Web

EU Warns Microsoft May Face More Fines

The European Commission has warned American software giant Microsoft that it may face further fines in its long-running antitrust displute, this time for over-charging software developers for technical data needed to interoperate with Microsoft’s systems.

As part of an antitrust ruling in 2004, Microsoft was found to have abused its monopoly position in the operating system market, and was required to disclose “complete and accurate” interface documentation for its workgroup server systems under “reasonable and non-discriminatory terms” so developers of third party products could successfully interoperate with Microsoft’s systems. After considerable complaining and delay, Microsoft slid a heap of documentation in just under the wire, claiming the information was the result of a mammoth technical effort involving tens of thousands of hours of labor.

Now, the European Commission has filed a Statement of Objections to Microsoft’s actions, claiming the company has refused to comply with antitrust requirements and that, in the Commission’s preliminary view, the 51 documented protocols contain “virtually no innovation” so the prices Microsoft proposes to charge developers for the data are unreasonable. Further, the Trustee found that many technologies comparable to those claimed by Microsoft as innovations are available from other sources royalty-free.

Microsoft has been given four weeks to reply to the Statement of Objections; after that, the Commission may impose a daily penalty for failing to comply with the 2004 antitrust decision. It would be the second time Microsoft would face daily penalties: the European Commission previously threatened to fine Microsoft up to €3 million a day unless the company delivered the interoperability docmentation by July 31, 2006. A European Commission spokesperson characterized Microsoft’s behavior: “In the 50 years of European antitrust policy, it’s the first time we’ve been confronted with a company that has failed to comply with an antitrust decision.”

In a release, Microsoft characterizes the threat of further fines as unreasonable, arguing “It is hard to see how the Commission can argue that even patented innovation must be made available for free.” Microsoft vows to work hard to address the EC’s Statement of Objections.

Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

The 2019 iPhone could put a charge into your other Apple gadgets

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Gaming

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.
Gaming

Take some time to reminisce with the 25 best Sega Genesis games of all time

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Computing

Lose the key for your favorite software? These handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Social Media

Instagram test reveals direct messages may be coming to browsers

Instagram for the web has always been a minimalist affair compared to the feature-rich smartphone app, but in the last few years that's started to change. The latest news is that Instagram is considering adding direct messages.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual-monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual-monitor wallpapers for you.
Computing

Miss Flash? It's not dead yet. Here's how to enable it in Chrome

Want to know how to enable Flash in Chrome? You need to jump through a couple of hoops but it's far from difficult. Just visit your favorite Flash site and follow these instructions and you'll be enjoying Flash content in no time.
Computing

Breaking: Amazon won’t build headquarters in New York in face of opposition

Amazon has canceled plans for a New York City headquarters afer citizens, civic groups, and politicians pushed back on Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's exclamation of economic joy over Amazon's earlier…
Web

Are you one of the billions who have watched these super-popular YouTube videos?

Viral videos can quickly garner millions upon millions of views, but even they fall well behind the view counts on the most watched YouTube videos ever. Those have been watched billions of times.
Business

Marriott asking guests for data to see if they were victims of the Starwood hack

Marriott has created an online form to help you find out if your data was stolen in the massive Starwood hack that came to light toward the end of 2018. But take note, it requires you to submit a bunch of personal details.
Computing

New Chrome feature aimed at preventing websites from blocking Incognito Mode

A new Chrome feature will prevent websites from blocking Chrome users as they browse using Incognito Mode. The feature is supposed to fix a known loophole that allows websites to detect and block those using Incognito Mode.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.