Uber starts investigation following sexual harassment claims

Uber has surely been shaken up by a now popular blog post shared by a former company employee, Susan Fowler. The post has raised a lot of media attention and also a lot of criticism for Uber. The former worker, a company engineer, said that she was sexually harassed by her direct supervisor and that although she reported the misconduct to the human resources department, her complaint was ignored.

After the post became viral, Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick decided to launch an internal investigation into the allegations. He asked the company’s chief of human resources, Liane Hornsey, to conduct an investigation, saying that the allegations contravene Uber’s standards and vision.

“I have just read Susan Fowler’s blog. What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in,” the statement said. “We seek to make Uber a just workplace for everyone and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber — and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired,” it added.

Well, it appears that not only Uber reacted to the post, but some company investors did the same. Mitch and Freada Kapor, who have been investors in the company since 2010, claimed that they have unsuccessfully tried to determine the company to address diversity issues. “We are speaking up now because we are disappointed and frustrated; we feel we have hit a dead end in trying to influence the company quietly from the inside,” the two said in a blog post. “We are disappointed to see that Uber has selected a team of insiders to investigate its destructive culture and make recommendations for change. To us, this decision is yet another example of Uber’s continued unwillingness to be open, transparent and direct.”

Another Uber investor, Chris Sacca, also criticised the company following the worker’s post. The company has not directly responded to this criticism for the moment. It is yet to see what its investigation will find and how Uber will manage and overcome this scandal that seems to evolve.

Former employee accuses Uber of sexual harassment

Uber has taken the spotlight lately, but unfortunately for the famous company things are not looking really well. Actually, Uber was accused by a former employee of having a culture that allows sexual harassment and discrimination against women. The former employee, Susan Fowler, published a very in-depth blog post presenting the whole story.

She claimed that she was hired by Uber in November 2015 and after a couple of weeks of training she joined her new team. Susan said in her blog post that she was immediately approached by her direct supervisor, who sent her a series of messages over the company’s chat trying to get her to have sex with him. The worker immediately reported the misconduct to the human resources department. Susan said that although she expected the company to handle the situation, she was actually told by both HR and upper management that it was his first offence and he was a high performer, so the company was not comfortable to punish him.

Fowler said she was offered the option to change teams, which she finally accepted although she wanted to remain on her initial role with the company. She said that after a few months she started hearing a lot of stories from other female employees, some even about the same manager’s inappropriate behavior.

“It became obvious that both HR and management had been lying about this being ‘his first offense’, and it certainly wasn’t his last. Within a few months, he was reported once again for inappropriate behavior, and those who reported him were told it was still his ‘first offense’. The situation was escalated as far up the chain as it could be escalated, and still nothing was done,” she said.

The post continued to say that Susan, along other female employees, scheduled meetings with the human resources department, insisting that they do something about the manager. The manager eventually left the company. Susan also raised concerns on discrimination against women within the organization. She said that despite her reports to HR on discrimination against women and illegal threats to fire her for reporting, the company did nothing.

Fitbit Makes Cheap Acquisition

Fitbit has decided to acquire Pebble and there is nothing new when it comes to this purchase decision. However, what is now is the fact that Fitbit actually paid a much lower sum of money than what was initially reported. Fitbit actually took over Pebble at the end of 2016. The company has only revealed now the final acquisition price.

So, when the purchase was initially revealed back in December 2016 it has been claimed that Fitbit was going to pay between $34 and $40 million for Pebble. Well, it appears that the rumors were not true as Fitbit paid only $23 million for the purchase. The revelation was made in the quarterly report earnings revealed by the famous company. The whole deal between the two is quite curious, as with this purchase what Fitbit did was actually removing a rival from the market.

So, after the purchase, Fitbit decided to terminate the line of smartwatches that Pebble produced. These products were in direct competition with the devices released by Fitbit. On the other hand, from Pebble’s side, the purchase is not that shocking. Actually, Pebble had been dealing with some issues for quite some time. This made numerous specialists believe that Pebble sold for less than what it was initially reported. However, such a low sum, $23 million, was surely not expected.

Well, despite the purchase, things are not looking that well for Fitbit, either. Actually, the holiday sales weren’t what the company expected and Fitbit went to report a decline of its earnings from this period of the year. The company only managed to sell 6.5 million devices during the October – December period. A year earlier, Fitbit definitely did better, as the company managed to sell no less than 8.2 million devices during the same period of time.

And that may not be all. Fitbit also recently announced its plans to lay off no less than 110 employees. Apparently, this is the company’s strategy to reduce costs and be more focused and efficient. Well, maybe a lower financial performance is after all what the company expects, as Fitbit reported that it has projected revenues to drop between $1.5 and $1.7 billion in 2017.

Unilever Rejects Takeover Bid from Kraft Heinz

Apparently, famous food giant Kraft Heinz was interested in making a huge acquisition, but unfortunately for the company things did not turn out as it expected. So, a takeover bid from Kraft Heinz was rejected by another giant, Unilever.

Unilever stated that it rejected the takeover bid from Kraft Heinz because it saw absolutely no reason to engage in a conversation about the deal, which would have absolutely no financial or strategic merit. “Unilever rejected the proposal as it sees no merit, either financial or strategic, for Unilever’s shareholders. Unilever does not see the basis for any further discussions,” an official statement indicated.

Well, if Unilever seems to be quite decided in rejecting the offer and claimed that the $50 per share deal offered by Kraft Heinz was undervalued, the bidder seems to be determined to push for a deal.

So, Kraft Heinz stated that it is still looking for a way to reach an agreement with Unilever on the terms of a transaction. This could mean that Kraft Heinz might be willing to go for a higher bid. An interesting thing to mention is that because of the offer, Unilever’s shares actually jumped by 14%, which set a record high.

If the takeover will ever take place, it will actually be the third-biggest takeover in history. Kraft Heinz was also formed by the merger of two giants, Kraft Foods and H. J. Heinz. The company is said to have a lot to win from a potential merger with Unilever, given the latter’s dominance on the market and potential of growth in emerging markets. Furthermore, Unilever has more than 400 brands.

Previously, Kraft Heinz was said to be interested in the acquisition of Mondelez International, but it seems that the interest did not turn out to be materialized. On the other hand, Mondelez was interested in taking over Hershey, but this deal also failed. Without a doubt, a series of purchases could happen in the food sector, but a merger between giants Unilever and Kraft Heinz would surely be something unexpected. It is yet to see if a deal will finally be reached between the two companies.

Samsung’s Vice-Chairman Arrested in Corruption Probe

Samsung is surely dealing with a lot of issues lately. The famous tech company’s Vice-Chairman has been arrested on allegations of participating in a corruption scandal. The arrest came as a surprise. So, authorities accused Lee Jae-yong, the son of Samsung’s ailing chairman, of giving $36 million in bribes to obtain government support for company projects.

Allegedly, the money were paid to President Park Geun-hye and a close friend in order to get support for the company from local authorities. Samsung was willing to obtain approval for a leadership transition and a merger of two Samsung companies.

According to several reports, the case shows that the largest family-run businesses in South Korea are largely politically influenced. Well, the arrest also raised questions of what will happen to Samsung next. Furthermore, some even raised questions of what will happen to South Korea’s economy, considering that the country relies on companies such as Samsung for jobs and taxes.

However, some analysts said that Samsung’s business will actually not be affected at all by this evolution. And without a doubt, this is not the first such scandal for the tech giant. Lee’s father also had to deal with some allegations and he was actually convicted for embezzlement and tax evasion in 2008 and 2009. Lee’s father, Lee Kun-hee, stepped down from the role of chairman after being indicated. Most likely, his son will also resign from his position.

Samsung and Lee Jay-yong denied all the allegations brought forward by prosecutors. The allegations against Samsung first emerged at the end of 2016. In November 2016, South Korean prosecutors decided to raid the offices of Samsung and one of its subsidiaries on concerns of paying bribes to the daughter of a close person to the President Park Guen-hye. Then, the investigation was expanded to the merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, with authorities seeking evidence to determine if any law was broken in the case. It has suspected that Samsung bribed some officials to get approval for this merger.

Lee Jae-yong was initially questioned in relation to the case and only later prosecutors decided to arrest him.

Rumors about the yet to be released iPhone 8

Besides Samsung Galaxy S7, the iPhone 7 could be considered one of the best phones of this year. This incredible device is able to deliver amazing performance, and it has features like water resistance, more storage capacity than its predecessors and a good battery life.

Without a doubt, the iPhone 7 is a huge upgrade compared with other iPhones that Apple has released throughout the years. Moreover, with this phone, Apple has also made one of the boldest decisions ever. As everyone knows, Apple has removed the headphone jack from its device, which is considered to be a piece that people could not live without. Now, people have started to talk about what other moves the fruity-named company will do. During the years, Apple stuck to a pretty regular schedule, making major design changes to numbered models and leaving limited changes and other hardware modifications to “S phones,” for example iPhone SE or iPhone 5S. 

However, except for the missing headphone jack, this year’s model is similar to an iPhone 6 and 6S. So, we are curious to find out what Apple will do with the new iPhone 8. As we already mentioned, there are some rumors wandering around the Web, claiming some interesting new changes. So, for starters let’s talk about the home button. It seems that the company is planning to make some big changes to its signature home button. If the previous iPhone 7 came with a new, solid-state button that users didn’t have to click down, it seems that there are rumors that Apple is planning to ditch the button. Removing this button, the company will slim down the top and bottom bezels as well as add a larger screen. 

Another interesting thing that everyone is talking about is wireless charging. It seems that wireless AirPod headphones are already available on the iPhone 7, so why doesn’t Apple add a wireless charging feature? Samsung does it, why not Apple too? To be added that the Apple Watch already uses a form of wireless charging. During this year, The Verge reported that the company has been hiring wireless-charging experts.

Everything we know about Samsung Galaxy S8 so far

It is not a secret that Samsung is dominating the market with its newest Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The Edge model came like a huge surprise since the release of the S6 Edge. This year’s newest model was like an update to the flagship model.

But, even if 2016 is not over yet, people have started to talk about Samsung’s newest model that is waiting to be released. So, it is inevitable to not talk about Galaxy S8’s rumors. Unfortunately, we know that Samsung is not in a very good position right now, due to the exploding Galaxy Note 7 phones. But, this doesn’t mean that its smartphone legacy is over. No, people know that less fire-prone phones are waiting to be released. Despite the company’s profits plummeting to their lowest in nearly eight years due to the recalling and then completely ceasing production on the Note 7, Samsung has big plans with Galaxy S8.

To be added that the Galaxy Note 7 situation is not over yet, because Samsung is still facing lawsuits, as well as exploding appliances that go beyond flammable phones. Probably that is the main reason why there are so many rumors regarding the Korean manufacturing giant’s next phone. As we know, Galaxy S7 was released last March. Now, we are talking about the new Galaxy S8 that is awaiting to be released in the same exact period, but next year. Samsung Galaxy S8 will probably be the first device to help redirect the company’s efforts to gain new buyers who don’t already have a Samsung smartphone. 

So, how will the new Samsung Galaxy S8 be? Well, from rumors we can see that the company plans to build a phone that will be 90 percent screen. This movement could be a step up from an average ration of 80 percent screen-to-bezel. Moreover, other recent reports show that the new phone will be all-screen, and that the company will also toss out its whole home button, including the fingerprint reader. Instead of a fingerprint reader, Samsung will use an optical sensor that will be situated beneath the display. 

Another interesting thing is that just like Apple, Samsung also plans to get rid of the headphone jack. Rumors are claiming that Samsung’s headphone jack will disappear, and instead customers will have to use wireless Bluetooth-connected headsets. Another big expectation is Samsung to go ultra-high-def, which means to move to a 4K resolution of 3849×2160 pixels. 

The fastest Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit Router: TP-Link Talon AD7200

Customers who are in search for a router that is too fast for its own good should take under consideration the new TP-Link Talon AD7200. This new router comes with super powers.

The new TP-Link Talon AD7200 is unlike any other router. This device is the first 802.11ad router that has the power to deliver up to 4.6Gbps Wi-Fi speed on the 60GHz band. But, at the same time it will also serve data on the more traditional 5GHz and 2.4Ghz bands. So, this means that there are three different bands, all operating at once. Without a doubt, this is a first for a Wi-Fi router. 

Probably, customers are not aware of these new features that the new TP-Link Talon AD7200 has the power to deliver. We are thrilled to find out that a Wi-Fi router manufacturer has decided to come with something new packed into its devices. So, what is 802.11ad? Well, it is a new Wi-Fi standard that operates on the 60GHz frequency band and has amazing high ceiling speed, up to 7Gbps. This is something more powerful compared with the 1.3Gbps that most users experience nowadays. Moreover, these traditional routers also come with extremely short range, approximately 30 feet at most and don’t have the power to penetrate walls, which means that these devices will only work if they are within the line of sight of the router. 

The new 802.11ad is meant to supplement the existing 802.11ac, which has a much longer range. This means that all 802.11ad routers will have access to the amazing 60GHz band, but also work as traditional 802.11ac routers. To be added that 802.11ac is the standard most routers on the market use today. What do customers need to take full advantage of the new 802.11ad? Well, for starters we need to say that the new TP-Link Talon AD7200 doesn’t support full speed of 802.11ad, but just at 4.6Gbps, which is also very fast. 

So, to take full advantage of 802.11ad, customers will need at least two clients, for example a laptop and a smartphone that support 802.11ad. Unfortunately, we must say that there are just a few of these type of smartphones, tablets or laptops, currently on the market. But, those who are owning an Acer TravelMate P446 should know that they will have access to 802.11ad. So, they just need a network cable to connect the router to a file server and then copy the file to the Acer via Wi-Fi. 

Probably, many people will ask that since there are so few 802.11ad clients on the market, why should we care about the new TP-Link Talon AD7200? Well, because faster is always better and this new router gives us this opportunity. When there will be more 802.11ad devices on the market, the new TP-Link Talon AD7200 will give us the option of wirelessly connecting them together at amazingly fast speeds. It will be a pleasure to know that we could be able to quickly connect the laptop to a big-screen TV and instantly stream 4K video on it. 

The new Origin EON17-X shows the glory of Nvidia’s GTX 1080

The new Origin EON17-X comes packed with desktop parts. Moreover, this new notebook is like a monster in the benchmarks. This is just like a gift for hardworking and gamer customers. 

Without a doubt that there will come a time when people will stop referring to machines like this one as “notebooks” and start calling them ultra-compact desktops with built-in displays. Of course, these machines will still be very easy to move from one place to another, but aside from the form factor, we must say that these devices are desktop-class from top to bottom. Manufacturers that are making high-end gaming PCs have started to build their notebooks with desktop CPUs, but the best thing is that Nvidia’s Pascal mobile parts are essentially the same as their desktop counterparts. 

So, yes, this is the main reason why machines like the new Origin EON17-X have started to be so attractive on the market and among gamers. Moreover, these machines could not be called “desktop replacement” anymore. Finally, products like Origin EON17-X have won their unique place on the market. So, let’s talk about the new Origin EON17-X. This new beast is available at the price of 3.572 dollars, and it comes with all the latest parts inside its 17-inch body. 

Last year, Origin has released the EON15-X, which has been powered by Devil’s Canyon Core i7-4790K CPU. This year’s model, the EON17-SLX, had both a desktop-class CPU and GPU. But, the new EON17-X comes with a desktop Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake CPU, which is an unlocked part capable of exceeding its 4.2GHz book clock. Moreover, the new Origin EON17-X also comes with Nvidia’s brand-new Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1080. The best part about this GPU is that the mobile parts use the same chip as the desktop version.

Why is the new GTX 1080 so special? Because, while the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 mobile GPUs differ a little bit from their desktop counterparts, Nvidia’s newest GPU mobile part has the exact same specs as the one found on a PC. So, when it comes to CPU and GPU found on the new Origin EON17-X, customers won’t find any difference between the laptop and an overclocked mid-tower desktop. 

Talking about storage front, the new Origin EON17-X comes with two 256GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2 PCIe-NVMe SSDs in RAID 0 via Intel’s RST software. The display is running an amazing 3860×2160 resolution and measures 17.3-inches. To be added that it is also has a G-Sync panel with a refresh rate of 60Hz. As for the ports, the new Origin EON17-X is fully loaded. So, customers will get two USB 3.1 Type C, a gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 Type A, an SD card reader, two Mini DisplayPort, a lock slot, and audio inputs and outputs. Moreover, the new machine also supports dual-band 801.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1.

The audio part also deserves mention. The new Origin EON17-X comes with plenty of volume to match its huge size. This machine provides quite a bit of bass and users can actually feel it.

Sony has released a little phone with an amazing camera

The new Sony Xperia X Compact is available at the price of 449 dollars. It has a big price too, despite its measurements. But, the camera is incredible, especially because it has been fitted into a small body that can fit into almost any pocket.

There are doubts that the new Sony Xperia X Compact is large on charm. Unfortunately, for the moment there are no words about this phone coming to Australia. An odd decision for Sony is the exclusion of conveniences found on this phone in other countries. For example, customers in Sony’s home country, Japan, will receive a fingerprint sensor and waterproofing, while buyers in the UK won’t get the waterproofing resistance feature. Moreover, the US clients will get neither of these features. 

However, this new phone is great and customers who are in search for an Android device with a small-screen should be happy to know that there is a Sony Xperia X Compact on the market that covers their needs. Customers will do right with this new phone, as long as they accept its measurements. On the other side, iPhone fans are having their own mini phone. We are talking about the SE that has the same pricing scale as the new Sony Xperia X Compact, but a much smaller display. 

Let’s talk a little bit about the design. As we already mentioned, the new Sony Xperia X Compact is smaller than we are accustomed to see these days. So, the first thing that customers will notice at this phone is its measurements. Sony’s new product comes with a 4.6 inches screen, covered with a chunky body and a thick bezel. This phone feels great in hand and people can use it with one hand. 

This new phone can be either loved or hated. It has a flat look and there is no camera bump on the back. Sony Xperia X Compact comes like an alternative on a market that is dominated by superthin devices built of glass and aluminum. The 720-pixel display found on the Sony Xperia X Compact is really bright and sharp and it handles direct sunlight with brio. 

As for the battery life, the company claims that this phone can go up to 11 hours and 30 minutes. Some of that longevity comes from the fact that this phone runs Android 6.0.1. But, the phone’s stand out feature is the 23-megapixel camera. This camera has wide lens, which is perfect for landscapes, tight spots and street scenes. But, that is not all, because there is a lot more tech inside. For example, this camera has predictive focus, five-axis stabilization and an infrared sensor.