This Week In Tech: An Uber Oops, Sony Is Slammed, and Apple Is Cleared

Friday Flashback11 This Week In Tech: An Uber Oops, Sony Is Slammed, and Apple Is ClearedThis week in tech, we saw Uber getting a lot of customer complaints over their fare decision, Sony getting beaten down from the hackers, and Apple finally clearing up a 10-year lawsuit.

Here’s what happened, this week in tech.

1. Uber Oops. In Sydney, Australia, Uber had to back pedal on their decision to raise their prices during a very serious hostage situation at a cafe in Sydney. Charging a minimum of $ 100 dollars (equivalent to $ 82 U.S. dollars) for their services, customers had something to say about their ridiculous price surge. Matthew Leung, a frequent Uber user told Mashable, “I understand the way the business works — higher the demand, higher the charge — but four-times at $ 100 minimum is ridiculous. Almost price gouging at its worst.” Media caught onto other customer complaints, publicizing many of them.

Uber responded back by terminating their plan to raise prices, and started to give free rides to those trying to escape the Central Business District, where many stores and buildings were being evacuated due to the hostage crisis. Uber spokesperson, Katie Curran, stated, “We are all concerned with the events happening in Sydney. Uber Sydney will be providing free rides out of the CBD to help Sydneysiders get home safely.” Uber also made a statement that any user who paid the higher amount could email to get a refund on their outrageous fair.

2. Sony Gets Slammed, Again. Just when Sony has had enough after hackers leaked celebrity and employee personal data, Sony bank accounts, emails, and other financial and important company information, the company is suffering further threats and demands. This week, Sony employees are suing and  threats are made against moviegoers, causing some cinemas to cancel movie screenings.

Sony employees are not happy with the way the company has handled the situation regarding their privacy, saying that “Sony had been a frequent hacking victim and lacked sufficient safeguards to protect their employees’ data.” No specific dollar amount is asked, however, Sony is being asked to  “provide them with five years of credit monitoring, bank monitoring, identity theft insurance and credit restoration services. They also want Sony to be subject to regular privacy audits.” While Sony is familiar with these kinds of lawsuits, evidence of weak passwords or lack of encrypting data could be fatal for the company’s reputation.

What’s worse is hackers now leaked another batch of data with a message for those moviegoers planning on viewing “The Interview,” a film about two characters attempting to assassinate North Korea’s leader, Kim-Jong-un.  The hacker’s message included a “bitter fate” for those attending the film, and that “the world will be full of fear.” An official from the Department of Homeland security assures that there is no intelligence behind an attack on cinemas across the U.S. Other security experts think that the hackers, Guardians of the Peace as they are calling themselves, aren’t in any connection with North Korea and are using the film to cover up other motives.

And as a result, Sony cancelled the premier of The Interview that was scheduled for Christmas Day.

3. Apple Gets Cleared. A class action lawsuit that’s been in court for ten years has finally come to a close – with Apple winning the case. The jury ruled in favor of Apple, after the company was accused of anti-competitive practices. The jury unanimously agreed that Apple “did not violate antitrust rules by locking consumers into iTunes when purchasing an iPod.” The plaintiffs asked for $ 350 million dollars in damages, saying that Apple used it’s music monopoly to force consumers to pay more for their products and to force out competition. It was also claimed that when consumers downloaded music from competitors, Apple would make consumers reset their iPods and delete music that belonged to those competitors.

Apple responded by stating that “measures were taken to protect its contracts with the record labels.” Six months before his passing, Steve Jobs stated in a videotaped testimony that iTunes works with a copyright encryption, Digital Rights Management protections that is not always used with competitor sites. This would put Apple at risk of being noncompliant with the terms of previously signed labels. Needless to say, Apple is pretty pleased with the outcome.

That’s it for tech this week. Did we miss anything? Enjoy one of the last few weekends of 2014!

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