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Iphone

Carriers Blame the iPhone For Data Caps and Increased Upgrade Fees 272

zacharye writes "Bruised mobile carriers such as AT&T and Verizon are 'fighting back' against Apple's iPhone, despite the fact that the device has helped them eke out consistently higher average revenue per wireless subscribers since its launch. To hear the carriers tell it, the iPhone is a major inhibitor to their profits as last year they were 'only' generating wireless service profit margins in the 38% to 42% range. But ever since these beleaguered companies started 'fighting back' by implementing data caps, increasing fees for device upgrades and implementing longer waiting periods before users can switch devices, they’ve seen their wireless service profit margins surge. AT&T reported a 45% margin in Q2 2012 and Verizon reported a record-high 49% margin."
PlayStation (Games)

Judge Lets Sony Access GeoHot's PayPal Account 288

An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from TechDirt that says "Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero has awarded Sony a subpoena that grants the company access to the PayPal account of PlayStation 3 jailbreaker George Hotz, also known as GeoHot, for the last two years. Emil: Spero ruled that the Japanese console maker may acquire 'documents sufficient to identify the source of funds in California that went into any PayPal account associated with geohot@gmail.com for the period of January 1, 2009, to February 1, 2011.'"
Australia

Aussie Film Industry Appeals ISP Copyright Case 137

schliz writes "The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has appealed a Federal Court judgement that this month exonerated ISP iiNet for its subscribers' copyright-infringing activities. In the widely publicised case, AFACT sought to penalize iiNet for its users having made 100k illegal downloads. A judge ruled that 'mere provision of access to internet is not the means to infringement,' but AFACT now claims the judgement 'left an unworkable online environment for content creators and content providers' and 'represents a serious threat to Australia's digital economy.'"
Businesses

UK Consumers To Pay For Online Piracy 300

Wowsers writes "An article in The Times states that UK consumers will be hit with an estimated £500m ($800m US) bill to tackle online piracy. The record and film industries have managed to convince the government to get consumers to pay for their perceived losses. Meanwhile they have refused to move with the times, and change their business models. Other businesses have adapted and been successful, but the film and record industries refuse to do so. Surely they should not add another stealth tax to all consumers."
Cellphones

AT&T Moves Closer To Usage-Based Fees For Data 441

CWmike writes "AT&T has moved closer to charging special usage fees to heavy data users, including those with iPhones and other smartphones. Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, came close on Wednesday to warning about some kind of use-based pricing while speaking at a UBS conference. 'The first thing we need to do is educate customers about what represents a megabyte of data and...we're improving systems to give them real-time information about their data usage,' he said. 'Longer term, there's got to be some sort of pricing scheme that addresses the [heavy] users.' AT&T has found that only 3% of its smartphone users — primarily iPhone owners — are responsible for 40% of total data usage, largely for video and audio, de la Vega said. Educating that group about how much they are using could change that, as AT&T has found by informing wired Internet customers of such patterns. De la Vega's comments on data use were previewed in a keynote he gave in October at the CTIA, but he went beyond those comments on Wednesday: 'We are going to make sure incentives are in place to reduce or modify [data]uses so they don't crowd out others in the same cell sites.' Focus groups have been formed at AT&T to figure out how to proceed."
The Internet

Developing Nations Crippled By Broadband Costs 239

eldavojohn writes "If you live in the EU, you probably enjoy low broadband costs. If you live in Finland, it's even a legal right. If you live in the US, you probably pay a moderate cost. But if you live in the developing world, a UNCTAD report paints your picture pretty grim. Ridiculously high bandwidth costs are inhibiting developing nations from enjoying productive use of the internet — like online banking and market tools."
Privacy

Canadian Copyright Lobby Fights Anti-Spyware Legislation 104

An anonymous reader writes "New Canadian anti-spam and anti-spyware legislation is scheduled for a key vote on Monday. Michael Geist reports that the copyright lobby has been pushing to remove parts of the bill that would take away exceptions which currently allow spyware to be installed without authorization. 'The copyright lobby is deeply concerned that this change will block attempts to track possible infringement through electronic means.' There have also been proposals to extend the exemptions granted to telecom providers to include the installation of programs without the user's express consent, which Geist says will 'leave the door open to private, surreptitious surveillance.'"
Microsoft

Microsoft Pushes For Single Global Patent System 495

Xerolooper writes "What would the world be like if everyone could enjoy the same patent system we use in the USA? From the article: 'A senior lawyer at Microsoft is calling for the creation of a global patent system to make it easier and faster for corporations to enforce their intellectual property rights around the world.' They have already attracted opposition from the open-source community and the Pirate Party. According to the article, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will be meeting in Geneva on the 17th and 18th of September."
PlayStation (Games)

Why Is It So Difficult To Allow Cross-Platform Play? 389

cookiej writes "I just got the most recent version of the Madden franchise ('10) for the PS3. Can somebody explain to me why EA has separate networks for the different platforms, only allowing players to compete with people using the same console? Back in the day, there were large discrepancies between the consoles, but these days it seems like the Xbox and the PS3 are at least near the same level. After so many releases for this franchise, they've got to have a fairly standardized protocol for networking; it seems arbitrary not to let them compete. Or am I just missing something obvious? Is it just a matter of Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network not working together?"
Businesses

Drug Company Merck Drew Up Doctor "Hit List" 281

Philip K Dickhead sends in a piece from the Australian media, a couple of weeks old, that hasn't seen much discussion here. In a class-action lawsuit in Australia against Merck for its Vioxx anti-arthritis drug, information has come out that the company developed a "hit list" of doctors who had expressed anything but enthusiasm for the drug. Vioxx was withdrawn from the market in 2004 because it causes heart attacks and strokes. Merck settled a class action in the US for $4.85 billion but did not admit guilt. "An international drug company made a hit list of doctors who had to be 'neutralized' or discredited because they criticized the anti-arthritis drug the pharmaceutical giant produced. Staff at US company Merck & Co. emailed each other about the list of doctors — mainly researchers and academics — who had been negative about the drug Vioxx or Merck and a recommended course of action. The email, which came out in the Federal Court in Melbourne yesterday as part of a class action against the drug company, included the words 'neutralize,' 'neutralized,' or 'discredit' against some of the doctors' names. It is also alleged the company used intimidation tactics against critical researchers, including dropping hints it would stop funding to institutions and claims it interfered with academic appointments. 'We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live,' a Merck employee wrote, according to an email excerpt read to the court by Julian Burnside QC, acting for the plaintiff."
Earth

Shell Ditches Wind, Solar, and Hydro 883

thefickler writes "Shell has decided to end its investment in wind, solar and hydro projects because the company does not believe they are financially sound investments. Instead Shell is going to focus on carbon sequestration technologies and biofuels. Not surprisingly, and perhaps unfairly, bloggers have been quick to savage the company: 'Between Shell's decisions to stop its clean energy investments and to increase its debt load to pay for dividends, the company is solidifying an image of corporate greed over corporate responsibility.' Is Shell short sighted, or is it just a company trying to make its way in an uncertain world?"
Government

Timetable App Developer Gets Nastygram From Transit Sydney 378

mikesd81 writes "ZDNet Australia writes that NSW state corporation RailCorp has threatened a Sydney software developer with legal action if he fails to withdraw a train timetable application that is currently the second-most-popular application in its category in Apple's App Store. Alvin Singh created Transit Sydney after he began teaching himself how to program in Cocoa Mobile. Within days of its Feb 18 release, Singh received a cease and desist notice from Rail Corporation NSW, the government body that administers Sydney's CityRail network. The email states: 'I advise that copyright in all CityRail timetables is owned by RailCorp. ... Any use of these timetables in a manner which breaches copyright by a third party can only occur through the grant of a suitable licence by RailCorp.'"

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