Apple closes in on $1 billion deal to buy Intel’s modem business: report

Apple closes in on $1 billion deal to buy Intel’s modem business: report

Enlarge / Apple CEO Tim Cook. (credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Apple is in the final stages of negotiations to buy the bulk of Intel’s modem chip business, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Journal says the deal, valued at $1 billion or more, could be finalized in the next week. The deal would involve the transfer of talent as well as modem-related patents.

Intel’s wireless efforts date back to at least 2011, when the company bought Infineon Technologies for $1.4 billion. Intel hoped to become a major rival to Qualcomm, which has long played a dominant role in the market for wireless chips.

But Intel has struggled to gain traction. That’s partly because Qualcomm negotiated restrictive contracts with potential Intel customers that effectively blocked them from considering a second supplier. After Apple began shipping iPhones with Intel chips inside them in 2016, Qualcomm declared war on

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Google pays $11 million to settle 227 age discrimination claims

Google pays $11 million to settle 227 age discrimination claims

Enlarge / Google’s Mountain View campus in 2019. (credit: Michael Short/Getty Images)

Google will pay $11 million to settle the claims of 227 people who say they were unfairly denied jobs because of their age, according to Friday court filings. The settlement must still be approved by the judge in the case.

The original lead plaintiff in the case, first filed in 2015, was a 60-something man named Robert Heath who says he was deemed a “great candidate” by a Google recruiter. The lawsuit said that in 2013, the median age of Google employees was 29, whereas the typical computer programmer in the US is over 40, according to several different measures.

During the interview process, Heath received a technical phone interview with a Google engineer. Heath alleged that the engineer had a heavy accent, a problem made worse by the engineer’s insistence on using a speakerphone. When Heath

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Equifax to pay $575M for data breach, promises to protect data next time

Equifax to pay $575M for data breach, promises to protect data next time

Enlarge / Now you can get six of these for free every year until 2027. (credit: Smith Collection/Gado | Getty Images)

Equifax, the Federal Trade Commission, and other state and federal regulators have agreed on what Equifax owes in penalties, nearly two years after the company’s massive breach of sensitive consumer information became public.

The company will pay at least $575 million, according to the terms of a settlement the FTC announced today. At least $300 million goes into a fund to pay for credit monitoring services for “affected customers,” which includes more than 40% of the entire US population. That fund can get boosted by another $125 million if the initial $300 million isn’t enough to compensate all consumers who make claims.

Equifax will pay another $175 million in fines to be split up among the 50 attorneys general who filed suit, representing 48 states, Washington DC, and Puerto

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New York passes its Green New Deal, announces massive offshore wind push

New York passes its Green New Deal, announces massive offshore wind push

Enlarge / Sights like this may become common on Long Island. (credit: University of Rhode Island)

Yesterday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that’s been described as the state’s Green New Deal. Unlike the one that’s been floated in Congress, this one isn’t a grab-bag collection of social and energy programs. Instead, there’s a strong focus on energy, with assurances that changes will be made in a way that benefits underprivileged communities.

The bill was passed by both houses of the New York legislature last month, but Cuomo held off on signing it so that he could pair it with an announcement that suggests the new plan’s goals are realistic. The state has now signed contracts for two wind farms that will have a combined capacity of 1.7 GW. If they open as planned in under five years, they will turn New York into the US’ leading

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How private is your browser’s Private mode? Research into porn suggests “not very”

How private is your browser’s Private mode? Research into porn suggests “not very”

Thought using Incognito mode might keep such searching private? Facebook, Google, and even Oracle have more of your Web usage in their sights than you might think.

A forthcoming research paper [PDF] from researchers at Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Pennsylvania brings up the possibility that Google and Facebook might be tracking your porn history—and, perhaps more worrisome, that using Incognito mode doesn’t help.

The paper, set to be published in the journal New Media & Society, does an excellent job of backing up the claim that porn usage ends up being tracked by Google and Facebook. Authors Elena Maris, Timothy Libert, and Jennifer Henrichsen used open source tool webxray to analyze more than 22,000 porn sites, discovering tracking code for Google on 74% and for Facebook on 10% of the sites analyzed. Software giant Oracle’s Web tracking code also showed up, appearing on 24% of those

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Shkreli stays in jail; Infamous ex-pharma CEO quickly loses appeal

Shkreli stays in jail; Infamous ex-pharma CEO quickly loses appeal

Enlarge / Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, center, listens while his attorney Benjamin Brafman, right, speaks to members of the media outside federal court in the Brooklyn borough of New York, US, on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

In a swift 3-0 vote Thursday, a panel of judges in a New York federal appeals court upheld the August 2017 conviction of Martin Shkreli. The infamous ex-pharmaceutical CEO is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for fraud stemming from what prosecutors had described as a Ponzi-like scheme.

Shkreli, 36, must continue to serve his sentence and also still forfeit more than $7.3 million in assets, the judges affirmed.

The judges’ ruling came just three weeks after hearing arguments in the appeal—rather than the normal period of months, Bloomberg notes. The ruling was also an unusually short seven pages.

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As Russian “FaceApp” gobbles up user photos, Schumer asks FBI to investigate

As Russian “FaceApp” gobbles up user photos, Schumer asks FBI to investigate

Enlarge / The FaceApp application displayed on Apple’s App Store. (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has called for a federal investigation into FaceApp, saying the Russian-operated mobile application “could pose national security and privacy risks for millions of US citizens.”

FaceApp for iOS and Android has been around since 2017 but just recently went viral as celebrities and many other people used it to alter photographs to make themselves look 20 years older. This has raised privacy concerns, as Americans are uploading photographs and device-related data to a service operated by a company based in Russia. The image alterations performed by FaceApp—which calls itself an “AI Face Editor”—are done on the company’s servers instead of on user devices.

The app now warns users that “Each photo you select for editing will be uploaded to our servers for image processing and face transformation.”

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Facebook is backpedaling from its ambitious vision for Libra

Facebook is backpedaling from its ambitious vision for Libra

Enlarge / David Marcus, head of blockchain at Facebook, speaks at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s new Calibra payments division, appeared before two hostile congressional committees this week with a simple message: Facebook knows policymakers are concerned about Libra, and Facebook won’t move forward with the project until their concerns are addressed.

While he didn’t say so explicitly, Marcus’ comments at hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday represented a dramatic shift in Facebook’s conception of Libra. In Facebook’s original vision, Libra would be an open and largely decentralized network, akin to Bitcoin. The core network would be beyond the reach of regulators. Regulatory compliance would be the responsibility of exchanges, wallets, and other services that are the “on ramps and off ramps” to the Libra ecosystem.

Facebook now seems to recognize

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Microsoft warns 10,000 customers they’re targeted by nation-sponsored hackers

Microsoft warns 10,000 customers they’re targeted by nation-sponsored hackers

Enlarge / United Nations HQ in New York. (credit: Javier Carbajal)

Microsoft said on Wednesday that it has notified almost 10,000 customers in the past year that they’re being targeted by nation-sponsored hackers.

According to a post from Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Customer Security & Trust Tom Burt, about 84% of the attacks targeted customers that were large, “enterprise” organizations such as corporations. The remaining 16% of attacks targeted consumer email accounts. Burt said some of the 10,000 customers were successfully compromised while others were only targeted, but he didn’t provide figures.

“This data demonstrates the significant extent to which nation-states continue to rely on cyberattacks as a tool to gain intelligence, influence geopolitics, or achieve other objectives,” Burt wrote. Microsoft presented the figures Wednesday at the Aspen Security Forum.

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Turkey crosses “red line,” gets booted from F-35 partnership

Turkey crosses “red line,” gets booted from F-35 partnership

Enlarge / Turkey’s planned purchase of F-35A Joint Strike Fighters has been vetoed in the wake of the Turkish purchase of Russian anti-air defenses. (credit: US Air Force)

Today, the White House officially announced that Turkey would not be allowed to purchase the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The US government had warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that his government’s purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia would be incompatible with NATO systems and would trigger an exclusion of Turkey from the F-35 program. Turkey was a financial contributor to the F-35 development program and already had pilots in the US in training to fly the aircraft; those pilots were kicked off US training bases in June.

US and NATO partners are concerned that the S-400 systems, supported by Russian technicians, will essentially amount to an intelligence collection system for Russia on NATO aircraft and military operations. But

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