company Stories July 16, 2014

When Google announced its $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, many users reacted strongly to the idea of Google having access to their information and data, despite both companies claiming that they wouldn’t share any information. The WSJ published a report last month, however, claiming that Nest and Google eventually planned to share some user data between each other. This report only led to even more privacy uproar. Now, a handful of hackers have taken matters into their own hands and have developed a tool to prevent any user data from be sent back to Nest or Google (via Forbes).

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company Stories January 22, 2014

Using your own smartphone at work? Watch that it doesn’t get wiped when you leave …

Employees who use their own electronic devices at work under a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) arrangement may have unwittingly authorised their employer to remotely wipe their device when they leave the company, reports the WSJ.

In early October, Michael Irvin stood up to leave a New York City restaurant when he glanced at his iPhone and noticed it was powering off. When he turned it back on again, all of his information—email programs, contacts, family photos, apps and music he had downloaded—had vanished […]

It wasn’t a malfunction. The device had been wiped clean by AlphaCare of New York, the client he had been working for full-time since April. Mr. Irvin received an email from his AlphaCare address that day confirming the phone had been remotely erased.

A survey found that 21 percent of companies perform a remote wipe of employee-owned devices registered on the company network, with employees ostensibly agreeing to this when they connect to the company network.

Many employers have a pro forma user agreement that pops up when employees connect to an email or network server via a personal device, he added. But even if these documents explicitly state that the company may perform remote wipes, workers often don’t take the time to read it before clicking the “I agree” button.

The legality of the practice has reportedly not yet been tested in court.

In principle, backup should allow wiped Android devices to be restored, but you may want to pay a little more attention to the small-print next time one of those corporate messages pops up on your screen, to find out what it is you’ve been agreeing to …

company Stories August 8, 2012

In a recent interview with Forbes regarding benefits for Google employees, Google Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock explained the company has recently announced death benefits for Googlers.

“This might sound ridiculous,” Bock told me recently in a conversation on the ever-evolving benefits at Google, “But we’ve announced death benefits at Google.”

According to Bock, spouses of Googlers whom pass away while employed at the company will continue to receive 50 percent of the employee’s annual salary for 10 years following. Children will also receive $1,000 monthly until they reach 19 (or 23 if they are a full-time student): expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

company Stories June 1, 2012

Google claimed in a formal complaint with the European Commission recently that Microsoft and Nokia conspired to use their patents against competitors.

“Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise the costs of mobile devices for consumers, creating patent trolls that side-step promises both companies have made,” said Google in a statement to The Wall Street Journal, while Microsoft deemed the search engine’s filing as a “desperate tactic.”

According to the filing, Microsoft and Nokia entered agreements that allow Mosaid Technologies Inc. to legally enforce patents and share the outcome’s revenue. Reuters further specified that the two collaborating companies moved 1,200 patents to Mosaid.

Google called Mosaid a “patent troll” for holding patents and litigating hawkishly, and then it described its filing as a “pre-emptive measure against a developing legal hazard for Android partners.” In a nutshell: Google’s “legal hazard” concerns if smartphone manufacturers begin to view Android as a legal danger, they may decide to do business with Microsoft and Nokia instead.

“Google is complaining about antitrust in the smartphone industry when it controls more than 95 percent of mobile search and advertising,” added Microsoft in an emailed statement to The Wall Street Journal.

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company Stories July 21, 2011

Google’s Christian Oestlien announced on Google+ tonight that company pages on Google+ will be coming in the next few months to everyone in an open beta. Oestlien says “tens of thousands of businesses, charities, and other organization” have applied since registration started almost two weeks ago. Originally, Google was going to use a select group of businesses chosen from their registration.

While you wait over the next few months, Google doesn’t want you to create a page for your business — rather use a person to represent your business. Google has already closed down Mashable and numerous other businesses. Shh…

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