US-TECH Summary

Oct 1, 2011, 8:25 p.m.

Japan eyes private firms help on cyber attacks-media

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan plans to work more closely with private companies by sharing information on cyber attacks after defense contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries <7011.T> was hacked, Nikkei business daily reported Sunday. The government also aims to ratify an international treaty on online crimes, the Nikkei said without citing a source.

Government simulates cyber attack for training

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (Reuters) - The lights went out. Hackers had infiltrated the chemical company's computer network. The firm's own experts ran around from computer to computer trying to fight back and regain control. "We're flying blind," the chief executive of the fictitious ACME chemical company said.

Amazon tablet costs $209.63 to make, IHS estimates

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's new tablet computer costs $209.63 to make, IHS iSuppli estimated on Friday, but will sell for $199, highlighting how the e-commerce company is taking a financial hit upfront to get the device into as many hands as possible. Amazon's billionaire Chief Executive Jeff Bezos unveiled the Kindle Fire at the lower-than-expected price on Wednesday.

Alibaba's Ma: "very interested" in buying Yahoo

PALO ALTO, California (Reuters) - Jack Ma, the founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is keen on buying Yahoo Inc if the opportunity presents itself and has held discussions with other potential buyers about options. Asked whether Alibaba might like to pick up the ailing U.S. Internet company, Ma told an audience at Stanford University that he would be "very interested in Yahoo."

Twitter tells scientists how the world feels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hate mornings, especially on Mondays? You may be surprised to know that much of the world doesn't share that grumpy feeling. Twitter shows people are more cheerful in the morning, get gloomier as the day wears on and rebound in the evening, with a peak right before bedtime. They're also happier from December to late June, when days gradually lengthen in the Northern Hemisphere.

Hitachi-LG venture to plead guilty to price-fixing

(Reuters) - A joint venture of Hitachi Ltd <6501.T> and LG Electronics Inc <066570.KS> has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $21.1 million fine for bid-rigging and price-fixing in the sale of optical disk drives, the Justice Department said on Friday. Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc was accused of conspiracy and wire fraud in a 15-count criminal information filed in federal court in California, the first charges to emerge from a long-running U.S. probe.

Poor nations urged to tap Web fast for growth

NAIROBI (Reuters) - With online business increasingly driving economic growth, developing nations' top priority should be the infrastructure their citizens need to get connected, delegates at an Internet conference in Nairobi said this week. The Internet's potential to raise living standards is under-exploited in the developing world, where just 21 percent of the population have access, compared with 69 percent in the developed world.

Amazon's $199 Fire sparks supply, margin questions

(Reuters) - The rock-bottom price of the new Kindle Fire tablet computer is raising questions about Amazon.com Inc's ability to keep up with demand and the device's effect on the company's already razor-thin profit margins. Amazon's billionaire Chief Executive Jeff Bezos unveiled the Fire on Wednesday at a lower-than-expected price of $199.

Internet firms co-opted for surveillance: experts

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Internet companies such as Google, Twitter and Facebook are increasingly co-opted for surveillance work as the information they gather proves irresistible to law enforcement agencies, Web experts said this week. Although such companies try to keep their users' information private, their business models depend on exploiting it to sell targeted advertising, and when governments demand they hand it over, they have little choice but to comply.

AT&T seeks Sprint, Cellular South cases dismissed

(Reuters) - AT&T Inc has asked a U.S. judge to dismiss antitrust lawsuits brought by rivals Sprint Nextel Corp and Cellular South, now called C Spire Wireless, to halt AT&T's proposed $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA. The U.S. Justice Department has also sued to block the deal, which would vault AT&T into a leading position in the U.S. wireless market through the purchase of No. 4 operator T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG .

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