Adobe has announced the release of Flash Player 10.3 for Android, Linux, MacOS, and Windows. The latest stable release of Adobe’s ubiquitous plugin packs a bunch of new features and security enhancements. But its most notable user-facing feature is the ability to clear hitherto hard-to-delete Flash cookies, or local shared objects (LSOs) as they are formally known, from the comfort of the web browser’s privacy settings. Hit the jump for more.
Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz is holding Google's feet to the fire for the lack of a "Do Not Track" feature in the company's Chrome browser. It's the only major browser that has yet to jump on board with this specific privacy trend, which the FTC back in December recommended that all browsers adopt.
Intel’s $7.68 billion acquisition of computer security company McAfee is now one step closer to being completed having received the necessary regulatory approval from the Federal Trade Commission earlier this week. The Santa Clara-based chip maker is now awaiting European Commission’s approval so it can close the transaction, which it hopes to do in early 2011.
"The Federal Trade Commission has concluded its review of the proposed McAfee transaction and has cleared it. We are continuing to work with the staff at the European Commission as they continue their review," said Kevin Sellers, vice-president for investor relations, in a statement.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, the deal could come under heavy antitrust scrutiny after EU investigators expressed concerns about the deal in a preliminary review. Their main concern is that Intel’s plan to put security features directly in its chips could put McAfee’s rivals at a severe disadvantage.
A new agreement with the FTC settles antitrust complaints against Intel and paves the way for the world's largest chip maker to ship its Oak Trail Atom platform without the required PCI Express interface, eWeek reports.
The original complaint dates back to December 2009, in which the FTC alleged that Intel abused its position as a market leader to bully the competition from doing business with AMD, VIA, and Nvidia by offering special discounts and rebates. Intel was also accused of altering some technologies in order to hinder performance of AMD products. Intel eventually reached a settlement with the FTC, which included a provision that the chip maker had to implement the PCI Express interface in all chips for at least six years.
Since Intel began developing Oak Trail before the settlement was in place, the FTC is granting an exception to the PCI Express clause, at least until June 2013. After that, all future versions must support the spec.
After a preliminary investigation the FTC has decided to give Google a pass on the inadvertent collection of Street View Wi-Fi data. According to Forbes, no penalties are being announced, but the FTC did have some harsh words for the search giant. "... Google’s internal review processes – both prior to the initiation of the project to collect data about wireless access points and after its launch – were not adequate to discover that the software would be collecting payload data, which was not necessary to fulfill the project’s business purpose," the FTC statement read.
The issues stem from the discovery earlier this year by Google that their Street View cars were outfitted with software that was not just recording the SSID and locations of Wi-Fi networks, but was actually storing unencrypted data from those networks. Google made the situation known, and multiple governments began investigating. Google claimed they software's presence was a mistake, and has since stopped Wi-Fi data collection altogether.
It looks like the FTC was satisfied with steps Google has taken, but they may not get a pass from all countries where the data was collected. Do you think Google should have been punished in some way?
The Federal Trade Commission and Intel have finally settled their antitrust dispute. Even though the parleys proved a bit more protracted than the FTC had originally anticipated – the original deadline had to be extended by two weeks, the settlement was reached with a bit of time to spare before the revised deadline (12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 6) could expire. Intel has lent its assent to provisions that will limit its ability to stifle competition, the FTC said in a release.
The settlement applies to CPUs, GPUs and chipsets and effectively disallows almost every anti-competitive practice the FTC attributed to the chip maker. For instance, Intel was accused of employing a carrot-and-stick policy while dealing with computer makers and stifling the competition in the process. But the terms of the settlement expressly prohibit the Santa Clara chip maker from “conditioning benefits to computer makers in exchange for their promise to buy chips from Intel exclusively or to refuse to buy chips from others; and retaliating against computer makers if they do business with non-Intel suppliers by withholding benefits from them.”
While the world's largest chip maker is not willing to view the settlement as an admission of guilt, it has agreed to adopt a very conciliatory approach towards rivals like AMD, Nvidia, and Via. The settlement requires Intel to support the “PCI Express Bus, for at least six years in a way that will not limit the performance of graphics processing chips.” It has also agreed to extend Via’s x86 licensing agreement by five years after the current one runs out in 2013.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has extended its deadline for settling an antitrust lawsuit against Intel. The deadline, which was due to expire on Friday, has been extended by a fortnight. The two parties now have until 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 6 to reach a settlement through ongoing parleys.
FTC filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel back in December, 2009, saying that the chip maker “engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly.” It also alleged that the company influenced PC manufacturers by adopting a carrot-and-stick policy.
The concerned suit was filed just about a month after Intel agreed to settle all its antitrust and patent cross-licensing disputes with rival AMD. The settlement cost the Santa Clara chip maker a whopping $1.25 billion.
Hackers made a mockery of Twitter's security on a couple of occasions last year – first in January and then in April. The first breach affected 45 accounts, including that of President Barack Obama, and exposed the micro-blogging site's wafer-thin security. The two incidents were enough to draw the Federal Trade Commission's attention, which launched an investigation into the site's security practices.
Twitter has convinced the FTC to call an early end to the probe, allowing it to escape without a penalty. One of the terms of the settlement requires that the micro-blogging site establish a security program and have it reviewed by a neutral party once every year for the next ten years.
The hacker responsible for the first breach was assisted by the fact that the site allowed rapid-fire log-in attempts, making it a sitting duck for a dictionary attack. He used this gaping hole in Twitter's security to hack an employee's account with administrative privileges and a lame password.
An antitrust lawsuit filed against Intel by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission may not go to court after all, not if the two sides can agree on a settlement.
That seemed unlikely just a short time ago, but in a statement earlier this week, Intel said lawyers for both sides have gone and filed a joint motion to suspend trial proceedings while the two parties try to hammer out a settlement they each can live with.
Terms of the proposed order are considered confidential, and neither side is willing to comment any further. What is known, however, is that the motion gives Intel and the FTC until July 22 to review the case and cut a deal.
The original complaint dates back to late 2009. Shortly after Intel settled antitrust and patent disputes with AMD for $1.25 billion, the FTC filed complaints of their own charging the world's largest microprocessor player with anti-competitive business practices.
How would you feel about a 3 percent tax on monthly cell phone bills to help newspapers and traditional journalism? If that doesn't sound appealing, you're not alone - some 84 percent of Americans oppose such a tax, according to a new Rasmussen Report.
In fact, Americans don't like any of the tax ideas the FTC has proposed. The above cell phone levy is just one of many proposed taxes designed to help keep privately owned newspapers from shutting up shop. The FTC has also suggested a tax on the purchase of electronic goods, like computers, ebook readers, and tablets. Not surprisingly, some 76 percent of those polled in a national telephone survey are against the idea.
Yet another idea being tossed about is to tax certain websites, like the Drudge Report, in order to help the newspapers that they draw their headlines from. This too is being met with public opposition, this time to the tune of 74 percent.
The concern on the part of the FTC is that offline newspapers are having a tough time staying afloat, yet most Americans view local newspapers as more reliable than online news sources. Nevertheless, about 58 percent of Americans said they were confident that other news sources would fill in the gap should traditional papers go out of business.