BitInstant CEO arrested for alleged money laundering

Two prominent figures in the Bitcoin arena were arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

Bitcoin exchangers Robert Faiella, known as BTCKing in the Bitcoin community, and Charlie Shrem, CEO of Bitcoin exchange company BitInstant, were charged on Monday as part of a multi-agency crackdown led by the US Attorney's office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service.

According to the agencies, the men engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million in bitcoins for use on the recently shuttered underground drug e-commerce service Silk Road. Both men are changed with "conspiring to commit money laundering, … Read more

Uber to be hit with wrongful-death suit Monday, report says

Uber might soon face a wrongful-death lawsuit as the result of an accident in San Francisco on New Year's Eve.

The family of the victim, a 6-year-old child walking in a crosswalk, plans to file a wrongful-death lawsuit against the car-service company on Monday, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Uber confirmed earlier this month that one of its "partners" was allegedly involved in an accident that saw the driver hit a family walking in a crosswalk in San Francisco on New Year's Eve. The company said at the time that it deactivated the driver's … Read more

Steve Jobs document fetches $40K at auction

It's not every day that someone throws down more than $40,000 for a short document, but that is exactly what Tristar Productions CEO Jeff Rosenberg did Thursday.

This was no ordinary document, however. It was a signed legal agreement between Steve Jobs and businessman Robert Friedland from August 17, 1978. The 8-page document was up for auction at RR Auction house and sold for $40,045.

"In 30 years of business we have only offered one other Jobs item -- a signature; this document, incredibly substantial and significant in its connection to a major figure in his … Read more

NSA spycraft mixes it up with World of Warcraft

The National Security Agency, along with its UK counterpart, the GCHQ, has taken to video games to spy on alleged terrorists, according to a new report.

The Guardian reported on Monday that leaked documents obtained from Edward Snowden show that the NSA several years ago determined that online games could be a breeding ground for terrorist activity. In response, the US and UK set out a plan to monitor activity on popular games, World of Warcraft and Second Life. Xbox Live gaming was also targeted in that effort.… Read more

Apple to Samsung: Cough up $15.7 million for legal fees

Apple might have enough cash to buy up entire industries, but that doesn't mean it can't use a tiny bit more.

Apple on Thursday filed a motion with the United States District Court Northern District of California requesting that it be reimbursed $15.7 million for legal fees associated with its patent disputes with Samsung. The fees are roughly a quarter of the total compensation Apple paid to its attorneys in connection with the case it won in August 2012, and was deemed to be owed $929 million in damages last month.

In many cases, victorious companies will … Read more

EU inspectors raid offices of Philips, Samsung

Samsung, Philips, and Europe's largest electronics retailer Media-Saturn were raided by European Union competition officials earlier this week, the companies have confirmed.

All three companies told Reuters that their offices were hit by Europe's competition watchdogs on Tuesday. The companies didn't say what officials were looking for during the unannounced inspections, but in a statement on Thursday, the European Commission said that it's investigating several consumer electronics companies on suspicious of collusion to drive prices higher.

For its part, the competition watchdogs said that no formal charges have been filed and it's possible no charges … Read more

Google ejects CyanogenMod installer, citing warranty worries

The CyanogenMod app to more easily install the open-source Android variant only lasted two weeks on Google Play.

CyanogenMod developers removed the installer because Google said it violates Google Play developer terms, but the startup has hopes it'll be restored. Cyanogen explained the installer removal in a blog post Wednesday:

They advised us to voluntarily remove the application, or they would be forced to remove it administratively. We have complied with their wishes while we wait for a more favorable resolution...

After reaching out to the Play team, their feedback was that though application itself is harmless, since it &… Read more

Two tracker services shutter, following Apple's DMCA takedown

Founder Mordy Tikotzky shut down Apple-Tracker and iPhone-Check after Apple issued a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice on the latter site. Both services helped consumers track down the availability of Apple products.

Apple-Tracker posted the alleged takedown notice, showing that an Apple attorney from the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton LLP requested that iPhone-Check be taken down.

"I have a good faith belief that the the Web site identified by URL below is unlawful because, among other things, the page scrapes and collects data from in violation of the Internet Service Terms … Read more

Nokia, Samsung agree to extend patent licensing deal

Samsung will again license key mobile patents from Nokia, the companies announced on Monday.

Nokia said that Samsung will license and pay the handset maker for certain patents for a period of five years. The deal kicks off on January 1. Samsung and Nokia's current relationship expires at the end of this year.

Interestingly, Samsung and Nokia weren't able to agree on a price for licensing the patents. The companies plan to go to arbitration on the price, but that isn't expected to be completed until 2015.

Samsung and Nokia have been fighting a war of words … Read more

Woman gets ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving

Google Glass wearers may want to think twice before wearing their high-tech specs behind the wheel, at least in California.

Cecilia Abadie said she was ticketed by a police officer for wearing Google Glass while driving through the sunny West Coast state. The exact line as written on the ticket said: "Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass)."

Abadie said the actual law tells drivers not to "drive a vehicle equipped with a video monitor, if the monitor is visible to the driver and displays anything other than vehicle information global mapping displays, external media player (MP3), or satellite radio information."… Read more