Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 250

All the latest Business, Financial & Legal news as it relates to tech, gaming, and science - Page 250.

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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)

Google co-founders to face US antitrust regulators for questioning

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 10, 2012 10:18 PM CDT

It looks like the lads that co-founded Google are in hot water once again, where they'll have to appear before US antitrust regulators for questioning. Larry Page and Sergey Brin have reportedly retained counsel, and are expected to give depositions before the Federal Trade Commission sometime over the coming months.

What is it all over? Well, the issue boils down to whether or not Google have been unfairly using its position as the world's dominant search engine in a manner biased in favor of its own products, as well as whether Google has increased advertising rates for its competitors.

Google of course maintains that users are free to visit Google's competition, which the search giant says is "only a click away" thanks to the nature of the web.

Continue reading: Google co-founders to face US antitrust regulators for questioning (full post)

RumorTT: Sony to acquire cloud gaming firm Gaikai

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 2, 2012 3:27 AM CDT

MCV is reporting that Sony could acquire high-profile cloud gaming firm, Gaikai. It was revealed to MCV exclusively that Sony were looking at acquiring either Gaikai, or OnLive. Either company would bolster Sony's efforts into the cloud gaming universe.

Just yesterday, Gaikai sent out invitations to journalists for what they're calling a game-changing announcement, it reads:

Gaikai has some major announcements in store for E3 that have the potential to change the future of video games, game consoles and how we play.

Continue reading: RumorTT: Sony to acquire cloud gaming firm Gaikai (full post)

Judge Alsup rules Oracle Java API elements not copyrightable, claims against Google dismissed

Trace Hagan | Jun 1, 2012 10:29 AM CDT

In a move that should help to keep innovation from being stifled, Judge Alsup, the judge presiding over the Oracle v Google trial, has ruled that sequence, structure, and organization (SSO) is not covered by today's copyright law. This, in turn, allowed him to dismiss the claims by Oracle of Google infringing on their copyright.

Instead of creating a massive precedent by making a wide ruling, Judge Alsup focused very narrowly on specific factors in the case which lead to the decision. This way he didn't create a massive precedent. He has also been very careful throughout the trial. So even though appeals are possible, it is likely his decision will be upheld.

From the judge's ruling:

Continue reading: Judge Alsup rules Oracle Java API elements not copyrightable, claims against Google dismissed (full post)

Activision settles lawsuit with Call of Duty creators out of court

Trace Hagan | Jun 1, 2012 8:50 AM CDT

It has been confirmed that Activision and Jason West and Vincent Zampella have settled their lawsuit out of court after a brief meeting on Thursday. This settlement brings to an end the two year lawsuit stemming from the termination of their employment. There was a lot of he said she said, but in the end, it seems to boil down to the fact Activision didn't want to pay them royalties.

The settlement terms, as par for the course, were not discussed and are highly secretive. This settlement also settles another lawsuit Activision was involved with. This other lawsuit was over royalties as well. When West and Zampella left, 40 or more developers left shortly after. They too filed a lawsuit saying they didn't get their royalty checks.

"All parties have reached a settlement in the dispute, the terms of which are strictly confidential," said Robert Schwartz, an attorney representing West and Zampella. West was in the courtroom, but only grinned widely as he left. Others in the game industry watched closely as it could produce some new case law that would affect somehow.

Continue reading: Activision settles lawsuit with Call of Duty creators out of court (full post)

Tim Cook talks of Apple's relationship with Facebook, says "Stay tuned"

Anthony Garreffa | May 31, 2012 12:28 AM CDT

Could those words be any more mysterious? Apple CEO Time Cook when questioned about the lack of Facebook integration on iOS, said "Stay tuned". Considering that Facebook have nearly 1 billion users, and Apple's handshake with Twitter and its integration with iOS, we have to wonder, 'why not Facebook?'

Cook adds "Facebook is a great company, and the relationship is solid. I saw Sheryl (Sandberg) earlier outside. We have great respect for each other."

When Swisher reffered to Jobs calling Facebook "onerous", Cook responded with:

Continue reading: Tim Cook talks of Apple's relationship with Facebook, says "Stay tuned" (full post)

MegaUpload saga: MegaUpload asks US court to dismiss piracy charges

Trace Hagan | May 30, 2012 4:32 PM CDT

Attorneys representing the now defunct upload site MegaUpload have filed a motion with the court to dismiss criminal piracy charges due to the fact the US had no jurisdiction. "Megaupload does not have an office in the United States, nor has it had one previously," MegaUpload's lawyers wrote in their motion to dismiss. "Service of a criminal summons on Megaupload is therefore impossible."

The filing came today and is just the latest in a long drawn out court battle between MegaUpload and the United States. The sad part is that millions of legitimate users have been affected and their files, some the only copy, have been put into jeopardy at the hands of the US government. The issue at hand is that MegaUpload has never had a US-based agent or office:

Wholly foreign corporations, therefore, may not be prosecuted for alleged violations of federal criminal law unless they waive service In short, a corporation such as Megaupload cannot be brought within the jurisdiction of this Court for criminal proceedings absent its consent.

Continue reading: MegaUpload saga: MegaUpload asks US court to dismiss piracy charges (full post)

Megaupload user asks the court for his files back, again

Anthony Garreffa | May 29, 2012 1:15 AM CDT

The Megaupload case continues, with Kyle Goodwin, an EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) asking the court to return the files, that were legal, back to Goodwin.

Goodwin lost his files when Megaupload was seized in January, since then they've been to court, both for a hearing and a mediation, but nothing has changed according to the EFF. The problem between Goodwin's files and the court, is that the government isn't helping third parties like Goodwin to get access back to their data. This leaves no choice but court.

On May 24, EFF filed a brief asking the court to order Goodwin's rightfully owned data returned. But the problem is, is that's not just Goodwin'd files, it's the thousands upon thousands of other Megaupload users who had data on their servers, where they thought it was safe.

Continue reading: Megaupload user asks the court for his files back, again (full post)

Apple CEO Tim Cook declines huge pay check, declines $75 million in stock dividends

Anthony Garreffa | May 28, 2012 8:29 PM CDT

Would you decline $75 million? Heck, $75 for free wouldn't be too bad these days. On the flip side, Apple CEO Tim "Good Guy" Cook has declined a $75 million payout in restricted stock dividends owed to him. Yes, declined.

Apple announced plans last week where they would pay a $2.65 per share dividend on restricted stocks held by Apple employees. This is rare for a company to reward its employee stockholders like this, and even more strange for a high level executive to decline the money they are entitled to.

But, it's not all bad. AllThingsD reports that this could actually benefit both the company, and Cook in the long run. This move gets positive press for not just Apple, but Cook, which could, and most likely will, translate into more stocks sold. It also shows the kind of person Cook is, in this world of increasingly greedy CEOs and executives.

Continue reading: Apple CEO Tim Cook declines huge pay check, declines $75 million in stock dividends (full post)

Berkeley chief of police sends 10 officers to track down son's stolen iPhone

Trace Hagan | May 25, 2012 10:11 AM CDT

This is one of those moments where you just want to know what a person was thinking. But until someone develops a mind-reading machine, we won't know for sure. As an epitome of United States corruption, ignorance, and waste, the Berkeley, California chief of police sent out ten of his officers to track down his son's stolen iPhone.

Guess what! They didn't manage to find the device even though it had tracking software installed on it. The officers sent to find the device weren't just regular officers, although some were. Michael Meehan, the chief, also sent officers from the drug task force to aid in the search. All of this was over a replaceable iPhone that couldn't cost more than $500.

The hunt most likely cost taxpayers a few thousand dollars. It could have potentially cost even more as only some of the officers received overtime pay for their participation in the search. This truly is an epitome of selfishness. Meehan used his position to do his personal bidding while wasting my taxpayer dollars. As a California resident, I'm not exactly happy with this story. Did Meehan cross a line or was this an acceptable use of money? You be the judge and let us know in the comments.

Continue reading: Berkeley chief of police sends 10 officers to track down son's stolen iPhone (full post)