Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 226
BTJunkie was one of top five BitTorrent sites out there, and has after 7 years in operation, decided to voluntarily shut down. This closure is sure to be in relation from the growing pressure from authorities in the U.S. and around the world, with MegaUpload taking the first big blow, as well as The Pirate Bay.
BTJunkie wasn't attacked by the authorities, so this looks like a preemptive move to avoid future legal action, and/or arrests. BTJunkie had boasted 80 million users at one point, and in its farewell message, BTJunkie wrote:
This is the end of the line my friends. The decision does not come easy, but we've decided to voluntarily shut down. We've been fighting for years for your right to communicate, but it's time to move on. It's been an experience of a lifetime, we wish you all the best!
Anonymous have had an eventful 2012 thus far, with news today that they've intercepted and recorded a conference call that took place between the FBI and the British police cybercrime division of Scotland Yard on January 17.
Anonymous have now released an audio recording of the nearly 15 minutes of conversation online. During the call, the two parties discussed something quite important, a hacker plot called "Project Mayhem". What is Project Mayhem you ask? Well, it's only a strategy for bringing down Anonymous, you can now understand why this is of importance for Anonymous.
The two parties specifically talk about back arrests of members known as "Kayla" and "Tee-flow", as well as getting Ryan Cleary's indecent images which were found by the USAF who examined his hard drive and 15-year-old "Tehwongz" who has claimed to of hacked 32,000 Steam user names, logins and credit card details.
Apple don't have a TV on the market, where their biggest competitor in the smartphone market, Samsung, sure do have that market with their fist around it, tightly. The latest coming from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, has said that the Cupertino-based company has been checking out the TV component supply chain, in preparations of entering the TV market.
Munster wrote in a note to clients today:
In January we spoke with a major TV component supplier who has been contacted by Apple regarding various capabilities of their television display components. We see this as continued evidence that Apple is exploring production of a television. This latest data point follows January 2011 meetings in Asia that led us to believe Apple was investing in manufacturing facilities for LCD displays ranging from 3.5" mobile displays to 50" television displays.
Now I'm beginning to wonder. A consumer walks into a store that sells a bunch of different branded TVs, as well as Apple products. Said customer sees a 50-inch Apple TV for, I'm guessing here, $3999 and sees a 55-inch Samsung OLED TV, which makes the Apple screen look like a 640x480 CRT, and is $3499. Which would the customer buy?
The scary answer? Most like Apple, because of that darn attractive picture of fruit on the front. Go, Apple, go.
Crackle has launched an Xbox Live app, gives US, UK, Canadian and Australians access to TV shows, movies, for free
I've never heard of Crackle until now, so I've just pushed that rock up off my back and thrown it to the side for now. Crackle is part of Sony Picture Entertainment's video entertainment network, and now gives UK, US, Canadian, and Australians access to a bunch of TV shows and Hollywood movies, all for free.
For free! Free, as in, nothing? Well, Crackle is ad-supported, but it's not a direct competitor of paid-for video-on-demand services such as Netflix, which is also available on the Xbox Live hub, but instead Crackle offers a range of old movies, TV shows and animated series.
Phil Lynch, VP Digital Networks and Games at Sony Pictures Television says:
Crackle is the single best multi-platform source of free, ad-supported Hollywood films and television series. By our continued emphasis on cross-platform distribution, we are bringing an unparalleled viewing experience directly to Crackle's largest demographic of 18-34 males through their Internet-enabled devices. We are thrilled to be part of Xbox LIVE's entertainment expansion.
This has been going on for quite a while now, but just a few moments ago, Sweden's Supreme Court handed down its decision to not grant leave to appeal in the long-running Pirate Bay criminal trial. What this means is that their previously determined jail sentences and fines handed out to Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundstrm will stand.
During the original 2009 trial, Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstrm all had their sentences decreased, but ordered to pay increased damages that added up to millions of dollars to be handed over to the entertainment company plaintiffs.
The three men filed for a hearing of their case at the Supreme Court, which happened today, and their request was denied. This means that the previously-given sentences now stand, and are final. Peter Sunde aka Brokep, will face 8 months in prison. Fredrik Neij aka TiAMO, is looking at 10 months. Businessman Carl Lundstrm has just 4 months behind bars. They are all still required to pay a combined $6.8 million in damages.
Facebook has finally, after all this time, speculation and rumors, finally reached their status of hitting an initial public offering (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It raised $5 billion, less than the previously speculated $10 billion.
In their S-1 filing, Facebook also mentioned they would begin selling public stock as soon as possible. On top of the IPO news, they released some statistics on Facebook, which are very mind-blowing: Facebook now receives 845 million active users per month, 100 billion friendships, 2.7 billion likes and comments per day, as well as 250 million photos being uploaded every day.
We also found out that Facebook has been profitable for three years now, with revenue of $777 million on profit of $229 million in 2009 alone. Revenue grew 154-percent to $1.974 billion in 2010, and another 88-percent in 2011 to $3.711 billion. Facebook earned $1 billion last year, and are sitting on cash reserves of $3.908 billion.
What would you say Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg earned? Well, a salary of $483,333 in 2011, with a $220,500 bonus for the first half of the year, and $783,529 in other compensations (with $692,679 spent on chartered airplanes). This pay "reflected the impact of his performance in leading our product development efforts, our success in growing Facebook's global user base and developing strong developer and commercial relationships."
Twitter recently gave itself itself the power to censor particular tweets in particular countries, but this latest move tops them all. Two friends had planned a trip the the United States, as most people would dream of doing, with Leigh Van Bryan posting a tweet just weeks before his trip that he was going to "destroy America."
Now, a level-headed person would take that as someone who is excited about going to the U.S. with a friend, and is looking to have a great time. The U.S. didn't see it that way, and did not think it was said in a positive tone, where things escalated, quite a bit. Bryan and his friend, Emily Bunting, arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport, where they were questioned by U.S. special agents who had spotted their tweet.
They were questioned for over five hours, after which they were placed into an illegal immigrants van and were put behind bars, separately, for 12 hours. Bryan was questioned in regards to his tweet, where he jokingly said he would be "digging up Marilyn Monroe." The tweet where the U.S. believed Bryan was a "terrorist" was:
Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America.
Emily on the other hand stated:
Officials told us we were not allowed into the country because of Leigh's tweets. We just wanted to have a good time on holiday. That was all Leigh meant in his tweets.
Hasn't the world, or WikiLeaks, learnt anything? If the U.S. Government wants you, they'll come and get you. No matter what country, no matter if you're not a U.S. citizen, or whether you're on water - they'll find a way. Kim Dotcom would've thought he was safe with MegaUpload, after all. The latest out of WikiLeaks is that they want to move their servers offshore in an attempt to avoid prosecution from the U.S.
Citing "multiple sources within the hacking community," told FoxNews.com that those backing WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange, have been working behind the scenes to move the servers to international waters where they would find themselves under maritime law. This means that once they are far enough away from land, then maritime law is what you "report" to.
But moving servers onto the open sea isn't going to solve WikiLeaks problems overnight. Jim Dempsey, Vice President for Public Policy with the Washington, D.C., think tank Center for Democracy and Technology has said that moving the servers offshore wouldn't go any good unless those who are running WikiLeaks also moved offshore, where he's quoted;
Where the data resides isn't what determines jurisdiction. You prosecute real people, you don't prosecute servers. So if the WikiLeaks people want to live on a platform in the North Sea and educate their children there ... for people who have lives, that doesn't make sense.
Apple appeals Chinese court ruling, where it was rejected the ownership of the iPad trademark in China
Apple are having to appeal a Chinese court ruling in December of last year, where they were rejected of iPad trademark ownership in China. This could open up Apple to trademark infringement lawsuits from a local company. Apple filed an appeal on January 5 with the Higher People's Court of Guangdong Province, according to a statement from Proview International.
Proview International is a small Chinese display monitor company that claims control over the iPad trademark in mainland China, and the same company that is stirring up a storm over at Apple. Apple had originally filed a lawsuit against Proview to take control of the trademark, but back in December of last year, the Shenzhen Municipal Intermediate People's Court rejected Apple's claim.
Within the lawsuit, Apple claimed that a Proview subsidiary in Taiwan had actually sold the iPad trademark rights to a U.K.-based company called "IP Applications." From there, the trademark rights were then sold to Apple in 2010. The Shenzhen court ruled the transfer of trademark rights were only made through Proview's Taiwan subsidiary. Proview's Shenzhen-based company did not actually attend trademark negotiations, and did not formally transfer any trademark rights, according to the court.
Rovio Mobile, the guys and gals behind the crazy successful Angry Birds, has enjoyed much success with their bird-slinging game. Right up to the point where chief executive, Mikael Hed told the Midem conference in Cannes this morning:
We have some issues with piracy, not only in apps, but also especially in the consumer products. There is tons and tons of merchandise out there, especially in Asia, which is not officially licensed products. We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy.
Hed explained that Rovio sees it as "futile" to go after pirates through the courts, apart from when it feels the products they are selling are harmful to the Angry Birds brand, or ripping off its fans. Rovio see piracy as a way to attract more fans, even if its not making money from it. This is where Hed is quoted with:
Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day.