Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 246

All the latest Business, Financial & Legal news as it relates to tech, gaming, and science - Page 246.

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Apple starts $500 off Macs, $250 off iPads employee discount program

Trace Hagan | Jun 21, 2012 2:03 PM CDT

Are you an Apple employee or thinking about starting work there? Well, now may be a good time as Apple is getting more generous with their employee discount offerings as well as their pay. Back in January, Tim Cook announced employees would be getting a new major discount program for Macs and iPads starting in June.

Sticking with that announcement, Apple has launched the new program which should give large discounts to Apple employees. Employees will now be able to purchase Macs with a $500 discount (excluding Mac mini) and iPads with a $250 discount. Better yet, these discounts are on top of the existing 25% discount offered by Apple.

Employees must be with the company for at least three months and can only take advantage of the discount once every three years. In other news, Apple has moved up its scheduled raises from September to now. Some are reporting increases of up to 30% but the average seems to be about $2-4. The increase depends on the performance of the store and employee both.

Continue reading: Apple starts $500 off Macs, $250 off iPads employee discount program (full post)

LG wave goodbye to the tablet market, buys the smartphone market another round of drinks

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 21, 2012 3:08 AM CDT

LG haven't been doing so well in the tablet market which is mainly dominated by Apple, Samsung and Amazon, but instead of making a constant loss, or barely breaking even, they're completely diving out of the market and concentrating solely on the smartphone side of things.

LG is focused on the smartphones big time, with company spokesman Ken Hong speaking to AllThingsD and being quoted here:

We decided early this year to focus exclusively on building up our smartphone portfolio, which includes the category of large five-inch display and over devices, such as Optimus Vu, which we feel addresses many of the content consumption issues with traditional mobile phones.

Continue reading: LG wave goodbye to the tablet market, buys the smartphone market another round of drinks (full post)

NVIDIA issues response to Torvalds' harsh words

Trace Hagan | Jun 19, 2012 5:32 PM CDT

NVIDIA has issued a statement regarding Linus Torvalds harsh words. A little recap: Linus Torvalds said during a conference that NVIDIA is the worst company ever and then said "NVIDIA: F*** you!" He said this because he was a little upset with the Linux support and willingness to work with the open source community.

NVIDIA's PR machine has been at work crafting a statement to respond to his comments and finally issued a statement last night. The short version is that they are committed to Linux support using their own proprietary driver that is common among platforms. This allows for same-day Linux support of GPUs.

They also highlight their work with Tegra in the Linux community. Below is the NVIDIA response:

Continue reading: NVIDIA issues response to Torvalds' harsh words (full post)

Google gets upset over YouTube to MP3 converter, threatens legal action

Trace Hagan | Jun 19, 2012 12:32 PM CDT

Google doesn't appear to be happy with a website that is converting YouTube videos into MP3s and allowing visitors to convert YouTube videos into MP3 files for download. It turns out that they are so unhappy with the website, which pulls in 1.3m visitors a day, that they have sent a letter threatening legal action.

Apparently, this service that the site is providing is against YouTube's Terms of Service and, as such, YouTube has blocked the websites servers from accessing YouTube. Google has only provided the site with 7 days to comply with Google's request or they could face possible legal action for break the Terms of Service.

"We would estimate that there are roughly 200 million people across the world that make use of services like ours and Google doesn't just ignore all those people, they are about to criminalize them. With the way they are interpreting and creating their ToS every one of those 200 million users is threatened to be sued by Google," the converter spokesman said.

Continue reading: Google gets upset over YouTube to MP3 converter, threatens legal action (full post)

Intel acquiring 1,700 Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE patents from InterDigital for $375 million

Trace Hagan | Jun 18, 2012 2:27 PM CDT

Intel has agreed to buy 1,700 patents relating to Wi-Fi, 3G, and LTE from InterDigital. Last year, there were murmurs about a treasure chest of patents relating to those technologies being up for sale by InterDigital. The cost for these key patents? Only a cool $375 million in cash. Apparently, Intel has been after these patents for a while.

Intel's Senior Vice President, Doug Melamed, had this to say about the transaction: "These patents will support Intel's strategic investments in the mobile segment. The addition of these patents expands our already large, strong and diverse portfolio of intellectual property."

Interestingly enough, InterDigital refers to these as only a small portion of its overall collection of patents. How much more value is included in the other patents that they have? Senior Executive Vice President at InterDigital, Scott McQuilkin, had this to say about the upcoming transaction:

Continue reading: Intel acquiring 1,700 Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE patents from InterDigital for $375 million (full post)

Apple is set to become most profitable public company ever

Trace Hagan | Jun 18, 2012 1:27 PM CDT

Let's face it, Apple has more money than they know what to do with. Before their stock buy-back program, they had right around $100 billion in cash. Apple already has the record for most profitable quarter among technology companies, so what is next for the giant? One analyst believes they could become the most profitable publicly traded companies.

"In CY12, we believe Apple is poised to generate the highest annual net income of any publicly traded company ever," White wrote. "On average, we estimate Apple's net income in CY12 will be over 6x higher than the three tech companies on an individual basis (when at a $500 billion market cap) or 1.9x the aggregate profit of these three companies combined. When including all five companies, we estimate Apple's net income in CY12 will be 4x higher than the average."

So why the huge increase in value? White is citing a new iPhone with a 4" screen launching in the third quarter, an "iPad mini" that is set to launch sometime in September, and an upcoming HDTV made by Apple. White has confirmed his buy recommendation along with a price target $1,111, which is about double the current price of $572 (as of opening bell Monday).

Continue reading: Apple is set to become most profitable public company ever (full post)

Facebook CTO leaves, heads for unnamed startup

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 18, 2012 1:31 AM CDT

Bret Taylor was Facebook's chief technology officer, but won't be for much longer. The CTO was in charge of both platform and mobile development at Facebook. Once he's gone, two of his underlings will take over his two posts, with Mike Vernal taking on platform development and Cory Ondreijka going after mobile.

Taylor is an ex-Google employee, too, leaving the company in 2007 where he founded FriendFeed. Facebook acquired FriendFeed in 2009, and two years later he was donned as CTO of Facebook. Taylor spoke to AllThingsD saying that the time he spent with Facebook "has been among the most fulfilling times of my career".

With the troubled IPO and problems the social networking are having at the moment, one would think this is quite a bad time for Taylor to leave, but his departure is no surprise to Facebook management. Taylor has always said that he "had always been upfront with Mark [Zuckerberg] that I eventually wanted to do another start-up, and we felt now is the best time after the IPO and the launch of some recent things for me to do that".

Continue reading: Facebook CTO leaves, heads for unnamed startup (full post)

MegaUpload saga: FBI ordered to copy all 150TB of Dotcom Data

Trace Hagan | Jun 15, 2012 1:29 PM CDT

In the continuing MegaUpload saga, a US federal judge has ordered that the FBI being copying all 150TB of seized Dotcom data. It's not clear whether or not the information will be handed over now, as requested by Dotcom's lawyers, but it will have to be handed over if Dotcom and the other executives ever stand trial in the US.

Lawyers for the FBI are complaining that they will be unable to copy the 150TB of data in the 21-day time period given by the judge. To give an estimate of size, they had said it took 10 days to copy only 29TB of data. The judge didn't care and said that the Government had "ample means" to do the work. " ... [T]he expense involved in copying must be dwarfed by the other costs of an investigative and prosecutorial operation of this size."

The judge reiterated that if the defendants come to the United States like the prosecutors were trying for, then the copying of data would not have been a waste of time. Justice Winkelmann has ordered another two-day hearing to determine whether or not the data will be released to Dotcom, or his lawyers, while he remains in New Zealand. More as it continues.

Continue reading: MegaUpload saga: FBI ordered to copy all 150TB of Dotcom Data (full post)

AMD licenses ARM technology, comes as no surprise

Trace Hagan | Jun 13, 2012 10:22 AM CDT

It's been expected by many analysts and fanboys alike that AMD would eventually either produce their own ARM-type chip or license one of ARM's creations. Today, AMD has finally done one of those options by licensing the ARM Cortex-A5. The Cortex-A5 will find its way into AMD's APU line of CPUs.

It's not actually the processing functions of the Cortex-A5 that AMD is after, however. This is the unexpected part. Instead, AMD is looking to use the security features that ARM has been working on for some time. Dubbed TrustZone, ARM has produced hardware and software which make data transfers and transactions more secure.

The Cortex-A5 was chosen as it is the smallest of ARM's chips and will take up only a marginal amount of space on one of AMD's APUs. If produced on the 28nm process, it is expected the A5 will add about 10-15mm2 of die size. The A5 will take care of all of the security functions for securing online transactions.

Continue reading: AMD licenses ARM technology, comes as no surprise (full post)

EU watchdog issues warning over smart meter privacy risk

Trace Hagan | Jun 12, 2012 12:28 PM CDT

The world is becoming more and more connected and more and more devices are joining the internet. This fundamental idea is the driving force behind the need to change to IPv6. Now even smart meters are connected to some sort of network through which they transmit usage data back to the power company.

An EU watchdog is concerned about the privacy of the data that is being reported back. Due to the massive amounts of data being reported, it's easy to see when people are home or not by watching the power usage. Not only that, but the meter can even report back what medical devices are in use in the house.

It's of the utmost concern to Privacy International, a group claiming that proposed safeguards do not go far enough. The major fear appears to be regarding the ability to deduce if someone is home or not, but there are plenty more complaints about the sheer amount of data being collected.

Continue reading: EU watchdog issues warning over smart meter privacy risk (full post)