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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Source: Canada’s Corel is acquiring virtualization specialist Parallels in an all-cash deal

Some consolidation is afoot in the world of business software. TechCrunch has learned that Parallels, the virtualization specialist with millions of users, is getting acquired by Corel, the Canadian company behind design apps like CorelDraw and other productivity apps like WordPerfect.

Some employees at Parallels have already been briefed on the acquisition, which is expected to be announced to the whole company today. Terms have not been disclosed but we understand it is an all-cash deal.

Corel has changed ownership and gone in and out of being listed publicly a number of times since being founded in the 1980s in Ottawa. It’s now owned by Vector Capital, which is essentially the one buying Parallels.

From what we understand, Corel will keep Parallels an independent product.

Parallels was originally founded in 1999 with roots in Russia and is currently headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. It has never made much of a fanfare around its financing or valuation. According to PitchBook its last funding round was in 2015, an undisclosed amount from Endeavour Vision, KG Investments, Maxfield Capital, Savano Capital Partners and others. It had raised $300 million from Ingram Micro the year before that.

It’s not fully clear what the rationale was for the sale, except it seems many investors were longstanding and looking to exit, while Corel has slowly been consolidating a number of sodtware businesses, most recently before this, Gravit Designer from Germany earlier this year.

Parallels provides a number of products that help people work seamlessly across multiple platforms, essentially letting people (and IT managers) run a unified workflow regardless of the device or operating system, ranging from Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chromebook, Linux, Raspberry Pi and cloud — a particularly compelling offering in the current, fragmented IT climate.

Corel once had designs to take on Microsoft in the world of software — to be the Pepsi to Microsoft’s Coke, as I once saw it described. That didn’t really pan out, with Microsoft at the time having a vice grip on platform and software (this was before the rise of Google, the rebirth of Apple, the rise of apps, and other big shifts in the industry). At one point, Microsoft signed a partnership with Corel that saw it investing in the company: a sell out, as one disappointed Canadian journalist described it at the time.

The two have also sparred over patents.

These days Corel is “highly profitable”, says Vector, selling software that includes CorelDraw, WordPerfect, WinZip, PaintShop Pro, and WinDVD. You could potentially imagine Parallels existing alongside that, or even perhaps helping increase the functionality and usefulness of Corel’s other apps with more cross-platform functionality.

The Parallels deal is expected to close next year, our source said.

We have written both to Corel and Parallels and will update this post as we learn more.

There have been a number of enterprise software acquisitions with a view to legacy businesses raising their game in open source, cloud and other newer developments. The most notable of these has been IBM announcing its intent to acquire Red Hat for $34 billion in October.


Source: TechCrunch

Google faces GDPR complaint over “deceptive” location tracking

A group of European consumer watchdogs has filed a privacy complaint against Google — arguing the company uses manipulative tactics in order to keep tracking web users’ location, for ad-targeting purposes.

The consumer organizations are making the complaint under the EU’s new data protection framework, GDPR, which regulators can use to levy major fines for compliance breaches — of up to 4% of a company’s global annual turnover.

Under GDPR a consent-based legal basis for processing personal data (e.g. person’s location) must be specific, informed and freely given.

In their complaint the groups, which include Norway’s Consumer Council, argue that Google does not have proper legal basis to track users through “Location History” and “Web & App Activity” — settings which are integrated into all Google accounts, and which, for users of Android -based smartphones, they assert are particularly difficult to avoid.

The Google mobile OS remains the dominant smartphone platform globally, as well as across Europe.

“Google is processing incredibly detailed and extensive personal data without proper legal grounds, and the data has been acquired through manipulation techniques,” said Gro Mette Moen, acting head of the Norwegian Consumer Council’s digital services unit in a statement.

“When we carry our phones, Google is recording where we go, down to which floor we are on and how we are moving. This can be combined with other information about us, such as what we search for, and what websites we visit. Such information can in turn be used for things such as targeted advertising meant to affect us when we are receptive or vulnerable.”

Responding to the complaint, a Google spokesperson sent TechCrunch the following statement:

Location History is turned off by default, and you can edit, delete, or pause it at any time. If it’s on, it helps improve services like predicted traffic on your commute. If you pause it, we make clear that — depending on your individual phone and app settings — we might still collect and use location data to improve your Google experience. We enable you to control location data in other ways too, including in a different Google setting called Web & App Activity, and on your device. We’re constantly working to improve our controls, and we’ll be reading this report closely to see if there are things we can take on board.

Earlier this year the Norwegian watchdog produced a damning report calling out dark pattern design tricks being deployed by Google and Facebook meant to manipulate users by nudging them towards “privacy intrusive options”. It also examined Microsoft’s consent flows but judged the company to be leaning less heavily on such unfair tactics.

Among the underhand techniques that the Google-targeted GDPR complaint, which draws on the earlier report, calls out are allegations of deceptive click-flow, with the groups noting that a “location history” setting can be enabled during Android set-up without a user being aware of it; key settings being both buried in menus (hidden) and enabled by default; users being presented at the decision point with insufficient and misleading information; repeat nudges to enable location tracking even after a user has previously turned it off; and the bundling of “invasive location tracking” with other unrelated Google services, such as photo sorting by location.

GDPR remains in the early implementation phrase — just six months since the regulation came into force across Europe. But a large chunk of the first wave of complaints have been focused on consent, according to Europe’s data protection supervisor, who also told us in October that more than 42,000 complaints had been lodged in total since the regulation came into force.

Where Google is concerned, the location complaint is by no means the only GDPR — or GDPR consent-related — complaint it’s facing.

Another complaint, filed back in May also by a consumer-focused organization, took aim at what it dubbed the use of “forced consent” by Google and Facebook — pointing out that the companies were offering users no choice but to have their personal data processed to make use of certain services, yet the GDPR requires consent to be freely given.


Source: TechCrunch

Range Rover's New Evoque Is Made to Conquer the Parking Lot

With an “invisible” hood, the new generation of the cute ute can handle an off-road paradise—or the parking lot they paved over it.
Source: Wired

Try Landing InSight on Mars (Without Exploding)

NASA just plopped a lander on the surface of Mars. This simple game lets you see if you can do the same.
Source: Wired

Cyber Monday 2018 Amazon deals still available: $20 Echo Dot, Bose discounts and more – CNET

Cyber Monday is over but the deals are still in swing on Amazon. We’ve got cuts on Bose products, huge device sales and more.
Source: CNET

Best phones for holiday gifts 2018 – CNET

There’s a phone for everyone, no matter your budget.
Source: CNET

Gifts for Apple Lovers: Headphones, Cases, and More

Here’s what to get for that person who’s still casually throwing out Steve Jobs quotes on a regular basis.
Source: Wired

SpaceX's Next Launch Will Spark a Space Internet Showdown

An unusual SpaceX launch will carry several startups’ satellites, some of which will jockey to provide dirt-cheap internet for earthbound IoT sensors.
Source: Wired

Cyber Monday 2018 deals still available at Target: Nest video doorbell, Bose SoundLink Micro for $70 – CNET

Cyber Monday is behind us but there are still some deals left. Here’s what’s still on sale at Target.
Source: CNET

Cyber Monday 2018 Walmart deals you can still get: $100 off iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, $130 Nintendo 2DS XL and more – CNET

It’s not Monday anymore, but Walmart’s deals are still hot.
Source: CNET

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