Why Was Google Slapped With a$2.7 billion Fine?

Google fine

You know what they say about monopoly—it is business at the end of its journey. To think of Google here would sound exaggerated right now. However, there have been many cases recently where Google has been warned for misusing its position in the search market. Global economic forums and anti-trust agencies are keeping a close eye on their activities to prevent a global technology giant from creating ripples in the market.

Recently, the European Union’s competition commission slapped Google with a $2.7 billion antitrust fine, inquiries while blaming the popular search engine for giving out false shopping results. Google is being criticised for promoting its own shopping comparison higher than others.

European Commission first reported the matter to Google in 2015. It studied 1.2 Billi inquiries before arriving on the decision that Google was unfairly manipulating shopping results. There were hundreds of companies that complained about Google for displaying its shopping services inappropriately.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestages called it an abuse and illegal under European antitrust laws. According to European Competition Commission guidelines, Google should be unbiased and treat its rival services equal to its own when comparing prices.

In support of the internet giant, Google General Counsel Kent Walker said that Google’s shopping comparison is a service provided to customers. He explained his point using the example of Puma shoes that has links to five different European retailers.“Our data shows that people usually prefer links that take them directly to the products they want, not to websites where they have to repeat their searches,” said Walker. Clearly, Google completely disagrees with the fine imposed by the EU antitrust.

The search engine giant can appeal this decision to the bloc’s highest courts and they have 90 days to take any action. It can either try to end the conduct or pay the penalty amount, which accounts for up to 5% of the company’s average daily global revenue. Google has been asked to ensure that it complies with the EU antitrust guidelines and finds ways to implement the decision.

This is not the first time that Google is accused of an anticompetitive activity. In past, it was reported that Google has promoted its apps and services unfairly to suppress competition of Android devices.

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Hackers Dine on Zomato

Online restaurant and food joint aggregator Zomato had indeed hit the jackpot of being Hackers dine on Zomatothe first company with over 120 million visitors every month. The company has been protecting the personal information of its users diligently till recently. A security recently breach of the company’s systems resulted in a theft of their user database as 17 million user records were stolen.

The Delhi-based company claims that the passwords were hashed that means it cannot be converted easily by the hackers. In an official blog, the company has also explained that it has logged all users out of its website and app as a precaution. Emails have been sent to affected users urging them to change their passwords to be on the safer side. In the same blog, Zomato has also assured that financial data and credit card information of users has been fully secured.

A report stated that a web vendor under the pseudonym “nclay” had taken the responsibility for the hack. Further investigations into the matter suggested that the hacker has provided exact details of stealing of the data which shows loopholes in the company’s security system.

Zomato’s founder Deepinder Goyal tweeted that most of the people use their Facebook and Google accounts to log in to Zomato. So, they are not at much risk as they don’t have passwords for these accounts. However, he assured users that the company will be enhancing and focusing on its security measures and will do everything in the interest of the users.

Ransomware is an act of encrypting files from a victim computer and prohibiting access until the user pays an amount of money demanded by a hacker. There have been several cases of ransomware experienced in the past. The most disruptive ransomware named WannaCrypt popularly called Wcry severely hit dozens 74 countries including India affecting more than 45,000 computers in many enterprises that include IT organizations, ATMs, universities, hospitals, railway station networks.

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Latest Report Suggests iPhone 7 May not Have a Headphone Port

Apple never ceases to surprise us with all its innovations. The latest buzz suggests that the tech giant is gearing up to launch iPhone 7 within the next ten months. The news has already spread like wildfire letting the still born product enjoy its share of glory in the rumor mill.

Latest Report Suggests iPhone 7 May not Have a Headphone PortThe next generation iPhone is speculated to be much slimmer thus lighter than the latest models. It is also rumored that iPhone 7 would come sans the standard 3.5 mm audio jack. In its place, Apple would introduce its Lightning port as the connector in the device for all wired headphones.      

A few companies are already selling headphones purported to offer high quality audio when connected via the Lightning port as soon as Apple launched the same in iOS7 a while back.

Mac Otakara’s blog, a reliable source site, went a step forward and suggested that iPhone 7 would come with Lightning port supported EarPod headphones.

However, people who are already using the exorbitantly priced 3.5 mm headphones need not worry. Apple would surely make some arrangements and offer 3.5 mm to Lightning port adapter to let everybody use the old headphones with the new device effortlessly.  Of course one needs to be the price for it!… Read the rest

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Exclusive Apple Store Coming Soon To India

Official Apple stores are all set to come to India for the first time. However, the stores would not be run by Apple Inc but by Croma, a consumer electronics chain owned by Tata.
Reports suggest that these stores would have the signature wooden counters and tables even though they won’t be owned by Apple.

Exclusive Apple StoreThere would be a total of six stores in India–5 in Mumbai and 1 in Bengaluru–as a pilot. In Mumbai, they will be located at Oberoi Mall, Juhu, Malad, Ghatkopar and Phoenix Mall. The sixth store would be the Croma store in Jayanagar, Bangalore. These stores would begin operating before Diwali.

Avijit Mitra, CEO of Infiniti Retail, said that they are proud to be an exclusive partner of Apple to open Apple Store in India. They are sure of this being a profitable venture for them.

These stores may not be an Apple Store in the real sense but the entire design, fixtures, furniture and lightings will be the same as seen in their stores throughout the globe. Moreover, the sales staff would be trained by the company itself.

Apple sells its products through premium resellers, who run brand stores exclusively under the franchise model. Apple products are also available at popular multi brand mobile and electronics retail chains. The tech giant has already sold about 1.7 million iPhones in India between October 2014 and September 2015 and now that Apple is going to have its own store, the sale is expected to increase manifolds.… Read the rest

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Facebook Innovating With Good Morning, Updated News Feed

Did you wake up to a good morning message from Facebook today? Facebook Inc is in an innovation mode to enhance user experience. Recently, they updated the News Feed feature that would allow content to load quickly even when the internet connectivity is weak. Today, they gave users a surprise with a personalised good morning message that said, “Good morning Nishtha, we hope you enjoy Facebook today”. 

Facebook morning news updateRecent moves from Facebook suggest they are targeting developing markets. Trying to provide solutions for places with slow internet connectivity is a result of that.

Internet connectivity is slow in emerging markets like Brazil, Mexico and India where most people use 2G connection. This makes it difficult to load videos or pictures that require more data. Facebook is hoping to bring in more users from these countries with this update.

The Facebook app chooses pictures, articles or videos to load depending on the signal strength of users. In case of a weak connectivity, News Feed selects content that is faster and easier to load.

Facebook’s director of engineering Tom Alison said that their employees working in India reported problems of slow connectivity that makes it frustrating to use the app. Thus, the social networking site sent a team to India to look into this matter exclusively and to deliver a faster experience for News Feed in regions with weak connections.

Alison said, “News Feed is a product you tend to want to check regularly throughout the day, and that’s not possible when it’s slow to load.”

The updated News Feed will be able to pull up content in low connection area, even in a subway, by pulling up stories that were loaded during their last Facebook visit but not clicked.


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Know What Your Neighbour Earns With WageSpot Salary App

WageSpot salary appA new application for smartphones called WageSpot has been released on Tuesday in USA and has already scored a hit thanks to what it reveals—the amount of money people make as salary!

The application allows users to report their annual incomes and check out what others in the same niche are taking back home. All this with anonymity! WageSpot also allows people to look up the earnings as per job type, experience, gender, location and miscellaneous criteria.

The app reminds us of the way Zillow maps lists property values across neighborhoods. WageSpot also shows maps that reveal what people earn and where they are based. Raphael Morozov, co-founder of WageSpot says, “It seems that we are really afraid to talk about compensation no matter how much we make and how much we should be earning.”  He believes that if the scoop on salary is out in the world, gathering the same could actually cause a stir around.

Summing Up

While websites such as Glassdoor have already made a mark in this niche, gathering data on who earns how much and where remains a fave preoccupation. “Salary data has remained hidden behind reporting complexity and cultural stigma…” founders of WageSpot have said.Read the rest

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Google Looks To Rival Thomson Reuters & Bloomberg

Tech giant Google is all set to make a new investment in the field of communication by investing in Symphony Communication Services LLC, a messaging startup. Symphony offers a centralized platform to different individuals, corporate users and financial firms towards digital communications. Therefore, its collaboration with Google is expected to bring some significant developments in the world of communication.

Google takes interest to invest in Symphony Communication ServiceSpeculations are doing the rounds

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has made a new round of investment for Symphony, which is now valued at $650 million. However, a source close to the deal told Reuters that talks between the two companies are in progress and they are yet to make a final decision on the terms.

While there is no confirmation from any of the companies involved so far, reports of the deal have already fueled up speculation. The service, which is backed by several banks along with the Goldman Sachs Group, is now touted to become a rival of Thomson Reuters Corp. and Bloomberg LP, as these are trusted sources for offering information and messaging services to investors, traders and bankers.

At present, Symphony’s services are available for small businesses as well as individuals for free while businesses which have more than 50 users need to shell out $15 per month for every user. … Read the rest

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HP Set To Split Into Two Entities From November

HP Announces That It Will Finally Split Into Two Wings From NovemberHewlett-Packard Co has announced that its board has sanctioned the previously declared split of the company into two distinct entities. The two enterprises have been split into two sections–printers and computers in one, while services plus corporate hardware forms another group. HP announced on Thursday that it anticipates a split into HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co to be complete by November 1.

More Details

Right after the announcement, HP Enterprise that comprises corp hardware and its services business will soon initiate trading on New York Stock Exchange under the HPE ticker symbol. HP shareholding individual will now get access to a share of HP Enterprise for every share they hold as of October 21. This tax-free distribution system will be as per a pro-rata basis, the company board announced.  The split had already been announced last year in October but the final leg has been confirmed only now. HP has been struggling over the years for adjusting to the computing age after the PC has been written off as we had known it in the wee-days.

Summing Up The Trading Story

Hewlett-Packard also announced that it expected its Enterprise arm to begin trading as per the “when issues” basis under the ticker symbol HPE WI. The share unit pricing stood at 25.61 dollars—unchanged—during pre-market trading on Thursday last week. Last week, around Wednesday, the stock pricing had plummeted by about 27 per cent since October 3rd. this was the last trading day before the company announced its split.

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Twitter Introduces “Buy Now” Button to Shop Via Tweets

Twitter Buy ButtonOn Wednesday, Twitter declared that it would be partnering with retailers in US to sell their products via tweets. Willing buyers would need to click on the “Buy Now” button to purchase something in a jiffy. This step had to be taken by the company boost the growth of Twitter which is going downhill day in and day out.

The “Buy Now” feature was first launched in 2014 but to a small group of users in the USA. Twitter is now planning to release it to all users within America.

The micro blogging site has been working with e-commerce business houses like Demandware Inc, Bigcommerce and Shopify along with brands and retailers like Adidas AG, Best Buy Co Inc and PacSun.

Twitter Could Have New Platform For Longer Notes
Twitter Could Have New Platform For Longer Notes

Also Read: Twitter Could Have New Platform For Longer Notes

Payment would be done through Stripe Inc, a payment processing enterprise. It is to be noted that Twitter even struggled with direct response ads where people could click on a link or download an app.

Twitter also announced its plans to let people make political donations using Square. Square is a mobile payment firm run by Twitter’s interim chief executive Jack Dorsey.

There are a lot of things that Twitter has in its mind to enhance its growth. Only time will tell whether these steps turn out to be fruitful or not.


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Apple Denies Rumors Of Merging iOS and OS X

apple ios os x mergeApple has put to rest all rumors regarding the creation of an operating system by combining the iOS and OS X. This concept is based on the idea that Apple would like to merge the best of both worlds–productivity and portability–someday. Nothing like that happened when the 12-inch iPad Pro came into being. Now, Apple chief Tim Cook has denied all the rumors, suggesting there are no plans to merge the two operating systems.

Cook said, “We don’t believe in having one operating system for PC and mobile… these operating systems do different things. We have no intention to blend them.” He was speaking at the Boxworks conference held in San Francisco.

When Box CEO Aaron Levie prodded him further, Cook said both the devices have different functions to perform, different uses and that their adoption rate is also different.

With tablets having taken the place of laptops, many companies are trying to combine desktop computing with mobile operating systems by offering touch-enabled features. However, in doing so, tech giant Microsoft failed miserably with Windows RT. It seems that things are again back in place with Sundar Pichai taking the rein of the company and the Chrome OS and Android working well together.

It is also to be noted that people do not like the idea of running iOS on a big screen. Even the iPad Pro has been lashed for the extra white space on its home screen.

Knowing Apple, we can expect something innovative with their OS. We’re waiting to see what the future of OS on computers, laptops, tablets and mobiles might be.… Read the rest

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