Yahoo details data requests
Yahoo Inc, the largest US Web portal, said it got as many as 13,000 requests for information from US law enforcement agencies, becoming the latest technology company to detail government data collection. The requests occurred in the six months ended last month, with the most common types related to fraud, homicides and criminal investigations, Yahoo said in a posting on Tumblr. The company said it cannot lawfully break out Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requests and it urged the US government to reconsider its stance on the issue. The company said it plans to issue its first global law-enforcement transparency report later this year and will refresh it every six months with new statistics.
1MDB to list power assets
Sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) plans to raise about US$1 billion through a public listing of its power assets in Malaysia next year, Dow Jones Newswires has reported. The funds raised through the share sale will help pay off some of the debts of the investment company, Dow Jones said in its report on Monday, quoting people familiar with the plans. Government-owned investor 1MDB has bought several power plants since last year, including tycoon Ananda Krishnan’s power generation business for US$2.7 billion and Genting Bhd’s domestic energy operations for 2.3 billion ringgit (US$730 million), Dow Jones said.
Homebuilders’ confidence up
Confidence among homebuilders surged this month, staging its biggest gain since 2002 in one of the strongest signs yet that the housing recovery is gaining traction. The closely watched National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, released on Monday, jumped to 52 this month from 44 the previous month, handily topping forecasts. The index has risen 23 points from a year earlier. Readings above 50 mean more builders see market conditions as favorable rather than poor. It was the first time the index has climbed above that dividing line since April 2006. The latest reading was also the highest since March of that year.
AMD unveils new products
Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD), struggling to compete with Intel Corp in the market for processors that run server computers, unveiled three new products aimed at making a dent in its larger rival’s sales. AMD will offer “Berlin” chips for data-center machines that handle basic tasks such as Web hosting, “Warsaw” for powerful servers that will compete at lower price and “Seattle,” AMD’s first server chip based on ARM Holdings PLC technology. AMD’s ARM-based chips will go on sale next year, the company said.
Facebook sparks buzz
A mysterious Facebook event set for tomorrow has sparked buzz that the leading social network could be adding video to Instagram smartphone picture-sharing service. The leading social network invited the media to its headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of Menlo Park where “a small team has been working on a big idea,” but remained hush about what will be unveiled. Online speculation at technology news Web site TechCrunch and elsewhere has included the possibility that Instagram will start letting people share video snippets in a style similar to a hit Vine app launched by Twitter in January.