Wednesday, January 20

Business

Business, General, News

Netflix surpasses 200 million subscribers and exceeds expectations for the fourth quarter

Netflix has surpassed 200 million subscribers worldwide, the company announced in its fourth quarter 2020 earnings report. In this quarter, Netflix added 8.51 million paid streaming subscribers to reach 203.7 million by year-end. This is up from the six million new subscribers it had forecast for the quarter, a more conservative estimate following the massive surge in new customers seen during the first half of 2020 amid the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. While Netflix's performance in the fourth quarter of 2020 was above expectations, it is still slightly below the 8.8 million net adds that were generated during the fourth quarter of 2019. That said, Netflix notes that it won 36.6 million customers throughout 2020, easily surpassing its previous record of 28.6 million in 201...
Business, Carriers, distributel, Internet, News

Distributel acquires Primus and puts it under Canadian ownership

Distributel announced that it has acquired Primus, one of Canada's largest independent telecommunications service providers. In a statement, Distributel said that the acquisition will allow the two companies build a stronger Canadian telecommunications brand offering residential, commercial and wholesale telecommunications services throughout the country. It's worth noting that Primus was previously owned by US-based Fusion Connect, and the Distributel acquisition puts Primus under Canadian ownership. Distributel says it has been wholly Canadian-owned since its founding in 1988. "Adding Primus to the Distributel family will mean more choice, more innovation and better value for Canadians and ultimately a better alternative for our country," said Matt Stein, CEO of Distrib...
Amazon, Business, e-books, General

Amazon Faces Class Action Lawsuit Alleging E-Book Pricing

A new lawsuit filed in New York alleges that Amazon and five book publishers are in collusion to fix the prices of e-books, it reported. The Guardian. Editors include Penguin Random House, Hachette, Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins, and Macmillan, often referred to as the 'Big Five'. The lawsuit alleges that publishers pay high commissions to Amazon, driving up the price of e-books on the platform. It argues that this forces consumers to pay higher prices for e-books that are purchased on platforms other than Amazon. “Amazon's deal with its co-conspirators is an unreasonable trade restriction that prevents competitive pricing and causes plaintiffs and other consumers to overpay when they purchase Big Five e-books through a com...
Business, General, Jay Y. Lee, Samsung

Samsung heir returned to prison for two and a half years on bribery charges

Samsung's heir Jay Y. Lee will be sent back to prison for two and a half years on bribery charges. Bloomberg reports that this latest decision closes a legal battle that began four years ago. In 2017, Lee was sentenced to prison for five years, but was released after a year once his sentence was suspended on appeal. The South Korean Supreme Court overturned the decision in August 2019 and ordered a new trial and this sentence is the result of that new trial. At the final hearing, Lee promised to create a "new Samsung" and not repeat the wrongdoings of the past. Lee was found guilty of using his wealth to influence former South Korean president Park Geun-Hye in various of Samsung's business interests. This includes a merger of ...
Business, Donald Trump, General, Huawei

Trump administration stops supplies to Huawei in the final days of the presidency

The Trump administration is halting shipments from Intel and other Huawei vendors in the final days of the current presidency. Reuters reports that the administration has notified the suppliers that it is revoking the licenses that allow them to sell to the Chinese company. The administration also plans to reject other applications to supply Huawei. This latest action, which is likely to be the final blow by US President Donald Trump to the Chinese company, is based on the administration's efforts to weaken Huawei, which it sees as a threat to national security. Emails viewed by Reuters reveal that the Commerce Department issued "the intention to deny a significant number of license applications for exports to Huawei and the rev...
Business, Emergency Alert, Government

Ontario issues an alert notifying residents that a stay-at-home order is already in effect

The Ontario government has issued an emergency alert to mobile phones to notify residents of their stay-at-home order. The alert was sent out at 10:10 am ET and notifies residents that the order is now in effect. “Leaving home only for essential purposes such as food, medical care, exercise, or work. Is the law. Stay home, stay safe, save lives, ”says the alert.
Apple, Business, General

Apple Launches New Initiatives to Challenge Systemic Racism

Apple has launched a series of new Racial Equality and Justice Initiative (REJI) projects to combat systemic racism. The tech giant is working with community stakeholders to support the launch of the Propel Center, which is a learning center for the HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) community. "Apple's contribution of $ 25 million will enable the Propel Center to support HBCU students and faculty through a robust virtual platform, a physical campus in historic Atlanta University Center, as well as on-campus activations at partner institutions." noted the tech giant in a Press release. Additionally, Apple will open a Developer Academy in Detroit to empower young black entrepreneurs, creators and coders. The acad...
Business, CRTC, cyber attacks, Cybersecurity, Privacy & Cloud, Security

CRTC launches consultation on proposed framework to address botnets

The Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has launched a query on his proposed framework for addressing botnets. Botnets are essentially harmful networks of malware-infected computers that are under the control of a malicious actor. "The commission seeks comments on the suitability and need for telecommunications service providers to adopt blocking techniques within their networks, including the safeguards that would be necessary to ensure privacy, transparency and effectiveness," says the CRTC. Botnets can facilitate harmful cyberattacks, including ransomware and identity theft. The CRTC notes that these attacks cause damage to critical organizations such as hospitals, schools and government agenci...
Business, Carriers, Freedom Mobile, shaw, shaw communications, Shaw Mobile

Shaw Reports 31 Percent Increase in Postpaid Net Additions in Q1 2021

Shaw Communications has reported a 31 percent year-over-year increase in postpaid net adds for the first quarter of 2021. The operator "achieved record wireless subscriber growth in the first quarter with approximately 101,000 new wireless customers, including 87,300 postpaid net adds and 13,700 prepaid net adds," according to its earnings report released January 13. The report notes that Shaw Mobile's success generated record wireless net additions and also continued wireless revenue growth of approximately 10 percent. Additionally, the operator says the 31 percent year-over-year increase in postpaid subscriber additions reflects strong demand for Shaw Mobile from existing Shaw Internet customers. It's worth noting that this is ...
Business, Government, innovation minister, Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Navdeep Bains

François-Philippe Champagne is sworn in as new Minister of Innovation

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, has assumed the position of new Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. Champagne was sworn in on January 12 practically amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The appointment follows Navdeep Bains' decision not to run in the upcoming federal election and to leave the cabinet to spend more time with his family. In a statement, the Prime Minister's Office stated that “in his new role, Minister Champagne will draw on his extensive business experience in the fields of energy, engineering and innovation to help our economic recovery from the global pandemic of COVID-19, create new jobs for Canadians and grow our middle class. " The statement notes that Champagne "deeply understands the needs and priorities of Canad...
Business, Government, innovation minister, Navdeep Bains

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains would leave the cabinet

Navdeep Bains has reportedly decided not to run for the next election and will no longer be the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. The current Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, will replace Bains, as informed by the CBC, which cites sources who have knowledge of the cabinet mix. The shakeup is expected to occur on January 12 around 9 a.m. ET, and will be the first virtual cabinet shakeup due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Bains was appointed Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development in November 2015. During his time in office, Bains created a policy directive that requires the Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to consider affordability and fair...
Business, Facebook, General, Google, microsoft, Twitter

Microsoft, Google and Facebook stop their political contributions after the attack on the Capitol

Microsoft, Google and Facebook have said they will halt some political contributions after the deadly siege of the US Capitol. A Microsoft spokesperson has said the tech giant is pausing its political spending until after considering the implications of the attack. "The PAC (political action committee) regularly pauses its donations in the first quarter of a new Congress, but this year it will take additional steps to consider these recent events and consult with employees," the spokesperson said. The Verge. Additionally, Facebook has said that it is halting its contributions to the PAC for at least the first quarter of the year. It's worth noting that the freeze only affects PAC contributions and not all of the social media ...