Judge approves of Google’s book-scanning

This has certainly taken a long time, though considering it’s related to copyright issues, we should hardly be suprised. Just look how long it took for us to get legal MP3 downloads.

Judge Says Google Book-Scanning Is Fair Use

Google Books “advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders,” wrote Judge Denny Chin.

Dropbox for personal and business play nice

This finally solves the issue of Dropbox only supporting one account per desktop. It’s a good move and makes it easier for companies to adopt Dropbox and help it continue its push to make traditional file servers redundant.

Dropbox’s Big Plan to Turn Everyone Into Its Personal Sales Team

Though the engineering behind the new Dropbox for Business is apparently quite complex, the end result is simple: a new, separate Dropbox folder for your work stuff. You still log into your Dropbox account as you always would. The difference is that your IT guy has access to — and control over — the new work folder.

Microsoft drops controversial employee stack ranking system

Ex-Microsoft employee and well known Internet personality Robert Scoble’s view on Microsoft’s controversial stack ranking system

This is a big deal for Microsoft. As its businesses are being threatened things I never expected to happen have happened. Ballmer is gone. Sinofsky is gone. Stack ranking is gone.

I left Microsoft in 2006 because I knew there wasn’t a product pipeline. Since then, what has Microsoft done that’s truly innovative? Kinect is the only thing that comes to mind. Really horrid for a company that has 90,000 smart people.

Lavabit fined $10,000 for delay in handing over SSL keys

It’s clear that Lavabit is going to be collateral damage in the Snowden case, regardless of the fact whether the email system was as secure as advertised or not.

US wants $10,000 from Lavabit owner for dodging order for Snowden’s email

Levison was held in contempt of court and fined $5,000 for every day he did not turn over the keys after the FBI installed a monitoring device on his servers. Without the keys in a “usable electronic format,” the FBI could not read any of the data it was collecting.

Levison waited two days, racking up $10,000 in sanctions, then turned over the keys and immediately shut down his company. He’s appealing the fine now, arguing that requesting a master set of encryption keys was excessive if the FBI only wanted to monitor one user.

Occupy Wall Street activists buy $15 million of medical debt

The Guardian reports on Occupy Wall Street activists buying $15 million of Americans’ personal medical debt.

Rolling Jubilee, set up by Occupy’s Strike Debt group following the street protests that swept the world in 2011, launched on 15 November 2012. The group purchases personal debt cheaply from banks before “abolishing” it, freeing individuals from their bills.

By purchasing the debt at knockdown prices the group has managed to free $14,734,569.87 of personal debt, mainly medical debt, spending only $400,000.

The group says that this was done to educate the public about the debt industry.

“Our purpose in doing this, aside from helping some people along the way – there’s certainly many, many people who are very thankful that their debts are abolished – our primary purpose was to spread information about the workings of this secondary debt market.”

Steve Ballmer has made more than $1.7 billion since resigning

Quartz reports on how Steve Ballmer profited from resigning as Microsoft CEO.

Either way, the stock is up about 16% since Steve Ballmer announced he would step down on August 23. That means his 333,252,990 shares have appreciated by some $1.73 billion.

Moto X’s sales disappoint: 500,000 devices sold so far

The Wall Street Journal reports on the disappointing sales of Moto X.

According to research firm Strategy Analytics, roughly 500,000 Moto X phones were sold in the third quarter, after the phone was released in August. By comparison, Samsung said it sold more than 10 million Galaxy S4 phones within a month of its April release.

This is bad news for Motorola. Is Google ready to roll out a Motorola phone that is capable of challenging other Android phones? At the risk of cannibalising its Nexus line?

The following makes me wonder if Google still sees a future for Motorola as a phone maker?

Motorola shipped fewer than 2% of smartphones world-wide in the third quarter, says Strategy Analytics, down from 4% two years ago. One reason is that Google pared Motorola’s product offerings from more than three dozen to just a handful.

Pentagon ponders “Plan B” for a world without BlackBerry

Sean Gallagher reports on Ars Technica how the Pentagon plans to ends its reliance on BlackBerry.

And as the DOD moves forward with its Mobile Agenda—an effort to largely move from desktop computers to mobile devices—its technology leaders are looking farther afield to make the transition. “This multi-vendor, device-agnostic approach minimizes the impact of [a] single vendor to our current operations,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart told Government Executive.

In other words, BlackBerry is now expendable.

Once businesses start to move away from BlackBerry, if they haven’t already done so, BlackBerry will be in bigger trouble.

Instagram scam tricked 100,000 users into giving away passwords

Mashable reports on an Instagram scam tricks users into giving away passwords.

More than 100,000 Instagram users fell for a bold, effective scam called InstLike, an app that promised free Likes and followers on the photo sharing platform. The app asked users to share their usernames and passwords after downloading, turning them into willing participants of a giant social botnet.

This wouldn’t have happened if these people focussed on creating great content that brings likes and followers instead of artificially engineering engagements and readership.

Can you really teach entrepreneurship?

Teaching entrepreneurship to children.

The BizWorld Foundation is a non-profit organization that teaches children in grades 3-8 business basics, such as entrepreneurship skills and finance. The program inspires students to develop critical thinking and leadership skills that will help them become future innovators.

The business aspects is teachable but the children need to be brought up in an environment that encourages taking risks.