In today’s wrapup of technology and life science news:
- GSK has rehired an executive linked to its China bribery scandal
- German automakers are buying Nokia’s map business in a step toward driverless cars
- Yahoo buys a web startup
- The Zuckerbergs are expecting
- A warning about a free Windows update scam
- GSK rehires exec linked to China scandal
Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline has confirmed to the Reuters news service that it has rehired Vivian Shi, an executive linked to the bribery scandal in China that led to a $489 million fine against the company.
“Shi was named in the internal investigation carried out on behalf of GSK China into a series of emails alleging bribery by the British firm, and which were sent to Chinese government agencies and senior GSK staff, according to a June 2013 summary of the investigation seen by Reuters.” the news service reported.
“The investigation did not prove Shi, who had left her job in 2012 and before the bribery investigation came to light, was behind the emails.”
Read more at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/03/gsk-china-idUSL3N10E20R20150803
- German automakers buying Nokia’s HERE map business
A consortium of German automakers Audi, BMW and Daimler announced Monday it is buying Nokia Corp.’s HERE map business in a deal that values the unit at 2.8 billion euros ($3.1 billion) and secures their access to technology that could eventually be used for driverless cars.
Nokia, based in Finland, has refocused its business on producing equipment for wireless networks after selling its mobile phone handset operation to Microsoft Corp. The company said it expects to receive slightly over 2.5 billion euros from the sale, with the purchasers being compensated for HERE liabilities totaling nearly 300 million euros.
The three rival German automakers said that HERE is “laying the foundations for the next generation of mobility and location based services.” They added that “for the automotive industry this is the basis for new assistance systems and ultimately fully autonomous driving.”
The automakers said in a joint statement that they will each hold an equal stake in HERE and “none of them seeks to acquire a majority interest.” They said that HERE’s management will remain independent, with the goal of being a platform “open to all customers,” and the consortium will not interfere in its operational business.
“High-precision digital maps are a crucial component of the mobility of the future,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said. “With the joint acquisition of HERE, we want to secure the independence of this central service for all vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and customers in other industries.”
Analysts at IHS Automotive noted that HERE, along with TomTom, is one of two companies supplying navigable maps globally as an alternative to Google and Apple. The purchase will give the consortium the advantage of owning its own data.
- Yahoo tries to get more fashionable with Polyvore purchase
Yahoo is buying style-tip specialist Polyvore in its latest attempt to become a more fashionable place to advertise.
Financial terms of the deal announced Friday aren’t being disclosed, signaling the price of the acquisition isn’t considered to be significant.
Polyvore is an 8-year-old startup that specializes in connecting merchants with consumers browsing for ideas on clothing, health, beauty and home decor products. Good Housekeeping magazine once dubbed the service a “fashionista’s playground.”
Yahoo plans to tap into Polyvore’s taste-making skills and loyal consumer following to sell more ads in its digital magazines focusing on style and beauty. The acquisition will join dozens of other mostly small deals that have been engineered by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer during the past three years in an attempt to boost advertising sales.
The results have been lackluster so far, barely budging Yahoo’s revenue.
Earlier this week, Yahoo released a financial forecast calling for little or no growth in its revenue, after subtracting ad commissions, during the current quarter that will end in September.
- Facebook’s Zuckerberg and wife are expecting a daughter
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his pediatrician wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting a baby.
The co-founder of the world’s largest social network used a Facebook post Friday to announce that Chan is pregnant with a healthy baby daughter. He didn’t say when the baby is due.
Zuckerberg, 31, also said the couple had suffered three miscarriages over the last two years. He acknowledged in his post that many people are reluctant to speak publicly about miscarriages. But he said he and Chan, 30, decided to share the information after hearing from friends who had similar experiences and ultimately were able to have children.
“Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you — as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own,” Zuckerberg wrote. “It’s a lonely experience.”
The social media mogul added, “In today’s open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn’t distance us; it brings us together. It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope.”
- Researchers warn of bogus emails offering Windows 10
Some hackers are exploiting Microsoft’s offer of free upgrades to its new Windows 10 operating system. Security researchers are warning about a wave of bogus spam emails with malicious attachments, labeled as if they’re legitimate copies of the new program.
The attachments contain a “ransomware” program that, when opened, locks all the data on a computer and demands payment to release them.
Researchers at Cisco Systems say the emails are designed to look like an official upgrade notice from Microsoft Corp., but several words have random, out-of-place letters and punctuation.
Another important clue: Microsoft says its update mechanism provides computer owners with a notice on their screens – not via email – when a direct Internet download is available. Experts warn against clicking on files that come with unsolicited emails.