Latest remarks give Microsoft 20 days to respond to anti-trust complaints
China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has questioned Microsoft Vice President Chen Shi regarding allegations of abuse of Microsoft's monopoly on operating systems, productivity software, and browsers in the country. As part of the questioning, Microsoft has been given 20 days to respond to complaints alleging that Microsoft's use of serialization of software may have violated China's anti-monopoly laws.
PC, mobile and Mac expert retires after more than 17 years to take unnamed position
On Saturday night, well-regarded technology analyst and reviewer Anand Lal Shimpi, creator and owner of AnandTech, surprised readers with an announcement that he was retiring from the site and the tech publishing world. On Sunday, Apple confirmed that it had hired Shimpi, though it did not reveal what is job there would be. Shimpi, 32, originally started the site that became AnandTech on Geocities when he was 14 years old, and said that the site would continue without him.
Japanese publishers calling Amazon to task for abusing market position
In addition to its fight with publisher Hachette and UK booksellers, Amazon is also battling a series of Japanese publishers. In the process of launching a new ranking system in the country, Amazon Japan is alienating publishers, giving higher rankings to sellers that pay a larger percentage of income back to Amazon, and also boosting search results of publishers that hold larger back catalogs for sale on the service.
Discussion of deal in place mirrors that of earlier Apple and Visa deal
[Updated with claims of Visa, Mastercard deals] According to financial industry sources, credit card company American Express is teaming up with Apple on an iPhone payments system. The new offering is said to allow holders of an iPhone 6 to use the upcoming device in lieu of a physical card in retail shops with compatible hardware. It is not known if the feature will debut with the iPhone 6, or with a future software rollout.
Suit likely to span years, covers most all of Cox's in-home networking
After what AT&T calls "years of protracted negotiations," it has filed suit against Cox Communications, alleging that the cable company has violated seven patents covering general networking, digital video recorders (DVR), and packet loss mitigation. In a change from "normal" patent suits, AT&T is not seeking sales embargoes, but instead looks for a "compulsory ongoing royalty" for products that use the patents in question.
Impact of injunction would likely be minor
Apple will appeal a recent court decision which denied a permanent injunction against a variety of Samsung products, according to The New York Times. If imposed, an injunction would prevent several devices -- like the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II -- from being sold in the US. The financial impact on Samsung would be minor, since the products in question are outdated and/or no longer being sold.
Sprint merger appears dead; Dish and France's Iliad expected to bid
Parent company of T-Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, has reportedly put a price to a possible acquisition. According to industry sources familiar with the matter, the company will entertain offers and begin discussions of a potential merger for a bid between $35 and $40 per share, more than $5 per share than its current offering price of $29.84.
Secret Google X project revealed as drone-based delivery system
Amazon is not the only company looking to use drones for deliveries, as Google has reportedly been testing its own version for the last two years. Tested in Australia due to more "progressive" drone rules, Google's Project Wing appears to be more for creating autonomous flying machines destined for disaster relief than for detail deliveries.
Protest accommodated until doors to store blocked
A group of corporate and retail security guards for Apple stores staged a peaceful protest of what they consider to be low pay relative to other employees at the company's flagship San Francisco store on Thursday. The issue the guards were drawing attention to is not one specific to Apple, but endemic among tech firms in Silicon Valley -- who collectively tend to pay cleaning, support, maintenance and security staff lower wages on average than regular employees.
Samsung Ultra HD televisions among first to receive 4K Amazon content
Amazon Instant Video will soon start to stream TV shows and films in 4K-resolution, with Samsung Ultra HD televisions set to be among the first to receive the content. The electronics giant revealed that the retailer will start streaming the high-resolution video to customers with 4K-compatible televisions from October, with all global versions of Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video set to receive it at the same time.
Assault on JPMorgan Chase may be only one of multiple intrusions in August
JP Morgan Chase & Co plus at least four other financial institutions have reportedly come under attack by hackers. According to a quartet of people familiar with the investigation, the possibility exists that gigabytes of customer data, including banking information, may have been stolen by the assailants with a "zero-day" attack, who may to be linked to Russian state-sponsored hackers.
Microsoft, SAIC refuse comment on reports of executive's travel
Sources close to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claim that the executive is slated to visit China in late September. While the visit is scheduled, and has been for at least two weeks, unclear is whether Nadella will visit the Chinese government, or attempt to clear up any issues related to the China State Administration for Industry and Commerce's (SAIC) antitrust examination of the software giant.
Motion involved infamous 'slide to unlock' patent, others
The US District Court for the Northern District of California has again denied Apple a permanent injunction against Samsung products accused of violating three of its patents. Although the court and a jury found that Samsung did indeed infringe Apple IP -- including the famous "slide to unlock" patent -- the judge in the case, Lucy Koh, explains that Apple couldn't show that an injunction was warranted. The ruling is related to one of the post-trial motions stemming from the second Apple-Samsung patent trial. Koh also denied any injunctions on products found guilty of infringing from the first trial as well.
Apple makes changes to iAd, opens platform to Russia, Switzerland
Apple continues to tweak its iAd mobile advertising platform, now offering new formats, including full-screen interstitial ads (as often seen on iTunes Radio in iTunes) as well as Facebook-style "pre-roll" videos where video clips begin playing silently until clicked on by users, which opens the full video with sound. A new implementation guide has also been issued with the updated offerings. Additionally, the company says that the iAd network is now available in Russia and Switzerland beginning today. Ad creators can choose to update their ads to target either or both countries using iAd workbench, notes 9to5Mac.
Company to join Google Cloud Platform team, visual effects rendering services to continue
Google's cloud offerings are growing to include services aimed at the movie industry today, thanks to the addition of a rendering technology that utilizes the elasticity of cloud computing. The search giant posted on the Google Cloud Platform Blog announcing that it acquired Zync Render, a company that specializes in flexible tools that use the cloud to store and render visual effects for films.
Superintendent, deputy had close links to Apple, Pearson
The superintendent of Los Angeles' Unified School District, John Deasy, has formally suspended future implementation of an iPad contract with Apple. "Moving forward, we will no longer utilize our current contract with Apple," he writes in a memo issued to the Board of Education. "Not only will this decision enable us to take advantage of an ever-changing marketplace and technology advances, it will also give us time to take into account concerns raised surrounding the [project]."
Head of China SAIC declares target, investigation expected to expand
Mirroring similar complaints in the EU and United States from a decade ago, the current antitrust investigation in China has been confirmed to be over the bundling of Internet Explorer and Microsoft's Windows operating system. The investigation, and target of China's antitrust State Administration for Industry and Commerce, was confirmed at a press briefing by the head of the agency Zhang Mao earlier today.
Attorney fees guaranteed to be nixed, rest of deal at risk of scuttling by Judge
US District Judge Charles Breyer has rejected the proposed HP deal to end shareholder litigation against it, at least in part. In yesterday's hearing to move the settlement forward, the judge did concede that "something went terribly wrong" with the HP and Autonomy deal from 2011 and subsequent $8.8 billion write-down of the firm in 2012, but rejected millions of dollars in attorney fees to be paid by HP, by saying "that's out. I'm not going to approve the fee arrangement, period"
Costs are up 18.5 percent year-over-year, signaling additional products
An analyst with RBC Capital Markets has told investors that a strong increase in Apple's manufacturing costs means that the company is gearing up for more than just refreshes of existing products. Amit Daryanani has noted that Apple's component and manufacturing costs are up 18.5 percent despite generally-falling component prices, suggesting both Apple's raised expectations about the success of the iPhone 6 (which may or may not comprised two new models) and the alleged "iWatch."
Senate passed the bill earlier this month, office announces bill signed today
The office of California Governor Jerry Brown announced that bill SB 962 was signed today, making cell phone "kill switches" mandatory in the state. While the bill won't go into effect immediately, manufacturers must have the kill switches in place for all smartphones made after July 1, 2015. It was widely believed that Governor Brown would sign the bill after it was sent to his office after passing through the Senate on August 12.
Sources state that the deal is worth $1 billion, same as reported Google acquisition
[Updated with confirmation of deal between twitch and Amazon] Originally reported by The Information, Twitch has been purchased by Amazon. While Google was thought to be the forerunner that would pick up the company for $1 billion, based on earlier reports, Amazon has completed the deal, worth $970 million in cash.
Device named Flounder according to Wi-Fi Alliance certification, comes in three models
More information has come to the surface regarding HTC's rumored T1 tablet. On top of South Korean regulators passing a device with the 0P82100 model number, the Wi-Fi Alliance has also approved a device under the same identifier. The Wi-Fi Alliance shows that the tablet is named Flounder, according to the firmware version on the device.
Promised lawsuit outlines complaints, promises made by Oracle over failed system
More than two months after Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber promised legal action against the company contracted to build the state's healthcare marketplace, the State of Oregon has sued Oracle. The Oregon Department of Justice filed a complaint last week with the Circuit Court for the State of Oregon, containing 14 claims for relief, including breach of contract, fraud and offenses under the Oregon Civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
Firm already tied to A8 production
Even though the A8-based iPhone 6 has yet to ship, TSMC is already preparing to ramp up production on its 16nm lines to meet demand for the A9 processor, according to Chinese-language publication the Economic Daily News. The company is said to have been targeting 16nm volume production for the second quarter of 2015, but moved its schedule up to the first. Although A9 chips probably won't roll off assembly lines until later next year, TSMC will allegedly be ready to churn out 50,000 16nm wafers a month starting in Q1.
Company excluded since iPhone 5
Samsung has been brought back into the iPhone DRAM supply chain for the iPhone 6, says Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri. The company was shut out of DRAM for the iPhone 5 and 5s, presumably because of Apple's desire to distance itself from its main competitor and legal antagonist. For the iPhone 6, Samsung is reportedly being joined by Micron and Elpida.
Several companies confirm attacks as service returns, hacking group claims responsibility
Some of the most popular gaming services are reportedly under attack as a series of distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) has been underway since last week. Shacknews reports that Blizzard, Grinding Gear Games, PlayStation Network, Riot and Sony Online Entertainment have all been undergoing a series of attacks leading to connection instabilities and service failures. While the attack was initially thought to be limited to a few companies, it's been discovered that several additional gaming services and websites have been targeted as far back as August 18 by a hacking group.
Presidential advisor believes education, overall government experience sufficient
In an interview with the Information Security Media Group publication, White House cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel admits to having no practical experience with the subject matter. Daniel claims that "being too down in the weeds at the technical level could actually be a little bit of a distraction" to his job of advising the President about ongoing and emergent information security issues.
Ruling could have affected outcome of second Apple-Samsung trial
US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh has denied Samsung's post-trial request to invalidate two Apple patents, both of which were used successfully to convict Samsung of copying the iPhone maker's technology yet again in the second federal Apple-Samsung trial, held earlier this year. Samsung had filed the motion in early July, based on a recent Supreme Court decision, Alice vs. CLS Banks, which stated that software ideas that were just abstract representations of real-world concepts (such as turning a doorknob) were not patentable.
Charter swept up in FCC info dragnet, September 11 deadline for submissions
A request for information from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been submitted to Comcast and Time Warner Cable, demanding the pair detail its Internet and programming agreements before the merger is approved. Information sought includes broadcast deals with sports leagues, Internet network management such as that with Netflix traffic, consumer data caps, and other information deemed vital which may impact relations with customers should the deal be approved.
Firm has worked with Dell, HP, Logitech on a wide variety of consumer electronics
Google has acquired design firm Gecko, in an effort to bolster its Google(x) product manufacture efforts. The firm has previously done industrial design work for OLPC, Logitech, Sling Media, Herman Miller, Hewlett-Packard, and contributed to the Fitbit design, pre-launch.
Amazon hopes contract will pave the way for cloud-based confidential data
Amazon Web Services has received the first-ever US Department of Defense level three through five provisional authorization for the AWS GovCloud (US) region under the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) codified Cloud Security Model (CSM). This new authorization allows Department of Defense users to conduct development and integration activities for everything but classified workflows with Amazon's service.
Unlimited plan follows on new family sharing plan, contrasts savings against T-Mobile
With the exit of Dan Hesse and the appointment of CEO Marcelo Claure earlier in the month, Sprint is kicking into a new gear with a clutch of new offerings. Following on a new family plan structure, including a $100 plan with up to 10 lines and 40 GB of data, Sprint announced a new single-line plan that offers unlimited text, talk and data for $60 per month. The new plan follows on previous reports that a similar plan was in the works for $50 a month.
Startup will need to take the case district court if it wants to continue fighting
Aereo, the broadcasting startup that allowed users to rebroadcast and time-shift over-the-air (OTA) programming, appears to be running out of ways to stay alive. According to documents acquired by the Washington Post, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has denied the company's recent request to reconsider the case.
Company complies with only half of judge's controversial order
Following a ruling by a Brazilian judge that anonymous social apps such as Secret violate the Brazilian constitution, Apple has removed the program from the App Store in that country, citing that its own guidelines require that apps comply with local laws in the country they're sold in. In addition to Apple, the judge ordered Google and Microsoft to also remove the app or similar apps. There has not, however, been any reports of Apple or the other companies remotely deleting the app from users' devices.
Tech could be used to keep premiums, expenditures down
Apple is talking with at least two insurance companies about its HealthKit platform in iOS 8, according to Bloomberg. These include Humana and UnitedHealth, the latter being the US' biggest such firm. It's not yet clear what the parties might have in mind.
One year of unlimited LTE data offered to both new T-Mobile customers and referrers
T-Mobile is ramping up its fight against Sprint, by attempting to coax subscribers to switch carrier. From August 29th, whenever a T-Mobile customer convinces another person to sign up to the carrier, both accounts will receive unlimited LTE data free for an entire year, or in the case of existing T-Mobile Simple Choice customers already having unlimited LTE, a $10 monthly credit for one year instead.
First Amazon Prime Air service could operate in Mumbai, Bangalore
Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery service will initially launch in India, according to a report. The retailer is allegedly preparing the service, which uses an army of automated flying drones to carry light parcels, to operate out of its warehouses in Mumbai and Bangalore, with a view to getting it up and operational this October.
Releases $2.6M Apple bond covering never-enacted Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban
On Wednesday, US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled on two motions in the ongoing leftover matters related to the first Apple vs. Samsung patent trial from 2012. The first ruling denied Apple the opportunity to recover attorney's fees from Samsung related to its guilty verdict on trade dress claims, and the second returned a $2.6 million Apple bond the company had put up to enforce a sales injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which was found to have copied Apple's iPad technology. No action was ever taken on the ban due to the appeals process, and both companies have since agreed to drop the injunction.
Organization debuts new Tablets/Slates category, required for gov't purchasing
The Apple iPad is overwhelmingly dominant in a new EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) category covering tablets and slates. Out of 135 devices currently registered, 134 are simply different configurations of the iPad Air, iPad mini, and fourth-generation iPad. The one non-Apple entry is the Dell Venue 11 Pro.
Hyatt, United, Starbucks, Tripadvisor among early partners
Uber has released an anticipated API that will let third-party developers integrate its ridesharing services into their own apps. The company says it is already working with 11 high-profile partners, including Starbucks, United, OpenTable, TimeOut, Tempo, Hinge, Tripadvisor, Tripcase, Hyatt, Mememo, and Expensify. Apps based on the API will be able to show available rides and/or price and time estimates, and make use of a person's trip history.
Package changes developer ad ID with that of assailant with Cydia Substrate
A new piece of malware has started infecting jailbroken iOS devices earlier this year. The "AdThief" or "Spad" package hijacks advertising clicks and revenue, and redirects them to the author of the package, rather than the developer who inserted the advertising in the first place. The malware is simple and low profile -- it replaces the developer's ID with the attacker's ID. Mobile ad kits targeted by the AdThief malware are mostly from Chinese vendors, with four in the US, and a pair in India.
Change in Twitter policy to help protect families from malicious imagery
Twitter is now accepting requests to remove images and videos of the deceased. In a change of policy, the service announced it will take down photographs and other materials "in certain circumstances," with requests from immediate family members and other authorized individuals being considered for removal "in order to respect the wishes of loved ones."
Independent tester finds that Verizon beats out all other carriers for first half of 2014
A new study of wireless carriers for the first half emerged today, putting Verizon at the top of the pile in five categories, marking it as the best overall carrier in the United States. Market research firm RootMetrics announced its findings, showing that Verizon was the best carrier in reliability, speed, data performance and call performance.
Enforcement group wants to install 'piracy wheel clamp' through ISPs in the future
It appears that the piracy enforcement group Rightscorp has been looking into a new strategy when it comes to repeat infringers of its clients' intellectual property. In an earnings conference call last week, the company revealed a different direction that it was considering for the future, one that includes working with Internet service providers (ISP) to block Internet browsing until a payment is made to the group.
Organization believes that auction violates Spectrum Act, abuses discretion under APA Act
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filed a petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, seeking a review of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 2015 spectrum auction. In the filing, the NAB states that the FCC isn't taking the proper precautions to protect broadcasters that choose to retain their spectrum. According to the NAB, an updated methodology the FCC is using will result in a loss of coverage area for remaining broadcasters.
Outgoing Ballmer to spend time with Los Angeles Clippers, teaching
Steve Ballmer has stepped down his position as Microsoft board member, six months after being replaced as CEO by Satya Nadella. In a letter to the current CEO, the former leader advises that he is departing "effective immediately," citing his involvement with teaching and his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers as keeping him "very busy."
Terms under 'quiet period' until September 30, Adam Carolla crowdfunded defense fund
Big name podcasts may be in the clear for the time being, as Personal Audio and Adam Carolla's Lotzi Digital recently agreed to jointly dismiss a patent lawsuit without prejudice last Friday. The filing, obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), comes after a settlement was reached between the two parties, the details of which have yet to be announced. Both companies are under a "quiet period" until September 30.
New malware not stealing info, passwords; just growing
The Gameover Zeus botnet has re-appeared in stronger form, with most of the infections taking place inside the US. The new botnet implementation doesn't rely on the peer-to-peer methodology of the parent strain, but instead relies on a more flexible, and harder to stop, domain generation algorithm (DGA) to determine how the malware botnet will connect with command-and-control servers.
New division encompasses 44,000 patents, three major technologies
BlackBerry has spun off a new business unit, collecting the majority of its unique technologies under one roof -- the BlackBerry Technology Solutions (BTS) division. Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu will lead the new group, which encompasses embedded software group QNX, "Internet of Things" division Project Ion, cryptography division Certicom, RF antenna tuning group Paratek, and 44,000 associated patents.
Prediction makes assumptions on launch availability, but based on supplier data
Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets, who currently forecasts sales of 56 million iPhones in the December quarter, has told investors that depending on availability and features, the next generation of iPhones could sell as many as 75 million units in the final quarter of the year, which would be an all-time record for any manufacturer, even Apple itself. By comparison, last year Apple ordered 60 million units ahead of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c debut.