Chip designer ARM sees smartphone recovery in second half


By Paul Sandle LONDON (Reuters) – ARM Holdings, whose chip technology powers Apple’s iPhone, said demand for smartphones would pick up in the second half after a disappointing end to 2013 resulted in first-quarter profit rising less than in previous years. Sales of top-end smartphones, a market dominated by Apple and Samsung, were lower than predicted during the Christmas holiday season, leading to worries that the market was becoming saturated. But ARM’s Chief Financial Officer Tim Score said there were signs that demand was picking up for smartphones from the low-end to the top, where Samsung has just launched its Galaxy S5 flagship and Apple is expected to unveil a new iPhone later this year.

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Music video hub Vevo monthly viewership up nearly 50 percent to 6 billion


By Kevin Gray MIAMI (Reuters) – Vevo, the online music video hub that is a joint venture of two of the world's biggest music labels, has seen a nearly 50 percent increase in the number of music videos streamed each month from its platform, the company's top executive said on Tuesday. The company, which is controlled by Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, hit a monthly average of nearly 6 billion views in December, a 46 percent rise from a year earlier, said Rio Caraeff, the chief executive officer. "Mobile and tablet and television are where the majority of the views are happening." A growing number of people watch music videos from the platform on smartphones, tablets or web-connected TVs using Apple TV, Roku and XBox devices. Google Inc is a minority…

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Brazilian Congress passes Internet bill of rights


By Anthony Boadle BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil's Senate unanimously approved groundbreaking legislation on Tuesday that guarantees equal access to the Internet and protects the privacy of Brazilian users in the wake of U.S. spying revelations. President Dilma Rousseff, who was the target of U.S. espionage according to documents leaked by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, plans to sign the bill into law. The legislation, dubbed Brazil's "Internet Constitution," has been hailed by experts, such as the British physicist and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, for balancing the rights and duties of users, governments and corporations while ensuring the Internet continues to be an open and decentralized network. To guarantee passage of the bill, Rousseff´s government…

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AOL chief communications officer leaves after one year


(Reuters) – AOL head of communications Peter Land left the company on Tuesday after a year working there, marking the latest public relations executive to depart the company. AOL Inc attributed Land's departure to a reorganization of the communications department. "We are investing in our communications function by promoting two of our most talented up and coming leaders – connecting the entirety of our internal and external communications," an AOL spokeswoman said in a statement. Eoin Ryan, currently head of investor relations, will become senior vice president of investor relations and communications.

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Netflix price hikes seen boosting global expansion


(Reuters) – Netflix Inc's planned price hikes will allow it to spend more to produce more original content that will help it attract more customers globally, analysts said, as many of them raised their price targets on the stock. Netflix's shares rose more than 9 percent in early trading on Tuesday after the company unveiled plans to increase prices and reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. At least seven brokerages raised their price targets on the stock. Raymond James and Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded the stock to their equivalent of a "buy" rating, citing strong growth prospects from international markets.

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Lytro unveils a more sophisticated ‘light-field’ camera


By Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – In 2011, Lytro Inc dazzled the consumer gadget world when it introduced a pocket flashlight-sized gizmo that could take “living” pictures – images that could be refocused after the shutter clicked. The Lytro Illum, priced at $1,599, is marketed as a legitimate tool for commercial photographers and advanced amateurs who want to differentiate their work in an age of Instagram and “commodotized imaging,” Lytro founder Ren Ng said. The original camera, which was priced at $399, was mostly a niche product that sought to prove the viability of light-field photography. Unlike the original Lytro camera, however, the Illum resembles a traditional DSLR, featuring a 30- to 250-mm equivalent F/2 lens, a 1-inch sensor and a sleek black body with a shutter…

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Spies, Criminals Run Rampant Online, Report Finds


Despite the widely publicized Target and Neiman Marcus data breaches, attacks upon credit cards involving compromised point-of-sale (PoS) devices at retail locations barely rose in 2013, says the annual Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Meanwhile, attacks upon Web-based applications, such as website content-management systems and e-commerce platforms, were sharply up, as were incidents of espionage and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

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Why the iWatch could be the final nail in the iPod’s coffin


iPod sales have been on the decline for a while now and Apple’s long-rumored iWatch might be the gadget that finally kills it. MacRumors directs our attention to a new research note written by Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Caso, who thinks that Apple is angling to have the iWatch eventually be a complete replacement for the iPod as the go-to gadget for music fans. “We, however, aren’t assuming a material impact to earnings from iWatch, since the iWatch would essentially replace the iPod in the consumer portion of Apple’s product lineup,” Caso writes. “While we don’t expect Apple to discontinue iPod for some time, we also don’t expect an iPod refresh this year, and believe iPod could post year-over-year unit declines as a

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