microsoft logo2Two departments of the U.S government, the Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, are now reportedly looking into claims that Microsoft might have bribed government officials in at least three countries to obtain contracts for software deployments.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, says that the DOJ and SEC are looking into claims that Microsoft's China subsidiary offered some kind of kickbacks to government officials in that country in exchange for signing contracts for software. An anonymous tipster alerted the U.S. government to the claims in 2012, according to the report.

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ballmerstanceMicrosoft's CEO Steve Ballmer has failed to make it into Glassdoor's 50 Highest-Rated CEOs for 2013 list, falling well short of the approval ratings of other CEOs in the technology industry. Many well-known names made it onto the list, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who ranked first with a 99% approval rating; Google CEO Larry Page, #11 with a 95% approval; and Apple CEO Tim Cook, #18 with 93% approval.
A quick peek at Microsoft's company page on Glassdoor reveals that Steve Ballmer's approval rating is only 47%, well short of the 80% approval required to make the Highest-Rated CEOs list. As employees of the company are asked whether they approve of their CEO's leadership, it's apparent that Microsoft workers have mixed reactions in regards to Ballmer and his ability to run Microsoft.

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thx logoAudio firm THX have entered into a lawsuit with Apple, alleging that the Californian tech giant infringed on one of its patents by releasing certain speaker units in the new slimline iMac.
The audio company, founded by George Lucas in 1983, holds a patent granted in 2008 for "a speaker unit that can boost sound output and attach to computers or flat-screen televisions," according to the complaint details filed yesterday in San Jose, California.

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anonymous5Earlier this week, the US Justice Department indicted Matthew Keys, claiming that he helped members of the Anonymous hacker group to deface the Los Angeles Times website. Now the attorney for Keys, who currently works at Reuters as a deputy social media editor, claims that his client was working as a journalist and not as a hacker.

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anonymous guyIn one of the oddest cases yet that involves the Anonymous hacker group, a current employee of the Reuters news service was indicted on Thursday by the US Justice Department, claiming that he helped members of the group in their efforts to deface the Los Angeles Times website.
According to the Justice Department's press release, Matthew Keys, 26, of Secaucus, New Jersey, was charged on three counts: "one count each of conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer, transmitting information to damage a protected computer and attempted transmission of information to damage a protected computer."

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amazon packerAmazon's 'Prime' service, a premium service costing $79 annually which offers free two-day shipping and unlimited movie streaming, has reportedly hit 10 million subscribers.
Morningstar analyst R.J.Hottovy reports via a video that the service currently holds over 10m users, accounting for a third of Amazon's total operating income. The data was interpreted by Morningstar from a Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) survey conducted in November 2012.

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outlook logo3Microsoft's status website for many of its online services is reporting a disruption to normal operations to many of its online services as of about 5:35 PT/ 8:35 EST. Included in the disruption to normal operations are Hotmail, Outlook.com, Calendar, and Skydrive.
While Microsoft's online services have traditionally had exceptional uptime, this is the second disruption to the service with the last outage occurring on February 1st.

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University of Illinois researchers have developed a tattoo-like electronic mesh that attaches to skin, and can measure vital statistics and report it wirelessly to a computer. The thin device includes electrodes, sensors, power, and a wireless communications system, in what looks like no more than a bandage, reports MIT Technology Review.

tattoo skin .electronics

The sensors can measure the hydration and temperature of the skin beneath it, as well as any strain being applied to the area. The mesh is applied by a rubber stamp, and it could be used to discreetly monitor a patient's recovery sites after surgery.

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tax internet onlineIt’s that time of the year again in the United States. No, not daylight savings time (which is also true), but rather it’s time to pay the taxman. Unfortunately, the tax code is so complex that many people turn to software to help them fill out the proper forms, and Intuit’s TurboTax is one of the most popular offerings. But what happens when the software doesn’t send the proper data?
That’s the issue in Minnesota. According to the Star Tribune, most of Intuit’s tax filing software, including TurboTax, are not correctly submitting the forms to the state.

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Motorola logo2Google said Friday it will cut 1,200 more jobs at its Motorola Mobility division, following the announcement of 4,000 layoffs in 2012.
The new job cuts represent 10% of the struggling mobile device maker's staff.

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