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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 7

Lawmaker wonders why US government sink the Pirate Bay

Sweden may have finally dropped The Pirate Bay off the map earlier this week, but Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) wondered why the Obama Administration wasn't able to remove the "illegal enterprise operating out of Sweden" even sooner.


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Sen. Whitehouse Googled "pirate movies" and quickly found a link to The Pirate Bay via Google, apparently leaving him frustrated.


"There are ways in which these companies could go to court and try to knock this stuff down," Sen. Whitehouse recently said. "There are ways in which prosecutors can have discussions with companies about aiding and abetting offenses, and being accessories to offense. There's a lot that can be done in this area, it seems to me."

Continue reading 'Lawmaker wonders why US government sink the Pirate Bay' (full post)

Qualcomm rumored to layoff 1500 staff, up from the 600 being reported

Qualcomm is reportedly letting go of a decent chunk of its worldwide staff, with 158 jobs in San Diego being cut, and up to 100 elsewhere around California. On top of that, we have around 600 jobs in total being let go from Qualcomm's global workforce.


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Then, a nice source pointed us in the direction of a thread on Reddit by "lgotlaidoff" who said "Just got fired today. Upto 1500 people to be fired in coming weeks. The "600" number that they are talking in media is pure BS".


A spokesperson from Qualcomm said in a statement: "We regularly evaluate our businesses to determine where efficiencies can be obtained and priorities addressed. On occasion, that requires we adjust the size or skill mix of our work teams in order to shrink or eliminate some projects and start and grow new projects". The layoffs will begin on February 11, 2015 according to a filing by the company with the California Employment Development Department.


If this does turn out to be true, Qualcomm would be playing the numbers down for various reasons. We should find out soon enough, as 900 jobs are something you can't hide for too long.

Google offering YouTube talent bonuses to stay away from competitors

Google doesn't want its popular YouTube talent to leave its video sharing website, so it is reportedly offering these stars big bonuses for staying with the company.


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Big YouTube stars and video producers are reportedly being offered bigger payments, as well as additional funding in exchange for signing a multi-year exclusivity deal. This would have the YouTube star signed to the service, where their content must be used on YouTube exclusively, for a very long time, before it can be pushed onto other services.


The Wall Street Journal has reported that YouTube's Global Head of Business has been pushing the company through a "fire drill" in order to keep their most valued talent. YouTube doesn't want its competitors such as Facebook, or others to capture them, as these competitors are apparently offering "incredibly attractive" offers.

Noe Iniguez becomes first person sentenced under CA revenge porn law

Noe Iniguez, 36, recently had the honor of being the first person convicted and sentenced under the California new "revenge porn" law. Found guilty of two restraining order violations and one state revenge porn statute, Iniguez was sentenced to one year in jail and 36 months of probation - he will also have to attend domestic violence classes.


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Iniguez posted a topless picture of his ex-girlfriend on her employer's website, encouraging the company to terminate her employment, while also calling her a "drunk" and "slut."


"California's new revenge porn law gives prosecutors a valuable tool to protect victims whose lives and reputations have been upended by a person they once trusted," said Mike Feuer, Los Angeles City Attorney, in a press statement. "This conviction sends a strong message that this type of malicious behavior will not be tolerated."

Congressman Steve Stockman says bitcoin regulation talk is too hasty

US Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) recently introduced the H.R. 5777 "Cryptocurrency Protocol Protection and Moratorium Act," which would effectively treat bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies as real currency. The moratorium would also prevent state and federal bitcoin regulation for five years - Stockman hopes investors and support for bitcoin will increase if lawmakers are unable to keep the government from interfering on a frequent basis.


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Here is what Congressman Stockman recently said: "It's too early to be talking about that. Just imagine if Steve Jobs had to deal with this, or anybody starting an Internet company having to hop through the obstacles they're putting up."


US lawmakers are paying more attention to cryptocurrencies, but might be too eager to create new legislations - without thinking of long-term consequences - especially if the industry cannot flourish naturally.

Sony hackers threaten employees' families through e-mails

Sony is not having a good week, with the hacking scandal reaching Sony Pictures Entertainment employees, and their families. Employees of the company have received e-mails from these hackers, directly threatening their families. Sony has reportedly told these employees to turn off their smartphones after receiving the e-mail.


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It has been two weeks since the company was hacked, with hackers releasing passwords, e-mails, details on cast and crew members of Sony's productions, business documents that included salaries, and media files from employees' computers, and much more. A poorly-written e-mail was sent to Sony Pictures Entertainment employees, saying: "Please sign your name to object the false of the company at the email address below. If you don't, not only you but your family will be in danger".


The "Guardians of the Peace", or GOP, are the hackers behind the scandal, but we don't know their identities yet. North Korea has been a suspect for a while now, with the malware that broke into Sony's network looking like malware used in an attack in Seoul last year, as well as the Shamoon "wiper" malware.

Rovio lays off 110 staff from its Tampere, Finland studio

Rovio has announced that it is laying off 110 staff from its Tampere, Finland-based studio, and then closing the studio itself down. The developer of Angry Birds previously said it would lay off around 130 employees, but it has been able to lay off a little less, as it is opening up a few new positions.


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This lay off of 110 employees represents around 16% of Rovio's global workforce, but the company isn't as powerful as it once was. Angry Birds was next to unstoppable, and while it might still be by branching out into different brands like Star Wars and Transformers, interest for the bird-flinging game is coming down.


Rovio's CEO, Mikael Hed, said in October: "We have been building our team on assumptions of faster growth than have materialized. It is never easy to consider changes like this, but it is better to do them sooner rather than later, when we are in a good place to reignite growth". Angry Birds still enjoys over 200 million active players every month (as of September), but this is down from the 263 million active players it had back in 2012.

Samsung reportedly fires three top execs over the Galaxy S5s 'failure'

Culf of Android is reporting that there's a new report out of Samsung's home country of South Korea, that in order to get Samsung back on track after the "failure" that was the Galaxy S5, they had to fire three of the top executives from the company.


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Lee Don-joo, the boss of the Mobile Business Unit's Strategic Marketing Office, Kim Jae-kwon, who is the Chief of the Global Operations Office, and Lee Chul-hwan, who was the previous boss of the Mobile R&D Office, look like they're all about to be cut from the company. Hong Won-Pyo, who used to be Samsung's Media Solution Center boss will replace the boss of the Global Marketing Strategy Office.


It was previously thought that Samsung's Business President, Shin Jong-kyun, would lose his job, but it looks like he will stay in power for now. Samsung has really tripped over on the Galaxy S5, with projections being missed by quite a large 40-50%.

Actor who wore Donkey Kong suit suing Nintendo for medical problems

The actor hired by Nintendo to wear a Donkey Kong costume at an event held at the Los Angeles Zoo is now suing, claiming the suit led to physical problems. Parker Mills wore the suite to help promote the Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D game for the Nintendo 3DS, and the event was held on May 24, 2013.


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Mills' attorneys say he wasn't give appropriate break time and didn't get to have an ice pack to help cool him down in the giant suit.


"It created a very stressful environment," said one of Mills' attorneys, as the lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Continue reading 'Actor who wore Donkey Kong suit suing Nintendo for medical problems' (full post)

The Last of Us art director leaves for Tomb Raider studio

Nate Wells, the Art Director behind Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, has left the developer for the arms of Crystal Dynamics, the developer behind Tomb Raider.


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The news is coming from Wells himself, where he took to Twitter to announce the news. He was previously working Giant Sparrow, and before that he had 13 years under his belt over at Irrational Games, before leaving for Naughty Dog in August 2012.

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