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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 68

Sprint to throttle top 5% of data users in congested areas

One of the big reasons that many users stuck with Sprint for their mobile phones was that the company was the only carrier that still offered unlimited data. That is set to change with Sprint announcing to customers recently that it would begin "prioritization management" better known as throttling to prevent network congestion.

 

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This throttling will be used on Sprint, Virgin Mobile USA, and Boost Mobile customers. The top 5% of data users will be throttled in congested areas to ensure service for all users according to Sprint. Those pre-paid customers will see data speeds cut to 128 kbps after using 2.5GB of data at normal speed. The throttled speed was previously 256 kbps.

Continue reading 'Sprint to throttle top 5% of data users in congested areas' (full post)

uberFAMILY offers rides with car seats for children

Parents who are traveling with kids in a city that leaves them without a car can find it challenging to get a ride that has a child seat. Uber is one of the more popular car services out there that use an app to get a car to take you wherever you need to go. Uber has a new service called uberFAMILY that makes it easy for parents to hail a car that has a child seat inside.

 

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UberFAMILY is a subset of uberX that is available in New York only right now and caters to people with kids. The uberFAMILY service carries a $10 surcharge for the car seat. Drivers participating in the car seat program have all been trained and certified in car seat installation.

Continue reading 'uberFAMILY offers rides with car seats for children' (full post)

Security researcher estimates 300k servers still Heartbleed vulnerable

It has been about a month now since the Heartbleed vulnerability was first discovered. That is plenty of time for most admins to patch the flaw in their servers and ensure that the flaw doesn't affect users. Despite the time passing to patch the flaw there is still a huge number of servers out there that are vulnerable.

 

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A security researcher named Robert Graham has published a report that says his investigation has found that at least 300,000 servers are still vulnerable to Heartbleed. He comes by that statistic after rescanning for port 443 to check for vulnerable systems.

Continue reading 'Security researcher estimates 300k servers still Heartbleed vulnerable' (full post)

Facebook expands demographic targeting via Audience Insights

Advertisers are always out to glean as much data from web users as possible. Facebook is one of those advertisers that targets ads at its users using information from profiles. The social networking giant has announced that it has expanded those targeting capabilities with the roll out of Audience insights.

 

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Audience Insights gives Facebook the ability to target users based on metrics like demographic traits, geography, and their purchase history. Facebook says that before the roll out of Audience Insights it only offered advertisers an audience estimator tool.

Continue reading 'Facebook expands demographic targeting via Audience Insights' (full post)

Snapchat settles FTC charges regarding deceptive privacy practices

It looks like Snapchat and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have come to an agreement stemming from a case in which the FTC accused Snapchat consumers about collected personal information. The company promised a private and secure service, though that isn't what users were ultimately receiving. Snapchat is now no longer allowed to misrepresent its business practices related to user privacy, security or confidentiality.

 

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"While we were focused on building, some things didn't get the attention they could have," Snapchat said in an official blog post. "One of those was being more precise with how we communicated with the Snapchat community. This morning we entered into a consent decree with the FTC that addresses concerns raised by the commission."

 

Meanwhile, the FTC had this to say:

 

"If a company markets privacy and security as key selling points in pitching its service to consumers, it is critical that it keeps those promises," said Edith Ramirez, FTC Chairwoman, in a statement. "Any company that makes misrepresentations to consumers about its privacy and security practices risks FTC action."

Spouses of H-1B visa holders can now legally work in the United States

The Obama administration has made a change to the country's immigration laws, allowing spouses of H-1B visa holders to work legally in the United States. Before the change, only the H-1B visa holder could work, hamstringing spouses to keep them from the workplace. Republicans immediately criticized the decision, saying there are still up to fifty million working-age citizens in the United States out of work - and this only increases competition.

 

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"Once enacted, this proposed rule would empower these spouses to put their own education and skills to work for the country that they and their families now call home," according to the Obama administration.

 

In just five days, all 85,000 H-1B visas for 2015 have been claimed, as critics continue to plead with the administration to stop turning away skilled labor. An immigration bill that would raise the cap to 115,000 - and up to 300,000 - was blocked by the House, and will continue to be a lively debate.

Apple pulls iPhone 4 from India only four months after launch

Apple re-launched the iPhone 4 in India four months ago as a way to target people in the country that have very limited budgets. The phone sold for under Rs 20,000. It would appear that the phone hasn't sold well in the country with Apple pulling it from the market after only a few months.

 

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Apple has reported a significant decline in average selling price of its smartphones around the country. The ASP for Apple iPhones had declined by $41 and most of that was blamed on the lower price of the relaunched iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S price cuts in emerging markets.

Continue reading 'Apple pulls iPhone 4 from India only four months after launch' (full post)

Pinterest users are mostly women according to statistics

Pinterest is a website where people can go and pin things they like to a virtual bulletin board. The site is used by both men and women, but most feel that the site is typically used by women. Some recent statistics show that women are by far the majority user of Pinterest.

 

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Statistics show that 80% of all Pinterest users are women leaving the other 20% of users as males. That lowly 20% of males who use the site make even less of the pins that are performed on the site. Men account for only 8% of all pins by gender with women accounting for 92% of all pins.

Continue reading 'Pinterest users are mostly women according to statistics' (full post)

T-Mobile market share is growing thanks to aggressive tactics

For a long time T-Mobile languished and it seemed like its only hope for growth was to be bought out by another competitor. After it became clear that regulators didn't like the idea of the fourth of the major carriers being gobbled up by one of the other firms, T-mobile decided on another tact.

 

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T-Mobile has now managed to grab a bigger share of the mobile market thanks to its plans to pay termination fees to get people to leave other carriers. One analyst says that T-Mobile was an also ran in the past, but in Q1 2014 it "crushed" the competition when it came to growth.

Continue reading 'T-Mobile market share is growing thanks to aggressive tactics' (full post)

Central bank in China warns banks of bitcoin risks

The People's Bank of China is limiting bitcoin-related business, and is urging executives from other major Chinese banks to follow suit. Towards the end of 2013, the central bank didn't shun bitcoins, but showed caution regarding the popular cryptocurrency - but that opinion has drastically changed, saying bitcoins are a "tool for speculation."

 

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If major banks in China try to shut down bitcoin transactions, it will create a void that a bank in China should be able to step up and fill.

 

Since bitcoins aren't centrally regulated by banks or governments, trying to figure out how to deal with them has proven to be extremely challenging. Earlier in the year, the IRS ruled that bitcoins are considered property and not real currency, though that hasn't stopped retailers from accepting bitcoin payments. Despite hiccups along the way, bitcoins continue to gain mainstream acceptance and any type of legislation must be created carefully - yet quickly moving forward.

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