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Alibaba meets with China regulator, controversial report retracted
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 20:34:33 -0500

Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, gestures during the session 'An Insight, An Idea with Jack Ma' in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos(Reuters) - The head of China's commerce regulator met with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd chairman Jack Ma on Friday to discuss combating fake products, the official Xinhua news agency reported, with the two adopting a conciliatory tone after a row over illegal business on the Internet company's platforms. The meeting took place the same day the regulator, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), backtracked on an earlier report that had excoriated the Chinese online commerce company for not doing enough to suppress counterfeiting on its websites. SAIC issued what it called a "white paper" on Wednesday saying many products sold on Alibaba's websites infringed on trademarks, or were banned, substandard or fake. "The most recent SAIC posting speaks for itself.

Factbox: Canada security bill's main provisions
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 18:53:25 -0500

The Canadian government introduced legislation on Friday to counter terrorism in response to attacks in Canada, France and Australia by Islamist militants since last October. The following are the main provisions: CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE - CSIS would have powers to disrupt threats to the security of Canada at home and abroad, not just collect intelligence. PROMOTION OF TERRORISM - It would make it a crime to call for attacks on Canada in general.

Hedge funds lose court bid over Ancestry.com deal price
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 18:49:19 -0500

By Tom Hals Wilmington, Del. (Reuters) - Hedge funds lost a court bid to get extra cash for their shares of online family research site Ancestry.com Inc, in a ruling involving an increasingly popular hedge fund strategy. A Delaware judge ruled on Friday that a private equity firm paid a fair value of $32 per share in 2012 to acquire Ancestry.com and rejected hedge fund claims the price should have been as high as $47 per share. Ancestry.com was sold to European private equity firm Permira Advisers. The private equity firm paid 40 percent above the market price for the stock, according to the 56-page opinion from Sam Glasscock, a judge on Delaware's Court of Chancery.

Canada security bill provides new powers to combat terror
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:46:31 -0500

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks at a news conference in Richmond HillBy Andrea Hopkins RICHMOND HILL, Ontario (Reuters) - New anti-terror legislation in Canada would make it a crime to call for attacks on the country and give a much larger role to the government's main spy agency. The bill introduced by the Conservative government on Friday would give the spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the ability to disrupt attacks by interfering with travel plans or communications, for example. The bill, whose passage is assured because the Conservatives have a majority in Parliament, would also make it easier for police to make preventive arrests. "Jihadi terrorism as it is evolving is one of the most dangerous enemies our world has ever faced," Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who faces a general election in October, said at a news conference.

Dating site Topface says paid hacker to not sell stolen data
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:27:03 -0500

By Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) - Topface, one of the world's largest dating websites, said it has paid a hacker an undisclosed sum to stop trying to sell about 20 million email addresses stolen from the Russian company. Topface Chief Executive Dmitry Filatov said the company located the hacker, who had published ads to sell the data but had not actually sold them. "We have paid him an award for finding a vulnerability and agreed on further cooperation in the field of data security," Filatov said in an email on Friday, declining to disclose the size of the reward.

BMW fixes security flaw in its in-car software
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:19:41 -0500

A BMW logo is seen on a car at the Brussels International Auto ShowGerman luxury carmaker BMW has fixed a security flaw that could have allowed hackers to unlock the doors of up to 2.2 million Rolls-Royce, Mini and BMW vehicles, it said on Friday. BMW said officials at German motorist association ADAC had identified the problem, which affected cars equipped with the company's ConnectedDrive software using on-board SIM cards -- the chips used to identify authorized users of mobile devices. BMW drivers can use the software and SIM cards to activate door locking mechanisms, as well as a range of other services including real-time traffic information, online entertainment and air conditioning. The security risk occurred when data was transmitted, BMW said, adding it did not impede the car's critical functions of driving, steering or braking.

Google to change privacy policy after investigation by UK data watchdog
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 06:24:04 -0500

A Google search page is reflected in sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in BrusselsSearch engine Google has agreed to better inform users about how it handles their personal information after an investigation by Britain's data protection regulator found its privacy policy was too vague. The Information Commissioner's Office said in a statement that it required Google to sign a "formal undertaking" that it would make the changes by June 30 and take further steps in the next two years. The ICO investigation stems from a privacy policy implemented by Google in March 2012 that consolidated some 70 existing privacy policies into one and pooled data collected on individual users across its services, including YouTube, Gmail and its social network Google+.

China's new tech rules play to local firms' strengths
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:02:50 -0500

By Gerry Shih, Michael Martina and Joseph Menn BEIJING/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Draft Chinese government regulation would force technology vendors to meet stringent security tests before they can sell to China's banks, an acceleration of efforts to curb the country's reliance on foreign technology that has drawn a sharp response from U.S. business groups. Western companies say the rules have not yet been formally adopted, and some said they believed Beijing would retreat on some of the most onerous ideas, including demanding that firms' proprietary source code be reviewable. On Wednesday, 18 American business groups urged Beijing to postpone rolling out the regulation, which they argued were motivated by protectionism as well as security concerns that intensified in the wake of disclosures of U.S. spying techniques by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Tencent inks exclusive online partnership for NBA games in China
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:53:31 -0500

By Gerry Shih BEIJING (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association and Tencent Holdings Ltd said Friday the Shenzhen-based Internet giant will be the only company in China to stream the league's online content. The exclusive, five-year deal will allow Tencent to offer for the first time in China the NBA's League Pass package, which allows subscribers to watch a full season's worth of games live and on-demand. NBA live games and content will be available to stream through Tencent websites and apps including QQ.com, Tencent's News app and Weixin, the popular messaging app also known as WeChat. China has been one of the NBA's most successful overseas markets since the league entered the basketball-crazed nation in 1987.

Opposition blogger may have 'outed' Putin's daughter
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 20:31:18 -0500

Russia's President Putin writes in a visitors' book after a seminar with regional leaders at the Sberbank's Corporative University in the village of Anosino, outside MoscowBy Maria Tsvetkova MOSCOW (Reuters) - One of Vladimir Putin's main opponents may have broken a taboo by publishing what he says is the pseudonym used by one the Russian president's daughters to stay out of the spotlight. Putin has made his and his family's private life little less than a state secret, keeping his rarely-photographed daughters Yekaterina, 28, and Maria, 29, out of sight and managing his divorce with the minimum fuss. A separate report on Wednesday by RBC, an independent multi-media holding, stated Tikhonova was among those heading a $1.7 billion project to build new University facilities but it did not make any connection between her and Putin. Navalny wrote on his Facebook page: "RBC (they are cool!) yesterday found Putin's daughter in the Scientific Council of Moscow State University." A source close to Moscow State University confirmed Tikhonova was Putin's daughter, telling Reuters on condition of anonymity: "Yes, it is her." Tikhonova could not be reached for comment.

Spotify expresses interest to raise $500 million: WSJ
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 18:49:17 -0500

Headsets hang in front of a screen displaying a Spotify logo on it, in Zenica(Reuters) - Online music streaming service Spotify is working with Goldman Sachs for a new round of private fundraising which could potentially put off the initial public offering for another year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Spotify is talking with investors who are known to buy into companies before a IPO, including mutual fund T. Rowe Price Group, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter. The company was founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. Representatives at Goldman Sachs and T. Rowe Price declined to comment.

Google fourth-quarter revenue misses Wall Street target
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:11:49 -0500

People pose with laptops in front of projection of Google logo in this picture illustration taken in ZenicaBy Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's revenue grew 15 percent in the fourth quarter but fell short of Wall Street's target on declining online ad prices and unfavorable foreign exchange rates. Shares of Google edged up 0.1 percent to $510.66 in extended trading after an initial dip on the news. Google's advertising revenue has come under pressure as more consumers access its online services on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, where ad rates are typically lower. The growing popularity of mobile devices has made No. 1 social network Facebook Inc a greater threat in the battle for advertisers.

Amazon sales rise in holiday quarter, shares jump
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:07:59 -0500

A zoomed image of a computer screen showing the Amazon logo is seen in ViennaBy Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc reported stronger than expected earnings on Thursday as North American sales surged during the crucial holiday quarter, sending its shares up 9 percent. The online commerce giant, which gets about a third of its revenue from October to December, reported earnings of 45 cents a share, trouncing Wall Street's average prediction for 17 cents. The sharply higher profit was a welcome surprise for Wall Street, which has clamored for Amazon to come to grips with its growing investments in everything from Hollywood-style television productions, and cloud computing and consumer devices with mixed success. In a conference call with reporters, Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said Amazon is putting "a lot more energy around making sure we get great productivity around our various fixed and variable assets." Even so, few analysts expect Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will rein in his spending significantly this year, especially as Amazon beefs up its $99-a-year Prime membership program, which offers standard two-day shipping, streaming video and unlimited photo storage among other perks.

U.S. insurance regulators aim to improve consumer cybersecurity protections
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:52:23 -0500

(Reuters) - The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has created a cybersecurity task force to increase protection of consumer information collected by insurers and held by state insurance departments as well as to monitor the cyber insurance market. The NAIC is the group through which state insurance regulators coordinate regulatory oversight for areas including health, life, property and other types of insurance. Cybersecurity has become a bigger issue for insurers this year amid several high profile hacking incidents at retailers such as Home Depot, Sony Corp and at one of the nation's largest hospital chains, Community Health Systems Inc. The hospital incident was blamed on a cyber attack from China and the healthcare sector, including its insurers, was put on watch by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last year against attacks.

Revenge porn website permanently barred by FTC
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:43:53 -0500

By Diane Bartz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The owner of a "revenge porn site," IsAnybodyDown.com, has agreed to not publish any nude pictures without the consent of the subject and to destroy his collection, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday. Craig Brittain, who opened his website in 2011 and closed it in 2013 after a blast of publicity, had solicited pictures of women he met on sites such as Craigslist, the FTC said in its complaint. Brittain offered bounties for nude pictures of certain women requested by users of his website, and then charged women to have their pictures removed. He made about $12,000 while the site was up and running, according to the FTC complaint.

U.S. consistently raised concerns with China on IT rules: trade office
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:41:54 -0500

The United States administration has consistently pressed China about the impact of regulations on U.S. information technology firms, a spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative said on Thursday.

'Humans of New York' blog raises over $1 million for Brooklyn school
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:51:23 -0500

The popular photo blog "Humans of New York" said it had raised more than $1 million by Thursday to pay for college trips and tuition for middle-school students in one of the city's most crime-ridden neighborhoods. The fundraising idea was triggered by a viral response to the blog, www.humansofnewyork.com, after it posted the photo of a student at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, who called the school principal the most influential person in his life. The student was identified only as Vidal, age 13, and he was shown in a photograph by blog founder Brandon Stanton with a pursed smile and wooly black hoodie, accompanied by a quote about his principal, Nadia Lopez. "And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter." The blog, on which Stanton posts pictures, quotes and short stories about people he meets in New York City, has nearly 12 million Facebook followers.

Need for speed: US regulators raise bar for broadband Internet
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:18:28 -0500

By Alina Selyukh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Thursday raised the standard for high-speed Internet, voting that only connections with download speeds of 25 megabits per second or faster will qualify as broadband, meaning fewer parts of the United States have broadband access. The change in the Federal Communications Commission's definition of broadband, previously a download speed of at least 4 megabits per second (Mbps), means nearly a fifth of Americans and more than half of those living in rural areas lack access to high-speed Internet. The change, opposed by Internet service providers and Republican FCC commissioners, is not expected to immediately influence how competitive the FCC formally views the broadband market. The new definition is also likely to give new ammunition to critics of the pending $45 billion merger of Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc as cable companies emerge as the dominant competitors to offer such speeds.

Alibaba says SAIC report flawed, preparing formal complaint
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 08:15:43 -0500

A cleaner waters the flowers below a logo of Alibaba (China) Technology Co. Ltd at the company's headquarters on the outskirts of HangzhouSHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese regulator's report that criticized Alibaba Group Holding Ltd for failing to do enough to stamp out illegal business on its platforms was flawed and the company is preparing a formal complaint, Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai said on Thursday. Tsai said Alibaba first saw the White Paper from the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) when it was made public on Wednesday. He also said the company never requested that the SAIC delay the publication of information in the report, which summarized a July meeting between the company and SAIC.

Intel says corporations buying more high-end PCs
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 07:09:01 -0500

The sign hanging outside the Intel booth is seen at the International Consumer Electronics show (CES) in Las VegasBy Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Companies replacing older PCs are increasingly choosing ones with high-end features aimed at improved security and employee efficiency, according to a senior Intel Corp executive. Intel's "vPro" processors account for a fifth of the chipmaker's corporate PC business and that proportion is growing, Tom Garrison, Intel’s vice president and general manager of business client platforms, recently told Reuters. With a recovery in the PC industry driven in part by consumers buying cheap, low-end laptops, corporations buying top-tier devices for their workers are an important sweet spot for Intel and manufacturers like Hewlett-Packard and Dell. Shipments of Intel's vPro processors, which are more profitable for the Santa Clara, California, company than many of its other PC chips, are increasing compared with overall demand for desktop and laptop computers, he said.

HBO tech executives leave ahead of Internet launch as network's strategy changes
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 01:14:44 -0500

By Liana B. Baker NEW YORK (Reuters) - Time Warner's TWX.N HBO is preparing to sell a standalone service over the Internet for the first time, in one of the most closely watched moves in pay TV history. Otto Berkes, who was previously a Microsoft executive, resigned from the CTO position in December, only a matter of months before HBO is expected to start selling the new product, and two senior vice presidents on the technology team, Mark Thomas and Drew Angeloff, are also leaving, sources familiar with the situation said. The original plan discussed by the network's top executives was to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a sophisticated streaming platform that would make HBO, one of the best-known premium channels in the United States, capable of challenging streaming video services from Netflix NFLX.O and Amazon AMZN.O head on. Berkes, who was also a cofounder of Xbox, was a key part of that ambitious project - he had been hired by HBO in 2011 to set up a new office in Seattle, initially hiring 80 engineers with plans to grow much bigger.

Naver misses estimates as chat app Line's revenue disappoints
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:01:11 -0500

The logo of free messaging app Line is pictured on a smartphone in this photo illustration taken in TokyoBy Joyce Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - Naver Corp said quarterly profit climbed 30 percent but it fell short of estimates on weaker sales of a hit game for its messaging app Line, sending shares in the South Korean web portal firm tumbling. The popular Japan-based messaging app unit Line Corp [IPO-LINE.T] is Naver's main earnings driver but its share price made little progress in 2014, and investors are keen to see the progress of new taxi and payment services and whether Line can come up with more hit games.

U.S. businesses urge China to postpone new cybersecurity policies
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 23:52:26 -0500

U.S. business lobbies have called for "urgent discussions" with the Chinese government over new cybersecurity regulations that would force technology vendors to Chinese banks to hand over secret source code and adopt Chinese encryption algorithms. In a letter to China's top cybersecurity policy group dated Jan. 28, the American Chamber of Commerce in China and 17 other U.S. business lobbies urged Beijing to postpone the implementation of the new policies. U.S. tech vendors such as Cisco and Microsoft Corp are facing increased pressure from Chinese authorities to accept rigorous security checks before their products may be purchased by China's sprawling, state-run financial institutions.

U.S. net neutrality rules expected to cover interconnection deals
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 20:32:49 -0500

Wheeler testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing on oversight of the FCC on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Alina Selyukh and Diane Bartz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New U.S. "net neutrality" rules are expected to regulate for the first time deals in which content companies such as Netflix Inc pay broadband providers to connect with their networks for smooth downloads, according to people familiar with the plan. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler next week will reveal the latest draft of new rules that would guide how Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast Corp manage traffic on their networks, aiming to ensure all web content is treated equally. The new draft is expected to expand the authority of the FCC to previously unregulated traffic exchange deals, known as interconnection agreements, according to two sources who spoke anonymously because the plan has not been made public.

Facebook's new challenge: sell Wall Street on spending
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 20:23:06 -0500

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's big spending plans are facing a tough reception on Wall Street. Facebook shares fell about 2 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday, after the company beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter revenue target and discussed aggressive 2015 spending plans. "Expectations for Facebook are already very high and perhaps some commentary around aggressive investments can spook investors a bit," said Colin Sebastian, a Robert W. Baird & Co analyst. Facebook said on Wednesday that 2015 capital expenditures will range from $2.7 billion to $3.2 billion, a sharp increase from $1.83 billion in 2014.

Facebook tops Wall Street revenue target in fourth quarter
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:21:52 -0500

A Facebook logo reflected in the eye of a woman is seen in this picture illustrationBy Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's revenue grew 49 percent in the fourth quarter, as mobile advertising growth helped the world's largest Internet social network beat Wall Street's targets for earnings and sales. Facebook shares fell about 2.6 percent in after-hours trade after vacillating above and below the closing price. Facebook's business has boomed thanks to its mobile ads for smartphones and tablets. Its success contrasts with other established Internet companies such as Google Inc and Yahoo Inc , which have struggled as advertisers shift more and more to mobile devices from personal computers.

Silk Road drug dealer testifies against website's alleged operator
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:18:04 -0500

The homepage to alleged Silk Road 2.0 website is seen in a screenshot after it was closed by U.S. authoritiesBy Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York computer consultant testified on Wednesday about how a heroin addiction led him to become a prolific drug dealer on Silk Road, as prosecutors moved closer to finishing their case against the underground website's alleged operator. The testimony in Manhattan federal court by Michael Duch, 40, marked the first time jurors weighing the fate of suspected Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht heard from a vendor on the website, where drugs and other illicit goods could be secretly bought with bitcoins. Duch, who has been incarcerated since pleading guilty and came dressed in jail garb, told jurors a heroin habit that cost him up to $3,500 a week led him to deal the drug on Silk Road, where he previously bought pain killers. "There was a perceived level of safety as well as anonymity." Duch, who in 2012 earned $75,000 through computer consulting, said he earned $60,000 to $70,000 a month selling ultimately 3.18 kilograms of heroin on Silk Road under the alias "deezletime" from April 2013 until his arrest in October 2013.

Snowden files show Canada spy agency runs global Internet watch: CBC
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:55:11 -0500

A sign is pictured outside the Communications Security Establishment headquarters in OttawaBy David Ljunggren and Mike De Souza OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's electronic spy agency has been intercepting and analyzing data on up to 15 million file downloads daily as part of a global surveillance program, according to a report published on Wednesday. Critics said the revelations, made in 2012 documents obtained by former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden and leaked to journalists, showed much more oversight was needed over Canada's Communications Security Establishment (CSE). The documents are the first indication from the Snowden files showing Canada had its own globe-spanning Internet surveillance in a bid to counter extremists. The covert dragnet, nicknamed Levitation, has covered allied countries and trading partners such as the United States, Britain, Brazil, Germany, Spain and Portugal, the report by CBC News and news website The Intercept said.

China to demand secret source codes from computer firms: NYT
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:53:02 -0500

(Reuters) - China will force companies which sell computer equipment to banks to hand over secret source code, undergo sensitive audits and set up research and development centers in the country, the New York Times reported on Thursday. Beijing wants 75 percent of technology products used by China's financial institutions "secure and controllable" by 2019, the paper reported, citing an official document expected to be circulated to businesses in the next few months. The new rules have aggravated concerns among foreign companies that Chinese authorities are trying to force them out of the country, the Times said. Firms planning to sell computer equipment to Chinese banks would have to set up research and development centers in the country, get permits for workers servicing technology equipment and build "ports" which enable Chinese officials to manage and monitor data processed by their hardware.

Citrix to cut about 900 jobs as net profit slumps
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:33:58 -0500

(Reuters) - Cloud-computing software maker Citrix Systems Inc said it would cut about 700 full-time and 200 contractor jobs as part of a restructuring to improve operational efficiency. The company, which had 9,166 employees at the end of 2013, also reported a sharp fall in fourth-quarter net profit and issued a forecast for revenue and adjusted profit for the current quarter that fell short of analyst expectations. Citrix reported a net profit of $95.2 million, or 58 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, down from $138.6 million, or 74 cents per share a year earlier. Citrix earned $1.10 per share on an adjusted basis, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.02, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue rose 6 percent to $851.5 million, exceeding the average forecast of $844.1 million.

Naver profit up 30.3 percent year-on-year due to messaging app
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:00:39 -0500

The logo of free messaging app Line is pictured on a smartphone in this photo illustration taken in TokyoBy Joyce Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's top web portal operator Naver Corp said fourth-quarter profits climbed 30.3 percent from a year earlier, mostly in line with expectations on firm revenue growth from its messaging app unit Line Corp. Operating profit came in at 196.1 billion won ($180.70 million) for the October-December period, compared with an average estimate of 223 billion won profit from a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S survey of 24 analysts. "This year, we will launch new services currently under preparation that will strengthen user convenience," Naver said in its press release. Naver opted not to list the subsidiary last year, saying that Line would get a better valuation if it built up the business further. Naver says it has the financial capacity to help Line grow but many analysts and investors believe the messaging app unit may need to attract a major strategic investor or pursue an initial public offering to keep up with its bigger rivals.

Egyptian poet goes on trial accused of contempt of Islam
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:10:32 -0500

Prominent Egyptian poet Fatima Naoot is pictured in CairoBy Mahmoud Mourad CAIRO (Reuters) - A prominent Egyptian poet could face up to three years in jail over a Facebook post in which she criticized the slaughter of animals at a Muslim festival, a case which rights activists say shows how the government is muzzling free speech. Fatima Naoot described the Prophet Abraham's dream - in which, according to Islamic belief, God tells him to sacrifice his son as a test of his faith - as a "nightmare". "A massacre which is repeated every year because of the nightmare of a righteous man about his good son." The poet - whose trial began on Wednesday - has been charged with contempt of Islam, spreading sectarian strife and disturbing public peace, judicial sources and Naoot said. "The loser will be the cultural movement." Rights groups say a crackdown launched by the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, following the toppling of Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013, has muzzled freedom of expression.

Canada's CGI reports 25 percent jump in profit
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 11:45:39 -0500

(Reuters) - Information technology and outsourcing services provider CGI Group Inc posted a 25 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by lower expenses and higher earnings from the United States and the UK. CGI's shares rose as much as 8 percent to a record high of C$50.65 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Facebook to sell real-time Super Bowl ads, taking on Twitter
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 07:05:27 -0500

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Dell laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of ZenicaThis Super Bowl Facebook is taking a page from Twitter's playbook, for the first time during a football championship selling ads that target people based on what they are talking about in real time. These include video ads that will play automatically on Facebook's newsfeed, triggered by key words that members mention in their posts as they watch the American football game on Feb. 1. Smartphones and tablets provide a second screen for the Super Bowl's 100 million television viewers to comment about the game as it proceeds, giving advertisers a more precise way to target messages.

State lawmakers slam attempt at online sales tax law
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 18:47:01 -0500

U.S. states for years have asked Congress for federal legislation easing the way for them to collect sales taxes on Internet purchases, but now that a bill has been drafted, state lawmakers are resisting. The National Conference of State Legislatures on Tuesday released a letter it sent to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Monday that depicted a proposed online sales tax bill as an unconstitutional attack on states' rights. A draft of the bill by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte "not only imposes new taxes on consumers in non-sales tax states, it raises taxes on consumers who purchase products from higher sales tax states," wrote the group, which represents state lawmakers from across the country.

Open Text revenue hit by strong US dollar, weak emerging markets
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 18:46:01 -0500

Canadian business-software maker Open Text Corp's quarterly revenue fell short of market expectations, hit by a strong U.S. dollar and weaker-than-expected revenue from its emerging markets business. U.S.-listed shares of Open Text, whose software helps companies manage documents and workflows, fell 11 percent in extended trading on Tuesday. Revenue from markets including the Middle East, Latin America, China and India was "lower than planned," Chief Financial Officer John Doolittle said on a call with analysts. Total revenue rose 29 percent to $467.8 million in the second quarter ended Dec. 31, but fell short of the average analyst estimate of $486.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company, which gets about half its revenue in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, said revenue in the quarter was hit by a foreign exchange charge of $15 million.

Open Text profit rises 39 percent on strong cloud services business
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:15:43 -0500

(Reuters) - Canadian business-software maker Open Text Corp reported a 39 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by a more than threefold jump in revenue in its rapidly growing cloud services business. Net income attributable to the company rose to $74.3 million, or 60 cents per share in the second quarter ended Dec. 31, from $53.5 million, or 45 cents per share, a year earlier. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company's revenue rose about 29 percent to $467.8 million. (Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

Taylor Swift says Twitter, Instagram accounts were hacked
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:59:19 -0500

Taylor Swift performs in Times Square on New Year's Eve in New YorkPop star Taylor Swift said her Twitter and Instagram accounts were hacked on Tuesday, but the rogue posts were quickly removed from the social media services. The 25-year-old "Shake It Off" singer, whose album "1989" has been atop the charts for the past three months, has built a following of young fans through social media and has the fourth-most popular Twitter account with 51.4 million followers. "My Twitter got hacked but don't worry, Twitter is deleting the hacker tweets and locking my account until they can figure out how this happened and get me new passwords," said a statement posted on Swift's personal Tumblr page. Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc-owned Instagram did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether Swift's accounts had been hacked.

Social media flurry around blizzard: gripes, jokes and romance
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:38:41 -0500

By Laila Kearney and Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fear, disappointment and even romantic thoughts about the Northeast's blizzard of 2015 powered a social media storm that raged on the Internet on Tuesday. The avalanche picking up speed on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook included mashup photos that replaced the Statue of Liberty's torch with a snow shovel and outfitted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a king's fur cape and sword with the motto "Winter is Coming" from the "Game of Thrones" television show. Two of the most popular Twitter hashtags were #Snowmageddon2015 and #Snowpocalypse, although some felt #Blizzfizz was more appropriate. "A whole lotta 'nope,'" @kelso2utd wrote on Twitter, referring to the storm's underwhelming showing in most of New York City and New Jersey.

Snapchat adds news, entertainment content to messaging service
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:20:09 -0500

A portrait of the Snapchat logo in VenturaBy Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Snapchat has partnered with CNN, ESPN and nine other media companies to feature videos and articles on its mobile messaging service, a move that heightens the competition with social networks such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc. Snapchat's new Discover service features individual "channels" for its various media partners that include five to 10 stories a day, according to Snapchat, which announced the move on its official blog on Tuesday. After 24 hours the stories disappear, in keeping with Snapchat's trademark feature of private messages that disappear a few seconds after they are viewed by users of the service. The new Snapchat features reflect the growing competition among mobile messaging apps and social networks to entice users to spend more time on their free, advertising-supported services.

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