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Android smartphone share to rise, prices to fall

WASHINGTON — Google’s Android mobile operating system will power nearly half of the smartphones worldwide by the end of next year, technology research company Gartner said Thursday. Worldwide smartphone sales will reach 468 million units this year, up 57.7 percent from 2010, increase to 630 million units next year and…

Obama admin. says $675,000 is an appropriate punishment for sharing 30 songs

Making good on its earlier promises, the Obama Administration went to court this week to defend the unpopular Copyright Act and what critics call as its extremely high per-song fines. In a recent appeal of a decision that gutted a $675,000 finding against an Internet user who downloaded and shared…

Epsilon hackers ‘highly sophisticated cyber thieves’

WASHINGTON (AFP) – An online marketing firm hit by what may be one of the biggest data thefts ever was the victim of “highly sophisticated cyber thieves,” according to its parent company. Alliance Data Systems Corp. also reiterated that only the names and email addresses of customers were stolen in…

Google ‘to reorganize YouTube channels’

NEW YORK — US Internet giant Google is preparing a major overhaul of video sharing website YouTube by creating “channels” to compete with broadcast and cable TV, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Under a plan costing as much as $100 million, the YouTube homepage will highlight different channels…

Glenn Beck’s Fox News show ending ‘later this year’

Conservative conspiracy host Glenn Beck announced plans Wednesday to “transition off” his Fox News program in favor of a realigned agreement between Fox and his production company, Mercury Radio Arts. The deal will see Beck’s company designing unspecified new media for the Fox News Channel and other Fox online properties,…

White House dragging its feet on wiretapping rules

Citing the need to protect intellectual property and consumer information like the emails that were leaked in this week’s massive Epsilon hack, the Senate Judiciary Committee called a hearing Wednesday to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Committee member Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) emphasized that while amending the law and…

Analysis: CEO pay soars while workers face layoffs, stalled pay

CEOs are getting even richer while workers are hit with stagnate pay and even layoffs. A recent USA Today analysis of data from GovernanceMetrics International showed that CEO pay jumped 27 percent last year, nearly reaching pre-recession levels. Workers, however, saw their pay rise at a paltry 2.1 percent in…

‘Flying’ submarine would explore deepest parts of the ocean

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, known for such exploits as trying to balloon around the world, said on Tuesday he planned to explore the deepest parts of the world’s oceans with a jet-like submarine. The 18-foot (5-1/2 meter) vessel is capable of descents of more than…

Verizon added to long list of companies impacted by massive Epsilon data breach

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Customers of Verizon Communications had their email addresses exposed in a massive online data breach last week, according to an email to customers obtained by Reuters. In what could be one of the biggest such attacks in U.S. history, a computer hacker penetrated the online marketer…

U.S. and Colombia reach deal on labor concerns: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Colombia have agreed on a plan to address concerns over labor rights and anti-union violence in the South American country that have blocked a free trade pact for more than four years, a U.S. private sector source said on Wednesday. “I hear the…

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