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Online fashion company Farfetch raises $86 million from DST Global, others
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:38:32 -0500

(Reuters) - British online luxury fashion company Farfetch said it raised $86 million from investment firm DST Global and existing shareholders, valuing the company at $1 billion. Farfetch, which brings together more than 300 of the world's top designer boutiques on its website Farfetch.com, has raised a total of more than $195 million. The company will use the funds to launch local language websites, including those in German, Korean and Spanish, it said in a statement. ...

Uber says reviewing Japan city service after transport ministry ban
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 02:16:23 -0500

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi signUber Technologies Inc is reviewing its ride sharing service in the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka after the transport ministry said it had banned the pilot project, citing potential legal concerns. The halt is the latest to affect San Francisco-based Uber, which is fighting bans in many countries across the world for alleged violations including using unlicensed drivers. Uber's month-old Fukuoka service pays drivers who use cars registered for personal use to ferry around passengers, a business model that potentially violates the Road Transportation Act, transport ministry official Hidetaka Sakai told Reuters.

Italy approves plan to boost broadband networks
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:47:30 -0500

The Italian government approved a plan on Tuesday to bring its high-speed broadband network into line with European Union targets, but it held back from forcing operators to replace their copper-wire networks with fiber-optic cable. Italy faces growing pressure to strengthen its telecommunications infrastructure and digital sector to help improve the performance of an economy that has been in virtual stagnation for two decades. "We are creating a plan to give our country the digital infrastructure, the digital highways like any other European country," Industry Minister Federica Guidi told reporters.

U.S. watchdog chairman defends new broadband regulations
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:45:11 -0500

By Leila Abboud and Alina Selyukh BARCELONA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New rules to tighten regulation of U.S. broadband providers are not too invasive and are needed to defend consumers' interests and openness on the internet, the chairman of the U.S. telecommunications industry watchdog said on Tuesday. Some telecom and cable companies exaggerated when they complained the moves would harm them or cripple innovation on the web, Tom Wheeler, the head of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Last Thursday, U.S. regulators approved the strictest-ever rules on internet providers, who in turn pledged to battle the new restrictions in the courts and Congress, saying they would discourage investment and stifle innovation.

Cybersecurity company Novetta Solutions up for sale: sources
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:32:29 -0500

Novetta Solutions LLC, a provider of software and IT services to the U.S. intelligence community, is exploring a sale which could value it at more than $650 million, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter. Novetta's sale process comes as cuts in U.S. government spending, particularly in the areas of defense and security, have hit companies that rely on government contracts, spurring consolidation in the industry. Arlington Capital Partners, Novetta's private equity owner, has hired investment banks Morgan Stanley and Houlihan Lokey on an auction for the company, the people said this week. Representatives for Novetta, Arlington Capital Partners, Morgan Stanley and Houlihan Lokey declined to comment.

Britain's Sainsbury's joins click-and-collect shopping revolution
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:05:16 -0500

A Sainsbury's supermarket sign is seen in LondonSainsbury’s will offer online shoppers the option of picking up orders in store, years after the service was introduced by rivals Tesco and Asda, upping the stakes in Britain's brutally competitive grocery market. Online shopping, as one of the better-performing parts of the market, has become a key battleground for all of Britain's "big four" supermarket chains as they grapple with the rise of discounters Aldi and Lidl. British shoppers are increasingly opting for the convenience of store collection when they shop online because they don't have to wait at home for a delivery. Sainsbury's launched its first Click & Collect service on Tuesday at its Farnham store in southern England.

Japan tells Uber to halt free pilot service in Fukuoka: Kyodo
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 10:23:00 -0500

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi signUber Technologies Inc has been told to suspend a free ride service in Japan over the possible infringement of unlicensed-taxi restrictions, Kyodo News said on Tuesday, a blow to the company's hopes in a potentially big market. The transport ministry believes Uber's free taxi-like service in southern Japan, which matches passengers via a smartphone app with private drivers, may violate Japan's Road Transportation Law, Kyodo said, citing unnamed ministry officials. Uber's pilot project, conducted jointly with an affiliate of Kyushu University, began on Feb. 5 in Fukuoka with the aim of collecting data on traffic demand, Kyodo said. Uber says it operates in 55 countries, with its other Japan service in Tokyo.

Venezuela initiates visa requirement for U.S. travelers
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 10:07:30 -0500

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela on Tuesday began requiring U.S. travelers to seek visas before visiting the South American nation amid an escalation of diplomatic tensions between Washington and the administration of President Nicolas Maduro. The socialist government on Monday ordered the U.S. Embassy in Caracas to slash its staff by 80 percent, days after Maduro said several Americans had been detained on suspicions they were involved in espionage. ...

EU bets on 5G to catch up in mobile technology race
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 09:55:47 -0500

An attendee uses his mobile phone to photograph a screen projecting information during a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in BarcelonaBy Julia Fioretti and Leila Abboud BRUSSELS/BARCELONA (Reuters) - The European Union is looking to sign agreements with China and Japan and the United States to cooperate on developing the next generation of mobile broadband as it seeks to help its companies catch up in the race to develop such technologies. Europe, once a leader in the 1990s in the second-generation GSM technology standard for mobile phone networks moving into the digital era, has fallen behind the United States, Japan and South Korea in the deployment of the latest 4G standard for mobile broadband services.

Alibaba's Ma says to provide requested documents to Taiwan government
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 06:10:31 -0500

By Faith Hung TAIPEI (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding will provide Taiwan with the information required about its business, Executive Chairman Jack Ma said on Tuesday, after the government ordered the Chinese e-commerce giant to withdraw from the island within six months. Ma told reporters in Taipei that Alibaba's mistake was the "lack of sufficient communication" with the Taiwanese authorities. Earlier, the company said it had set up its Taiwan branch in accordance with regulations "at the time". "We fully understand the requests that Taiwan has made this time," Ma told reporters.

Taiwan orders Alibaba withdrawal after rules violation: official
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 06:10:31 -0500

The logo of Alibaba Group is seen inside the company's headquarters in HangzhouBy J.R. Wu and Faith Hung TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan has ordered Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to withdraw from the island within six months because the online retailer had violated investment rules required for a Chinese company, an economics ministry official said on Monday. Alibaba has been fined T$120,000 ($3,824) and must withdraw or transfer its holdings from its operation in Taiwan, Emile M.P. Chang, acting executive secretary for the Investment Commission, told Reuters. The commission falls under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and has authority over the review of Chinese investments in Taiwan. China deems Taiwan a renegade province and has not ruled out the use of force to take it back, particularly if the island makes a move toward independence.

China grants 20 more Internet brokerage licenses
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 01:41:50 -0500

China has granted online brokerage licenses to 20 firms in a fresh round of approvals, showing the growing interest in the sector as Internet finance takes off in the country and greater retail interest boosts brokers' earnings. Among the brokerages that received the new licenses were Soochow Securities Co Ltd, Shanxi Securities Co Ltd and China International Capital Corp, according to a list published on the Securities Association of China's website. The government made its first approvals in August, granting five licenses to brokers including CITIC Securities, Guotai Junan Securities and Pingan Securities, media reports said.

U.S. air safety threatened by possible hacking: senators
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:31:13 -0500

Major security vulnerabilities in the Federal Aviation Administration's information systems are putting air traffic control programs, along with plane passengers, at risk, two U.S. senators said in a letter to the transportation secretary on Monday. "These vulnerabilities have potential to compromise the safety and efficiency of the national airspace system, which the traveling public relies on each and every day," Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, and Senator John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, wrote to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. In a separate statement, Nelson said a hacker could cause "delays, near misses or potentially even a disaster." Foxx will testify on Tuesday before the Senate Transportation Committee, which Thune chairs.

Apple, Google poaching settlement appears headed for approval
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:21:51 -0500

A Google trademark is reflected in Apple logo in this photo illustration taken in BerlinA U.S. judge on Monday seemed satisfied with a proposed $415 million settlement that would end a lawsuit in which tech workers accused Apple Inc, Google Inc and two other Silicon Valley companies of conspiring to hold down salaries. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, had previously rejected an earlier $324 million deal as too low. During a hearing on Monday, Koh raised no objections about the size of the settlement as she had at an earlier court session. "We are pleased court indicated she was going to approve the settlement," Kelly Dermody, an attorney for the workers, said after the hearing.

'Ship to Cuba' option shows up on Amazon.com amid diplomatic talks
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:39:41 -0500

A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in GoldenLess than three months after U.S. and Cuban officials agreed to restore diplomatic ties, Amazon.com Inc appears to be laying the groundwork to ship packages to Cuba. A "ship to Cuba" button was seen on Monday on Amazon's website by Reuters correspondents in Havana. "Due to export controls and economic sanctions laws and regulations, we are unable to process transactions from your current location," Amazon said in the message. There was no such option available on Amazon's site in a U.S.-based search from San Francisco.

Woman raped in Connecticut by man she met on dating app: police
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:06:19 -0500

(Reuters) - A Massachusetts woman was raped in New Haven, Connecticut, on Monday by a man she met through an online dating app, police said. New Haven Police arrested Timothy Turner, of Waterbury, Connecticut, and charged him with crimes including first-degree aggravated sexual assault. It was not immediately clear if the man had retained a lawyer."With the ever-growing popularity of dating applications and certain on-line dating sites, these crimes are being reported more and more across the country," New Haven Police spokesman David Hartman said in an emailed statement.

New York mom convicted of murder in son's salt-poisoning death
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:57:18 -0500

Mother found guilty of poisoning 5-year-old sonA New York mother accused of poisoning her son with salt so she could bask in social media attention after documenting his mysterious illness online was convicted on Monday of murder, a prosecutor said. A jury in state court in White Plains, New York, found Lacey Spears, 27, guilty of murder in the 2014 death of 5-year-old Garnett-Paul Spears, District Attorney Janet DiFiore said in a statement. “Throughout his five years, Garnett Spears was forced to suffer through repeated hospitalizations, unneeded surgical procedures and ultimately poisoning with salt, all at the hands of the one person who should have been his ultimate protector: his mother," DiFiore said. The suburban New York mother faces a maximum prison term of 25 years to life in prison when she is sentenced on April 8.

Twitter, law enforcement investigate alleged Islamic State threats
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:45:46 -0500

The Twitter logo is pictured at its headquarters on Market Street in San FranciscoTwitter Inc and law enforcement authorities are investigating alleged threats made by Islamic State militants against the social media network's co-founder and other employees, the company said in reaction to media reports. "Our security team is investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials," a representative for Twitter said in a statement on Monday.

European telecoms firms call for pragmatism on net neutrality
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:26:17 -0500

Deutsche Telekom CEO Hoettges delivers a keynote speech during the Mobile World Congress in BarcelonaBy Leila Abboud BARCELONA (Reuters) - Europe's two biggest telecom operators have called on regulators to be flexible and pragmatic in finalising rules to protect the openness of the Internet, to allow them to give priority to certain kinds of data traffic on their networks. The chief executives of Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom said on Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that network operators needed to give special treatment to data for new services like connected cars and smart electricity meters to ensure that they functioned properly. Industry expects such specialised services could eventually generate billions in additional revenue as everyday tasks are increasingly connected to the web. In both the United States and Europe regulators are forming policies on how to protect "net neutrality", the concept that all traffic on the Internet must be treated equally regardless of content or source.

Iran's Guards increase monitoring of social media: state TV
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:54:22 -0500

Woman holds a tablet displaying WhatsApp's logo in front of the screen with the Facebook logo in this photo illustration taken in PragueIran monitored 8 million Facebook accounts with new software and will watch other social media sites for content that contravenes the Islamic Republic's moral codes, state television reported on Monday. The Center for Investigation of Organized Crime, a branch of the elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), accused Facebook of spreading immoral content and said it had arrested several users. "[Facebook] is trying to push its users toward immoral content via its suggestion system, by making them choose harmful, decadent and obscene content over beneficial and educational subject matter," the IRGC said in a statement cited by state TV and other Iranian media.

Fidelity cuts Google stake by nearly a third amid shift to cheaper searches
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:55:41 -0500

People pose with laptops in front of projection of Google logo in this picture illustration taken in Zenica(Reuters) - One of Google Inc's largest investors has cut its exposure to the company by nearly a third over the past several months amid worries about a shift to cheaper searches on mobile phones. The $107 billion Fidelity Contrafund cut its stake in Google to 5.2 percent of net assets as of Jan. 31, from 7.3 percent of net assets as of June 30. "The firm continued to do phenomenally innovative things, but it is fighting a shift away from desktop search to less-expensive searches on mobile phones," Fidelity Investments portfolio manager Will Danoff said in Contrafund's annual report, released on Feb. 28th.

Honeywell, OneWeb partner to offer satellite internet to aircraft
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:07:46 -0500

By Alwyn Scott NEW YORK (Reuters) - Honeywell International Inc said on Monday it has teamed up with satellite internet startup OneWeb Ltd to expand the high-speed data services it offers to aircraft. OneWeb, whose investors include Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Qualcomm Inc, plans to build a network of 648 low-orbit satellites capable of beaming fast internet around the world starting in 2019. Honeywell will use OneWeb's bandwidth to provide aircraft services such as streaming maintenance data from engines and other equipment to the ground, transmitting weather and navigation data to pilots and supplying fast internet connections to passengers.

Rebekah Brooks in talks to return to News Corp - source
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:20:44 -0500

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks makes a statement to the media in LondonBy Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - Rebekah Brooks, the former Rupert Murdoch protegee cleared last year of running an illegal campaign to hack into phones for tabloid scoops, is in talks to return to the media conglomerate, a source said on Monday. A person familiar with the situation said Brooks, who rose in 14 years from the most junior newsroom position to edit the country's biggest selling newspaper, was likely to return to a role focusing on new digital and social media avenues. Under the proposal, she was likely to be based in Britain and would work with Storyful, a 2013 News Corp acquisition that discovers, verifies and acquires news and footage on social media networks. If agreed, the role will mark the first time the 46-year-old has returned to News Corp since she quit in July 2011 amid a firestorm sparked by revelations that staff at the News of the World tabloid had hacked into the phones of thousands of people to break news.

Netflix eyes entering tricky China market on its own
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:25:15 -0500

The Netflix logo is shown in this illustration photograph in Encinitas, CaliforniaU.S. video service provider Netflix Inc is likely to enter the Chinese market without a local partner, which could make it harder to do business in the world's biggest internet market widely known for censorship and strict regulation. The firm, known for its U.S. political thriller "House of Cards", also plans to look at exporting content produced in China to the rest of the world, Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told reporters at a talk in Shanghai on Monday. Global firms are eyeing a slice of China's fast-growing entertainment market, but have often faced a rocky reception. Google Inc, YouTube, Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc have all been blocked in the country.

Bradley Horowitz to run Google's Photo and Streams products
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 05:45:19 -0500

The co-founder and a former CEO of Lastminute.com, Brent Hoberman, speaks during a Q&A session at LeWBradley Horowitz, Vice President, Product Management at Google, speaks during a Q&A session at LeWeb 2012 in London(Reuters) - Google Inc's Bradley Horowitz will run the company's Photo and Streams products, in a move that indicates the company may be reorganizing its Google+ social networking site. Horowitz, vice president of product management since 2008, announced the move in a Google+ post late on Sunday. "It's important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users," Horowitz wrote. Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of products, told Forbes last week that the two important parts of Google+, Photos and Hangouts, may soon be separated from the main product.

Rebekah Brooks to return to News Corp to run social media news agency - FT
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 18:07:58 -0500

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey courthouse in London(Reuters) - Former editor of the now-defunct tabloid News of the World, Rebekah Brooks is all set to make a comeback to her alma mater News Corp. , to run its social media news agency Storyful, the Financial Times reported. Founded in 2008, Storyful verifies and manages the rights holders of news and videos on social media platforms such as Twitter in real time. A close aide of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Brooks was acquitted last year by a London court of being part of an illegal conspiracy at the News of the World tabloid to hack into phones and make illegal payments.

Italy government pushing for broadband solution
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 11:28:54 -0500

Italian Prime Minister Renzi reacts during a joint news conference with NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg at the end of a meeting at Chigi Palace in RomeBy Danilo Masoni MILAN (Reuters) - The Italian government is pushing to speed up the roll-out of ultrafast broadband networks to help its ailing economy, fuelling speculation it could force incumbent Telecom Italia into a costly overhaul of its existing infrastructure. The cabinet of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi meets on Tuesday to approve an 6 billion euro ($6.7 billion) plan to build a nationwide fiber optic network by replacing the aging copper wires that run into subscribers' homes. Italy ranks 28th out of the 34 members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in terms of fixed broadband subscriptions. Speculation about the plans has been heating up before Tuesday's meeting with little sign of agreement between the government and phone companies including former state monopoly Telecom Italia .

New Internet rules set up industry's next battle
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 10:47:25 -0500

Illustration file picture shows a man typing on a computer keyboard in WarsawTelecom companies such as AT&T and Vodafone have convinced U.S. and European regulators, finalizing so-called "net neutrality" rules, to allow them to dedicate network capacity to services such as providing connectivity to driverless cars and facilitating the exchange of medical data between patients and health professionals. The industry will be able to develop such "specialized services" as long as they do not hurt the delivery of the normal Internet to homes and businesses. Telecom and cable companies argue being able to charge for different services and speeds would help fund network upgrades and develop new industrial uses for the web, such as smart electricity meters. Silicon Valley and net neutrality activists counter that such treatment would lead to a two-speed system where telecom and cable groups could prioritize their own content and squeeze out start-ups who cannot pay.

ASML says computer systems briefly compromised, no key data accessed
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 10:25:11 -0500

ASML's logo is seen on the day of the presentation of the 2011 fourth quarter and annual results in VeldhovenDutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML said on Sunday that it was investigating an unauthorised intrusion into its IT systems, but it had found no evidence that valuable files were accessed. ASML, the world's largest maker of tools for etching out the powerful microchips at the heart of latest-generation smartphones and computer servers, underpins much of the world's technology infrastructure. The company did not say when the breach had taken place, but said ASML staff discovered the break-in soon after it occurred. ASML's clients include all of the world's largest chipmakers, including Intel and Samsung.

New China Life says ends plans for Internet venture, strategic sale
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 08:29:32 -0500

New China Life Insurance (NCI) Co Ltd, China's third-largest life insurer, said on Sunday it had aborted the planned sale of a stake to a strategic investor which was to help it develop its Internet insurance business. New China Life didn't disclose the name of the investor, but state newspaper Shanghai Securities News reported in January that the company was in talks with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the world's biggest e-commerce company, for the potential sale. Trading of shares in New China Life had been suspended on Jan. 19, pending an announcement.

Bouygues denies its chief executive has died
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 11:22:10 -0500

Martin Bouygues, CEO of Bouygues, speaks at the inauguration ceremony for the Henri Konan Bedie toll bridge in AbidjanFrench construction-to-media group Bouygues denied reports on Saturday that its CEO, Martin Bouygues, had died. "The Bouygues Group formally denies the death of its CEO Martin Bouygues and regrets that such a rumor could have spread," a Bouygues spokesman told Reuters by phone. Agence France-Presse had reported the 62-year-old businessman's death, citing a mayor of the northwestern Orne region, where Bouygues has a home. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls reacted to the erroneous news on Twitter: "Glad to have had Martin Bouygues on the phone and to have shared his astonishment".

Japan's NTT Comm in talks to buy German e-shelter: source
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:00:29 -0500

The logo of Japan's biggest mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo Inc. is seen at its shop in TokyoBy Yoshiyasu Shida TOKYO (Reuters) - NTT Communications Corp is in talks to acquire German data center provider e-shelter for about 100 billion yen ($836 million), according to a source familiar with the matter. An acquisition of e-shelter by Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Communications is the latest in the NTT Corp's overseas expansion due to a dwindling home market. NTT bought South African IT firm Dimension Data for 382 billion yen ($3.2 billion) in 2010, followed by takeover deals with a combined worth of 85.5 billion yen ($715.42 million) of two U.S. ...

Oracle sues Oregon officials in healthcare website dispute
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:10:22 -0500

File photograph of Oracle Corp headquarters Redwood CityBy Shelby Sebens PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Oracle America Inc, the software giant in charge of developing Oregon's failed health exchange website, has filed suit against five former staff and campaign advisers to the state's former governor, saying they worked behind the scenes to kill the site for political reasons, court documents showed. The company also gave notice to state administrators on Thursday, the same day it filed suit in Multnomah County Circuit Court, that it might file similar claims against former Governor John Kitzhaber and his former chief of staff, Mike Bonetto. The lawsuit says Kitzhaber's staffers and advisers, who did not work for Cover Oregon, "improperly influenced" the decision to shutter the site and then blamed Oracle to defuse the political consequences.     Named in the lawsuit are Kitzhaber's former campaign manager Patricia McCaig, consultants Kevin Looper and Mark Wiener, former business policy director Scott Nelson and former spokesman Tim Raphael.

Uber security breach may have affected up to 50,000 drivers: LA Times
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:06:25 -0500

(Reuters) - About 50,000 of Uber's driver names and license numbers may be in the hands of an unauthorized third party due to a data breach that occurred last year, Los Angeles Times reported, citing the ride service provider's managing counsel of data privacy. The company could not say how the security vulnerability was first discovered because the matter is currently under investigation, according to the report. (http://lat.ms/1DiWfWP) Uber was not immediately available to comment. (Reporting By Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

Ex-school employee pleads to obstruction in Steubenville rape case
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:31:46 -0500

By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A former school employee in Ohio pleaded guilty to obstruction in a rape case involving a 16-year-old girl that drew national attention after supposed images of the incident circulated on the Internet, the state's Attorney General office said Friday. William Rhinaman, former information technology director for Steubenville City Schools, pleaded guilty to obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor. Rhinaman was indicted in 2013 by a special grand jury that looked into whether officials had tried to thwart the investigation into the rape by two Steubenville High School football players. Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove sentenced Rhinaman to 90 days of jail, 80 of which are suspended upon completion a year of probation and 40 hours of community service.

American blogger killed in Bangladesh machete attack
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:22:09 -0500

Machete-wielding assailants hacked to death an American critic of religious extremism in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, in the latest of a series of attacks on writers who support freethinking values in the Muslim-majority nation. Avijit Roy, a U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin, and his wife and fellow blogger, Rafida Ahmed, were attacked on Thursday while returning from a book fair. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called it "a shocking act of violence" that was "horrific in its brutality and cowardice." Psaki told a regular news briefing she had no information as the motive for the attack, but said the United States was ready to assist the investigation. They said they were investigating the involvement of Ansarullah Bangla Team, an Islamist extremist group based in Bangladesh that claimed responsibility on Friday for the murder.

Cook says Apple Watch will replace car keys - Telegraph
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:46:24 -0500

Apple CEO Tim Cook stands in front of a screen displaying the IPhone 6 during a presentation at Apple headquarters in Cupertino(Reuters) - Apple Watch will replace your car keys and its battery will last the whole day, Apple Inc's Chief Executive Tim Cook told the Telegraph in an interview. The watch is designed to replace car keys and the clumsy, large fobs that are now used in many vehicles, Cook told the newspaper. Its battery will last the whole day, and will not take as long to charge as an iPhone, the report quoted Cook as saying. Apple Watch will also work as a credit card through Apple Pay, Cook told the paper, but did not mention how user verification will work with the watch.

Google scraps plan to block porn on Blogger
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:23:02 -0500

A Google logo is seen at the garage where the company was founded on Google's 15th anniversary in Menlo Park, California(Reuters) - Google Inc has abandoned its plan to ban adult content on its blogging site Blogger after receiving negative feedback from users. Google will instead "step up enforcement" of its existing policy prohibiting commercial porn, Jessica Pelegio, the company's social product support manager, wrote on Google Product Forums on Friday. Bloggers can continue to tag any blog with sexually explicit content as "adult" that is placed behind a warning page. ...

China draft counterterror law strikes fear in foreign tech firms
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 07:30:29 -0500

Illustration file picture shows a man typing on a computer keyboard in WarsawBy Michael Martina and Krista Hughes BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China is weighing a far-reaching counterterrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys and install security "backdoors", a potential escalation of what some firms view as the increasingly onerous terms of doing business in the world's second largest economy. A parliamentary body read a second draft of the country's first anti-terrorism law this week and is expected to adopt the legislation in the coming weeks or months. The initial draft, published by the National People's Congress late last year, requires companies to also keep servers and user data within China, supply law enforcement authorities with communications records and censor terrorism-related internet content. Its scope reaches far beyond a recently adopted set of financial industry regulations that pushed Chinese banks to purchase from domestic technology vendors.

China censorship sweep deletes more than 60,000 Internet accounts
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 07:29:25 -0500

A map of China is seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen showing binary digits in SingaporeSome of China's largest Internet companies deleted more than 60,000 online accounts because their names did not conform to regulations due to take effect on Sunday, the top Internet regulator said. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc, Sina Corp affiliate Weibo Corp and other companies deleted the accounts in a cull aimed at "rectifying" online names, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said. The purge is notable as a step toward China's government locking down control over people's internet account names, an effort which censors have struggled with in the past, despite numerous efforts to introduce controls.

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