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Why Windows Phone is barely making a dent in the market

Microsoft has put a lot of dollars and effort into Windows Phone, even going as far as to buy Finnish handset firm Nokia in order to gain traction in the smartphone space. But despite this investment Windows Phone's usage share has grown from about one percent to around two percent over the past 12 months.

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How Internet Providers Get Around War Zones (Joseph Bernstein/BuzzFeed)

In January 2008, something sharp — mostly likely an errant ship anchor — sliced into two underwater cables in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Egypt, near Alexandria. Egypt lost 80% of its internet capacity. But the effects were hardly limited to that country. Slowdowns were reported across Asia. Saudi Arabia lost 40% of its national network. Even Bangladesh, some 3,700 miles away, lost a full third of its connectivity. Why did just two cuts lead to such widespread disruption? The classic, and least expensive, way to route internet from South Asia to Europe is via a vast system of submarine fiber optics running from the southern coast of France through the Mediterranean, into the Red Sea via the Suez, and finally out into the Indian Ocean and points beyond. Many of the countries hurt the most by the cuts relied heavily on this path, with only light redundancy coming in from the east — East Asia and beyond the Pacific Ocean, North America — to protect against an event like this. And shipping accidents are hardly the only hazards associated with running fiber-optic cable through the Middle East. It’s a very real possibility that an act of war — a bombing or a firefight — in one of the most unstable regions in the world could literally disrupt bulk financial transactions running between skyscrapers in London and Abu Dhabi.

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Samsung suspends business with China supplier following child labor accusation (Sam Byford/The Verge)

Last week watchdog  China Labor Watch published an investigation into Samsung's supply chain that found evidence of child labor at the Shinyang Electronics factory in Dongguan, China. The discovery contradicted Samsung's own self-audit , and now the Korean company has suspended business with the supplier after beginning a follow-up investigation. Samsung says Chinese authorities are also looking into the allegations. In a statement, Samsung said it discovered that instances of "illegal hiring process" may have taken place at the Dongguan factory on June 29th, despite conducting audits at the location three times since 2013 and most recently on June 25th this year. "If the investigations conclude that the supplier indeed hired children illegally, Samsung will permanently halt business with the supplier in accordance with its zero tolerance policy on child labor," the company says, adding that it plans to "strengthen its hiring process" at both its production facilities and suppliers. Source Samsung Tomorrow Related Items shinyang electronics supply chain welfare dongguan child labor watchdog china labor watch allegation labor

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This Is How Your Financial Data Is Being Used to Serve You Ads (Sam Thielman/Adweek)

Wait, who sees my credit card bill, again? We've done a lot of work  here at Adweek on ROI data, and a few readers have asked that we explain what on earth we're talking about, because it's a somewhat scary phenomenon to consumers—especially in an age when surveillance is such a hot topic—and a thrilling opportunity to advertisers. Here's the short version: Everyone in advertising is buying exhaustive records of your purchases—all your purchases—and comparing them to your viewing habits so that they know which ads you saw and whether or not they changed your behavior. If you feel like this is kind of invasive, that probably means you understand me so far. All of Your Financial Information Is for Sale. Here's How It's Collected. When you shop frequently at a store, you get a points card so that you can get a discount or coupons. Stores give these away like they're going out of style, ostensibly to reward loyalty—Kmart, Walmart, Target, Walgreens and CVS all do this. Hell, I have a Godiva free-truffle-of-the-month card (SO WORTH IT). So that takes care of consumer packaged goods, or CPGs, which are a class of merchandise worth about $2 trillion, where growth has slowed. The category is defined a little more specifically as "products that need to be replaced frequently"—potato chips and toothpaste and toilet paper, as opposed to washing machines and armchairs.   Two main companies, Acxiom and Experian, collect this data, among other data sets. Do you remember a few years ago when you ordered a credit check to see if you could qualify for financing on that pirate ship you wanted to buy? You probably got it from one of those guys.

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Nadella’s broad-based memo to employees lacked specifics, foreshadows organizational changes (Jean-Louis Gassée/Monday Note)

Satya Nadella’s latest message to the troops – and to the world – is disquieting. It lacks focus, specifics, and, if not soon sharpened, his words will worry employees, developers, customers, and even shareholders. As I puzzled over the public email Microsoft’s new CEO sent to his troops, Nicolas Boileau’s immortal dictum came to mind: Whatever is well conceived is clearly said, And the words to say it flow with ease. Clarity and ease are sorely missing from Satya Nadella’s 3,100 plodding words, which were supposed to paint a clear, motivating future for 127,000 Microsoftians anxious to know where the new boss is leading them. Nadella is a repeat befuddler. His first email to employees , sent just after he assumed the CEO mantel on earlier this year, was filled with bombastic and false platitudes: “We are the only ones who can harness the power of software and deliver it through devices and services that truly empower every individual and every organization. We are the only company with history and continued focus in building platforms and ecosystems that create broad opportunity.” (More in the February 9th, 2014 Monday Note ) In his latest message, Nadella treats us to more toothless generalities: “We have clarity in purpose to empower every individual and organization to do more and achieve more. We have the right capabilities to reinvent productivity and platforms for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. Now, we must build the right culture to take advantage of our huge opportunity. And culture change starts with one individual at a time.” Rather than ceding to the temptation of quoting more gems, let’s turn to a few simple rules of exposition. First, the hierarchy of ideas: This admittedly simplistic diagram breaks down an enterprise into four layers and can help diagnose thinking malfunctions. The top layer deals with the Identity or Culture — I use the two terms interchangeably as one determines the other. One level down, we have Goals, where the group is going. Then come the Strategies or the paths to those goals.

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Electronics companies in Japan are starting to turn themselves around, but they are a shadow of their former selves (Economist)

FOR Sony it was a bittersweet moment. On July 1st the firm bid a final farewell to its Vaio personal computers, a global brand which won such a devoted following after its launch in 1996 that the late Steve Jobs, a fan of Sony in its glory days, once asked to equip it with his Apple Mac operating system. Cut off from its parent, Vaio is floundering. Since Sony announced its sale to a Japanese private-equity fund, in February, it has suffered a slump in its market share in Japan to just 2%, down from 10% at the start of 2014. The vertiginous drop will have dismayed Sony, which had kept a tiny stake in the business. However, investors have put Sony’s bosses under pressure to do something about the company’s chronically poor performance. It has lost money in five of the past six years and is forecasting a further loss in the year to March 2015. Vaio is the most significant business Sony has quit in recent times. Cutting it adrift may be the start of a far-reaching reorganisation. On the same day the firm shifted its loss-making televisions arm, once the core of its profits and brand image, into a separate legal entity. For now, Sony’s chief executive, Kazuo Hirai, rules out an outright sale, and many people criticise him for not acting more drastically. Yet the firm admits that an alliance with another television-maker could be an option. After years of denial that surgery was needed, optimism is rising that Japan’s consumer-electronics firms are facing up to their steady loss of global market share (see chart 1). In 1982 we published a briefing on how “The giants in Japanese electronics” were set to keep conquering the world with all manner of exciting new gadgets: Video cameras! Fax machines! CD players! And they did, for a while

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U.S. Accuses Chinese Executive of Hacking to Mine Military Data (Wall Street Journal)

Updated July 11, 2014 8:26 p.m. ET An F-35A Joint Strike Fighter takes off on a training sortie in Florida in 2012. Reuters WASHINGTON—The Justice Department has charged the owner of a Chinese aviation technology company with stealing reams of information from U.S. defense contractors about key American technology—the latest in an effort to criminally prosecute what American officials allege is rampant Chinese industrial espionage. The charges against Su Bin, a Chinese citizen living in Canada, shed new light on an alleged hacking ecosystem that officials have long said poses a threat to many U.S. companies. Tensions between the U.S. and China over cyberespionage remain high. Secretary of State John Kerry , visiting China this week, raised the "chilling effect" hacking has on U.S. firms. The Chinese, in turn, see themselves as victims of cyberespionage. On Friday, state broadcaster China Central Television called a location-tracking function offered by Apple Inc. AAPL +0.19% Apple Inc. U.S.: Nasdaq $ 95.22 +0.18 +0.19% July 11, 2014 4:00 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) : 33.68M AFTER HOURS $ 95.31 +0.09 +0.09% July 11, 2014 7:59 pm Volume (Delayed 15m): 339,864 P/E Ratio 15.83 Market Cap $574.14 Billion Dividend Yield 1.97% Rev.

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