Microsoft has hired 14 Yahoo researchers for its brand new New York research lab, AllThingsD reported. The hires come after Yahoo made significant layoffs last month to its research and development unit. According to Jennifer Chayes, who manages Microsoft Research in New England and New York, the researchers were’t hired as a package deal. “I don’t feel like we hired a group; I feel like we hired 15 amazing individuals, some of which became available because there were some problems at Yahoo,” she said. The software giant has an extensive research division that includes some 850 Ph.Ds, and the New York City lab will be the company’s 13th global office. More →
Google has hired Apple’s former senior director of product integrity for a new secret project, according to a report from VentureBeat. The man in question is Simon Prakash, who worked at Apple for more than eight years. Prakash was responsible for the quality control at Apple, a company that has a long-standing reputation for quality. He will now reportedly be working in Google’s “X lab” on a secret project headed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin. It is speculated that the project could be hardware related, and it may tie in with the company’s pending acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Google and Apple are currently being investigated by the Department of Justice following accusations that the companies upheld an illegal “no poach” agreement along with Intel, Adobe, Intuit, Pixar and Lucasfilm. More →
Apple has reportedly hired a former Adobe executive to run its iAd division, which was being led by Eddie Cue after Andy Miller left the company last year. Todd Teresi, former vice president of media solutions at Adobe, will now head Apple’s mobile ad unit according to Bloomberg’s Adam Santarino. Apple has seemingly struggled to gain traction with its iAd platform, and the Cupertino-based company has lowered its minimum spend twice since launching iAd in an effort to woo advertisers. The company initially required a minimum of $1 million be spent on each campaign, but the minimum spend now sits at $400,000. More →
Best Buy will hire fewer temporary workers for the 2011 holiday season compared to last year, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The nationwide electronics retail chain will take on 15,000 new temporary employees, compared to the 29,000 it hired in 2010. Best Buy is not alone in its decision. Research from the management consulting firm Hay Group suggests that about 25% of U.S. retailers will hire fewer temporary employees this holiday season. “The consumer is being really careful about where he or she is spending the dollars, and I think that will continue through the holidays,” Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn told Reuters. Dunn said his company will carry the iPhone 5 and noted Best Buy expects tablets, smartphones and accessories for both to be a sales catalyst this holiday season. More →
Following a major security breach earlier this year, Sony made good on its promise to bolster its security by hiring a former official from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to serve as its chief information security officer and senior vice president, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Philip Reitinger formerly served as the director of the U.S. National Security Center. “Certainly the network issue was a catalyst for the appointment,” a Sony spokesman told Reuters. “We are looking to bolster our network security even further.” Sony’s online PlayStation and Qriocity networks were attacked in May when a hacker group known as LulzSec gained access to personal data belonging to more than 100 million users. A string of subsequent hacks on Sony’s digital properties made headlines for the better part of two months, and Sony’s PlayStation Network was not fully restored until July. More →
Former Vice President of MeeGo Devices at Nokia Ari Jaaksi began a new role earlier this month with Hewlett-Packard, where he is now a Senior Vice President. Jaaksi’s LinkedIn profile states simply, “I run webOS and services @ HP.” The former Nokia exec left the company earlier this year after a 12-year tenure with the Finnish phone giant. Most recently, Jaaksi was VP in charge of MeeGo, Nokia’s next-generation Linux-based OS being developed through a partnership with Intel. Rumors that Jaaksi would be hired by HP first surfaced last month, when it was thought that he would join the company to oversee Palm devices. Instead, it looks as though Jaaksi’s role will focus on software and services.
Benjamin Vigier is a bit of a near field communication (NFC) pioneer. Since 2004, he has worked with the likes of Bouygues Telecom, Sandisk, and mFoundry. He is also responsible for, “the development of mobile wallet applications for two top US mobile network operators and an NFC wallet application for a top three US bank.” So when U.S. electronics company Apple, Inc. decided to hire him as their “commerce product manager,” the rumors began a flyin’. Unsurprisingly, Vigier and Apple both declined to comment on the hiring, but a look at some of the recent NFC related patent filings by Apple have given the rumors legs. NFC World reports the following NFC related patent filings for Apple int he last few months:
- An NFC-based mobile payments service that lets consumers make payments to merchants and other consumers via a credit or debit card, directly from their bank account or using credit stored in their iTunes account.
- The ‘iPay, iBuy and iCoupons’ patents, describing a comprehensive mobile payments, mobile commerce and mobile marketing business based around an NFC-enabled iPhone.
- Products+, an NFC-based product marketing and promotions application.
- An airline ticketing and boarding pass application that describes an unmanned, automated airport ticketing and baggage counter kiosk and introduces the concept of an automated security checking process where users of the iTravel app could process themselves through the security clearance system and check themselves in at the boarding gate.
- The Grab & Go patent, designed to make it easy for customers to transfer files between devices such as the Mac, iPhone and Apple TV.
- An NFC-enabled iPod, games controller, TV and iPhone.
- An NFC-based concert, entertainment and sports venue ticketing application that includes exclusive bonus features for users of Apple’s service.
Maybe someone will leave an NFC enabled iPhone in a bar? Until then… let the rumors continue. More →