It wasn’t even close. It was in the political realm a safe, bipartisan, landslide victory. On Monday night the United States Senate approved S.743, also known as the Marketplace Fairness Act, with 69 Senators voting for, and a paltry 27 voting against. The bill, which would allow states to collect sales taxes from online businesses outside of their borders, now moves to the House of Representatives for a vote.
It appears the sales-tax free status of online purchases may be entering into the cold December of its days, and it’s only April. The U.S. Senate is expected to pass legislation which could allow states to tax online purchases some time this week, and that’s bad news for retailers like eBay.
The last thing Google’s Eric Schmidt wants to see is a drone hovering over his yard. Not the kind of drone which drops missiles and kills people in Pakistan, mind you, but the kind you can take out of a box and just let loose. The kind of drone that civilians can, and likely will, use in the near future. That’s why, Schmidt argues, they need to be regulated before they even become an issue.
For a multi-billions dollar company one would assume being able to articulate how you’re both immediately profitable and making shareholders a great deal of money would be high on the priority list. Not the case for Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos who explains to shareholders that caring for customers over shareholder profits can be, well, profitable.
Apple is set to have an increasingly tough time selling the iPhone in Europe, as consumers become more savvy about how they spend their hard-earned money. Android, with its numerous handsets covering all budgets, will do well from these changing consumer habits, unless, of course, Apple releases its own budget handset.
The Bitcoin, the digital currency that many either love or hate, has recently surpassed $1 billion in value. That mark, which was past by some combined 10.9 million Bitcoins according to TechCrunch, doesn’t mean the currency’s critics are wrong, but it does suggest that a digital “crypto-currency” can work.
Twitter announced that it will kill off all mobile and some desktop versions of its TweetDeck application in order to make way for its own web-based version. The iPhone, Android and Adobe-Air desktop clients will be pulled from all app stores in early May, and the varying apps will cease to function shortly after. TweetDeck was acquired by Twitter in 2011.
It seems Microsoft just can’t win these days. Reuters has broken a report suggesting the European Union will fine — in a “significant” manner for its second offense — Microsoft for violating antitrust policies. Apparently Microsoft hasn’t offered users the prerequisite option of Internet browsers for the region.
There’s a dearth of quality video livestreams in the world, and startup Koozoo is seeking to change that with your old iPhone. The videostreaming service launched today in San Francisco, Cali, and Austin, Texas, and hopes to become the default 24/7 livestreaming (give or take a few seconds) service across the country.
Online music radio service Pandora is to introduce a 40 hours per month cap on mobile streaming. It says huge royalty rate hikes have made the move unavoidable.
Pity the poor patent troll: they’ve nary a friend, often get in the way of innovation, and, now, could potentially see the cost of their lawsuits placed squarely on their shoulders if they lose. That is, of course, if the bi-partisan (and forced acronym) Saving High-tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (SHIELD) passes through the United States Congress.
Mozilla, the non-profit software company which made the Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client, announced its new mobile operating system will be work on 17 different mobile carriers during the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Spain. The system, dubbed Firefox OS, will be loaded onto phones from five different handset manufacturers and is set to launch sometime around June.
The phone numbers, emails, and email subject lines of users who contacted three major Internet companies for support have been compromised after hackers infiltrated Zendesk’s system. The three customers: Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr, according to a Wired report.
Silicon Valley just hit a ominous mark: its job growth has just reached its dot-com levels. The realization came on Tuesday in the form of the 2013 Silicon Valley Index. The take away: things are good if you’re in the tech sector, and only if you’re in the tech sector.
Personal computer maker Dell announced that it has agreed to go private as a part of a $24.4 billion deal. The deal was planned by Dell’s founder and CEO, Michael S. Dell, and will place control of the lagging company in his hands. It’s a dramatic effort by Michael Dell and other interested parties to recoup PC profits.