Connect with us

Technology

Ericsson Files Lawsuit Against Samsung Over Patent Licensing Issues

Avatar

Published

on

By Agence France-Presse | Updated: 12 December 2020

Ericsson said it had filed a lawsuit with the district court for the Eastern District of Texas, accusing Samsung of “violating contractual commitments to negotiate in good faith and to license patents on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms and conditions.”

Many common technological standards, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, are protected by patents held by specific companies. In order for other manufacturers to use such essential technology the holders of such patents are obliged to grant licences on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms — so-called FRAND terms.

In practice however negotiations over these licences sometimes leads to conflicts between technology companies.

Shares in Swedish telecoms manufacturer Ericsson tumbled on Friday after it announced it was suing South Korea’s Samsung, warning the dispute could see sales take a hit of over half a billion dollars in 2021.

In the first hour of trading on the Stockholm stock exchange, Ericsson’s share price was down around seven percent.

The financial impact of the litigation, coupled with delays to renewals of license agreements and market conditions, could negatively impact Ericsson’s operating income by between one and SEK 1.5 billion (roughly Rs. 1,307 crores) every quarter starting in the first quarter of 2021, the company said.

Ericsson, which is one of the leading suppliers of mobile network equipment alongside Finland’s Nokia and China’s Huawei, booked net sales of SEK 227.2 billion (roughly Rs. 1,98,027 crores) in 2019.

Apps

Google Chrome Update Release Cycle to Be Sped Up to Four Weeks

Avatar

Published

on

By ANI | Updated: 6 March 2021

Google is working on speeding up the release cycle of Chrome updates to four weeks from the current six-week period in order to improve the security, speed, and stability of the browser application.

As per the post on Google’s Chromium Blog, starting with Chrome 94 in Q3, 2021, Google will release milestones of its browser every four weeks, instead of every six weeks. This is the first time Google has sped up its Chrome release schedule for more than a decade.

“As we have improved our testing and release processes for Chrome, and deployed bi-weekly security updates to improve our patch gap, it became clear that we could shorten our release cycle and deliver new features more quickly,” explained Alex Mineer, a technical program manager at Chrome.

Additionally, Google will add a new ”Extended Stable” option, with milestone updates every eight weeks. The new option will be available to enterprise administrators and Chromium embedders who need additional time to manage updates.

Important security updates will still arrive every two weeks in this version, but Extended Stable should hopefully avoid the situation where silent Chrome experiments end up angering IT admins.

For users on Chrome OS, the company is also planning to support multiple stable release options.

Continue Reading

Internet

McAfee Creator Charged in Cryptocurrency Scam, Allegedly Raked in Over $13 Million From Investors

Avatar

Published

on

By Agence France-Presse | Updated: 6 March 2021

The creator of McAfee computer security software was facing charges Friday that he cashed in on a “pump-and-dump” scheme, by promoting cryptocurrencies on Twitter to drive up their value.

John McAfee, founder of the antivirus firm that bears his name, and Jimmy Watson face charges of conspiracy, fraud, and money laundering in connection with schemes to trick cryptocurrency investors, according to an indictment unsealed by the US Department of Justice.

“McAfee and Watson exploited a widely used social media platform and enthusiasm among investors in the emerging cryptocurrency market to make millions through lies and deception,” US attorney Audrey Strauss said in a release.

McAfee, Watson, and other members of their “cryptocurrency team” allegedly “raked in more than $13 million (roughly Rs. 95.1 crores) from investors they victimized with their fraudulent schemes,” according to Strauss.

Pump-and-dump schemes typically involve over-hyping the value of stocks or, in this case cryptocurrency, by holders so that they can be sold at artificially high prices.

“McAfee and Watson used social media to perpetrate an age-old pump-and-dump scheme,” FBI assistant director William Sweeney said.

“When engaging in illegal activity, simply finding new ways to carry out old tricks won’t produce different results.”

McAfee and Watson also used Twitter to promote digital tokens on behalf of initial coin offerings without disclosing they were being paid for their efforts by the startups, according to the indictment.

McAfee, 75, is in custody in Spain pending a decision on his extradition to the United States where he is wanted for tax evasion.

He has been held at a prison near Barcelona since he was arrested in the Spanish city in October just as he was about to board a flight to Istanbul.

The arrest followed his indictment in June in the United States for tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018, despite earning millions from consulting work, cryptocurrencies and selling the rights to his life story.

Since making a fortune with his eponymous antivirus software in the 1980s, McAfee has become a self-styled cryptocurrency guru.

He has one million followers on Twitter, where he describes himself as a “lover of women, adventure and mystery.”

McAfee made headlines after he moved to Belize and his neighbor in the Central American country was mysteriously murdered in 2012, a crime that remains unsolved.

Continue Reading

Social Networking

Facebook Said to Be Probed by US Agency for ‘Systemic’ Racial Bias in Hiring, Promotions

Avatar

Published

on

By Reuters | Updated: 6 March 2021

A US agency investigating Facebook Inc for racial bias in hiring and promotions has designated the probe as “systemic,” attorneys for three job applicants and a manager who claim the company discriminated against them told Reuters on Friday.

A “systemic” probe means the agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, suspects company policies may be contributing to widespread discrimination.

The EEOC typically resolves disputes through mediation or allowing complainants to sue employers. But agency officials designate a few cases “systemic,” enabling investigators to rope in specialists to analyse company data and potentially bring a broader lawsuit representing entire classes of workers.

Facebook operations program manager Oscar Veneszee Jr. and two applicants denied jobs brought a charge last July to the EEOC, and a third rejected applicant joined the case in December. They have alleged Facebook discriminates against Black candidates and employees by relying on subjective evaluations and promoting problematic racial stereotypes.

The designation of the EEOC’s probe has not been previously reported.

The EEOC has not brought allegations against Facebook. Its investigation, which may last months more, may not result in findings of wrongdoing. The agency declined to comment.

Facebook spokesman Andy Stone declined to comment on the status of the probe or specific allegations but said that “it is essential to provide all employees with a respectful and safe working environment.”

“We take any allegations of discrimination seriously and investigate every case,” he said.

The EEOC brought in systemic investigators by last August and received detailed briefing papers from both sides over the last four months, said Peter Romer-Friedman, an attorney at Gupta Wessler representing Veneszee and the job candidates.

Employment law firms Mehri & Skalet and Katz Marshall & Banks also are helping the workers.

The EEOC’s Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Washington offices are involved, attorneys from the firms said.

Facebook’s counsel, Covington & Burling, did not respond to a request for comment.

Increasing racial and gender diversity has been a persistent challenge for the nation’s largest tech companies, which at times have blamed a shortage of qualified candidates from underrepresented groups. But tech workers have grown emboldened to publicly challenge that notion and allege in formal complaints that biased employment practices cause disparities.

Romer-Friedman said he and his colleagues told the EEOC in a submission last month that one such Facebook policy is awarding employees bonuses of up to $5,000 when a candidate they refer is hired. Referred candidates tend to reflect the makeup of existing employees, disadvantaging Black professionals, he said.

Facebook said about 3.9 percent of its US employees as of last June were Black.

David Lopez, a former EEOC general counsel now teaching at Rutgers University, said that systemic investigations are significant because of the additional resources involved. When they result in allegations of wrongdoing, multimillion-dollar settlements sometimes follow, he said, citing recent cases against Dollar General Corp and Walmart.

In the year ended last September 30, 13 of the 93 EEOC merit lawsuits were systemic, according to agency data.

Last December, the Justice Department accused Facebook of discriminating against US workers broadly, saying it gave hiring preference to temporary workers such as H-1B visa holders.

Alphabet’s Google last month agreed to spend $3.8 million (roughly Rs. 27.8 crores) to settle US government allegations that it underpaid women and unfairly passed over women and Asians for job openings.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

Continue Reading

Social Networking

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Auctions First-Ever Tweet as NFT

Avatar

Published

on

By Reuters | Updated: 6 March 2021

“just setting up my twttr” – the first ever tweet on the platform is up for sale after Twitter boss Jack Dorsey listed his famous post as a unique digital signature on a website for selling tweets as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The post, sent from Dorsey’s account in March of 2006, received offers on Friday that went as high as $88,888.88 (roughly Rs. 64.04 lakh) within minutes of the Twitter co-founder tweeting a link to the listing on ‘Valuables by Cent’ – a tweets marketplace.

—tw—

Old offers for the tweet suggest that it was put for sale in December, but the listing gained more attention after Dorsey’s tweet on Friday.

NFTs are digital files that serve as digital signatures to certify who owns photos, videos and other online media.

Dorsey’s 15-year old tweet is one of the most famous tweets ever on the platform and could attract bidders to pay a high price for the digital memorabilia. The highest bid for the tweet stood at $100,000 (roughly Rs. 73.1 lakh) at 0125 GMT (6:55am IST) on Saturday.

Launched three months ago, Valuables compares the buying of tweets with buying an autographed baseball card. “There is only one unique signed version of the tweet, and if the creator agrees to sell, you can own it forever.”

A tweet’s buyer will get an autographed digital certificate, signed using cryptography, that will include metadata of the original tweet, according to the Valuables website. The tweet will continue to be available on the Twitter website.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

Continue Reading

Science

Mars Rover Perseverance Takes First Drive on Surface of Red Planet

Avatar

Published

on

By Reuters | Updated: 6 March 2021

NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance has taken its first, short drive on the surface of the red planet, two weeks after the robot science lab’s picture-perfect touchdown on the floor of a massive crater, mission managers said on Friday.

The six-wheeled, car-sized astrobiology probe put a total of 6.5 metres (21.3 feet) on its odometer on Thursday during a half-hour test spin within Jezero Crater, site of an ancient, long-vanished lake bed and river delta on Mars.

Taking directions from mission managers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles, the rover rolled 4 metres (13.1 feet) forward, turned about 150 degrees to its left and then drove backward another 2.5 metres (8.2 feet).

“It went incredibly well,” Anais Zarifian, a JPL mobility test engineer for Perseverance, said during a teleconference briefing with reporters, calling it a “huge milestone” for the mission.

NASA displayed a photo taken by the rover showing the wheel tread marks left in the reddish, sandy Martian soil after its first drive.

Another vivid image of the surrounding landscape shows a rugged, ruddy terrain littered with large, dark boulders in the foreground and a tall outcropping of rocky, layered deposits in the distance – marking the edge of the river delta.

Some additional, short-distance test driving is planned for Friday. Perseverance is capable of averaging 200 meters of driving per day.

But JPL engineers still have additional equipment checks to run on the rover’s many instruments before they will be ready to send the robot on a more ambitious journey as part of its primary mission to search for traces of fossilised microbial life.

So far, Perseverance and its hardware, including its main robot arm, appear to be operating flawlessly, said Robert Hogg, deputy mission manager. The team has yet to conduct post-landing tests of the rover’s sophisticated system to drill and collect rock samples for return to Earth via future Mars missions.

NASA announced it has named the site of Perseverance’s February 18 touchdown as the “Octavia E. Butler Landing,” in honor of the award-winning American science-fiction writer. Butler, a native of Pasadena, California, died in 2006 at age 58.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Tandav Row: Amazon Prime Video India Head Aparna Purohit Granted Protection From Arrest by Supreme Court

Avatar

Published

on

By Press Trust of India | Updated: 5 March 2021

The Supreme Court Friday said the Centre’s guidelines on regulating social media do not have any provision for taking appropriate action against digital platforms showing inappropriate content.

It also granted protection from arrest to Amazon Prime Video’s India head Aparna Purohit in FIRs lodged over Web series Tandav.

A bench comprising justices Ashok Bhushan and R S Reddy also issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on Purohit’s plea for anticipatory bail in FIRs on Tandav series.

The apex court observed that the Centre’s regulations on social media are mere guidelines and do not have provision for any action against digital platforms.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said the government will consider appropriate steps and any regulation or legislation on it will be placed before court. The apex court also directed Purohit to make Centre as a party to her plea.

Tandav is a nine-episode political thriller starring Bollywood A-listers Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub.

Purohit has been accused of inappropriate depiction of Uttar Pradesh police personnel, Hindu deities and an adverse portrayal of a character playing the prime minister in the web series.

The top court had on Thursday observed that some over-the-top (OTT) platforms at times show pornographic contents and there should be a mechanism to screen such programmes.

It had asked the Centre to place its guidelines on regulating social media.

Mehta had said he would be placing on records the Information Technology (Guidelines for intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Purohit, had on Thursday termed the FIRs against her as “shocking” saying that this woman is an employee of Amazon and she is neither a producer nor an actor but still she has been made an accused in around 10 cases relating to the web series across the country.

Earlier, the apex court, on January 27, had declined to grant interim protection from any coercive action to Ali Abbas Zafar, Director of the Web series, Purohit, producer Himanshu Mehra, the show’s writer Gaurav Solanki and actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub.

It had said that they may seek bail from courts concerned in the FIRs lodged in connection with the web series.

Now, Purohit has appealed to the top court against the Allahabad High Court’s February 25 order declining anticipatory bail to her.

A single judge bench of the High Court had said that Purohit had not been “vigilant and has acted irresponsibly making her open to criminal prosecution in permitting streaming of a movie which is against the fundamental rights of the majority of citizens of this country and therefore, her fundamental right of life and liberty cannot be protected by grant of anticipatory bail to her in the exercise of discretionary powers of this court.”

While rejecting the plea, the high court had said that the applicant was earlier granted interim protection from arrest by another bench in a similar case but she was not cooperating with the investigation.

The high court had observed, “Western filmmakers have refrained from ridiculing Lord Jesus or the Prophet but Hindi filmmakers have done this repeatedly and are still doing this most unabashedly with Hindu gods and goddesses.”

“This tendency on the part of the Hindi film industry is growing and if not curbed in time, it may have disastrous consequences for the Indian social, religious and communal order,” the high court had observed.

On January 19, 2021, an FIR was lodged on the complaint of one Balbir Azad of Raunija village under Rabupura police station of Greater Noida.

In the complaint, Azad alleged that the show depicted Uttar Pradesh and its police in a poor light.

The complaint further alleged that the web series had deliberately denigrated Hindu gods and goddesses.

Several other FIRs have also been lodged in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar and Delhi.

Continue Reading

Trending