Oracle Corp failed to revive a $1.3 billion jury verdict in its long-running copyright dispute with German software company SAP SE as a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said jurors used "an undue amount of speculation" in awarding $1.3 billion in damages in 2010. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, had erred in concluding that Oracle deserved only $272 million of damages, a sum Oracle rejected. Writing for a three-judge 9th Circuit panel, Judge William Fletcher directed Hamilton to offer Oracle a choice of $356.7 million of damages or a second trial.
(Reuters) - Apple Inc is working with Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV to add secure near-field communications (NFC) technology into the next iPhone, which would enable smartphone users to pay by touch, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with Apple's plans. NXP will provide the secure near-field communications chips that will allow an iPhone to connect with payment terminals or ticketing systems, the daily reported. Apple has invited media to a "special event" in its hometown of Cupertino, California on Sept. 9, when the iPhone maker is expected to unveil the latest versions of its best-selling smartphones.
China's Tencent Holdings Ltd has suspended more than 300 accounts on its WeChat mobile messaging app and banned around 40 others as government restrictions on spreading political news online take effect, state media said on Friday. Earlier this month, China imposed new rules on what kind of information can be spread via instant messaging apps as well as restrictions on accounts which can broadcast news to large numbers of followers. Of the 357 accounts closed down by Tencent as of August 25, 46 were permanently banned while the rest were suspended, the official Xinhua news agency said on its microblog.
By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Dalian Wanda group and Tencent Holdings Ltd said on Friday they would set up a 5 billion yuan ($814 million) e-commerce joint venture with Baidu Inc , as the firms push into the high-growth e-commerce sector. The joint venture, to be registered in Hong Kong, will be 70 percent owned by privately-held Wanda, while Chinese internet giants Tencent and Baidu will hold 15 percent respectively, Wanda and Tencent said in separate press releases. China is the biggest e-commerce market in the world, with its No. 1 player, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd [IPO-BABA.N], transacting more goods than Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc combined.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said on Friday it will open a fifth data center in Shenzhen to service AliCloud, the latest sign of its growing investment in the small but potentially lucrative cloud computing business. Established in 2009, AliCloud posted $38 million in revenue during the quarter ending June, a relatively small slice of Alibaba's $2.54 billion in total revenue for the quarter, according to Alibaba's financial disclosures filed ahead of its imminent initial public offering in New York. AliCloud, which has been likened to a budding version of the cloud service run by Alibaba's U.S. AliCloud's new data center will serve "large and small companies, financial institutions and other third parties in southern China," the company said in a statement on Friday.
The White House announced on Thursday that Todd Park, a technology and innovation policy adviser to President Barack Obama, is relocating to California to advise the president on technology from there. Park, who had built a reputation as a successful information technology entrepreneur, was thrust into the public spotlight during the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act in the fall of 2013. While not in charge of the technology behind the flawed web portal that crashed when thousands of Americans tried to sign up for health insurance, he was one of several administration officials summoned to Congress to explain the breakdown. Park's focus in California will be on recruiting skilled technology experts into government roles, the White House said.
A German Greens party leader has taken the "ice bucket" charity challenge to a new high, standing next to a marijuana plant while dousing himself with water in a tacit call for the legalization of cannabis. Cem Oezdemir is one of many public figures and ordinary citizens around the world to take the challenge - pouring a bucket of ice water over one's head to raise funds to fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). "Yes, it is a cannabis plant," Oezedmir told the Essen-based Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) after speculation about the plant gripped social media.
By Jeremy Wagstaff SINGAPORE (Reuters) - 'Open data' - the trove of data-sets made publicly available by governments, organizations and businesses - isn't normally linked to high-wire politics, but just may have saved last month's Indonesian presidential elections from chaos. The embrace of open data has had few tangible benefits, but created a buzz and fostered a culture that prodded Indonesia's election commission to tweak the way it handles vote results.
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - The maker of the popular Grand Theft Auto video games said Lindsay Lohan's lawsuit accusing it of basing a character on her without permission is frivolous and an effort by the actress to attract attention. In papers made public on Tuesday in a New York state court in Manhattan, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc called Lohan's claim "so legally meritless that it lacks any good-faith basis and can only have been filed for publicity purposes." Take-Two wants to dismiss the July 1 lawsuit and have Lohan pay its legal fees. A lawyer for Lohan did not immediately respond on Wednesday to requests for comment. The 28-year-old "Mean Girls" star accused Take-Two and its Rockstar Games unit of basing the Lacey Jonas character in "Grand Theft Auto V" on her.
Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer has agreed to invest in fast-growing messaging startup Snapchat at a valuation close to $10 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter. At least one other strategic investor has committed to joining the latest round of funding, the Journal cited two of the people as saying. If the deal goes through, Snapchat would join a select club of tech startups with valuations of $10 billion or more, including car-ride service Uber and rooms-to-let startup AirBnB. Snapchat is similar to a new crop of popular mobile messaging apps that compete with established Internet services such as Twitter Inc's and Facebook.
Time Warner Cable Inc will pay $1.1 million to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation that last year found the cable and Internet provider did not properly report multiple network outages, the regulators said this week. "TWC (Time Warner Cable) failed to file a substantial number of reports with respect to a series of reportable wireline and Voice over Internet Protocol network outages," the FCC said in a report revealing the settlement released on Monday. "TWC admits that its failure to timely file the required network outage reports violated the Commission's rules." The FCC requires providers of fixed Internet connection or voice-over-Internet-Protocol calling to promptly report some network outages that last 30 minutes or longer, for instance those that potentially affect emergency response 911 facilities or those that impact enough consumers to collectively result in at least 900,000 minutes of disrupted Internet or phone use.
By David Henry and Lauren Tara LaCapra NEW YORK (Reuters) - A group of Wall Street banks plan to meet the U.S. Treasury Department and other government officials next month to talk about how to cooperate to fend off cyber attacks, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Bankers and government officials say they want to figure out ways law enforcement can alert financial firms about cyber attacks without violating the privacy of businesses that are victimized. A multitude of federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency, help monitor and fight the hackers that have increasingly targeted financial institutions in recent years.
A page on Nissan Motor Co's Japanese website had been altered for nearly two months before being remedied and users that accessed it may have downloaded files infected with viruses, the Japanese automaker said on Tuesday. Users opening the page for calculating vehicles trade-in value were automatically sent to a non-Nissan website from which they may have downloaded virus files had they clicked on anything, spokesman Chris Keeffe said. Nissan has not confirmed if any personal information was leaked and an internet security firm is investigating, the company said in a statement.
By Gerry Shih and Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's internet browser and media player are being targeted in a Chinese antitrust probe, raising the prospect of China revisiting the software bundling issue at the heart of past antitrust complaints against the firm in the West. Microsoft has not been fully transparent with information about its Windows and Office sales, but has expressed willingness to cooperate with ongoing investigations, Zhang Mao, the head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), told reporters at a briefing in Beijing on Tuesday. As Windows became the world's dominant operating system in the 1990s and 2000s, the issue of how Microsoft bundled its web browser and media player became the focus of respective antitrust cases brought by U.S. Microsoft settled in 2001 with the U.S.
BEIJING (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's sales of its media player and internet browser software in China have been "problematic," a Chinese antitrust regulator said on Tuesday, in response to questions about an ongoing anti-monopoly probe into the technology giant. Zhang Mao, the head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, made the remarks at a media briefing in Beijing. He did not give details. (Reporting by Koh Gui Qing and Paul Carsten; Editing by Ryan Woo)
By Letitia Stein TAMPA Fla. (Reuters) - The library opening with the first day of classes on Monday at Florida's newest college features a sunlit arched roof and cozy reading chairs - but not a single book. A fully digital library is among the futuristic features of Florida Polytechnic University's striking dome-shaped building, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. "It's a boldly relevant decision to go forward without books," said Kathryn Miller, the university's director of libraries. Rising along a drab stretch of highway between Tampa and Orlando, Florida Polytechnic envisions building a technology corridor in the image of Silicon Valley.
By Malathi Nayak and Sophie Knight SAN FRANCISCO/TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp's PlayStation Network was back online on Monday following a cyber attack that took it down over the weekend, which coincided with a bomb scare on a commercial flight carrying a top Sony executive in the United States. Sony said on its PlayStation blog that its PlayStation network had been taken down by a denial of service-style attack, which overwhelmed the system with traffic, but did not intrude onto the network or access any of its 53 million users' information. A Twitter user with the handle @LizardSquad claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday, and said the attack was meant to pressure Sony to spend more of its profits on the network.
(Reuters) - CME Group delayed the start of trade on its electronic platform by four hours on Monday due to technical problems, the latest glitch to hit the world's largest futures market operator. The start of trade in all contracts on the Globex Markets platform, apart from Bursa Malaysia derivatives, was halted because of an unspecified technical glitch, the top U.S. The delay marks another headache for CME, which shut electronic trade for leading agricultural contracts on April 8 in the worst-ever trading outage for those markets. CME Executive Chairman Terrence Duffy has said that outage was triggered when sophisticated technology tripped over a trading halt in a single market.
(Reuters) - Amazon Inc is planning to develop its own software for placing advertisements online, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. While the in-house platform is initially planned to replace ads supplied by Google Inc on Amazon's own website, the new system could challenge Google and Microsoft Corp's advertising business in the future, the newspaper cited the people as saying. Amazon's system would resemble Google's AdWords, and is planned to make it easier for marketers to reach the company's users, the newspaper reported the people as saying. The retailer is also building a tool that would help advertising agencies buy in bulk for thousands of advertisers, the Journal said, citing the people.
(Reuters) - Pharmacy chain Walgreen Co suffered a system outage for several hours on Friday, taking all of its 8,200 pharmacy outlets offline and delaying prescription orders. The company faced a "technical issue" during a system update and had to bring the entire system offline to resolve it, spokesman Michael Polzin said. Some prescription orders may have been lost as a result of the outage, Polzin said, but most were queued and processed when the system was restored. Shares of Walgreen closed at $61.05 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.
By Gerry Shih BEIJING (Reuters) - IBM will help China's largest server vendor Inspur International design server systems, the two companies said on Friday, an unexpected development in what has been a politically charged rivalry in the Chinese technology market. Since last year Inspur has aggressively marketed its servers to Chinese state-owned firms as a replacement for IBM (International Business Machines Corp) systems while U.S.-China relations have worsened dramatically over mutual suspicions of cyber-spying. Inspur shares soared in late May after it told Chinese news outlets that its servers had begun to replace the U.S. The Chinese firm has coined the term "I2I" - IBM to Inspur - as a marketing catchphrase.
(Reuters) - Automation and increasingly sophisticated computers have boosted demand for both highly educated and low-skilled workers around the globe, while eroding demand for middle-skilled jobs, according to research to be presented to global central bankers on Friday. "(W)hile computerization has strongly contributed to employment polarization, we would not generally expect these employment changes to culminate in wage polarization except in tight labor markets," Autor wrote. Any long-term strategy to take advantage of advances in computers should rely heavily on investments in human capital to produce "skills that are complemented rather than substituted by technology," he said. Recounting the long history of laborers vilifying technological advances, Autor argues that most such narratives underestimate the fact that computers often complement rather than replace the jobs of higher-skilled workers.
By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Steve-O, one of the stars of the TV show "Jackass," could face criminal charges after he defaced a San Diego highway sign with a green banner that left it reading: "SeaWorld Sucks," officials said on Thursday. SeaWorld Entertainment Inc has called the documentary "inaccurate and misleading." "I'm putting my foot down for Shamu," Steve-O says in his video, referring to SeaWorld's most famous orca. Screw you SeaWorld." The 40-year-old British-born actor, whose name is Stephen Glover, encouraged supporters to share the two-minute film on social media using the hashtag #SeaworldSucks. SeaWorld spokesman David Koontz said the organization has no comment on the prank, which apparently took place in May. Last week SeaWorld said it will nearly double the size of its San Diego killer whale tank and expand similar enclosures in Florida and Texas amid the criticism.
By Jim Finkle and Nadia Damouni BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fraudsters are targeting JPMorgan Chase & Co customers in an email "phishing" campaign that is unusual because it attempts to collect credentials for that bank and also infect PCs with a virus that steals passwords from other institutions. The campaign, dubbed "Smash and Grab," was launched on Tuesday with a widely distributed email that urged recipients to click to view a secure message from JPMorgan, according to security researchers with corporate email provider Proofpoint Inc. JPMorgan, the No. 1 U.S. "It looks like they sent it out to lots of people in hopes that some of them might be JPMorgan Chase customers,” said bank spokeswoman Trish Wexler. Users who click on a malicious link are asked to enter credentials for accessing accounts with JPMorgan.
Brazil extended tax breaks on computer and smartphone sales until the end of 2018, foregoing about 7.9 billion reais ($3.5 billion)in tax revenues next year, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday. The policy of keeping the so-called PIS/Cofins payroll tax at zero for computers, smartphones, tablets, modems and routers was scheduled to finish at the end of 2014, but the ministry said in a note it will be continued for four more years. Brazil is a growing market for computer and electronic devices, with over 270 million cell phones in operation, according to the Finance Ministry. Foreign companies such as South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and LG Electronics INC are major players in the local smartphone market.
By Joachim Dagenborg OSLO (Reuters) - Microsoft has agreed to install Opera Software's Internet browser on low and mid-market mobile phones it inherited from Nokia, potentially putting Opera Mini on another 100 million phones year. The deal comes after Microsoft completed its $7.5 billion takeover of Nokia's handset business in April and announced it would cut 18,000 jobs as part of its efforts to halve the size of the Nokia phone business. "This is a great agreement for us, and something we have been dreaming of for 10 years and now it’s finally happening," Opera Chief Executive Lars Boilesen said. It declined to estimate the expected volume, but a source close to the agreement said Opera Mini could now be installed on an additional 100 million handsets a year.
Kungfu movie star Jackie Chan offered the public a "deep bow of apology" after his son, actor, singer and socialite Jaycee, was arrested in Beijing for drug use. Jackie Chan, 60, served as a goodwill spokesman for the China National Anti-Drug Committee in 2009, promoting anti-drug education. Jaycee, 32, was arrested on Monday after police found 100 grams of marijuana in his apartment, they said. "Along with Jaycee, I want to take a deep bow of apology to the public." The younger Chan is the latest celebrity caught up in a campaign against drugs in China, which has vowed to purge the country's elite of decadence and other social vices.
By Tim Ghianni NASHVILLE Tenn. (Reuters) - Former Tennessee Titans linebacker Tim Shaw revealed he has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in a video that shows him dumping a bucket full of ice water over his head as part of an ALS fundraiser. "I’m here today to stand up and fight with all of you against this disease,” he said in the video posted on Tuesday, before dousing himself as part of the "Ice Bucket Challenge" to fight ALS - amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. After taking the challenge, Shaw, 30, called on the Titans organization, Penn State head coach James Franklin, the school's football team and his Clarenceville, Michigan, community to do the same. Shaw was drafted by the Carolina Panthers from Penn State and also played for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears.
Silver Lake Partners LP and Bain Capital LLC are among the buyout firms vying to acquire Shutterfly Inc, an online photo-sharing services provider with a market value of $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Silver Lake and Bain have progressed to the second round in the auction for Shutterfly and are considering whether to submit binding offers in the next few weeks, the people said this week. Shutterfly shares were trading up 2.4 percent at $51.5 on the news in late morning trading on Wednesday. The price of the possible offers could not be learned but the people said private equity firms may borrow more than seven times Shutterfly's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in a leveraged buyout.
Hackers who stole the personal data of about 4.5 million patients of hospital group Community Health Systems Inc broke into the company's computer system by exploiting the "Heartbleed" internet bug, making it the first known large-scale cyber attack using the flaw, according to a security expert. The hackers, taking advantage of the pernicious vulnerability that surfaced in April, got into the system by using the Heartbleed bug in equipment made by Juniper Networks Inc, David Kennedy, chief executive of TrustedSec LLC, told Reuters on Wednesday. Community Health Systems said on Monday that the attack had originated in China. Once in, they hacked their way into a database and stole millions of social security numbers and other records, he said.
By Sarah McBride SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - When she started her child-support tracking business SupportPay, Sheri Atwood expected all kinds of suggestions - but not the tip she got from a female investor who suggested she dye her blonde hair darker to be taken more seriously by venture capitalists. To Atwood, who eventually won her funding from other backers, the recommendation underscored an attitude in Silicon Valley that women make second-class entrepreneurs. If more women held the purse strings at venture capital firms, the attitude would change, she said. Despite the lip service Silicon Valley has given over the past couple of years to the need to recruit more women venture capitalists, at senior levels the industry’s gender balance hasn’t budged, even as other industries with poor gender diversity show improvements.
(Reuters) - Twitter Inc said it will remove images or videos of deceased individuals at the request of family members. "In order to respect the wishes of loved ones, Twitter will remove imagery of deceased individuals in certain circumstances," according to a statement tweeted by Twitter spokesman Nu Wexler on Tuesday. Immediate family members and other authorized individuals may request the removal of images or videos of deceased individuals, from when critical injury occurs to the moments before or after death, the statement said. Facebook Inc also allows verified immediate family members to request the removal of a deceased person's Facebook account.
(Reuters) - Snapchat Inc, developer of a mobile app that lets users send messages that disappear within seconds, might expand its service to videos, news articles and advertisements, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The California-based company is in talks with advertisers and media companies about a service called Snapchat Discovery, the Journal reported, citing sources. Snapchat Discovery, rumored to debut in November, will show content and ads to Snapchat users, the Journal quoted the sources as saying. At least a dozen media companies have shown interest in providing content for Snapchat Discovery, the Journal said.
By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE Fla. (Reuters) - A record 24 million tourists visited Florida this spring, up 3 percent from 2013, spurred by unusually cold northern weather, a Google program that allows virtual beach tours and aggressive marketing, a state official said on Tuesday. Preliminary numbers also show tourism spending totaled $35.7 billion from January through May, up 7.4 percent from the same period last year, said Will Seccombe, president and chief executive of Visit Florida, the state's travel promotion agency. “It happened to coincide with the polar vortex, which none of us were really planning on or banking on,” Seccombe said. At a meeting on Tuesday, he showed Florida Governor Rick Scott and the state Cabinet television spots that were aimed at northerners and Canadians with the slogan “Must be the sunshine.” One featured tourists flying in “V” formation like geese to beaches, golf courses and theme parks.
(Reuters) - Google Inc is considering allowing online accounts for children under the age of 13 and give their parents control over how the service is used, according to media reports. Google has been working on a version of YouTube, its video-sharing site, for youngsters and is considering other child-friendly accounts such as its Gmail system, the Financial Times reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. Google's effort is partly driven by the fact that some parents are already trying to create accounts for their children and the company wants to make the process easier and compliant with the rules, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the effort.
Kuddle, a Norwegian picture sharing app designed for children and billing itself as a rival to Instagram could have one million users by the end of the year and plans an aggressive push into the U.S.
(Reuters) - Microsoft said it resolved an outage on its Azure cloud computing service, which occurred across multiple regions. Partial disruptions began as of 1.40 p.m. ET on Aug. 18, the company said on the Azure website. (http://bit.ly/VAqCJV) Microsoft Azure is a cloud-based platform for creating, deploying and maintaining online applications and services such as websites and web-hosted applications. The service, which is used by governments and corporations around the world, supports various programming languages, tools and frameworks. ...
Security experts said the hacking group, known as "APT 18," may have links to the Chinese government. "APT 18" typically targets companies in the aerospace and defense, construction and engineering, technology, financial services and healthcare industry, said Charles Carmakal, managing director with FireEye Inc's (FEYE.O) Mandiant forensics unit, which led the investigation of the attack on Community Health in April and June.
(Reuters) - U.S. hospital operator Community Health Systems Inc said it suspected data of about 4.5 million clients were stolen by Chinese hackers from its computer network. The company and its security contractors Mandiant, a unit of FireEye Inc, believes the attack occurred in April and June, Community Health Systems said in a regulatory filing. (Reporting by Shailesh Kuber; Editing by Joyjeet Das)
(Reuters) - Google Inc is buying JetPac Inc, the startup that designs social travel applications disclosed on its website on Friday, without providing details. "We'll be removing Jetpac's apps from the App Store in the coming days, and ending support for them on 9/15," stated a posting on JetPac's homepage. (http://bit.ly/1b66Re9) San Francisco-based JetPac has created a mobile application that uses pictures from various social networking sites to create city guides. Earlier this year, Google bought Nest Labs Inc, which makes smart thermostat and smoke alarms, for $3. ...