Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 254

All the latest Business, Financial & Legal news as it relates to tech, gaming, and science - Page 254.

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ACTA is done for after European Parliament vote

Trace Hagan | Jul 4, 2012 8:56 AM CDT

Once again proving that users of the Internet are capable of influencing politicians, the European Parliament has done their job by listening to the people and voting against ACTA. ACTA, for those who don't remember, was a treaty that would have been extremely dangerous for users of the Internet. It was deceptive and pushed by special interest groups.

The vote ended up having 478 against, 39 in favor and 165 abstentions. Thanks to SOPA showing the world that Internet users wouldn't allow special interest groups to pressure the government into making laws, the unknown ACTA was brought to the forefront of the Internet users' attention and they rallied again, this time against ACTA.

It truly was the activists that made this happen. Members of the European Parliament have been thanking and praising activists across the EU for bring their attention to just how bad of a treaty this was. However, technically the treaty could still come into force between the United States and several other countries.

Continue reading: ACTA is done for after European Parliament vote (full post)

Google patents the ability to identify faces in video

Anthony Garreffa | Jul 4, 2012 5:26 AM CDT

Google have just filed a very interesting new patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) where it would see the company using the filed patent to use video frames to generate clusters of face representations that are attached to a given person.

The system would then record what a person looks like from various angles, and the company could then attach a name and face whenever that person is shown in a clip, even with bad lighting conditions or angles. This would give YouTube viewers the same abilities as Flickr, where they could tag people in videos, but could also spot people in augmented reality apps and get their details.

Considering Google have Project Glass, this seems like such a natural evolution of the project. Imagine being able to wear the Glasses, and see someone in front of you - the system could eventually be smart enough to pull details of that person from the cloud. You'd never forget their birthday, or important conversation starters - like stats on the person, married, kids, new job, etc. Google are really going to make this work with Glass in my opinion.

Continue reading: Google patents the ability to identify faces in video (full post)

EA says it's "Inevitable" that they'll become a 100% digital company

Anthony Garreffa | Jul 4, 2012 2:28 AM CDT

With the way the industry is going, a totally-digital approach just doesn't seem as crazy as it did 5, or 10 years ago. EA have been one of the first companies to come out and say it's "inevitable" that they will soon become a 100-percent digital company.

EA already make bundles of cash from the sale of digital content, with the company expecting to make nearly $2 billion from digital content this financial year. EA are already imagining a future where all of their money is made from digital content, and that future is sooner, rather than later. EA Labels boss, Frank Dibeau has told GamesIndustry International:

It's in the near future. It's coming. We have a clear line of sight on it and we're excited about it. Retail is a great channel for us. We have great relationships with our partners there. At the same time, the ultimate relationship is the connection that we have with the gamer. If the gamer wants to get the game through a digital download and that's the best way for them to get it, that's what we're going to do.

Continue reading: EA says it's "Inevitable" that they'll become a 100% digital company (full post)

Google to push out software update to Nexus 'immediately', Samsung and Google to avoid infringing on Apple patent

Anthony Garreffa | Jul 4, 2012 12:53 AM CDT

Google's Nexus smartphone may have been banned from selling in the U.S., but don't think that Google are going to sit around just googling a solution to this problem. Samsung and Google look to have a software patch that they believe avoids infringing on Apple's patent that led them to the injunction in the first place. This update is said to be pushed out 'immediately', according to Google.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled late last week that the GALAXY Nexus had infringed on four Apple patents, but the injunction was issued based specifically on a patent related to universal search. Google and Samsung will most likely challenge the validity of the patent, where they will seek a re-examination by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

If you have a GALAXY Nexus and see the patch - do let us know by commenting on this story, e-mailing us, or posting on our Facebook wall.

Continue reading: Google to push out software update to Nexus 'immediately', Samsung and Google to avoid infringing on Apple patent (full post)

Judge rules public Twitter posts can be used against you in court and accessed without a search warrant

Trace Hagan | Jul 3, 2012 10:27 AM CDT

In a ruling sure to have far-reaching consequences for how online speech is treated under the law, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Sciarrino said that public Tweets do not have the same protection as private speech. In other words, what you say online publicly, i.e. Facebook update, Tweet, or otherwise, can be accessed and used against you in court sans a search warrant.

"The Constitution gives you the right to post, but as numerous people have learned, there are still consequences for your public posts," wrote Sciarrino in his ruling. "What you give to the public belongs to the public. What you keep to yourself belongs only to you."

A little back story: Harris, the person directly affected by this ruling, was arrested during the Occupy Wall Street protests when he, along with many others, walked down the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge as opposed to the sidewalk. Before this march, he had deleted several Tweets that prosecutors believe contain evidence that directly contradicts one of his defenses.

Continue reading: Judge rules public Twitter posts can be used against you in court and accessed without a search warrant (full post)

Google contributed to the US economy in 2011 with big numbers, $80 billion of them

Anthony Garreffa | Jul 2, 2012 11:26 PM CDT

Google's Vice President of Americas Sales, Margo Georgiadis, took to the company's blog to say that the Internet is where business is done and jobs are created. How do you back up such as claim? Well, if you're Google, you can provide $80 billion of economic activity directly to advertisers, website publishers and nonprofit organizations across the US in 2011.

The post highlight that 97-percent of Americans use Internet search to find local goods and services, on both smart devices and computers. Some believe that technology is driving people to shop online versus locally, this isn't always the case.

Boston Consulting Group shows that US citizens who have researched products online throughout 2011 actually went in-store to purchase these goods, and spent around $2,000, rather than online. Google says that's nearly $500 billion in revenue that was spent on local retail. Georgiadis cites a bunch of examples of just how Google and the Internet are helping businesses expand. Citing New England baking company King Arthur Flour, who recently jumped online and has since become an internationally-renowned business.

Continue reading: Google contributed to the US economy in 2011 with big numbers, $80 billion of them (full post)

Samsung, Google team up to take on Apple in the court room

Anthony Garreffa | Jul 2, 2012 2:26 AM CDT

We know that the legal problems between Samsung and Apple are getting more and more serious, with bans imposed on Samsung selling their GALAXY Tab 10.1 in the US, and on Friday the GALAXY Nexus was also denied from sale. The judge in both of these cases is US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California.

The Korea Times has reported, which Samsung later confirmed, for the first time that they are now getting help from Google in order to better defend themselves over patents. Samsung spokeswoman Lim Yoon-jeong has said that the two companies have been working closely to created a united front. Another undisclosed Samsung insider has been quoted in the article, where they say:

It's too early to comment on our game plan (with Google) in the legal battle; but we will do our best to get more royalties from Apple, which has benefited from our technology. The fight is becoming more dramatic and the possibility of a truce in the form of a cross-licensing deal seems to be becoming likely.

Continue reading: Samsung, Google team up to take on Apple in the court room (full post)

RIM announces Q1 earnings, is hit with a $518 million loss, 5,000 job cuts and BB10 gets delayed until 2013

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 29, 2012 3:18 AM CDT

Every single time I write something about Research in Motion lately, it is negative. Today is no different, but it's actually a little worse than usual. RIM have released their report on the first quarter of its 2013 fiscal year, and the numbers aren't pretty.

RIM reports $2.8 billion in revenue, down 33-percent from the previous quarter, but the net loss is the biggest number here: $518 million. This number is much worse than what analysts were expecting. RIM have also announced they are cutting an additional 5,000 jobs as part of its ongoing restructuring efforts, and that BlackBerry 10 smartphones won't launch until Q1 of 2013.

The reason behind the delay of BB10 handsets? RIM have attributed the delay to the integration of some key BlackBerry 10 features and the "associated large volume of code" has "proven to be more time consuming than anticipated". Personally, I don't think they're going to have it any better until BB10, and if I have to be critical, even post-BB10 is not looking good for Research in Motion.

Continue reading: RIM announces Q1 earnings, is hit with a $518 million loss, 5,000 job cuts and BB10 gets delayed until 2013 (full post)

Microsoft acquires Yammer for $1.2 billion

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 26, 2012 4:47 AM CDT

Yammer is just four years old, but they've just been scooped up by Microsoft for a tidy $1.2 billion. Yammer has been dubbed "Facebook for the workplace" and is the latest in many steps for Microsoft's bid to shield their Office products from Google's constant challenges.

Yammer claims to have more than 5 million corporate users with companies such as Ford, Shell, Deloitte and eBay. Just twelve months ago Microsoft whipped out their acquisition credit card on Skype and paid $8.5 billion for the video-calling firm, so Microsoft are not shy, nor poor.

Yammer was started back in 2008 by PalPal founder David Sacks, where they raised around $142 million in funding since they began, it was backed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who also invested in Facebook. Sacks said:

Continue reading: Microsoft acquires Yammer for $1.2 billion (full post)

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom announces a new music streaming service

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 25, 2012 5:10 AM CDT

Founder of Megaupload, Kim Dotcom, has just announced through his new Twitter account "Megabox". Megabox is destined to become a new music discovery and sharing service, and is being worked on all while he's still under arrest.

Dotcom has said that Megabox would compete with platforms such as Spotify, and would let artists keep almost 90-percent of the profits made from their music. It's a pretty big change, going from Megaupload, being put under house arrest, and announcing a Spotify-like music service.

Just before the Megabox tweet, Dotcom uploaded a photo of himself and Apple founder Steve Wozniak, who visited Dotcom in New Zealand. Wozniak is a supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who are suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the files on Megaupload's servers, where the EFF argues that the site's users have a right to access.

Continue reading: Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom announces a new music streaming service (full post)