Sprint gives up its plans to acquire T-Mobile USA over regulatory concerns (update)

John Legere

Sprint’s plans to buy out the U.S. arm of T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom came to an end today, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to the Journal, Sprint’s leadership was concerned that it would be too difficult to get United States regulators to agree to the merger.

The announcement is not yet official, but is said to be planned for Wednesday. If the merger had succeeded, the two companies would have united under the Sprint banner, possibly abandoning all of the “un-carrier” moves made by T-Mobile in recent years, including free one-week iPhone test drives on the network and unlimited music streaming on a variety of services.

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Samsung resumes contract with supplier caught using child labor, cuts orders by 30 percent

China Foxconn

Samsung has resumed its contract with a Chinese supplier shown to have been using child labor after stating that the under-age workers were employed by a third-party subcontractor rather than the supplier itself. It has cut its orders to the supplier by 30 percent as a mark of disapproval, reports Reuters.

“Samsung has decided to still take measures against Dongguan Shinyang to hold the supplier responsible for failing to monitor its subcontractors, in accordance with Samsung’s zero tolerance policy on child labour,” the maker of the popular Galaxy smartphone said on Tuesday …

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YouTube’s Director of Product Management departs for Spotify ahead of its own streaming music service debut

284fe42Google may not be buying Spotify, but a top executive from YouTube is jumping ship from the Google-owned company to the subscription music service giant. Re/code reports that Shiva Rajaraman, whose title was Director of Product Management at Google (YouTube) according to his LinkedIn, is leaving Google/YouTube several years with the company to take a new role at Spotify. The report notes that Rajaraman’s role at YouTube encompassed managing the development of YouTube’s yet-to-be launched music streaming service, and his new position at Spotify employs him at what will likely be a major competitor to YouTube’s delayed service.

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Google’s Cultural Institute teams up with Europeana to bring more than 2000 museums & archives online

gci

Google’s Cultural Institute – which puts online materials previously only available to visitors to particular museums, archives and institutes – has taken on its biggest challenge yet. Google is working with Europeana to bring online the collections of more than 2000 museums, archives and institutes.

It’s a tremendous undertaking to bring Europe’s rich cultural heritage online, one that can only be achieved by both private and public effort. As this collaboration shows, both Europeana and Google share similar visions – allowing people around the world to explore Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage from prehistory to the modern day …

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Google’s mysterious barge-based container buildings being sold for scrap

barge

Well, that was an anti-climax. After all kinds of speculation about why Google was building floating structures on a set of barges based in San Francisco and Portland, with Google finally revealing in not too much detail that they were to become “interactive spaces where people can learn about new technology,” it turns out that at least one of them is being sold for scrap.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the 250-foot Google barge that has been sitting in Portland Harbour since last October is now being sold and the container building sitting on it will be scrapped …  Read more

Rumored OnePlus OneWatch website and sketches leaked

oneplus-onewatch-bgr-india-2

BGR.in today received some interesting information about the rumored smartwatch by OnePlus. In case you haven’t heard of them, OnePlus is a company that sells the OnePlus One smartphone (our review here), which boasts a 5.5″ 1080P display, 2.5GHz SnapDragon 801, 3GB of RAM, 64GB of on-board storage, and other top-tier features for the low-range price of $349 off contract. Their “invite only” system spawned a polarizing response from their most dedicated fans, as OnePlus required anyone who wanted the phone to be “invited” to purchase it. 

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Google hosting Advisory Council on Right to be Forgotten across Europe including Rome, Paris, & London

Europe Antitrust Google

Much discussion on Internet policy has been prompted since the European Union Court of Justice ruled in May of this year that it is an individual’s right to request Google remove sensitive information from search results. Since the ruling on the Right to be Forgotten, as it is often called, Google has established a web page dedicated to taking such requests and begun removing data from its search results as requested although that hasn’t been without further complaints from EU regulators.

For its part, Google has shared its criteria for information removal and announced an the establishment of an advisory panel of experts for fielding concerns throughout this fall over the policy and its implementation. Today the search giant has shared the dates and cities of when that advisory panel will host in-person public discussion on the right to be forgotten. Check below for the specifics: Read more

British government committee says EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling is unreasonable and impossible

forgotten

And so the saga continues … In the short time since the EU ruled that individuals have the right to be forgotten when sensitive information found in search results is considered “outdated or irrelevant,” we’ve seen what is probably best described as the makings of a damn good sitcom. (Note to networks: if you make it, I want my ten percent.)

We first had the amusement of deleted links being reported by the media, bringing the stories back into the limelight. We then had Google describing the impossible position in which it has been placed, being asked to make “difficult and debatable judgements” based on “very vague and subjective tests.”

This was followed by the EU rapping Google’s knuckles for doing it wrong, and we now have a bipartisan British governmental committee disagreeing with the EU and agreeing with Google that it is being asked to “enforce the impossible” …  Read more

Google Shopping searches now feature product reviews for sponsored results

google-shopping-reviews

In a blog post, Google today announced that it is adding product ratings to its Product Listing Ads within searches. The stars will come from a variety of reviews and sources, including merchants, third-party review sites, users, and more. Google says that adding product ratings to its Listing Ads within searches will drive higher traffic through these ads. The company claims that this change also helped increase click-through rates of Product Listing Ads in early testing.

We believe these ratings will help differentiate products across google.com and google.com/shopping and will help merchants drive more qualified traffic through Product Listing Ads. In initial tests, product ratings also helped increase click-through-rates of Product Listing Ads.

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Amazon apparently set to launch Square competitor next month as it preps biometric payment tools

amazon reader

Amazon could be preparing to launch its own mobile credit card reading hardware in the coming weeks, according to internal Staples documents hinting at such a launch that we’ve obtained. According to the documents, Staples stores will prepare next month to stock a new product called the “Amazon Card Reader” alongside existing card readers from Square, PayPal, and Staples’ own in-house brand. The small hardware, which will likely connect to smartphones to process payments, will cost $9.99, according to the Staples internal sales systems…

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