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Yelp has become the de facto service for customer reviews on local businesses, and as with any user submitted review service, fake reviews have began to pop up. While some of these reviews are made by the business owners themselves others are made by companies who are paid by the business owners to flood their pages with good reviews.
This trickery can lead to a business seeing a major rise in customers if enough good reviews pop up during a certain period of time. Yelp attempts to remove most of these fake reviews but new ones are added just as quickly as the old ones are taken down, and now yelp has decided to attempt to put a stop via the legal system.
The company has filed a lawsuit against BuyOnlineReview.net which is the owner of BuyYelpReview.com. The complaint which was filed last week looks to shut down both sides through a court injunction as well as complete reimbursement of Yelp's legal fees and three times the amount of revenue either site made from selling fake Yelp reviews.
Uber continues its ingress into Asia today as it rolled out its popular private car service in Taipei, Taiwan. Earlier this week, the company made its Asia debut by launching in Seoul, Korea along with three other cities in the region.
This year Uber has raised more than 55 million in funding from investors alone and usually launches a test phase "soft launch" before fully rolling out the service. Over the next 4 to 6 weeks Uber will begin to transition from this test phase into the fully operational service in both Seoul and Taipei.
Whether you're out on the town in the Xinyi , go shopping on Zhong Shan Bei Road, or have dinner in Dongqu, Uber (@Uber_TPE) will get you where you need to be in comfort and style, typhoon or shine. The base fare is NT$126, with a rolling charge of NT$30 per kilometer (when travelling over 18km/h) or NT$16.50 per minute (when travelling below that speed - aka affected by traffic jams). The minimum fare is NT$230 and the full Taipei pricing can be found here.
The mobile war continues, with iOS and Android taking the lead but number three and four positions are taken up by the oldies, Microsoft and BlackBerry.
During an interview with The Verge, Senior Windows Phone Product Manager,e Larry Liberman, said that Microsoft's mobile OS platform is "solidly the third ecosystem right now. That's a huge announcement in some respects". Global market share is different, where they're tied with BlackBerry.
Microsoft aren't worried though, where Lieberman adds: "I don't think they can bring to the table some of the things we have. The fact like we're delivering across such a different set of price points to such a large audience."
T-Mobile has sent out invitations to a New York press event taking place on July 10. T-Mobile hasn't given any sort of indication of what they will be unveiling, however, the invitation does state that this is "Our boldest moves yet" which seems to indicate they will be doing more than one thing at the press event.
We'll be sure to let you know what T-Mobile unveils, announces, or otherwise makes known at the July 10 event. Doors open at 2pm EST, so you can expect news to start coming shortly after that.
This event could possibly relate to its Uncarrier plans, with rumors of a phase two taking place July 14. It could also be to announce the Xperia Z, currently rumored to be coming on July 17.
Apple's motion to add the new Samsung GALAXY S4 to an ongoing patent lawsuit was rejected by a judge. The courts seem to be getting tired of the continual battles between Apple and others. The judge, US Magistrate Judge Paul S Grewal, noted that an additional product would be a "tax on the court's resources."
Each time these parties appear in the courtroom, they consume considerable amounts of the court's time and energy, which takes time way from other parties who also require and are entitled to the court's attention.
Apple has said that the judge's rejecting of the GALAXY S4 would require the company to file another lawsuit. It doesn't appear that Apple plans to quit its ongoing legal assault of Samsung anytime soon. Apple has so far been successful in the United States, though legal battles around the world have been mixed.
Apple has applied for a patent on a combination SD/USB port which could be used to save space on the ever-shrinking MacBook Pro and Air. This would allow more ports to be added to a system. The patent offers USB and SD cards as the example, but it could easily be applied to other connectors.
Apple explains it in technical speak:
The input port includes an outer wall defining a receiving aperture, a substrate positioned within the receiving aperture. A first set of contacts is positioned on the substrate at a first depth into the receiving aperture and a second set of contacts is positioned on a first surface of the outer wall at a second depth into the receiving aperture. The first set of contacts is configured to communicate with a first connector and the second set of contacts is configured to communicate with a second connector.
Whether or not something like this would come to fruition depends on if Apple can develop the technology behind combining ports. It's a rather difficult problem due to different form-factors, connections, and other factors.
Todd Hollenshead, the president and former CEO of the infamous id Software has left the company with Bethesda confirming the news with IGN today. Bethesda's Pete Hines said:
After many years with the studio, Todd Hollenshead decided to leave id Software to pursue other personal interests. While Todd was not part of the development teams, he was an integral part of id Software's success as the business head of the studio and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.
Hollenshead joined id Software all the way back in 1996 where he was the company CEO, then served as President of id Software when the company was acquired by ZeniMax in 2009.
Verizon is wanting to extend their control of the wireless market, with the new rumor circling around that they will acquire Canadian wireless provider Wind Mobile.
Verizon have reportedly offered Wind Mobile a tentative offer of between $600 million and $800 million with the final price being decided once the company completes its due diligence. Verizon aren't stopping there, where they might be whipping out their credit card to acquire rival wireless startup Moilicity.
The Canadian government previously flexed their muscle, denying Teleus's bid to license Mobilicity spectrum. Government officials should okay this deal though, as it will increase competition in the Canadian wireless market.
Sprint recently sweetened their offer for Clearwire and it was apparently enough to push Dish away. Dish has announced that they have withdrawn their offer to acquire Clearwire, citing a "change in recommendation" at Clearwire. In plain English, this means that shareholders now prefer Sprint's sweetened offer and are suggesting the board take it instead of Dish's.
Interestingly enough, Sprint is about to be acquired by Softbank as soon as it clears all of the regulatory hurdles. In other words, Softbank will be acquiring Clearwire and the spectrum that Clearwire owns. It's not clear what Sprint plans to do with Clearwire after the acquisition, though they'll likely make use of the spectrum for faster LTE.
Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, and Skype have been hit with a complaint in the European Union over data protection issues in relation to the recently revealed NSA spying program Prism. THe complaint has been brought by the same group that ran the Europe v Facebook campaign. Through this latest complaint, they hope to gain clarification on the laws regarding foreign data passing to US agencies.
These five companies have been selected specifically because of their corporate structure. Each has a subsidiary in the European Union, which should be required to follow EU data protection rights and policies. The question becomes a bit less straightforward when these companies have US headquarters, possibly making them be required to comply with US laws that are in conflict with EU laws. They have an excellent explanation:
If a European subsidiary sends user data to the American parent company, this is considered an "export" of personal data. Under EU law, an export of data is only allowed if the European subsidiary can ensure an "adequate level or protection" in the foreign country. After the recent disclosures on the "PRISM" program such trust in an "adequate level of protection" by the involved companies can hardly be upheld.
There can in no way be an adequate level of protection if they cooperate with the NSA on the other end of the line. Right now an export of data to the US must be seen as illegal if the involved companies cannot disprove the reports on the PRISM program.