Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 1
Microsoft employees that were required for the most urgent tasks in their data centers were sleeping in the data centers during the peak of the pandemic.
In a recent in chat with Morgan Stanley analysts Josh Baer and Mark Carlucci Kristen Roby Dimlow, corporate vice president for total rewards, performance and human resources business insights at Microsoft said: "I heard amazing stories about people actually sleeping in data centers".
Dimlow added: "In certain countries there was huge lockdown, and so we would have our own employees choose to sleep in the data center because they were worried they'd get stuck at a roadblock, trying to go home".
Intel is reportedly eyeing off acquiring semiconductor startup SiFive, with Bloomberg reporting that Intel has offered over $2 billion to acquire SiFive.
The site is reporting from anonymous sources "asking not to be identified because the matter is private", but that SiFive has "received takeover offers from multiple parties other than Intel" according to the source, who added that SiFive "has also fielded offers for an investment, which could be a preferable route".
SiFive raised funds back in 2020, where it was valued at around $500 million -- so it is a nice upgrade for the company to be fielding $2 billion acquisition offers just a year later. If you're not familiar with SiFive, the semiconductor startup designs chips based o the RISC-V architecture -- an open-source standard for semiconductor design that makes it much cheaper, and much more open to customers wanting to build chips.
TSMC is reportedly expanding its plans of building facilities on US soil, with its planned Arizona fab plant most likely being joined by even more new facilities in the US according to the latest rumors.
The new information is coming from Nikkei Asia which says its sources tease that TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) will construct new chip packaging facilities on US soil as well, a required part (chip packaging) of any tech product.
TSMC's new facility in Arizona is expected to be operational by 2024, where it will be capable of making 100,000 wafers each month -- this new US-based facility will be churning out next-gen 5nm chips Made in the USA.
There is a "performance issue" with the Taishan nuclear power plant in China's southern Guangdong province, with a purported leak that French nuclear company Framatome -- who part-owns the nuclear plant -- saying that they're working to resolve the issue.
CNN reports that the French company warned of an "imminent radiological threat", which also included an accusation that the Chinese safety authority was "raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province in order to avoid having to shut it down, according to a letter from the French company to the US Department of Energy obtained by CNN".
The Biden administration doesn't think that the nuclear plant issues in China are at a "crisis level" according to one of CNN's sources. Radiation levels in Hong Kong, which is around 85 miles away from the Taishan nuclear plant, "were normal" on Monday according to the Hong Kong Observatory, which monitors radiation around Hong Kong.
A single password... that is all it took to bring down most of the fuel supplies to the US Southeast, with Colonial Pipelines claiming it was the victim of a vicious cyberattack.
We then heard that Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount approved paying $4.5 million in Bitcoin to the ransomware hacking collective DarkSide, and then the US Department of Justice announced the FBI had "recovered most" of the $4.5 million ransomware payment.
But it was all from a single password, with the attack using a legacy Virtual Private Network (VPN) system that didn't have two-factor authentication. Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount said: "In the case of this particular legacy VPN, it only had single-factor authentication. It was a complicated password, I want to be clear on that. It was not a Colonial123-type password".
The Senate has passed the US Innovation and Competition Act, with the new legislation unleashing over $200 billion into scientific and technological innovations on US soil over the next 5 years.
The money will go into semiconductor manufacturing, R&D, next-gen chips, robotics, AI, and more. The US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) legislation being passed means $52 billion for US-based semiconductor manufacturing, a 30% increase in funding for the National Science Foundation, and $29 billion for a new science directorate that will focus on applied sciences.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said: "It's the largest investment in scientific research and technological innovation in generations. It sets the United States on a path to lead the world in the industries of the future".
Google has been slapped with a $267 million fine over abusing its own ads and will now be changing its own ad practices.
Google was slapped with the fine by Frances competition authority, who found that Google used its own dominant position on advertising servers to "favor its own services over competitors on both ad servers and SSP [sell-side] platforms," said Isabelle de Silva, head of the Autorite de la concurrence.
Google has taken to a blog post to explain that it will be changing its ad policy to allow for publishers to have "increased flexibility". Additionally, Google stated, "Also, we are reaffirming that we will not limit Ad Manager publishers from negotiating specific terms or pricing directly with other sell-side platforms." This isn't the first time Google has felt the force from French regulators, as the company was slapped with a $167 million fine for unclear advertising rules that resulted in a Google Ad's account of a French company being suspended.
Americans will no longer be able to invest in 59 China-based companies as what they are developing poses a national security risk.
President Biden has issued a new executive order that will stop 59 different defense and tech firms in China from receiving any United States investments. According to a press release from the White House, the new executive order was created to stop a continuous "threat posed by the military-industrial complex of the People's Republic of China (PRC)." The White House also said that the development of certain pieces of technology in China and its deployment in other countries poses a national security risk to the United States.
US citizens are now prohibited under the revised E.O. 13959 to make any new investments into the 59 companies listed or "engaging in the purchase or sale". All of the companies that the executive order lists are China-based companies that are involved in the development of surveillance, aviation, and more. All of which are directly linked to the military-industrial complex. The list may not even be completed yet either, as the White House has said that more companies' names could be added to the list on a "rolling basis".
European Union lawmakers have asked top technology companies to increase the efforts being made to stop COVID-19 misinformation.
Currently, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, TikTok, and Twitter are all participants in the (non-legally binding) Code of Practice on Disinformation, which is an agreement that compels the tech giants to provide monthly reports in how they are stopping COVID-19 misinformation. The European Commission has said the companies have shown the inability to police "dangerous lies" on their own, and that the quality of the data being given to them is not at satisfactory standards.
Vera Jourova, the EU's VP for values and transparency, said, "We decided to extend this programme, because the amount of dangerous lies continues to flood our information space and because it will inform the creation of the new generation Code against disinformation. We need a robust monitoring programme, and clearer indicators to measure impact of actions taken by platforms. They simply cannot police themselves alone."
A new report from Reuters has revealed that Iran's largest warship has caught fire and sunk in the Gulf of Oman.
At the time of writing this, Iranian officials have revealed the exact reason why the IRIS Kharg has sunk, but reports are indicating that the ship's crew was safely rescued before the ship went down. Speculation is growing that the ship's sinking may have something to do with its connection with the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea and is responsible for around 21 million barrels of oil per day, or around a fifth of the world's oil.
So how did the fire start? And who is responsible? At the moment, no one knows, but there has been a focus on the Strait of Hormuz, with both Iran and Israel claiming that each other have attacked ships operating in the area. Additionally, there have been many explosion accusations tossed around by both parties. If you are interested in reading more about Iran and Israel, check out this link here.