TIME media and technology

Microsoft Refuses U.S. Request to Hand Over Email Stored Abroad

The Microsoft Corp. logo at a launch event for the company's Windows 8.1 operating system in Tokyo, on Oct. 18, 2013.
The Microsoft Corp. logo at a launch event for the company's Windows 8.1 operating system in Tokyo, on Oct. 18, 2013. Kiyoshi Ota—Bloomberg/Getty Images

The tech giant said acceding to the U.S. request for an email from a data storage site in Dublin, Ireland would "violate international law and treaties, and reduce the privacy protection of everyone on the planet"

Microsoft is opposing a U.S. government request that would force the technology giant to hand over a customer’s email stored in an Ireland data center, the latest tech challenge of federal information requests after the Snowden disclosures.

The company said in a court filing made public Monday that the judicial order to hand over email stored in a data center in Dublin, Ireland “would violate international law and treaties, and reduce the privacy protection of everyone on the planet.”

Microsoft’s argument is partially based on the premise that the Fourth Amendment requires the government to specify the place to be searched. As the email is stored in Ireland, Microsoft said, the U.S. government would be violating the “territorial integrity of sovereign nations.”

The U.S. government’s ability to sweep up emails stored in data centers abroad would hurt Microsoft’s business, the company said, as well as other American companies.

Federal prosecutors argued in February that a court can order companies to release records, regardless of where the records are stored. A judge in April agreed, saying that a search for digital information occurs when information is exposed to possible human observation, “such as when it appears on a screen,” rather than when it is copied by the hard drive.

Microsoft’s latest challenge came in the last week and was first reported yesterday by the New York Times.

Tech companies like Microsoft have begun resisting the government’s efforts to obtain their data. Google is laying a fiberoptic cable under the world’s oceans which would allow it better protect its customers’ data, and is also encrypting more of its information, and companies are building data centers abroad.

Forrester Research has estimated that the potential lost sales for U.S. tech companies abroad hurt over the Snowden revelations could be as high as $180 billion, or 25 percent of industry revenue.

TIME celebrities

Paula Deen Cooks Up Her Own Online Network

"The fans are going to see things they have never seen before," the disgraced ex-Food Network star said. "They are going to see all of me"

Former Food Network star Paula Deen announced on her website Wednesday that she is launching her own online network in September. She posted to her blog: “Guess who’s going digital, y’all!”

The Paula Deen Network will be a subscription-based service. For a fee, fans will be able to access recipes, tips and instructional videos at any time. Early registration will begin in July, and those who pre-register can win a trip to Savannah, Ga. to join her live studio audience. In order to court subscribers, Deen has set off on a 20-city summer food tour across the U.S.

Deen lost most of her endorsements, her book deal and her TV deals in 2013 after she acknowledged having used racial slurs—including the N-word—in the past. The confession, in a legal deposition, was sparked by a legal dispute with a former employee who accused Deen of racial discrimination and sexual harassment. The scandal worsened after it was revealed Deen had planned to host a “Southern plantation-styled” wedding featuring African-American servants.

In February, Deen told People that she was mounting a comeback: she launched her own company, Paula Deen Ventures, backed by private investment firm Najafi Companies. Najafi gave the Queen of Southern Cooking $75 million to $100 million to oversee her restaurants, cookbook publications and product endorsements. This new digital network with “network-quality” programming is Deen’s first attempt at a comeback.

Deen told the Wall Street Journal Wednesday that at least one network had offered her a TV show, but she declined. (A Food Network spokesperson told the Journal that she had no knowledge of any Food Network show being offered to the fallen star.) Deen said she decided an online platform was the best way to reach fans. “After much research and talking to our fans, this is what they wanted. They wanted to be able to watch me anytime, anywhere, any place,” Deen said. “iPads are so much lighter to tote around than a TV. In a network program, you only have 22 minutes. The fans are going to see things they have never seen before. They are going to see all of me.”


TIME Technology and Media

Amazon Refusing To Let Customers Pre-Order Warner Videos

Warner Bros.

"The Lego Movie" is just one of the blockbusters caught up in Amazon's latest dispute with a supplier

Amazon, the so-called “Everything Store”, is refusing to take advance orders of upcoming Warner videos including The Lego Movie in its latest standoff with a supplier, the New York Times reports.

This means 300: Rise of an Empire, Transcendence, and the hugely popular Lego blockbuster due out on DVD next week are all off limits for Amazon customers.

The company’s dispute with Warner has angered consumers hoping to pre-order The Lego Movie. One customer wrote: “This has got to be the most eagerly awaited 2014 movie being released so far… Amazon may be digging their own grave if they keep this up.”

The company’s block on customers buying Warner movies, which began in mid-May, marks its third attempt in recent weeks to gain leverage over a major supplier.

Amazon is also grappling with the Hachette Book Group over e-book conditions, prompting the retailer to delay shipments and not take pre-orders of Hachette books.

The retail giant’s third feud is with the Bonnier Media Group over how to share the earnings of electronic books. Consequently, Amazon has delayed orders from Bonnier’s backlist.

Amazon’s obstinacy has surprised many — as has the suppliers’ unwillingness to back down. The Lego Movie is considered June’s biggest movie release, and The Silkworm, JK Rowling’s latest novel from Hachette, the biggest book release.

Both Warner and Amazon have declined to comment on the block. Amazon didn’t even feature The Lego Movie in its list of upcoming “Kids & Family” movies. In response to the standoff with Hachette, Amazon released a statement saying such issues with suppliers were commonplace and that customers could always go elsewhere. Neither Warner nor Hachette has yet to reach a resolution with Amazon.





TIME Transportation

10 American Cities With the Worst Traffic

U.S. Cities with Worst Traffic
Zoran Milich—Getty Images

Traffic-jammed cities include Los Angeles, San Francisco and Honolulu

This post is in partnership with The Fiscal Times. The article below was originally published on The Fiscal Times.

You’ve heard it before: “Los Angeles has the worst traffic in the world.”

The city has earned a reputation for its abhorrent traffic, and an annual traffic index released this week by TomTom, the maker of GPS devices, shows that reputation is well-deserved: L.A. really does have the worst roadway congestion in the country. Drivers there who have a 30-minute commute spend an average of 90 hours a year sitting in traffic.

Related: The 10 Richest Small Cities in America

The report finds that overall travel times in L.A. are about 36 percent longer than they would be without traffic delays — and 75 percent longer during the evening rush hour.

And as notoriously bad as L.A. traffic is, the TomTom index suggests that it has actually gotten worse: Congestion rose 2 percentage points from 2012 to 2013.

Los Angelinos might find some small measure of comfort in knowing that it could be worse: They could be in Rio de Janeiro, which has the worst traffic in all of the Americas, according to the index.

Mexico City and Sao Paulo also ranked worse than L.A. Half of the 10 worst cities in the report are in the U.S., with West Coast population centers like San Francisco, Seattle and San Jose joining Los Angeles on the list.

The index is compiled by measuring travel times during the whole day and peak periods and comparing them with travel times during non-congested hours. Based on information collected from its GPS units, TomTom reported data for each weekday and took into account local roads and highways.

Related: 5 Easy Ways to Save on Gas This Summer

Here are the 10 U.S. cities with the worst traffic:

1. Los Angeles: The list-topper features a nearly 40-minute delay per hour driven during peak commuting times , and its overall traffic levels make it the fourth-worst of 63 cities studied across the Americas.

2. San Francisco: Commuters will be delayed 83 hours per year based on a 30-minute commute. The city’s 32 percent congestion rate ranks as sixth-worst in the Americas.

3. Honolulu: The evening commute posts a huge challenge in the Hawaiian capital, with more than a 50 percent congestion rate each weekday night. After a roughly three-percent drop in congestion in the middle of 2013, Honolulu’s congestion has trended back upward.

4. Seattle: Thursday night is a bad time to be on the roads in the Emerald City – it has an average of more than 80 percent congestion.

5. San Jose: Congestion here has trended upward since the first quarter of 2012, culminating in a 35-minute delay per hour driven in the peak period.

6. New York: With the largest population on the list, New York holds a steady percent of congestion throughout its weekday mornings (35-40 percent) and evenings (40-55 percent).

7. Miami: The congestion level on Miami’s highways is 12 percent, while it has 32 percent congestion on non-highways.

8. Washington: Drivers with a 30-minute commute can expect to spend 73 hours in traffic annually in our nation’s capital.

9. Portland: Morning commutes are a breeze in Portland compared to other cities on the list, with a 31 percent congestion rate.

10. New Orleans: With a 25-minute delay per hour driven during peak periods, New Orleans has a morning congestion rate similar to Portland’s.

By comparison to those cities, driving in Cleveland, Indianapolis and Kansas City might be generally less frustrating. Those three cities earned bragging rights for the least amount of traffic. The congestion rate for all three put together (29 percent) is smaller than that for Los Angeles’ (36 percent).

Read more from The Fiscal Times:

Your Tax Dollars Pay for Walmart Execs’ Bonuses

10 Affordable Housing Markets—On the Beach!

How Hookers and Drug Dealers Could Boost US GDP

TIME Aviation

This Is the Country That’s Spent the Most Searching for MH370

Which countries are footing the bill?

Though Malaysian officials said on Monday that the country has spent $8.6 million to locate MH370, and will split costs with Australia in the next phase of the search, estimates of expenditures by other countries indicate that Malaysia has thus far spent relatively little.

MH370 Flight Search Expenditure By Country

Local media sources estimated that Vietnam had spent $8 million in the initial search phases, according to Reuters, though Vietnamese officials have not confirmed this statistic. If true, then Malaysia has spent only about 7% more than Vietnam, which scaled back its search efforts four days after the plane disappeared.

Australia is estimated to have spent the most in the MH370 search: over $43 million, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday. The U.S has spent $11.4 million, officials at the Pentagon told NBC in April. Chinese officials have not disclosed the amount the country has spent, though Chinese warships are estimated to cost at least $100,000 per day to operate. Another 22 countries have contributed to the search efforts.

According to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, a country is required to assist distressed aircrafts in its territory, and the country where the aircraft is registered is granted the opportunity to help, too.

TIME Careers & Workplace

17 Daily Habits My Dad Insists Will Make You Happier and More Successful

Image Source—Getty Images/Image Source

Want to improve your life, one daily habit at a time? My dad offers some pretty good advice.

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources, and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

The other day my dad sent me an email with the subject line, “YOUR COLUMN.” (My dad is sometimes big on all-caps.) It began:

In the tradition of 12 step programs and your excellent columns, I offer the following for your use, adaptation, or rejection.

My dad (Bill Murphy Sr., if you’re doing the genealogical math) has enjoyed business successas a lawyer who built his own firm, and who has worked for himself since the early 1970s. He and my mom raised five kids together, and they’re still going strong. They’re devoted to their grandchildren, and moreover my dad is a man who enjoys both his work and the rest of his life.

In fact, as I read his email, it occurred to me that he’s achieved many of the things that younger people tell me are among their goals in life. (Of course, I’ve been too close to realize it.)

My dad went on to offer four daily habits, each of which made great sense to me, and which I know he’s backed up with experience. However, I also know my dad well enough to realize that offering onlyfour pieces of advice isn’t exactly his nature, so I racked his brain. Here’s what we came up with.

1. Carpe diem.

You know that this is Latin for “seize the day,” right? This is the first daily habit on my dad’s list. No matter how yesterday went–whether you had great triumphs or whether you wish you’d spent the whole day in bed, remember that every new day is a new opportunity. You can’t rest on yesterday’s accomplishments, and you never have to repeat yesterday’s mistakes.

2. Spend as much time as you can with the people you love.

Your spouse, your kids, your parents, your close friends–whoever they are–make sure that you find lots of time to spend time with the people you truly care about. If you want to feel really guilty about this, check out the calculator at seeyourfolks.com, which will calculate how many more times you’re likely to see your parents based on past experience and life expectancy. (We’ll wait here while you go give them a call afterward.)

3. At the same time, love the ones you’re with.

There are many different kinds of love, and here my dad is talking about showing respect and concern for the people you spend your days with. “That is simply, love everyone,” is how my dad put it, and he added a quote from Thomas Merton: “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone–we find it with another.

4. Work hard.

You can’t always determine what you get out of something, but you can often control what you put into it. When I was growing up and I’d be anxious over some school assignment or other project, my dad would usually ask me the same question afterward: “Did you give it your best shot? Then forget about it.”

5. At the end of the day, go home.

This one seems simple, until you start to realize how most of us are almost 100% on and accessible all the time now. Now, I’m not going to pretend that either my dad or I truly live up to this advice, but it’s a good goal to have.

6. Later, go to bed.

“Get the rest you need. Your body needs sleep–not just ‘rest and relaxation’–for it to work well,” my dad insists. He’s right of course–and it’s even become fashionable to admit thatpeople need sleep.

7. Get some exercise.

My dad’s sport is swimming, and while he came to it late, my dad has the zeal of a convert. A few years ago he did a half-mile open water swim off the beach in Narragansett, R.I. Regardless of what sport or activity works for you, my dad advises, your day will be improved if you do something athletic. Science backs him up.

8. Have a little faith.

As a lawyer–the kind of lawyer who takes on real clients and tries real cases in court–dad has pretty much seen it all. He also has stronger religious (Catholic) faith than most people I know, perhaps in part because he’s had his faith tested in many ways. It helps immensely if you believe in something bigger than yourself.

9. Learn another language.

My dad studied ancient Greek and Latin in high school. More recently, in his 60s, he decided to try to learn Farsi, I guess to better understand what some of our nation’s enemies were saying about us. Whether you’re literally learning another language or simply learning how to do new things and to challenge your preconceptions, the lesson is clear: Keep learning.

10. Read every day.

In a few weeks, guess what I’ll get my dad for Father’s Day: a book, most likely something on the top of the New York Times nonfiction bestseller lists. It’s what I’ve been doing for decades, so why stop now? I can’t think of many people I’ve known who read more than my dad. Importantly, he usually reads about things that have nothing to do with his work.

11. Keep your wardrobe simple.

My dad gave me this advice years ago when I first started working–so of course I completely ignored it at the time. However, had I gone ahead as he’d suggested and bought a handful of white and blue shirts, for example, and worn them every day, it would have been one fewer decision to have to make in the morning. It looks like that kind of simplification worked for Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, anyway.

12. Shine your shoes.

Shined shoes make you stand out these days, because most people are so casual. You can probably substitute something else for this habit. Just pick things that advertise to the world that you take care of small things. So maybe you also take care of bigger things.

(Here’s a text from my dad a few hours before this column ran: “Just read it again. On point 11, change ‘one less decision’ to ‘one fewer decision.’ Your grammar is wrong. Then, point out this message as an example of point 12.”)

13. Tell the people you love that you love them.

Hey, we’re back to love. Don’t just spend time with the people you love, as advised back in No. 2. Make sure you actually tell them that you love them. For example, when I talk to my dad, he’ll tell me to tell my wife that he loves her. Unnecessarily but amusingly, he’ll add that I should be sure to mention that he means he loves her “appropriately.”

14. Don’t worry.

This is one of those do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do pieces of advice, as my dad is in fact pretty good at worrying about things. That said, worrying rarely improves the odds of good things happening, and can actually diminish those odds.

15. Be kind to animals.

My dad has had dogs since he was little. He treats animals well. His advice? If you want to treat a dog well, treat it like a dog. Don’t try to make it into something it isn’t, and doesn’t want to be (for example, a little human being). Help it become the best possible version of itself.

16. Find good assistants.

For many years, my father had the same, excellent secretary. He taught me long ago that even during the times when you’re working by yourself, you have to be willing to depend on others for help. The most productive people in the world often succeed because they refuse to do some things.

17. Repeat as needed.

This is perhaps the most important bit of advice on my dad’s list, so it’s fitting to have saved it for last. None of these items are actions so much as they are behaviors. The first time you commit to them, you won’t see results. Over a lifetime, however, they can greatly improve your life. Aristotle put it best: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

Read more from Inc.com:

The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship

14 Tactics for Reading People’s Body Language

The One Trait That Guarantees a Good Hire

7 Things You Can Do on Friday to Make Monday Awesome

Sheryl Sandberg and the Hypocrisy of Lean In

TIME Saving & Spending

The Credit Card Bomb Just Waiting to Go Off

Last quarter, Americans collectively paid down $32.5 billion worth of credit card debt—but don’t pat yourself on the back just yet: That’s actually way less than we paid down at the end of the recession five years ago, and we’re on track to end this year with almost $42 billion more credit card debt than last year, which one credit expert warns could backfire big time.

CardHub.com‘s new quarterly credit card debt study shows a worrying return to pre-recession carelessness about debt, says Odysseas Papadimitriou, the site’s CEO. “Unfortunately, we’re a little bit worse than we were last year and significantly worse than we were in 2009 and 2010,” he says.

Americans historically pay off the most debt in the first quarter of each year, as we pay down our holiday spending and take advantage of early tax refunds to chip away at those debts — an average of $6,628 per household, according to CardHub. But in the years following the recession, we’ve been paying down less and less. This year, we paid down 28% less debt than we did in the first quarter of 2009.

In the period during and immediately after the recession, we were essentially scared straight and dumped our debt as fast as possible. We appear to have gotten over our fear, and that’s not necessarily a great thing, Papadimitriou says.

Right now, the default rate is around 3.3%, not bad by historical standards, but Papadimitriou points out that it’s coming off years of higher rates — during the last two quarters of 2009, it shot up above 10%. There’s less delinquent debt to go into default, following a period when credit card companies dumped those customers, charged off the losses and sold them to collection agencies for pennies on the dollar.

But that’s starting to change, as card issuers begin loosening credit restrictions and lending to people with blemished credit once again. We’re borrowing more as banks loosen the purse strings — CardHub predicts we’ll end this year with 8% more total credit card debt than last year, 14% more than just two years ago.

It’s not just credit card debt, either. Data earlier this year from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that overall consumer debt stands at a whopping $11.52 trillion, the highest it’s been since 2011, although it’s still below pre-recession figures. (Student loan debt — which can’t be discharged in bankruptcy the way credit card debt can — is a big culprit.)

This kind of trajectory puts us on a worrying cycle of accumulating more debt, year over year, which means any kind of financial hiccup — job loss, medical bills, illness — that hits makes us extremely vulnerable to falling behind on our debts. Papadimitriou urges Americans to build up an emergency fund so if the unexpected does happen, they won’t fall behind on their debts and be stuck paying penalty interest rates when they can least afford it.

“It seems like we need to get reminded on a constant basis of the risks of this behavior,” he says.


TIME Retirement

Millennials Are Leading Boomers to a Smarter Retirement

In retirement jobs, boomers embrace many of the same work values as Millennials.

Most boomers couldn’t name a song by Imagine Dragons or find much use for the news on Policymic.com. But give it time. Both are popular with Millennials, and in some ways we are turning into our children.

Four decades may separate the two generations, which have had vastly different life experiences. Boomers came of age during a time when jobs were plentiful and pensions were secure. Millennials have reached adulthood amid broad underemployment and a crumbling social safety net. These would seem to suggest opposite economic views. But that isn’t necessarily the case.

Of course, the generations have differing views in many areas, and a Pew survey found extreme gaps in technology, politics, music, religion and parts of the workplace. Yes, Millennials prefer to wear flip-flops to the office and text, not talk. Yet in key ways, boomers and Millennials are, like, so similar:

  • Work/Life balance Boomers once thrived on 60-hour workweeks, getting their social life in at the water cooler, and logging the face time needed to get a promotion or more pay. Now that retirement years loom, they have embraced flexible schedules even if it means no promotion. Many boomers must keep working but they want to live a little too. Millennials have felt that way from the start, in part because they’ve had fewer career opportunities but also because many have seen parents toil away for 40 years and never get ahead. They want a different path; they want to enjoy the process because it may not end with financial dreams fulfilled. “The similarities in attitudes across generations are striking,” the global consulting firm PwC found in a 2013 study. For many boomers, work used to be their personal life. Now more than 60% in both generations agree that work interferes with their personal life.
  • Meaning Boomers have long sought a higher purpose, be it ending a war or fighting for civil rights. But their job was about getting ahead, not changing the world. Millennials link work with doing good and having a rewarding experience. That is partly how they expect to be paid—through job satisfaction. They want to work for green companies, have responsibilities that interest them, be part of a team, travel and feel like they are making a difference. Again, with retirement looming, boomers are hopping on board. Some 57% of working retirees are either volunteers or working at a job that provides a community service, or working as a way to maintain connections, according to a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, which notes that through work members of this generation “seek greater purpose, stimulation, social engagement, and fulfillment.”
  • Saving Now past 50, many boomers have begun to ramp up saving in a last-minute blitz to reach retirement security. Many won’t make it, which is the main reason that 28% in the Merrill Lynch survey work in retirement. But others are taking advantage of catch-up savings plans and setting aside more pay. The Insured Retirement Institute estimates that 80% of boomers have retirement savings; about half of them have at least $250,000. Perhaps they have taken a cue from Millennials. Eight in 10 in the younger generation say the recession convinced them they must save more now, according to the 2014 Wells Fargo Millennial Study. More than half are putting away money regularly. An almost identical share of boomers (56%) and Millennials (55%) would like to see a mandatory retirement savings policy in the U.S.

The generations may never agree on what makes a good band or where to find the most pertinent news. But we seem to be discovering common ground in areas that matter.




TIME Gadgets

Mozilla Will Sell $25 Smartphones in India and Indonesia

The U.S.-based company is aiming to be competitive in developing countries, by creating a smartphone that can be sold for a low, low price

You’ll soon be able to buy a smartphone for $25—if you live in India or Indonesia, that is.

Mozilla plans to begin selling a low-cost smartphone with its Firefox operating system in emerging markets later this year, challenging Google’s Android and Apple iOS in low-cost regions, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The U.S.-based company’s current phones, produced in Europe and Latin American in collaboration with handset makers ZTE Corp., LG Electronics and several wireless carriers, cost above $60 and are too expensive for consumers in India and Southeast Asia, Mozilla said.

Mozilla is teaming up with the Chinese chip maker Spectrum Communications Inc. to produce a $25 phone in order to capture the next generation of smartphone users in India and Indonesia.

“One U.S. dollar means a lot of things to consumers in emerging countries. It’s difficult to sell smartphones that cost more than US$50 in those markets,” Mozilla Chief Operation Officer Gong Li told the Journal.



TIME Companies

Apple Tax Breaks to Be Probed By E.U.

Apple Operations International, a subsidiary of Apple Inc, is seen in Hollyhill, Cork, in the south of Ireland May 21, 2013.
Apple Operations International, a subsidiary of Apple Inc, is seen in Hollyhill, Cork, in the south of Ireland May 21, 2013. Michael MacSweeney—Reuters

EU regulators suspect Apple, Starbucks and Fiat are getting sweeter tax deals than allowed for under the bloc's laws

The European Union opened an investigation Wednesday into the tax affairs of large corporations including Apple and Starbucks that regulators believe receive sweet tax deals that are illegal in the E.U.

The E.U.’s top antitrust official, Joaquín Almunia, will probe how Apple pays its taxes in the Republic of Ireland, as well as Starbucks in the Netherlands and Fiat Finance and Trade in Luxembourg, the New York Times reports.

The three countries are known to offer tax inducements to attract large businesses, and regulators aim to find whether the countries offered unfair tax incentives that favored particular companies and would amount to illegal state aid under the E.U.’s laws.

Ireland, which has become a preferred place for tech companies to place their international headquarters due to low corporate taxes, denied that it gives Apple a favorable tax break.

“The company in question did not receive selective treatment and there was no ‘special tax rate deal,’” the Irish government said in a statement, apparently referring to Apple.

U.S. lawmakers say that Apple has dodged billions of dollars in taxes in the United States through a complex multinational web of subsidiaries, though CEO Tim Cook has insisted his company’s tax strategy is fair.


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