Twitter Inc named Jack Dorsey as its permanent CEO but said it would look elsewhere for a chairman, seeking to allay concerns about its co-founder's dual role as head of the mobile payments company Square. Twitter's shares rose as much as 6 percent on Monday after the announcement, which ended months of speculation about who would take the top job at the microblogging service. Dorsey has been running Twitter as interim CEO to much acclaim since his predecessor, Dick Costolo, stepped down on July 1.
By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Terrorism investigations are becoming harder and more risky because some social media companies either refuse to help or make products which deliberately hamper inquiries, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism police officer said on Monday. London Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said that since former U.S. spy contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent to which intelligence agencies could intercept online traffic, new technologies had emerged that made plots harder to foil. "We have a growing Achilles heel that, if it is not tackled, will slowly diminish our ability to keep the public safe," Rowley told the Royal United Services Institute, a London think-tank.
The U.S. government on Monday announced that it would hold a final auction of bitcoins seized during the prosecution of the creator of Silk Road, an online black market where illegal drugs and other goods could be purchased with the digital currency. The U.S. Marshals Service said it would hold an online auction on Nov. 5 for about 44,341 bitcoins. The auction will be the last of bitcoins the government took into custody while prosecuting Ross Ulbricht, who authorities say ran Silk Road and was sentenced in June to life in prison.
WINCHESTER, Ore./TORRANCE, Calif. (Reuters) - The man killed by police on Thursday after he fatally shot nine people at a southern Oregon community college was a shy, awkward 26-year-old who was fascinated with shootings, according to people who knew him and his own social media postings. Chris Harper-Mercer lived in Torrance, California, before moving to Winchester, Oregon, where he resided in an apartment with his mother Laurel Harper about a four-minute drive from Umpqua Community College, according to online records. Nine people were wounded when he sprayed bullets into a classroom at the college in Roseburg, a timber town of about 20,000 people that adjoins Winchester.
(Reuters) - Google Inc has morphed into Alphabet Inc. After U.S. markets closed on Friday, Alphabet replaced Google as the publicly traded company that will house Google's search and Web advertising businesses, maps, YouTube and its "moonshot" ventures such as driverless cars. Google's class A shares and class C shares will automatically convert into the same number of Alphabet class A shares and class C shares and start trading on the Nasdaq from Monday. The structural overhaul, announced in August, is intended to separate the company's core businesses from ventures such as the driverless cars, glucose-monitoring contact lenses and Internet-connected high-altitude balloons.
By Angela Moon NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sentiment toward Pope Francis turned sour on social media over his meeting with a Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue same-sex marriage licenses, data compiled by Thomson Reuters showed. The ratio of positive versus negative tweets on the pope had been about 2.6 to 1 on average during and shortly after his Sept. 22-27 visit to the United States. On Friday, the Vatican said there was "a sense of regret" that the pope had ever seen Kim Davis, the clerk who went to jail in September for refusing to honor a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and issue same-sex marriage licenses.
In a sign that what is old is new again, U.S. conglomerate General Electric Co is producing its own science fiction podcast series in an effort to raise its profile among a younger, tech-savvy audience. GE, in partnership with The Slate Group's podcast network Panoply, is running "The Message," a fictional eight-episode podcast that will follow the decoding of a 70 year-old message from outer space. "It's science fiction meets real science," said Andy Goldberg, GE's global creative director.
The anonymous postings and numerous replies appeared on the site 4chan.org hours before a 20-year-old gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, on Thursday, killing and wounding an as yet undetermined number of people. Emailed questions to federal law enforcement officials about the postings were not immediately answered. A comparable posting three years ago ahead of the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, was later discredited by police.
By Heather Somerville SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The much anticipated initial public offering from Silicon Valley payments company Square could take a price hit if its chief executive, Jack Dorsey, takes a second and possibly more demanding job: running Twitter. "Management and management focus are the single most determining factor of the success or lack thereof of a company pursuing an IPO," said Lise Buyer, an IPO consultant with Class V Group in Silicon Valley who also helped guide Google Inc's IPO. The company has filed a confidential public offering and plans an "imminent" public filing, according to a source familiar with the situation, potentially putting it in a position to be a public company by the end-of-year holiday season.
By Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe's antitrust chief dismissed on Friday accusations of anti-U.S. bias over her decision to go after Google for abusing its Internet search dominance and Apple over an Irish tax deal, saying such talk was a fallacy. European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager's robust defense of her actions came after she was criticized in the U.S. media for a spate of cases opened over the past year against U.S. giants such as Google, Apple, Amazon and Starbucks. "Some claim that our cases involving Internet giants such as Apple or Google are evidence of bias.
By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Daniel Radcliffe raps the alphabet. Mariah Carey sings karaoke to her own hits. Celebrities read out nasty tweets about themselves. In the race to go viral online, U.S. television late night hosts are bringing out the big guns. Wedged between YouTube celebrities, Vine stars and an Internet full of cat videos, the hosts of late night talk shows are putting a larger focus on becoming online sensations, creating meme-friendly content to draw an audience well beyond their tiny midnight viewership. ...
By Emma Thomasson BERLIN (Reuters) - The co-founder of Australian online retailer Shoes of Prey, which allows customers to design their own footwear, hopes to one day allow customers to print out pairs at home as technology improves and consumer demand grows for personalized products. Founded in 2009, Shoes of Prey allows women to create unique designs on its website, choosing from 300,000 trillion possible permutations of materials, colors, styles and sizes. Jodie Fox, who set up Shoes of Prey in 2009 with former Google Inc employees Michael Fox and Mike Knapp, expects consumer demand for faster delivery to keep rising.
Kakao Corp, the operator of South Korea's largest mobile messaging app, said Tencent Holdings Ltd and eBay Inc have joined its bid for a new South Korean Internet bank license. Tencent and eBay will make their investments through subsidiaries, which are expected to take stakes of 4 percent or less in the bank should a license be gained, a Kakao spokesman said. South Korea is expected to grant one or two licenses for Internet banks this year.
By Jonathan Allen and Megan Cassella NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A hacking attack on Google's Gmail service in 2011 prompted Hillary Clinton and her aides to worry about the security of private email accounts widely used by government officials who found their "antiquated" government-issued laptops inefficient. Clinton's use of a private email account connected to a server in her New York home while she led the State Department now hangs over her campaign to become the Democratic nominee for the November 2016 presidential election. The seemingly prophetic concern is revealed in the latest batch of Clinton's emails released by the State Department, the fifth release in a monthly series set to last until January 2016 under a schedule ordered by a federal judge.
By Yasmeen Abutaleb SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - If Jack Dorsey becomes permanent CEO of both Twitter Inc and mobile payments company Square, he could struggle with conflicts of interest in the business that is key to both companies' futures: e-commerce. Corporate governance experts and some investors have already expressed concern that Dorsey faced tough choices in his role as interim Twitter chief and head of Square. Dorsey has acknowledged the risk of a conflict of interest, publicly saying he recuses himself from decisions involving both companies.
By Brendan O'Brien MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Wisconsin wildlife officials have taken to social media to refute a hoax letter that suggested they had mistakenly added deer lawn ornaments to the last two annual statewide deer tallies. The state's Department of Natural Resources said on Facebook that several residents recently received a letter telling them to remove concrete deer ornaments from their yards by Nov. 1 so they are not counted again this year. It was not crafted, nor distributed by (the Department of Natural Resources)," the post on Tuesday said.
Twitter Inc co-founder and interim Chief Executive Jack Dorsey is expected to be named permanent CEO as early as Thursday, while keeping his job as the head of online payment service Square, technology news website Re/code reported, citing sources. The report was largely welcomed by investors, and Twitter's stock rose briefly by as much as 6.8 percent, before closing 5.3 percent higher at $26.94 on the New York Stock Exchange. "Jack Dorsey would be the right guy (for the job) if he were not running Square," said FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi.
Jay Z's global streaming music service Tidal on Wednesday announced a super star charity concert in New York to celebrate reaching one million subscribers, six months after it launched. Jay Z, his wife Beyonce, Prince, Usher, and Nicki Minaj will headline the Oct. 20 concert in Brooklyn, with tickets going on sale on Wednesday, firstly to Tidal subscribers. The concert will also be streamed live for both subscribers and non-subscribers via Tidal.com.
Facebook Inc rolled out updates to mobile profile pages to enable users to better personalize their profiles and more easily control their privacy settings. Facebook has sought to improve and ease its mobile profile experience as it makes more of its $10 billion-plus in annual ad revenue off of phones. The updates also come during New York City's 12th Advertising Week, where Facebook is courting the world's largest advertisers and companies.
By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A ruling due next week from the EU's top court on a long-running transatlantic pact on private data could affect all legal ways of moving such data from Europe to the United States, lawyers say, potentially disrupting the everyday online transactions of thousands of companies. Under current European privacy laws companies are forbidden from transferring European citizens' personal data to countries deemed to have lower privacy standards - such as the United States.
Digicel Group [DCEL.N] is to deploy ad-blocking software on mobile networks in its Caribbean and Asia Pacific markets, it said on Wednesday, making it one of the first mobile operators to join the battle between internet users and advertisers. Israeli ad-blocking software maker Shine Technologies and Digicel said in a joint statement that the Kingston, Jamaica-based operator was going to install its software on its networks, starting with Jamaica itself and then rolling it out to its many other national markets across the Caribbean and in the Asia Pacific region. The use of ad-blocking software has been growing rapidly on desktop computers but until now has been rare on mobiles.
The CIA has withdrawn a number of its personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing following two massive cyber attacks involving U.S. government employee records, according to the Washington Post. Citing current and former U.S. officials "who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter," the newspaper said the CIA took the steps because the hack of U.S. Office of Personnel Management records this year could have enabled the Chinese to identify the intelligence agency's employees. U.S. officials have privately pointed to China as the source of the OPM attacks but have not publicly declared who was behind them.
(Reuters) - Target Corp said it will match online prices of 29 of its rivals including Amazon.com and Wal-Mart Stores Inc, as the race to grab shoppers intensifies ahead of the holiday season. Other large retailers Target will price-match include Costco Wholsesale Corp, Best Buy, Macy's Inc and CVS Health Corp, the company said in a statement late on Tuesday. Target said it will now allow 14 days, up from seven days, for shoppers to get a price adjustment.
By Emma Thomasson BERLIN (Reuters) - Sales growth accelerated at the top online start-ups owned by German ecommerce investor Rocket Internet during the first six months of 2015 and it said some will break even in two years. Rocket Internet, Europe's largest Internet company, is viewed as a launch pad for future stock market listings from online fashion to food delivery firms although several mooted initial public offerings have been put on ice recently. The company said its top 12 start-ups, or its "proven winners", saw average weighted net revenues jump 142 percent to 1.37 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in the first half, accelerating from growth of 82 percent in 2014 as a whole.
By Bill Trott WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Edward Snowden has come in from the cold - on Twitter. Snowden, the fugitive former National Security Agency contractor who leaked details about the U.S. government's massive surveillance programs, started a Twitter account on Tuesday from exile in Russia with a simple handle - @snowden.
AT&T also expects to report positive U.S. net subscriber additions for the recently acquired satellite TV provider DirecTV, it said in a regulatory filing. AT&T, which reported 2.1 million net wireless additions in the second quarter, said in August that it expected revenue, earnings and free cash flow to grow through 2018 following its purchase of DirecTV and wireless expansion in Mexico. AT&T also said it would change the methodology DirecTV used to count its commercial subscribers to conform to its practices, which will reduce DirecTV's total subscriber count by 918,600 at the close of the deal in July.
By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. intelligence official said he was skeptical that a new U.S.-China cyber agreement would slow a growing torrent of cyber attacks on U.S. computer networks, adding that his approach will be to "trust but verify." Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the agreement did not include specific penalties for violations but that the U.S. government could use economic sanctions and other tools to respond if needed. Clapper and other officials said they viewed last week's cyber agreement between China and the United States on curbing economic cyber espionage as a "good first step" but noted it was not clear how effective the pact would be.
By Bill Trott WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Edward Snowden has come in from the cold - on Twitter. Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who leaked details about the U.S. government's massive surveillance programs, started a Twitter account on Tuesday from exile in Russia with a simple handle - @snowden.
(Reuters) - Google Inc unveiled its new Nexus phones on Tuesday in its latest attempt to take a bite out of Apple's dominant share of the smartphone market. The launch of the phones, the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X, comes a day after Apple Inc reported record first-weekend sales of its new iPhones. The Nexus 5X 16 GB model will be priced at $379, while the Nexus 6P 32 GB will cost $499, Google said at an event live-streamed on YouTube.
By Euan Rocha and John Tilak TORONTO (Reuters) - Hootsuite has tapped Open Text's principal accounting officer Sujeet Kini as its chief financial officer, according to a source familiar with the matter, potentially moving the Canadian tech start-up a step closer toward listing. Waterloo, Ontario-based Open Text disclosed in a regulatory document last week that Kini is leaving the company effective Oct. 16 and that he has accepted the CFO position at a social media company. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that Kini is set to join Hootsuite, which is widely expected to go public some time next year.
(Reuters) - Micro-blogging website operator Twitter Inc is working on a product that will allow users to share content longer than 140 characters, technology website Re/code reported on Tuesday. Up to Monday's close, the stock had fallen nearly 30 percent this year.
The rising number of hacking attacks is prompting more companies in Germany to seek cyber insurance protection, insurance broker Marsh said on Tuesday. While cyber premiums in Germany are expected to be worth only around $10 million this year - compared with $2 billion in the United States - the German market is expected to grow by 30 percent per year in the future, Marsh estimated. "We are seeing a wave of enquiries that will lead to many more contracts in the coming months," the head of Marsh's German business Georg Braeuchle told a news briefing.
By Malathi Nayak NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comcast Corp said on Tuesday it will launch a trial of a video streaming service with content from online video networks such as Walt Disney Co's Maker Studios, aiming to target younger viewers who have an appetite for Web videos. The beta version of its streaming service, called "Watchable," will be available as an app on ioS devices, online on watchable.com and on TV sets of users who subscribe to Comcast's Xfinity 1 pay-TV service, Comcast executives said in a statement. Comcast's experiment with a video streaming service comes as the pay-TV market is struggling to retain users gravitating towards online video offerings and moving away from traditional TV content.
British online fashion retailer Boohoo.com posted a 39 percent jump in first half profit on the back of strong revenue growth driven by new customers. Boohoo floated at 50 pence a share last year but the stock was hammered after a profit warning in January. The firm made a pre-tax profit of 6.3 million pounds in the six months to August 31, up from 4.5 million pounds, on revenue up 35 percent to 90.8 million pounds.
Raytheon Co on Monday said a new five-year contract it won from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help more than 100 civilian agencies manage their computer security could be worth $1 billion, a key win for the company. Raytheon said DHS selected it to be the prime contractor and systems integrator for the agency's Network Security Deployment (NSD) division, and its National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS). Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, said the company had invested over $3.5 billion in recent years to expand its cybersecurity capabilities.
(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc said on Monday it would proceed with the planned spinoff of its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd even though the IRS has declined to rule on whether the transaction would be tax free. Yahoo's shares rose 4 percent to $28.71 in extended trading. The Web search company said earlier this month the IRS had denied its request for a private letter ruling on whether the spinoff of its stake in the Chinese e-commerce giant would be considered tax free.
(Reuters) - Facebook Inc restored access to its social media website for most users on Monday afternoon, after its second outage in less than a week. According to Currentlydown.com, Facebook was down for about 42 minutes between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET. Facebook's map on Downdetector.com, which monitors disruptions, showed major outages over parts of North America.
By James Davey LONDON (Reuters) - The British arm of German discount supermarket Aldi will launch an online operation next year, marking its first foray into e-commerce in Europe and giving the UK's major grocers yet another headache to contend with in a brutally competitive market. Privately owned Aldi [ALDIEI.UL], which posted a 4 percent dip in 2014 operating profit on Monday, showing even discounters can't engage in a price war and emerge unscathed, said it will begin selling wine by the case online in the first quarter of next year. "This is perhaps the most exciting development for Aldi in our last 25 years in the UK," CEO Matthew Barnes told reporters.
Millennials may rely on their mobile devices and laptops for the bulk of their entertainment and content, but that doesn't mean that they aren't easily influenced by advertisements in more traditional formats, according to a new study by Nielsen Holdings. In fact, consumers between the ages of 21 to 34 have the highest level of trust of any age cohort in 18 of the 19 advertising formats tracked in the study, including newspapers, TV and magazines, according to Nielsen's Global Trust in Advertising Survey, which is scheduled to be released Tuesday. Additionally, millennials are likely to take action as a result of advertisements in 16 of the 19 advertising formats, according to the study.
By Yasmeen Abutaleb SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - Lights flashed and chants of "Modi, Modi" filled the 18,000-seat sports arena in San Jose, California, on Sunday as the Indian premier took the stage for the final event of his Silicon Valley tour, marked by sporadic protests over his human rights record. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was winding up a whirlwind two-day U.S. West Coast trip and Sunday's event followed visits to some of the world's biggest technology companies, hoping to convince them to bring more investment and jobs to India. Modi aimed to deepen ties with the U.S. technology sector and boost India's digital infrastructure by promoting his "Digital India" campaign, which seeks to connect thousands more villages to the Internet.