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Technology News
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Silicon Valley debate on self-driving cars: do you need a map?

Google presents self-driving car in Mountain ViewThe company at the forefront of the race, Google Inc, is creating intricate maps that detail every tree and curb along the road - an expensive endeavor that other companies could find difficult to match. Newer entrants such as ride-share service Uber and Apple Inc could take a shortcut and develop a car capable of piloting itself without such elaborate and expensive blueprints, industry experts say. Raj Rajkumar, one of the leading experts on self-driving cars at Carnegie Mellon University, said the map-based approach makes sense for a company with Googles resources but is not required. Google is capable of collecting all this information.

Fri, 06 Mar 2015 04:54:27 -0500
Apple lets companies fine-tune apps before watch debut: Bloomberg

Apple CEO Tim Cook stands in front of a screen displaying the IPhone 6 during a presentation at Apple headquarters in CupertinoFacebook Inc , United Continental Holdings Inc , BMW AG and others have spent weeks at Apple's headquarters, working with the smartwatch to test and fine-tune apps that will debut alongside the device, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the process. The watch, which will let consumers check their email, pay for goods at retail stores and monitor personal health information, will be Apple's first major product launch since the iPad in 2010. The company has scheduled a special event in San Fransisco on March 9 where it is expected to showcase Apple Watch, which will be launched in April. Apple uses extreme measures to keep its work secret - Internet access is blocked inside the rooms and no outside materials can be brought in, Bloomberg reported, citing a person who attended the tests.

Fri, 06 Mar 2015 01:29:54 -0500
Apple Pay stung in transactions using data stolen from retailers: WSJ

Customers enter the Fifth Avenue Apple store shortly after doors opened for iPhone 6 sales in Manhattan, New York(Reuters) - Apple Inc's mobile payment system Apple Pay has been hit by a wave of fraudulent transactions using stolen credit-card data from a spate of breaches at retailers, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The transactions stemmed from breaches at retail giants including Home Depot Inc and Target Corp, the Journal reported on Thursday. The majority of unauthorized purchases have been for big-ticket items bought with smartphones at Apple's own stores, the Journal said. Apple could not be reached immediately for comment. ...

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 20:29:56 -0500
SAP to cut 2,250 posts while creating similar number in refocusing

A SAP logo is seen at its offices in the CityWest complex, DublinBusiness software maker SAP SE will cut about 2,250 posts, or around 3 percent of its global workforce, while creating a similar number in expanding parts of the company, as it accelerates a push to sell its products via the Internet. Last year SAP, Europe's largest software maker, which employs about 75,000 workers worldwide, cut a similar percentage of posts, said Stefan Ries, SAP's chief of human resources. He said SAP expects to create about 2,200 jobs this year in growth areas such at its cloud business, its in-memory database Hana and Concur, the expenses software maker it bought last year for $7.3 billion. Established software makers such as SAP are battling to boost internet software sales and fend off pure cloud-based rivals such as Salesforce.com and Workday .

Fri, 06 Mar 2015 03:37:21 -0500
Amazon opens store on Alibaba's online marketplace Tmall

A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc has opened an online store on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's fast-growing online marketplace, Tmall.com as it seeks to expand in China, an Alibaba spokesman said. Alibaba's Tmall offers virtual storefronts and payment portals to merchants. Several western retailers, including Zara owner Inditex, Britain's Burberry and ASOS, have joined TMall this year as they look to boost their presence in China. ...

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 21:23:03 -0500
Venture firm Formation8 dropped from U.S. lawsuit over sexual assault

By Sarah McBride SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Venture firm Formation8 was dropped as a defendant in a U.S. civil lawsuit that accused one if its co-founders, Joe Lonsdale, of sexual assault, according to a court document filed Thursday. In the filing, attorneys for plaintiff Elise Clougherty did not explain their reasoning but said the case, filed in January, should move forward only against defendant Lonsdale, who is also a co-founder of secretive technology firm Palantir. Clougherty, a former girlfriend of Lonsdale who started dating him in 2012 while she was a Stanford student and he was her mentor, accused him of sexual assault and related charges. The case has gripped Silicon Valley, in part because of its lurid details.

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 20:48:46 -0500
Sharp asks turnaround fund for help, on top of aid from banks: source

Shopper wearing a mask rides an escalator past advertisements for Sharp Corp's Aquos television at an electronics shop in TokyoBy Ritsuko Ando and Taro Fuse TOKYO (Reuters) - Loss-making Sharp Corp has asked a domestic corporate turnaround fund to invest up to $250 million in capital - aid which would come on top of plans to tap its two main lenders for a second major bailout, a source said on Friday. Weak sales of smartphone screens in China, aggravated by an unexpected comeback by rival Japan Display Inc, have derailed Sharp's recovery efforts. Sharp Chief Executive Kozo Takahashi met with officials from its main lenders Mizuho Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ on Thursday, although he did not request specific amounts or make promises about restructuring, sources familiar with their exchange said. The embattled electronics manufacturer has also reached out to Japan Industrial Solutions to offer a stake worth up to 30 billion yen, according to one source with knowledge of the situation.

Fri, 06 Mar 2015 05:29:55 -0500
Italy's 6bn broadband plan: Spread 100Mbps far and wide, fill in the rural notspots

Italy's 6bn broadband plan: Spread 100Mbps far and wide, fill in the rural notspotsThe government has laid down 6bn to give Italy better broadband, and it's hoping local telcos will do the same.

Fri, 06 Mar 2015 04:59:24 -0500
EU rules that ebooks are an 'electronic service' and subject to higher tax

EU rules that ebooks are an 'electronic service' and subject to higher taxNot all books are equal, said the European Union this week, ruling that ebooks sold in Europe constitute an "electronically supplied service" and so are subject to a higher rate ofvalue-added tax(VAT)than physical books. This means that buying ebooks is likely to become more expensive in some countries, as booksellers raise their prices to pass the cost of increased VAT rates onto customers. This change will primarily affect France and Luxembourg the two countries that prompted the ruling after petitioning the EU's Court of Justice (ECJ) to be allowed to sell ebooks at the VAT rate of paper books. In France, this means the VAT rate will increase from 5.5 percent to 20 percent, while in Luxembourg it will rise from 3.5 percent to 17 percent.

Fri, 06 Mar 2015 04:23:03 -0500
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