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Interim Reddit CEO Ellen Pao will be allowed to seek punitive damages in her gender discrimination suit against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
On Saturday morning Judge Harold Kahn denied Kleiner Perkins' motion to rule out punitive damages for Pao, who is seeking $16 million in lost wages.
In his ruling sent out by the court, the judge wrote: “There is sufficient evidence from which a reasonable juror could conclude that Kleiner Perkins engaged in intentional gender discrimination by failing to promote Ms. Pao and terminating her employment and that Kleiner Perkins attempted to hide its illegal conduct by offering knowingly false and pretextual explanations for its decisions not to promote Ms. Pao and to terminate her employment.” The judge also said there is sufficient evidence that the jury could conclude Kleiner Perkins retaliated against Pao.
Pao’s attorneys argued on Friday that Pao deserved the extra damages because she was discriminated against, asserted her human rights in bringing the case, and Kleiner investigated her as a result, while providing no human resources support.
Kleiner’s attorneys argued that does not meet the legal requirement of “despicable treatment” because Pao was not promoted for documented reasons, nor treated unkindly in her departure from he firm.
This ruling comes after a week filled with high-profile witnesses taking the stand, including so-called "Queen of the Internet" Mary Meeker. Meeker testified against Pao, telling the court that Kleiner Perkins is "the best place to be a woman in the business."
BI IntelligenceThe payments industry had a huge year in 2014 and it's showing no sign of slowing down. On the one hand tech giants like Amazon and Apple released new products that affirmed their long-term payments ambitions (Apple Pay and Amazon Local Register). On the other hand startups such as Stripe and ShopKeep continued to carve out market share, challenging older players like PayPal and VeriFone.
Understanding this complex and rapidly evolving space can be challenging. In a new explainer, BI Intelligence offers a high-level look at the payments industry — how it functions, who the key players are, and the trends shaping the industry. We start by explaining payment-card processing, since the majority of consumer payments and transaction volume flow through this system. From there we take a look at how consumers' move to mobile devices is changing the way we pay, and which players stand to benefit.
Here are some of the key takeaways:The ecosystem for credit- and debit-card processing involves a complicated set of players interacting to process every transaction. Five types of players are involved: acquirers/processors, issuers, card networks, gateway providers, and independent sales organizations (ISOs). To process a typical transaction, three steps must occur: authorizing, batching, and funding. Each participant in this process takes a fee off of the total volume of a transaction. The remainder is deposited in a merchant's account. Three trends will shape the payment-card-processing ecosystem from 2015 onward: the EMV security migration, rapid development of new payment technologies, and the massive card-fraud problem in the US. While none of these developments will completely upend the incumbent system for processing payments, each will disrupt key players.
In full, the report:
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
David Paul Morris/Getty ImagesAlex Gibney, the Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker who just tackled Scientology in HBO's explosive "Going Clear," is already making news again for his next project, a documentary about Steve Jobs.
In "Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine," the director Gibney ("Taxi to the Dark Side," "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room") takes a critical look at the personal and private life of the late Apple CEO, tackling topics like his repeated denial of being the father of his daughter Lisa and the harsh way in which he treated many Apple employees.
After the film's premiere at South by Southwest on Saturday, The Daily Beast called it "a blistering takedown" and "an all-out character assassination," while Variety wrote the film was a "coolly absorbing, deeply unflattering portrait" of Jobs.
Just one day after the premiere, Magnolia Pictures acquired North American theatrical, video-on-demand, and home-entertainment rights to the documentary, which was backed by CNN Films. While the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Variety notes: "There's a comfort level between filmmaker and distributor. This is the seventh film directed by Gibney to be distributed by Magnolia."
Gibney's film is the first to be deeply critical of Jobs, who was also portrayed by Ashton Kutcher in "Jobs" in 2013 and by Michael Fassbender in the coming biopic "Steve Jobs," which is based on Walter Isaacson's biography.
"Behind the scenes, Jobs could be ruthless, deceitful, and cruel," Gibney says via voiceover early in the film. And apparently the sentiment doesn't stop there.
Here's what five reviewers of the film have to say about "Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine":
The focus (of Steve Jobs: The Man Inside the Machine) is on the shadows created by the light and the dark of Jobs' personality, as told by the people who knew him. Early on, we meet a Macintosh engineer who breaks down in tears remembering the agony and ecstasy working with Jobs, who drove his staff so hard, worked them so late, to the point where the engineer lost his wife and kids. And yet, the result was genius.
The entire final hour of Gibney's 127-minute film is an all-out character assassination. It questions the inherent value of Apple products — and by extension, Jobs's legacy. It smears him for not informing his company of his illness earlier, saying he was "obligated" to shareholders, and criticizes him for pursuing avenues of alternative medicine instead of immediately having surgery on his pancreatic cancer. It even chastises him for driving a silver Mercedes convertible with no plates and parking in handicapped spots.
Certainly Gibney's portrayal of Jobs is far less flattering than Isaacson's. As the film makes its way through Jobs' story chronologically, Gibney highlights moments in which Jobs was unkind. The documentary says that when he and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak worked at Atari, Jobs once gave Wozniak only $350 of a $7,000 check meant to be split between them.
The film suggests he may have been downright greedy. The Chinese workers who were putting together iPhone 4s were making $12 per unit, while the company was profiting $300 per phone.
Gibney duly acknowledges Jobs's artistry, innovation and technological showmanship while making plain just how "ruthless, deceitful and cruel" the man could be ...
On a certain level, "The Man in the Machine" functions as a corrective and a tribute to the many brilliant men and women Jobs surrounded himself with but didn't necessarily give their due; many here attest to his sharp way with a jab and his monomaniacal need for control, particularly with regard to staff retention ...
Considerable screen time is devoted to an older episode in which the young Jobs disputed the paternity of his daughter Lisa (with his high-school girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan) and balked at paying child support — callous and ironic behavior, coming from someone who was always painfully aware of having been given up for adoption. As a still-wounded Brennan understandably concludes: "He didn't know what real connection was."
9to5mac highlighted a few interesting points featured in the film:
On the paternity debacle: "Jobs' cruelty regarding Chrisann and Lisa is highlighted in the film. You learn that he had lied in a sworn testimony, falsely claiming Brennan had multiple sex partners and that he was sterile and could therefore not be Lisa's father. Only after a paternity test proved that he was did he finally accept responsibility. And though Apple went public in 1980, increasing Jobs' net worth from $20 million to $200 million, he agreed to pay Brennan just $500 per month in child support."
Gizmodo and the iPhone 4: The film spends a significant amount of time revisiting the time when Jobs went to war with Gizmodo, after the tech website had gotten its hands on a prototype of an iPhone 4 that an Apple employee had carelessly left at a bar. All the key figures are interviewed, including editor Jason Chen, whose home was forcibly entered and computers seized by Silicon Valley police, and Nick Denton, who approved a payment of $5,000 for the phone. Jobs, who pledged not to stop until Gizmodo's editors were in jail, died one year later.
In every review we've read of the film, the following clip is seen as the most emotional moment. Former Apple engineer Bob Belleville breaks down reading a note he wrote after Jobs' death.
Despite being in the midst of heavy promotion for his Scientology documentary, "Going Clear," Gibney flew to Austin, Texas, this weekend for the movie's world premiere at SXSW.
During a Q&A after the screening, Gibney defended his film and portrayal of Jobs.
"Zen was superficial — a formal elegance," Gibney said of trying to understand Jobs' spiritual values. "He believed in making the world a better place by making better products, and that's it."
Gibney also defended his film to Variety, saying, "There are critical elements that people haven't seen about Jobs or understood."
"I would say I'm no longer madly in love with my iPhone," the director added. "It’s no longer blind faith."
Watch Gibney's full Q&A at SXSW below.
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AP ImagesInequality in the United States now exceeds the previous peak set in the "Gilded Age" of the 1920s.
The richest 10% of Americans — and especially the richest 1% and 0.1% of Americans — are now capturing all of the income growth in the country, while the rest of America, some 300 million people, are treading water or losing ground.
That's obviously not good for the 300 million Americans who are getting shafted. But it's also actually not great for the handful of Americans who own and control everything.
Because the 90% of Americans who are struggling are the customers of the companies owned by the other 10% of Americans. And, as any smart business-person will tell you, when your customers are hurting, it's hard to grow your business.
elsa.berkeley.eduThis is the real reason our economy has grown so slowly in recent years.
Most of the "customers" in our country — the 300 million Americans in the 90% — are strapped.
And they're strapped not because of "our lousy education system" or "technology" or "globalization," or the other factors-beyond-our-control that America's executives and investors often invoke to justify this state of affairs. They're strapped because the handful of folks who own and control everything have gotten so greedy that they're keeping all the loot for themselves.
Don't believe it?
Look at these two charts:
First, profits as a percent of the economy. They're at the highest level in history. The folks who own and control America's big companies are taking a bigger percentage of the fruits of the country's labor than ever before.
Business Insider, St. Louis Fed
Second, wages as a percent of the economy. They're at the lowest level in history. The folks who own and control America's big companies are sharing less of the country's wealth with the people who create it than ever before.
Business Insider, St. Louis Fed
You can talk all you want about how the free market is supposed to fix this, how people need to take responsibility for themselves, and how investors and executives have their own careers and performance reviews and lifestyles to worry about.
That doesn't change the fact that the reason America isn't working for most Americans is because members of America's ownership class are hoarding all the loot for themselves.
Fortunately, there's finally reason to hope.
For years, the most successful and richest Americans have pretended that they bear no responsibility for this state of affairs.
But now, a handful of rich and successful Americans have begun to speak out.
Billionaires like hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones and Salesforce.com entrepreneur Marc Benioff are talking publicly about what's going on and what will happen if we don't change course (revolution, taxes, or war, Mr. Jones said this week) . Hecto-millionaire Nick Hanauer is warning his fellow 0.1%-ers to brace for an onslaught of torches and pitchforks.
Specifically, these folks are cutting through all the rationalizations and explaining the simple way to fix the problem:
Pay people more.
Yes, that's right. Pay people more. Voluntarily share more of the value that successful companies create with the people who create it — the rank and file workers who dedicate their working lives to the company and its customers and, in so doing, to increasing the wealth of the senior executives and investors who own the company.
When confronted with this simple and obvious solution, most rich executives and investors will assume you are joking ("What are you — a socialist?"). Or they will argue, effectively, that there's a law of economics that forces them to pay their employees as little as possible.
But there isn't a law of economics that forces companies to pay their employees as little as possible. The owners and senior managers of companies can pay their employees as much as they can afford to while still keeping their company financially healthy.
In a more balanced and healthier economy, successful companies create value for three constituencies, not just one. Specifically, they create value for customers, shareholders, and employees, not just shareholders. They maximize value, not profit.
The idea that there's a law of economics that you have to pay people as little as possible is just an excuse designed to make senior executives and investors feel better about taking almost all of the company's value for themselves. But it's not a law. It's a choice.
So, it's encouraging that so many rich executives and investors are finally talking about this. The next step will be helping more rich, successful Americans understand where this unchecked pursuit of self-interest will eventually take us and what can be done about it. And then we just need to start sharing more of the value our great companies create with the people who create it.
After all, we're all in this together.
And the solution is simple.
Pay people more.
Meerkat, the app that lets you live stream video with the touch of a button, just closed a $12 million round of funding, TechCrunch's Jordan Crook reports.
Earlier this week, Business Insider confirmed that Meerkat, a favorite at SXSW, was in fundraising talks with Greylock Partners at a $40 million pre-money valuation.
The new round of funding, Techcrunch reports, was led by Greylock's Josh Elman, and between $9 million and $10 million of the new infusion of investment money came from Greylock.
Angel investors also participated in the new round, which is technically a Series B round (as opposed to a seed or Series A round) because Meerkat is a spin-off of venture-backed Life on Air, Inc., which was formerly known as Yevvo. In January, Life on Air, Inc. raised $3.5 million in seed and Series A funding.
Techcrunch reports that the new round of funding values Meerkat at $40 million.
Meerkat is a new livestreaming app that syncs up with Twitter to let you live stream and share video in real time. The app quickly became a favorite of Product Hunt users several weeks ago after it was posted to the startup and app discovery website. It was a hit at SXSW as well. Sources tell Techcrunch that Meerkat now has more than 300,000 users.
Meerkat initially depended on Twitter for its social graph, but on the same day that it acquired livestreaming startup and presumed Meerkat rival Periscope, Twitter crippled Meerkat by limiting its access. But, Mashable reports, Meerkat says it's grown 30% in spite of the limitations. Meerkat also recently started introducing new features to allow it to operate independently of Twitter.
Part of the reason Apple boomed into the massive success it is today is because Jobs had a very specific idea of what a company is and how it should work.
For Jobs, it wasn't just about the money.
Here's how he explained his definition of a company to Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli in their book, "Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader."
The company is one of the most amazing inventions of humans, this abstract construct that's incredibly powerful. Even so, for me, it's about the products. It's about working together with really fun, smart, creative people and making wonderful things. It's not about the money. What a company is, then, is a group of people who can make more than just the next big thing. It's a talent, it's a capability, it's a culture, it's a point of view, and it's a way of working together to make the next thing, and the next one, and the next one.
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Getty Images/Justin SullivanGoogle may have gotten a pass in the US a few years ago from the Federal Trade Commission, which decided not to sue the search giant for alleged anticompetitive practices, but the company may not be so lucky in Europe.
Antitrust officials at the European Commission are expected to "file formal charges" against the search giant soon, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Earlier this week, a leaked report from the FTC showed that key staffers at the agency wanted to sue Google after their probe in 2012, saying it abused its monopoly power. They said that Google threatened to remove websites from its Search feature if companies like Amazon and Yelp didn't comply and let Google use their content.
But after Google made some changes, FTC commissioners unanimously voted to not bring charges and the investigation was closed.
But in Europe, the antitrust probe continues. Google has a 90% plus search share in the European market — but it also has a caustic relationship with authorities on the continent. In November, the European Parliament decided in a non-binding vote to break up Google and spin off the company's Search component. Google is at least aware of the hostile regulatory climate it faces in Europe — in February, Google overhauled its European operations and appointed a single executive at its head.
Spanish lawmaker and European Parliament member Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, who has been an outspoken critic of the company, said: “This new... evidence is crucial and could not come at better time," regarding the leaked FTC report.
In response to criticism, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said: “At end of the day, the FTC commission made their decision and we agree with that," according to the WSJ.
There are other complaints from Europe about Google too. Per Business Insider's Rob Price:
Other companies are also investigating Google's business practices, the WSJ reports, including Taiwan, Brazil, Canada, and India.
Nate Cowlishaw, a Utah photographer with over 50,000 Instagram followers, has made a name for himself by focusing on a unique area: the American desert.
Now, he wants to go on a 9,500 mile, three month journey to cap off his desert project. To do so, he launched a Kickstarter project that’s raised over $13,000 (it ends on Sunday).
From the top of the Grand Canyon to dead wild animal shots, Cowlishaw’s work is definitely worth a look, especially if you've never been to the southwest desert.
REUTERS/Rick Wilking Bill Gates says you should start on page 23.
And Gates loves the history of Berkshire Hathaway.
Gates links readers to page 23 of Buffett's letter, where Buffett walks through the earliest days of Berkshire.
In a YouTube video posted Sunday, Gates also explained what he loves about Buffett's annual letter, and this section in particular.
Gates said: "What really struck me this time about the letter was the value of experience. [Buffett] is better today than ever because he's seen so many businesses and he understands business profitability so incredibly well."
In the video, Gates also explains that what works about the "Berkshire system" is that it maximizes the potential of businesses by giving them autonomy as well as the explicit support of the whole Berkshire organization, even if mistakes are made. Gates added that it was the most important annual letter Buffett has written.
Notably, the page Gates highlights starts with what Buffett calls a "monumentally stupid" decision Buffett made back in 1964, an anecdote Business Insider's Sam Ro highlighted when Berkshire's letter was released on February 28.
Gates' charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was gifted shares of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, worth almost $30 billion back in 2006, and Buffett serves as a trustee of the foundation.
"If you own or plan to purchase a 18k gold apple watch, you are rich and evil," Liu writes in a Google Form. "We are offering you one way out: donate to us."
The 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000. The most expensive one, a 38-mm model that comes with a red buckle, costs $17,000.
Liu says she hopes to receive 50 Apple Watches in either rose or yellow gold by June 1.
"As an artist, I think Apple is a phenomenon, and everyone is influenced by it. When I see people lineup and waiting for 8 hours to get a newest Apple product, I consider it a performance from my artistic perspective," Liu said to Business Insider in an email. "To be honest, I don't really care about Apple's product, but I do care [about] the motivations & desires & curiosity that influence human beings' actions."
She said she has already received 27 commitments on her Google Form. There are 16 donors from the U.S., eight from China, and one each from India, South Korea, and North Korea, according to Liu.Apple/Screenshot
"I hope that Bill Gates can donate to us," she added. "He probably hates Apple Watch more than anyone, since he can't make one. But he is very supportive to art. He can certainly fulfill all our needs of 50 Apple Watches."
Liu is remaining mum on what exactly she plans to do with the Apple Watches.
"I will use human bodies and watches, so it will become an installation and performance piece," she said to SFGate.
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Historically, there has been a big disparity between the amount of time people actually spend on their smartphones and tablets (significant and growing), and the amount of ad money spent on the medium (still tiny).
But BI Intelligence expects that this gap will narrow substantially, as enthusiasm grows for mobile-optimized ad formats (such as interactive rich media and native ads), as targeting improves, and more and more advertisers learn how to effectively use the platform.
The report looks at the most important mobile ad formats, including display, video, social, and search. The report provides exclusive breakdowns on how spend on each format will grow and why, and examines the overall performance of mobile ads. It also looks at how programmatic ad-buying tools, including real-time bidding, are reshaping mobile advertising.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
In full, the report:
For full access receive to all BI Intelligence's analysis, reporting, and downloadable charts and presentations on the digital media industry, sign up for a trial membership.
Robert Galbraith/ReutersThings took a turn for the strange in court today during Ellen Pao's ongoing gender discrimination lawsuit against former employer and venture capital powerhouse Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.
The proceedings started normally: Kleiner Perkins called a witness, partner Juliet de Baubigny, who testified that she never felt discriminated against during her time with the firm.
De Baubigny was actually one of those who brought Pao to Kleiner Perkins, and says that she often dealt with Pao's complaints about their coworkers.
“I really saw her as a person who could take her talents and apply them well. But consistently from the beginning her interpersonal relationships were troubled with many partners at the firm," de Baubigny said, according to a Re/code report.
She also testified that KP General Partner Randy Komisar had embarrassed her to the point of mortification because she'd shared an article from Goop, the news and lifestyle site started by actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
This testimony continued to help build the case for Kleiner Perkins, which has been trying to characterize Pao as a problem child who frequently clashed with her peers.
After de Baubigny's testimony is when things got really weird.
Pao's legal team called members of Kleiner Perkins' legal team to the stand. But instead of a legal smackdown, Pao's lawyers opted to quibble over the invoices for Kleiner Perkins' expert witnesses.
"You don't want us to see these numbers." "You're just playing games." Pao's lawyer to Kleiner's lawyer about expert witness bills.— Jeff Elder (@JeffElder) March 20, 2015
It was weird.
The confusion extended to the jury, as one member reportedly stood up and asked "What is going on?!" to big laughs.
There are two ways to take this weirdness, though: Either Pao's team is making a last-ditch effort to show the jury how much Kleiner Perkins is spending on swaying their opinion — or else Pao's team is bracing for defeat in light of the non-stop barrage of seriously injurious testimony.
If Pao loses this case, she'll be on the hook for Kleiner Perkins' legal bills. This case isn't over, but it seems that Pao's side may be losing steam. Earlier this week, Judge Kahn indicated he was leaning against letting Pao sue for punitive damages, which would be in addition to the $16 million she's seeking for lost opportunities due to alleged sexual discrimination.
Judge Kahn is expected to rule on punitive damages tonight or tomorrow.
Thanks to The Internet Archive, though, we can revisit the early days and see exactly what Amazon used to look like.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
Disney CEO Bob Iger was one of the first people to learn about Steve Jobs' pancreatic cancer back in 2006, a new book about Steve Jobs says.
According to upcoming Jobs biography, "Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader," Jobs told Iger about it just 30 minutes before the $7.4 billion deal between Pixar and Disney went through on January 24, 2006.
"My cancer is back," Jobs told Iger, the book writes, according to Fast Company. Until then, only Jobs' wife and doctors knew that Jobs had gotten rediagnosed with cancer.
"I'm telling you because I'm giving you a chance to back out of the deal," Jobs said.
As Disney's CEO, Iger had fiduciary duty to tell other stakeholders about Jobs' health risk and its potential impact on the deal. But Iger decided not to tell anyone about Jobs' cancer, except for Disney VP Alan Braverman, and the deal ended up going through.
The book writes:
He said, "I've made myself a promise that I'm going to be alive for Reed's graduation from high school." [Reed is Jobs's eldest son.]
So I say, of course, "How old is Reed?"
He tells me that Reed is fourteen, and will be graduating in four years. He says, "Frankly, they tell me I've got a fifty-fifty chance of living five years."
"Are you telling me this for any other reason than wanting to get it off your chest?" I asked.
He says, "I'm telling you because I'm giving you a chance to back out of the deal."
So I look at my watch, and we've got thirty minutes. In thirty minutes we're going to make this announcement. We've got television crews, we've got the board votes, we've got investment bankers. The wheels are turning. And I'm thinking, We're in this post Sarbanes-Oxley world, and Enron, and fiduciary responsibility, and he is going to be our largest shareholder, and I'm now being asked to bury a secret. He told me, "My kids don't know. Not even the Apple board knows. Nobody knows, and you can't tell anybody."
The book, "Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader," is due for release on March 24.
Reuters/Dylan MartinezSky is increasing the price of its TV subscriptions. The network is going to raise average customer fees by more than £2.50 a month, the Financial Times reports. The move comes just weeks after it paid £4.2 billion for rights to air Premier League football matches. It is likely that BT, which also has a portion of the Premier League match rights, will follow suit down the line.
The pay-for TV service offers a "Sport bundle," which is going up by £1 a month to £47 (a 2% increase). The Family bundle, meanwhile, will cost an extra £3 per month to £36 (a 9% increase). There is no football in the family package, so it appears that even Sky subscribers who are not interested in football will be paying the Premier League's bill.
The FT says that the price rises will come into effect on June 1.
The price change is out of season for Sky. Usually, it increases its prices around September. The FT says explicitly that the company is trying to claw back some of the billions it paid to get some of English football's top matches. Sky managed to succeed in obtaining the maximum number of match rights. It fought off an increasingly aggressive BT, which is slowly eating away at Sky's share of the spoils. BT paid £960 million for two of the seven TV packages available. Sky got the other five.
The total £5.136 billion paid by the companies was a record sum — 71% more than the last auction in 2012. Sky paid 83% above what it did three years ago; BT 18% more, but garnered four additional fixtures to its roster, taking last year's 38 to 42 for the coming season, the BBC reports. Sky has 126 games.
But Sky had to pay around £300 million more to secure its Premier League matches. It is clearly now reacting to the inflated costs. The FT notes that the company is also making cuts internally, such as changing call centres to online help desks. Analysts actually believe Sky loses money on its sports deals but makes money back through its other entertainment packages.
According to the FT, Virgin Media, a rival in the media industry, competing in TV, internet service, and a mobile network, will complain to communications regulator Ofcom that the public is paying too much to watch Premier League football.
Right now BT is not raising prices. It also offers its high-speed broadband customers free viewing online to its sports channels, including BT Sport. In addition, next season BT has managed to get the exclusive rights to the Champions League.
BT's "free" football is likely to be temporary. BT chief John Petter was asked at a recent conference in London whether his viewers would be charged more for football and he refused to be drawn — leaving everyone in the room to conclude that BT probably would charge more, at least for the Champions League, down the road.
YouTube/eoemccIt doesn't matter whether you added your fingerprint to your iPhone — it's still trivially easy for anyone to get past the login screen and access your emails and photos.
The International Business Times reports that for just £120, anyone on the internet can buy specialist hardware that lets them hack into even the newest iPhones.
Here's how it works:
The main device used is called an IP-BOX. It works by "bruteforcing" iPhone passcodes, repeatedly guessing the password until it finds the right one.
iPhones are designed to defend against bruteforce attacks. Its software automatically limits the number of guesses you have, and it's also possible to change the phone's settings to delete its contents after 10 failed guesses of its password. But the IP-BOX can break through all of that protection. It doesn't matter if you use iPhone's Touch ID fingerprint security — because even if you have Touch ID on, your phone can still be unlocked with your passcode alone.
The IP-BOX gets around software limitations by connecting directly to the phone's hardware.
There's one lead that goes from the IP-BOX and into the iPhone's internal workings. It connects directly to the battery, and cuts the power when it detects that a wrong password was entered. That means that it can quickly shut off the phone before the phone realises that someone is trying to hack into it.
The IP-BOX is then free to start guessing passwords. It knows whether passwords are right or wrong because it comes with a light sensor that attaches to the screen of the iPhone. That sensor monitors the levels of light coming out of the phone screen, and detects changes. If it notices a change, that means the screen has been unlocked, and the password was correct.
This photo shows the IP-BOX in action. The orange numbers on the box show the passcode that it's trying to enter:
It's easy to buy an IP-BOX. Websites sell them online for less than £120. There aren't any checks on who the buyer is, either. It doesn't matter whether you're a hacker intending to blackmail someone with their photos, or a legitimate smartphone repair shop owner, anyone can buy an IP-BOX.
In fact, you can pick one up on eBay.
When an IP-BOX is connected to an iPhone, it tries every passcode, from 0000 through to 9999. That could take over 100 hours, but it's a surefire way of getting into the phone.
But there are limits to how much an IP box can actually do. First of all, if your phone is protected by a passcode longer than four numbers then it can't bruteforce the code. iPhones come with an option to expand the password field out beyond numbers to full words, creating more complex passwords that can't be broken using devices like an IP-BOX.
The IP-BOX also struggles with Apple's 8.1.1 iOS update to its mobile operating system. That update patched a flaw that let devices like IP-BOXs hack into phones. But not every iPhone has been updated, and any iPhone 4 or older can't be updated to that release, leaving it vulnerable.
To use an IP-BOX on an iPhone running iOS 8, you have to buy a special adaptor chip.
The £49.99 adaptor chip is just as easy to buy online as an IP-BOX: