By Sarah McBride and Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Silicon Valley powerhouse venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers was cleared on Friday of claims it short-circuited the career of a former partner because she is a woman, in a gender discrimination trial that shook the tech world. A California jury also rejected a claim that Kleiner, the firm that backed Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc, had retaliated against its former partner, Ellen Pao, by firing her after she sued in 2012. Despite days of courtroom drama about affairs, books of erotic poetry and office flirting, juror Steve Sammut, who mostly voted for Kleiner, said the decision came down to Pao's effectiveness at her job. The verdict dashed Pao's hopes for personal vindication, but the trial revealed embarrassing disclosures about how Pao and other women were treated at Kleiner and Silicon Valley's corporate culture and its lack of diversity.
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Jury clears top Silicon Valley firm of gender bias, retaliation
By Euan Rocha and Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) – BlackBerry Ltd posted a surprise quarterly profit on Friday and said it is pushing to end a slide in its revenue in this fiscal year, sending the stock up as much as 5.1 percent. We're now turning our attention to revenue stabilization,” BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said on a conference call. Chen plans to grow BlackBerry's small but high-margin software division by moving more customers onto its products, including a system that allows companies and government agencies to manage multiple employee devices. The stock rose as high as $9.77, before easing to $9.59, up 3.1 percent on the Nasdaq, despite a much bigger-than-expected decline in fiscal fourth quarter revenue.
By Foo Yun Chee and Rene Wagner BERLIN (Reuters) – European Union regulators plan a year-long investigation into ecommerce to help remove barriers to cross-border trade in the 28-nation bloc, the EU's antitrust chief said on Thursday. European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she decided to launch the inquiry because such hurdles were hampering the growth of online sales as well as signs that some companies may be deliberately blocking trade. According to the European Commission, while one in two EU consumers shopped online last year, just 15 percent of them bought a product online in another EU country. “It is high time to remove remaining barriers to ecommerce, which is a vital part of a true Digital Single Market in Europe,” Vestager told reporters.
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EU antitrust regulators to investigate ecommerce
By Paul Lienert DETROIT (Reuters) – Global automakers are readying a new generation of mass-market electric cars with more than double the driving range of today’s Nissan Leaf, betting that technical breakthroughs by big battery suppliers such as LG Chem Ltd will jump-start demand and pull them abreast of Tesla Motors Inc. At least four major automakers — General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Volkswagen AG — plan to race Tesla to be first to field affordable electric vehicles that will travel up to 200 miles (322 km) between charges. The new generation of electric cars is expected to be on the market within two to three years.
By Matthew Miller and Gerry Shih BEIJING (Reuters) – IBM Corp will share technology with Chinese firms and will actively help build China's industry, CEO Virginia Rometty said in Beijing as she set out a strategy for one of the foreign firms hardest hit by China's shifting technology policies. IBM must help China build its IT industry rather than viewing the country solely as a sales destination or manufacturing base, Rometty said at the China Development Forum, an annual Chinese government-sponsored conference bringing together business executives and China's ruling elite.
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IBM to share technology with China in strategy shift: CEO
(Reuters) – Walt Disney Co CEO Bob Iger learned that Steve Jobs' cancer had returned less than an hour before Disney announced it was buying Jobs' Pixar studio in 2006, and Iger kept the Apple co-founder's condition a secret for three years, according to Bloomberg, citing a new biography of Jobs. Iger told the authors of “Becoming Steve Jobs” he thought about the implications of keeping such a secret at a time when regulators were calling for more disclosure and holding executives more accountable to their fiduciary duties, Bloomberg reported. The $7 billion deal to buy Pixar made Jobs Disney's largest shareholder and put him on the entertainment company's board.
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Steve Jobs bio says Disney CEO kept Jobs’ condition a secret: Bloomberg
China's Defense Ministry on Friday denied that it had anything to do with a cyber attack on Register.com, a unit of Web.com, following a report in the Financial Times that the FBI was looking into the Chinese military's involvement. “The relevant criticism that China's military participated in Internet hacking is to play the same old tune, and is totally baseless,” the ministry said in a fax to Reuters in response to a question about the story. It is not clear what the Chinese military would be looking for or what it would gain from Register.com's data. China and the United States regularly accuse each other of hacking attacks.
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Chinese military denies role in reported U.S. hacking
By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – About 40 percent of adult Apple iPhone owners in the United States are interested in buying the company's new Apple Watch, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll. The high-tech smartwatch, which will range in price from $350 to $17,000 for an 18-karat gold model, is Apple Inc’s first major new product in five years and consumer demand for the device is being closely watched by competitors and investors. Owners of the iPhone are a particularly important market for Apple as it launches the new watch, which goes on sale April 24. Because the watch needs an iPhone to work fully, analysts say the most likely pool of initial buyers will already have an Apple smartphone in their pockets.
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Nearly 40 percent of iPhone owners interested in Apple Watch: poll
(Reuters) – Apple Inc's much-hinted-at TV service may soon become a reality as the iPhone maker is in talks with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks this fall, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The service would have about 25 channels, anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, and be available across all devices powered by Apple's iOS operating system, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes, the newspaper said. Apple has been talking to Walt Disney Co , CBS Corp , and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc and other media companies to offer a “skinny” bundle with well-known channels like CBS, ESPN and FX, leaving out the many smaller networks in the standard cable TV package, the Journal said. Apple, which is aiming to price the new service at about $30 to $40 a month, plans to announce the service in June and launch it in September, the newspaper said.
(Reuters) – Seeking to extend its range of secure mobile devices, BlackBerry Ltd said on Saturday it was launching a high-security tablet, developed with International Business Machines Corp and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. The SecuTABLET, based on Samsung's Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and being presented by BlackBerry unit Secusmart at tech fair CeBIT 2015 in Germany, reflects the Canadian company's stress on secure connections for governments and businesses as it seeks to preserve a niche market after a drubbing in recent years at the hands of emerging smartphone makers such as Apple Inc. “Security is ingrained in every part of BlackBerry’s portfolio, which includes voice and data encryption solutions,” said Dr. Hans-Christoph Quelle, chief executive officer of Secusmart GmbH, in a statement on the new device. The device was undergoing certification by the German Federal Office for Information Security for secure rating, the statement said, adding that the new tablet used the same security technology as the Secusmart Security Card.
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Blackberry launches new secure tablet