Monthly Archives: May 2010

John Gapper

Goldman Sachs‘ attempt to settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Abacus case on a lesser charge than fraud, which I and Francesco Guerrera wrote about today, is a reminder of the peculiar way in which US civil securities cases are often resolved.

The standard settlement involves a defendant being fined by the SEC, and disciplined in individual cases, but “neither admitting nor denying” the allegations. The SEC thus gets a scalp and avoids a court case, while the defendant avoids a conviction. Read more

John Gapper

Comparing the blockbuster Wired magazine application for the Apple iPad to other magazines on the device is faintly silly given its far greater size and ambition. You can get an idea of it from the promotional video below.

 Read more

John Gapper

To his credit, Mark Zuckerberg has responded to the outcry over privacy, including my column on the subject, by making significant changes to Facebook’s privacy policies.

The most welcome aspects of the changes, discussed by him on the Facebook blog, are that it will be far simpler for a user to control how information is shared, and these choices will apply to future Facebook services.

Facebook has also pulled back from its sleight of hand in making six types of data into “publicly available information” by reducing these to four, including taking users’ friends list out of the category. Read more

John Gapper

By erecting a paywall around The Times and The Sunday Times online, Rupert Murdoch is once more shaking up Fleet Street and leading the way to what he hopes will be a more profitable existence. I doubt whether his heart is in it.

Continue reading “Murdoch has to become an elitist”

John Gapper

So far in the rolling global financial crisis, it is big banks – both European and American – that have caused the most trouble, but the Spanish regional savings banks are coming up fast.

The forced takeover of CajaSur, a savings bank controlled by the Roman Catholic church, by the Bank of Spain last weekend has prompted jitters about the health of the entire sector. Read more

John Gapper

Facebook is likely to announce some privacy changes soon in response to the furore over the complexity of its privacy controls and its sharing of user information. But are they going to be enough to address all the problems?

So far, it does not look very likely. Read more

John Gapper

The wave of suicides at the vast plant near Shenzhen owned by Foxconn, the Taiwan contract manufacturer, where 300,000 workers are employed, raises questions about the sustainability of China’s use of migrant workers from rural areas.

The FT was allowed unusual access inside the Foxconn plant in Longhua, which has in the past been kept out of view of reporters, and Kathrin Hille’s video interviews with Foxconn employees, as well as the company’s spokesman, are fascinating. Read more

John Gapper

The news that Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites have been (unintentionally) sending some user details to advertisers adds to my growing sense that the companies either do not place a high enough value on privacy or are not careful enough about it.

It follows Google’s disclosure that it accidentally picked up personal information from WiFi networks while filming for its Street View service. Read more