Tech News Today 503
Recorded: May 17, 2012
Published: May 17, 2012
Tech News Today 503: Hide Your Grandfathers
Edward Saverin's renouncing his citizenship and US senators say pay up, Comcast ditching Data caps- temporarily, Yahoo's suing, and more.
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- U.S. senators take aim at Saverin over citizenship move
- Senators to Unveil the ‘Ex-Patriot Act’ to Respond to Facebook’s Saverin’s Tax ‘Scheme’
- Still Smiling, Eduardo? Senators Schumer, Casey Want To Collect Your $67M In Facebook Taxes Anyway
- Saverin reported ready to pay all taxes from profits on Facebook IPO
- Sevarin: I'll pay taxes on anything I earned as a U.S. citizen
- Schumer And Casey’s Ex-PATRIOT Act: Details Of How They Plan To Get Saverin’s $67M And More
- A Facebook Co-Founder Reflects on the Path Forward
- Facebook's IPO'ing this week and co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Brazil-born, Singapore resident renounced his US citizenship
- People thought, "He's doing this to avoid taxation since there's money to be made and taxed with the IPO"
- At a news conference this morning, Sens. Schumer and Bob Casey, D-Pa., will unveil the “Ex-PATRIOT”
- “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy”
- Act to respond directly to Saverin’s move, which they dub a “scheme” that would “help him duck up to $67 million in taxes.”
- Their proposal would also impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on the capital gains of anybody who renounces their U.S. citizenship.
- plan would bar individuals like Saverin from ever reentering the United States again.
- Saverin said to the NYT: “This had nothing to do with taxes,” he insisted. “I was born in Brazil, I was an American citizen for about 10 years. I thought of myself as a global citizen.”
- Sevarin put out a statement saying "I am obligated to and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the United States government. I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen."
- Saverin has lived in Singapore since 2009 and renounced his citizenship in September 2011.
- American tax lawyers say they think Mr. Saverin’s exit had more to do with estate and gift taxes than income tax. If he remained an American citizen, he would not have had to pay the United States capital gains tax on his income until he sold his shares.
- Met Police uses 'quick' mobile data extraction system against suspects
- London's Metropolitan Police Service has begun a system to allow officers to extract data "within minutes" from suspects' mobile devices while they are in custody. Radio Tactics' ACESO data extraction system is a touchscreen desktop interface, can be used across 16 boroughs in the capital.
- could come in handy in case of riots last August, coordinated largely via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), though RIM promised to cooperate w police then.
- classic case of "it's only for ppl who are suspected of criminal activity" vs. "spying/privacy tool"
- Met says current costs for with traditional methods of processing evidence (send to forensics lab) can create months of delays, particularly for "low level criminal cases"
- What happens to extracted data off a suspect's mobile if he or she is not charged with an offence after being arrested?
- the Metropolitan Police Service employs more than 32,500 officers together with about 14,200 police staff, 230 traffic wardens and 4,300 Police Community Support Officers. The MPS covers an area of 620 square miles and a population of 7.2M.
- Japan’s Rakuten Wins the Heart of Pinterest in $100M Funding Race With $1.5B Valuation
- Why did Rakuten invest so much in Pinterest? Integration
- Tokyo-based e-commerce site Rakuten will invest around $50M in Pinterest's $100M round of funding- puts Pinterest valuation at $1.5 billion.
- Pinterest founded in 2008. prior to this round, Pinterest raised about $40M. last October Pinterest valuation was $200M
- no new VC firms included on latest round. CEO Ben Silbermann reportedly wants a partner to move forward, solidify global presence
- Rakuten is one of the largest e-commerce co in the world, largest in japan, with a flagship site Rakuten Ichiba. founded in 1997, did $4.7 billion revenue on 2011
- previous acquisitions: Buy.com (US), Priceminister (France), Ikeda (now Rakuten Brasil), Tradoria (now Rakuten Deutschland) and Play.com (UK)
- Even as Settlement Hopes Appear, Facebook Blames Shoddy Checking in Answer to Yahoo Patent Fraud Claim
- Yahoo interim CEO Ross Levinsohn is contacting top execs at FB, looking for settlement in patent-infringment lawsuit Y! launched under Scott Thompson
- Yahoo initially filed patent lawsuit in March, but took issue with FB counterclaims in late April, claiming 2 of the 10 FB patents are unenforceable due to inequitable conduct and are "tainted, retaliatory"
- at issue is an inventor affidavit FB filed with the US Patent Office: Yahoo claims these patents do not list Joseph Liauw as an inventor and that there is no sworn statement by Mr. Liauw in the Patent Office records explaining his omission. FB says it's all in the Patent Office records. FB lawyers say Yahoo had “no coherent theory or facts suggesting deceptive intent.
- Comcast Ditching 250GB Data Caps, Exploring New Options
- to start charging heavy downloaders extra
- Comcast to Replace Usage Cap With Improved Data Usage Management Approaches
- Comcast announced it will dump its 250GB data cap for residential customers (in place since Oct 2008)
- two approaches being tested over the next few months: a 300GB monthly cap for basic service and higher caps for more advanced levels of service, plus $10 for an additional 50GB; or 300GB for all tiers of service and $10 for 50GB more.
- "In the vast majority of our footprint," the data cap will be suspended while we conduct the tests, David L. Cohen, Comcast executive vice president said during a conference call with reporters.
- Those test will begin as soon as Comcast has "operational readiness" and is able to notify customers
- Comcast has more than 18 million high-speed data customers
- Researchers Tackle Android Fragmentation, Find 4,000 Devices
- Here's what Android fragmentation really looks like
- for 6 mo OpenSignalMaps has been collecting data about Android users who have downloaded its app. Of the 681,900 devices catalogued by the firm, researchers "spotted 3,997 distinct devices"
- based on model, brand, API level (i.e. the version of Android) and screen size
- Samsung Galaxy S II - reached 20M in global sales back in February - was the most-popular device, with 61,389 owners downloading OpenSignalMaps in the last 6 mo.
- 270,144 Samsung devices overall, HTC was the second most-popular brand, followed by Sony and Motorola. Overall, OpenSignalMaps picked out 599 separate brands.
- "one complication is that custom ROMs can overwrite the android.build.MODEL variable that we use for the device model," OpenSignalMaps said, prompting "a staggering 1,363 device models appear only once in our database."
- obscure brands: 10.1-inch Hungarian tablet called the Concorde Tab, a dual-SIM Indian phone known as the Lemon P1, and a Spanish entertainment tablet, dubbed the Energy Tablet i724. There were even two Fusion Garage-based tablets.
- Android Gingerbread is still the dominant version of the OS, with 55.4%, down from 65.6% last year.
- According to recent data from Google, 64.4 percent of all Android devices are running Gingerbread. Slightly less than 5 percent are running the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich.
- Sources tell AllThingsD and Bloomberg that HP will be cutting thousands of jobs in a move to restructure the company. The cuts could affect about 25,000 to 30,000 of HP's current workforce but the actual number is not yet pinned down. HP is expected to announce its restructuring effort next Wednesday when it presents its quarterly earnings.
- It's still Facebook IPO Week, so let's get some more Facebook news in. Facebook is holding an all-night hackathon at its Menlo Park headquarters tonight. It should end when Mark Zuckerberg rings the Nasdaq bell remotely from Menlo Park. Oh yeah, about that IPO, Facebook announced its stock will be priced at... drumroll please… $38. That means the company would be valued at $104 billion and will raise $16 billion for itself
- This week, comments by Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo made people think Verizon was forcing users to lose their grandfathered unlimited data plans. However, Verizon Wireless made a statement and said if they did such an action, their would be fair warning. If you have an existing phone and it has unlimited data, you'll be able to keep it. Things might be different if you upgrade, right Ina?
- Alright gumshoes, who took out The Pirate Bay via DDoS yesterday? A person calling themselves AnonNyre has taken credit via PasteBin and says he or she is against Anonymous and "sometimes helps the Feds" but did not mention how he or she pulled it off. The Pirate Bay is back to normal operation.
- The FCC announced it will reserve some spectrum for wireless medical devices. Using Medical Body Area Networks, doctors could wirelessly monitor patients via wearable sensors. The FCC worked with the FDA to make this all work. Approval for that spectrum is subject to a vote scheduled for May 24th.
- Ad-Age reports that Amazon is pitching a deal to advertisers that will give them access to the Kindle Fire's home screen as long as they spend about $600,000. Amazon declined to comment to Ad-Age, but could that mean Kindle Fire with "special features?"
- Twitter is all about following other people, but you know what? Twitter won't follow some you if you want. Ed Felten CTO of the FTC said Twitter is enabling the Do Not Track feature in Firefox that will let you opt out of cookies - so your data won't be collected. The Firefox feature works only if a websites agree to it.
- Professional book critics, sit down, I have some bad news for you. According to Harvard Business School professor Michael Luca, your reviews in aggregate are about the same as the overall score at Amazon. Luca's research was presented in a paper published last month and found some differences between the two sets of critics. Amazon reviewers were more favorable to first-time writers where as professional critics were likely to heap praise on authors who had received awards.
- Evo 4G LTE supposed to arrive tomorrow 5/18 for $199.99 from Sprint, delayed at US customs. Some reports that Sprint is making it impossible to cancel pre-orders
- Sprint's Tri-Fi Hotspot will do LTE, WiMax, 3G, available 5/18
- August 28th - that's the day a Delaware judge has ordered HTC and Apple to have a sit down and mediate their patent beefs.
"TNT Crew, So I am a Washington DC commuter. Anyhow, today a Blackberry bus pulls up to the Pentagon and says they’ll take 20 of us to our origin lot. We jump on board and they start passing out Blackberry Playbooks and Bolds, along with free bottled water and Blackberry schwag. I used a Blackberry Playbook for the whole ride, and just like every other review I’ve read, I liked the hardware and performance, but was unimpressed with the App World selection. I have used iPads and various Android tablets, and the Playbook just does not compete with either, mostly due to app selection. Also, I cannot see a compelling need for a tablet in my life right now. Perhaps the new Windows RT tablets may be able to compete; we’ll see in the fall. Just thought you’d like to know about the lengths that Blackberry is going to for new customers.
- ad times: :51-1:03 and 17:52-20:01
- Edited by: Jason
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