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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 125

Google announces I/O registration opens March 13, requires Google+ and Google Wallet accounts

Google has announced that registration for Google I/O will open on March 13 at 7a.m. PST. Last year, the event sold out in just 20 minutes, so you'll need to be on top of registration to make sure you reserve your spot at the event. Last year, Google unveiled the Nexus 7 and other products.

 

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This year's I/O will take place May 15 to May 17 in the Moscone Center, located in beautiful San Francisco, California. To register for the event, you'll be required to have a Google+ account and Google Wallet buyer account. Prices remain the same at $900 for general attendees and $300 for academic attendees.

 

More information can be found on Google's I/O page.

Google buildings have toxic fumes likely resulting from previous occupants

A couple of Google's office buildings in Mountain View, California are having issues with toxic fumes that are likely the result of the previous owners of the land. Buildings QD6 and QD7 were found to have high levels of trichloroethylene (TCE), a toxic solvent used in the manufacturing of electronic chips.

 

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The previous owners of the land were Fairchild Semiconductor, Intel, Raytheon, and other chip makers. These companies dumped thousands of gallons of THC into the ground, which has contaminated the water. Google installed air filters when they moved in and conducted air quality tests.

 

Readings as high as 8 micrograms per cubic meter were recorded. Normal exposure is 5 micrograms per cubic meter. The EPA has said that it would take decades of exposure to cause problems, not the few months that Google employees experienced.

 

Google released a statement, saying "The health and safety of our employees is Google's number one priority, and we take several proactive measures to ensure the healthiest indoor air environments possible."

EA jumps on the layoff bandwagon, gets rid of people in LA, Montreal

We just heard about IGN's layoffs that will affect many gaming sites, and now in other gaming layoff related news, EA have announced an unknown amount of layoffs in their Los Angeles, Montreal and "smaller locations".

 

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The news is coming directly from EA Labels President Frank Gibeau said:

 

Thousands of our existing employees have been retrained and redeployed to work on the new platforms and initiatives. But when it is not possible to redeploy a team, we soften the tough decisions with assistance. This week we let some people go in Los Angeles, Montreal as well as in some smaller locations. These are good people and we have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease their transition to a new job.

IGN see mass layoffs, will see the closure of 1UP, Gamespy and UGO

It looks like IGN have been slammed with mass editorial layoffs today, which will see 1UP, UGO and Gamespy shutting down. A company spokesperson told Joystiq:

 

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We are focusing on our two flagship brands, IGN and AskMen. Unfortunately, as a result, we have made the decision to close sites and restructure our teams accordingly.

 

What now? There's only a few big gaming sites out there now - what are your thoughts on that?

Google introduces tiered 24/7 support service for cloud services

If you're a user of Google's cloud services and have ever been stuck, you're probably not alone. To solve these issues, Google has introduced a tiered support service that spans the range of possible needs for support. The starting price is a lowly $0, but this just means you have access to online documentation, forums, and billing support.

 

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Step up one level and you'll be looking at $150 per month. For this, you'll get "direct access to [Google's] support team." Step up again and you're looking at $400 per month. For this, you will get 24x7 phone support and various other support services. Of course, if none of these meet your needs, you can contact Google and get a custom plan that will set you back an undetermined amount.

 

You can find out more about the different support options on Google's website.

Court rules in favor of CNET, BitTorrent client downloads can stay up

Last week I reported on CNET being sued by a coalition of artist over its Download.com site offering downloads of BitTorrent clients like uTorrent. CNET argued that it was well within its rights to offer such downloads, and as it turns out, the court agreed.

 

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The coalition claimed, that because CNET had reviewed the software and provided an educational video on how to use said software, that Download.com was encouraging the use of the program. The court disagreed, with the judge saying that "there was no indication of encouragement and that a ban on any distribution of the technology would dampen public discussion of P2P technologies."

 

The judge did agree with the coalition on the fact that uTorrent and other P2P clients can be used to infringe on copyrights, but said:

 

"However, inducement of infringement requires more than just knowledge of actual or potential infringement. While there might be some evidence of past inducement of copyright infringement, there is no evidence of any ongoing distribution of any file sharing software 'with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement'."

NVIDIA working on new headquarters in Santa Clara, located right across the street from old one

NVIDIA has announced that they are working on building a new headquarters right across the street from their current Santa Clara headquarters. The new building's design is being worked on a team at Gensler and is being led by Hao Ko. NVIDIA says the arhitect shares their "values and drive to perfection."

 

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The current renders of the new building are quite awesome and could rival Apple's new headquarters. As you can see in the picture above, NVIDIA's new headquarters will be shaped like two triangles with a connection in the middle.

 

The design harmonizes smart functionality and a shape that connects with and inspires our employees - a triangle, the fundamental building block of computer graphics. Efficient in every way, the design is thoughtful in its use of space, energy, and environment, and, of course, cost.

 

Let us know what you think of the planned headquarters. I think it looks pretty nifty. You can read NVIDIA's announcement blog post on their website.

Did you want to watch the HTC event yesterday but didn't get an invite? HTC has posted video of the event online

If you happened to not be in attendance of the HTC press conference yesterday because you fell ill or, more likely, didn't get an invitation, HTC has you covered. The company has released video of the event online today so that you can take a look inside and see just what you missed out on.

 

 

HTC has also chopped together a 4 minute 30 second version of highlights that includes video from the London and New York gatherings. Like most press events, the speakers hype the product with lots of unnecessary adjectives and phrases. Take a look and let us know what you thought of the event.

Continue reading 'Did you want to watch the HTC event yesterday but didn't get an invite? HTC has posted video of the event online' (full post)

Apple's stock price takes a hit after reports detailing a Foxconn hiring freeze surface

Apple's stock continues to take a hit as reports of a hiring freeze at Apple's largest supplier surface. There have been two opposing theories offered up and it seems like investors are accepting one over the other and are using it as a reason to pound Apple's stock price.

 

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Apple's stock has decreased in value by $11.14, or 2.42 percent, in today's trading. The Financial Times offers up that the hiring freeze is a result of lower demand for Apple products. According to an external recruiter, "Foxconn's demand for workers this year was as low as that in 2009."

 

Bloomberg offers up a different reason for the hiring freeze. According to the spokesperson they spoke to, "Foxconn halted recruitment until the end of March after more employees returned from the Chinese New Year break than a year earlier."

Swedish Pirate Party threatened by lawsuit from copyright lobbyist for hosting The Pirate Bay

The battle over copyright law never seems to end; in fact, it just seems to grow larger every day. Today we are hearing word that the Swedish copyright lobby group, Rights Alliance, is threatening to sue the Swedish political group, the "Pirate Party".

 

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Rights Alliance has issues a notice, giving the Pirate Party a week to comply with their demands of ceasing all hosting of the website The Pirate Bay, or face legal action. The group is citing a ruling from a case last year in which the Supreme Court said that host can be held liable for website's content hosted on their servers.

 

The Pirate Party of course has no plans on complying, saying "The Pirate Party's activity is legal and lawful activities should not be subjected to threats of this type. It is not illegal to provide the Pirate Bay with Internet access." Some note that since the Pirate Party is a legitimate political party, any legal action taken to shut down TPB hosting can be seen as political censorship.

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