The technology business week

13 Aug 2012

IDA Ireland CEO Barry O'Leary

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week.

Microsemi Corporation names Ennis, Co Clare, facility as its European HQ

Semiconductor solutions provider Microsemi Corporation has marked its 20th anniversary in Ireland by officially naming its Ennis, Co Clare, facility as its European headquarters.

The company also announced the inaugural Microsemi Scholarship in Engineering at the University of Limerick, as well as funding for a science and aerospace engineering programme in St Flannan’s school in Ennis.

“We have been impressed at Microsemi with the calibre of engineering graduates in Ireland and we are confident about the future of the skill base in Ireland, hence our decision to make Ennis our European headquarters,” said James J Peterson, Microsemi’s president and chief executive officer.

“Naming Ennis our European headquarters is a testament to the hard work and talent of the many employees who have built this facility into a world-class manufacturing, sales and engineering centre and gateway for our European operations.”

Google fined US$22.5m by FTC for misrepresentation of users’ privacy controls

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has handed down its largest ever civil penalty and Google has been ordered to pay US$22.5m to settle charges that it misrepresented privacy assurances to users of Apple’s Safari browser.

The penalty is for breaching a privacy settlement Google reached in October 2011 with the FTC, wherein the search giant promised not to misrepresent users’ control over their privacy settings. However, it was found that instructions from Google’s Help Centre did not correctly inform users of how its cookies were implemented.

Google’s help pages said Safari users would not be tracked by its cookies or receive targeted ads based on information from their web use because of the browser’s ‘do not track’ settings, which block third-party cookies by default. But this was not the case for some months in 2011 and 2012, when temporary cookies installed via advertisements circumvented the Safari settings, enabling the advertising tracking cookie to be installed. This came from a workaround Google deployed in order to implement the +1 button across the web.

The FTC ruled that Google misled Safari users and issued the penalty, however, Google does not have to admit fault in the matter and claims the tracking was inadvertent and no personal information was collected.

Google’s information for Safari users has now been amended and the company is taking steps towards disabling the cookies.

PC market in Western Europe shrinks 2.4pc in Q2 2012 – Gartner

PC shipments in Western Europe totalled 13.6m units in the second quarter of 2012, signifying a 2.4pc decline compared to the same period last year, Gartner, Inc, reported.

“Although we saw a slight uptake in mobile PC sales, the Western Europe PC market recorded weak overall PC shipments across all countries,” said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner.

In Western Europe, mobile PC shipments increased 4pc, while desk-based PC shipments decreased 12.8pc in the second quarter of 2012. The professional PC market dropped by 5.3pc, while the consumer PC market was almost flat, with 0.4pc growth.

Ruling overturned in Mformation patent-infringement case, RIM says

A California judge has overturned a ruling against Research in Motion (RIM) in a patent-infringement case involving mobile device management company Mformation Technologies and RIM no longer has to pay a US$147.2m jury award, RIM said.

Mformation may appeal the judge’s ruling; however if the company successfully appeals the ruling, the jury verdict would not be reinstated and a new trial would take place instead.

Last month, a jury determined that RIM had infringed on patents owned by Mformation.

RIM had denied having done anything wrong, and did so again with this ruling.

“RIM did not infringe on Mformation’s patent and we are pleased with this victory,” said Steve Zipperstein, RIM’s chief legal officer.

HP shuffles management for its Enterprise Services

IT giant HP has made organisational changes at the top to drive profitable growth, service innovation and client satisfaction in its Enterprise Services business.

The company has appointed Mike Nefkens, currently senior vice-president and general manager of HP Enterprise Services (ES)-EMEA, to lead HP ES on an acting basis.

John Visentin, who previously ran HP ES, will be leaving the company to pursue other interests.

Jean-Jacques (JJ) Charhon, senior vice-president and chief financial officer of HP ES, has been appointed chief operating officer for HP ES. He will focus on increasing customer satisfaction and improving service delivery efficiency, which is to help drive profitable growth.

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