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    Mergers: Apple to buy Shazam
    • Apple Inc. is close to acquiring Shazam Entertainment Ltd., the startup whose music recognition app is already built into Apple’s Siri virtual assistant, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

      A deal for the London-based app maker could be announced as soon as Monday, said the person, who declined to be identified because the details are not yet public.

      The Shazam app uses the microphone on a smartphone to identify almost any song playing nearby.

      Apple slowly build up one of the largest spy empires. Songs identification is not all, value of recordings and owners details plus coordinates of user phones Shazam sends to owners must not be underappreciated.

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    Virtual keyboard collected lot of data. And all leaked now.
    • The Kromtech Security Center has discovered a massive amount of customer files leaked online and publically available. Researchers were able to access the data and details of 31,293,959 users. MongoDB database appears to belong to Ai.Type a Tel Aviv-based startup that designs and develops a personalized keyboard for mobile phones and tablets for both Android and iOS devices. Ai.Type was founded in 2010 and According to their site, their flagship product for Android was downloaded about 40 million times from the Google Play.

      Client files that included the personal details of 31,293,959 users who installed ai.type virtual keyboard. This is highly sensitive and identifiable information such as:

      Phone number, full name of the owner, device name and model, mobile network name, SMS number, screen resolution, user languages enabled, Android version, IMSI number (international mobile subscriber identity used for interconnection), IMEI number (a unique number given to every single mobile phone), emails associated with the phone, country of residence, links and the information associated with the social media profiles (birthdate, title, emails etc.) and photo (links to Google+, Facebook etc.), IP (if available), location details (long/lat).

      6,435,813 records that contained data collected from users’ contact books, including names (as entered originally) and phone numbers, in total more than 373 million records scraped from registered users’ phones, which include all their contacts saved/synced on linked Google account.

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    Amazon DeepLens
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    Toshiba - see the future of Panasonic
    • Toshiba Corp. made difficult decision – they will abandon their giant LED display overseeing Times Square.

      Toshiba will end its sponsorship of two very popular television shows in Japan, for which it has been their long-term sponsor. Its sponsorship of Sazae-san, a cartoon show, and another Sunday night show, will end at their fiscal year end on March 31st. How big a deal is this decision? Toshiba has sponsored Sazae – the Guinness World Record Holder for longest-running animated series – for the last 48-years, and the Sunday night show for 61 years

      Toshiba has launched a series of fire sales to attempt to raise cash. They have sold their crown jewel, their memory chip business to a Japan-U.S.-South Korean group.. They have also announced the sale of their television division to China’s Hisense Group. Last year, Toshiba sold off their appliance division to China’s Midea Group.

      The company also plans to raise ¥600 billion ($5.4 billion) through a new issue of shares. If drastic measures falls through, the company faces delisting from the stock market.

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    Capitalism: Degradation galore
    • A group of prominent lawyers representing teachers and students from poor performing schools sued California on Tuesday, arguing that the state has done nothing about a high number of schoolchildren who do not know how to read.

      Assessments found less than half of California students from third grade to fifth grade have met statewide literacy standards since 2015. Both traditional and charter schools are failing, Rosenbaum said.

      State assessments found 96 percent of students at the La Salle school were not proficient in English or math, according to the lawsuit. Only eight of the school's 179 students were found to be proficient when tested last year.

    9 comments 10 comments Vitaliy_KiselevDecember 5Last reply - December 6 by brianl Subscribe to this blog
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    Mergers: Lensrentals and LensProToGo merge
    • We’re so excited today to announce we’ve joined forces with our friends at LensProToGo. We’ve had a mutual respect and friendship with Paul and the entire LPTG crew since the days when Lensrentals operated out of my spare bedroom. We’re happy to have Paul join the Lensrentals ownership group, and to have the rest of the LPTG team joining our family.

      For those of you who have used LensProToGo, you already know how fantastic the folks at LPTG are. Their entire team in Boston is made up of professional photographers & videographers with a passion for helping you achieve your goals.

      LensProToGo customers will get access to the largest rental inventory in the country and the advantages that arise from a shipping location located just a few miles from the FedEx SuperHub in Memphis. Lensrentals customers will get access to an even larger staff of experts ready to offer unbiased advice and to help you craft solutions for whatever projects you have coming up.

      Both brands will continue to exist and thrive. If you’re a LensProToGo customer, the only differences you’ll notice is a greater choice & availability of equipment, and that your shipment might ship from Lensrentals HQ in Memphis. If you’re a Lensrentals customer, you’ll soon have more options for pickup locations, and you might end up talking about your order with a staff member who has a wicked good New England accent instead of an adorable Southern drawl.

      Expect some prices bump, they even warn you

      We’ve all seen mergers before where the press release informs everyone about how wonderful it’s going to be for all of their customers and employees. And then a couple of months later, prices go up, service plummets and hundreds of employees are laid off. I assure you this will not be the case with our two relatively small companies. We’re forever committed to providing you with the best experience you have ever received from any company you have ever interacted with.

      It’s also important to me that you know that no one at either company will be laid off. We’re very loyal to all of the people who helped us get to where we are. We still have a lot to accomplish with all hands on deck!

      As far as I remember it is said with any merger. Yet after shot time and as everyone forgot it the fun begins.

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