Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 248
It seems as though AMD execs have been jumping ship left and right. Is AMD really doing this poorly, or is there something else going on that's resulting in all of these resignations? Emilio Ghilardi left less than two months ago, and now Pat Patla, former General Manager and Corporate VP of AMD's Commercial Business unit, and Godfrey Cheng, Director of AMD's Client Technology Unit have left or are in the process of leaving.
First, let's look at Pat Patla. His departure is official. His LinkedIn profile confirms it as well as the Wall Street Journal. He has reportedly defected to Samsung where he holds the title of Vice President. The WSJ blog speculates that Samsung wants to build some ARM-based server chips, and Patla is a good fit because he oversaw the Opteron series from AMD.
Then we have Cheng. He hasn't officially left yet, but according to a Facebook post by him, he's tendered his resignation. "after almost 12 years at ATI Technologies / AMD, I tendered my resignation last week. I will be here for approximately the next week then I may wander the earth and get into adventures......" Cheng oversaw AMD's graphics marketing as well as the Client Technology Unit.
Today's news has been filled with business and legal happenings, so here's one more! A teacher's aide has found herself on administrative leave after refusing Facebook access to her employer. This all started back in April of 2011 when Kimberly Hester posted a picture on her own time of her co-worker's pants around her ankles and a pair of shoes.
Hester felt the image was harmless enough, but someone disagreed. A parent of a student at the school where she worked felt that it wasn't appropriate filed a complaint with the school district. Hester was summoned to the office of the Intermediate superintendent Robert Colby. Colby asked to see her Facebook account.
"He asked me three times if he could view my Facebook and I repeatedly said I was not OK with that," Hester told WSBT. Because of this refusal, Hester received a letter from the Special Education Director which informed her that "...in the absence of you voluntarily granting Lewis Cass ISD administration access to you[r] Facebook page, we will assume the worst and act accordingly."
There's a new bill running around in the UK and it is akin the US Patriot Act. This bill, if passed, would give the Government Communication Headquarters, or GCHQ, the ability to access phone calls, text messages, emails, and online activity of any citizen without a warrant. The actual contents of the emails and messages would be off-limits, but this is still a gross violation of privacy.
I know we live in an age where privacy doesn't exactly mean much to anyone anymore, but at least with Facebook, we get to choose what to share with the world. This new bill would share the recipients, time, duration and frequency of conversations, plus a list of websites being visited with the government without the need for a warrant.
A similar bill was tried in 2009, but they made the decision to drop it after the massive public outcry. The public was not to happy about having their privacy violated anymore than it already was. The question is, will it pass? It most likely will have a similar outcry to the 2009 attempt, but Britain might still try to pass it. It's estimated at costing $2 billion, and that was in the 2009 attempt. Hopefully it's cost prohibitive enough so that it doesn't get passed.
It looks like life is starting to get fair for the inventors of the technology that everyone uses daily around the world. Yes, I'm talking about the inventors of the Wireless LAN. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) patented the technology in the 1990s, and has used that patent to sue companies without a license since 2005.
Back in 2009, CSIRO recovered AUD$205 million (US$212 million) after suing and settling with 14 companies. They have continued to sue and settle with an additional 23 companies in which they have just received another AUD$220 million as payment. "It was important that Australia protect its intellectual property, and that those major companies who are selling billions of devices pay for the technology that they were using," Australian Minister for Science and Research Chris Evans said.
"CSIRO's commercial and legal teams on both sides of the Pacific have worked very hard over the past several years to gain a reasonable return and I would like to pay particular tribute to them for their extraordinary efforts," Nigel Poole, a senior executive at CSIRO, said. But, some credit also goes to the inventors. They had to solve the problem of the radio waves bouncing off of indoor surfaces and creating echos. They did just that and beat many of the major communications companies that were trying to do the same.
Apple has, until now, only given developers 60-percent of the revenue from iAd clicks. But, just now, Apple have increased this from 60- to 70-percent. This isn't a big change in the short-term, but in the long-term it means fatter profits for developers who rely on the iAd platform for their income.
Apple notes the change in their updated developer agreement:
(a) Apple Campaigns. Developer shall receive seventy percent (70%) of the Net Advertising Revenue derived from the sale of advertising on the Developer's Mobile Properties ("Developer Revenue Share") net of any applicable taxes as provided in Section 6 of this Agreement. The Developer Revenue Share percentage may be adjusted from time to time at Apple's sole discretion. Notice of material changes to the Revenue Share percentage will be posted on the Company Portal. "Net Advertising Revenue" is defined as gross advertising revenue recognized through the delivery of ads by Apple less: a) any allowances actually made or taken for returns, credits, cash discounts and promotional allowances; and, b) Agency and agent fees, discounts, commissions and referral fees.
U.K. 'to announce' real-time phone, e-mail, and Web traffic monitoring, the Queencould announce it in early-May
The U.K. has always been a strange place in terms of security policy and the amount of CCTV cameras per citizen, but this is just going a step too far. If you aren't already aware, the U.S. and various security agencies (namely the NSA) already monitor online chatter in real-time, but they just don't admit it freely. The U.K. government is at least putting the news out there.
Under new U.K. legislation, Internet service and broadband providers will be obligated to pass personal browsing, e-mail and call data to the intelligence services for real-time processing. Shocking, isn't it? These new "Internet firms" could also include things outside the basic three options listed above, such as social networks and search engines. This would mean everything you type into Google, Facebook, Twitter and more would be accessed, in real-time.
Access to ISP logs will be opened up to the government on-demand. Scared yet? Currently, the 'third' U.K. intelligence service, GCHQ, which is a signals and electronics station based in Cheltenham, process call, web and e-mail data, but not the contents of the data itself. ISPs, on the other hand, do process this data within their facilities and datacenters. The new legislation would force ISPs to 'mirror' all traffic through GCHQ allowing for more detailed inspection on a law enforcement level to quickly process information as it happens.
We only reported a few weeks ago that GAME had gone into administration, with share prices tanking and job losses on the chopping board. But, in a reverse April Fools Day joke, OpCapita scooped up 333 GAME stores across the UK.
This new agreement secures nearly 3,200 jobs, which is a great thing in this shaky economy. There were also a few employees from head office who were made redundant, that may be re-employed. OpCapita is a private investment firm specializing in retail, they have set up a company called Baker Acquisitions to buy the GAME stores.
Financial terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, but it's being reported that OpCapita will not have to pay much up-front for the business, but will have to absorb a considerable amount of their debt. BBS business editor Robert Peston said on Saturday that the deal had been approved by six banks, led by the Royal Bank of Scotland, who are owed £85m between them.
Apple and Foxconn are making changes after one of the largest investigations ever conducted of a U.S. company's operations outside of America turned up some major labor law violations. Apple was almost forced into allowing the Fair Labor Association in to conduct a probe by the mounting complaints of Americans who wanted to see better working conditions.
Some of the issues included extreme overtime and unpaid overtime. Foxconn is cutting the maximum working hours from 60 to 49 a week and hiring thousands of new employees to cover the demand. "If Foxconn's labor cost goes up ... that will be an industry-wide phenomenon and then we have to decide how much do we pass on to our customers versus how much cost do we absorb," HP Chief Executive Meg Whitman told Reuters in February.
The cutting of the hours without any sort of pay increase is not something that the workers themselves want, because they need the hours in order to subsist on the low wages. "Until Apple shares a larger proportion of its profits with its supplier factories, workers will receive the same pittance for a salary while working around the clock," Li Qiang, the director of China Labor Watch, said in an emailed statement.
Facebook is currently stuck in a lawsuit with Paul Ceglia regarding whether or not he is entitled to half of the company. Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg has released a cache of personal emails which refute those claims. Many of these date back to his years back at Harvard where the social network was first created.
Facebook and Zuckerberg are hoping that the emails will be enough to refute Ceglia's claim to Facebook and have the case dismissed. The emails paint Zuckerberg in somewhat of an unflattering light, but should refute any claims to the company. Ceglia has previously released his own emails. Well, at least the content portion of the email.
This is an important point. Ceglia didn't have the entire email to release, but instead released Word documents in which he had copied and pasted into. Forensic investigators have since proven the documents to be forgeries. Ceglia's legal team hasn't quite given up yet:
We've all seen those ads that focus on Apple's personal assistant Siri. But does it really perform that seamlessly? Well according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, it doesn't. This isn't the first time that someone has accused Apple of falsely advertising Siri either.
"Through its nationwide multimedia marketing campaign, Apple disseminates false and deceptive representations regarding the functionality of the Siri feature," Jones charges, according to the LA Times, which obtained a copy of the suit. "For example, in many of Apple's television commercials, consumers are shown using Siri to make appointments, find restaurants, and even to learn the guitar chords to classic rock songs. In its advertisements, Apple depicts these tasks as easily accomplished 'just by asking' Siri."
Often times, according to Jones, Siri misunderstood what he was asking or when Siri did understand what he was asking, she returned the wrong answer. In Apple's defense, they have publicly said that Siri is in beta and acknowledged that it is a work in progress. Whether or not this will help if the case gets to trial, only time will tell.