the OS, they'd be tracked down immediately - and probably sent off to live on the Sun.
New additions to the European General Data Protection Regulation have been proposed to the European Parliament which seek to further protect the personal data of minors, specifically teens under the age of 16 with some interesting new rules.
These new additions are not yet law and still need to be fully ratified by the greater European Council and European Parliament in early January of 2016 to become official, though they've passed through initial inspection by the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.
There are eight separate clauses that EU regulators are trying to get passed that are supposed to provide a framework for modernising data privacy policies. And in actuality, the new proposed rules give greater control of your own data and are better suited to privacy.
It looks like ride-sharing giant Lyft is getting a huge injection of funding from Saudi Arabia's Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, who announced that his Kingdom Holding Co. will secure a 2.3% stake in Lyft.
The 2.3% stake will cost al-Waheed's company $104.9 million, which is one part of the largest investment by an unnamed group for $247.7 million, taking a 5.3% stake in Lyft. These investments boost Lyft's estimated valuation to $4.92 billion. With Lyft only operating in the US right now, and the San Francisco-based company scaling back its overseas expansion plans, this investment should be quite a nice surprise over the holidays for Lyft.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is pushing towards $1 billion in worldwide box office sales at lightspeed, taking just 8 days to reach $890 million. The Force Awakens broke single-day box office records when it opened and pulled in $610 million in just a matter of days, as well as being the biggest opening in box office history in the US.
Out of the $890 million worldwide gross, $440 million has been grossed domestically in the US, while $449.9 million has been made overseas. The opening weekend saw The Force Awakens command $247 million in the US alone, but it looks like The Force Awakens will reach $1 billion in the next day or two.
These box office numbers are only up to Christmas Day, so we should expect a huge wave of numbers for the weekend to hit in the next day or so. The Force Awakens made an estimated $49 million domestically on Christmas Day, so we should expect $60 million or more for Saturday and Sunday, pushing the movie over $1 billion.
Out of the $3 billion that Spotify has paid out in the last six or so years, less than 1% has actually reached the hands of artists who have their tunes on the streaming giant's service.
Well, Spotify is sick of this, and has said that it is going to get knee-deep into the music royalty business, noting that different publishers own the rights to the same tracks in different countries. Years ago when physical sales were dominating, this didn't used to be an issue. But with global streaming services, it takes time to find out who to pay, and some royalties end up just sitting there.
Spotify has said: "Today we are excited to announce that Spotify will invest in the resources and technical expertise to build a comprehensive publishing administration system to solve this problem". This is all Spotify is saying on the matter right now, so we can expect more to be said in the New Year.