Steve Ballmer, 2007:
Right now we’re selling millions and millions and millions of phones a year. Apple is selling zero phones a year.
Steve Ballmer, a few months later:
It’s sort of a funny question. Would I trade 96% of the market for 4% of the market? (Laughter.) I want to have products that appeal to everybody.
Now we’ll get a chance to go through this again in phones and music players. There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.
Steve Ballmer, yesterday:
Mobile devices. We have almost no share.
And talking about 6 years of mobile phone history, ouch.
As you can see in the video above, Apple’s new fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5s isn’t restricted to human users. After commandeering a cat, I tested a colleague’s hypothesis that you could register the identifying skin segments of your favorite furry friends for Touch ID, too.
In the case of Microsoft, according to the engineers, the requests came in the course of multiple meetings with the FBI. These kinds of meetings were standard at Microsoft, according to both Biddle and another former Microsoft engineer who worked on the BitLocker team, who wanted to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter.
“I had more meetings with more agencies that I can remember or count,” said Biddle.
Biddle said these meetings were so frequent, and with so many different agencies, he doesn’t specifically remember if it was the FBI that asked for a backdoor. But the anonymous Microsoft engineer we spoke with confirmed that it was, in fact, the FBI.
During a meeting, an agent complained about BitLocker and expressed his frustration.
“Fuck, you guys are giving us the shaft,” the agent said, according to Biddle and the Microsoft engineer, who were both present at the meeting. (Though Biddle insisted he didn’t remember which agency he spoke with, he said he remembered this particular exchange.)
Biddle wasn’t intimidated. “No, we’re not giving you the shaft, we’re merely commoditizing the shaft,” he responded.
Mike McCue, co-founder of Flipboard, got his 14-year-old a MacBook Air for his birthday. His son promptly set it up, and the Apple ID process gave him this. What a nice, low-calorie touch.
At a highly anticipated press event at its Silicon Valley headquarters Tuesday afternoon, tech giant Apple officially unveiled to the public a panicked and completely idea-free man.
The white, ultrathin man, who exhibited such features as artificial excitement, a fully quavering voice, and what appeared to be a near total lack of inspiration, was put on full display for thousands of shareholders, industry insiders, reporters, and fans today in what Apple hopes will be a game-changer for the multinational corporation.
“This is the future of Apple,” announced the lightweight, 75-inch desperate man while being presented on stage. “We are indeed staking our company’s reputation on what you see here on this stage. And as always with Apple, you are getting a glimpse of the entire tech industry’s future today.”
Whoa. Big news from the middle of the night. According to Nokia, Microsoft will purchase “substantially” all of Nokia’s device and service arms as well as licensing the phone maker’s patents and mapping know-how. The Redmond company will pay Nokia a cool 3.79 billion euros ($4.99 billion) for the business, and 1.65 billion euros ($2.18 billion) for its patent armory.
Microsoft hopes that allying with its biggest Windows Phone manufacturer will speed up growth (and improve its smartphone market share) — the company is already promising “increased synergies”. CEO Steve Ballmer added: “It’s a bold step into the future – a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies. Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft’s share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services.”
Just a few short years ago this would have been unthinkable…
Google has a plan. Eventually it wants to get into your brain. “When you think about something and don’t really know much about it, you will automatically get information,” Google CEO Larry Page said in Steven Levy’s book, “In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives.” “Eventually you’ll have an implant, where if you think about a fact, it will just tell you the answer.”
Don’t worry, we’re only scanning your brains to check for pedophiles. Protect the children.
The National Security Agency paid millions of dollars to cover the costs of major internet companies involved in the Prism surveillance program after a court ruled that some of the agency’s activities were unconstitutional, according to top-secret material passed to the Guardian.
The technology companies, which the NSA says includes Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook, incurred the costs to meet new certification demands in the wake of the ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court.
And in the article, you can find Google basically admitting as much:
Google did not answer any of the specific questions put to it, and provided only a general statement denying it had joined Prism or any other surveillance program. It added: “We await the US government’s response to our petition to publish more national security request data, which will show that our compliance with American national security laws falls far short of the wild claims still being made in the press today.”
Falling short of “wild claims” is very easy…
Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor.
Google patents ‘pay-per-gaze’ eye-tracking that could measure emotional response to real-world ads
Advertisers spend heaps of cash on branding, bannering, and product-placing. But does anyone really look at those ads? Google could be betting that advertisers will pay to know whether consumers are actually looking at their billboards, magazine spreads, and online ads. The company was just granted a patent for “pay-per-gaze” advertising, which would employ a Google Glass-like eye sensor in order to identify when consumers are looking at advertisements in the real world and online.
Jim O’Donnell was at a library conference in Singapore when his Ipad’s Google Play app asked him to update it. This was the app through which he had bought 30 to 40 ebooks, and after the app had updated, it started to re-download them. However, Singapore is not one of the countries where the Google Play bookstore is active, so it stopped downloading and told him he was no longer entitled to his books.
It’s an odd confluence of travel, updates, and location-checking, but it points out just how totally, irretrievably broken the idea of DRM and region-controls for ebooks is.
You can all relax now. The near-unprecedented outage that seemingly affected all of Google’s services for a brief time on Friday is over.
The event began at approximately 4:37pm Pacific Time and lasted between one and five minutes, according to the Google Apps Dashboard. All of the Google Apps services reported being back online by 4:48pm.
The incident apparently blacked out every service Mountain View has to offer simultaneously, from Google Search to Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, and beyond.
Big deal, right? Everyone has technical difficulties every once in a while. It goes with the territory.
But then, not everyone is Google. According to web analytics firm GoSquared, worldwide internet traffic dipped by a stunning 40 per cent during the brief minutes that the Chocolate Factory’s services were offline.
When was the last time you emailed yourself something from work? Or had a private moment over chat, the kind you’d like to keep just to yourself? If you’re like most of us the answer is “relatively recently.” According to Google, however, that’s just too bad. All of that information, from your confidential memos to your love letters, is now fair game.
You see, in a recent filing in federal court, the Internet giant announced that no one should expect privacy when sending messages to or from a Gmail account.
“Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter,” Google wrote in a brief to the court, “people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their communications are processed by the recipient’s ECS provider in the course of delivery. Indeed, ‘a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.’”
According to those witnessing the impromptu photo session, an unidentified man taking pictures of Millenium Park’s Cloud Gate sculpture on his iPad has no idea how incredibly badass he looks. “The way he’s holding the iPad all the way out in front of his body like that? Dude looks so awesome he doesn’t even realize it,” onlooker Jessica Walker, 25, said of the man, who, after taking one photo of the landmark, became the very essence of cool when he hitched up the waistband of his shorts, squatted down, squinted, jutted out his arms and captured a second image of the sculpture. “I don’t know who he is, but he reminds of Jay-Z or of a 1970s Mick Jagger—maybe even a young Marlon Brando. He’s just so fucking smooth, you know?” At press time, the badass had reportedly turned his iPad around to take a picture of himself smiling in front of the artwork.
A U.S. trade panel on Friday ruled that South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd infringes on portions of two Apple Inc patents on digital mobile devices, a decision likely to inflame passions in the long-running dispute.
The U.S. International Trade Commission issued a limited exclusion order and a cease-and-desist order prohibiting Samsung from importing, selling and distributing devices in the United States that infringe certain claims on the patents.
And now we wait for Obama to veto this one as well…
Snowden, who told me today that he found Lavabit’s stand “inspiring”, added:
“Ladar Levison and his team suspended the operations of their 10 year old business rather than violate the Constitutional rights of their roughly 400,000 users. The President, Congress, and the Courts have forgotten that the costs of bad policy are always borne by ordinary citizens, and it is our job to remind them that there are limits to what we will pay.
“America cannot succeed as a country where individuals like Mr. Levison have to relocate their businesses abroad to be successful. Employees and leaders at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, and the rest of our internet titans must ask themselves why they aren’t fighting for our interests the same way small businesses are. The defense they have offered to this point is that they were compelled by laws they do not agree with, but one day of downtime for the coalition of their services could achieve what a hundred Lavabits could not.
“When Congress returns to session in September, let us take note of whether the internet industry’s statements and lobbyists – which were invisible in the lead-up to the Conyers-Amash vote – emerge on the side of the Free Internet or the NSA and its Intelligence Committees in Congress.”
U.S. President Barack Obama met with the CEOs of Apple Inc, AT&T Inc as well as other technology and privacy representatives on Thursday to discuss government surveillance in the wake of revelations about the programs, the White House confirmed on Friday.
Google Inc computer scientist Vint Cerf and civil liberties leaders also participated in the meeting, along with Apple’s Tim Cook and AT&T’s Randall Stephenson, the White House said in confirming a report by Politico, which broke the news of the meeting.
“The meeting was part of the ongoing dialogue the president has called for on how to respect privacy while protecting national security in a digital era,” a White House official said.
The session was not included on Obama’s daily public schedule for Thursday.
“We joked about sneaking into Sculley’s house and sewing bigger pockets into everything,” recalls Ivester. But they made it work. They crammed together a palmable, portable computer. And in 1992, they unveiled to the world in front of a packed house at CES.
So how does one square this with the notion that Washington — including, if not especially the Obama administration — is putting the screws to Apple to punish them for their meager spending on lobbying and campaign contributions?
My cynical take: the e-books case pits two American companies against each other, Amazon and Apple. The DOJ has sided strongly with Amazon, a company decidedly in the Obama administration’s good graces. This ITC dispute, on the other hand, pits Apple against Samsung. A U.S. company that plays ball will be favored over another that doesn’t play ball, but even one that doesn’t play is preferable to a South Korean company, especially one like Samsung with a long history of cheating and playing dirty.
Washington doesn’t want to see Apple fail; they want Apple to continue making massive profits. They just want a bigger slice of those juicy profits kicked back.
“It’s inevitable,” said a top Washington consultant who works with major tech brands. “Everybody gets a shot at being a fair-haired boy and that can keep the regulators away for a while. But nobody stays favored forever. That’s why you need friends.”
The FBI develops some hacking tools internally and purchases others from the private sector. With such technology, the bureau can remotely activate the microphones in phones running Google Inc.’s Android software to record conversations, one former U.S. official said. It can do the same to microphones in laptops without the user knowing, the person said. Google declined to comment.
Making of what unfortunately turned out to be the last portrait sitting of Steve Jobs. It was held in April 2010 at the Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California. The material of this sitting was used for two TIME MAGAZINE covers and three of TIME MAGAZINES inside pages. The whole session took only 3minutes 18seconds. The first cover was the second frame – taken 45 seconds after Steve entered the room.
In a dramatic about-face on a key internet issue yesterday, Google told the FCC that the network neutrality rules Google once championed don’t give citizens the right to run servers on their home broadband connections, and that the Google Fiber network is perfectly within its rights to prohibit customers from attaching the legal devices of their choice to its network.
At issue is Google Fiber’s Terms of Service, which contains a broad prohibition against customers attaching “servers” to its ultrafast 1 Gbps network in Kansas City.
Google wants to ban the use of servers because it plans to offer a business class offering in the future. A potential customer, Douglas McClendon, filed a complaint against the policy in 2012 with the FCC, which eventually ordered Google to explain its reasoning by July 29.
In its response, Google defended its sweeping ban by citing the very ISPs it opposed through the years-long fight for rules that require broadband providers to treat all packets equally.
“Google Fiber’s server policy is consistent with policies of many major providers in the industry,” Google Fiber lawyer Darah Smith Franklin wrote, going on to quote AT&T, Comcast and Verizon’s anti-server policies.
Google, which prides itself on building a “better web that is better for the environment”, is hosting a fundraiser for the most notorious climate change denier in Congress, it has emerged.
The lunch, at the company’s Washington office, will benefit the Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe, who has made a career of dismissing climate change as a “hoax” on the Senate floor.
Proceeds of the 11 July lunch, priced at $250 to $2,500, will also go to the national Republican Senatorial Committee.
It’s the second show of support from Google for the anti-climate cause in recent weeks.
Every bloody designer on the planet has had a go, so you might as well try too