Tag Archives: Fine

Qualcomm asks EU court to scrap $1.2 billion antitrust fine
June 4, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM.O) has asked Europe’s second-highest court to throw out a 997 million euro ($ 1.2 billion) fine levied by European Union antitrust regulators, citing numerous errors in the EU decision.

Visitors are seen by a booth of Qualcomm Inc at the China International Big Data Industry Expo in Guiyang, Guizhou province, China May 27, 2018. Picture taken May 27, 2018.  REUTERS/Stringer

The European Commission penalized the company in January for paying Apple (AAPL.O) to use only its chips in its iPhones and iPads, giving rival Intel (INTC.O) no chance of getting a share of the market.

The EU competition enforcer’s ruling was marked by errors in procedures and law, Qualcomm said in its appeal to the Luxembourg-based General Court, according to a filing in the Commission’s Official Journal on Monday.

Judges typically take several years to rule on such cases.

Qualcomm is also involved in another EU antitrust case where it has been accused of selling chipsets below cost to drive out British phone software maker Icera, which is now a unit of Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O).

The appeal is Qualcomm/Commission T-235/18.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee. Editing by Jane Merriman

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Trump floats large fine, management changes for Chinese firm ZTE
May 22, 2018 6:02 pm|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday floated a plan to fine ZTE Corp $ 1.3 billion and shake up its management, as U.S. lawmakers vowed to keep sanctions that crippled the Chinese telecommunications firm.

FILE PHOTO – Visitors pass in front of the Chinese telecoms equipment group ZTE Corp booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Picture

Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House about ongoing trade negotiations with China, said there was no deal with Beijing on ZTE. In addition to the fine, Trump said ZTE should come under new management and name a new board of directors.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress, however, accused the president of bending to pressure from Beijing to ease up on a company that has admitted to violating sanctions on Iran. Their reaction could complicate U.S. efforts to win trade concessions from China to narrow a $ 335 billion annual trade gap.

“The proposed solution is like a wet noodle,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, who accused Trump of jeopardizing national security for what he described as minor trade concessions.

Schumer, speaking before Trump detailed his latest thinking on ZTE, added that the possible remedies floated earlier by the Trump administration were inadequate.

According to sources familiar with the discussions, a proposed trade deal with China would lift a seven-year ban that prevents U.S. chipmakers and other companies from selling components to ZTE, which makes smartphones and telecommunications networking gear.

In return, China would eliminate tariffs on U.S. agriculture or agree to buy more farm products from the United States.

The U.S. Commerce Department imposed the ban in April after it determined that ZTE had broken an agreement after it pleaded guilty to shipping U.S. goods and technology to Iran.

The ban has threatened the viability of China’s second-largest telecoms maker by cutting off access to companies that supply 25 percent to 30 percent of its components. Suppliers include some of the biggest U.S. tech companies, including Alphabet Inc’s Google, which licenses its Android operating system to ZTE, and chipmaker Qualcomm Inc.

ZTE last week said it had suspended its main operations.

The U.S. Department of Defense has also stopped selling ZTE’s mobile phones and modems in stores on its military bases, citing potential security risks.

NATIONAL SECURITY

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told lawmakers that the treatment of ZTE was not “a quid pro quo or anything else” related to trade, and said national security concerns would be taken into consideration.

“I can assure you that whatever changes or decisions that are made in Commerce will deal with the national security issues,” Mnuchin told a U.S. Senate appropriations subcommittee.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers said they were looking at ways to block any possible changes. “We will begin working on veto-proof congressional action,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio said on Twitter.

Lawmakers are considering several possible options and aim to act “soon,” said Dick Durbin, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat.

The Senate Banking Committee voted 23-2 on Tuesday to adopt a measure that would make it harder for the president to modify penalties on Chinese telecommunications firms. It was added to legislation that would tighten oversight of foreign direct investment.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is weighing several possible changes to a defense-policy bill that would also keep up the pressure on ZTE. One proposal would block the sale of ZTE products and those of another Chinese company, Huawei Technologies, until national security officials certify they are safe.

Another proposal would require the director of national intelligence to consider the security implications of any changes to the ZTE ban, while a third would require reports on quid pro quo offers between the U.S. and Chinese governments over any possible plan.

(This version of the story corrects first paragraph to show lawmakers vowed to keep sanctions, not block them.)

Additional reporting by Susan Heavey, Doina Chiacu and David Lawder; Writing by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Chris Sanders and Paul Simao

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Robots help artist bring fine bison hair to pricey paintings
May 3, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – American artist Barnaby Furnas has turned to a custom-made robot to help him with paintings that can sell for more than $ 100,000 at New York galleries.

Furnas and several artists are using digital printing robots that use techniques in paintings that were previously impossible or too labor intensive. The machines are guided by inputs from artists and optical sensors to paint in fine detail in lines thinner than a human eyelash.

“I literally think of that robot as a friend,” Furnas said in an interview. “More than a pet, less than an art assistant – somewhere in there.”

He has used a robot called “sozo,” which means imagination in Japanese, for tasks such as painting thousands of hairs on a bison in one of his artworks.

It leaves marks on a canvas according to his instructions that he communicates through an optical tracking system attached to a paintbrush-like rod.

It records a painter’s movements, allowing artists to edit brushstrokes before putting an image on a canvas. Those digital images can be combined with brushwork from an artist to bring new dimensions to a painting.

Sozo was created by technology startup Artmatr, whose CEO Ben Tritt is a painter. He sees the company as an open-source community that will help artists merge digital technology with traditional painting methods.

Besides Sozo, Artmatr also has a variety of machines that use ink jet heads found in printers.

“It lowers the risk threshold for individual mark making,” Furnas said.

Jon Herskovitz

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Exclusive: FCC plans to fine Sinclair $13.3 million over undisclosed commercials
December 15, 2017 6:04 pm|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Communications Commission plans to fine Sinclair Broadcasting Corp $ 13.3 million after it failed to properly disclose that paid programming that aired on local TV stations was sponsored by a cancer institute, three people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The proposed fine, which covers about 1,700 spots including commercials that looked like news stories that aired during newscasts for the Utah-based Huntsman Cancer Institute over a six-month period in 2016, could bolster critics of Sinclair’s proposed $ 3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Co.

Sinclair Broadcasting and a spokesman for the FCC declined to comment. Sinclair, which has told reporters previously the violations were unintentional, disclosed the investigation in financial filings.

Sinclair, which owns more than 170 U.S. television stations and is the largest U.S. operator, announced plans in May to acquire Tribune’s 42 TV stations in 33 markets as well as cable network WGN America and digital multicast network Antenna TV, extending its reach to 72 percent of American households. The FCC and Justice Department are reviewing Sinclair’s proposed acquisition of Tribune.

The proposed fine, which was approved by the five-member FCC earlier this week but has not yet been made public, is significant, officials said. The penalty represents an average fine of about $ 7,700 for each of the improperly aired spots but is significantly less than the maximum fine Sinclair could have faced under the law.

Sinclair will have the opportunity to respond to the proposed fine before it becomes final.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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Fine, Here, Have Minecraft in VR
February 24, 2016 2:45 am|Comments (0)

Fine, Here, Have Minecraft in VR

Torches never burned so bright. Or so we imagine.

The post Fine, Here, Have Minecraft in VR appeared first on WIRED.




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