European media tycoon attacks Google, Facebook

Friday, April 18, 2014

Original story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27063372

BBC NEWS. London, 17 April 2014. The boss of one of Europe's largest media companies has strongly criticised Google in an open letter printed in a German newspaper.

Mathias Dopfner, chief executive of Axel Springer (pictured), says his company is afraid of Google and its power.

He also asks in the letter, addressed to Google boss Eric Schmidt, whether Google intends to create a superstate where anti-trust and privacy laws don't apply.

Google has not commented on the letter.

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Top US tech companies formed employer cartel on wages and salaries

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Google's Eric Schmidt, a party to the dealTHE REGISTER. London. Employees at top Silicon Valley companies can sue bosses accused of entering a secret pact that kept salaries down, a judge in California has ruled.

The lawsuit claims that between 2005 and 2007 Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, Pixar and Lucasfilm entered into non-compete agreements to end the practice of poaching of staff with promises of fatter paychecks and other benefits. Five software engineers sued after a Department of Justice investigation unearthed evidence of recruitment shenanigans.

The accused firms sought to have the case dismissed – a request denied on Wednesday by Judge Lucy Koh.

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Al Shabaab bans the internet

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION. San Francisco. 13 January 2014. Somali rebel group (and US-designated terrorist organization) Al Shabaab has reportedly banned the use of the Internet through mobile handsets and fiber optic cables throughout Somalia, giving telecommunications companies 15 days to comply with the order.

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SumOfUs's lesson for new unionism

Thursday, January 9, 2014

SumOfUs campaign poster against Carlsberg's attack on collective bargainingNMIC. Manchester. 9 January 2014. A Washington Post piece by Hayley Tsukayama, datelined 8 January and reproduced below, suggests that a new approach to e-petitions may have more impact than the scattergun techniques pioneered by 38 Degrees, Avaaz and Change.org.

SumOfUs (sumofus.org) describes itself as "a movement of consumers, workers and shareholders speaking with one voice to counterbalance the growing power of large corporations". It bases its activities on a kind of 'market testing' to ensure that its petitions are targetted and relevant, but it's the nature of its targets that must be most interesting to unions and the labour movement - they include Carlsberg, Google, Apple, TopShop and Trader Joe's and the issues dealt with include collective bargaining, labour agreements, fair trade and sourcing of raw materials - classic 'progessive' issues, as the Post points out.

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UGC checking - the latest growth area for journalism

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An interesting post on UGC from the BBC's Academy website indicates that verifying/authenticating UGC is a growth area for journalism. Some might say 'not before time'. The post is by   Trushar Barot, assistant editor of the UGC and Social Media Hub at BBC News.

Barot's advice is 'source, check and stay on top of technology'

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DRM kills e-sales

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

TELEREAD. Philadelphia. 17 December 2013. Coverage courtesy of Ron Miller in Computerworld has brought to light a research paper published last month which brings fresh data points to the anti-DRM debate.

Put simply: All DRM does is kill your sales. That’s all. It doesn’t protect you against piracy; it doesn’t preserve your revenues. The only thing it does is drive customers away. And if you want an easy sales hike – all you have to do is remove it.

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The workers united give Amazon an Xmas present

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

GEEKWIRE. Seattle. 16 December, 2013.

“We are humans, not robots!”

That was the message Monday morning (16 December) at the heart of Amazon.com’s Seattle headquarters, as about 50 people gathered to protest ... unfair working conditions and wage inequality inside Amazon’s fulfillment centers in Germany, Amazon's second biggest market outside the US where the company employs 9,000 workers.

Nancy Becker, a warehouse worker from Bad Hersfeld, Germany, made the trip to Seattle to help organize Monday’s protest. She’s worked inside Amazon warehouses since November 2001 and is frustrated with what she calls unfair treatment in her workplace.

“I’m looking to support the American workers, and ask that the American workers support the European workers,” she said.

This protest coincided with ... strikes at Amazon facilities in Germany (at Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig, Graben and Werne) that took place on Monday, just as holiday sales ramp up. The actions are being organized by the German labour union Ver.di, of which Becker is a member. Ver.di argue that Amazon workers should be paid on the higher scales that characterise retail, not as logistics workers, which is Amazon's approach.

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The not-so-great game

Monday, December 9, 2013

GAMESINDUSTRY INTERNATIONAL. Brighton. 9 December 2013. An extensive report by the Guardian has claimed that there is evidence that both GCHQ and the NSA are involved in heavy monitoring of online games and networks, including World of Warcraft and Xbox Live, according to the website GamesIndustry International's Dan Pearson.

The piece, which cites unreleased information which came as part of the secret dossiers obtained and leaked to the paper by Edward Snowden, says that the agencies have collaborated heavily on information gathering processes which have targetted online gaming communities. The agencies, it is claimed, have been using them to identify and track suspects, as well as form pictures of their social networks and recruit embedded agents of their own.

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Other stories

Rescuing the local news

Sir Tim launches citizens' web campaign

US blogger jailed in libel case

Google Books ruling challenges copyright law

Journalism leaders review the industry

The internet and the law conference, 26 October

Ukrainian independent news site hits back at hijackers

Belgacom infrastructure hacked by Britain's GCHQ

UK studio Blitz Games closes with 125 job losses

EC proposes major step towards telecoms single market

China detains more microbloggers and citizen journalists

AOL chief fires Patch employee in public during crisis meeting


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