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  • Smartphone users boost Reliance Communications profit

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom), India's fourth-biggest mobile carrier by customers, saw quarterly profit rise 86 percent over the year before as more subscribers used smartphones to surf the internet. The company, which tied up with Facebook on Feb. 10 to provide basic internet services on mobile phones for free, said on Friday consolidated net profit for its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31 was 2.01 billion rupees (21.01 million pounds), compared with 1.08 billion rupees in the same quarter a year earlier. In November, market research firm IDC said India was the fastest-growing smartphone market in the Asia-Pacific region with a 27 percent sequential rise in the third quarter. More »Smartphone users boost Reliance Communications profit

  • Alibaba's Jack Ma seeks to reassure employees over U.S. lawsuits

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Executive Chairman Jack Ma urged employees to relax about U.S. lawsuits against the firm over possible failure to disclose information to investors, in a letter to staff posted on his official microblog on Friday. A series of lawsuits have been filed in the United States after an unusually public fracas with a Chinese regulator last month over the issue of fakes being sold on Alibaba's websites. "As for the lawsuits that came about from recent events, I ask that Alibaba employees be at ease," Ma said in his annual letter, sent out before Lunar New Year. More »Alibaba's Jack Ma seeks to reassure employees over U.S. lawsuits

  • Chinese regulator says to target e-commerce pricing behaviour

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    A Chinese antitrust regulator said on Friday pricing tactics in the nation's e-commerce sector will be probed to ensure a "fair" market, likely putting new scrutiny on companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and JD.com Inc. The comments come just two weeks after another government regulator, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), accused Alibaba of failing to clean up what it called illegal business deals on the e-commerce titan's platforms. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on its website that it would "organise and develop special inspections into the online retail sector's pricing behaviour". The NDRC said it will also focus on pricing around holidays, which are often used by Chinese e-commerce firms and their merchants to drop prices and shift huge quantities of goods. The annual Singles' Day, which falls in November, is the world's largest online shopping event. More »Chinese regulator says to target e-commerce pricing behaviour

  • Qualcomm deal sparks China smartphone patent skirmishes

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    By Gerry Shih BEIJING (Reuters) - Last summer, lawyers from Chinese telecoms gear maker ZTE Corp began writing to half a dozen local handset makers it believed used its patents. ZTE's efforts to collect patent royalties - months ahead of Qualcomm Inc's China antitrust settlement this week, according to people with knowledge of the matter - shows how that deal has already changed the way China's booming smartphone industry does business. As anticipated by ZTE, a key term in the settlement dissolved Qualcomm's cross-licensing agreements in China that had given smaller Qualcomm customers free access to the patent portfolios of more established Qualcomm customers. The settlement has allowed wireless patent holders like ZTE and Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] to seek royalties, while introducing a new risk of litigation to China's younger handset industry at a time when domestic patent law is gaining traction. More »Qualcomm deal sparks China smartphone patent skirmishes

  • Obama to focus on cybersecurity in heart of Silicon Valley

    Associated Press - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Responding to unprecedented data breaches and cyberattacks, President Barack Obama is trying to spark alliances between policymakers who want to regulate the online world and tech innovators who traditionally ... More »Obama to focus on cybersecurity in heart of Silicon Valley

  • Bill Gates meets with China technology minister - ministry

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp's former CEO, met with China's technology minister this week, said a Friday statement on the ministry website, days after U.S. tech groups expressed concerns over Chinese regulation damaging their businesses. In the meeting with China's Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, in which Gates was representing the philanthropic Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the two discussed cooperating on technology and "innovative development", Friday's statement said. The statement did not mention Microsoft, for whom Gates remains on the board and spends about a third of his time as technology adviser to CEO Satya Nadella. The environment for U.S. tech companies has become increasingly difficult in China in recent months. More »Bill Gates meets with China technology minister - ministry

  • U.S. has raised concerns with China about new cyber rules - official

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    The Obama administration sees planned new cybersecurity rules in China as a "major barrier" to trade and has raised concerns with Beijing at the highest level, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday. Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Robert Holleyman said the new regulations, which would force technology vendors to Chinese banks to hand over secret source code and adopt Chinese encryption algorithms, ran counter to Beijing's moves to open its markets and economy. "There's been engagement at the highest levels of the U.S. government and cabinet with Chinese counterparts asking for those (regulations) to be put on hold." China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China was committed to its policy of opening up to the outside world. "As long as foreign companies operating in China respect China's laws and harm neither the country's national interests nor consumers, we will protect their legitimate rights in accordance with the law," she said at a daily briefing. More »U.S. has raised concerns with China about new cyber rules - official

  • Regulator raps Australian bitcoin IPO hopeful for China social media marketing

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Regulators ordered Australia's Bitcoin Group Ltd to stop making public statements about its plans to undertake the world's first initial public offering of a virtual currency exchange after the company approached potential Chinese investors via social media. Melbourne-based start-up Bitcoin Group told Reuters in December it hoped to raise A$20 million (£10.1 million) on the Australian Stock Exchange and has been seeking expressions of interest from potential investors from the Chinese community through Wechat, China's hugely popular instant messaging service. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said on Friday it was prohibiting Bitcoin Group from making any further statements about its planned listing until it had filed a prospectus. More »Regulator raps Australian bitcoin IPO hopeful for China social media marketing

  • Sharp executive says not considering selling display business

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    A senior Sharp Corp executive said the Japanese company was not considering a sale of its ailing display business, after it warned it will likely book its third annual net loss in four years due to weak demand from Chinese smartphone makers. Sharp announced last week that it expects to book a net loss of 30 billion yen (£166 million) this fiscal year through March compared with a previous forecast of a 30 billion net profit, prompting speculation it may need to reconsider its strategy including a possible sale of the display business. More »Sharp executive says not considering selling display business

  • China to go after fraud on on-line dating sites - Xinhua

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Internet regulator will target fraud on dating websites and other online match-making sites, state news agency Xinhua reported. "Fraud on dating websites has become a public nuisance to millions of users, especially young people, who use such services," Xinhua cited a statement from the Cyberspace Administration of China as saying, in a report released late on Thursday. The campaign lists "fraud rings, prostitution and service providers' fraudulent practices as major targets", Xinhua said. ... More »China to go after fraud on on-line dating sites - Xinhua

  • Jeb Bush posts emails containing Social Security numbers

    Associated Press - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — By posting online all of his personal email from his eight years as Florida's governor, Jeb Bush sought to show himself as a tech-savvy executive, in touch with constituents and an active administrator. More »Jeb Bush posts emails containing Social Security numbers

  • Obama to encourage companies to share cyber threat data

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    By Joseph Menn and Roberta Rampton SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is set to sign an executive order on Friday aimed at encouraging companies to share more information about cybersecurity threats with the government and each other, a response to attacks like that on Sony Entertainment <6758.T>. The order sets the stage for new private-sector led "information sharing and analysis organizations" (ISAOs) - hubs where companies share cyber threat data with each other and with the Department of Homeland Security. It is one step in a long effort to make companies as well as privacy and consumer advocates more comfortable with proposed legislation that would offer participating companies liability protection, the White House said. "We believe that by clearly defining what makes for a good ISAO, that will make tying liability protection to sectoral organizations easier and more accessible to the public and to privacy and civil liberties advocates," said Michael Daniel, Obama's cyber coordinator, in a conference call with reporters. More »Obama to encourage companies to share cyber threat data

  • Obama to encourage info-sharing on cybersecurity threats

    Associated Press - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    President Barack Obama wants members of the private sector to share information about threats to cybersecurity with each other and with the federal government. The White House says such information-sharing ... More »Obama to encourage info-sharing on cybersecurity threats

  • Apple $1 trillion stock market value could be years away

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Activist Investor Carl Icahn thinks Apple Inc is already worth over $1 trillion (650 billion pounds) but others on Wall St. think it will take a few more years for the iPhone maker's stock value to get there. With Apple's stock market value ballooning this week beyond $700 billion, larger than Switzerland's gross domestic product, activist investor Icahn said the technology company's shares should be trading at $216 apiece, equivalent to a market capitalisation of about $1.26 trillion. Icahn's opinion implies an increase of about 70 percent from Thursday's closing price of Apple's stock. “It wouldn't be outlandish for them to be at a $1 trillion market cap now,” said Mark Mulholland, a portfolio manager whose Matthew 25 fund is among the best performing large-cap funds over the last five years. More »Apple $1 trillion stock market value could be years away

  • King Digital winning, Zynga losing in games wars

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    The fickleness of the gaming industry was on full display in the earnings reports of "FarmVille" creator Zynga Inc and "Candy Crush" maker King Digital Entertainment Plc. Zynga's shares fell 10 percent while King Digital's soared 18 percent in extended trading on Thursday after the companies reported contrasting fortunes in a key industry metric. King's total gross bookings, an indicator of future revenue, increased 8 percent to $586 million (381 million pounds) in the fourth quarter, about $45 million more than the average analyst forecast. Zynga reported bookings of $182.4 million, about $19 million less than expected, according to research firm StreetAccount. It was also caught off guard by mobile-focused rivals such as Dublin-based King Digital and Supercell, the maker of "Clash of Clans" and is now valued at about $2.4 billion. More »King Digital winning, Zynga losing in games wars

  • Goldman ex-programmer sues FBI agents, claims rights violations

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc computer programmer on Thursday sued the FBI agents who investigated him in connection with allegations he stole secret code from the bank's computers, contending they violated his constitutional rights. Sergey Aleynikov, the former programmer, filed his lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Jersey less than two months before he faces an April 1 jury trial in a related criminal case in a New York state court in Manhattan. His lawsuit contends the FBI agents engaged in a "malicious" federal prosecution and violated constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure. Aleynikov was convicted at trial but later won an appeal. More »Goldman ex-programmer sues FBI agents, claims rights violations

  • Groupon outlook disappoints; Ticket Monster draws interest

    Reuters - Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Groupon Inc gave a forecast for first-quarter results that fell short of Wall Street's expectations on Thursday, as the online commerce company confirmed that several parties have expressed interest in acquiring its South Korean subsidiary Ticket Monster. Those parties had opened discussions with Groupon about possibly buying the loss-making Asian e-commerce firm, which sells tickets online and is valued at about $1 billion (650 million pounds), The Wall Street Journal reported last month. Groupon said it was too early to comment on the likelihood of such a deal, though it continues to explore alternatives for its various Asian businesses. The company reported earnings, excluding one-time items, of 6 cents per share in the crucial holiday quarter, surpassing the 3 cents that Wall Street had expected on average. More »Groupon outlook disappoints; Ticket Monster draws interest

  • Now someone can manage your Facebook account after you die

    Associated Press - Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is making it easier to plan for your online afterlife. More »Now someone can manage your Facebook account after you die

  • China's Xiaomi to start small in U.S., with earphones and bands

    Reuters - Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    Xiaomi [XTC.UL], China's largest smartphone company, will begin selling headphones, smart wristbands and other accessories online in the United States in coming months, taking its first tentative step onto Apple Inc's home turf without its signature Mi mobile devices. Xiaomi, a five-year-old upstart whose name means "Little Rice," came out of nowhere to become China's fastest-selling mobile brand. It has been rapidly expanding its global footprint through direct, online sales. Global operations vice president Hugo Barra said Xiaomi intends to begin selling its phones there in the first half of this year. More »China's Xiaomi to start small in U.S., with earphones and bands

  • Chinese mobile sensation dips toes in US with accessories

    Associated Press - Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Xiaomi, one of China's hottest companies, is bringing its blend of cheap yet fashionable technology and crowd-pleasing antics to the U.S. More »Chinese mobile sensation dips toes in US with accessories

  • Harvard, MIT sued over lack of closed captioning online

    Associated Press - Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Advocates for the deaf sued Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday, saying the universities failed to provide closed captioning for online courses, podcasts and other educational programs. More »Harvard, MIT sued over lack of closed captioning online

  • Cyber security prep seen as mounting task for small U.S. advisers

    Reuters - Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    Financial regulators are increasingly zoning in on brokerages' vulnerability to computer hackers, a focus likely to hit smaller financial services firms especially hard as they try to convince examiners that their safeguards are up to snuff. At least 88 percent of securities brokerages and 74 percent of investment advisory firms it examined have been targets of cyber attacks, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in a Feb 3 report. The SEC examined 57 broker-dealers and 49 investment advisers during a 2014 cyber security initiative. More »Cyber security prep seen as mounting task for small U.S. advisers

  • 'Farmville' creator Zynga's bookings, forecast below estimates

    Reuters - Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    (Reuters) - "FarmVille" creator Zynga Inc reported lower-than-expected quarterly bookings as releases such as "New Words with Friends" failed to excite gamers. Shares of the company, which also forecast current-quarter bookings below analysts' estimates, fell 10 percent in extended trading. The mobile games company said it would close its Beijing office by June 30 and lay off all 71 employees. Zynga reported bookings of $182.4 million (119 million pounds) for the fourth quarter. Analysts on average had expected $201.5 million, according to research firm StreetAccount. ... More »'Farmville' creator Zynga's bookings, forecast below estimates

  • Nevada leads US in per-capita growth in solar jobs

    Associated Press - Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    The number of solar industry jobs in Nevada more than doubled last year, the fastest per capita growth in the nation, a nonprofit research and education group said in a new report Thursday. California ... More »Nevada leads US in per-capita growth in solar jobs

  • Browse, click, pay - African retail finds growing outlet online

    Reuters - Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    By Elias Biryabarema and Matthew Mpoke Bigg KAMPALA/ACCRA (Reuters) - Young Ghanaian entrepreneur Nana Tamakloe could hardly have a simpler business plan. "Most of the clothes sellers and tailors don't have a way to reach clients abroad, so I was like: 'Let's create an e-commerce platform,'" said Tamakloe, whose www.fashionghana.com website serves customers in the West and some in Africa. Tamakloe's business is small but he is tapping into a market manufacturers and internet companies say will be big: online retail in Africa. The growth of Africa's middle class has created demand for products that conventional retail struggles to satisfy due to a shortage of malls and grinding traffic in many cities that deters shoppers. More »Browse, click, pay - African retail finds growing outlet online

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