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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

France says Skype could face prosecution for failure to register as a telecom

France says Skype could face prosecution for failure to register as a telecom

 
French regulators have said Skype could face prosecution for failing to register as an “electronic communications operator” with France’s telecom regulator. The agency, known by its French acronym ARCEP, wrote in an English-language statement on Tuesday that “failure to comply with this obligation does, however, constitute a criminal offense.”
Being an operator that provides telecom services to the public “also implies compliance with certain obligations, which include the routing of emergency calls and implementing the means required to perform legally ordered [wiretap] interceptions," according to ARCEP.
 

Major glitch in Bitcoin network sparks sell-off; price temporarily falls 23%

Major glitch in Bitcoin network sparks sell-off; price temporarily falls 23%

A technical glitch in the core Bitcoin software forced developers to call for a temporary halt to Bitcoin transactions, sparking a sharp sell-off. The currency's value briefly fell 23 percent to $37 before regaining much of its value later in the evening.
The core of the Bitcoin network is a shared transaction register known as the blockchain. Approximately every 10 minutes, a new block is created containing a record of all Bitcoin transactions that occurred since the previous block. Nodes in the network, known as miners, race to "discover" this next block by solving a cryptographic puzzle. The winner of this race announces the new block to the other nodes. The other nodes verify that it complies with all the rules of the Bitcoin protocol and then accepts it as the next official entry in the block chain, starting the race anew.
It's essential for all miners to enforce exactly the same rules about what counts as a valid block. If a client announces a block that half the network accepts and the other half rejects, the result could be a fork in the network. Different nodes could disagree about which transactions have occurred, potentially producing chaos.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Somali Pirates Convicted for Attack of the USS Ashland $vrng only logical reason so far for delay on Vring decision RT @abubnic

Google to settle Wi-Fi data collection U.S case for $7M: Report

Google to settle Wi-Fi data collection U.S case for $7M: Report

Google will reportedly settle its case with U.S. authorities this week, after the company collected data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks with its Street View cars.
First reported by AllThingsD, the search giant will settle for around $7 million, which will be distributed among the attorneys general representing who more than 30 U.S. states. The agreement could be signed off on as soon as early this week, following a probe by state attorneys general in 2010.
In 2010, Google admitted that it had collected fragments of personal and sensitive data from home wireless broadband networks in the U.S. and Europe while its Street View cars were on the road. It was part of wider efforts to determine the location of Wi-Fi networks to help build up a list of assisted location services for mobile users.

Sell Google, buy Apple? $AAPL $GOOG

Sell Google, buy Apple? $AAPL $GOOG

  • From a P/E perspective, GOOG is the 10th most expensive in the S&P 100 at 24.6x
  • At 3.8x P/Book, it's the 31st most expensive
  • With a PEG ratio of 1.20, it's trading at a premium of its growth rate, whereas Apple's PEG ratio is just 0.55x (the 5th lowest in the entire S&P 500)
  • Over the past 5 years, GOOG has been compounding retained earnings at only 6.74%, whereas Apple has been nearly double that at 11.88%
  • GOOG's return on Assets has been declining at -6.47%/yr compounded rate, whereas Apple has been increasing by 11.7%/yr
  • For the record, by Dec. 5 last year Balter had changed his "hold" on Apple to a "buy" and then a "strong buy." The stock, however, continued to fall, from $570 to below $420.

    The Missed Airbnb Investment, Now Worth $250 Million

    The Missed Airbnb Investment, Now Worth $250 Million

     Investor rush out leaving behind a half-finished smoothie on the table

    Google working on talking shoes

    Google working on talking shoes

    Google has a talking shoe — and it has an attitude.
    The shoe is still in prototype, and Google has provided no estimate as to when it will reach store shelves.

    Amazon's Quest for Web Names Draws Foes

    Amazon's Quest for Web Names Draws Foes

    Large and small companies are vying for control of an array of new Internet domain names, but Amazon.com Inc.'s plans are coming under particular scrutiny.
    Two publishing industry groups, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, are objecting to the online retailer's request for ownership of new top-level domain names that are part of a long-awaited expansion of the Web's addressing scheme. They argue that giving Amazon control over such addresses—which include ".book," ".author" and ".read"—would be a threat to competition and shouldn't be allowed.
    "Placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anticompetitive," wrote Scott Turow

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Skype's Been Hijacked in China, and Microsoft Is O.K. With It

    Skype's Been Hijacked in China, and Microsoft Is O.K. With It

    Jeffrey Knockel is an unlikely candidate to expose the inner workings of Skype’s role in China’s online surveillance apparatus. The 27-year-old computer-science graduate student at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque doesn’t speak Chinese, let alone follow Chinese politics. “I don’t really keep up with news in China that much,” he says. But he loves solving puzzles. So when a professor pulled Knockel aside after class two years ago and suggested a long-shot project—to figure out how the Chinese version of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Skype secretly monitors users—he hunkered down in his bedroom with his Dell (DELL) laptop and did it.
    Since then, Knockel, a bearded, yoga-practicing son of a retired U.S. Air Force officer, has repeatedly beaten the ever-changing encryption that cloaks Skype’s Chinese service. This has allowed him to compile for the first time the thousands of terms—such as “Amnesty International” and “Tiananmen”—that prompt Skype in China to intercept typed messages and send copies to its computer servers in the country. Some messages are blocked altogether. 

    Saturday, March 9, 2013

    Samsung and Apple Going to Include Wireless Charging Technology

    Samsung and Apple Going to Include Wireless Charging Technology

    Following the steps of Nokia, LG Electronics and HTC, Samsung Electronics and Apple are expected to add wireless charging capability to their flagship models in 2013, according to industry sources.
    Samsung is expected to adopt Qi wireless charging technology run by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) for its next flagship model, the Galaxy S IV, the sources indicated.
    However, the Galaxy S IV may not come with embedded wireless charging capability. Instead, users are required to buy replacement back covers for their smartphone for access to a charging pad, the sources indicated.
    Apple is likely to adopt the wireless charging technology developed internally, but it remains unknown if the next-generation iPhone will come with built-in wireless charging capability or with other attached accessories, said the sources.
    However, Samsung's adoption of the Qi standards may drive the technology to become mainstream for smartphones, outperforming those promoted by the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and Power Matters Alliance (PMA).

    #Dilbert $AAPL 'Next phone will be a time machine'

    #Linkedin $LNKD 'Data Werewolves'

    #Dilbert - 'Act more like an entrepreneur'


    MegaUpload's closure boosts movie rentals and sales

    MegaUpload's closure boosts movie rentals and sales

    A new study shows that in the months following the takedown of Kim DotCom's cyberlocker, online movie revenue increased by 6 percent to 10 percent.

    Here's something that will make the Motion Picture Association of America happy: movie sales and rentals increased after the feds shuttered cyberlocker MegaUpload last year.
    A new study by Carnegie Mellon's Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics shows that after MegaUpload's closure online movie revenue increased by between 6 percent and 10 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal. The study researched two major movie studios and the results were measured in 12 different countries, including the U.S.
    "We conclude that shutting down MegaUpload and Megavideo caused some customers to shift from cyberlocker-based piracy to purchasing or renting through legal digital channels," the study's researchers told the Wall Street Journal.
    The U.S. government conducted a major takedown of the cloud-storage service in January 2012, charging its founder Kim DotCom with racketeering, copyright infringement, money laundering, and more. Federal authorities claim that DotCom pocketed millions of dollars in illegal profits from illegal file sharing and downloading, which has reportedly cost the film industry more than $600 million in damages.
    MegaUpload was one of the most popular video destinations on the Web, with reportedly 50 million users per day that shared and streamed files.

    The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, states that patents will be available

    The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, states that patents will be available

    "Since the beginnings of our nation, the patent system has been an important component

    of the free enterprise system that has generated our economic success. The government

    makes a bargain with inventors - in return for fully disclosing the invention and teaching

    others how it works, so that the economy and society may benefit from the advance, the

    government will protect the inventor from competition for a limited time by prohibiting

    others from using the new idea. The United States Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) is

    the federal organization charged with reviewing inventions and granting patents to

    inventors."

    Friday, March 8, 2013

    Apple marketing chief jabs Android security on Twitter

    Apple marketing chief jabs Android security on Twitter

    Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller has been a semi-regular Twitter user since 2008, though mostly tweets about things like music, movies and sports.
    But that changed earlier today with a post linking to F-Secure Labs' latest quarterly Mobile Threat report, with a casual mention to "be safe out there."
    The 29-page report's (PDF) key finding is that malware on Google's Android is getting worse, in part because of the platform's brisk growth and a new variant of malware that spread using SMS.
    "Android malware has been strengthening its position in the mobile threat scene," the report's executive summary said. "In the fourth quarter alone, 96 new families and variants of Android threats were discovered, which almost doubles the number recorded in the previous quarter."

    Hitpiece in November by 'Anders Bylund' FANBOY of $GOOG - Hater of Innovators Creating Patents

    Hitpiece in November by 'Anders Bylund' FANBOY of $GOOG - Hater of Innovators Creating Patents

    How Much Longer Will Patent Trolls Take Their Tolls?


    "It's been a weird week for investors with a yen for patent-based business models.
    First, video ringtone vendor and occasional search patent wrangler Vringo (NYSEMKT: VRNG  ) scored a patent infringement victory against AOL (NYSE: AOL  ) andGoogle (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) . But share prices fell on the verdict because the $30 million up-front damages were far smaller than the $493 million the company originally sought. Vringo shares are still down 19% from pre-verdict highs as investors fret over the judge's final say on damages, licensing, and potential injunctions. But the early enthusiasm changes the picture a good deal -- the stock is up 27% from last Friday's closing prices.
    Then mobile security expert VirnetX (NYSEMKT: VHC  ) landed a much larger win againstApple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) . Cupertino was ordered to pay VirnetX $370 million to make up for misuse of the company's patents in the FaceTime video chat app. Sure, investors were hoping for more, but this is still a potential lifesaver for a company with less than $40,000 in trailing revenue. The company recorded a $200 million payment from Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT  ) two years ago in a case based on many of the same communication patents, but that windfall never led to any significant license royalties."

    Anders Bylund author of hitpieces for $GOOG on 'Motley Fool'

    Ray Wood #ZTE $VRNG Chief Patent Officer - Former $NOK

    Ray Wood #ZTE $VRNG Chief Patent Officer - Former $NOK

    Connect the dots.

    Chief Patent Officer

    ZTE USA
    Richardson, Texas

    Attorney

    Nokia

    Jim Wang #zte $vrng Chief Legal Rep. at ZTE (USA) INC

    Jim Wang #zte $vrng Chief Legal Rep. at ZTE (USA) INC

    This guy has a lot of work on his hands, defending the case in Germany.

    Cliff Weinstein Executive Vice President at $VRNG Linkedin Profile

    Cliff Weinstein Executive Vice President at $VRNG Linkedin Profile

    SVP Institutional Sales

    Maxim Group

    Maxim Group is a leading investment banking, securities and investment management firm. The Firm provides an array of financial services including: investment banking, equity research, private wealth management, structured products, and global institutional equity, fixed-income and derivative sales & trading to a diverse range of corporate clients, institutional investors and high net worth individuals.

    Maxim Group is registered as a broker-dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member of the following: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA); Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB); Securities Insurance Protection Corporation (SIPC); NASDAQ Stock Market; and NYSE Arca, Inc.
     

    David Cohen: Head of Litigation and Licensing at $VRNG Linkedin Profile

    Ellen Cohl $VRNG CFO Linkedin Profile

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Andrew Perlman Linkedin Profile $VRNG

    Andrew Perlman $VRNG CEO 3.27 #NYSE


    Leap Wireless, a big bet on the iPhone is becoming a big headache $LEAP $AAPL

    Andrew Kennedy Lang $VRNG

    Corporate Governance $vrng

    Apple's Cook, music mogul Iovine from Beats discuss new music service

    Apple's Cook, music mogul Iovine from Beats discuss new music service $aapl

    "Apple Inc has held talks with Beats Electronics LLC, the audio technology firm co-founded by influential hip-hop producer Dr Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine, on a potential partnership involving Beats' planned music-streaming service, three people familiar with the situation told Reuters.
    Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook met with Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine during a visit to Los Angeles in late February to find out more about Beats' "Project Daisy", a music subscription service the company announced in January but with scant detail, the sources said.
    Apple's Internet products chief Eddy Cue, a key player in setting up its iTunes Music Store, also joined the meeting, at which Cook expressed interest in Daisy's business model and its rollout plans, although the two did not discuss specifics of a deal, the sources said."

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    Apple wins 39 new patents on Smart Cover, pinch-to-zoom $AAPL

    Apple’s iWatch Could Arrive By The End Of 2013, Says Bloomberg

    Apple’s iWatch Could Arrive By The End Of 2013, Says Bloomberg

    "Apple’s iWatch is the new primary focus of speculation for the company’s unannounced products, and a newarticle at Bloomberg today detailing its market potential also let slip that the wrist-mounted computer could arrive by the end of this year. Bloomberg’s source, which is one of the same that leaked details about the team within Apple working on the iWatch, said Apple hopes to have the device out to market “as soon as this year.”

    Bloomberg’s report today adds a bit more color about what we might expect to see from an Apple iWatch, too. The still-unconfirmed device would be able to make calls, check caller ID, relay map coordinates and carry a built-in pedometer and health monitoring sensors, according to the news publication’s source. That might mean another partnership with Nike for built-in fitness tracking, as we’ve seen in iPods and iPhones from the company to date.

    The news comes after reports from Apple supply partners and Gorilla Glass manufacturer Corning said that products based on its flexible Willow Glass product wouldn’t come to market for another three years, prompting many to assume that meant an iWatch was also at least three years out. Apple had patented a wrist-mounted computer based on flexible display tech, but that’s far from the company’s only option for producing an iWatch – it could easily take a more traditional form, like thePebble smart watch."

    Google Is Building A Same-Day Amazon Prime Competitor, “Google Shopping Express”

    Google Is Building A Same-Day Amazon Prime Competitor, “Google Shopping Express”

    "Google is stealthily preparing to launch an Amazon Prime competitor called “Google Shopping Express.” According to one source the service will be $10 or $15 cheaper than Amazon Prime, so $69 or $64 a year and offer same-day delivery from brick-and-mortar stores like Target, Walmart, Walgreens and Safeway (though no specifics were mentioned by our sources).
    When and if it launches, the product will be a competitor to Amazon Prime, eBay Now, Postmates’“Get It Now” and even smaller startups like Instacart."

    Monday, March 4, 2013

    Where Apps Meet Work, Secret Data Is at Risk

    Where Apps Meet Work, Secret Data Is at Risk

    "When Telvent, a company that monitors more than half the oil and gas pipelines in North America, discovered last September that the Chinese had hacked into its computer systems, it immediately shut down remote access to its clients’ systems.
    Company officials and American intelligence agencies then grappled with a fundamental question: Why had the Chinese done it?
    Was the People’s Liberation Army, which is suspected of being behind the hacking group, trying to plant bugs into the system so they could cut off energy supplies and shut down the power grid if the United States and China ever confronted each other in the Pacific? Or were the Chinese hackers just trolling for industrial secrets, trying to rip off the technology and pass it along to China’s own energy companies?
    “We are still trying to figure it out,” a senior American intelligence official said last week. “They could have been doing both.”
    Telvent, which also watches utilities and water treatment plants, ultimately managed to keep the hackers from breaking into its clients’ computers.
    At a moment when corporate America is caught between what it sees as two different nightmares — preventing a crippling attack that brings down America’s most critical systems, and preventing Congress from mandating that the private sector spend billions of dollars protecting against that risk — the Telvent experience resonates as a study in ambiguity."

    For the first time in 13 years, the music business is growing again $TWX $AOL #Napster #BMG #Spotify

    For the first time in 13 years, the music business is growing again $TWX $AOL #Napster #BMG #Spotify

    CALL me maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen, a Canadian vocalist, was the best-selling song last year. Is it maybe also time to call the bottom for the music industry? According to data released on February 26th by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, sales of recorded music grew in 2012 for the first time since 1999, albeit only by 0.3%, to $16.5 billion (see chart).
    The internet sank the music industry, but is now helping it to resurface. Digital sales rose 9% last year; a third of the music industry’s revenues now come through digital channels. Download stores represent roughly 70% of digital revenues. Popular “streaming” services, such as Spotify and Deezer, which pay a royalty each time a song is played, have also helped to rescue the business. Subscription services had 20m paying subscribers around the world in 2012, up 44% from a year earlier. Millions more use free advertising-supported versions.

    Apple’s Planned ‘IWatch’ Could Be More Profitable Than TV $AAPL

    While Tim Cook has dropped hints that Apple Inc. (AAPL) is hard at work on a television to drive the next era of growth, the company’s wristwatch-style device, still in development, may prove more profitable.
    The global watch industry will generate more than $60 billion in sales in 2013, said Citigroup Inc. analyst Oliver Chen. While that’s smaller than the pool of revenue that comes from TVs, gross margins on watches are about 60 percent, he said. That’s four times bigger than for televisions, according to Anand Srinivasan, a Bloomberg Industries analyst.

    Friday, March 1, 2013

    Dropbox Users Claim Email Addresses Have Been Leaked

    Dropbox Users Claim Email Addresses Have Been Leaked

    "
    Early Thursday, Dropbox user Forrest F made an exceptional claim on Dropbox's support forums: "You guys leaked or gave out my email. Why?"
    Forrest, it turns out, had employed a trick common among cautious internet users — he used a unique variation of his email address, otherwise known as an alias, whenever he signed up for a new service. That way, the thinking goes, he could see if any companies he trusted with his information were sharing it. If spam arrived in his inbox, he could see that it was sent to an alias, and track it back to its source. Recently, he started getting spam — and it came from his Dropbox address.
    A moderater quickly addressed the claim, saying that Forrest likely hadn't been hacked. "A lot of spammers try hit and miss techniques," he wrote "and you're likely just a random victim rather than a whole mass leak of tons of DB users' emails."
    Forrest didn't buy it — "I have several emails set up with several sites some for even a few years. But someone, somehow, figured out just this one. Amazing."
    "Right," the moderator said, "That's essentially what I was saying. It was a random guess. Dropbox doesn't give away emails like this."
    But then, what started as a single user complain quickly snowballed. Complaints came rolling in, and many confirmed that email addresses used only with Dropbox had started receiving spam"

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

    Facebook Ads Based on Browsing Challenge Google

    Facebook Ads Based on Browsing Challenge Google $FB $GOOG

    Facebook Inc. (FB), under pressure to expand sales from its 1.1 billion users, is pushing into a business that lets marketers buy advertisements in real time on the basis of a member’s Web-browsing habits.
    Facebook Exchange, a five-month-old service that generates automated ad buying as users click around the site, so far has more than 1,300 customers, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said on a call last month. Now, the company is broadening Facebook Exchange’s global footprint, with plans to expand in Asia and Latin America.


     

    Why Linkedin $LNKD Succeeds and $GRPN Groupon Fails

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

    MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease $MBI $RDN $MTG

    MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease

    The Refinance Index decreased 3 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent from one week earlier and is at its lowest level since the week ending December 28, 2012.
    ...

    The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) decreased to 3.77 percent from 3.78 percent, with points increasing to 0.48 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. 

    Justices Turn Back Challenge to Broader U.S. Eavesdropping

    Justices Turn Back Challenge to Broader U.S. Eavesdropping

     The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned back a challenge to a federal law that broadened the government’s power to eavesdrop on international phone calls and e-mails.
    The decision, by a 5-to-4 vote that divided along ideological lines, probably means the Supreme Court will never rule on the constitutionality of that 2008 law.
    More broadly, the ruling illustrated how hard it is to mount court challenges to a wide array of antiterrorism measures, including renditions of terrorism suspects to foreign countries and targeted killings using drones, in light of the combination of government secrecy and judicial doctrines limiting access to the courts.

    The worst thing about being lied to is simply knowing you weren't worth the truth. -Unknown

    The worst thing about being lied to is simply knowing you weren't worth the truth. -Unknown

    $GOOG Mozilla’s Fox Tries to Steal Spotlight and Outrun Google’s Android

    $GOOG Mozilla’s Fox Tries to Steal Spotlight and Outrun Google’s Android

    "
    The maker of the popular Firefox web browser sent about a hundred employees — which is a sixth of its staff and a 50 percent increase from last year — and prepared a much larger stand to help it showcase its new open mobile operating system.
    The hope? That by letting loose its fox in the smartphone world, it can steal some of the spotlight from Google’s Android, which dominates the market.
    “We have made a more significant investment this year because we have more to say and show,” Peter Scanlon, senior director of global branding at Mozilla, said Sunday in an interview in Barcelona.
    Mozilla’s new marketing message, “blaze your own path,” shows the fox from its logo unleashed and following people as they move around to explain how they can access the Internet regardless of where they are.
    The question remains whether that campaign, which included a lavish presentation in front of hundreds at the luxurious Hotel Arts Barcelona, was convincing. Mozilla’s mobile software, first discussed a year ago, has been a long time coming. Phone buyers looking for a bargain may be tempted to see whether a new generation of feature phones — such as Nokia’s 105 — may do the trick and be available faster.
    Mozilla does have some big names in its corner. As I wrote about yesterday, more than a dozen wireless carriers including billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil are supporting Mozilla’s open mobile operating system to make a range of cheaper smartphones. Firefox-based devices may arrive as early as the second quarter, Mozilla said."