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Archive for April, 2012

Yahoo sues Facebook over disputed patents in the US

April 30, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Facebook, Online Marketing, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Yahoo

Yahoo has filed an intellectual property (IP) lawsuit against Facebook.Yahoo sues Facebook over disputed patents in the USYahoo claims the social network has infringed 10 of its patents including systems and methods for advertising on the web. Facebook denies the allegation.

The move comes ahead of Facebook’s planned flotation next month.

Patent litigation has become common between the smartphone makers, but this marks a new front in the battles between technology companies.

A statement from Yahoo suggested the web portal believed it has a strong case.

“Yahoo’s patents relate to cutting edge innovations in online products, including in messaging, news feed generation, social commenting, advertising display, preventing click fraud and privacy controls,” its suit said.

“Facebook’s entire social network model, which allows users to create profiles and connect with, among other things, persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo’s patented social networking technology.

The social network signalled that it believed that Yahoo had not tried hard to settle the matter without involving the courts. It described Yahoo’s action as “puzzling”.

Yahoo recently overhauled its board appointing Scott Thompson as its chief executive in January. The former Paypal executive replaced Carol Bartz who had been ousted in September.

Yahoo’s co-founder, Jerry Yang, also resigned from the board in January. The firm’s chairman and three other board members announced their decision to step down shortly afterwards.

The Wall Street Journal had reported that many Yahoo employees expected fresh job cuts following consecutive quarters of revenue declines.

Mr Thompson’s decision to sue may secure fresh funds or other assets if the courts rule in his favour.

The latest suit was filed in the US district court for the northern district of California.

YouTube loses court battle over music clips

April 27, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: data security, Google, internet, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Video Marketing, YouTube

YouTube and Google could face a huge bill for royalties after it lost a court battle in Germany over music videos.YouTube loses court battle over music clipsA court in Hamburg ruled that YouTube is responsible for the content that users post to the video sharing site.

It wants the video site to install filters that spot when users try to post music clips whose rights are held by royalty collection group,

The German industry group said in court that YouTube had not done enough to stop copyrighted clips being posted.

YouTube said it took no responsibility for what users did, but responded when told of copyright violations.

Gema’s court case was based on 12 separate music clips posted to the website. The ruling concerns seven of the 12 clips.

If YouTube is forced to pay royalties for all the clips used on the site it will face a huge bill.

Gema represents about 60,000 German song writers and musicians.

If enforced, the ruling could also slow the rate at which video is posted to the site as any music clip would have to be cleared for copyright before being used.

Currently, it is estimated that about 60 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube worldwide every minute.

The court case began in 2010 and came after talks between YouTube and Gema about royalties broke down. In 2009, the stalemate meant that videos from German recording firms were briefly blocked on the site.

Gema has rung up several victories against sites it has claimed are using music without paying royalties.

In 2009, file-sharing site Rapidshare was told to start filtering songs users were uploading following action by Gema. In March, 2012 a second judgement told Rapidshare to be more proactive when hunting down content pirated by users.

Music streaming site Grooveshark pulled out of Germany claiming licencing rates set by Gema made it impossible to run a profitable business in the country.

Microsoft quarterly profits beat expectations

April 23, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Browser, Computers, Customer Service, Ecommerce, Microsoft, Mobile Marketing, smart phones, Uncategorized

Microsoft’s profits in the three months to the end of March dropped slightly but the results still beat analysts’ expectations after a surprise rise in sales of its Windows operating system.Microsoft quarterly profits beat expectationsThe world’s largest software firm made a net profit of £3.2 billion ($5.11 billion), compared with £3.3 billion a year earlier.

Sales rose by 6% to £10.875 billion.

Windows sales rose 4% against forecasts of a 4% decline, though sales at its entertainment division, which includes the Xbox console, fell 16%.

Its business division saw revenues increase 9% “reflecting the continued strength of Office 2010”, the company said.

Microsoft shares rose 3% in after-hours trading in New York.

The company also noted that the results for the same quarter a year ago had been boosted by a £288 million tax benefit.

Windows is facing competition from the growth of tablet computers such as Apple’s iPad and mobile devices using Google’s Android system.

However, Microsoft is hitting back with the release of Windows 8, an operating system for PCs and mobile devices.

Earlier this week Microsoft said this next operating system would come in three different types.

For those with Intel-compatible machines, the OS will be available in two versions – Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.

And for those with devices, largely tablets, powered by ARM-designed chips, there will be a Windows RT version.

CD sales plummet as digital sales continue to rise

April 19, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Computers, Customer Service, Ecommerce, internet, Online Marketing, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

CD sales have seen a significant year-on-year drop in the first three months of 2012, according to figures from the BPI and the Official Charts Company.CD sales plummet as digital sales continue to riseSales fell 25% from 20.5 million in the first three months of 2011, to 15.3 million this year.

Digital sales continue to rise with almost a third of all albums now being bought digitally.

The organisation represents stores like HMV and online sites such as Amazon.

One idea being suggested is a system whereby the music transfers automatically to your MP3 player, tablet or computer as soon as the CD is scanned at the till.

The latest figures come from the BPI, which represents the music industry, and the Official Charts Company.

They show that digital now accounts for 33.1% of all UK albums sales, up from 23.6% in the first three months of 2011.

Singles are doing well too with 46.7 million being sold this year so far, an increase of 4.4% on last year.

Adele’s album remains the year’s best selling album this year with sales of 21 now exceeding four million in the UK.

Hypocrite Cameron in data snooping U Turn

April 10, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Broadband, Computers, Cyber Security, data security, Email, Facebook, mobile phones, Personal Security, smart phones, Social Media, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

At the general election David Cameron promised to roll back the centralist nanny sate that labour created over their 13 years of misrule.Hypocrite Cameron in data snooping U TurnInstead last week he unveiled a set of proposals for snooping on not just your emails, social media accounts and your website browsing- but also your mobile phoning as well.

An extension of snooping that is currently outlawed by even the eurocrats.

When the Labour government mooted a similar idea the greater controversy hinged on the giant database it planned to create.

It may be proposed this time is that GCHQ has access to the data centres that ISPs already use.

ISPs are already required to keep data logs for 12 months under a 2009 EU directive.

Extending this responsibility to firms such as Facebook would not be a huge change or particularly onerous because it keeps everything anyway.

Facebook has declined to comment on current government proposals, saying it would rather wait until there was more detail of exactly what it wants to do.

But it has made no secret a security feature launched last year which allows all Facebook communications to be carried over a secure connection known as HTTPS, which could render government snooping plans useless.

The tool basically encrypts data. Currently it is an option that people have to sign up to but the firm hopes eventually to make it default.

However the biggest stumbling block is likely to be the cost.

When labour considered greater surveillance powers the Home Office estimated it would cost around £2 billion.

Even without a huge data centre costs are likely to run into millions, and in such cash-strapped times it may mean the idea is put to bed for another few years.

2010’s annual report from the UK’s interception of communications commissioner, published last June, revealed that the UK’s police, intelligence agencies and other public authorities submitted 552,550 requests for information about users’ data over the year.

Furthermore it noted that requests had risen by a rate of about 5% year-on-year since 2008.

Two thirds of the queries related to information about subscribers, which could be used to identify who owned a particular mobile phone.

But officials could also ask for a user’s incoming and outgoing call data, web activity logs and the contents of emails, faxes and web pages visited if the information was deemed to be in the interests of national security.

If ISPs do not already store the information, they can be forced to secretly fit surveillance equipment in specific cases.

A new law could extend officials’ reach further, but users should be under no illusion that much of their data use is already potentially available to prying eyes.