Zynga Defends OMGPOP Acquisition

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Zynga Inc. has faced plenty of questions after buying the maker of “Draw Something,” a mobile game that was released only six weeks earlier and has since lost popularity. Now the social games company is trying to provide some answers.

The San Francisco-based company on Thursday plans to announce an agreement with animation studio DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. to place additional advertising in the game. Zynga believes it’s the start of new revenue-generating possibilities that will justify the controversial acquisition.

Blue Bottle Aims to Blend Slow Coffee, Fast Growth

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In an era of fast-food cappuccinos and drive-through coffee shops, Blue Bottle Coffee Co. is banking on slowing things down to help itself grow.

Since the Oakland-based coffee company’s founding in 2002, its revenue has jumped an average of about 50% annually to between $15 million and $20 million last year, according to James Freeman, founder and chief executive. As the company continues to expand—with plans to enter Manhattan in the next month of so—Blue Bottle could have more than 200 employees by the end of this year, up from about 70 two years ago.

Cars Pump Up IQ to Get Edge

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LAS VEGAS—Auto makers want their cars to be able to drive into the cloud.

Manufacturers like General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz Cars division are using the Consumer Electronics Show here to show off a set of computer services that operate online, or through the “cloud,” and allow customers to remotely track their cars, diagnose what’s wrong with them and potentially avoid collisions.

Hopes Dim for a Haight Street Lift

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When Whole Foods Market Inc. opened a store in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury early this year, many locals and community leaders hoped it would help improve a grungy corner of their famous neighborhood. Nearly a year later, they’re still waiting.

Since the upscale market opened in February across from a section of Golden Gate Park known as Alvord Lake, known for attracting drug dealers and homeless people, crime within a 500-foot radius of the store has shot up, according to the San Francisco Police Department. At the same time, Whole Foods hasn’t lifted the overall neighborhood’s business prospects, sales-tax receipts data from the San Francisco Comptroller’s Office show.

Beyond the Password

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One day five months ago, Karim Hijazi saw an unusual sight while reading his work email. A message that had been marked as “read” was suddenly marked “unread.”

What the founder of Unveillance, a computer-network security firm, soon learned was that hackers had broken into his account.

The hackers gained access to his email by stealing log-in information from an insecure website, which they then matched up with a password they found on the Internet. After downloading all of his emails, the hackers sent Mr. Hijazi a message demanding he share sensitive security information with them. When he refused, the hackers released his emails on the Web.

“It was like a baby with a gun,” he says.

H-P Looks to Kitchens, Cars

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Hewlett-Packard Co. wants to persuade appliance and car manufacturers to use its webOS operating system in their products. But the software’s late arrival to the market and relatively small footprint are prompting companies to pause before licensing the platform.

In June, Leo Apotheker, chief executive of the electronics giant based in Palo Alto, Calif., said his company plans to begin talks with various companies to gauge interest in webOS, which powers H-P’s TouchPad tablet computers and Pre smartphones.

Apple’s Retail Secret: Full Service Stores

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Steve Jobs turned Apple Inc. into the world’s most valuable technology company with high-tech products like the iPad and iPhone. But one anchor of Apple’s success is surprisingly low tech: its chain of brick-and-mortar retail stores.

A look at confidential training manuals, a recording of a store meeting and interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees reveal some of Apple’s store secrets. They include: intensive control of how employees interact with customers, scripted training for on-site tech support and consideration of every store detail down to the pre-loaded photos and music on demo devices.

The Play by Play On Sony’s Massive Data Breach

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On a Tuesday afternoon last month, engineers working for Sony Corp. were baffled when several servers running the company’s PlayStation Network suddenly turned themselves off and then back on.

At the time, the unexpected rebooting seemed like an odd malfunction. The next day, however, the engineers found the first evidence that an intruder had penetrated Sony’s systems, prompting the Japanese company to take what it calls “the almost unprecedented step” of shutting down the popular online gaming network.

Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer issued a public apology this week for what the company later disclosed was a data breach that compromised more than 100 million user accounts on three public networks, and a delay in informing users of the theft. Sony says the loss included users’ names, birthdates and passwords. It also hasn’t ruled out the loss of credit card numbers associated with the Sony PlayStation network.

Sony Brings In High-Tech Sleuths

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New details emerged about Sony Corp.’s investigation into one of the biggest data breaches in history, as the company attempts to piece together who stole personal information from more than 100 million accounts on its online game networks.

At least some of the attacks came from a Malaysia-based server, a person familiar with the matter said, though it wasn’t clear if any of the hacking was actually done from there, or whether only the server there was used.

Apple Sues Samsung Electronics Over ‘Galaxy’ Phone, Tab

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Apple Inc. filed a lawsuit claiming Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. copied the look and feel of its popular iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers, the latest in a series of legal skirmishes that underscore the increasingly high stakes of the mobile computing market.

The lawsuit, filed on April 15, alleged that Samsung’s smartphones, including the “Galaxy S 4G,” “Epic 4G,” “Nexus S” and its “Galaxy Tab” touchscreen tablet, violate Apple’s intellectual property. The 38-page lawsuit was filed in the U.S. court’s northern California district.

“Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,” Apple said in the filing.