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Earlier today, the website TorrentFreak noticed that Google had been served with a DMCA takedown notice from HBO that ordered them to remove a torrent link for the popular media player VLC. The link was neatly tucked inside a list with hundreds of links to torrent urls for HBO's popular Game of Thrones series.
It is likely that HBO never even reviewed the list which was generated by an automatic search bot that scans the web for torrents that may infringe on copyright holders' rights. There are literally more of these notices filed every month than there are of downloads of the actual torrents. During the last month alone, Google received 14,855,269 URLs which it was forced to remove from its search results under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The URL in question points to the torrent site Torrent Portal, but as you can see in the screen captured image above, it does not point to any copyrighted material as VLC media player is actually an open source project. While this is most likely a mistake, it raises a massive red flag and makes us wonder what other links were removed from Google search results because of an automated process that generates the so-called "bad URLs".
Man sees porn on Safari, sues Apple and requests they put all Apple products in 'safe mode' by default to protect people under 18
Chris Sevier, with the help of his attorney, has filed a lawsuit against Apple in the US District Court in Nashville, TN last month. Sevier is angry that Apple sell products that allow men to view porn. Yes. This isn't a joke. This is his introduction:
The Plaintiff loves Apple. The Plaintiff believes in Apple, as a company and knows that it has good intent. Since its inception, Apple has always been a pro-family company, Apple has always been an entity that is concerned with the welfare of our Nation's children, while furthering pro-American values. There is no reason for Apple, a private company to overly support pornography online, explicit sexual content which has led to the proliferation of arousal addiction, sex trafficking, prostitution, and countless numbers of destroyed lives. The Plaintiff respectfully demand that Apple sell all of its devices on "safe mode," with software preset to filter out pornographic content. If the purchaser of Apple's products is over 18, Apple should allow the buyer to take additional step to acquire a password from Apple in order to remove the filter to access Constitutionally protected indecent content. If the buyer is under 18, Apple should not provide the password.
I know, you can't believe what you're reading right now and don't worry, I'm sure you're not alone. Sevier is seeking damages and injunctive relief against Apple, all because they sell devices that are capable of viewing porn. Sevier would like to see a porn-filtering "safe mode" made default on all devices and products sold by Apple. His complaint notes that "If Apple agrees to sell its devices 'on safe mode' before trial, the Plaintiff will terminate this litigation."
Last minute bids to purchase Hulu were to be locked in on July 5, but it looks like 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company will maintain ownership of the video streaming service.
Hulu were considering a sale, receiving last minute bids from multiple different companies, but the owners are now looking to invest heavily into Hulu. That investment is looking to total $750 million, which is an effort to "propel future growth." Hulu have a lot riding on this, as they push out content to over 400 partners and over 30 million monthly visitors.
Even with over four million premium 'Hulu Plus' subscribers, they're still struggling against Netflix and Amazon. This new investment could be a seed that could grow into an even better company, which would be great for everyone involved, especially consumers.
Amazon, for the first time in the company's history, has had their shares trade at over $300 last week. Amazon went public in 1997, where their shares were trading at just $2, so this is quite the rise.
On Friday, Amazon shares closed at a record $307 per share. With the current stock price in mind, Amazon's market capitalization stands at $140 billion. Talking market caps, Google scoop up $306 billion with their power, and Apple enjoy a nice chunk of $400 billion. Amazon are far out and away from Facebook, though, who have just $63 billion.
During the first three months of 2013, Amazon reported net sales of $16.07 billion, which represents a 22% increase for the same quarter of 2012. Net income fell however, to $82 million, down 37%.
Valve have just announced and launched Pipeline, which is a community website dedicated to helping high school students who are looking into a career in the video game industry.
Pipeline was the creation of a group of high school interns working at Valve, who hope to "establish a connection to the world of teenagers that are asking many questions about getting into the gaming industry." Valve's managing director, Gabe Newell, said in a promotional video for Pipeline: "This website was created entirely be teenagers."
When you're one of the world's richest e-commerce tycoons, there's not much left to do other than fund other projects. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has funded everything from nuclear fusion startups to commercial spaceflight ventures and everything in between. Today, we are learning that his next big venture is a center for innovation built at the Museum of History and Industry.
After more than two years of development and $10 million from Bezos' own pockets, the Museum of History and Industry will open the doors to the Bezos Center for Innovation on October 12. The center aims to help visitors learn about the importance of innovation through many interactive exhibits. It will also showcase Seattle for being the birthplace of so many trailblazing companies such as Amazon. I feel that this Innovation Center is an amazing idea and a perfect way to teach children that bucking convention is sometimes the right thing to do.
Today, we're getting reports that BlackBerry has lost two more high-level executives in the last few weeks. According to a recent report, T.A. McCann, BlackBerry's vice president of social networking, is said to have left the company two weeks ago, while the senior director of handheld applications, Marc Gingras, apparently left the company around the same time.
The Wall Street Journal says that McCann was responsible for BlackBerry Messenger as well as all social networking applications on the BlackBerry's OS. He first came to the company through its acquisition of the contact management services company Gist back in 2011. Gingras was also the product of an acquisition in 2011 when BlackBerry scooped up the social calendar company Tungle.me.
News of these two executives leaving the company comes hot on the heels of yesterday's report that BlackBerry would lay off several thousand employees before the year's end. All of this is the direct effect of underwhelming sales from what can only be described as a failed launch of the new BlackBerry 10 devices.
In the wake of turmoil at Hewlett-Packard, it appears that Lenovo has seized the opportunity to claim the throne as the largest PC manufacturer in the world. This claim comes as the latest numbers from the IDC and Gartner are released to the public. It appears Lenovo has managed a 1.7 percent gain in market share in the global PC market over the last year.
While the margins are small, Lenovo managed to ship a little over 200,000 more units than HP's 12.4 million units shipped during the Q2 time period of 2013. Lenovo is sitting at 16.7 percent of global market share, while HP is floundering at around 16.3 percent. The once king of the world, Dell, is roughly four million units behind both companies with a market share of just 11.8 percent.
Up and comer Acer shipped roughly half the number of units that Lenovo did in Q2 and holds on to about 8.3 percent of the global sales market. Also notable is ASUS who shipped about 4.5 million units during Q2 and held onto a 6 percent market share.
The days for BlackBerry just keep getting darker and darker as sales and revenue continue to slump for the once king of smartphones. Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that BlackBerry had fired its vice president of US sales, Richard Piasentin, late last month and said that more layoffs are coming across middle management in the sales and support divisions.
This news comes shortly after CEO Thorsten Heins wooed shareholders at a meeting on Thursday which resulted in BlackBerry shares rising 3 percent just hours after the meeting was over. This new report of layoffs will stack on top of the 5000 BlackBerry workers let go during the previous fiscal year of 2012.
July 5 was the deadline for all bidding proposals to buy the content streaming service Hulu. The date was set by the Board of Directors after bids were received from everyone including Yahoo, AT&T and the Chernin Group in recent weeks. Today, we found out that both DirecTV and Time Warner Cable also submitted their bids before the deadline was up.
DirecTV apparently placed a bid to acquire the company as a whole, while Time Warner Cable reportedly offered up a proposal to become an investor alongside the service's current owners: Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox Inc., and Comcast.
No word on how much each bid was for, but with Yahoo's bid around $1.1 billion, we can assume that similar offers were in the same ballpark. It looks like Hulu will get purchased by someone, and let's all hope that the service actually improves over the current state it is in.