Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and state-owned China Telecom Corp Ltd have tied up to sell inexpensive smartphones aimed at boosting mobile commerce in smaller cities and rural areas. The phones, dubbed "Tianyi Taobao Shopping Handsets", will come installed with either an app for easy access to Alibaba's flagship Taobao online shopping platform or its home-grown YunOS mobile operating system, it said in a statement late on Friday. The partnership is a bid to deepen Alibaba's e-commerce base in less developed parts of the country and promote its mobile operating system in a shrinking, cut-throat handset market. Mobile Taobao is China's most popular mobile shopping app with more than 200 million monthly active users, it said.
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons has bought an unspecified stake in Chinese phone maker Xiaomi, a Xiaomi company statement said on Sunday. "Mr. Tata is one of the most well-respected business leaders in the world. An investment by him is an affirmation of the strategy we have undertaken in India so far," said Lei Jun, founder and chief executive officer of Xiaomi. "We are looking forward to bringing more products into India," he said. (Reporting by Neha Dasgupta; Editing by Clara Ferreira-Marques)
The chief executive of France's telecom leader Orange said on Saturday he believed the price war in the national telecoms sector was coming to a close. Stephane Richard also argued in a radio interview for consolidation in the French telecoms sector, saying a market with three operators would function better than with four. "In France we have among the lowest prices in the world for both fixed and mobile telecoms. In France the entry of low-cost player Iliad into the mobile market in 2012, has put pressure on prices, which Richard said fell by around 45 percent over three years.
Japanese consumer electronics firm Sony Corp has raised its operating profit estimate for fiscal 2015 to 300 billion yen ($2.52 billion), or four times its previous estimate, the Nikkei reported on Saturday. Expectations for higher sales of display sensors used in mobile phones and the Playstation gaming console were the reason Sony raised its forecast, the Nikkei reported without citing sources. No one from Sony was available to comment. Sony also expected earnings in the fiscal year that ends in March 2016 to improve as restructuring costs had been declining, the Nikkei said.
By Foo Yun Chee and Eric Auchard BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Union's decision to take on Google last week stems from official complaints by 19 companies in Europe and the United States, including Microsoft and a number of small firms, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. The list of complainants in the European Commission's charge sheet, which includes companies not directly involved in the charges around Google's shopping service, would make it easier for the regulator to expand the case beyond its preliminary focus on price-comparison shopping sites. Being an official party to the case gives the companies an insider track on the regulatory proceedings as they will be able to get a copy of the detailed EU charge sheet and argue their case at a hearing of competition experts should Google ask for one. While around 30 firms have since gone public with their complaints, to date no one other than the EU enforcer and Google knows exactly which parties have been included as official complainants on the charge sheet.
(Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd is considering closing its offices in Sweden, a move that would result in the loss of up to 100 jobs, a company spokesperson told Reuters. "At this time, we are considering the closure of our offices in Sweden. BlackBerry had about 7,000 people as of Sept. 2014, according to the its website.
For cycling enthusiasts whose interests fall somewhere between a 10-speed and a motorcycle, electric bicycles are a pretty solid alternative. Vintage Electric claims the bikes can reach a speed of 36 MPH in "Race Mode" with a range of 30 miles and a recharge time of just two hours.
Visual artist Oleg Memukhin planned a recent CGI experiment around one of Earth's most hypnotic visuals: fish swimming around in a circle. Using the graphics application Houdini, Memukhin created a school of small, shimmery fish and had them move in sync around any objects placed in their path. In the video above, Memukhin describes the four elements in his "flocking model": cohesion, separation and alignment, obstacle avoidance, and shape animation and flee behavior.
Last year, some of President Obama's emails were exposed to Russian hackers during a White House computer system breach. Servers that control the traffic to Obama's BlackBerry also remained secure. Obama's personal email account was not affected, rather, much of his correspondence was culled from the accounts of people with whom he communicated frequently. The White House is hit with cyberattacks every day, the Times reports, but this was an advanced, highly targeted attack.
Earlier today, Tesla's Twitter account and website were taken over by some nefarious jokesters. Around 5 PM ET, a strange tweet popped up on the company's official Twitter account, suggesting the company was no longer in control of what was being posted. The Tesla account name was changed to #RIPPRGANG. The person behind the @rootworx account tweeted several times he was not responsible for the hack, although it was his phone number that was leaked.
If you're a surfer, and you love the feel of salty sea mist on your skin, and the threatening billow of a forming wave, and the rush of gliding on water, but your preferred look is business formal, I've got good news for you. Quiksilver in Japan and the ad agency TBWA\HAKUHODO have designed the True Wetsuit, a wetsuit that looks like an actual suit.
In advance of the Pro Skater 5 release, Tony Hawk has been having a little fun on the internet. Earlier this week, he shared a clip on Instagram created by skater Rob Wootton that cheekily nods to classic Pro Skater games. Wootton imagines himself as an animated character from the menu screen, spinning his board and bobbing around with a blank look on his face while changing outfits. The attention to detail is intense: the music playing in the clip was even used in Pro Skater 2, Polygon reports.
In an attempt to aid rescue efforts, Google has once again opened up its Person Finder tool — a simple crowd-sourced missing persons database. Google first launched the application in 2010, following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and has since deployed the tool several times after natural disasters. Person Finder gathers information from emergency responders and individual users who can enter information for a missing person or someone who has been found.
Google's taking small steps to more intimately connect your Android phone and desktop computer. The search company has rolled out a new feature that lets you send directions, notes, reminders, and more directly from your browser to your phone. If your Android device is updated and has the right settings enabled (see this help article for details), you can simply type "send a note to my phone" or "send directions to my phone" directly into the search bar. Doing so will open up a little Google Now-style card that will let you type in your note or specify the directions that you're looking for.
As water supplies are reduced and people look to save money, internet-connected devices like the Blossom can pay for themselves in no time. Matthew installed a new controller system in about 10 minutes.
With summer less than two months away, you’re probably thinking about going on some fun outdoor excursions that involve taking some beer with you in a cooler. However, the current coolers on the market are something of a bummer since they tend to be both heavy and unwieldy. Denver-based engineer Scotty Allen is trying to change all that, however, with a brilliant new cooler design that will make bringing beer along with you to picnics and hikes easier than ever before. The BevPod, which is now trying to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter, is a cooler that’s only three inches thin but that nonetheless holds 10 cans or 6 bottles and makes sure they’re cold when you’re ready to crack them
It was only a matter of time, but now it's official: the Nexus 7 has left us for greener pastures. Google's affordable and functional 7-inch tablet has disappeared from the Google Store, where a note in red type simply states that the device is "no longer available for purchase."
In the world of iOS this week was news about a hack the causes endless reboot cycles, a patent that uses haptic technology to simulate textures on a device, and you can now make free calls with WhatsApp.
This week, we met college kids channeling wacky inventor Rube Goldberg, we finally saw Age of Ultron, and we learned it's harder than we thought to set up a weed dispensary in Vegas. Rube Goldberg became famous for his comically complicated machines well over 50 years ago, but his inventions may be more popular today than ever before. Now Goldberg's descendants are staging increasingly grand competitions around these machines, and competitions are just the start. You'd think that weed would be easy to come by in Vegas, but the town has been surprisingly tough on it.
This will be heartbreaking for many of you to hear, but it seems that Comcast and Time Warner Cable spent a total of $32 million lobbying the government to sign off on their merger and they still didn’t get what they wanted. In a big Politico report called “Collapse of Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger shows limits of lobbying,” we learn that Comcast and TWC pulled out all the stops to get their merger approved but that it still wasn’t enough. FROM EARLIER: Don’t celebrate yet: Comcast will find new ways to take revenge on America This is a change for Comcast, which is used to getting what it wants from the government. However, this time there was not just antipathy to the merger
Robots and dinosaurs mingled with cosplayers as Japan's largest video-sharing website Niconico on Saturday opened its two-day meet-up gala which is expected to attract more than 100,000 fans for the offline get together. The annual offline meet-up, at which display booths and stages are aired live online for those who can't make it in person, last year drew about 125,000 visitors, with some 7.6 million viewers logged on to watch through the Internet, the organiser said.
By Lacey Johnson BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Thousands of people marched peacefully through downtown Baltimore on Saturday to protest the unexplained death of a black man in police custody but pockets of violence erupted when a small group smashed windows and threw bottles at officers. At least 2,000 demonstrators attended the march to City Hall, the largest turnout since 25-year-old Freddie Gray died a week ago. As darkness fell, about 100 protesters splintered from the group and threw bottles, metal barricades and other objects at police officers and their cruisers, authorities said. The windows of several businesses were smashed, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said.
Russian hackers who penetrated sensitive parts of the White House computer system last year read President Barack Obama's unclassified emails, the New York Times reported on Saturday, quoting U.S. officials. "There is no evidence that the president's email account itself was hacked, White House officials said. Still, the fact that some of Mr. Obama's communications were among those retrieved by hackers has been one of the most closely held findings of the inquiry," the paper said. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on the report but the White House earlier this month confirmed the breach, saying it took place last year and that it did not affect classified information.
(Reuters) - Three people were found dead inside a Los Angeles-area business on Saturday in what might have been a fire bomb or Molotov cocktail attack, law enforcement said. One victim was alive but covered in flames when firefighters arrived at the early morning blaze in the city of El Monte, east of downtown Los Angeles, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Grace Medrano. The sheriff's office did not release the name of the business, but the Los Angeles Times said it was a tire shop. A witness who called 911 told authorities he saw several suspects throw a Molotov cocktail at the business before driving away, Medrano said.
LONDON (AP) — As world leaders and global charities try to grasp the scope of an earthquake that devastated parts of tiny, mountainous Nepal, they are preparing emergency aid for the survivors but worrying how to make sure it gets there.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal Saturday, causing an avalanche on Mount Everest and crumbling buildings in Katmandu, the capital. Nepal’s Home Ministry announced an initial death toll of 686, a number that is continuing to rise. We are collecting stories and photos from the ground and live updates on the death toll and damages as the story develops.
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An avalanche triggered by Nepal's massive earthquake slammed into a section of the Mount Everest mountaineering base camp, killing at least 17, injuring 61 and leaving an unknown number of climbers and guides unaccounted for on other routes, an official said Sunday.
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