Lenovo: IBM Strike's Not Our Problem
Today in international tech news: Lenovo doesn't plan to involve itself with the IBM strike inspired by workers not wanting to go to Lenovo. Also: Crowdsourcing is used to track down the missing Malaysia Airlines flight; Germany rebuffs Edward Snowden's claim that it bows to the U.S.; and NASA wants help finding smaller asteroids.
03/11/14 3:03 PM PT
Chinese PC maker Lenovo is washing its hands of a wildcat strike at an IBM factory in Shenzhen, China.
In January, Lenovo purchased one of IBM's server businesses, and the striking workers -- more than 1,000 of them -- are among those who will be absorbed by Lenovo.
The US$2.3 billion deal is not yet final, and Lenovo is making sure it doesn't get stuck with any of IBM's headaches until the ink is dry.
Thus Lenovo's position that the strike is an "internal matter for IBM."
Striking workers are protesting the terms of the deal -- which is still subject to regulatory and government approval -- as well as provisions for severance packages should they decide to walk.
More than 7,500 IBM employees in dozens of countries are expected to be transferred to Lenovo.
Satellite Company Launches Crowdsourcing Campaign to Locate Plane
DigitalGlobe, a U.S.-based satellite imaging company, is displaying high-resolution images of the area where a Malaysia Airlines flight is believed to have crashed Saturday in hopes of a crowdsourced discovery.
DigitalGlobe has asked volunteers to cull through images on its Tomnod website in an effort to locate possible clues about where the plane, which had 239 people on board, may have gone down.
Some 25,000 people have signed up to partake in the quest.
DigitalGlobe, which acquired Tomnod last year, has made more than 1,200 square miles of imagery available. Users can zoom in and drop pins on areas they deem potentially fruitful for the search. Experts reportedly will take note of areas with a high frequency of markers.
[Source: Fairfax Media]
Germany Rebuffs Snowden Claim
Germany bristled at Edward Snowden's claim that the country is taking orders from the United States.
Snowden's accusation was lofted in a statement to the European Parliament, in which he said that Germany heeded U.S. pressure to modify surveillance legislation. Germany, however, doesn't quite see it that way.
"Laws are made by the German parliament and it doesn't give in to outside pressure, certainly not from foreign spy agencies, and that's true in this case too," said government spokesperson Steffen Seibert.
Snowden picked an interesting country to call out. Germany has been among the most up-in-arms about the sort of data collection described in the ongoing NSA leaks. Some German telecoms, for instance, have marketed email services that are (theoretically) immune to SNA snoopery. and German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- whose phone reportedly was monitored by the NSA -- has pushed for building a Europe-only communications network.
[Source: Associated Press]
NASA Launches Asteroid Contest
NASA launched a set of "Asteroid Data Hunter" developer contests in a quest to enlist scientists and coders to help catalog small(ish) asteroids that could be hazardous to Earth.
NASA has a handle on 98 percent of near-Earth asteroids at least .6 miles in size, but it now wants to get its arms around smaller ones that still could pose a threat.
The asteroid believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs was at least six miles wide.
[Source: The Guardian]