I'm gonna make you an offer you cannot refuse. Google Inc. (GOOG) (GOOG) offered concessions to European Union regulators in an effort to end an antitrust investigation into allegations that the operator of the world's largest search engine discriminates against rivals. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt sent EU antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia a letter responding to the probe, the EU said in a statement. The settlement offer addresses the "four areas the European Commission described" as potential concerns, Google spokesman Al Verney said in a separate e-mail. Details of the proposals weren't disclosed. Almunia in May asked Google to make an offer to settle concerns it promotes its own specialist search services, copies rivals' travel and restaurant reviews, and that agreements with websites and software developers stifle competition in the advertising industry. He said last month he would send Google an antitrust complaint, that could lead to a fine or limits on conduct, if the proposal was unsatisfactory.
An extra second on the clock on Saturday set off a wave of technical problems throughout websites and computing systems, Wired.com and other news organizations are reporting. On Saturday at midnight Greenwich Mean Time, official time keepers around the globe held clocks back by a second to keep them in line with the earth's rotation, according to Wired.com. Google and other operations prepared for the leap second and made out OK, but others did not, Wired.com reports.
Storms and heat in the east have caused internet problems as well. An outage of Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud in North Virginia has taken down Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram, and other services. According to numerous Twitter updates and our own checks, all three services are unavailable as of Friday evening at 9:10 p.m. PT. Amazon's service health dashboard indicates that there are power issues in its North Virginia data center, most likely caused by severe storms in the region.
A research team has exposed a glaring flaw in domestic drone technology. a team from the University of Texas at Austin's Radionavigation Lab this week demonstrated the potential weakenesses of such systems by hacking a domestic UAV using "spoofing" tech that cost less than $1,000 to build. Led by Professor Todd Humphreys, the team of researchers and students took control of the drone by "spoofing" its GPS system into believing that their team was supposed to be in charge of it, effectively hijacking the witless machine from the ground. They didn't block control signals or anything; they just used their $1000-worth of radio gadgetry to fool the drone into recognizing them as its true masters. With this system in place, they were able to take complete control of the drone.
Judge Lucy Koh denied Samsung's request over the weekend for summary judgement in all twelve of its patent infringement claims against Apple. The two companies have been fighting in court for months over mobile device patent infringement allegations, and recently Apple managed to win two U.S. preliminary injunctions blocking the sale of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and the Galaxy Nexus smartphone. "Samsung attacked the validity of each and every one of the intellectual property rights asserted by Apple at this stage as well as Apple's FRAND-related antitrust claims, and failed all the way," said Florian Muller of Foss Patents. "It is very unusual for such a multi-pronged motion by a major industry player to fail entirely." Judge Koh's ruling helps underscore what appears to be a growing belief that Samsung is stepping on Apple's patents as do the preliminary injunctions she granted.
Apple has agreed to pay a Chinese company $60 million to settle a dispute over ownership of the iPad name, a court announced Monday, removing a potential obstacle to sales of the popular tablet computer in the key Chinese market. Apple says it bought the global rights to the iPad name from Shenzhen Proview Technology in 2009 but Chinese authorities say the rights in China were never transferred. A Chinese court ruled in December that Proview still owned the name in China and the company asked Chinese authorities to seize iPads.
A former Facebook employee is shedding light on what she says is a company overrun with sexism and employees encouraged to worship an immature CEO. Katherine Losse is sharing some of the social-media giant's secrets in a new book, "The Boy Kings," released Tuesday. Losse joined Facebook in 2005, first working in customer service and eventually as a ghostwriter for CEO Mark Zuckerberg. At one point in the tell-all, Losse says female employees were instructed to wear T-shirts with Zuckerberg's face on them in honor of their wonderboy boss' birthday. Male employees were told to wear Adidas sandals, she said, a nod to the CEO's favorite footwear. To Losse, the order reeked of sexism and cult-like worship. "The gender coding was clear," she wrote. "Women were to declare allegiance to Mark, and men were to become Mark." Losse, who quit the company in 2010, notes that Zuckerberg would end meetings by saying the word "Domination" or "Revolution."
Sony is buying the video game-streaming company Gaikai for $380 million in a bid to establish a new cloud-based gaming service. Video game streaming is not as widespread as music and movie streaming largely because the technology is far more complicated. Games cannot be compressed into smaller files, like movies are, before they are sent over a broadband connection. And since they are interactive, video games require an immediate reaction to a player's actions so that on-screen characters can respond in time. Gaikai's technology lets people play video games on Internet-connected devices, including mobile gadgets, computers and TV sets. Sony Corp. said Monday that Gaikai will become part of its video game business, Sony Computer Entertainment, Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Best Buy is offering a $110 discount on Apple's new 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display with 256GB flash storage as the July shopping deals keep rolling in. The big box retailer is running a sale on all kinds of Apple gear, including iMac all-in-ones, iPod devices, and MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops, including the 15.4-inch device with Retina display. But good luck getting your hands on the new MBP at Best Buy's sale price of $2090.
So you properly backed up your MobileMe documents before service's official shutdown over the weekend, but what about those at iWork.com? Apple has begun reminding users once again that its online portal for iWork will go dark on July 31, 2012, pushing them to sign in and download any documents stored online before the end of the month. Apple first introduced iWork.com in January 2009 as part of an iWork software update. iWork users could begin sharing their documents online and collaborate on them with third parties, like Google Docs. But Apple eventually decided to launch iCloud, which (among other things) allows apps like iWork on the iPad to sync documents to other devices. The impending launch of Mountain Lion for the Mac will bring that same functionality to the desktop when it is released later this month, thereby eliminating most of the reason for iWork.com's existence in the first place. iWork.com never quite made it out of beta status before Apple decided to shut it down. In an e-mail sent to users on Monday, Apple suggested signing into your iWork.com account with your Apple ID and referenced a support document for help on downloading any stored files. The process is incredibly simple, though-once you sign in, click the down arrow buttons next to the file sizes on your documents (see screenshot above). You'll then get the option to download the files in Pages '09 format, PDF, or Word. (I recommend downloading all three, just to be sure.)
email from listeners:
" Lucy from Seattle asks: Are there any tablets I can get wet without ruining them?"
Pantech from ATT for $299. Otherwise you can get a waterproof case called a marine case.