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Email privacy had always been a point of contention in nearly all circles. It wasn't until quite recently that most cloud providers started encrypting your messages while just sitting in your inbox, and requests for your email data have been made without search warrants under other executive order authority as well as under the auspices of the older law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
The Email Privacy Act was just passed by the US House of Representatives that would require the use of a warrant when looking at emails, even those that are 180 days or older. This new bill is a much needed update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which required only a more simple subpoena to find older emails. This bill subsequently closes that loophole. This bill may be response to the recent lawsuit from Microsoft regarding the older ECPA, who argue that it violates the Constitution.
Just as with before, the government is not required, and won't, notify you if they're rummaging through your emails though some providers have taken it upon themselves to notify users if they're the subject of an investigation. This bill, however, still has to pass through the Senate, and then be rectified by the President, but with the momentum it already has, it very well could be a much needed update to privacy that doesn't get hung up for political reasons.
After taking 13 years of dominance in their quarterly results, Apple has just reported its fiscal Q2 2016 results, reporting a 16% decline in iPhone sales when compared to the same period of last year.
Apple still pulled $50.6 billion in revenue for the three-month period, down 13% from the $58 billion in the same quarter of 2015. The company did warn the decline was on the way, with company CEO Tim Cook saying that the iPhone 6S upgrades were outpacing those when the iPhone 5S launched.
Even with the decent sales, it wasn't enough to match the "accelerated" upgrade cycle it saw with the iPhone 6 in 2014. Two other major sources of iPhone customers are people switching from Android, and first-time smartphone owners. When it comes to this, Cook says that iPhone business is good. In the last six months, Apple has had more people switching over to iPhones more than any other 6-month period, ever.
Rhapsody International -- parent company of streaming music companies Rhapsody and Napster -- has appointed Mike Davis (pictured here) as its first CEO. Until now, the company has been led by executive committee.
Davis' background lies in private equity; he recently served as a "growth adviser" and senior operating consultant to LA firm The Gores Group.
The move seems to be a response to the intense competition seen from Spotify and Apple Music, as has recent feature additions to the Rhapsody client in recent months.
Davis notes Rhapsody pioneered the concept of digital, subscription-based music and it's now taking hold in the industry at large. The company now sees itself playing catch-up to its own creation; if only for the sake of competition, one hopes Davis is the man for the job.
AMD's longstanding residence of the Sunnyvale campus will be no more before long, rumor has it; The Irvine Company is set to buy it from New York real estate investment trust W.P. Carey, according to real estate sources. Irvine Company is known to raze offices and R&D campuses, so it makes sense that we're hearing AMD is consequently seeking another headquarters in Silicon Valley.
While the company forecast for AMD has been looking increasingly better in recent times, it's still 2,000 employees shy of what it was in 2011, and so it's said to be looking at properties with a 35 to 40 percent footprint reduction, or about 175,000 - 225,000 square feet versus the 319,000 square feet of its current location.
AMD has had a great week, topping it off with a huge 52% rise in stock to $3.99. This is the highest gain in a single day since AMD stock was listed, all the way back in 1979.
For the day, AMD was the biggest gainer and the most active stock on the NASDAQ exchange - with 140 million AMD shares traded. This is 10x the 50-day average of 12 million or so. Why the sudden and huge spike in AMD shares? The company just landed a joint venture deal to sell high performance enterprise x86 processors to the Chinese market.
This move will see AMD compete with Intel on a grander scale, as it has AMD providing the technical knowledge, while THATIC provides the resources, and financial support. The licensing deal should see AMD secure $293 million, plus royalties.
Even better, is that AMD has three semi-custom designs in upcoming consoles. This means that AMD will have technology inside of the next-gen Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo consoles - which is an insanely huge win for the company.
iBooks and iTunes movies became available in China seven months ago; now both are blocked from sale on orders from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television. Apple Music and Apple Pay are said to still work.
The electronics giant hopes its services will return "as soon as possible." No doubt there given China is Apple's second biggest market. It declined to offer details on the blockade, but it's known that Chinese regulators are motivated in such decisions by a desire to control media and its population in the name of the Communist Party as well as to favor Apple's Chinese competitors.
We reported a couple of days ago that Intel was preparing for major global workforce cuts, with the chipmaker announcing that they will indeed be cutting jobs over the next year.
The employment cut is part of Intel's larger and continued restructuring efforts, as the company is facing a slower PC market, and continued struggles in the mobile market. The job cuts will see 12,000 employees sliced away from the company, or 11% of its global workforce. Intel will begin most of the layoffs in the next 60 days, with the entire process working its way through to 2017.
Patrick Moorhead, President and Principal Analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy reached out to us about the global workforce layoffs at Intel, saying: "In spite of the announced layoffs, Intel had a good quarter and even showed PC growth in a very down PC quarter. In fact, all but one segment showed improvements year on year".
In 2005, the Authors Guild sued Google for scanning book excerpts for its database. 11 years later, the battle is over, and Google has won resoundingly following a judgment from the Supreme Court, which denied the option for appeal.
The Guild claimed the project hurt authors' abilities to make money from their work, while Google claimed everything it was doing was protected under fair use laws. After the ruling, both parties echoed these sentiments.
"We believed then and we believe now that authors should be compensated when their work is copied for commercial purposes," said Authors Guild president Roxana Robinson.
While Intel is shrinking down to 14nm right now, it is reportedly looking to shrink down its job numbers, with a new "significant round of job across across business units this spring", reports Oregon Live.
At the end of 2015, Intel had 107,000 employees worldwide, with its Oregon-based operations including 19,500 employees. The new cutbacks will reportedly reduce employment in some parts of Intel's business by double-digit percentages, which will result in thousands of job cuts by the end of 2016. We could expect the announcement soon after Intel reports its Q1 financial results on Thursday.
Last year, Intel sliced up 1,100 jobs - but these fresh job cuts will reportedly be even more severe. The company is still insanely profitable, with gross profit margins higher than 60%. Even this year, Intel's forecast sales growth is somewhere higher than 5%, but the job cuts are still reportedly on their way.
If there's one thing that Apple has done better than every other smartphone company, is that their iPhone sales have increased year-over-year... forever - until now, that is.
It's expected that 2016 will be the first year that iPhone sales will experience a decline, with Tom Cook even teasing this during Apple's earnings conference call earlier this year. Cook said: "We do think iPhone units will decline in the quarter. We don't think that they will decline to the levels you'll talk about. We aren't going to project beyond the upcoming quarter".
A new report from Nikkei suggests that the iPhone sales slump might hurt sales during the current June quarter, too. Nikkei reported: "Slow sales of the flagship iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which debuted last autumn, have forced Apple to adjust inventories. It lowered production for the January-March quarter by about 30% from the year-earlier period. With sales still sluggish, the U.S. company has told parts suppliers in Japan and elsewhere that it will maintain the reduced output level in the current quarter".