Πέμπτη, 1 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Fwd: Technology Report: Lawsuit says Microsoft tracks customers without consent

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News Good afternoon John
The Justice Department sued to block AT&T's $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA because eliminating T-Mobile as a competitor would be disastrous for consumers and would raise prices, particularly because the smaller provider offers low prices, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit is a serious attempt to halt a "fundamentally flawed" deal, not a tactic to wring out-sized concessions from AT&T, a source familiar with the lawsuit said.

Dan Frommer says blocking the deal won't help make service quality any better. A merger would create more spectrum to offer better, faster, more reliable service, Frommer writes. Also, its shortsighted to look at today's pricing and market and use them as strict guides for the future, as voice and SMS service are disrupted by Internet technology, and as carriers try to charge more for 4G LTE access than they did for 3G access, Frommer added.

Breakingviews columnists Robert Cox, Robert Cyran and Richard Beales say the wireless industry in the U.S. is essentially a duopoly and that the DoJ suit against the AT&T, T-Mobile deal protects smaller providers.

Earlier, AT&T promised to bring 5,000 wireless call-center jobs back to the U.S. if the deal wins approval.

Sony put price tags on its long-awaited debut tablets that could hurt the company's chances to grab the No. 2 spot in the tablet market. Two versions of Sony's main tablet cost $499 and $599, which matches the price of Apple's iPads for models with the same memory and will turn off consumers, analysts said.

"Consumers want tablets but they are not prepared to pay the same amount they'd pay for an iPad for something that's not an iPad," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. Research firm Forrester also put out a blog post saying that Sony's pricing "raises a red flag" and could sink tablet sales.

The Financial Times pulled its iPad and iPhone apps from Apple's App Store after losing a battle to keep control of customer data obtained through subscriptions. Apple recently begun to insist that subscriptions to apps that it hosts must go through its own store, giving Apple ownership of valuable data about customers from those transactions, as well as a 30 percent cut of revenues. In a move to reduce its dependence on Apple and develop apps more quickly for rival tablet computers, the FT in June launched a Web-based version of its mobile app, the first of its kind by a major publisher.

Chinese environmental groups accused Apple of turning a blind eye as its suppliers pollute the country. Toxic discharges from "suspected Apple suppliers" have been encroaching on local communities and environments, a coalition of environmental organizations said in a 46-page report alleging efforts to conceal pollution. Apple said it maintains a rigorous auditing regime and all its suppliers are monitored and investigated regularly and that the company requires "suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made".
Lawsuit says Microsoft tracks customers without consent
August 31, 2011 04:44 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft allegedly tracks the location of its mobile customers even after users request that tracking software be turned off, according to a new lawsuit. | Full Article
Google promotes daily deal coupon on main Web page
August 31, 2011 02:30 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc promoted a daily deals offer on the front page of its website on Wednesday, a rare instance of the search giant using the prized online real estate for advertising. | Full Article
Groupon targets zero spending on new subscribers
August 31, 2011 03:49 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Groupon spends millions of dollars enticing new subscribers, but the largest daily deal company wants to slash that cost to zero in less than three years, a big part of its quest for profitability, according to two people familiar with the company. | Full Article
IBM buys British security analytics firm i2
August 31, 2011 01:27 PM ET
(Reuters) - IBM has agreed to buy British security analytics software firm i2 for an undisclosed sum, it said Wednesday, as it continues to devour companies that can help its clients deal with growing mountains of data. | Full Article
Salesforce.com's Benioff inspired by Arab Spring
August 31, 2011 03:05 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Web-based software maker Salesforce.com Inc's Chief Executive Marc Benioff unveiled a slew of social networking tools and said he was inspired by recent revolutions in Egypt and Libya. | Full Article
Wall Street ends worst month in year on upbeat note
August 31, 2011 04:41 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed out the worst month in more than a year on an up note on Wednesday, with sharp gains in the last several days still not enough to repair the damage from a U.S. credit downgrade and fears of a slide back into recession. | Full Article
Recession fears ease on factory, hiring data
August 31, 2011 01:55 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Factory activity in the U.S. Midwest slowed just a bit in August and private employers continued to hire despite extreme financial market turmoil, easing fears the economy would fall back into recession. | Full Article
Motorola deal offers Google tax, patent benefits
August 31, 2011 11:19 AM ET
FAIRFIELD, Conn./CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Reuters) -- Google Inc's blockbuster acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc will bring an unusual stable of tax and accounting benefits to the search-engine giant, already one of Corporate America's most savvy users of such perks. | Full Article
New blow for BP in Russia as office raided
August 31, 2011 02:01 PM ET
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Black-clad special forces raided BP's Moscow offices on Wednesday, deepening the British company's problems in Russia after its attempts to salvage an oil exploration agreement in the Russian Arctic collapsed. | Full Article
Obama makes opening salvo on jobs with speech date
August 31, 2011 03:09 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday sought a high profile and politically provocative venue to unveil new economic proposals, asking to address Congress on the same night Republican presidential candidates hold a debate. | Full Article
Waters recede but storm victims suffer in East
General Petraeus hangs up uniform, warns on budget
Insight: Arctic has great riches, but greater challenges
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City introduces "tax meters" for prostitutes
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