EU antitrust ruling a jolt for Microsoft

first_imgIn the past two months, EU regulators have charged Intel Corp. and Rambus Inc. with antitrust abuse. This week, it will hold closed hearings in which Apple Inc. will defend itself against allegations that it restricts customer choice with separate national iTunes stores. And Google Inc. will soon have to seek EU approval to take over DoubleClick Inc., a deal some rivals claim will give Google too much power over personal data and online ads. “The decision very clearly gives the commission quite broad power and discretion,” Microsoft lawyer Brad Smith said. “There are many companies in our industry that have a very large market share.” He added the 248-page ruling would actually affect “every other industry in the world.” In Washington, Assistant Attorney General Thomas O. Barnett said the ruling “may have the unfortunate consequence of harming consumers by chilling innovation and discouraging competition.” “In the United States, the antitrust laws are enforced to protect consumers by protecting competition, not competitors,” he said in a statement. “In the absence of demonstrable consumer harm, all companies, including dominant firms, are encouraged to compete vigorously.” EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes was dismissive of “scare stories” that the court decision would herald disaster for technology companies wanting to protect their innovations. “There is one company that will have to change its illegal behavior as a result of this ruling: Microsoft,” she said. She added that Monday’s victory was “bittersweet” because customers have no more choice than they did three years ago when Microsoft was originally fined. “The court has confirmed the commission’s view that consumers are suffering at the hands of Microsoft,” she said. Kroes refused to say what implications Monday’s decision would have on other legal fights between the EU and Microsoft, particularly one related to its recently released Windows Vista operating system. Microsoft’s rivals have raised issues with Vista’s bundled security software, its integrated Internet and desktop search, and digital-rights management tools used to protect copyrights. The Court of First Instance’s overwhelming endorsement of the commission’s monopoly-abuse case against Microsoft is a massive boost for the officials in Brussels who took on one of the world’s most powerful companies. “They will certainly gain significant confidence and continue to be very aggressive,” said Ted Henneberry, a former Irish regulator and lawyer with Heller Ehrman LLP. “You’ll see more, not less, complaints by other competitors about their rivals in the hopes of sparking some interest. That’s another danger the commission’s going to face, and I think they’re aware of it that they’re going to be used as a forum for disgruntled competitors.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Union’s second-highest court affirmed the EU’s nine-year pursuit of Microsoft Corp., rejecting the software maker’s appeal and strengthening the bloc’s hand as it pushes ahead with cases against other major technology companies. The European Court of First Instance ruled Monday that the European Commission was correct in concluding that Microsoft used its dominance in desktop computers to muscle into server software and media players in the 1990s – and that Microsoft still poses similar threats. It also upheld the record 497million euro ($613million) fine imposed on the company in 2004 – the largest ever levied by EU regulators. The resounding victory for the EU – successful on all but one point – cements Europe’s role as the lead international regulator of market-dominant companies around the world. The EU persisted with its case against Microsoft even as the U.S. Justice Department settled in 2001 and many of the original plaintiffs dropped out. “In global markets, the antitrust policy that matters is the most restrictive one,” said M.J. Moltenbray, a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. last_img read more

Want to dive into Donegal’s amazing coastline? Join the club!

first_imgLooking for a rewarding past-time that will bring you to places you’ve never seen before?Or how about getting an unparalleled view of underwater life and discovering incredible shipwrecks?The Sheephaven Sub Aqua Club is seeking new club members to join them in their thrilling dives around Donegal. The adventurous group is about to let everyone see what scuba diving is all about when they host a  Try A Dive on Tuesday 15th October in the Mevagh Dive Centre, Carrigart at 8.00pm. Entering this sport brings a host of benefits – you will gain the skills to meet the challenges of learning to dive and receive a world-recognised qualification.And this upcoming event is your opportunity to sign up and join a friendly community that is so valuable to Donegal.The Try A Dive event is free and all the participants need to bring is their swim gear, the club will supply the rest. In home waters around Donegal, scuba divers are treated to pristine waters that contain reefs which have abundant and diverse marine life and shipwrecks that chart both Irish and European history on our doorstep. In summer time, the waters around Donegal rise in temperature to 16 degrees Celsius and in-water visibility can extend to 20 metres at locations such as Arranmore, Tory Island and Horn Head. In the winter time when sea conditions are too rough Sheephaven divers have access to the shelter waters of Mulroy Bay and dives at Dunloan Rock, Pan Rock and Campbells Bed are available. Club members with Sheephaven SAC will have access to a purpose built clubhouse, dive boats and air bank, backed up by the Irish Underwater Council grade structure delivered by the clubs instructors. Starting as a Trainee a new entrant into diving will be coached in the theory and skills of scuba diving in the safety and comfort of a pool setting before taking to the open water, after which they can progress through the grades to whatever level they are comfortable with.  There is always some form of a Sheephaven activity 52 weeks of the year.Snorkelling is a big part of the Sheephaven diving scene and every Sunday morning there is snorkel in Portnablagh, followed by a social chat and cup of tea.Sheephaven club members have toured the world, from Scotland, Malta, Spain, Cuba, The Maldives, Galapagos Islands and numerous times to the Red Sea, all on the back of the qualifications achieved diving with the club. Club members give back to the community through their Search and Recovery Unit, where qualified divers who volunteer can receive additional training to provide assistance to the Civil authorities, should be they be called upon.  So for anyone interested in taking up a challenge that will reward them physically and literally take them to places they have never seen before – then their journey begins with the Sheephaven Try A Dive. For further information Anne Boyle can be contacted at anneboyle@eircom.net or Damien Kelly 086 8307020 and club activities can be followed on our Facebook page Sheephaven SAC. Want to dive into Donegal’s amazing coastline? Join the club! was last modified: October 9th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Divingsheephaven sacTry a divelast_img read more

Giants call up shortstop prospect Mauricio Dubon, report says

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device The Giants are calling up a highly-touted prospect as they try to stay in the hunt for the National League’s second Wild Card spot.Infielder Mauricio Dubon, acquired at the trade deadline in exchange for pitchers Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black, is set to join the Giants according to Brewers reporter Robert Murray.“When the (trade) rumors came out, I was excited,” Dubon told The Bay Area News Group on Monday in West …last_img read more

Acting on Uganda’s anti-Aids progress

first_imgPupils in the ITLP programme perform in a play for members of their community in Uganda. In another production, complete with props, in Uganda, pupils show what they have learned. Playwright Judy Tate (in glasses) discusses the day’s work with participants of an ITLP workshop in Khayelitsha, Cape Town in June. (Images: ITLP)MEDIA CONTACTS• Uganda Aids Commission +25 64 14 288 065Valencia TalaneUganda has been hailed over the past two decades as one of the champions of the fight against HIV/Aids in Africa, thanks to the country’s proactive approach to dealing with the disease in the early 1990s.A massive government-led awareness campaign in 1989 led to a significant drop in new infections over the next few years. In 1992, 18% of the population had been infected, but the number dropped to less than half over the next decade and in 2001 was recorded at 6.4%.The good news was that the people of Uganda were avoiding infection in large numbers and so the focus could shift towards providing proper treatment for those who were already infected. The bad news, however, was that efforts to hold awareness drives waned, and the multi-sectorial approach of the government lost some of its hold. Soon enough, more and more Ugandans were becoming infected again. Figures released in 2011 show an infection rate of 7.2%.U-turn in infection ratesIt was in 2009, at a press conference held ahead of World Aids Day, that the secretary-general of the Uganda Aids Commission (UAC), Dr Kihumuro Apuuli, admitted that a shift in the government’s campaign focus had brought the country to the point where new infection numbers were once again rising, citing 2002 as the year that this became notable.Although the growth in new infections was slower than that of the 1990s, Apuuli’s organisation asserted that the general attitudes of people towards the disease needed to change. Their latest figures at the time showed that 65% of the cases were among married couples.The most affected population group is the 15-49 age demographic, and there are more women in the statistic than men, which intensifies the danger of mother-to-child infection in pregnant women.Authorities concede that the government alone will not be able to tackle the problem and achieve the results of 11 years ago, but with as much participation as possible at community level, the most vulnerable groups can get something out of the awareness campaigns.Messages through theatreEnter the International Theatre and Literacy Project (ITLP), a US-based NGO that brings theatre artists from all over America to developing countries to conduct workshops on writing plays and performing with school pupils and teachers. Started in 2005 by Marianna Houston, former director of the New York-based Theatre Development Fund, the ITLP has worked in countries like Tanzania, Malawi and Rwanda since its establishment.The programme’s focus is on community development and awareness of HIV/Aids, and by involving young people in the performing arts, it is able to convey messages to the broader community by way of writing plays which the pupils then perform for members of their communities, in the familiar environment of their villages.“Everyone gathers around and there’s a platform and someone has a little bit of a costume and you’re going to learn a lesson,” explained Houston in a recent interview with Media Global News, a news site with a focus on the developing world.“You’re going to learn how to put a condom on a banana, and you’re going to learn how to get tested for Aids, you’re going to learn about corruption…you’re going to learn something.”Throughout the performances, there are discussion intervals where audience members tackle the conflicts highlighted in the scene in order to find a solution.Houston feels that this form of awareness is more effective because the audience gets to learn from trusted members of their community, and this strengthens the likelihood of them changing their behaviour, and in turn helps reduce the impact of the disease.The benefits of theatreITLP’s workshops take place over a course of two weeks and are facilitated by the organisation on the one hand and the teachers at participating schools on the other. The pupils take part from Monday to Friday during a break in the school term, and at the end of the two weeks, they perform a play that they have written themselves.Although the plays are in English, summaries are made available that are translated into the language commonly spoken by members of the community.The work by the cast does not end there, however, as the pupils also get to perform the play again for the rest of the school when the term commences.“The programme contributes to new perceptions of themselves as young citizens capable of fostering a new kind of leadership in their communities and country,” said Houston.An added incentive for pupils who wish to participate in the programme is the chance to receive a scholarship, given by the ITLP to cover the cost of textbooks and tuition.In Tanzania, two of ITLP’s participants from St Margaret’s Academy got an opportunity to attend the Camp Treetops, a residential camp in New York as part of the ITLP-Nowicki scholarship, funded by film producer Stefan Nowicki.“Theatre is a very good method for communicating information [in] an oral history society,” said Houston. “The act of coming together at a performance reconnects communities with cultural roots.”last_img read more

Gallery: a chance for global solutions at WEF

first_imgThe annual World Economic Forum is an opportunity for dialogue, debate and problem solving on a global level between political leaders, business experts, and civil society. Held in Davos, Switzerland, this year’s theme is “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. When Nelson Mandela attended Davos in 1999, he spoke of fostering acceptance and democracy. (Image: WEF, Facebook)Compiled by Priya PitamberThe Swiss village of Davos is once again hosting the annual World Economic Forum (WEF). From 20 to 23 January, it is a platform for global political leaders, business and industry experts, academia and civil society to come together to discuss the world’s economy.Numerous things have been said about Africa and the state of the continent by its leaders and others. We look back on some of the more compelling statements from previous WEFs.Images sourced from: WEF, Facebooklast_img read more

What renters who want a smart home should consider

first_img“We are seeing so many of those features very quickly being adopted into apartments,” he said. “Technologies like Nest thermostats and ecosystems which are being developed by Google. Where you have a Nest thermostat and some of the additional features that can be controlled with your smartphone device within the unit. Whether it is the locks, camera or security feature, we are seeing a lot of interest in those.” Duggan says that in some cases, for instance for removable insulation jackets, utility providers such as National Grid will offer incentives for landlords to install the more efficient removable jackets to cut down on heat loss on building components. James is a marketing, communications, and PR professional specializing in B2B and B2C software in healthcare, software, and technology.He is an innovative and proactive builder focused on bridging C-level business demands with the creative side of marketing with product and content marketing. Follow the Puck “We have a massive amount of data about what people are really valuing and what people really want, and again three years ago we didn’t do that,” he said. “So I ask myself, companies that aren’t doing that how do you really know what your residents really want.” James Calder “Tenants especially under 30, have a very positive reaction to smart locks and key fobs versus traditional metal keys,” he said. “The added security and convenience is definitely appreciated.” Steve Duggan is a Licensed real estate Salesperson at CitiHabitats in New York City. Duggan is noticing a heavy investment in smart technology. The team at GreyStar is actively gathering data from its enormous network of residents. The companies email surveys receive a 28 percent response rate, which translates on a monthly basis to about 70,000 responses. “We are an apartment company, that is our niche our expertise and what we exclusively do,” Livingstone said. “At GreyStar we do three things, we manage apartments, mostly for third party owners, but we also manage apartments that we own ourselves. We also are a developer and construction company of apartments. We have about 6 billion dollars of development going on right now so domestically we are the largest developer of apartments. We are also an investment management company. We call that the three legs of the stool and that is what we do and how we do it.” “I think we are usually looking at number one, is the technology in demand, do people think it will have an impact on their experience,” he said. “And if we think it is a technology that is going to be in demand we then focus on how can we make that technology work well, because a lot of technologies have promised that they will work, but just really don’t work well in multi family.” I reached out to a couple of people in this industry to gain a better understanding of how the real estate apartment landscape is quickly shifting. See also: Smart homes are more hackable with IoT devicesAndrew Livingstone, is Executive Managing Director at GreyStar, one of the largest property management company in the U.S. and possibly the world. The company manages about 425,000 apartments across 45 U.S., with operations in the UK, the Netherlands, Mexico, and soon to be expanding into Asia Pacific. Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… “I am not so sure that is at all in the life plan of so many in the younger generation today,” he said. “So that means multifamily is an asset class of choice and not just one that is a temporary place but in fact, they are looking to have that as a key part of their life. They want flexibility and amenities without having all of the responsibilities and risk of homeownership. I don’t see that changing over the next few decades.” Related Posts “I am seeing investors who do renovation work or value add projects as well as current landlords looking to be more efficient, increasingly looking at technology to boost their operating income,” he said. “The use of an Energy Star certified thermostat like Nest, smart locks, and customized removable insulation jackets to prevent heat loss, are being increasingly employed to reduce costs.” Tags:#featured#Google#Internet of Things#IoT#Nest#Smart homes#top Livingstone said GreyStar doesn’t necessarily think about tech as an amenity first, but it is absolutely on their radar. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, 35 percent of the U.S. population — or 112 million residents — rent vs own. Historically speaking these people tend to live in urban areas and the demographics trend younger in age. That demographic is also more likely to want technology as an amenity.“More and more multifamily is going to play a bigger more dominant role in all cities,” Livingstone said. “So to really advance what smart cities are all about, multifamily is going to play a huge role.” According to Livingstone many of the technologies that apartments are implementing feel like they are starting from the single family market. Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Single family homes used to have the monopoly on smart home products. Technology not only changes how things are built but it makes them function better. As a marketing director of an IoT company serving multi family and campus communities, I keep a close eye on the big property management companies and developers. But does everyone want to buy?He explained that there was a time when most people viewed apartments as a pit stop on their final destination towards home ownership.last_img read more

Lessons We Can Learn from the Ft. Myer Child Care Scandal

first_imgMilitary child care has been in the news recently, and not in a good way. In December*, the public learned of incidents of physical harm inflicted on toddlers by caregivers in a Child Development Center at Fort Myer in Virginia. Arrests of two toddler staff were made in September and a review was conducted of all personnel files at the Fort Meyer child care facilities. This review eventually resulted in the dismissal of additional staff members. When he learned of the situation in December, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta responded by ordering a thorough investigation of hiring practices at all DoD CDCs and youth programs in the U.S. and overseas. While news reports of the hiring practices at Ft. Myer indicate that this is indeed a serious issue to address**, other things can be done to help prevent child maltreatment. Harsh treatment of young children is hardly limited to individuals with shady pasts. Anyone who has worked in a group setting with young children can attest to the stressful nature of dealing with children’s challenging behaviors, especially in a group setting.Although we don’t know the specific situations in which the mistreatment of the toddlers took place, often, caregivers may be responding to what they perceive as misbehavior of the children – defiance, disobedience, not paying attention, not following the “rules.” The fact that the incidents occurred in a toddler classroom isn’t surprising to me. Defiance is part of the developmental agenda of typical toddlers. But, even when caregivers know that fact, it can be frustrating to deal with.Let’s be honest – working with young children can be rewarding and fun but it’s also very hard at times. Even well-trained caregivers can feel anger or frustration at a child’s behavior. Being able to stop a gut-level (or more accurately, limbic-level), angry response and reactivate our rational brain to come up with a thoughtful response is HARD WORK! (There is a reason that “guidance and discipline” is always the most highly requested training topic.)Nevertheless, caregivers can respond to even the most frustrating child behavior with sensitive, positive guidance rather than angry, controlling physical or emotional power. Caregivers are more likely to respond in positive ways when:They have training in developmentally appropriate expectations for children’s behavior and effective guidance and discipline strategies;They have stronger “executive function”*** (i.e. brain processes that regulate thinking, behavior and emotion; for example, the ability to stop oneself from acting impulsively)They receive ongoing coaching and supportive supervision, especially when they are newly hired;They work in a program that actively implements written policies and procedures related to staff response to challenging child behaviors;Their classroom environment is relatively calm, structured, and engaging to children;And the program has a culture in which the stresses of dealing with difficult behavior is openly acknowledged and where staff are committed to supporting, and if necessary reporting, one another when frustration overrides better judgment.All of these can and should be addressed by programs in the aftermath of this very public failure. The fact that repeated abusive behaviors evidently occurred within the military child care system, recognized as a model of high quality care, tells me that ALL of us in the early care and education field need to do a better job of understanding how and when caregivers respond to children’s behavior in harmful ways. We need to do a better job of diligently and effectively ensuring that our vulnerable young charges are well cared for. And we need to address the issue at all levels – personally, with the people with whom we work, and in our profession as a whole.Responding well to challenging behavior is a difficult, complex aspect of caregiving that has no easy fixes. Bolstering the hiring procedures is a good first step to ensuring competent child care staff but it’s also the easiest. Ongoing training, monitoring and support of all staff is much harder. But it is our ethical responsibility as a profession to do the hard work of making sure that those to whom parents entrust their young children are able to do so.Note: the original post of this article was edited on January 23, 2012.* http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/12/ap-army-myer-day-care-scandal-officials-say-31-fired-121912/**http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/01/10/military-daycare-centers-hire-first-screen-later.html***Recent research with parents shows that mothers who used harsh responses to their children’s challenging behavior tended to have poor executive function.last_img read more