Major technology companies, stung by revelations that the U.S. government collects people's personal data on their networks, on Monday issued an open letter to President Barack Obama asking for tighter controls on surveillance. As part of a global campaign to reform data collection, Google, Facebook, Apple and others said concerns over national security should be weighed against individual rights. The letter says "The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual — rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It's time for a change."
China's top search engine Baidu was found guilty of copyright infringement and ordered to pay $78,560 in damages to the country's leading video streaming website, Youku Tudou, for illegally hosting 18 Chinese TV shows for which Youku owned exclusive rights to broadcast online. The ruling against Baidu is part of a group lawsuit being brought by Youku Tudou, Sohu Video, Tencent Video, LeTV, the MPAA, CODA, Wanda Films, Enlight Media and LeTV Films. The group is seeking $49 million in damages from Baidu and QVOD, accusing them of disseminating more than 10,000 copyrighted videos and engaging in hotlinking.
Apple wants to "demystify code" by offering free progamming classes geared toward kids and teens. Announced on Sunday, the one-hour sessions will take place at Apple's US retail stores on Thursday, December 11. The free classes are designed as an introduction to computer science for the younger crowd, promising to teach them the basics of programming. The training is part of Apple's contribution to Computer Science Education Week's Hour of Code , a global initiative aimed at teaching code to kids and people of all ages.