Today's Top Technology Headlines
- Samsung Electronics to buy back $2 billion in shares
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Wednesday announced a $2 billion share buyback plan, its first since 2007, following investor calls for higher returns against a backdrop of rapidly declining profits. The world's largest smartphone maker will buy back 1.65 million common shares and 250,000 preferred shares to stabilise its share price and boost value for shareholders, it said in a regulatory filing, its second-largest buyback ever. ...
- HP fourth-quarter revenue drops on weak enterprise demand
By Sarah McBride (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co said its quarterly revenue fell in almost every business segment over the year, highlighting weaknesses ahead of the company's planned 2015 separation of its enterprise services from its traditional computer and printing units. Sales fell 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter to $28.41 billion, from $29.13 billion a year earlier, HP said on Tuesday. Analysts had expected $28.76 billion. Profit declined 2.7 percent to $2.01 billion, or $1.06 cents a share, compared with $1.01 cents a share a year ago, in line with analysts' expectations. ...
- Megaupload's Dotcom says extradition fight leaves him bust
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, one of the world's most wanted cyber fugitives, says his nearly three-year fight against extradition to the United States to face online piracy charges has left him broke. Dotcom, the New Zealand resident who once flaunted a fleet of vintage cars, a fully staffed rented mansion and globe-trotting holidays, said that his wealth had evaporated due to mounting legal fees which had resulted in the departure of most of his legal team. ...
- United States says EU's Google case should not be politicized
By Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The United States voiced concern on Tuesday over a draft plan by two EU lawmakers to break up Google Inc , saying politicians should not influence the EU's antitrust inquiry into the world's most popular Internet search engine. The U.S. Mission to the European Union said in an email it "noted with concern" the call for competition regulators to consider splitting search engines from other Internet services. ...
- Twitter in talks to buy Bieber-backed selfie app Shots: CNBC
(Reuters) - Twitter Inc is in talks to buy Shots, a selfie photo-sharing app, CNBC reported, citing a source close to the Justin Bieber-backed company. The microblogging website is particularly interested in the app's more than 3 million users, nearly two-thirds of whom are women under 24, CNBC said. (http://cnb.cx/1AQ7U34) A Twitter spokesperson said the company does not comment on rumor and speculation. Shots could not be reached immediately for comment. (This version of the story was refiled to fix media coding.) (Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
- Samsung Group sells shares in chemical, defense arms for $1.7 billion
By Joyce Lee and Se Young Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Group said on Wednesday it is selling stakes in four chemical and defense firms for 1.9 trillion won ($1.72 billion) to Hanwha Group, the latest move in the massive task of restructuring the country's largest conglomerate. Samsung Group is reorganizing its business empire to make it easier for the children of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd chairman Lee Kun-hee, 72, who has been hospitalized since a May heart attack, to divvy up the conglomerate. ...
- AP sources: Gov't to set stricter smog standard
- Vine adds push notifications to track your favorite users' new videos
Users of Vine's apps can now receive push notifications when their favorite users post a video. The latest update to the video-sharing social network's iOS, Android, and Windows apps introduces a small star button on user profiles. Touch the star on a favorite user's profile and you'll track their new videos as they're uploaded, being notified of new Vines with both a notification in your activity feed inside the app, and a push notification to your device.
- Skype now lets you videocall while doing other things on your Android phone
- Apple's virtual reality ambitions tipped in new job listing
While third party developers work on transforming iPads into imitation Oculus headsets, Apple is searching for a virtual reality app engineer. As spotted by Mashable, the company recently put up a job listing that foreshadows some interesting possibilities.
- Sony reportedly planning stylish watch made entirely out of e-paper
Next year could see the release of a Sony watch made out of e-paper, according to a report in Bloomberg. The watch is said to prioritize style over the functionality of complex wearable gadgets like the Apple Watch and Sony SmartWatch, using e-paper for both the face and the wristband. The precise e-paper technology is unclear; the Pebble smartwatch has an LCD marketed as "e-paper", for instance, whereas Central Standard Timing's CST-01 watch uses Kindle-style E Ink.
- 5G is on the cards for Huawei and partnered South Korean service providers
- The CIA and Homeland Security want to delete almost all their emails
- Baidu develops 'smart bike' and its operating system
- Australia's data-retention plans look increasingly out of touch
The tide is turning against mass digital surveillance, both politically and commercially, but is Attorney-General Brandis capable of even noticing, let alone changing, course?