Posts Tagged ‘president’

What the Tech Industry and Politicians Are Saying About NSA’s Massive Data Collection

June 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The tech industry had a lot to say this week amid reports of massive government surveillance of Internet and telephone activity . The Internet giants accused of giving the government access turned to the Web to defend themselves , while others in the industry voiced strong criticism over the apparent government activity. Meanwhile the federal government, including President Obama and Director of National Security James Clapper, defended their actions, while others in Washington said it was time to rein in some of the surveillance tactics. Here are a smattering of opinions offered up this week. Ray Ozzie, Lotus Notes founder, former Microsoft executive, speaking at the Nantucket Conference: “I hope that people wake up, truly wake up, to what’s happening to society, from both a big brother perspective and little brother perspective. … We got what we asked for, and now it’s time to pull it back. Imagine if you had an administration targeting journalists or groups of people based on political leanings.” (via ) Mark Zuckerberg, in a post on the social network: “Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the U.S. or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. And if we did, we would fight it aggressively. We hadn’t even heard of PRISM before yesterday. “When governments ask Facebook for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure.” David Drummond, chief legal officer, Google, in a blog post : “We cannot say this more clearly — the government does not have access to Google servers — not directly, or via a back door, or a so-called drop box. Nor have we received blanket orders of the kind being discussed in the media.

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SEO Follies: ‘Walking Dead’ Actress? Well, Sort of, but…

June 8, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

I was eating lunch when the news hit that a “‘Walking Dead’ actress” had been implicated in mailing ricin-tinged letters to President Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Then I clicked on the link: “Shannon who?” I thought. Having seen every episode of the AMC zombie drama, it was a little jarring. For a... Read more

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David Shane Joins Relativity

June 1, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Relativity has tapped PR veteran David Shane as exec VP of corporate communications. Shane reports directly to CEO Ryan Kavanaugh and President Tucker Tooley. He’s responsible for developing and directing communication strategy, overseeing media relations and serving as a communications advisor to the executive team. Shane will also work with the film, TV, sports, music,... Read more

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Major Dell Shareholder Urges Other Investors to Abstain in Go-Private Vote

May 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Southeastern Asset Management, the investment firm that is the largest outside shareholder in struggling computer maker Dell, today urged other shareholders not to participate in a coming proxy vote over a plan to take the company private. Southeastern owns about 8 percent of Dell’s outstanding equity and has teamed up with activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns a little less than 5 percent, to oppose the $24.4 billion leveraged buyout proposed by CEO Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. That deal values Dell at $13.65 a share. In an open letter, Southeastern urged shareholders to withhold their votes entirely. This is a key tactic because in the way proxy votes work, a non-vote is essentially equal to a vote against the buyout. Certainly there will be a large number of people who own Dell shares directly who will receive a proxy card in the mail and promptly ignore it. But they don’t matter nearly as much as the large institutional shareholders, like, say, T. Rowe Price, which has previously said it opposes the buyout proposal and which owns about 4 percent of Dell shares. Every non-vote and no vote is going to count. Under the rules of the proxy vote, Michael Dell, who controls about 16 percent of the company’s shares, and other internal shareholders can’t participate in the vote. It’s not close yet, but if more institutional shops come out against the buyout, it could start to look like a contest. Southeastern’s letter came on the same day Dell published its final proxy materials and scheduled the vote on the deal for July 18. Here’s the text of the Southeastern letter

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As Immigration Reform Bill Heads to the Senate Floor, The ZuckerPAC Gets A Win

May 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Chalk up a win for tech industry talent seekers. In a bipartisan vote reached on Thursday evening, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that aims to radically overhaul much of current U.S. immigration policy, which could ultimately increase the number of highly skilled tech industry workers allowed visas to work inside of the United States. The bill, which passed through the Committee by a vote of 13 to 5, is now headed to the floor for debate, where it is expected to be deliberated upon through the summer. It is, in particular, the first small victory for, the political action group formed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and supported by a veritable cadre of tech-industry luminaries such as LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman and famed venture capitalist John Doerr. To be sure, Zuckerberg’s group far from the only lobbyist group aiming for immigration policy reform in Washington. But in Silicon Valley as of late, it is perhaps the most prominent. “With its 13-5 vote to support comprehensive immigration reform, the Senate Judiciary Committee has taken another crucial step forward to growing a knowledge economy,” Joe Green, founder and president, said in a statement to AllThingsD . “This comprehensive bipartisan legislation contains the key principles we support, and its passage is another important step in the right direction.” “It’s clear that the momentum continues to build in favor of commonsense immigration legislation – and will continue to advocate for comprehensive, bipartisan reform that will attract innovators, build prosperous neighborhoods with strong families and good jobs, and ensure the U.S. continues to lead the world in the growth of the knowledge economy,” Green said. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.

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Zhang Yimou Alleged to Have Broken One Child Rule

May 10, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

BEIJING — China’s population planners are probing the country’s leading helmer Zhang Yimou after reports that he sired numerous children in violation of the One Child Policy and could be in line for a fine of 160 million yuan ($26 million). The probe into Zhang’s issue comes as President Xi Jinping steps up his campaign... Read more

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White House Correspondents’ Dinner Brings Out Insider Quips and Hollywood Riffs

April 28, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The 2013 White House Correspondents' Assn. Dinner saw host Conan O'Brien and President Obama dish an abundance of insider barbs.

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The Natives Are Getting Restless

April 19, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If you ask 10 marketers for a definition of “native advertising,” you are likely to get 10 different answers . While the concept is as old as advertising itself, what’s old is new again online and it seems everyone is rushing to redefine what it means to be native. As the river of venture capital dollars increasingly flows toward this buzzy new category, marketing platforms of all shapes and sizes are reaching out hoping to claim their seat on the raft. In many ways, the weeding-out process has already begun, and we’re seeing the offerings that facilitate real reader engagement rise to the top. Still, it’s worth looking at what makes them successful, and, ultimately, what it really takes to be native. Our friends at Solve Media wrote a thoughtful white paper on this topic, and I’ve combined some of their thinking with my own ideas in order to come up with a holistic definition of native advertising. Here are the five criteria any true native ad should meet: Non interruptive — Doesn’t interrupt the user flow and fits seamlessly into the experience In Stream and Contextual — Complements, rather than competes with, the content around it Preserves Trust — Engenders trust by delivering value as opposed to employing deceptive marketing tricks Maintains Brand Integrity — Takes the long view to craft and communicate a brand’s story authentically Adds Value — Supplements the experience by either entertaining, informing or engaging The reality is that very few online marketing platforms — including many that stake a claim to being native — pass even the first test of the gauntlet by delivering a message without interrupting the user. Dan Greenberg of Sharethrough has written frequently as one of the leading proponents of native advertising. He alludes to “ strategies built upon twin pillars of content and choice versus banners and interruption ,” citing Sponsored Stories on Facebook and Promoted Tweets on Twitter as innovative in this regard. I disagree. The sponsored stories that appear in my Facebook News Feed usually don’t qualify as content, are rarely useful and frequently interrupt. Promoted tweets aren’t much better — almost always promotional, thick with branding and rarely appearing as if they belong in my stream. And neither product offers “choice,” a key ingredient in establishing trust. Sponsored stories cannot be hidden like other stories that appear in the News Feed, and nothing can be edited out of your Twitter stream. Neither platform offers much choice, and in Facebook’s case, there’s less choice than users are otherwise accustomed to having

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Computer Security Legend Mudge Leaves DARPA for Google Job

April 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Peter Zatko, the computer hacking expert better known by the handle Mudge, says he’s leaving his job as a program manager at DARPA to join Google. He announced the change overnight on Twitter. Mudge joined DARPA, the research arm of the US Department of Defense in 2010 and was a program manager in its Strategic Technologies Office, where he oversaw research intended to help US government agencies fend off cyber attacks. Here’s the original Tweet: Given what we all pulled off within the USG, let’s see if it can be done even better from outside.Goodbye DARPA, hello Google! about 11 hours ago via Twitter for iPad Reply Retweet Favorite @dotMudge .mudge He first came to fame as a member of the Cambridge, Mass.-based hacking group, The L0pht , a sort of unofficial think tank for hackers whose members at the time included people who went on to distinguished careers in computer security, like Chris Wysopal , Joe Grand , and Christien Rioux . He was also a member The Cult of the Dead Cow , another hacker collective known for mixing hacking prowess with an ability to get media attention. In the mid-1990s he did some of the early fundamental research on a type of computer security vulnerability known as a buffer overflow , and published some of the first papers on the topic. He later was the principal creator of some important security tools including L0phtcrack . In 1998 he and other members of L0pht testified before the US Senate , during that famous moment when the group proclaimed that with its combined expertise, it could “ bring down the Internet in about 30 minutes .” After that he and other L0Pht members were occasionally summoned to Washington whenever senior officials including President Clinton (he’s the long-haired guy in the picture) wanted to be seen discussing computer security issues. In 1999, L0pht went legit and joined with the Cambridge-based computer security firm @Stake, which in 2004 became part of Symantec. In 2005 he joined BBN Technologies as a research scientist. Inside DARPA, an agency known more for its secrecy and the occasionally for the cool things it does , Zatko created a Cyber Fast Track Program , through which hackers working outside government with good security ideas could get funding to work on projects that could help secure Defense Department systems. Zatko didn’t specify what he’ll be doing at Google, and he didn’t immediately answer an email from me asking for a little more detail. Though its a pretty sure bet it will involve doing some kind of research on security. I’ll add more if I hear back from him. He would however be the second high-profile DARPA manager to join Google in recent memory. Last year the agency’s former director, and D9 speaker Regina Duggan, joined Google .

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Samsung Electronics Names New Co-CEOs

March 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Samsung Electronics Co. on Thursday named the head of its consumer electronics and mobile divisions as co-chief executives, a move that analysts say won’t significantly alter the company’s current management structure or rebalance power. In a statement, Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of memory-chips and smartphones, said Yoon Boo-keun, the president of Samsung’s consumer electronics division, and J.K. Shin, the president of the company’s telecoms division, will take on expanded roles as chief executives, together with Kwon Oh-hyun who oversees the company’s components business.

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