AT&T made it clear that the settlement must not be treated as an admission of guilt on its part. “We strongly deny any wrongdoing, and no court has found AT&T Mobility committed any wrongdoing regarding these fees. However, we have agreed to settle to avoid the burden and cost of further litigation,” AT&T said in a statement. If you remember being an AT&T customer during the 11-year stretch of time, then you are not only eligible for the proposed amount or non-cash benefits but also free to object to the proposed terms of settlement.
Comcast must have thought no one would notice when, in 2007, the ISP began preferentially slowing or blocking BitTorrent packets on its network. Users quickly noticed that Comcast was up to something; an AP investigation confirmed their findings. Now a class-action that came from that incident has been settled with Comcast agreeing to pay $16 million.
Comcast had at first claimed that it had nothing to do with the slowdowns. Even when they were found out, the issue was explained as acceptable traffic management. The FCC didn’t see it that way, and Comcast was forced to reverse course. However, that didn’t stop the lawsuits from being filed.
The settlement in question certainly doesn’t mean Comcast is admitting any wrongdoing. A Comcast statement claims the settlement is intended to “avoid a potentially lengthy and distracting legal dispute that would serve no useful purpose." Parties to the class-action can expect a rather small share of the funds. Each valid claim will be paid a maximum of $16. It might not be a lot of money, but it is Comcast’s money.
If the settlement is approved, the owner of each eligible iPod Nano sold without a protective slipcase would receive $25. Owners of iPod Nanos sold with a protective slipcase would receive $15 per unit. Learn more at the settlement website's FAQ page.
Did you buy an early iPod Nano? Join us after the jump for your chance to tell us your scratch horror stories.
The “Vista Capable” lawsuit has been dragging on for some time now, but it appears a verdict may be fast approaching, and its bad news for Microsoft. Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman released figures from the class-action suit which shows that the company stands to lose as much as $8.5 billion dollars. With such a large dollar figure swirling through the investment community, Microsoft instantly went on the defensive by issuing a statement claiming that the estimate is “over inflated”. They also assert that if damages are granted, they are unlikely to be anywhere near this amount.
The 8.5 billion dollar figure was calculated by a University Of Washington economist, and expert witness in the trial. To reach this number he determined the number of “Vista Upgradable” PCs that were sold in the US between April 2006 and January 2007. This essentially covers the period between the start of the marketing campaign and the release of the retail version of the OS. It was established that around 13.75 million laptops and 5.65 million desktop PC’s shipped with the “Vista Capable” designation, but did not live up to the “Premium Ready” requirements. The root of the plaintiff’s argument is that they were cheated as a result of not being able to use the Aero glass interface. As of July 2008 Microsoft had sold 180 million licenses for Vista, but only around 42 million of those were for the basic edition.
As PC enthusiasts we are suckers for OS eye candy, but does this case actually have merit? Your personal feelings on Vista notwithstanding, does the lack of Aero really cripple the rest of the OS enough to justify this kind of settlement?
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be forced to take the stand to defend his involvement in the “Vista Capable” marketing initiative which sparked a class action lawsuit back in February. The court has been selectively taking testimony from key Microsoft executives based on the contents of the 158 page bundle of internal emails that Judge Martha Peachman ordered unsealed. Specifically the court seems interested to learn of Ballmer’s involvement in giving Intel a pass on its underpowered integrated graphics hardware which turned out to be barely capable of booting Vista Basic. In one specific chain senior vice president Will Poole emailed Ballmer following a conversation with Intel CEO Paul Otellini stating:
“Steve, following up on the call you took from Paul today, we have changed our program so that Intel's current integrated parts qualify for 'Vista Capable' branding ... This change completely resolves their problem. “
In response Ballmer wrote:
“I thought they had other issues Certainly paul described other (non graphics) issues is this really resolved check back with her thanks”.
In the eyes of Judge Peachman this is sufficient acknowledgement of the issues to justify the need for a deposition. Ballmer has 30 days to schedule his three hour appearance, but he has yet to set a date. A Microsoft spokesman has responded to the press by stating, "We will of course comply with the court's order. Mr. Ballmer's knowledge about the Windows Vista Capable program comes from the executives he empowered to run the program and make decisions, and two of those executives already testified in this case." Many other spectacularly controversial quotes have come from the internal emails, including a VP of product management Microsoft employee who claims to have been “burnt” by the program. But Officially Microsoft defends the initiative and claims many of the emails and memos released have been taken out of context.
What are your opinions on the trial? Hit the jump and let us know.
According to a recently filed lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Dell has been mighty selective about who they’ve been firing lately.
In May of 2007 Dell had announced that they would be eliminating approximately 8,800 of their employees. These layoffs apparently focused on women and older employees, resulting in a nearly 80 percentile of Dell’s upper management team being male, according to the lawsuit.
“While Dell publicly proclaims a commitment to diversity as ‘an essential element of our corporate values,’ the reality fails to live up to the rhetoric,” states Steven Wittels, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs. “At Dell, it is an understatement to say that women face a glass ceiling; Dell’s glass ceiling is made of concrete.”
According to alleged statistical data the plaintiffs maintain that they’ve lost more than $1 million in salary and other benefits as a result of the discrimination.
But, according to Dell’s web site, their workforce is one third women and 32 percent of their U.S. vice presidents are women or minorities. Perhaps once the plaintiff’s numbers arise we’ll really see what goes on behind closed doors.