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'Jackass' star could face charges for SeaWorld sign prank
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:58:57 -0400

Cast member Steve-O gestures at the premiere of "Jackass 3D" at Grauman's Chinese theatre in HollywoodBy 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.

JPMorgan customers targeted in email phishing campaign
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:38:53 -0400

JP Morgan Chase & Co sign outside headquarters in New YorkBy 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 extends tax breaks on computer, smartphone sales
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:54:47 -0400

A woman looks at merchandise in a mobile phone store in Sao PauloBrazil 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.

Microsoft to use Opera browser on low, mid-market phones
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:24:03 -0400

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.

Jackie Chan takes 'bow of apology' after son busted for drugs
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 04:49:52 -0400

Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan poses on red carpet at Hong Kong Film AwardsKungfu 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.

Former Tennessee Titans player Tim Shaw says he has ALS
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 18:47:32 -0400

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, Bain vie for photobook maker Shutterfly: sources
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:18:58 -0400

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.

U.S. hospital breach biggest yet to exploit Heartbleed bug: expert
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:29:40 -0400

A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on an Internet Explorer browser in ParisHackers 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.

Despite lip service, Silicon Valley venture capital still a man’s world
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 01:14:28 -0400

Sheri Atwood, founder and CEO of SupportPay, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Redwood CityBy 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.

Twitter to remove images of deceased on families' request
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 00:14:53 -0400

An illustration picture shows the log-on icon for the Website Twitter on an Ipad in Bordeaux(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.

Snapchat in talks to expand services: WSJ
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:23:27 -0400

A portrait of the Snapchat logo in Ventura(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.

Marketing push, harsh northern winter spur record Florida tourism
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:46:13 -0400

Tourists crowd the beach in Perdido KeyBy 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.

Google considering YouTube, Gmail accounts for kids: reports
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:42:16 -0400

A picture illustration shows a photo taken of a YouTube error logo, displayed on a cell phone in front of a YouTube logo on an LCD screen, in central Bosnian town of Zenica(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.

Child friendly Instagram rival plans aggressive U.S. market push
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 07:43:09 -0400

kuddleKuddle, 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.

Microsoft cloud service Azure restored after partial outage
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:00:29 -0400

A shadow of a man using his mobile phone is cast near Microsoft logo at the 2014 Computex exhibition in Taipei(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. ...

Community Health says data stolen in cyber attack from China
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:48:30 -0400

A hand is silhouetted in front of a computer screen in this picture illustration taken in BerlinSecurity 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.

Community Health Systems says data stolen in cyber attack
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 08:30:39 -0400

Photo illustration shows USB device being plugged into a laptop computer in Berlin(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)

Google buys city-guide app maker JetPac
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 21:05:51 -0400

A Google logo is seen at the entrance to the company's offices in Toronto(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. ...

Chinese national charged with hacking U.S. defense contractors
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 16:21:51 -0400

A Chinese businessman has been indicted in California on charges he hacked the computer systems of Boeing Co and other U.S. defense contractors and stole confidential plans for military aircraft, federal prosecutors said on Friday. According to the indictment in federal court in Los Angeles, Su Bin traveled to the United States at least 10 times between 2008 and 2014 and worked with two unidentified co-conspirators based in China to steal the data.

U.S. extends deadline for 'net neutrality' comments to Sept 15
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 16:11:36 -0400

Fiber optic cables carrying internet providers are seen running into a server room at Intergate.Manhattan, a data center owned and developed by Sabey Data Center Properties, during a tour of the facility in lower Manhattan, in New YorkU.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday said it would accept public comments on its proposed new "net neutrality" rules through Sept. 15, giving Americans extra time to weigh in on how they think Internet traffic should be regulated. The FCC has received more than 1 million comments already on new rules for how Internet services providers should be allowed to manage web traffic on their networks. The FCC had set a deadline of July 15 for the initial comments and then September 10 for replies to those initial comments. "To ensure that members of the public have as much time as was initially anticipated to reply to initial comments in these proceedings, the Bureau today is extending the reply comment deadline by three business days," the FCC said on Friday, delaying the final deadline for comments to September 15.

Apple begins storing users' personal data on servers in China
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 07:50:56 -0400

Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in TokyoBy Gerry Shih and Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - Apple Inc has begun keeping the personal data of some Chinese users on servers in mainland China, marking the first time the tech giant is storing user data on Chinese soil. The storage of user data in China represents a departure from the policies of some technology companies, notably Google Inc , which has long refused to build data centers in China due to censorship and privacy concerns. Apple said the move was part of an effort to improve the speed and reliability of its iCloud service, which lets users store pictures, e-mail and other data. The data will be kept on servers provided by China Telecom Corp Ltd , the country's third-largest wireless carrier, Apple said in a statement on Friday.

China media marketer confesses to posting false information during trial: Xinhua
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 05:54:24 -0400

A Chinese businessman has confessed to posting false information online and deleting critical microblog posts for corporate clients, the official Xinhua news service reported on Friday, as a government crackdown on social media gathers pace. The news agency said Yang Xiuyu, owner of media marketing company Erma, who is on trial in Beijing, confessed to paying staff to post false information and delete critical posts about clients in exchange for more than 530,000 yuan ($86,000) between 2008 and 2013.

Facebook vice president of product management resigns
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 21:16:03 -0400

A Facebook logo on an Ipad is reflected among source code on the LCD screen of a computer in this photo illustration(Reuters) - Samuel Lessin, Facebook Inc's vice president of product management, said he would be leaving the company. Lessin said in a post on the social networking site that his departure would be effective Aug. 29. He said he does not have any immediate plans but intends to help his wife Jessica Lessin with her publication, the Information. "If past performance is any indication, I will be starting something soon enough… What, I don’t know, but generally volume of ideas has never been much of an issue for me," he said. (Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

New health apps, games reward patients who take their meds
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:59:41 -0400

By Christina Farr and Malathi Nayak SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A group of ex-gaming industry executives say they can use their design chops to solve a major health challenge: Sick patients neglecting to take their medication and costing employers and insurance providers billions of dollars. Jason Oberfest began thinking about applying game design tricks to complex medical problems in 2011, while at mobile game company ngmoco. Oberfest built the app to engage users in their health, but he maintained some of the most viral aspects of mobile games, such as gifts, and a feature to see how friends are faring in their treatment. An analysis in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that Americans are failing to comply with prescriptions and it is costing the U.S. health system between $100 billion and $289 billion annually.

Buffett's Berkshire reveals Charter stake, cuts DirecTV
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 18:23:26 -0400

By Luciana Lopez and Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc disclosed a new $366 million stake in cable TV operator Charter Communications Inc and pared its holdings in two other pay-TV companies, part of a flurry of changes in its stock investments during the second quarter. Shares of Charter shares rose about 2 percent after-hours after Berkshire reported a new 2.3 million share stake, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that detailed its domestic equity investments as of June 30. Charter is "the play of choice on cable consolidation," said Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Harrigan.

Berlin bans car service Uber
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:27:55 -0400

Transportation app Uber driver Shuki Zanna waits for rides in his limousine in Beverly HillsBerlin has banned car service Uber, which allows users to summon a ride on their smartphone, for not offering drivers and vehicles licensed to carry passengers, or full insurance cover, the German capital said. Uber said on Thursday it would appeal against the decision, accusing Berlin of denying its people choice and mobility. Competition is good for everyone and it raises the bar and ultimately it's the consumer who wins," said Fabien Nestmann, German General Manager at Uber. Uber Technologies Inc is a hugely successful San Francisco-based company valued at $18.2 billion.

Reclassify Internet providers for 'net neutrality': NY Times
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:03:04 -0400

The sun peaks over the New York Times Building in New YorkU.S. regulators' new "net neutrality" rules should classify Internet providers more like public utilities to prevent them from potentially slowing users' access to some Web content, the New York Times said in an editorial in Thursday's newspaper. The statement comes as the Federal Communications Commission is preparing to set the new rules, which would regulate how Internet service providers, or ISPs, manage traffic on their networks. The FCC is now collecting public comment on the rules it tentatively proposed in May, which the New York Times called troubling. While prohibiting ISPs from blocking any content, the proposal suggested allowing some "commercially reasonable" deals where content companies, such as Netflix Inc or Amazon.com Inc, could pay ISPs, such as Comcast Corp or Verizon Communications Inc, to ensure smooth and fast delivery of their Web traffic.

From jihad to pop culture, Islamists present new face on Web
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 09:32:09 -0400

Militant Islamist fighter uses a mobile to film his fellow fighters taking part in a military parade along streets of Syria's northern Raqqa provinceBy Peter Apps WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The jihadist calling himself Abdullah caused a brief stir on the Internet this week - but not, to his disappointment, because of his backing for Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. Instead, his comments posted on Twitter over the death of U.S. actor Robin Williams went viral, prompting a blizzard of facetious questions about his film tastes. Until recently, Islamist militant websites were a largely dark and hidden corner of the Internet, rarely seen by outsiders beyond the intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Increasingly, however, groups like the Islamic State - a former al Qaeda affiliate until recently known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - are using the same platforms as everyone else, often in English.

Russian PM's office denies spoof tweet saying he quits
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 04:38:35 -0400

Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev addresses the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, in MoscowHackers on Thursday broke into the Twitter account of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and posted a spoof message saying he was quitting. Medvedev is often the butt of jokes in Russia, with some people accusing him of being the puppet of President Vladimir Putin. Vova! You are wrong!" There was disappointment among many in Russia's Internet-savvy middle class after Medvedev stepped down from the presidency to allow Putin to return for a third Kremlin term in 2012, a decision that sparked big street protests in Moscow.

Texas shuts company for running online high school 'diploma mill'
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:45:14 -0400

By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) - Texas has won court approval to close a Houston-based company the state said ran a fraudulent online program that offered high school diplomas for a flat fee and no course work, state officials said on Wednesday. Last week, a district judge ordered the company known as Lincoln Academy to stop accepting students, shut down its website and social media pages and phase out operations, the attorney general's office said. Lincoln Academy, described as "a diploma mill" by the state, claimed its program was nationally accredited and its diplomas were accepted by colleges, employers and the U.S. military, the office said."In the end, consumers pay hundreds of dollars for a worthless piece of paper that provides none of the promised benefits of a legitimate high school education," the state said in its lawsuit. Fort Worth resident Chelsea Moon, 25, enrolled in the program in June and was told she needed to complete a course before graduating, but that turned out to be only a test.

HelpSystems up for sale for more than $700 million : sources
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 15:14:38 -0400

By Greg Roumeliotis (Reuters) - HelpSystems LLC is exploring a sale that could value the information technology management software company at more than $700 million, including debt, just two years after it changed private equity ownership, according to people familiar with the matter. Private equity firm Summit Partners, which bought HelpSystems in 2012 from another buyout firm, Audax Group Inc, has hired boutique investment bank Harris Williams & Co to run a sale process, the people said this week. ...

U.S. senator urges FCC net neutrality hearings outside Washington
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 14:57:13 -0400

Senate Judiciary Committee members Leahy and Grassley confer during NSA hearing on Capitol Hill in WashingtonU.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on Wednesday called on the Federal Communications Commission to host hearings on its new proposed "net neutrality" rules outside of Washington, not just at its offices in the U.S. capital. The FCC is working to write new so-called "net neutrality" rules that regulate how Internet service providers (ISPs) manage traffic on their networks. More than 1 million comments have poured into the FCC on the issue, many of them opposing the rules tentatively proposed by the FCC. The FCC is now planning six roundtable discussions in September and October at its offices in Washington, where the public can meet with FCC staff to talk about the proposed rules and how they may be changed.

Amazon.com takes on PayPal, Square with credit card reader
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:36:34 -0400

Amazon CEO Bezos is silhouetted during a presentation of his company's new Fire smartphone in SeattleBy Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc unveiled a $10 credit-card reader and mobile app for businesses on Wednesday, expanding further into bricks-and-mortar retail and the rapidly evolving mobile payments arena. The move pits Amazon against a slew of rivals including startup Square, which popularized a card swiper that plugs into a smartphone or tablet and allows small- and mid-sized businesses like food trucks and coffee shops to quickly accept credit and debit transactions. The new point-of-sale system, called Amazon Local Register, would give Amazon crucial data on how U.S. consumers shop offline, analysts say. On Wednesday, an Amazon spokeswoman said all data from Amazon Local Register customers would be securely protected and would not be used merely for fraud protection and risk management.

Tencent estimate-beating profit driven by phone games
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:59:25 -0400

Visitors use phones underneath of logo of Tencent at Global Mobile Internet Conference in BeijingBy Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - Tencent Holdings Ltd , China's biggest listed tech firm, posted its second quarter of year-on-year profit gain of more than 50 percent as smartphone gaming revenue continued to grow at a breakneck pace. Net income rose 59 percent to 5.84 billion yuan ($949 million) in the three months to end-June compared with a year earlier, Tencent said on Wednesday. Tencent, with a market cap of more than $160 billion, has built its success on WeChat, known as Weixin in China. Through the mobile messaging app, the arch-rival of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd [IPO-BABA.N] has been raking in money since it introduced smartphone games in late 2013.

Planned U.S. cyber warfare program could hurt innocent countries: Snowden
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:28:40 -0400

Accused government whistleblower Snowden is seen on a screen as he speaks via videoconference with members of the Committee on legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in StrasbourgA developing U.S. cyber security program would not only hunt down and halt potential computer attacks but also strike back without staff oversight, according to former U.S. National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden. In an interview with WIRED magazine made public Wednesday, Snowden said the program - MonsterMind - could hurt countries caught in the middle as hackers could disguise the origin of their attacks by routing them through computers in other nations. "These attacks can be spoofed," Snowden told the magazine. "You could have someone sitting in China, for example, making it appear that one of these attacks is originating in Russia.

Comedy great Robin Williams hanged himself at home
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:18:28 -0400

Williams speaks at a panel for the television series "The Crazy Ones" during the CBS portion of the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly HillsBy Ann Saphir, Alex Dobuzinskis and Piya Sinha-Roy SAN RAFAEL Calif./LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar-winning actor and groundbreaking comedian Robin Williams hanged himself with a belt in his Northern California home after he had sought treatment for depression, a coroner said on Tuesday, based on preliminary findings. Williams, 63, was found dead by his personal assistant at midday on Monday in a bedroom. He was suspended from a belt wedged between a closet door and a door frame, in a seated position just off the ground, Marin County's assistant chief deputy coroner, Keith Boyd, told a news conference. "Mr. Williams' personal assistant became concerned at approximately 11:45 a.m. when he failed to respond to knocks on his bedroom door," Boyd said.

Germany urges its citizens to leave Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia over Ebola
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 07:30:49 -0400

Volunteers carry bodies in a centre run by Medecins Sans Frontieres for Ebola patients in KailahunGermany has urged its nationals to leave Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone due to concern over the Ebola virus, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday. "The government's crisis management group met this morning to discuss West Africa and the Ebola virus. It decided to request all German citizens in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to leave," he said. The Ebola outbreak is the world's largest and deadliest and the World Health Organisation last week declared it an international health emergency.

Nigeria races to halt Ebola spread in overcrowded Lagos
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 03:30:21 -0400

Man has his temperature taken using an infrared digital laser thermometer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in AbujaBy Tim Cocks LAGOS (Reuters) - When Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer collapsed at Lagos airport, he brought Ebola into a potentially ideal place for the deadly virus to spread - a vast, dirty, overcrowded city where tracing carriers and their contacts is a major problem. Lagos has now had 10 cases of Ebola, an illness spread by contact with the fluids of an infected person. As Africa's biggest economy, Nigeria has a better health system than the other west African countries which are among the poorest in the world, and Ebola doesn't spread through the air or water supply as with many other epidemic diseases. "Lagos is big, it's crowded.

'Candy Crush' decline continues for King, shares fall
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 18:50:32 -0400

A woman poses for a photo illustration with an iPhone as she plays Candy Crush in New YorkBy Malathi Nayak SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Social and mobile game company King Digital Entertainment Plc reduced its 2014 forecast after reporting lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue on Tuesday, as gamers continued to spend less money on its "Candy Crush Saga" game. King also announced a $150 million special dividend, or 46.9 cents per share, payable to shareholders of record on Sept. 30. Investors have worried that unless King delivers a set of consistent and long-lasting hits, apart from "Candy Crush Saga," it might suffer the same fate as "Farmville" maker Zynga Inc and "Angry Birds" developer Rovio Corp, which are struggling to retain players. King's second quarter gross bookings, an indicator of future revenue, was $611 million, up 27 percent from the year-ago period, but less than the last quarter when it reported gross bookings of $641.1 million.     King has yet to see its other titles such as "Farm Heroes Saga" and "Bubble Witch 2 Saga" fully offset user losses of its "Candy Crush Saga" puzzler game that accounted for about 60 percent of second-quarter gross bookings.

Exclusive: Apple prepares Healthkit rollout amid tangled regulatory web
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 11:35:01 -0400

Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in TokyoBy Christina Farr SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc has been discussing how its "HealthKit" service will work with health providers at Mount Sinai, the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins as well as with Allscripts, a competitor to electronic health records provider Epic Systems, people familiar with the discussions said. While the talks may not amount to anything concrete, they underscore how Apple is intent on making health data, such as blood pressure, pulse and weight, available for consumers and health providers to view in one place. Currently, this data is being collected by thousands of third-party health care software applications and medical devices, but it isn't centrally stored. Apple also hopes physicians will use this data to better monitor patients between visits – with the patient's consent — so the doctors can make better diagnostic and treatment decisions.

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