A Chinese anti-trust regulator said on Monday it has given Microsoft Corp 20 days to reply to queries on the compatability of its Windows operating system and Office software suite amid a probe into the world's largest software company. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) questioned Microsoft Vice President David Chen and gave the company a deadline to make an explanation, the agency said in a short statement on its website. SAIC also repeated that it suspected the company has not fully disclosed issues relating to the compatability of the software and the operating system. "[A] special investigation team conducted an anti-monopoly investigation inquiry with Microsoft Vice President Chen Shi (David Chen), and required that Microsoft make a written explanation within 20 days," the SAIC said in a statement on its website.
By Silke Koltrowitz BIEL (Switzerland) (Reuters) - Swatch Group is happy to go it alone with a launch next year of watches with "smart" features to compete with so-called wearable gadgets from the big tech companies, a market potentially worth $93 billion. Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek said these new watches might allow the wearer to count the number of steps they take and calories they burn. "All the big technology firms want to work with us and I don't rule out that we are or could be collaborating in some areas. Apple Inc has just invited media to a "special event" next month, fuelling speculation it might present a much-anticipated "iWatch." The possibility of an iWatch launch is partly responsible for Swatch shares losing almost 15 percent so far this year, lagging a 3 percent rise in the European sector.
By Leila Abboud, Pamela Barbaglia and Stephen Jewkes PARIS/LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) - Telecom Italia has lost a promising path to earnings growth by failing to secure Brazilian broadband business GVT and may now turn from hunter to hunted in a fast-consolidating telecoms industry. Winning the auction for French media company Vivendi's GVT was vital for both Telecom Italia and its rival, Spain's Telefonica, as their European markets have been shrinking. Italy was gripped by a mobile price war for much of last year, revenue is falling and competition remains tough. Telecom Italia lost out to Telefonica as it could not afford to top its 7.45-billion-euro offer for GVT.
By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. Shrem, the former vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, will plead guilty next Thursday in New York federal court to unlicensed money transmission, Marc Agnifilo, his lawyer told Reuters in an email. Prosecutors had previously charged Shrem with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, money laundering conspiracy and failing to file suspicious activity reports with government banking authorities. Federal authorities shut down Silk Road last year, though a new Internet marketplace under the same name was launched in November.
(Reuters) - Digital Ally Inc forecast full-year revenue of about $22.5 million, encouraged by a "five-fold" rise in inquiries for its wearable cameras from police departments in the aftermath of the fatal shooting in Ferguson this month. The fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked demand to hold law enforcement officials accountable and in turn fueled interest in companies such as Digital Ally and Taser International Inc. The company's 2014 revenue forecast was first reported by USA Today on Thursday, citing Chief Executive Stanton Ross, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. Digital Ally said on Thursday it had received its first camera order after the Ferguson incident from the Michigan police department.
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A judge on Friday lifted a suspension on her order directing Microsoft Corp to turn over a customer's emails stored overseas to U.S. Microsoft in particular was stung by revelations last year by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and has been at pains to prove to customers that it does not allow the U.S. Preska had delayed enforcement of the government's search warrant so Microsoft could appeal. Preska agreed, saying her order "merely confirmed the government's temporary forbearing of its right to stay enforcement of the order it secured." She added that "the fact the court has not closed this case cuts against Microsoft's argument" that her order was final and appealable.
Hundreds of nude, semi-nude, and revealing pictures of female celebrities were leaked overnight after being stolen from their private collections. Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, and pop star Ariana Grande were among the celebrities apparently shown in the pictures, which were posted on infamous web forum 4chan. It's unclear how the images were obtained, but anonymous 4chan users said that they were taken from celebrities' iCloud accounts.
Japan on Monday relaxed a ban on the use of electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets in flight, following similar moves by the United States and the European Union. From Monday, passengers were allowed to use a wide range of mobile electronic devices if they were switched to "flight mode" during the take-off and landing of newer planes, the transport ministry has said. This disables cellular service, so passengers will still not be able to make calls or send texts. The changes came after similar decisions by the US and European Union last year, and after Australia last week relaxed similar rules for passengers on Qantas and Virgin Australia.
If you've built your own PC at any time over the past decade and a half, chances are you'll have come across AnandTech in the course of your research. Founded by a precocious teenager way back in 1997, the tech news site has grown from covering motherboards and other PC components to offering some of the most in-depth technical analyses of mobile devices today. Widely respected for his enormous experience and expertise, the site's founder and editor Anand Lal Shimpi revealed over the weekend that he was retiring from technology journalism, and now his next destination has been revealed: Apple Inc. An Apple representative has confirmed the hire for Recode, though there's predictably little information to go on beyond the fact that one of tech journalism's most authoritative figures has joined one of the industry's true giants.
If anyone is still questioning the legitimacy of e-sports, today should be a bit of a wake-up call. The lead photo on the front page of today's New York Times is of this July's $10 million Dota 2 tournament, The International. That's right: The Gray Lady has taken note, running a story on the rise of e-sports on the front page of its Sunday edition. The accompanying article is the first in a series exploring how competitive video gaming has developed into a spectator sport. ...
Rescue workers searched throughout the night for two people missing after an explosion ripped through an apartment building outside Paris, killing six and reducing half a residential block to rubble. Firefighters were combing the wreckage for two other missing people, Mayor Claude Capillon said. The building was practically scythed in two.
The measure, signed into law by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in June and due to take effect Sept. 1, would require doctors who perform abortions to have patient admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice. "Plaintiffs will be allowed to operate lawfully while continuing their efforts to obtain privileges," Federal Judge John deGravelles wrote in the decision. Abortion rights activists applauded the decision, the latest in a string of rulings against similar measures, saying it would give doctors more time to seek hospital privileges. "Today’s ruling ensures Louisiana women are safe from an underhanded law that seeks to strip them of their health and rights," said Nancy Northup, president and chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which sued to block the law on behalf of three of the state's five clinics.
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - All five people aboard a single-engine airplane died after it crashed on Sunday in a field beside a runway during an attempt to land at a northern Colorado airport, authorities said. Peter Knudson, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said the Piper PA-46 aircraft went down shortly before noon near the Erie Municipal Airport, about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Denver. Knudson said the plane took off from Centennial Airport, south of Denver, with five people aboard, and was landing in clear weather at the Erie airport when it crashed. Emergency crews found three people dead inside the wreckage of the six-seat airplane when they arrived at the scene, said Roger Rademacher, assistant fire chief with Mountain View Fire Rescue.
Severe thunderstorms on Sunday forced an early end to New York's Electric Zoo music festival, delayed flights at area airports and injured two people after a lightning strike near a Bronx beach. Open in Queens, New York, interrupted the Made In America outdoor concert in Philadelphia and shut down the Electric Zoo electronic music festival on Randalls Island in New York, which ended early for a second year in a row. "We apologize to fans, but your safety is our main concern," Electric Zoo organizers said in a Tweet explaining why the three-day festival was cut short by "extreme weather." Thousands of concertgoers were told to leave.
A suspected case of the Ebola virus has been discovered in the Swedish capital Stockholm, a local official told AFP on Sunday. Aake Oertsqvist, a specialist in infection control responsible for the Stockholm area, was quoted as saying the risk of an Ebola outbreak in Sweden was "very low".
By Michael Martina and James Pomfret BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Pro-democracy activists vowed on Sunday to bring Hong Kong's financial hub to a standstill after China's parliament rejected their demands for the right to freely choose the former British colony's next leader in 2017. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) endorsed a framework to let only two or three candidates run in the 2017 leadership vote. All candidates must first obtain majority backing from a nominating committee likely to be stacked with Beijing loyalists. The relatively tough decision by the NPC - China's final arbiter on the city's democratic affairs - makes it almost impossible for opposition democrats to get on the ballot.
By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel announced on Sunday a land appropriation in the occupied West Bank that an anti-settlement group termed the biggest in 30 years, drawing Palestinian condemnation and a U.S. Some 400 hectares (988 acres) in the Etzion Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem were declared "state land, on the instructions of the political echelon" by the military-run Civil Administration. "We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision,” a State Department official said in Washington, calling the move "counterproductive" to efforts to achieve a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel Radio said the step was taken in response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teens by Hamas militants in the area in June.
Iraqi forces, aided by US air strikes, have broken through to the jihadist-besieged Shiite town of Amerli where thousands have been trapped for over two months with dwindling food and water supplies. It is the biggest offensive success for the Iraqi government since militants led by the Sunni jihadist group Islamic State (IS) overran large areas of five provinces in June, sweeping security forces aside. The breakthrough came on Sunday as the United States carried out limited strikes in the area, the first time it has expanded its more than three-week air campaign against militants outside of Iraq's north.
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