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Showing posts from March, 2014

Microsoft Announces More Internal Changes

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The changes that are sweeping through Microsoft continued this week with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealing further changes in both leadership and corporate organization. He says the changes are designed to 'tune' Microsoft's organization for maximum focus and impact.
'Today marks the start of another big week for Microsoft as we gear up for the Build conference in San Francisco,' Mr. Nadella writes in yet another email message to employees that was published publicly. 'In advance of Build, I want to highlight three announcements about how we're continuing to evolve and tune our organization for maximum focus and impact.'
First up is Scott Guthrie. About two months ago, Mr. Guthrie was assigned as acting leader of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise organization as part of a sweeping set of leadership changes at the company. (Those previous changes included the exits of both Tami Reller and Tony Bates.) Now, Mr. Nadella has promoted Guthrie to Executi…

Microsoft Clarifies Email Snooping Policy

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Microsoft amends its terms of service to stop peeking into customers' emails, even if it suspects they may be stealing from the company.

(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)
Microsoft said it will honor its privacy commitments to its customers, even those it suspects may be thieves.
In a blog post Friday, Microsoft executive VP and general counsel Brad Smith said that the company has reflected on the criticism it received over how it handled a 2012 case in which its investigators accessed the Hotmail account of a blogger alleged to have received stolen Windows code from a disgruntled employee. As a consequence of internal conversations and input from advocacy groups, Microsoft has decided that its privacy promises should also be binding on its own employees and agents.
[Say hello to the privacy revolution. Read March Madness: Online Privacy Edition.]
'Effective immediately, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellec…

Samsung Tries Wooing Multitaskers With 28

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Samsung is joining the push to empower desktop PC users with 4K ultra high definition (UHD) displays by announcing its new UD590 monitor. Like other 4K panels, the UD590 offers four times the resolution and pixels of a Full HD 1080p display at 3840x2160 versus 1920x1080. This allows for significantly more on-screen real-estate to play with and is especially useful when working with large, detailed photos and graphics.
The UD590 is built around an LED-backlit Twisted Nematic (TN) panel. These are lower quality panels compared to In-Plane Switching (IPS) and the such, though the upshot for consumers and gamers is that they're typically less expensive to own and capable of handling fast moving visuals without nasty artifacts. In this case, the UD590 retails for $700 MSRP and has a 1ms response time.

Other specifications include 170-degree/160-degree viewing angles, 370 cd/m2 brightness, two HDMI ports, a single DisplayPort, audio outputs, -1 to +15 degrees of tilt, and Picture-in-Pictu…

Moto G, Apple iPhone fuelling UK smartphone market as Android and Samsung ...

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We're all used to Android being the definitive king of the smartphone hill by now, so it's not often you hear news of a wobble from Google's OS. However, market research bean counters Kantar Worldpanel Comtech's latest stats have shown that Android has slipped recently.
The numbers (spotted by the Inquirer) are for the end of February, and show that the iPhone has increased its market share by 3.1 per cent year-on-year in the UK, to 31.1 per cent - much of which, we'd imagine, will be down to the iPhone 5S (as the 5C wasn't so well received given its price not being much less than the flagship).
Android, however, has dropped from a 58.3 per cent market share to 54 per cent over the last quarter - a fairly substantial dip for a three month period. Samsung in particular had a rough ride, falling from 36.7 per cent to 30.2 per cent.
However, ebbing sales are to be expected given that the Galaxy S5 is just around the corner, with prospective buyers either electing to …

Microsoft Didn't Win Last Week, But Apple and Google Did

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- In one respect, you have to give Microsoft credit. The company has rightfully crapped on Steve Ballmer's legacy.
At last week's Office for iPad event, Satya Nadella told us, even if indirectly, that everything Ballmer did at Microsoft in recent years was wrong. Yet, for some reason, the tech and financial media opts to portray Microsoft's new direction as a victory, that it's somehow doing Apple a favor.
We miss Steve Jobs so much. We're so desperate to replace him that the first cerebral, reasonably attractive and well-spoken guy to come along gets to third base with us on the first date. We're so smitten we have lose sight of reality.
It's all really quite pathetic ( quick MSFT loyalists, scamper to the comments section on Page Three and type ... 'Your article is what's pathetic').

Nadella's on a search and rescue mission. Admirable, but it will produce the same sad ending had Ballmer remained in charge.
Microsoft's…

Sony announces price and shipping date for 13.3in Digital Paper

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Sony has announced that its long awaited 13.3in E-Ink Digital Paper will be available in May, at least in the US.
The device has a resolution of 1600 x 1200, and is approximately 7mm thick. It can display an entire letter-sized (A4-sized, more or less!) document in full-screen (16-level greyscale) with no need for zooming or scrolling, and the display is a touchscreen, having an attached stylus.
It's aimed at the business world and productivity - as opposed to being some giant novelty e-reader - replacing paper in the workplace, with the stylus allowing professionals to jot notes on documents and more easily share and collaborate.
The price clearly marks out that territory, too, with the tag set at $1,100 (£660) in the States, not exactly within reach of the average consumer. It will save on a lot of paper and printing costs when it comes to the enterprise world, though, or that's certainly the idea.
Digital Paper is apparently perfectly readable in bright sunlight, Sony claims, a…

Microsoft reverses course, vows not to snoop on 'private content' after Hotmail ...

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A week after saying it was justified in snooping through a blogger's Hotmail account to track down a leaker of company software, Microsoft has changed course, saying it will refer such matters to law enforcement starting immediately.
The reversal, explained by general counsel Brad Smith in a blog post Friday, follows last week's revelation that it searched through e-mails and instant messages of a blogger who Microsoft believed had received proprietary code illegally.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella may bring new change to Microsoft by offering a version of Office for the iPad. Analysts say the lack of an Office version for the iPad may have robbed Microsoft of $2.5 billion in revenues. Fred Katayama reports. Reuters
Technology
A Czech company has developed a computerised, interactive device it calls a 'Magic Box'. Half teaching tool, half toy, the box is designed to teach children about modern technologies in a playful way. Jim Drury has more. Reuters
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The search, in …

House GOP investigators say regulators twice declined to probe faulty GM vehicles

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January 10, 2013: The logo for General Motors decorates the entrance at the site of a GM information technology center in Roswell, Ga. A congressional committee is investigating the way General Motors and a federal safety agency handled a deadly ignition switch problem in compact cars. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
Congressional investigators said Sunday that federal regulators had declined on two separate occasions to open formal probes into complaints about an ignition switch defect in certain General Motors cars.
The finding was announced in a memo prepared by staffers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee as part of a continuing investigation into events surrounding GM's eventual recall of 2.6 million small cars due to the defect, which has been linked to 13 deaths in traffic accidents. The investigators also determined that GM rejected a proposed fix for the problem in 2005 due to both the length of time needed for repair and the costs involved.
In response to the panel, t…

Pardon me! Apple wants to address texting while walking mishaps with ...

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While we're seeing some solid solutions come to market that may potentially be saving lives on the deadly texting while driving front, Apple is working on tackling the far less serious (but truly annoying) texting while walking mishaps. The solution is being dubbed 'transparent texting' and Apple has filed the patent this week.
If you're wondering what we're talking about you are undoubtedly one of the more serious offenders. Head down, glued to your smartphones' screen, engrossed in a text conversation and then....Wham! You've smacked right into someone or maybe gotten up close and personal with lamppost.
Apple explains in the patent that to enable a 'transparent texting' system, they are proposing that an app's background be modified to display video images continuously captured by the iPhone's rear-facing camera. This technology is essentially combining the video camera and texting app into one feature as the text message appears over the l…

Rugged Olympus Stylus Tough TG

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Olympus
Olympus really seems to have stepped up its point-and-shoots lately and the new Stylus Tough TG-3 and Stylus SH-1 are further proof.
The third-gen model is just as rugged as the TG-2: waterproof to 50 feet (15m), shockproof from 7 feet (2.1m), crushproof up to 220 pounds (100kg), freezeproof to 14 degree Fahrenheit (-10C), and dustproof.
The camera also has the same 4x f2.0-4.9 25-100mm lens with an adapter ring for add-on waterproof lenses that's been used since the TG-1.
However, with the TG-2, Olympus introduced a Microscope function that digitally boosts zoom magnification from 7x to 14x while shooting as close as 0.4 inch (1cm) from a subject. The TG-3 takes this a step further by adding a focus-stacking macro mode.
Olympus
Typically when you take close-up photos with a point-and-shoot only one small area will be in focus while the rest is blurred. If the camera has aperture controls, you might be able to increase your depth of field, but then you'd likely need to slow…

GM Ignition

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Bloomberg News

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration manager recommended almost seven years ago investigating why air bags in some of 's Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion cars weren't deploying, a memo issued by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee shows.
The chief of NHTSA's Defects Assessment Division e-mailed other officials in the Office of Defects Investigation in September 2007, saying owner complaints from 2005 and 'early warning' data about warranty repairs and injuries justified an probe, according to the memo today from the committee. Congress is investigating an ignition-switch defect that can lead to air bag failure and has been tied to 13 deaths.
'Notwithstanding GM's indications that they see no specific problem pattern, DAD perceives a pattern of non-deployments in these vehicles that does not exist in their peers,' the official said, according the memo issued before a committee hearing on vehicle defects.
NHTSA chose not to …

Microsoft changes policy: won't read your Hotmail anymore to track down ...

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Microsoft read the email of Hotmail users without a warrant, in order to catch someone who'd leaked some Microsoft software. When they were caught out, the pointed out that they'd always reserved the right to read Hotmail users' email, and tried to reassure other Hotmail users by saying that they were beefing up the internal process by which they decided whose mail to read and when.
Now, citing the ''post-Snowden era' in which people rightly focus on the ways others use their personal information,' the company has announced that it will not read its users' email anymore when investigating theft or copyright violations -- instead, it will refer this sort of thing to the police in future (they still reserve the right to read your Hotmail messages without a court order under other circumstances).
As Techdirt's Mike Masnick points out, this is a most welcome change. The message announcing the change by Brad Smith (General Counsel & Executive Vice Pres…

Antoine Leblond leaves Microsoft after 25 years

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Microsoft executive Antoine Leblond has decided to leave the company after working for 25 years. Leblond has played major role at Microsoft in design and development division at Microsoft Office.
Leblond said that he will cherish the time he has spent at Microsoft. He added that he wants to experience the world outside Microsoft. He has only good memories from his 25-year tenure at Microsoft.
For nearly 20 years, Leblond worked at Microsoft Office unit. He was later moved to Windows division after Steven Sinofsky took control of the development division in year 2009. Leblond will leave Microsoft this week.
Leblond added in an email to his colleagues that he will miss them but he is also excited about his future.
Earlier, Skype CEO Tony Bates also left Microsoft. Marketing Chief Tami Reller had also announced her exit from the technology major recently. Microsoft has undergone major reshuffle at the higher executive level. In the reorganization announced last year, Leblond was not featured…

Congress: GM twice failed to fix defect

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The Action 2 News School Closing System only displays school information when it has been activated by schools changing their schedule. Tune to WBAY-TV for weather advisories. More >>

Cost of Cloud Computing Continued to Go Down

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Cost of cloud computing this week went down to historic low as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) engaged in a price war to slash price of various services such as running softwares, applications and websites. The recent move by these two industry rivals has also significantly reduced cost of storing large amounts of data on their cloud platforms.

At first, Google announced on March 25, that the search engine giant is cutting prices across several of its cloud computing services in order to make its products more competitive against Amazon's Web Services. For example, sustained use discounts will be around 53% of its previous pricing plan. The cost of using its servers will effectively go down from around US$ 0.11 to US$ 0.06 per hour on average.
In the blog post, Google said cloud computing prices have not followed Moore's law. 'over the past five years, hardware costs improved by 20-30% annually but public cloud prices fell by just 8% per year,' said Google.

GM recall process to be under congressional microscope

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Detroit/Washington:
When General Motors Co chief executive Mary Barra faces Congress next week she will have to explain how the top brass at the biggest US automaker can say they knew nothing for more than a decade about a faulty ignition switch linked to crashes and at least 12 deaths. For lawmakers trying to find who to blame for the lack of responsiveness by GM and its regulator to the tragedies, and in particular the multi-year delay in recalling potentially dangerous vehicles off the roads, it may turn out to be a frustrating couple of days. GM built a system to deliberately keep senior executives out of the recall process. Instead, two small groups of employees in the vast GM bureaucracy were tasked with making recall decisions, a system GM says was meant to bring objective decisions. It means that lawmakers may also focus on asking who is responsible for a system that failed so badly that there weren't red flags raised for those higher up the food chain. 'In this day and…

Microsoft Windows XP Users Offered $100, But There Is A Catch; What Is It?

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First Posted: Mar 29, 2014 05:21 PM EDT

Microsoft is currently offering its Windows XP users $100, but there's a catch.
Those who are eligible for the latest Microsoft deal can only redeem the store credit if they agree to update to a new Windows 8 computer.
This $100 promotion is part of Microsoft's attempt to get the last remaining Windows XP users off of the old operating system and into the hands of Microsoft's latest PCs. Windows XP currently stands as a 13-year-old Microsoft operating system.
Starting April 8, Microsoft will no longer make security updates to viruses and exploits to Windows XP.
Users that opt to participate in the promotion can redeem the credit online or in stores so long as they can verify that they do in fact own a Windows XP. Once verified, users will be able to purchase Microsoft PCs ranging in prices from $599 to $2,229. The offer ends June 15 and includes 90 days of free technical support.
Currently, Windows XP users make up approximately 30 percent…

Google to Android app developers: Shape up or ship out

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Google announced some tweaks to its Google Play policies yesterday, aimed at clarifying and clearing up its policies on sexually explicit content, app promotions, and potentially deceptive in-app advertisements.
The announcement, apparently emailed to developers and posted by Philadelphia-based IT pro Anthony Farrior, covers a range of issues. About half of them seem to be aimed at eliminating shady app developer tricks, such as making advertisements look like system dialog boxes or other aspects of an app's user interface, tracking consumers' usage or locations without proper permission, or making modifications to the browser on behalf of advertisers or third parties.
Developers are also prohibited from using SMS to communicate with customers without first getting explicit permission for that.
Developers have 15 days to comply. After that, Google says it will start issuing warnings - or removing noncompliant apps from the store.
The new policies suggest that Google might be takin…

Windows Phone 8.1 Latest Videos Leak: Reveals Almost All Features

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As the announcement day is fast approaching, Microsoft's new update for Windows Phone devices the Windows Phone 8.1 has been hitting the webosphere frequently. The update which is moreover like a revamped OS has yet again made it to the headlines via a recent leak. Software giant Microsoft is reportedly said to unveil the new update at the company's Build conference slated to take place earler next month on 2nd.

Coming courtesy of the Chinese website Coolxap, two videos of the device running on the Windows Phone 8.1 build has appeared showing few more features of the OS. The videos shows all the new features including the notification menu which the company calls Action Center. The feature was one of the most needed key feature in the Windows Phone devices. The feature works very much like Android. Thus to view the Action Center, you will have to swipe downward. The leaked video shows toggle switches for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Camera and brightness present in Action Center as well.
R…

Roku's new Media Streaming HDMI Dongle is now Shipping from Amazon and ...

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After the Chromecast's success here in the US, it was only a matter of time before other manufacturers took that idea and did their own spin on it. Like Roku has done with their new streaming stick. The Ruko 3500R Streaming stick, is similar to the Chromecast in the fact that plugs into your HDMI port on the back of your TV and also doesn't require a set-top box like the other products from Roku, which are set-top boxes. Roku has over a thousand channels and counting, basically everything you can get on a normal Roku box, you can get with this streaming stick. Which isn't a bad idea, especially if you want a minimal setup, as most people won't even see this HDMI stick anyways. Unfortunately it doesn't work like Chromecast where you can cast from your Smartphone or tablet, but you can control it from your smartphone or tablet.
The Roku 3500R Streaming media stick is on sale now at all your favorite retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target and Roku's websi…

Is Google Readying an Android 4.4.3 Update?

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While the rumor mill has already started for Google potentially preparing an L-release Android update for I/O 2014, it appears we may not be quite done with Kit Kat yet. According to a new report out of Myce, Google employees have been spotted running new builds of Kit Kat on both the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.
The latest build spotted on Hammerhead, aka Nexus 5, is version KTU83, and this update will hopefully bring a fix for the camera's battery-draining bug some users have reported. By Google's naming scheme for deciding a build number, we can assume that this build is running Kit Kat and is from March 24, 2014.

The Nexus 7′s last appearance on the Android 4.4.3 radar pegs the build number as KTU79, which means the build date for this one is likely March 21.

Considering that Android 4.4.3 (if it ever does indeed come out) is a 0.0.1 version bump up from the latest public version, not much is expected from the release except to squash bugs.
We'll update you as we learn more inform…

Mozilla employees call for CEO Brendan Eich's resignation; 3 board members ...

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Within one week of Brendan Eich's appointment as the new Mozilla CEO, the tech firm's employees are calling for his resignation; after reports highlighted the fact that Eich had made a donation to an anti-LGBT campaign in 2008.
The Mozilla employees' call for Eich's resignation stems from the revelation that Eich had, in 2008, contributed an amount of $1,000 in support of California's Proposition 8 campaign which opposed same-sex marriage.
According to a recent The Telegraph report, Eich's controversial donation was discovered on a public database in 2012; with Mozilla named as his employer.
Though Eich's donation to the Proposition 8 initiative stirred a controversy in April 2012, much of the criticism surrounding his donation subsided last year. However, the controversy resurfaced again this week after Eich was appointed as the new CEO of Mozilla.
Ever since his appointment, Eich's colleagues - who consider that his anti-LBGT stance goes against the compa…

Apple Loop: iPhone 6 Screens, Microsoft Office For iPad, iBeacons For MLB ...

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Apple Loop: Microsoft Office (Excel) on the iPad (image: Microsoft.com)
The iPhone 6 screen size is debated online, Microsoft Office arrives on the iPad, staff are being sought for the iWatch, Mavericks reaches 40%, what is happening with the sapphire production, diversity in emojis, iBeacons at MLB parks, and the secret Scottish Apple store plans are a little less secret. Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many things that happened around Apple over the last seven days.
Now Every Snowball Has A Chance...
I don't think there's much doubt about the big news this week. Microsoft's release of Office for the iPad (with iOS versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel now available) opens up a world of possibilities for personal users, but this is going to be bigger news for Enterprise users. Because an Office 365 subscription is required, there will be countless iPad-equipped workers who have just had their productivity options increased because their workplace alre…

Make your Nexus 4 awesome again

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Still kicking around with the Nexus 4 despite all your friends and family jumping on board the bandwagon of brand new devices? Fret not, you're not alone. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the Nexus 4, in fact, when it was first offered for sale, Google ran out of stock within a half an hour of letting consumers at it. So, if you're still kicking around the Nexus 4, here's a few ideas to make it that much more awesome again.
© AndroidPIT View your screen on your HDTV
There are a few options for this route: you can grab a Chromecast and plug it into your HDTV and then cast all your favorite media from your Nexus 4 to your television. However, it Chromecast isn't available yet in your country or you're just not a fan, there's another route.
Not able to try Chromecast? Get an adapter and still connect your Nexus 4 to your TV! / © Amazon
The Nexus 4 does support Slimport HDMI, so you can use an adapter to plug into the microUSB port on the Nexus 4 and then plug…

BlackBerry Wins Court Against Ryan Seacrest's Typo

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(Photo : REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton) BlackBerry won the case against Typo Products LLC.
Last Friday, BlackBerry Ltd won the preliminary injunction to prevent Typo Products LLC, Ryan Seacrest's company, from selling a $99 iPhone case after the overriding judge said that Typo Products LLC had infringed on BlackBerry's patents, Reuters reports.
BlackBerry filed a case against the company for offering a physical keyboard that consumers can attach to their iPhone 5 models.
Judge William Orrick, U.S. District Judge in San Francisco, stated that the Canadian mobile phone creator proved the 'likelihood' of the infringement that Typo committed. He also said that Typo was not able to sufficiently provide their own patents on the said product.
As a result, Typo has been prohibited from selling the keyboard to the public.
'BlackBerry is pleased that its motion for a preliminary injunction against Typo Products LLC was granted. This ruling will help prevent further injury to BlackBer…

Yahoo might be building an online video platform, but you won't be able to use it

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Yahoo's reportedly planning to launch a web video platform in the next few months, and it intends to fill it with familiar faces and professionally made clips. How? By poaching some of YouTube's biggest stars, at least according to . The website's sources say Mayer and her crew are trying to win over popular YouTubers with the scent of money. Yahoo's apparently offering them (presumably) large guaranteed rates or bigger ad revenues for their videos, in an attempt to benefit from YouTube users' increasing discontent about how little they're earning on the platform. The company even promised them extensive marketing and the chance to promote their clips on Yahoo's well-trafficked home page.
Before you prepare to switch platforms, know that Yahoo's video service supposedly won't be open to everyone. If what Recode's saying is true, it won't be like YouTube where anyone can upload anything, even grainy, vertical clips -- it'll be exclusive to…

GM Recalls A Total Of 4.8 Million Cars, Trucks, SUVs

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GM Recalls A Total Of 4.8 Million Cars, Trucks, SUVs
By Rebeka Silva r.silva@hngn.com | Mar 29, 2014 05:05 AM EDT

General Motors announced two more recalls late Friday, bringing to 4.8 million the number of cars, trucks and SUVs the automaker has called back for repairs in the past month, according to Reuters.
The string of recalls, topped by an ignition switch problem in compact cars now linked to 13 crash deaths, has embarrassed the company and sidetracked its new CEO, who started work just over two months ago, Reuters reported.
GM has admitted knowing about the switch problem a decade ago, yet it didn't recall any cars until February, according to Reuters. The recall delay has brought two congressional investigations and probes by the Justice Department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Late Friday night, GM announced it would recall 490,000 late-model pickup trucks and SUVs because transmission oil cooling lines weren't secured properly in their fittings, …

Objecting to new CEO, resignations sweep Mozilla board: Report

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Stephen Shankland/CNET Mozilla announced some management changes Monday, but it turns out the shakeup isn't over yet.
Three members of Mozilla's board resigned over a disagreement over the Firefox developer's promotion of former Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich to the chief executive job, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Eich took the new job Monday and, in an interview with CNET that day, said two board members had resigned: John Lilly, a former Mozilla CEO who's now working at venture capital firm Greylock Partners, and Ellen Siminoff, CEO of online education company Schmoop. But Mozilla's most recent CEO, Gary Kovacs, no longer appears on the Mozilla board Web site, and Mozilla spokesman Mike Manning confirmed his departure, too, without commenting on any of the directors' reasons.
As those three left, Spiegel Online CEO Katharina Borchert joined. That formed a board of three along with Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, who co-founded Mozilla with Eich, a…

Instagram Trumps Twitter In Mobile Users

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(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)
All those shameless selfies and filtered photos have done Instagram well: The photo-sharing app is on track to surpass Twitter's monthly active mobile users in the US, according to a new report.
Research company eMarketer released new predictions this week on Instagram's growth: In 2013, 34.6 million Instagram users logged on monthly, and that number will reach 40.5 million this year. Meanwhile, Twitter's monthly active users are set to grow by 7 million this year to 37.8 million -- 2.7 million less than Instagram.
'Instagram usage in the US has ramped up rapidly and is already maturing, reaching regular usage levels nearly matching Twitter's, particularly on smartphones and among millennials and Gen Xers,' the report said. 'By the end of this year, almost 25% of US smartphone users will snap a photo, slap on a filter, and share their creations with their friends on Instagram on a monthly basis.'

[Not everyone ge…