TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
The bitcoin cryptocurrency was expected to make a major impact in 2014 - and while interest in the volatile payment infrastructure increased - its value dropped 70 percent year-over-year. However, bitcoins are expected to draw a significant amount of headlines in 2015, even with values dipping closer towards $300.
"Regardless of the price, it was a huge year for bitcoin," said Sonny Singh, BitPay chief commercial officer, in a statement to CNBC. "A year ago people didn't know if bitcoin was a fad, but today it's for sure that it's going to stay for a long time."
Consumer adoption increased in 2014, with Microsoft, Dish, Overstock.com, Expedia and other major companies announcing they would begin accepting bitcoin payments - as Coinbase, BitPay and other bitcoin companies helping provide stability in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Two Uber users are unhappy with paying the $1 'Safe Rides Fee' for their services, claiming that it's unfair. This extra add-on is implemented by Uber, who claim that their drivers have to undergo extensive background and safety checks before getting the tick of approval to operate, much more-so than regular taxi companies.
What's the truth? Forbes says that they don't. If you're looking to join a traditional taxi service, you're going to have your fingerprints taken and many various methods will be utilized to prove your identity and safety. Uber has been slammed by members of the public and media, claiming that it's simply too easy for someone to use another persons identity to sign up as an UberX driver, faking your credentials and background checks.
So what exactly is involved with the Uber background checking system? Gizmodo emailed this emerging company back in 2013 and was hit with a reply claiming it was a "trade secret". Many more news outlets have been trying to pry this information away from Uber, surely it can't be that difficult to release? One concern that may arise is if Uber release their selection process, people will be made publicly aware and start developing methods to work around these facts.
Tim Cook has been named "CEO of the Year" for 2014 by CNN, with the rise of Apple stock and record-breaking iDevice launches for the year cementing Cook as CNN's CEO of the Year. Cook took first place, while John Chen of BlackBerry, Mary Barra of GM and Meg Whitman of HP weren't too far behind him.
CNN said that Apple was the "apple of Wall Street's eye again" thanks to its stock driving up 40% this year, as well as other individual factors that led to the stock price going up. CNN said that Cook did "an amazing job" over the year, with the successful launches of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as other various launches, including Apple Pay.
All eyes are watching for the launch of the Apple Watch early next year, which could be another big win for both Cook and Apple. CNN said "Cook has arguably the toughest CEO job in America. He's had to convince skeptics that Apple can still innovate after the death of Steve Jobs. He's proven all the naysayers wrong."
The US Postal Service is desperate to attract customers and business clients interested in making shipments via the USPS service. Since 2012, the USPS has ramped up efforts to appeal to e-commerce businesses to combat stiff competition from FedEx, UPS, DHL, and other rival services.
The e-commerce business sector continues to increase, and fighting for customers making frequent shipments has proven difficult for the USPS. However, real-time package scanning and new handheld scanners of delivery workers are two strategies besieged Postal Service executives have tried implementing.
Fighting for profitability will remain a major undertaking for the USPS, as first-class mail - the most profitable business for the USPS - continues to slide, contributing to the $5.5 billion fiscal 2014 loss suffered by the Postal Service.
Facebook has been hit with a class action lawsuit in the United States, with the social network being accused of reading users' private messages, without their consent.
On Tuesday, Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled in an Oakland, California court that the social network must face a class action lawsuit for violating its users' privacy by scanning their private messages, so that it could used the gathered data for targeted advertising. Facebook shot back, arguing that their actions are covered by an exception under the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act for interceptions by service producers occurring in the ordinary course of business. The court replied, saying that Facebook hadn't explained how this practice fell within the ordinary course of business.
The lawsuit itself was filed two years ago, and it could benefit any user that sent or received linked through private messages. The suit is asking for damages of up to $10,000 per person, and it would also like to see Facebook not scanning private messages going into the future.
Samsung isn't having much luck lately, after firing some of its key executives not too long ago and a huge 60% drop in profits, and citing a decline in sales, the company has closed the doors of its flagship Experience Store in London's Westfield Stratford shopping center.
The store in question was one of the big ones, located in one of the busiest parts of the mall, and was usually the first store in the UK to sell flagship devices like the Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 4. In a statement to The Verge, Samsung said that the decision on closing this store would not affect the other Experience Stores across the UK.
Samsung said to The Verge "We remain fully committed to the operation of the remaining nine Samsung Experience Stores across the UK, and wish to reassure our customers that those stores will not be affected by this decision."
The legal battle between Samsung and NVIDIA continues as the US International Trade Commission (ITC) launches an investigation into Samsung claims that NVIDIA is violating its patents. Samsung's lawsuit is a retaliatory move after NVIDIA fired the opening salvo in the legal battle in September. NVIDIA sued both Samsung and Qualcomm for infringing their graphic patents in September. NVIDIA is playing hardball and asking for the ITC to block shipments of several of Samsung's mobile devices in the US, including the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4.
Samsung is seeking a similar ban on NVIDIA products in the US, but the much smaller NVIDIA seems to have more at stake. NVIDIA's lawsuit against Samsung only touches a small number of Samsung products, but the Samsung lawsuit affects nearly every NVIDIA product, including the Shield, GeForce processors, Tegra mobile chips, Quadro cards, Tesla cards, and Grid computing products. Samsung is accusing NVIDIA and 11 of their partners of violating four of their patents on chips structures, memory arrays and other chip technologies. These battles can take years to play out, and the ITC has already launched an investigation into Samsung regarding NVIDIA's claims.
Movie theater patrons in the UK, a group of 12-year-old girls, faced a major headache when theater management called police over suspected piracy concerns. The children brought their Apple iPhones and iPads into the theater while seeing "The Hunger Games," despite not recording any data, the police were called.
A few members of the group were accused of recording parts of the movie, and the police searched the devices for recordings, but were unable to find anything. The theater allowed them to return to their seats, but they instead decided to wait for their parents to pick them up.
Here is what a mother of one of the girls said following the incident: "Our girls were falsely accused, had the police called on them and then just left in tears. It's outrageous. If they have done this to our children they will do it again."
Sony Pictures will release "The Interview" in any theater willing to show it, starting on Christmas Day, reversing its decision to pull the movie. The company also plans to release the movie digitally, but Sony hasn't offered additional details on how interested viewers will be able to watch the film.
"We have never given up on releasing 'The Interview' and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day," said Michael Lynton, Sony Pictures CEO, in a press statement. "At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience."
Here is what Seth Rogen said (via Twitter): "The people have spoken! Freedom has prevailed! Sony didn't give up! The Interview will be shown at theaters willing to play it on Xmas day!"
Apple executives have lashed out at the BBC Panorama report that revealed ongoing poor working conditions for employees at an Apple manufacturing facility in China. The report indicated employees were found to work up to 16 hours per shift, working many consecutive days, and living in harsh environments in their dormitories.
Apple CEO Tim Cook noted educational programs for workers in China, along with improving working conditions, in an open letter to Apple employees working in the UK.
"As you know, Apple is dedicated to the advancement of human rights and equality around the world. We are honest about the challenges we face and we work hard to make sure that people who make our products are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve."