Microsoft hands out 18,000 pink slips

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CNET  by   July 17, 2014

Satya_NadellaMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella on Thursday laid out plans to cut as many as 18,000 jobs in the next year.

The software titan had been widely expected to announce the cuts today, but the magnitude of the layoffs was surprisingly large. A vast majority of the cuts — 12,500 — will come from professional and factory positions from the recently acquired Nokia devices and services division.

Microsoft said the company is working on reducing the first 13,000 positions, and many of the employees will be notified in the next six months.

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Microsoft: Bye Bye Android

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CNET by  July 17, 2014 6:31 AM PDT

Microsoft exec Stephen Elop is making it abundantly clear: Microsoft has no intention of staying in the Android business.

In a memo emailed to employees on Thursday, Elop said Microsoft’s devices business will concentrate “on the areas where we can add the most value” and noted that Nokia X smartphones, which run on heavily modified versions of Android, will migrate to Windows Phone.

“We plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices,” Elop, executive vice president of Microsoft Devices & Services, wrote in his memo to employees. “We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products.”

Nokia’s X line of devices was the company’s attempt to attract more budget-conscious customers to its platform. This was also a major story in the ongoing Microsoft-Nokia saga, since it ran on Android — Microsoft’s chief competitor in the mobile market. It was initially believed that Microsoft would stick with Android on Nokia X devices, but according to Elop, the cheaper end of the smartphone market is a key area of growth for Microsoft, and the company wants people buying those products to run on Windows Phone and not Android.

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Training Tomorrows Technicians

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MAT²® – the Michigan Advanced Technician Training Program – is an innovative, industry-driven approach to education.

Manufacturing sectors and technology industries are experiencing a shortage of employees with the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to operate and maintain new systems-based technology. The MAT²® program is an educational model developed in conjunction with global technology leaders to combine theory, practice and work to train a globally competitive workforce. MAT²® will provide you:

For More Information Click Here

Let’s Lift Our Voices…Good Luck Aereo!

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Aereo was just put to death by the US Supreme Court ruling, but its leader feels that you should let your congressional representative know how mad you are about this…if you are mad about it!

Internet Advisors

A Letter to Our Consumers: Standing Together for Innovation, Progress and Technology – Let’s Raise Our Voices

Photo of Chet KanojiaOn Saturday, many of you received the news that we decided to pause our operations temporarily, as a result of the United States Supreme Court’s reversal of a lower court decision in favor of Aereo.

Your response in support of the Aereo team has been overwhelming and touching. Your tweets, emails and Facebook posts have made it clear how important it is for so many Americans to have access to a cloud-based antenna to watch live broadcast television. Many of you have asked, “What can we do?”

Today, I’m asking you to raise your hands and make your voices heard. Tell your lawmakers how disappointed you are that the nation’s highest court issued a decision that could deny you the right to use the antenna of your choice to access live over-the-air broadcast television. Tell them your stories of why having access to a cloud-based antenna is important to you and your families. Show them you care about this issue.

Visit the updated, find your representatives and send tweets, emails and Facebook messages asking them to take action to protect your right to use the antenna of your choice to access live free-to-air broadcasts, including the ability to use a cloud-based antenna.

Don’t let your voices be silenced. Let’s stand together for innovation, progress, and technology.

Thank you for your continued support. We are truly grateful.

Yours truly,
Chet Kanojia
Chet Kanojia

Founder & CEO

Malware Spoils 4th Travel Plans

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July 4, 2014

Fourth of July Malware Campaign Targets Vacationers

Cybercriminals Launch Carefully Timed Malware Campaign to Coincide With Major US Travel Holiday

 SUNNYVALE, CA – (Marketwired) – 07/04/14 – Researchers from Proofpoint, Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT), a leading security-as-a-service provider, have discovered a nasty piece of malware which is targeting vacationers who visit US travel sites, just in time for the July 4th holiday.

The discovery shows that popular travel destination websites for cities including Boston, Salt Lake City, Houston, Monterey, Rochester, Myrtle Beach,Victoria and Utah Valley have been exploited and are serving malware to unsuspecting visitors. Proofpoint can also confirm that the command-and-control infrastructure of the cyber criminals behind the attacks all appears to be based in the Ukraine.

In response to the discovery, Mike Horn, VP, Threat Response Products at Proofpoint, said: “This is a good example of how poorly protected websites play a big role in the distribution of malware. Users might be directed to these sites by a search engine and they have no idea that just by visiting the site they can become infected. We are also seeing a large number of phishing campaigns which direct people to the legitimate travel sites which have been infected with malware by the hackers. The attacks were brought to our attention by our Targeted Attack Protection technology.”

When users visit one of the infected websites a web exploit kit is run that then downloads additional malware onto their machine. However, more concerning is the fact that the exploit being used has very low detection rates with traditional antivirus solutions. When Proofpoint tested the piece of malware they discovered it was able to bypass all but four out of the 51 antivirus products on Virus Total. This makes it a particularly dangerous exploit for consumers.

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Microsoft Gives Away 1TB with Office 365

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Realizing that business users and consumers alike are producing far more digital content than a few years ago, Microsoft has increased the amount of free OneDrive cloud storage available to Office 365 subscribers by 50 times.

Today, OneDrive comes with seven gigabytes of free storage, and Office 365 comes with 20 gigabytes of OneDrive storage. As of today, that’s changed: Microsoft will increase the free quota to 15 Gbytes, and OneDrive subscribers will receive a whopping 1 terabyte with their subscription. The changes will roll out over the next month.

“We chose that quota few years ago, and frankly, times have changed,” said Angus Logan, the head of product marketing for OneDrive, of the old limits. “The amount of storage that people are needing now, the amount of digital storage they’re spinning off, is quite a bit. Instead of recording 50 Kbytes of notes, I could end up recording 500 megabytes of video with my notes. Or everytime I take my Lumia and push that hardware button it uploads 10 megabytes to the cloud. It’s just a lot more than we needed before.”

By comparison, Logan noted, Dropbox offers 2 Gbytes for free, albeit with incentives that can raise that dramatically. Google’s services also offer 15 Gbytes of free storage, spread out over Google+, Picasa, and Gmail. And although Google recently cut the prices of its paid storage options for Google Apps customers to 1 terabyte for $9.99 per month, it only offers 15 Gbytes for free.

“And you don’t get Office,” Logan added.

Microsoft looked at its aggregated, anonymous collection of users and found that less than three quarters of its users have 15 Gbytes of accumulated data in their account. “Take that and all the data on their smartphones and we felt that 15 Gbytes was a pretty reasonable number.”

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Aereo Letter to Customers (Post Supreme Court)

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A Letter to Our Consumers: Standing Together for Innovation, Progress and Technology – An Update on Aereo

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” –Charles Kettering, inventor, entrepreneur, innovator & philanthropist

Photo of Chet KanojiaA little over three years ago, our team embarked on a journey to improve the consumer television experience, using technology to create a smart, cloud-based television antenna consumers could use to access live over the air broadcast television.

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision in favor of Aereo, dealing a massive setback to consumers.

As a result of that decision, our case has been returned to the lower Court. We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps. You will be able to access your cloud-based antenna and DVR only until 11:30 a.m. ET today. All of our users will be refunded their last paid month. If you have questions about your account, please email or tweet us @AereoSupport.

The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public and we believe you should have a right to access that live programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television or in the cloud.

On behalf of the entire team at Aereo, thank you for the outpouring of support. It has been staggering and we are so grateful for your emails, Tweets and Facebook posts. Keep your voices loud and sign up for updates at – our journey is far from done.

Yours truly,
Chet Kanojia
Chet Kanojia

Founder & CEO

How Supreme Court ruling affects Aereo, the Cloud, and You!

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The court was loud and clear: Aereo’s streaming TV business is illegal. But the decision raises more questions than it answers.


An array of Aereo antennas Aereo

The chief of streaming-TV startup Aereo has said that his mission to bring unbundled broadcast TV to the Internet has greater stakes than just the fate of his company — and that it’s the crusaders, taking on those with power, who fill graveyards.

Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia may end up correct on both counts. A 6-3 Supreme Court decision Wednesday found that Aereo, whose antenna-plus-cloud-storage technology streams over-the-air TV signals, is illegal if it continues to operate without paying broadcasters any fees. The ruling handed a victory to the networks’ owners, some of the biggest media companies in the world, in their fight to shut it down.

The decision kills Aereo as we know it, but it may affect more than just one service operating in just 13 cities for little more than an analyst-estimated 100,000 subscribers. While the Supreme Court answered one question clearly, it raised many others for Aereo, its customers, its foes and its relative peers, services like Dropbox and Apple’s iCloud that might be collateral damage. For consumers, the decision makes little difference to practical matters, but it may mean a lot on matters of principle — would you rather make sure TV keeps the most-watched shows on free networks or see a disrupter like Aereo upend how you can watch TV in the first place?

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Lauren and Tim’s Fitness Gadget Review

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Please NLauren and Tim Bestote:

The pros and cons lists are not comprehensive lists of each fitness band’s features. Rather they are just some of the distinguishing features we found most useful for each.

Fitness gear

Fitbit Flex – $99.99

Pros: Comfortable, great phone app, easy to use, tracks sleep and can even go back to log sleep after the fact, vibrating alarm, tracks water and food consumption.

 Cons: no display, hard to keep the 2-piece band dry and can get moldy where the tracker fits in.

This is a great product for someone who just wants to keep track of basic fitness, sleep, and food. The display shows 5 dots that help track your progress, but has no ability to tell time, or give exact feedback directly from the band.

Striiv Touch – $99.99

Pros: Comfortable, small, water-resistant, smartwatch, phone notifications directly to your wrist, sleep tracking, great phone app.

Cons: Battery life with constant use is only about two days.

This is a personal favorite of the products tested. Striiv has done a great job making fitness fun and accessible for everyone. The striiv touch has an in-app game to help you meet your daily step goal, as well as being partnered with global giving so that Striiv and corporate partners donate on your behalf (based on step-taking) to various charities including clean water in Bolivia, rainforest preservation in Tanzania, and a polio vaccine fund for children in India. The Striiv also allows for new app versions to be added and updated, meaning the product will continue to improve and have new features.

Soleus GO – $89.99

Pros: Tons of information contained on the band, nice LED screen.

Cons: Not as comfortable to wear, vibrating alarm pulse is very weak, incoming messages continue to vibrate until they are manually dismissed.

This is a pretty good second choice to the Striiv if you really want a smartwatch and fitness band combination.

LG lifeband – $129.99

Pros: Touch screen, phone notifications, sleek look.

Cons: Extremely uncomfortable, phone app is not very helpful.

This was probably a least favorite band purely based how uncomfortable it was to wear. The band looks nice and has some great features including incoming message/call alerts, and control over your iTunes, but it was certainly not good enough in our opinion to compensate for the price and the discomfort.

Misfit Shine – $99.99

Pros: Looks great – almost like jewelry, has a timekeeping feature, completely waterproof – ok for swimming, no need for charging.

Cons: Phone app is not very user friendly, watch feature is hard to use and see in daylight.

This would be ideal for a swimmer or biker who wanted to be discrete about wearing a fitness band. Aesthetics definitely takes precedence over usefulness with the Misfit Shine, and it’s very apparent.

Basis (Health Tracker for Activity, Sleep & Stress) – $199.00

Pros: Built-in heart rate monitor, user-friendly screen and data sheets, option to add new “habits” (goals) as you complete previous ones, time and date displayed on wrist but no phone notifications.

Cons: Bulky, must be worn tight enough for HR sensors to work against wrist which proved to be slightly uncomfortable.

They call it the basis band but its design appears to be more of a watch. We found the multi-sensor heart rate monitor feature to be great as you could instantly stop and check what your HR was for different scenarios throughout the day. However, unlike a chest strap HR monitor, the optical blood flow sensing technology is not as good about capturing HR during movement (so recommendation is to stop for a moment to check throughout exercise). It remains to be a fascinating way to check stress levels and resting HR, sleep and sweat levels, and general cardiovascular health without wearing extra devices. All this data in only one wristwatch might outweigh the downside of the watch being larger than other bands to some people.


If you want a fitness band right now, go with the Striiv, otherwise we would say to wait. The field of “smartbands” – that is, combining fitness bands and smartwatches – is a quickly advancing field. Products like the Razer Nabu, Martian Notifier, as well as the Apple iWatch will all be available soon. Check back in 6 months to see what products are offered then. Remember, the band is all about YOU, so decide which aspects are important to have in your band and which ones you could live without… then just keep doing your research.



Samsung Galaxy Tab S unveiled

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NEW YORK — Samsung lifted the lid on its latest creation in New York: the Galaxy Tab S.

The device’s design remains vastly in line with its other Galaxy Tab counterparts, except for a thinner and lighter shell. But it packs a powerful punch with new features, technologies, and some enterprise goodies.

It’s the Korean electronic giant’s latest bid to take on Apple, its arch-rival Apple in the mobile space, with its flagship annual tablet.

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