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If you're living in Dubai, or plan on travelling there, you might want to not use social networking sites Twitter and Facebook, as the Dubai Police are keeping tabs on Twitter and Facebook to catch out 'culprits' who criticize the UAE. Dubai Chief of Police has called for legal action against Twitter, for users who do so.
Emirates 24/7 reports that the Dubai Police are keeping a 24-hour watch on both Twitter and Facebook, according to statements made Major Salem Obaid Salmeen, Deputy Director of Anti-Electronic Crimes of Dubai Police's Criminal Investigations Department. Salmeen says:
These electronic patrols are detecting and tracking all topics and materials written and presented on these websites.
Salmeen has made it quite clear that any violations of the law on the website would be as "punishable as in the real world". What could land you in trouble with the Dubai Police? Spreading rumors, defamation and even Facebook tagging without permission are all offenses that will get you in trouble, and following several instances, they've decided to make sure they catch each and every offender in the act.
The ACLU found some very disturbing statistics regarding wiretapping in the United States by police departments across the country. But, how much do the telecom companies charge the police for these taps? Well, it turns out the price varies from carrier to carrier. Data gathered from the Tuscon, Arizona police department shows the variety.
AT&T charges a flat activation fee of $325 in addition to a daily rate of $5 for data and $10 for audio transmissions. T-mobile, on the other hand, charges a flat rate of $500 per target. Verizon demands $700 a month plus a $50 administrative fee. Specific requests net an even higher charge. AT&T requires $150 for voicemail access while Verzion charges $50 per target for text message access.
Sprint is rather organized and has an entire breakdown of their charges. It runs $120 for pictures or video, $60 for e-mail messages, $60 for voice mail and $30 for text message access. Most of the companies won't charge in an emergency situation. More information can be found in the ACLU's findings here.
After Yahoo gave its former CEO Carol Bartz her walking papers last year, Yahoo is now in the process of laying of 2,000 additional employees. This move was announced earlier today. Not all the details are fully known, but more are supposed to be coming forth during its first-quarter financial results announcement on April 17.
The layoffs are expected to save $375 million annually. The new CEO Scott Thompson said the following about how the cuts are supposed to help the firm:
Today's actions are an important next step toward a bold, new Yahoo! - smaller, nimbler, more profitable and better equipped to innovate as fast as our customers and our industry require. We are intensifying our efforts on our core businesses and redeploying resources to our most urgent priorities. Our goal is to get back to our core purpose - putting our users and advertisers first - and we are moving aggressively to achieve that goal. Unfortunately, reaching that goal requires the tough decision to eliminate positions. We deeply value our people and all they've contributed to Yahoo!.
It seems as though RIM, the makers of Blackberry, just can't catch a break. Earlier today, we reported that there were reports circulating that a possible stabbing occurred at a RIM party. Now we are reporting about how they are being sued by a Dutch company which is accusing them of infringing on 6 patents.
Dutch semiconductor company NXP filed a lawsuit in a court in Orlando, Florida on Monday. The suit accuses that some of RIM's BlackBerry phones, together with the PlayBook tablet, have infringed on patents issued to the company between 1997 and 2008. RIM's stock, which has already fallen around 80% in the last year, fell another 9.6% after the news of the lawsuit broke.
In its complaint, NXP said it was seeking "recovery of damages at least for lost profits, reasonable royalties, unjust enrichment, and benefits received by RIM as a result of using the misappropriated technology." RIM will want to avoid a similar outcome to what happened back in 2006 when they were forced to pay out over $600 million after a 5 year legal battle.
Facebook is playing the Yahoo vs. Facebook lawsuit by the book. Facebook, in its turn, has counter sued Yahoo for infringing on 10 of its patents. This move was predicted by Erin-Michael Gill, the chief intellectual property officer for MDB Capital. "Facebook is following the playbook," he said. "They're doing exactly what potentially Facebook investors would expect them to do. They're leveraging the IP that they've acquiring the past few years. They're putting their best assets on the table and now can engage in negotiations from a far stronger position."
Ted Ullyot, Facebook's General Counsel, said, "From the outset, we said we would defend ourselves vigorously against Yahoo's lawsuit, and today we filed our answer as well as counter-claims against Yahoo for infringing ten of Facebook's patents.... While we are asserting patent claims of our own, we do so in response to Yahoo's short-sighted decision to attack one of its partners and prioritize litigation over innovation."
Yahoo has sued Facebook because Yahoo has been unable to keep up in the changing landscape of the modern internet. They used to be an internet pioneer, but have fallen behind with the times. They are losing the search wars to Google. The counterclaim paints a different picture. Facebook is claiming that they are the damaged party. They want the court to dismiss Yahoo's case and award Facebook damages.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.