Tech 2.0 for Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 2/12 2:41 pm


French President Francois Hollande has arrived in San Francisco, where he was greeted by city and state officials ahead of a planned meeting with technology executives. Hollande was met at San Francisco City Hall on Wednesday by Mayor Ed Lee, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and school children waving French and American flags. The French leader and members of his cabinet were set to visit later with technology executives, including Google's Eric Schmidt, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Twitter's co-founder Jack Dorsey. Those companies have faced scrutiny by European regulators over privacy, hate speech and data protection issues. Hollande is visiting just days after a French regulator hit Google with an embarrassing regulatory slap.

Las Vegas Sands is working with law enforcement to investigate the breach of its websites, which remain down a day after they were hacked. State gambling regulators were investigating the cyberattack Wednesday, and the FBI also is aware of the matter. Sands has added a new message to the hacked sites. The company's corporate site, as well as the home pages of the Venetian and Palazzo casinos, displayed a screen saying the sites are down for maintenance and providing phone numbers for all Sands properties. The hacking disrupted Sands' email systems. Sands spokesman Ron Reese couldn't say whether credit-card records had been breached. Sands runs the largest casino in the world, in the Chinese gambling enclave in Macau. It also owns hotel-casinos in Singapore and Bethlehem, PA.

Amazon says it is hiring more than 2,500 full-time workers at its order fulfillment centers around the U.S. Amazon.com Inc. plans to announce Wednesday that the jobs are available in Chester, VA, and Petersburg, VA; Coffeyville, KS; Columbia, SC; Dupont, WA; Murfreesboro, TN. The world's largest online retailer says last year it hired more than 20,000 people at its fulfillment centers, with more than half starting out as seasonal workers. Amazon says the median income for people working at its order-fulfillment facilities is higher than at traditional retailers. The Seattle-based company had 117,300 full-time and part-time employees at the end of 2013, according to a regulatory filing.

Nokia is selling a new Windows phone that emphasizes video recording. The new Lumia Icon sports four microphones, compared with the one or two typically found in smartphones. The two on the front are activated when making phone calls, while the two on the rear are used when taking video — to better capture sound coming from the subjects. The Icon takes video in 1080p high-definition resolution as well as still images of up to 19 megapixels. The phone will be available starting Feb. 20 through Verizon Wireless for $200 with a two-year service contract, or $550 without. The Icon is similar to Nokia Corp.'s Lumia 1520, except its screen measures just 5 inches diagonally, compared with 6 inches on the 1520. The 1520 is available only through AT&T.

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