Alibaba says SAIC report flawed, preparing formal complaint

A cleaner waters the flowers below a logo of Alibaba (China) Technology Co. Ltd at the company's headquarters on the outskirts of HangzhouSHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese regulator's report that criticized Alibaba Group Holding Ltd for failing to do enough to stamp out illegal business on its platforms was flawed and the company is preparing a formal complaint, Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai said on Thursday. Tsai said Alibaba first saw the White Paper from the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) when it was made public on Wednesday. He also said the company never requested that the SAIC delay the publication of information in the report, which summarized a July meeting between the company and SAIC.

Intel says corporations buying more high-end PCs

The sign hanging outside the Intel booth is seen at the International Consumer Electronics show (CES) in Las VegasBy Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Companies replacing older PCs are increasingly choosing ones with high-end features aimed at improved security and employee efficiency, according to a senior Intel Corp executive. Intel's "vPro" processors account for a fifth of the chipmaker's corporate PC business and that proportion is growing, Tom Garrison, Intel’s vice president and general manager of business client platforms, recently told Reuters. With a recovery in the PC industry driven in part by consumers buying cheap, low-end laptops, corporations buying top-tier devices for their workers are an important sweet spot for Intel and manufacturers like Hewlett-Packard and Dell. Shipments of Intel's vPro processors, which are more profitable for the Santa Clara, California, company than many of its other PC chips, are increasing compared with overall demand for desktop and laptop computers, he said.

HBO tech executives leave ahead of Internet launch as network's strategy changes
By Liana B. Baker NEW YORK (Reuters) - Time Warner's TWX.N HBO is preparing to sell a standalone service over the Internet for the first time, in one of the most closely watched moves in pay TV history. Otto Berkes, who was previously a Microsoft executive, resigned from the CTO position in December, only a matter of months before HBO is expected to start selling the new product, and two senior vice presidents on the technology team, Mark Thomas and Drew Angeloff, are also leaving, sources familiar with the situation said. The original plan discussed by the network's top executives was to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a sophisticated streaming platform that would make HBO, one of the best-known premium channels in the United States, capable of challenging streaming video services from Netflix NFLX.O and Amazon AMZN.O head on. Berkes, who was also a cofounder of Xbox, was a key part of that ambitious project - he had been hired by HBO in 2011 to set up a new office in Seattle, initially hiring 80 engineers with plans to grow much bigger.

Naver misses estimates as chat app Line's revenue disappoints

The logo of free messaging app Line is pictured on a smartphone in this photo illustration taken in TokyoBy Joyce Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - Naver Corp said quarterly profit climbed 30 percent but it fell short of estimates on weaker sales of a hit game for its messaging app Line, sending shares in the South Korean web portal firm tumbling. The popular Japan-based messaging app unit Line Corp [IPO-LINE.T] is Naver's main earnings driver but its share price made little progress in 2014, and investors are keen to see the progress of new taxi and payment services and whether Line can come up with more hit games.

U.S. businesses urge China to postpone new cybersecurity policies
U.S. business lobbies have called for "urgent discussions" with the Chinese government over new cybersecurity regulations that would force technology vendors to Chinese banks to hand over secret source code and adopt Chinese encryption algorithms. In a letter to China's top cybersecurity policy group dated Jan. 28, the American Chamber of Commerce in China and 17 other U.S. business lobbies urged Beijing to postpone the implementation of the new policies. U.S. tech vendors such as Cisco and Microsoft Corp are facing increased pressure from Chinese authorities to accept rigorous security checks before their products may be purchased by China's sprawling, state-run financial institutions.

U.S. net neutrality rules expected to cover interconnection deals

Wheeler testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing on oversight of the FCC on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Alina Selyukh and Diane Bartz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New U.S. "net neutrality" rules are expected to regulate for the first time deals in which content companies such as Netflix Inc pay broadband providers to connect with their networks for smooth downloads, according to people familiar with the plan. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler next week will reveal the latest draft of new rules that would guide how Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast Corp manage traffic on their networks, aiming to ensure all web content is treated equally. The new draft is expected to expand the authority of the FCC to previously unregulated traffic exchange deals, known as interconnection agreements, according to two sources who spoke anonymously because the plan has not been made public.

Facebook's new challenge: sell Wall Street on spending
By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's big spending plans are facing a tough reception on Wall Street. Facebook shares fell about 2 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday, after the company beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter revenue target and discussed aggressive 2015 spending plans. "Expectations for Facebook are already very high and perhaps some commentary around aggressive investments can spook investors a bit," said Colin Sebastian, a Robert W. Baird & Co analyst. Facebook said on Wednesday that 2015 capital expenditures will range from $2.7 billion to $3.2 billion, a sharp increase from $1.83 billion in 2014.

Facebook tops Wall Street revenue target in fourth quarter

A Facebook logo reflected in the eye of a woman is seen in this picture illustrationBy Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's revenue grew 49 percent in the fourth quarter, as mobile advertising growth helped the world's largest Internet social network beat Wall Street's targets for earnings and sales. Facebook shares fell about 2.6 percent in after-hours trade after vacillating above and below the closing price. Facebook's business has boomed thanks to its mobile ads for smartphones and tablets. Its success contrasts with other established Internet companies such as Google Inc and Yahoo Inc , which have struggled as advertisers shift more and more to mobile devices from personal computers.

Silk Road drug dealer testifies against website's alleged operator

The homepage to alleged Silk Road 2.0 website is seen in a screenshot after it was closed by U.S. authoritiesBy Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York computer consultant testified on Wednesday about how a heroin addiction led him to become a prolific drug dealer on Silk Road, as prosecutors moved closer to finishing their case against the underground website's alleged operator. The testimony in Manhattan federal court by Michael Duch, 40, marked the first time jurors weighing the fate of suspected Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht heard from a vendor on the website, where drugs and other illicit goods could be secretly bought with bitcoins. Duch, who has been incarcerated since pleading guilty and came dressed in jail garb, told jurors a heroin habit that cost him up to $3,500 a week led him to deal the drug on Silk Road, where he previously bought pain killers. "There was a perceived level of safety as well as anonymity." Duch, who in 2012 earned $75,000 through computer consulting, said he earned $60,000 to $70,000 a month selling ultimately 3.18 kilograms of heroin on Silk Road under the alias "deezletime" from April 2013 until his arrest in October 2013.

Snowden files show Canada spy agency runs global Internet watch: CBC

A sign is pictured outside the Communications Security Establishment headquarters in OttawaBy David Ljunggren and Mike De Souza OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's electronic spy agency has been intercepting and analyzing data on up to 15 million file downloads daily as part of a global surveillance program, according to a report published on Wednesday. Critics said the revelations, made in 2012 documents obtained by former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden and leaked to journalists, showed much more oversight was needed over Canada's Communications Security Establishment (CSE). The documents are the first indication from the Snowden files showing Canada had its own globe-spanning Internet surveillance in a bid to counter extremists. The covert dragnet, nicknamed Levitation, has covered allied countries and trading partners such as the United States, Britain, Brazil, Germany, Spain and Portugal, the report by CBC News and news website The Intercept said.

China to demand secret source codes from computer firms: NYT
(Reuters) - China will force companies which sell computer equipment to banks to hand over secret source code, undergo sensitive audits and set up research and development centers in the country, the New York Times reported on Thursday. Beijing wants 75 percent of technology products used by China's financial institutions "secure and controllable" by 2019, the paper reported, citing an official document expected to be circulated to businesses in the next few months. The new rules have aggravated concerns among foreign companies that Chinese authorities are trying to force them out of the country, the Times said. Firms planning to sell computer equipment to Chinese banks would have to set up research and development centers in the country, get permits for workers servicing technology equipment and build "ports" which enable Chinese officials to manage and monitor data processed by their hardware.

Citrix to cut about 900 jobs as net profit slumps
(Reuters) - Cloud-computing software maker Citrix Systems Inc said it would cut about 700 full-time and 200 contractor jobs as part of a restructuring to improve operational efficiency. The company, which had 9,166 employees at the end of 2013, also reported a sharp fall in fourth-quarter net profit and issued a forecast for revenue and adjusted profit for the current quarter that fell short of analyst expectations. Citrix reported a net profit of $95.2 million, or 58 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, down from $138.6 million, or 74 cents per share a year earlier. Citrix earned $1.10 per share on an adjusted basis, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.02, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue rose 6 percent to $851.5 million, exceeding the average forecast of $844.1 million.

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