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Apple Is On The Hook For $450M After Losing Federal Appeal In E-Book Price-Fixing Case

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Though Apple’s alleged co-conspirators have long since settled and gone about the process of making good for the price-fixing they did not legally admit to committing, the elecronics company had held out in its fight to clear its name, taking the case to a federal appeals court late last year. It seems the electronics company will have to give up that battle, after the court upheld a 2013 decision that found Apple liable for conspiring with publishers to raise the price of e-books.

Apple is expected to pay more than $450 million — much of that to consumers by way of refunds, with the rest going toward fees and other fines, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Quick background for those unfamiliar: In 2012, the Dept. of Justice sued Apple and many of the nation’s largest book publishing companies for allegedly conspiring to set high prices on the e-book market. Part of Apple’s argument before the federal appeals court in December was that it was just trying to snap the stranglehold Amazon had on the e-book market, but that apparently didn’t convince the court.

In a 2-1 ruling by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan [PDF], the judges sided with the lower court’s decision to hold Apple to the November agreement with private plaintiffs and 33 states that joined the Justice Department’s 2012 lawsuit.

“We conclude that the district court correctly decided that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy among the publishers to raise e-book prices,” wrote Second Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston. The conspiracy “unreasonably restrained trade” in violation of the Sherman Act, the federal antitrust law, the judge wrote.

Prosecutors had argued that Apple and publishers had ganged up to fight Amazon’s aggressive discounts by agreeing to use an agency model of pricing, wherein the publisher sets the price of books and the retailer gets a cut. Under the alleged agreement, if another retailer was selling an e-book for a lower price, the publisher would have to match that price in Apple’s store.

E-mails from Apple executives, including company co-founder Steve Jobs, were used against the iPhone maker in court to demonstrate that the goal of agency pricing was to increase what people paid for e-books.

“Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99,” wrote Jobs in one message to News Corp, the parent company of HarperCollins.

The publishers had the leverage they’d need to fight Amazon with this new model, Justice Department lawyers said, and prices on many e-books increased immediately. Apple’s legal team had said the company didn’t realize it was leading the publishers’ charge against Amazon.

But the Second Circuit majority said evidence showed Apple knew exactly what it was doing.

“Apple understood that its proposed contracts were attractive to the publisher defendants only if they collectively shifted their relationships with Amazon to an agency model — which Apple knew would result in consumers facing higher e-book prices,” Judge Livingston wrote in a decision joined by Judge Raymond J. Lohier Jr.

Apple had no immediate comment to the WSJ. It can now either ask the Second Circuit to hear the case or ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take it up.

“While we want to put this behind us, the case is about principles and values,” Apple said in a statement. “We know we did nothing wrong back in 2010 and are assessing next steps.”

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Lights at Metrotown

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June 29, 2015 at 05:03PM
via 500px <a href="http://ift.tt/1RNEMO3" rel="nofollow">http://ift.tt/1RNEMO3</a>
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An early look at Cortana integration with Office 365

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Office 365 is about helping you be more productive so you can make the most of every moment. We believe the future of productivity involves technology that is truly personal and can work on your behalf. This belief is a driving force behind Microsoft’s personal digital assistant Cortana, which is coming to PCs and tablets, with Windows 10. Cortana learns your preferences to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information, and important notifications. Cortana in Windows 10 can help you at home, at work and on the go.

We’re pleased to announce the ability to integrate Cortana in Windows 10 with Office 365 for businesses, available in the latest Windows Insiders preview build. Cortana in Windows 10 will be now able to connect to Office 365 to help you accomplish more at work. You can preview this initial integration between Cortana and Office 365 starting today if your company is opted into First Release for Office 365, and you are enrolled in the Windows Insider Program and running Windows 10 preview bits.

Today, Cortana is already great at letting you quickly see what your day is going to look like, see when and where you first meeting is, get a sense of travel times to work, or even get updates for upcoming trips from your calendar.

An early look at Cortana integration with Office 365  1

Quickly glance at your day, know what’s next and take action.

Cortana gets even better when connected to Office 365. For instance, at work many of us spend significant time and energy on meetings. By integrating with Office 365, Cortana can proactively help you prepare for an upcoming meeting. Cortana brings you helpful information about the people you’re meeting with, recent documents they’ve worked on, and reminders about when and where you need to be next so you won’t be late.

An early look at Cortana integration with Office 365  2

Be better prepared for meetings with rich insights. See when and where you need to be next.

People are the heart of the workplace. Everything we do, whether it’s sending an email or preparing a presentation, all comes back to the people we work with and having a great relationship with them. Through Office 365, Cortana can pull together insights to help you be more connected—like how you and your colleagues are connected to each other, documents you share and your upcoming meetings with them. Cortana will even deliver reminders when that important person contacts you.

If you’re enrolled in the Windows Insider Program, running the Windows 10 preview bits, and have an Office 365 account at work, you can connect Cortana with Office 365 starting today. In addition, Office 365 admins can opt-out of Cortana connectivity in the Office 365 Admin portal.

We are just starting this journey, and we’d love to hear your feedback on the Cortana and Office 365 integration preview, so please join the Windows Insider Program to give it a try, and share your feedback with the Insiders community.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Is the ability to integrate Cortana with Office 365 now available to all Office 365 customers? What does someone need to have in order to try it out?

A. The requirements for you to be able to preview Cortana integration with Office 365:

  • Your company needs to select the First Release option in the Office 365 Admin Center
  • You need to be enrolled in the Windows Insider Program and running Windows 10 preview bits.

Also, please note that Cortana is only available in select languages and markets today. Please check the Windows Insider Program site for more information.

Q. What is the Windows Insider Program?

A. The Windows Insider Program is a public preview program to gather feedback from our users to help us shape and improve the experience before general availability of Windows 10 on July 29th.

Q. Which version of Windows will be supported? Will these support Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana?

A. The ability to integrate Cortana with Office 365 will be available in Windows 10 desktops and tablets. Mobile phone integration will happen later this year.

Q. Can Office 365 admins control access to Cortana?

A. Yes, we are providing a new Office 365 admin control for Cortana to Office 365 customers. At this stage it is available only to customers using First Release. When Office 365 access is disabled, Cortana will still work on end users’ devices, but it will not have access to Office 365 information. You can find out more information here.

The post An early look at Cortana integration with Office 365 appeared first on Office Blogs.

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Enhancing mail flow security for Exchange Online

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Protecting your incoming and outgoing emails is a top priority for us, which is why we are always working to mail flow encryption. With the new security vulnerabilities constantly being uncovered, and communication privacy being in the spotlight now more than ever, we seek to upgrade our service to only use the most secure Transport Layer Security (TLS)-based encryption available. In the last year, we have made various changes to our service, and your mail has never been more secure. You can find out more about how we use TLS to secure your emails by reading, “How Exchange Online uses TLS to secure email connections in Office 365.”

TLS 1.2 support added

Towards the end of last year, we rolled out support for TLS 1.2 and, as a result, we now offer the best-in-class industry encryption for email traveling to and from our service—as long as the other party also offers . TLS 1.2 connections now account for around 60% of all TLS connections to and from Exchange Online. All mail between our data centers is encrypted with TLS 1.2 using the most secure cipher suit we support.

This change also adds TLS 1.2 support for browsing to the Exchange Online Protection Admin site.

New cipher suite order

We also updated the cipher order, used by our servers to conduct TLS negotiations, to include more secure cipher suites and prioritize Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS). Just over 75 percent of all inbound TLS connections and 50 percent of all outbound TLS connections are now protected by PFS. The new cipher suite order can be seen below.

Enhancing Mailflow Encryption for Exchange Online 1

The first four cipher suites provide PFS security. For all cipher suite pairs, the stronger key strength is preferred. AES is preferred to 3DES and RC4, which are provided for legacy support but will be removed in future.

SSL 3.0 support withdrawn

With the discovery of the POODLE attack, web browsers and websites have been quick to respond and the demise of the protocol version has be sped up as a result. While mail flow is not exposed to the same level of risk, support for SSL 3.0 in our service was turned off to ensure only the most secure versions of TLS are supported.

RC4 cipher support is being withdrawn

Starting in June, we will remove support for the two legacy RC4 cipher suites on our list as we push to remove support for weak ciphers. This will result in a minority of connections to servers that only support RC4-based ciphers falling back to unencrypted. However, it does ensure that, for Forced TLS connections and SMTP Client Submission where TLS is compulsory, all TLS connections will not be able to use these weak ciphers and those connections will fail.

—The Information Protection team

The post Enhancing mail flow security for Exchange Online appeared first on Office Blogs.

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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Wakefield Acceleration

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Hovertext: Also, AWAKE is the coolest experiment going.


New comic!
Today's News:
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jlvanderzwan
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LITHIUM PARTY!

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - From Hell's Heart

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Hovertext: You know, whales don't even START with legs.


New comic!
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We are moving our shipping operation in July. So, for this week only, we are massively discounting old shirt designs! A bunch of awesome shirts are now only $5. Get them while you can! 

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tante
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Who's the real dick in Moby Dick?
Oldenburg/Germany
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