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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 257

Arizona attempts to outlaw cyberbullies, Internet trolls

A new law in the state of Arizona could make my favorite pastime illegal. No, I'm not a cyber bully, I'm an internet troll. The new law has implications that could turn every chat room and comment section on the web illegal. The law is set to make just about any annoying, harassing or offensive online comment, reply or message illegal in the state of Arizona.

 

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If I were to continue being a troll after the passing, I could be fined $250,000 and put in jail for 6 months. The bill takes an older telephone bill regarding these issues and just updates it to read "electronic or digital communications." No one took the time to consider the differences in the media, such as, you know, the internet doesn't sit there ringing at you. You actually have to voluntarily seek out the internet.

Continue reading 'Arizona attempts to outlaw cyberbullies, Internet trolls' (full post)

TripAdvisor latest to file antitrust complaint against Google in EU

The online site TripAdvisor joins the fight against the behemoth that is Google. TripAdvisor follows Expedia who filed a complaint last week. TripAdvisor claims in the European Union filing that Google is using "anti-competitive and unfair practices...that harm the marketplace and consumer welfare."

 

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Both Expedia and TripAdvisor are claiming that Google is using its dominant position in the search market to harm the marketplace. These two are added to the growing list of people who have complained about Google over the past year. The European Commission said, during its November 2010 investigation, it was examining whether Google artificially lowered rankings while boosting its own services.

 

Last year, Microsoft filed a formal complaint saying that it has "taken to entrench its dominance in the markets for online search and search advertising to the detriment of European consumers." Google has said that they will comply and help any investigation that occurs as a result of the complaint.

Apple and Samsung make up 95% of all handset profits in Q4 2011

A new study from Canaccord Genuity is claiming that Apple and Samsung account for a combined 95-percent of all handset profits in Q4 2011. Apple accounts for 80-percent of profits, while the company behind the GALAXY range of handsets, Samsung, takes 15-percent. The remaining 5-percent is left to all of the other manufacturers.

 

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This leave companies such as Research in Motion (RIM), HTC and Nokia with just 5-percent of the profits, considering they were at once time all top dogs of the market, this is a big change and I'm sure it's hard to swallow for these companies. CNET reports that Apple's iPhone is outselling all other phones combined at AT&T and Sprint, and with Verizon Wireless they are even with all Android phones available.

 

Samsung has seen incredible success with their GALAXY S range of phones, with the GALAXY S II selling 20 million units in 2011. The GALAXY S III is the most anticipated phone ahead of its official announcement, and Samsung's GALAXY Note has been selling quite well, even if it is half way between a tablet and smartphone. I'm predicting this market share will change with HTC dishing out their One series, and the GALAXY S III should be Samsung's home run this year.

Two additional AMD execs leave for better prospects

It seems as though AMD execs have been jumping ship left and right. Is AMD really doing this poorly, or is there something else going on that's resulting in all of these resignations? Emilio Ghilardi left less than two months ago, and now Pat Patla, former General Manager and Corporate VP of AMD's Commercial Business unit, and Godfrey Cheng, Director of AMD's Client Technology Unit have left or are in the process of leaving.

 

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First, let's look at Pat Patla. His departure is official. His LinkedIn profile confirms it as well as the Wall Street Journal. He has reportedly defected to Samsung where he holds the title of Vice President. The WSJ blog speculates that Samsung wants to build some ARM-based server chips, and Patla is a good fit because he oversaw the Opteron series from AMD.

 

Then we have Cheng. He hasn't officially left yet, but according to a Facebook post by him, he's tendered his resignation. "after almost 12 years at ATI Technologies / AMD, I tendered my resignation last week. I will be here for approximately the next week then I may wander the earth and get into adventures......" Cheng oversaw AMD's graphics marketing as well as the Client Technology Unit.

Continue reading 'Two additional AMD execs leave for better prospects' (full post)

Dell purchases Wyse, strengthens enterprise arm with cloud, virtualization

Acquisitions and mergers are a common occurrence in business and today sees Dell acquiring Wyse. Dell purchased Wyse for an undisclosed amount in order to focus more on its corporate customers. Wyse specialized in thin-clients, offering vertically integrated, centralized computing solutions for corporations.

 

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Dell could benefit from Wyse's experience in the business computing market. Also, Dell may be setting its sights on the cloud as they referred to Wyse as a "cloud client" leader. Wyse has about 500 employees, 180+ patents, and is valued at roughly $350 million. Dell will probably combine Wyse's experience in centralized computing with its own reach and ability to produce inexpensive computers. This sounds like a match made in heaven.

Teacher's aide finds herself suspended after she refuses to share Facebook access

Today's news has been filled with business and legal happenings, so here's one more! A teacher's aide has found herself on administrative leave after refusing Facebook access to her employer. This all started back in April of 2011 when Kimberly Hester posted a picture on her own time of her co-worker's pants around her ankles and a pair of shoes.

 

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Hester felt the image was harmless enough, but someone disagreed. A parent of a student at the school where she worked felt that it wasn't appropriate filed a complaint with the school district. Hester was summoned to the office of the Intermediate superintendent Robert Colby. Colby asked to see her Facebook account.

 

"He asked me three times if he could view my Facebook and I repeatedly said I was not OK with that," Hester told WSBT. Because of this refusal, Hester received a letter from the Special Education Director which informed her that "...in the absence of you voluntarily granting Lewis Cass ISD administration access to you[r] Facebook page, we will assume the worst and act accordingly."

 

"I stand by it," Hester told WSBT. "I did nothing wrong. And I would not, still to this day, let them in my Facebook. And I don't think it's OK for an employer to ask you." I think most people would agree with her. This has been on the minds of many people these days, and the lawmakers are even trying to pass a law regarding it in the United States.

Microsoft leaving Germany to protest Motorola's patent trolling

I'm sure most of us know about the lawsuit going on between Motorola and Microsoft, but in case you don't, here's the quick rundown. Motorola is trying to block Microsoft from selling Windows 7 and the Xbox 360 based on a patent claim regarding H.264 video technology. Motorola is demanding way more money than other companies for licensing its patent.

 

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A decision in the case is expected April 17. If Motorola succeeds, the Xbox and Windows 7 could be banned from being sold in Germany, effectively gutting business. This is where Microsoft's move comes in. If Microsoft moves to the Netherlands, it could possibly reduce the vulnerability to legal actions if Motorola wins.

 

Microsoft ended teamwork with Germany company Arvato for software distribution. This move will cause a loss of about 50 jobs and is retaliatory to Motorola's patent lawsuit. Germany's patent system favors the suing party by allowing bans to be enforced by the winning party and and having court precedent that often finds in the favor of the suing party.

Continue reading 'Microsoft leaving Germany to protest Motorola's patent trolling' (full post)

A new service wants to allow you to skip those pesky pre-roll ads by paying up

I'm sure that everyone here will agree that those pesky, annoying ads that come on before your favorite cat video starts playing on YouTube are really annoying. But SkipIt, a new service from the video advertising company SpotXchange has your back. If you don't want to watch the ad, you can just pay $0.10 to skip it. That's $0.10 per ad.

 

 

Meanwhile, SkipIt claims that web publishers will make more money from people skipping ads than if they had watched the ad in the first place. Additionally, they claim that the rest of the site's ads will be more valuable because people will only be seeing ads they really like. I can't really see any consumer reaching for their credit cards just to skip an ad. I know I wouldn't.

A new UK law could give the gov. right to monitor communication and internet

There's a new bill running around in the UK and it is akin the US Patriot Act. This bill, if passed, would give the Government Communication Headquarters, or GCHQ, the ability to access phone calls, text messages, emails, and online activity of any citizen without a warrant. The actual contents of the emails and messages would be off-limits, but this is still a gross violation of privacy.

 

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I know we live in an age where privacy doesn't exactly mean much to anyone anymore, but at least with Facebook, we get to choose what to share with the world. This new bill would share the recipients, time, duration and frequency of conversations, plus a list of websites being visited with the government without the need for a warrant.

 

A similar bill was tried in 2009, but they made the decision to drop it after the massive public outcry. The public was not to happy about having their privacy violated anymore than it already was. The question is, will it pass? It most likely will have a similar outcry to the 2009 attempt, but Britain might still try to pass it. It's estimated at costing $2 billion, and that was in the 2009 attempt. Hopefully it's cost prohibitive enough so that it doesn't get passed.

 

We live at a scary time in the world where more and more of our lives are being put online in the form of communications and such. We have to take a stand at every chance to protect our rights and privacy.

Australian WiFi inventors win US legal battle, wins AUD $220m

It looks like life is starting to get fair for the inventors of the technology that everyone uses daily around the world. Yes, I'm talking about the inventors of the Wireless LAN. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) patented the technology in the 1990s, and has used that patent to sue companies without a license since 2005.

 

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Back in 2009, CSIRO recovered AUD$205 million (US$212 million) after suing and settling with 14 companies. They have continued to sue and settle with an additional 23 companies in which they have just received another AUD$220 million as payment. "It was important that Australia protect its intellectual property, and that those major companies who are selling billions of devices pay for the technology that they were using," Australian Minister for Science and Research Chris Evans said.

 

"CSIRO's commercial and legal teams on both sides of the Pacific have worked very hard over the past several years to gain a reasonable return and I would like to pay particular tribute to them for their extraordinary efforts," Nigel Poole, a senior executive at CSIRO, said. But, some credit also goes to the inventors. They had to solve the problem of the radio waves bouncing off of indoor surfaces and creating echos. They did just that and beat many of the major communications companies that were trying to do the same.

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