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Chinese telecommunications company Huawei has had a killer 2015, with year-on-year revenue up 35% to 390 billion yuan (approximately $60.1 billion USD). In the third quarter, it passed Xiaomi as the #1 smartphone seller in China and became the #2 Android phone seller in Europe (thanks to its Honor sub-brand).
9 to 5 Google expects 2016 will be even bigger, given the impressive Nexus 6P and Huawei Watch devices, and goes so far as to say it may soon overtake Samsung as the #1 Android phone seller globally. Huawei shipped 100 million smartphones this year versus Samsung's 400 million, and it hasn't even launched the Honor brand in the US yet (it will in 2016). Seeing the massive success in Europe, it's likely to do great there as well.
Microsoft is joining the small list of companies that now inform their users if they suspect that they're the target of state-sponsored hacking attempts.
This policy is in response to an inquiry by Reuters about having not said anything to victims of a hacking campaign by the Chinese government that happened in 2011. Something that has spurred them to go beyond simple notifications with few details to now alert users if they suspect it's state-sponsored or not.
Microsoft will be joining Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Google as part of a more concentrated effort to evolve methods to keep your information secure. In a statement in a recent blog post they explained that they'll send out these notifications to those they think are targeted and not just if you've been compromised. This way you can take additional measures to keep things nice and secure.
Uber has had a massive year, and a massive journey since it rolled out across the world, with its one billionth ride taking place in London on Christmas Eve.
The company launched back in 2010, which means it has seen an average of 15 million trips per month. It would've started to snowball in the last couple of years, as Uber has become incredibly popular - hitting a recent valuation of around $65 billion.
The list of investors continues to grow, and so does its customer base. Uber is having an uber time, that's for sure.
Former Google communications leader Gabriel Stricker has returned to the tech giant (well, technically Alphabet now) to head up its Google Fiber Policy and Communications division. He starts January 4.
Stricker left Google in 2012 to lead Twitter's communications department, but resigned earlier this year when co-founder Jack Dorsey returned as CEO. Of the new position, he says he's "thrilled" to be apart of the "quest to make the Web better and faster for all."
A class action lawsuit was filed with the New York district court yesterday and claims Apple intentionally slowed down older iPhones, particularly the iPhone 4s, with its recent iOS 9 upgrade. The motivation: added revenue from new phone purchases and carrier contracts.
The suit boasts more than 100 members, which seek $5 million in damages, pending the option to treble (triple the amount).
On Christmas Eve, Fujitsu finalized plans to spin off its PC and mobile divisions into two separate subsidiary companies, dubbed Fujitsu Client Computing Limited and Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited, respectively.
Fujitsu's motivation boils down to a desire for more efficiency and distinction, particularly in the face of the ever-crowded PC and mobile markets.
The company will allocate 400 million yen (about 3.3 million USD) and 8,000 shares to each of the new subsidiaries.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to break records, with its latest record-breaking achievement being the fastest movie to make $1 billion at the box office.
It only took 12 days for The Force Awakens to make its $1 billion, thanks to the holiday weekend seeing the latest Star Wars movie making $153.5 million domestically, and $133.3 million overseas. This brings The Force Awakens to around $1.09 billion in 12 days, making its second weekend bigger than all of the other biggest openings of all time, except nine of them. That's a huge achievement in itself, too.
Jurassic World was the previous movie to have the record, as it reached $1 billion in 13 days. I think we're going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens break Avatar's box office haul of $2.78 billion - with The Force Awakens, in my opinion, to make between $3 billion and $3.2 billion. The next big movie to compete against it at the box office will be next year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which is the most expensive movie of all time, according to reports), which arrives on March 23.
North Korea may have successfully landed a man on the Sun, but it looks like the country is a bit paranoid when it comes to its own Linux distribution, Red Star OS.
Red Star OS has been pulled apart by researchers, showing just how closed off it really is. The Linux distribution watermarks files on USB sticks, so that Pyongyang can track contraband material, and the OS also doesn't like modifications. Red Star OS will reboot the PC immediately if it discovers changes to system files, too.
The built-in antivirus software and web browser both direct themselves to internal servers, with the encryption on Red Star OS custom-developed - most likely to keep the prying eyes of the NSA and GCHQ away. The walls that North Korea has built up within Red Star OS is to keep its citizens unaware of the world around them, so if they did modify the OS, they'd be tracked down immediately - and probably sent off to live on the Sun.
New additions to the European General Data Protection Regulation have been proposed to the European Parliament which seek to further protect the personal data of minors, specifically teens under the age of 16 with some interesting new rules.
These new additions are not yet law and still need to be fully ratified by the greater European Council and European Parliament in early January of 2016 to become official, though they've passed through initial inspection by the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.
There are eight separate clauses that EU regulators are trying to get passed that are supposed to provide a framework for modernising data privacy policies. And in actuality, the new proposed rules give greater control of your own data and are better suited to privacy.
It looks like ride-sharing giant Lyft is getting a huge injection of funding from Saudi Arabia's Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, who announced that his Kingdom Holding Co. will secure a 2.3% stake in Lyft.
The 2.3% stake will cost al-Waheed's company $104.9 million, which is one part of the largest investment by an unnamed group for $247.7 million, taking a 5.3% stake in Lyft. These investments boost Lyft's estimated valuation to $4.92 billion. With Lyft only operating in the US right now, and the San Francisco-based company scaling back its overseas expansion plans, this investment should be quite a nice surprise over the holidays for Lyft.