(Reuters) - Facebook Inc said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dropped its probe into the social networking company over events surrounding its controversial initial public offering. In its quarterly report filed on Thursday, Facebook said the regulator in May "notified us that it had terminated its inquiry and that no enforcement action had been recommended by the SEC." Facebook shares began trading on May 18, 2012, but soon fell below their $38 per share offering price and had lost more than half their value by the middle of August, angering investors. Investors also complained they were not told just prior to the IPO that analysts at Facebook's investment banks were cutting their forecasts after learning of the company's internal projections for advertising revenue. The end of the SEC probe does not affect shareholder litigation against Facebook, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and many banks over the Menlo Park, California-based company's IPO.
By Euan Rocha and Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - IBM Corp's recent move to partner with Apple Inc to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with corporate applications has excited investors in both companies, but two rivals say they are unperturbed for now. Top executives at Dell and BlackBerry Ltd scoffed at the threat posed by the alliance this week, arguing the tie-up is unlikely to derail the efforts of their own companies to re-invent themselves. I think it just made a good press release," John Swainson, who heads Dell's global software business, said in an interview with Reuters in Toronto on Thursday. PC maker Dell and smartphone maker BlackBerry are in the midst of reshaping their companies around software and services, as the needs of their big corporate clients morph.
By Leila Abboud and Julia Fioretti PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European regulators have not yet decided whether to try to force search engines such as Google and Microsoft's Bing to scrub results globally when people invoke their "right to be forgotten" in the region. Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin - who heads France's privacy watchdog and the WP29 group of EU national data protection authorities - said in an interview on Friday that no consensus had yet been reached on what she called a "complicated issue". The European Union's top court ruled in May that search engines must take down certain results shown under a search of a person's name if the information was "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant". Although the "right to be forgotten" existed as a concept in European law, the ruling marked the first time companies like Google have been asked to field such requests from the public.
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:13:09 -0400
Cellphone unlocking bill clears U.S. House, heads to Obama
By Alina Selyukh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation on Friday to give mobile-phone users the right to 'unlock' their devices and use them on competitors' wireless networks, something that is now technically illegal. President Barack Obama said in a statement that he looked forward to signing the bill into law. "The bill congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cell phone carrier that meets their needs and their budget," Obama said. The lawmaking follows a 2012 ruling by the Library of Congress, the minder of U.S. copyright law, that effectively made phone unlocking illegal, even after the consumer completed the contract with its wireless carrier.
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:09:54 -0400
Cynk Tech shares crash after trading suspension ends
By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cynk Technology shares plummeted more than 80 percent on Friday after the end of a trading suspension, but the stock was only being exchanged in private deals. Based in Belize, Cynk became one of the market's biggest stories as volumes soared and the social media company briefly became valued at more than $6 billion, despite having no revenue and being described as a "development stage" company.
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:27:25 -0400
By Marina Lopes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp's attempt to sell its slumping chip manufacturing business to Globalfoundries Inc deteriorated when the two companies failed to agree on a price, Bloomberg reported on Friday. The breakdown in talks between the two companies marks a setback for IBM, which has been trying to divest its chip making business to focus instead on chip research and design. IBM rejected Globalfoundries' offer because it was too low, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Things have never really been going well on The Walking Dead, but the core crew only appears more broken and battered than ever in the first trailer for Season 5. The trailer teases the group's attempts to get to DC and - hopefully - deliver a cure for the zombifying infection. There's always been a lot standing in their way, and it all looks even more gruesome and horrifying in this coming season. The show will come back on the air with new episodes starting October 12th.
It's been a long time since Apple had anything to prove in the mobile world, but as iPhone iterations have become increasingly indistinguishable from one another, the Cupertino crew realized it might be time to catch up with the rest of the industry. And catch up they will - this year's iPhone 6 display is expected to stretch to 4.7 inches and its phablet counterpart might feature an enormous 5.5-inch display. FROM EARLIER: Apple's iPhone 6 launch will be even bigger than anyone imagined There are also rumors of a Retina MacBook Air, new iPad models and even a smartwatch of some kind, all of which have resulted in the biggest increase in Apple's R&D spending and commitments to third-party manufacturing and
Burger King is in trouble, but its new CEO, 33-year-old Daniel Schwartz, has been secretly engineering a big turnaround. In his first year in office, Schwartz has sold off the corporate jet - as well as all but 52 of the company's nearly 14,000 burger joints. Can Schwartz put some mustard on Burger King's business model before it's too late? Will Chipotle's organic business plan prove to be too spicy to handle?
A new report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News says that Apple will start mass-producing the 5.5-inch iPhone 6, the second-generation iPad Air and the third-generation iPad mini in September, further confirming earlier stories on the matter. FROM EARLIER: Here's why you won't be able to buy a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 in September Some previous reports said that Apple is experiencing certain production issues, especially with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 model, which is why the handset will be delayed. Others disagreed, saying that Apple will intentionally delay the iPhone 6 phablet because the company doesn't want to create any competition between the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions at launch. Economic Daily News also mentions some manufacturing issues, saying that initial shipments will be small, but things should
The Minnesota Vikings will be wearing Google Glass during training camp to record first-person videos - a window into what pro football players experience as they gear up for the season. The Vikings are the second team to wear Glass at camp - the St. Louis Rams wore Glass last year - and the players seem to be enjoying it, mugging at press conferences and on Twitter.
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss BOSTON (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager David Einhorn, whose picks are closely watched on Wall Street, said he is betting against supermarket chain Safeway Inc but still likes his biggest holdings, including Apple Inc. Einhorn's Greenlight Capital told investors in a letter seen by Reuters that gains in Micron Technology, Apple and SunEdison Inc helped push its funds up 7.9 percent during the second quarter, leaving it with gains of 6.4 percent for the first half. It also described short positions against Safeway, Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc, cigarette maker Lorillard Inc and Martin Marietta Materials Inc, all of which have been involved in what Einhorn calls "takeover season." Questcor "was the only significant loser in the portfolio," the letter said.
Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series could be coming to TV. In a surprise appearance at San Diego Comic Con, Raimi announced that he and his brother Ivan are writing a show based on the franchise, and that it will star Bruce Campbell. In addition to the original trilogy of films, a remake of The Evil Dead was released in 2013, but it wasn't directed by Raimi and didn't star Bruce Campbell. Naughty Dog writer Neil Druckmann and producer Raimi revealed one potential casting choice: Maisie Williams, better known as Arya on Game of Thrones.
Officials in Sierra Leone's capital are trying to find a woman who left a hospital with the help of her family after testing positive for the deadly Ebola virus. The 32-year-old woman, whom radio stations in Freetown named as Saudatu Koroma, was being tested for the virus in an isolation ward, then was "forcefully removed" by her family, Reuters reports. News of the hunt comes just days after Sierra Leone officials announced that the head doctor in the effort to combat Ebola in the country contracted the virus. Dr. Sheik Umar Khan treated more than 100 Ebola patients, and was diagnosed with the virus this week.
In addition to explaining why Google actually needs the gorgeous new Material Design deployed on Android L, android apps and the web, Google's Search design guru Jon Wiley talked during the same Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session about the reasons why Google has to sometimes remove features from products, or products, even though some people may still be interested in using them. One user asked Wiley why Google removed a specific Search feature - in this case the Google Discussion search filter that allowed him to search forums and discussions, and the exec offered quite an extensive reply. "One thing that's almost always guaranteed with product design: when you add a feature, no one complains about it outright; if they don't
The House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill this afternoon legalizing cell phone unlocking, following the lead of the US Senate earlier this summer. President Obama came out in support of the policy over a year ago, spurring this activity in Congress, and now all that's left is for him to sign this bill into law. "It will provide greater competition and more consumer choice." The bill, known as the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act," directs the Library of Congress to allow consumers and third-parties to legally unlock phones that were received through a carrier.
Bose has sued Beats Electronics over noise-canceling technology it says is wrongfully being used in the latter company's headphones. Until now, the two have managed to coexist peacefully in the headphone market, with each finding lucrative success. Beats is of course in the process of being acquired by Apple. A lawsuit is unlikely to affect that deal, but may pose an unwanted and early challenge for Apple once it assumes ownership of the company. CNBC was first to report the lawsuit. Beats uses noise cancellation technology in its Beats Studio, Beats Studio Wireless, and Beats Pro headphones.
The days of truly unlimited LTE data on Verizon Wireless are coming to a close. Today, the largest US carrier announced that it will begin applying its "network optimization" practices, which previously only affected the 3G network, to unlimited 4G LTE customers starting October 1st. Beginning on that date, the carrier will slow you down if you're "connected to cell sites experiencing heavy demand." But Verizon's policy is far from straightforward, and it's in no way universal. You're using a 4G LTE smartphone on an unlimited data plan.
Nearly 900 writers, including Stephen King, John Grisham, Jennifer Egan, and Donna Tartt, have signed a letter objecting to the aggressive tactics that Amazon has been using to gain leverage over the book publisher Hachette, according to the Guardian. As part of what appears to be an attempt to renegotiate the split of revenue on ebook sales in its favor, Amazon has effectively begun discouraging its shoppers from buying Hachette books by not offering preorder options and by pushing their shipping times back by weeks in some cases. "We're not against Amazon as a company - we would like to see it sell books, be profitable and successful," Douglas Preston, a thriller author and the organizer of the letter, tells the Guardian. "What we object to is harming authors who have nothing to do with this dispute to gain leverage." The letter, which opposes what Preston calls Amazon's "thuggish behavior," is not yet public.
BGR reviewed LG's G3 smartphone earlier this week and we called it the new king of Android phones. The flagship devices features cutting-edge specs and is the first mass-market smartphone to sport a quad HD (2K) display with a pixel density of 538 pixels per inch, making it sharper than anything else on the market by a landslide. Despite the fact that the G3 just launched in the United States last week, interested consumers can already get their hands on this great smartphone for $100 off the standard purchase price. FROM EARLIER: LG G3 review: Android has a new king Nationwide retail giant Best Buy is currently offering a great sale on the new LG G3 smartphone. For shoppers looking to
Lyft says it's starting New York City service
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The on-demand ride-sharing app Lyft planned to start limited service in New York City on Friday night after reaching agreement with officials to resolve regulatory issues that prompted a lawsuit by the state.
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:33:21 -0400
Android L's main feature so far is the new Material Design that Google will also use across platforms and on the web, and whose new rules developers are also encouraged to abide by. But why did Google decide to go for a complete makeover of Android, apps and the web? Google designer Jon Wiley, who works on Google Search design, hosted a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session during which he explained why Google needs Material Design. Unsurprisingly, Material Design is supposed to further enhance Google's Search performance and offer a better user experience across all devices. "I'm one of the instigators of material design. It actually came about a couple of years ago when we were working on a design problem
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:20:00 -0400
Seattle man gets 1-1/2 years for Microsoft insider trades
By Bill Rigby SEATTLE (Reuters) - An online stock trader who profited from inside information passed to him by a former Microsoft Corp finance employee was sentenced to 1-1/2 years in prison in Seattle on Friday. Sean Stokke had pleaded guilty to charges of insider trading, which federal prosecutors said netted more than $400,000 in illicit profits over an 18-month period for him and his Microsoft accomplice, Brian Jorgenson. Prosecutors had asked for a 1-1/2 year sentence for Stokke, 29, far short of the maximum prison sentence of 20 years for the charges of criminal insider trading, given his cooperation with investigators.
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:11:08 -0400
I honestly feel like I'm in a scene from Billy Madison. Amazon has finally released a smartphone, and since Amazon PR won't talk to us ever since I leaked the Amazon Kindle 2 like six years ago, I had to go buy one today in order to play with it. The radio silence also might have something to do with all of our incredible reporting detailing every single angle and feature of the phone prior to release, but. anyway. Amazon has spent so much money on the Fire phone, it's incredibly incredible how downright horrible it is. The project was almost forced to release years ago, and I just can't comprehend what device we would be talking about if that had actually happened.
The Expendables 3 has leaked nearly an entire month before it's due to hit theaters nationwide. A DVD-quality copy of the film began circulating on piracy sites sometime Wednesday and as of Thursday evening had been downloaded over 100,000 times. Torrent Freak observed over 66,000 people attached to a single torrent, so the leak could quickly turn into major crisis for distributor Lionsgate. The third Expendables installment, co-written by Sylvester Stallone, follows the series tradition of cramming a seemingly endless roster of action stars into a single movie.