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Apple is in the process of suing Samsung over its Android devices again. Again, the suit centers on patents. Apple is seeking $2 billion in damages, reports Bloomberg.

But this time, Google has a behind-the-scenes stake. It offered to help Samsung cover costs.

In testimony on Wednesday, Apple's lawyers showed a video in which a Google attorney confirmed that there were email messages between the search giant and Samsung. In those messages, Google offered to help cover Samsung's legal expenses and maybe even damages fees, reports Paul Thurrott on the Windows IT Pro blog.

According to the emails, this kind of help (known as indemnification) is covered by Google's "contractual obligations" to Samsung, the hardware partner that sells the most Android phones, Thurrott reports.

This is the second time Apple sued Samsung over its Android phones. It won the first time, awarded $1 billion in damages, reduced to $929 million.

The lawsuit isn't just for money. Apple also wants the judge to ban Samsung from selling devices in the U.S., though such bans are rare and, even when they do happen, don't tend to last long.

We don't know if Google offered similar types of indemnification to other Android device makers. Samsung is the biggest fish, as the world's biggest maker of smartphones. But if Apple wins, it could want to pursue others.

Often patent lawsuits lead to one company paying another license fees for each new device sold, too. Microsoft has successfully done this with many Linux and Android device makers.

In that way, Android becomes more expensive for device makers and lucrative for Google's competitors, but not for Google. It still gives Android to away for free.

SEE ALSO: Ex-Googler: College Grads Should Join A Startup Instead Of Working At Google

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It was Reddit to the rescue after an older woman named May Goldberg wandered from her apartment on Central Park West in Manhattan on Monday afternoon.Goldberg had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, and her son Josh was desperate to find her.

He contacted police, news station NY1, and the West Side Rag blog, reports The Daily Dot.

But he also took a chance on the Internet and posted to Reddit's r/NYC community under the name joshgoldberg89.

He shared the following photos of his mother:

May Goldberg

May Goldberg

Within 7 hours of posting the photos, a Redditor named geryorama had a good update to share with the thread.

"I was walking home from work around 9:30-10 PM and I noticed May at East 47th and Lexington Avenue," geryorama commented

Geryorama continued:

As I saw Josh's post in the afternoon she looked very familiar. I quickly pulled out my phone and visited this page to ensure it is indeed her. When I realized it's her, I approached her, asked for her name, told her that her family is looking for her, and took her to Hyatt Hotel lobby to contact the police. The gentleman and lady at the Hyatt front desk were extremely helpful and they contacted the police. Two police officers arrived within three minutes. They identified May and I believe they called for an ambulance. In the meantime, I quickly sent a personal message to Josh via Reddit informing him that her mom has been found and that she is with the police.

The story is pretty incredible, with many Redditors praising geryorama for being able to pinpoint May in a city of so many people.

Josh Goldberg has not yet returned Business Insider's request for comment.

(Via The Daily Dot)

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Ever since the gorgeous Resident Evil remake revitalized the original classic on the GameCube, fans of the series have been clamoring for the same treatment for RE2. One dedicated fan has created a proof-of-concept video showing off a remake project. Y... Read the rest of this entry »

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

The Federal Communications Commission announced that it is set to propose new rules on Thursday for governing Internet access. 

Specifically, the new rules would allow companies to pay for direct access to customers. For example, a company like Netflix could pay an Internet provider to ensure that its video streams are fast and smooth.

Broadband providers would need to act in a "commercially reasonable" manner, which would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The proposed rules also say Internet providers won't be able to restrict access to companies that don't pay for such direct access.

As The Wall Street Journal points out, companies that rely on broadband connections, such as Netflix, ESPN or Skype, could pay broadband providers to make sure that the content reaches customers without disruption. 

In a statement, the FCC wrote:

The FCC will be seeking comment on adopting Open Internet rules that achieve the goals of the 2010 Open Internet Order in a manner consistent with the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Verizon v. FCC . The NPRM will propose, consistent with the Court’s analysis, that broadband providers would be required to offer a baseline level of service to their subscribers, along with the ability to enter into individual negotiations with content providers. In all instances, broadband providers would need to act in a commercially reasonable manner subject to review on a case-by-case basis. Exactly what the baseline level of service would be, the construction of a 'commercially reasonable' standard, and the manner in which disputes would be resolved, are all among the topics on which the FCC will be seeking comment.

This is a complete turnaround from the FCC's previous stance on the subject of net neutrality, which is the idea that everyone should have equal access to the Internet and content providers should not be discriminated against in providing content to customers. 

The FCC has required for years that broadband Web service providers treat all traffic equally, and not restrict or promote certain websites or services or discriminate in favor of sites they own over competing companies. Those in favor of net neutrality would likely oppose these proposed rules because it favors rich companies that can pay for direct access to consumers.

An appeals court struck down the FCC's rules on a technicality back in January. Rather than appeal it, the FCC's chairman, Tom Wheeler, said that they would rewrite the rules

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Tim Cook iPad

Apple's iPad sales for last quarter fell far below expectations. It sold 16.35 million of them, but analysts were expecting about 19 million.

On the surface, 16 million sounds like a lot of iPads, but growth in Apple's iPad business has flatlined. In fact, growth was negative for last quarter

So, what the heck happened?

On a call with analysts this afternoon, Apple CEO Tim Cook did his best to explain. 

For last quarter in particular, he said the company reduced its iPad channel inventory compared to the same quarter last year, so sales were actually in line with the high end of Apple's internal expectations.

Speaking on the iPad business as a whole, Cook made some really interesting points to remain bullish. First, he said the iPad is Apple's fastest-growing product in the company's history. Apple has sold 210 million of them so far, which is almost twice as many iPhones Apple sold in the same period of time.

Cook also made a strong case for the iPad in the enterprise market. He cited one study that said 91% of tablets activated in the enterprise are iPads. Meanwhile, nearly all Fortune 500 companies use iPads. He also said it was a smart move of Microsoft to finally release Office on the iPad, which should help with enterprise adoption since many businesses rely so heavily on the software. In fact, Cook said Microsoft should've released Office for iPad earlier than it did. 

In education, Cook said the iPad has a 95% market share, but the challenge now is to get more schools to buy them and gain penetration.

Finally, Cook still believes tablet computing is the future.

"I believe the tablet market will surpass the PC market," he said on the call.

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David Ebersman Facebook

Facebook CFO David Ebersman is resigning on June 1, 2014, the company announced on Wednesday. 

The news reminded us of this funny public exchange between Ebersman and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in February in which Sandberg insulted him.

Ebersman was asked by the Goldman Sachs interviewer about how he decides to pay for Facebook's new projects because that stuff "costs money." Sandberg interrupted, saying, "David never asks us about that. He's always like 'No.'"

The audience laughed and the question was posed again. Ebersman said with a smile:

"I have to digest Sheryl's insult first."

The audience laughed again. Seems like every executive and everyone in finance could relate to this kind of conversation.

To be sure, on the earnings call with analysts on Wednesday, Sandberg had nothing but praise for Ebersman.

And we also have to point out that after that exchange, Facebook had no problem spending plenty of money for new projects. Days later, it bought Whatsapp for $19 billion and then Oculus Rift for $2 billion, and a tiny U.K. drone-making company, Ascenta, reportedly for $20 million.

Here's the full exchange between Sandberg and Ebersman that night.

SEE ALSO: This Is What It's Like To Work For Billionaire Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen (Absolutely Fantastic)

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Travis Kalanick Uber Cover Illustration_03On-demand car service startup Uber has received a lot of flack in New York City for its notorious surge pricing.

Now, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating whether it's actually legal, he wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times (see Uber's response toward the bottom).

Surge pricing happens when there is a lot of demand, but not enough cars on the road. So Uber raises its fares to ensure it has reliable vehicles ready for those who actually need them.

But Uber's surge pricing may violate New York State laws against price gouging, Schneiderman wroteDuring a huge storm last year, Uber charged New Yorkers as much as eight times the normal cost.

"We are investigating whether this is prohibited by the same laws under which I’ve sued gas stations that gouged motorists during Hurricane Sandy," Schneiderman writes. "Uber makes some persuasive arguments for its pricing model, but the ability to pay truly exorbitant prices shouldn’t determine someone’s ability to get critical goods and services when they’re in short supply in an emergency."

However, Uber's surge pricing is very similar to methods airlines and hotels use to always make sure they have availability. They raise prices as seats/rooms fill up to make sure they always have something available.

The op-ed comes just a week after the New York Attorney General's office filed paperwork to compel Airbnb to turn over the names of some of its hosts. That's because the attorney general believes Airbnb is helping people run "illegal hotels."Earlier this week, Airbnb complied and removed thousands of "illegal" listings.

Here's Uber's statement to Business Insider:

We agree that in states of emergency transportation options need to be reliable and affordable, however the downside to fixing prices during an emergency with scarcity of supply is that fewer people will be able to get around. It’s a complex balance, so we’re looking into reviewing our policies and welcome the opportunity to work with the State of New York and Attorney General in crafting sound policies.

SEE ALSO: UBER RIVAL CEO: Uber Is For The Rich, We're For Everyone Else

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Instagram-Halloween

All those people who complained when they said ads were coming to Instagram can now take it back: On Facebook's first quarter earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg said that Instagram was "a few years away from being an important business" for the company. 

Later in the call, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg corroborated that statement, saying that the company was focusing on consumer growth and moving "very slowly" on monetization. 

That's why you're seeing hardly an ads on Instagram.

Instagram (which Facebook bought in 2012 for $1 billion) just passed 200 million mobile active users and introduced sponsored posts late last year. It's on course to rival Twitter in size. The company also landed a $100 million advertising commitment in March from agency holding company Omnicom. 

Because it's such a visually beautiful medium, Instagram is, in theory, a great ad product. On the call, Sandberg talked about a recent Levi's campaign targeting the 18-34 year-old market that reached over 7 million people and drove a 24% lift in ad recall (how memorable the ads were to people who saw them).

With results like that, it's confusing as to why Facebook doesn't expect to make money off Instagram for several years.

"We really want to grow it slowly and deliberately," Sandberg said. 

SEE ALSO: Instagram Thinks These 10 Photo Communities Are So Great Advertisers Should Copy Them

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Zuck's Facebook page

When it comes to sharing stuff with the world on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg doesn't do it as often as you'd think.

His last public post to his Facebook page was on March 28, almost a month ago. It was a link to a paper he wrote about using drones, satellites and lasers to expand the Internet. That was shortly after the company announced it had bought solar drone maker Ascenta.

But it was the post he made a few days earlier that was the real shocker. That's where he told the world that he had bought virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR, and explained why he made that $2 billion acquisition.

Now, the company has told investors that it plans to use Zuck's Facebook page to make more official announcements. It included this disclosure in a form filed to the SEC that announced the resignation of CFO David Ebersman:

Facebook uses the investor.fb.com website, and intends to also use Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/zuck), as a means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD.

As we previously reported, companies are increasingly viewing their employees' Facebook accounts as assets to use. Looks like Facebook is doing the same, starting at the top.

SEE ALSO: Facebook sees a big beat on profits but desktop business is in decline

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Pavel Durov Russia VK

After giving up control of Russia's Facebook-like social network, VKontakte, Pavel Durov, the site's founder, has fled the country, according to The Moscow Times.

Tuesday, Buzzfeed reported that Durov handed over the company to two investors who are allied with Putin, Igor Sechin, and Alisher Usmanov. This shift had been in the works ever since Durov refused a request by the FSB (the agency that replaced the KGB) to use VK to spy on its citizens, according to Bloomberg.

Soon after resigning, Durov decided to flee Russia, claiming persecution. "I am out of Russia and have no plans to go back," Durov told TechCrunch. "Unfortunately, the country is incompatible with Internet business at the moment."

He also said he might start working on a mobile social network this year.

Durov first announced his plans to resign on April 1, but he then withdrew his resignation two days later. This time, however, seems to be permanent.

SEE ALSO: Putin has taken control of Russian Facebook

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