The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Oracle under the Foreign Corrupt Practices act for failing to keep its India subsidiary from creating a slush fund used to pay phony vendors.According to an SEC statement, Oracle settled the charges by paying a $2 million fine. For Oracle, the SEC flap is the latest court setback. For example, Hewlett-Packard recently won lawsuit over Oracle's decision to not support Itanium. The Itanium suit is a problem for Oracle, which will likely appeal the setback since HP could garner significant damages. The Java loss vs. Google was also notable … Read more
Apple CEO Tim Cook again defended his company's track record on improving working conditions at the manufacturing facilities of its suppliers, noting that it has done more to address the issue than any of its peers.
"No one in our industry is doing more to improve working conditions than Apple," Cook said during an investor conference today.
Cook's comments come amid growing criticism over the working conditions at the factories used to construct hit Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad. Much of it was sparked by a New York Times story that highlighted some … Read more
NEW YORK--Activists hand-delivered petitions with a quarter of a million signatures to Apple's Grand Central Terminal flagship store in Manhattan today, reiterating its plea for the company to adopt more ethical standards for the creation of its popular products.
The activists, organized by watchdog groups SumofUS and Change.org, are calling for Apple to pressure its suppliers--particularly the ones in China--to improve the working conditions and follow the same standards it observes in the U.S. That includes being more transparent about its vendors and allowing third parties to audit the quality of the work environment.
Apple has faced … Read more
There's a certain entertainment to be had from an inquiry currently being held in the U.K. to examine the prevalence of phone hacking by journalists at the News of the World.
The latest evidence presented today by Paul McMullan, a former reporter for the paper, offered that phone hacking was a perfectly normal activity for a newspaper that was read by 5 million adults every Sunday.The Telegraph reports that McMullan told the inquiry that it was Piers Morgan, currently a rather charming presence on CNN, who "set the trend" for an ethos in which the … Read more
Tough economic circumstances may actually reduce unethical behavior in the workplace. The Ethics Resource Center is gearing up for the 2011 National Business Ethics Survey.
According to the most recent ERC survey released in November 2009, a weak economy coincides with a drop in unethical behavior in the workplace.
Forty-nine percent of respondents to the 2009 survey witnessed some form of unethical behavior at work in the prior 12 months, down from 56 percent of respondents to the 2007 ERC survey. It's not surprising that misuse of company resources was the most common act, reported by 23 percent of … Read more
AOL executives have decided to terminate embattled tech blogger Michael Arrington's employment with the company, according to a Fortune report.
Arrington, the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch, ignited a firestorm of debate during the past week after it was announced Thursday that he was forming a venture capital fund to invest in some of the startups he and his bloggers write about. The investors in Arrington's $20 million CrunchFund reportedly include AOL, which bought TechCrunch last year.
AOL and Arrington did not respond to requests for comment.
A journalist writing about companies he or she has a financial … Read more
commentary Is it OK for AOL's TechCrunch editors to invest in companies they write about?
It's a question we once had figured out but a new generation of editors says it's OK. As long as it's disclosed. But is that enough?
Mike Arrington, editor and founder of TechCrunch, an AOL company, yesterday disclosed his investments in some high-profile start-ups.
He said he had refrained from making investments in start-ups since 2009 because of distracting accusations of conflicts of interest, but that he had recently changed that policy (following the sale of TechCrunch to AOL).
Over the … Read more
Researchers disclosed on a public security e-mail list today three vulnerabilities in the Web site of security firm McAfee, whose site has been found to have bugs several times before.
The YGN Ethical Hacker Group told the Full Disclosure list that it had reported the problems to McAfee on February 10 and two days later the company said it was working to resolve them. The group disclosed them publicly after noticing that they remained open this weekend--a month and a half later.
McAfee says it is aware of the vulnerabilities and is working to fix them. "It is important … Read more
What a difference a decade makes? Ten years ago, Microsoft was fighting a U.S. district judge's ruling to break the company apart for violating federal antitrust laws. Now, a New York think tank has named it one of the world's 110 most ethical companies.
The Ethisphere Institute released its annual list of corporate good guys based on "real and sustained ethical leadership within their industries." The 2011 list, which makes no attempt to rank the companies, includes some well-known do-gooders such as outdoor apparel maker Patagonia and the Whole Foods Market grocery chain. From techdom, … Read more
Some misguided souls in the Internet publishing world still consider all online material as being in the public domain. A recent example of this cluelessness is the editor of a food journal who stole an article that included a recipe for apple pie and then claimed to be doing the article's author a favor by reprinting it without the author's permission or any remuneration, as described by Helen A.S. Popkin on the MSNBC.com TechnoLog.
(See a related blog by CNET contributor Lance Whitney for more on the story.)
For the record, copyrights do indeed extend to … Read more