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Amazon in talks to buy online luxury retailer Net-a-Porter: Forbes
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 06:44:22 -0400

A just-delivered Amazon box is seen on a counter in Golden, Colorado(Reuters) - Amazon.com is in talks to buy online luxury retailer Net-a-porter in what could be the biggest acquisition yet for the e-commerce giant, but the negotiations are in early stages and could fall apart, Forbes reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. The potential deal, first reported by Women's Wear Daily, could value Net-a-Porter lower than the valuation of 2 billion euros ($2.16 billion) reported by the fashion industry trade journal, Forbes reported on Thursday, citing the person. Seattle-based Amazon has long eyed the high-end fashion retail sector and any deal for Net-a-Porter would mean a new commitment in an area where the company lacks a strong presence, Forbes said. Media reports in 2014 said Amazon was in talks to buy Indian fashion retailer Jabong.com for $1.2 billion.

Twitter launches video streaming app Periscope
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 17:11:09 -0400

An illustration picture shows the log-on icon for the Website Twitter on an Ipad in Bordeaux(Reuters) - Twitter Inc launched a video streaming app called Periscope on Thursday, just days after reports that it had blocked a rival app called Meerkat. Meerkat relies heavily on Twitter and has become hugely popular in the month since its launch. Twitter's announcement comes on the same day that Meerkat unveiled a list of investors that included Silicon Valley venture capitalists Greylock Partners and Sound Ventures, Ashton Kutcher's fund.

Pentagon research arm says military must react faster to tech changes
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:54:10 -0400

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The famed Pentagon research arm that gave the world the Internet and the miniaturized GPS receivers used in consumer devices said on Thursday one of its key goals now is to ensure U.S. troops do not get left behind as technologies advance at a lightning pace. Arati Prabhakar, director of the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, said easy access to once-proprietary products and the fast pace of commercial technological development threaten the U.S. military's competitive edge, and underscore the need for change. "Pace today matters on every scale," Prabhakar told the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities. She called for a shift away from complex military systems that take decades to produce and toward far more nimble and adaptive systems.

Zynga must face U.S. lawsuit alleging fraud tied to IPO
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:37:19 -0400

The Zynga headquarters is pictured in San FranciscoZynga Inc must face a lawsuit that accuses the gaming company known for its "FarmVille" game of defrauding shareholders about its prospects before and after its December 2011 initial public offering. Ruling 13 months after dismissing an earlier version of the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco said on Wednesday that shareholders could pursue claims that Zynga concealed declining user activity, masked how changes in a Facebook Inc platform for its games would affect demand and inflated its 2012 revenue forecast. Zynga's market value slid by several billion dollars between March 2, 2012, when its share price peaked at $15.91, and July 26, 2012, when the price dropped below $3 after the company posted disappointing earnings and cut its outlook. "Confidential witnesses all corroborate that the updates on game users and spending data was readily accessible to Zynga's management." White rejected a claim over Zynga's alleged product launch delays, saying it was mere "business puffery" for the company to call its game pipeline "strong," "robust" and "very healthy." Shareholders led by David Fee also claimed that Zynga hid its weaknesses to enable insiders to sell $593 million of stock before a post-IPO lockup was to expire, and avoid a roughly 75 percent drop in its share price over the next four months.

EU antitrust regulators to investigate ecommerce
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:05:25 -0400

Competition European Commissioner-designate Vestager of Denmark addresses the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, at the EU Parliament in BrusselsBy Foo Yun Chee and Rene Wagner BERLIN (Reuters) - European Union regulators plan to investigate ecommerce to help remove barriers to cross-border trade in the 28-nation bloc, the EU's antitrust chief said, a move that may lead to action against companies which deliberately block online sales. European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she decided to launch the year-long inquiry because such hurdles were hampering the growth of online sales. According to the European Commission, while one in two EU consumers shopped online last year, just 15 percent bought a product online in another EU country because of restrictions such as language, different laws and anti-competitive behavior, "It is high time to remove remaining barriers to ecommerce, which is a vital part of a true Digital Single Market in Europe," Vestager told reporters at a conference organized by the German competition authority on Thursday.

Verizon's online video service revenue may depend on ads: CFO
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:07:57 -0400

A cybersecurity expert monitors telecommunications traffic at a network operations center in a Verizon facility in Ashburn, VirginiaBy Malathi Nayak NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc may rely largely on advertising for revenue from its upcoming online video service, Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said in an interview. This could set the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier apart from rival online video services such as Dish Network Corp's Sling TV and Sony Corp's PlayStation Vue, which offer traditional TV content with ads and collect subscription fees. Original online programing on Verizon's service could use an "advertising-type" model, "not necessarily a consumer-pay model," Shammo said in the recent interview. Most Americans own a mobile phone, and Verizon is looking at online video delivery to increase data consumption on mobile devices and increase revenue.

U.S. House committee advances 'threat-sharing' cybersecurity bill
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 10:54:44 -0400

A magnifying glass is held in front of a computer screen in this picture illustration taken in BerlinBy Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to advance a long-awaited bill that would make it easier for companies to share information about cybersecurity threats with the government without the fear of lawsuits. The legislation is expected to come before the full House as soon as late April, after lawmakers return from a two-week early April recess. Similar legislation is making its way through the U.S. Senate and backers of both bills say they have a good chance of passing after repeated setbacks. U.S. corporations have been clamoring for more protection against cyberattacks, but they also worry about potential lawsuits if they hand information over to government investigators.

Testing of software adds to urgency in race for driverless cars
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 09:18:27 -0400

By Edward Taylor FRANKFURT (Reuters) - In the race to build a self-driving car, German automakers are hitting a road block in their efforts to test vehicles so complex they need more than 10 times the amount of software found in a fighter jet. German laws currently place limits on testing on public roads. Automakers fear this is allowing U.S. competitor Google to pull ahead in developing software, specifically programs that will give cars the correct reflexes in real-life traffic situations. For years, so-called "autonomous vehicles" have been a distant dream but technological advances and a push by Google, with its huge financial resources, to introduce a model in 2012 has kicked the race build them into high gear.

FTC says regrets release of documents on Google probe
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:59:38 -0400

People pose with laptops in front of projection of Google logo in this picture illustration taken in ZenicaThree U.S. Federal Trade Commission members said on Wednesday they regretted the inadvertent release of part of an agency report about its probe of Google Inc as the company continues to face antitrust scrutiny from European authorities. The document, which was at the center of a report by The Wall Street Journal, indicated that key staff members at the FTC were in favor of suing Google for allegedly breaking antitrust law. In a statement the commissioners -- Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Julie Brill and Maureen Ohlhausen -- defended the final outcome.

Facebook brings apps, businesses to Messenger service
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:54:33 -0400

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to the audience during his keynote address at Facebook F8 in San FranciscoBy Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc on Wednesday opened up its Messenger service for developers to create apps and for shoppers to communicate directly with retailers, as the Internet company seeks to expand its reach. The new features mark Facebook's latest effort to transform its mobile messaging service into a full-featured platform with the same pull with consumers and businesses as its flagship 1.4-billion user social network. Facebook unveiled the new features at its annual developer conference in San Francisco, for the first time allowing developers to create apps that function inside the Messenger service used by more than 600 million people. Messenger will feature more than 40 different apps in the next few days, allowing users to send each other sports clips, animations and other items, Facebook said.

United Internet 2014 core profit up by a third on new customers
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:45:38 -0400

German internet service provider United Internet said on Wednesday its 2014 core profit had risen by more than a third due to record growth of new customers both organically and through acquisitions. Organic growth in fee-based customer contracts amounted to 910,000 while a further 420,000 contracts were added from the Versatel takeover, United Internet said. "All in all, the number of fee-based customer contracts rose by 1.33 million to 14.78 million," it added. United Internet proposes to pay a dividend of 0.60 euros per share, up from 0.40 euros in the previous year.

PayPal to pay $7.7 mln in U.S. Treasury sanctions case
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:41:16 -0400

A PayPal sign is seen at an office building in San Jose, CaliforniaPayPal, the electronic payments firm, agreed to pay $7.7 million to settle charges by the U.S. Treasury Department that it violated numerous sanctions programs against countries that include Iran, Cuba and Sudan, Treasury said on Wednesday. PayPal, owned by EBay Inc , did not adequately screen its transactions for U.S. sanctions targets for several years through 2013, resulting in 486 apparent violations of U.S. law, Treasury said in a statement. PayPal also dismissed alerts and processed about $7,000 worth of payments for Kursud Zafer Cire, a Turkish national on the sanctions blacklist tied to proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, according to the statement.

New online platform tracks corporate actions in tropical forests
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 12:52:35 -0400

By Chris Arsenault ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A group of large companies, mainly in the food sector, have promised to reduce their role in the destruction of the world's forests, and a new online portal launched on Wednesday aims to hold them to their word. Some of the biggest names in global food production, processing and retailing, including Cargill, McDonalds, Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Walmart are among the companies, with a combined market capitalization of nearly $4 trillion, pledging to tackle deforestation in their supply chains. The planet loses more than six million hectares of tropical rainforest a year - an area the size of Sri Lanka - a coalition of NGOs said in the report "Supply Change: Corporations, Commodities and Commitments that Count", released in tandem with the tracking portal. Land made available by felling tropical forests produces an estimated 70 percent of the world's soybeans and all of its palm oil, along with timber, cattle and other goods worth an estimated $98 billion in annual exports, the report said.

China clamps down on sexual content on WeChat
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 10:34:11 -0400

A man takes a photograph of a counter promoting WeChat displayed at a news conference in Hong KongChina's Internet regulator issued on Wednesday new guidelines prohibiting sexual and vulgar content on Tencent Holdings Ltd's popular messaging app, the latest step in the agency's perennial campaign to clean up China's Internet. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said sexually explicit pictures and text, including nude photos and erotic animation, and stories of "one-night stands, wife-swapping, sexual abuse and other harmful information" will be subject to punishment. Drug advertisements for illegal sexual enhancement products or sexually transmitted diseases are also banned, as are voyeuristic pictures and leaked media. WeChat, known as Weixin in China, is by far the country's most popular messaging app with 500 million users.

U.S. urges companies to do more to fight cyber crime
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 07:16:54 -0400

Illustration file picture shows a man typing on a computer keyboard in WarsawBy Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Cyber crime is probably the biggest risk facing companies across the world, and they need to do more to help governments tackle the problem, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin said on Wednesday. "Each of us must recognize this risk is perhaps the most pressing operational risk of our time," she told the CityWeek conference in London. Financial services firms were making substantial investments in reinforcing their resilience to cyber attacks but they needed to embed this resilience into their existing business units rather than grafting improvements on top of them, she said. Cyber threats undermined freedom of expression and hampered global economic recovery, and governments needed to ensure international legal principles that respect state sovereignty and human rights apply to conduct online as well as offline, Raskin said.

Beijing official says Chinese have no need for blocked websites
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 05:53:48 -0400

A picture illustration shows icons of WeChat and Weibo app in BeijingBy Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - If Beijing is successful in its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics then foreigners who attend will get uncensored Internet access, but this isn't an issue for Chinese who "don't like" sites like Facebook and Twitter, an official said on Wednesday. China keeps a tight rein on its Internet. The government has warned that social media, particularly foreign services, could be a destabilizing force for Chinese society or even affect the country's security. Popular foreign social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook as well as Google Inc's main search engine and Gmail service are all inaccessible in China without specialized software to vault what is known as the "Great Firewall".

Moneysupermarket founder cancels 6.4 percent stake sale
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 04:59:11 -0400

The founder of British price comparison company Moneysupermarket.com, Simon Nixon, on Wednesday scrapped a plan to sell a stake of up to 6.4 percent in the company, less than a day after announcing it. A source had earlier told Reuters that Nixon was reducing offer to 4 percent of the company's share capital -- 22 million shares -- from the 35 million shares previously targeted, with a price range of between 268 pence and 270 pence. News of the cancellation sent shares in Moneysupermarket down 6.3 percent to 268.5 pence by 0850 GMT.

Delhi government asks federal ministry to block Uber, Ola apps
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 03:29:25 -0400

Photo illustration of logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone over a reserved lane for taxis in a street in MadridNew Delhi authorities on Wednesday asked India's federal information technology ministry to block the taxi-hailing apps of U.S.-based Uber and its local rival Ola in the city in a bid to enforce a ban on the companies' services. India in December ordered all unregistered web-based taxi companies to halt operations until they obtain an operating license after a driver contracted with Uber was accused of rape. The ban, however, has largely been ineffective and both Ola, backed by Japan's SoftBank Corp, and Uber have continued to operate in Delhi while their license applications are pending.

Airbnb wins bid to provide rooms for Rio 2016 Olympics: source
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 20:34:13 -0400

Online home-rental marketplace Airbnb Inc has won a bid to provide rooms for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, as the city scrambles to accommodate visiting fans and athletes, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters. The company, which has become one of Silicon Valley's most successful start-ups in the five years since it was founded by a trio of graduates, beat off competition from two other accommodation providers Hotel Urbano and Alugue Temporada.

Cricket-New Zealand still bubbling over semi-final performance
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 19:56:29 -0400

By Greg Stutchbury AUCKLAND, March 25 (Reuters) - Grant Elliott's towering six which propelled New Zealand into their first cricket World Cup final was still generating media buzz on Wednesday. The 36-year-old dispatched Dale Steyn's delivery over deep midwicket to take New Zealand to 299 for six on Tuesday, giving them a tense four-wicket victory over South Africa in the first semi-final at Eden Park. It ended a run of six defeats in semi-finals for New Zealand, who will play either Australia or India in Sunday's final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Reigning champions India meet four-times winners Australia in the second semi in Sydney on Thursday.

'Threat-sharing' cybersecurity bill introduced in U.S. House
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 17:14:15 -0400

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Leaders of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee introduced legislation on Tuesday to make it easier for companies to share information about cybersecurity threats with the government, without the fear of being sued. Prompted in part by high-profile cyber attacks on corporations, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act has significant bipartisan support. Representative Devin Nunes, the intelligence panel's chairman, told reporters. The intelligence panel is due to vote on the legislation on Thursday.

Court tells Delhi gang rape lawyers to explain documentary remarks
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 14:53:30 -0400

By Suchitra Mohanty NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - India's top court on Tuesday called on two lawyers to explain comments made in a controversial BBC documentary on the gang rape and murder of a woman on a Delhi bus, after female advocates said the remarks were "inhumane" and "unjustifiable". The documentary "India's Daughter" was banned by the government earlier this month, when the home minister said remarks by Mukesh Singh - one of four men convicted for the December 2012 crime - in which he blamed the victim, were derogatory and an affront to the dignity of women. The remarks, widely broadcast before the ban was imposed, also prompted the Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association to seek action against the convicted men's defense lawyers, Ajai Pratap Singh and Manohar Lal Sharma, who were also interviewed in the documentary. In the petition, female lawyers urged the Supreme Court to ban the two men from the court premises and demanded they apologize for the "inhumane, scandalous, unjustifiable, biased, outrageous and ill-minded" remarks.

Clash of Clans maker Supercell doubles profit
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 14:28:29 -0400

By Jussi Rosendahl HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish mobile game maker Supercell tripled sales and doubled core profit last year on the back of hit titles Clash of Clans, Hay Day and Boom Beach, the company said on Tuesday. Chief Executive Ilkka Paananen said in the statement that the rapid growth was thanks to users' increased play of the company's existing games, which it updates regularly with extended story lines and features. Supercell has managed so far to avoid the fate of San Francisco-based Zynga and Finnish rival Rovio, which have both struggled to extend their franchises beyond initial hugely popular game titles. Founded in 2010, Supercell introduced its first games for mobile phones in 2011 and sold 51 percent of the business to Japanese technology and telecoms company SoftBank Corp in 2013 for about $1.5 billion.

Moneysupermarket.com founder to sell 6.4 percent stake in firm
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 13:30:50 -0400

The founder of financial services price comparison firm Moneysupermarket.com intends to sell up to 6.4 percent of the company's issued share capital, reducing his stake to about 10 percent. The sale of around 35 million shares in a placing could earn Simon Nixon, who founded the company in 1993, about 100 million pounds ($148.74 million), based on Moneysupermarket's closing share price of 286 pence on Tuesday.

India's top court ditches 'Facebook' arrest rules
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 07:31:07 -0400

A smartphone user shows the Facebook application on his phone in Zenica, in this photo illustrationBy Suchitra Mohanty NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's top court struck down a law on Tuesday that gave authorities powers to jail people for offensive online posts, a verdict hailed as a victory for free speech in the world's largest growth market for the Internet. Section 66A of the country's Information and Technology (IT) Act was challenged in the Supreme Court by law students, bloggers, writers and rights groups following arrests across the country for statements posted on social media sites. Justices Jasti Chelameshwar and Rohinton F. Nariman in their order said they found "the law hit at the root of liberty and freedom of expression". The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it welcomed the ruling.

Battle for African Internet users stirs freedom fears
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 06:55:26 -0400

A picture illustration shows a Facebook logo reflected in a person's eye, in ZenicaBy Joe Brock JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Google and Facebook are at the forefront of a scramble to win over new African Internet users, offering freebies they say give a leg-up to the poor but which critics argue is a plan to lock in customers on a continent of 1 billion people. Africa's Internet penetration will reach 50 percent by 2025 and there are expected to be 360 million smartphones on the continent by then, roughly double the number in the United States currently, Mckinsey Consultants data shows. Africa had 16 percent Internet penetration and 67 million smartphones in 2013. This growth is attracting interest from Internet companies such as Google, Facebook and Wikipedia, which are striking deals with service providers such as Vodacom, MTN, Bharti Airtel and Safaricom to offer users free, or 'zero-rated' access to their sites and services.

IT security firm NCC buys UK rival Accumuli to boost capabilities
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 06:14:55 -0400

(Reuters) - British IT security firm NCC Group said it had agreed to buy rival Accumuli to bolster its capabilities in round-the-clock operational support and incident management, and develop its consulting business. NCC is paying about 55 million pounds ($82 million) for the equity of the AIM-listed group, representing a 19 percent premium on its closing price on Monday, funded by the issue of about 20.4 million new NCC shares and 10 million pounds in cash. Accumuli is growing revenue quickly, expecting to post about 27 million pounds in the year to end-March up from 16.6 million pounds, but made a loss from continuing operations of 500,000 pounds in its first half. "A growing number of customers today are looking for 24-7, 365 (days) operational security support and incident management services that Accumuli provides," NCC Chief Executive Rob Cotton said in an interview.

Swiss competition body approves Swisscom online directory merger
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 03:41:10 -0400

The logo of Swiss telecom company Swisscom AG is seen at an office building in ZurichSwitzerland's competition commission WEKO said on Tuesday it had approved the purchase of online directory search.ch by Swisscom, as the telecoms group tries to compete with the likes of Google in digital advertising. In a deal reached last year, Swisscom is to combine directory operator local.ch, which provides information on phone numbers, with Swiss media company Tamedia's search and information service search.ch in a joint subsidiary. Together the local online directories will reach 3.6 million internet users per month in Switzerland, and the merger will be completed by mid-2015, the companies said in a joint statement.

Online video site Vessel bets fans will pay for early access
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 03:03:47 -0400

Online video platform Vessel launched its paid subscription service on Tuesday, offering programming at least three days before other websites in a bid to reshape an industry dominated by free content on Google Inc's YouTube. Vessel, which costs viewers $3 a month, was founded by former Hulu Chief Executive Jason Kilar and Chief Technology Officer Richard Tom. "There are a lot of consumers who would love to see something early." More than 130 creators will provide early access to content on Vessel. After the exclusive period ends, videos can go to YouTube, Vimeo, Vevo or other free, ad-supported sites, and are free on Vessel.

Online platform 'Open Humans' launches to share DNA, other data
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 02:00:59 -0400

By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - People eager to share personal information beyond what's on their Facebook profile have another outlet: an online platform launching on Tuesday will let them give scientists information about their genomes, gut bacteria and other biological data. The "Open Humans Network" aims to make more health-related data available for scientists to mine for discoveries and also help volunteers make that data more accessible to more researchers. Open Humans is launching when scientists are increasingly concerned that valuable genetic and other data are being kept under wraps. Academic researchers do not want to give competitors access for fear they will be scooped on new discoveries, and gene-testing companies keep data private so they can profit from it, said geneticist George Church of Harvard University.

FCC sued by broadband companies over net neutrality rules
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 22:14:41 -0400

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) logo is seen before the FCC Net Neutrality hearing in WashingtonBy Alina Selyukh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. broadband providers on Monday filed lawsuits against the Federal Communications Commission's recently approved net neutrality rules, launching what is a expected to be a series of legal challenges. Broadband industry trade group USTelecom filed a lawsuit against the FCC in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which has in the past twice rejected the FCC's net neutrality regulations. Texas-based Internet provider Alamo Broadband Inc challenged the FCC's new rules in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, making a similar argument.

Amazon's Twitch says its site may have been hacked
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 22:13:46 -0400

(Reuters) - Amazon Inc's Twitch unit said on Monday there may have been unauthorized access to some of its user account information, according to the live streaming gaming network's official blog. Twitch said it had expired passwords and stream keys, and disconnected accounts from Twitter and YouTube to protect the users. As a result, the consumers will be prompted to create a new password the next time they try to log into their Twitch account, according to a message on its official blog. (http://bit. ...

U.S regulator sued by broadband companies over net neutrality rules
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 19:14:16 -0400

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) logo is seen before the FCC Net Neutrality hearing in WashingtonBy Alina Selyukh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. broadband providers on Monday filed lawsuits against the Federal Communications Commission's recently approved net neutrality rules, launching what is a expected to be a series of legal challenges. Broadband industry trade group USTelecom filed a lawsuit against the FCC in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which has in the past twice rejected the FCC's net neutrality regulations. Texas-based Internet provider Alamo Broadband Inc challenged the FCC's new rules in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, making a similar argument.

Pentagon notifying 100 U.S. troops threatened by Islamic State
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 18:55:39 -0400

The Pentagon said on Monday it was notifying 100 U.S. troops that a group claiming ties to Islamic State militants had posted their names, addresses and photos on the Internet and was calling for American sympathizers to kill them. Asked about the kill list, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the Pentagon took "the safety of our people very seriously" and that the posting of the list on social media was the sort of "vile" behavior that caused the United States to be determined to defeat Islamic State militants in the first place. Carter, speaking at Camp David after a meeting with Afghan leaders, rejected claims that the group, which identified itself as the Islamic State Hacking Division, had stolen the information by breaking into U.S. military servers, databases and emails. It wasn’t stolen from any DoD (Defense Department) websites or any confidential databases," Carter said, referring to the group by an acronym.

Nasdaq to provide trading technology for bitcoin marketplace: WSJ
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:22:25 -0400

A man uses an umbrella to guard against snowfall as he walks past the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square, Midtown New York(Reuters) - Nasdaq OMX Group Inc agreed to provide a startup the core technology to power a marketplace for trading bitcoins and related digital-currency assets, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Online gambling company GVC interested in 'something like' Bwin
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 11:27:12 -0400

Online gambling company GVC Holdings Plc is in talks for potential acquisitions and "something like" rival Bwin.party would be of interest, Chief Executive Kenneth Alexander said. Consolidation activity in the gambling industry has gathered steam as an increase in taxes and regulations in some of the biggest markets hurts companies. GVC is looking at transactions that could transform the company "the same way Sportingbet did in 2013", Alexander told Reuters on Monday. GVC, which is listed on London's AIM, acquired Sportingbet's operations in 24 countries for around 31 million pounds.

Online ad revenue at risk in war on 'click fraud'
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:07:43 -0400

The AIG logo is seen at its building in New York's financial districtSpurred by a warning in December by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) that businesses are losing $6.3 billion a year to so-called "click fraud," these companies now stipulate in advertising contracts that they will only pay for online ads when given proof that humans clicked on them. "We don't want to be paying for non-human traffic," said Mark Clowes, global head of advertising at American International Group Inc , the largest commercial insurer in the country. In a typical click fraud scheme, a crook infects many computers with malicious software, and directs the machines - called bots - to visit a webpage, click on an ad or watch a video. A study conducted by cybersecurity firm White Ops for the ANA found that bots viewed almost one-fourth of online video ads and 11 percent of display ads.

Optimal Payments to buy e-wallet rival for $1.2 billion
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 06:54:09 -0400

London-listed Optimal Payments Plc is to buy the maker of the Skrill e-wallet, the biggest competitor to its Neteller business, for an enterprise value of about 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), it said on Monday. Skrill Group, one of the largest pre-paid online voucher providers in Europe with its paysafecard brand, reported a core profit of $89 million in the year ended September.

Hon Hai, Tencent partner in electric car business
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 06:23:10 -0400

People holding umbrellas walk in front of the headquarters of Hon Hai, which is also known by its trading name Foxconn, in Tucheng, New Taipei cityTaiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd on Monday said it has partnered Chinese social networker Tencent Holdings Ltd to develop opportunities related to electric vehicles, marking the latest tech foray into "smart" cars. Hon Hai, WeChat operator Tencent and luxury car dealer China Harmony Auto Holding Ltd signed an agreement to work together in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, Henan province, the contract manufacturer said without detailing specifics. The partnership would put Tencent on a par with online peers Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Baidu Inc, which have already moved into the nascent market for Internet-connected cars vie tie-ups with major auto makers. Hon Hai said the coalition would form a working team drawing on its manufacturing capabilities, Tencent's Internet platform and China Harmony Auto's dealership network, to explore commercial possibilities in smart electric vehicles.

China to reap Alibaba windfall as tightens up on tax
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 03:24:56 -0400

Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma poses for media while touring the CeBIT trade fair in HanoverBy Michelle Price HONG KONG (Reuters) - China could make billions of dollars from taxing gains made by employees of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group who are free to sell their shares for the first time since its IPO, as the country tightens up its leaky mechanisms for tax collection. On Wednesday, a six-month lock-up period for the recently New York-listed stock expired, allowing insiders who bought 437 million shares prior to the IPO to sell their stock, though 100 million of them are subject to trading restrictions that apply to employees until the company reports results in May. The total lock-up represents roughly 18 percent of Alibaba's shares, which if sold would fetch just over $37 billion at Friday's closing price. Although Alibaba did not disclose the identity of the shareholders subject to the lock-up, many will be taxable in China, where most of its 22,000 people are employed, and its share scheme is subject to a number of controls that will help ensure China gets its tax.

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