HP has (finally) filed a $5 billion lawsuit against Autonomy’s management – and those execs are suing back

Meg Whitman

On Monday, HP finally filed the promised lawsuit against Autonomy officials. It is suing them for $5.1 billion in London’s Chancery Division High Court

And on Tuesday, the former managers of Autonomy, including cofounder Mike Lynch, announced that they were filing a counter lawsuit against HP for at least £100 million (about $147 million) over what they consider HP’s “smear campaign.”

For years, HP has been saying it was duped when it bought Autonomy for $11 billion cash. HP says it found about $5 billion worth of weird transactions on the books after the sale — HP called it “fraud” — and that it was going to take Autonomy executives to court.

A little more than a year after the deal closed, when HP’s stock was hovering around $15, HP wrote off $8.8 billion worth of the acquisition. It blamed Autonomy’s books, saying Autonomy had overstated its revenues.

Autonomy officials have loudly proclaimed they are not to blame, although during the many investigations into Autonomy’s books, there were some transactions that were questioned. For instance, a lawsuit filed on behalf of Autonomy’s former CFO, Sushovan Hussain, mentioned $8.4 million worth of questionable transactions. Still, that’s a far cry from $5 billion.

Mike Lynch AutonomyMeg Whitman was a new member of the board when HP bought Autonomy, but after she became CEO she admitted that HP “paid too much” for Autonomy, and blamed the accountants who audited the deal, PricewaterhouseCoopers. They have also denied any wrongdoing associated with the deal.

Meanwhile, HP was slammed with shareholder lawsuits, here and in the UK. And HP has been jumping through some pretty serious hoops trying to settle them before it splits into two companies in the fall.

One deal, for instance, involved hiring the lawyers that was suing HP on behalf of shareholders to help HP make a case against former Autonomy executives instead. HP agreed to pay these lawyers up to $48 million for that work. Hussain was suing to try and stop that deal from going forward.

HP has never wavered in its statements that it would sue, and both sides have been liberally throwing verbal barbs at each other. On Monday, it finally sued, the company confirmed to Business Insider.

A spokesperson sent us this statement.

HP can confirm that, on March 30, a Claim Form was filed against Michael Lynch and Sushovan Hussain alleging they engaged in fraudulent activities while executives at Autonomy. The lawsuit seeks damages from them of approximately $5.1 billion. HP will not comment further until the proceedings have been served on the defendants.

And here’s the statement sent to us on Tuesday from Lynch’s spokesperson announcing his £100 million lawsuit:

London 31 March 2015 – The former management of Autonomy announces today they will file claims against HP for loss and damage caused by false and negligent statements made against them by HP on 20 November 2012 and in HP’s subsequent smear campaign. Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch’s claim, which is likely to be in excess of £100 million, will be filed in the UK.

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MH17 investigators say Buk rocket strike is primary theory in downing

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KIEV, Ukraine — Nine months after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, an international team investigating the incident says its primary theory is that the passenger jet was downed by a sophisticated surface-to-air Buk missile fired from Russia-backed separatist territory

All 298 people aboard the Boeing 777 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed after the airliner was struck and crashed on July 17, 2014.

In a nearly 12-minute Russian-language video released to the public on Monday, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) urges witnesses who saw a Buk missile system being transported through war-wracked eastern Ukraine on July 17 and 18 to come forward. Read more…

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8 hidden features every Samsung Galaxy phone user should know

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Instruction manuals? Who reads instruction manuals anymore?

Instructional manuals are for dummies. As high-tech as Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note Android phones are, they’re victims of feature creep, or features and services added to a product that confuses users to the point of frustration.

Samsung’s phones are so bloated that it’s not always clear how to do something and what special features it might have. The problem is, most features are tucked away in the Settings app.

Not to worry, we’re here to help. Below, you’ll find eight hidden features exclusive to Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones that we’ve plucked out from the Settings app’s endless list of menus. Read more…

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5 experienced crowdfunders share their best campaign advice

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Running a successful crowdfunding campaign feels a bit like winning the lottery. The results are all over the board: instant successes, slow and steady fundraisers, unfunded flops, and underdogs that rise to the challenge just in the knick of time. But all of these campaigns have one thing in common: Success or failure, they were learning experiences

Here, five experienced crowdfunders share what they learned from running both successful and unsuccessful campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo

1. Get the word out before the campaign launches

Entrepreneurs should share a product idea soon after inspiration strikes, according to Janielle Denier, COO and head of strategy at Rain Factory. She’s helped Indiegogo campaigns like Jibo raise more than $2 million. Read more…

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Police Officer Screams At Uber Driver In Xenophobic Rant: ‘How Long Have You Been In This Country?’

The New York City Police Department says it’s reviewing a video posted to YouTube Monday that appears to show an officer berating an Uber driver in a xenophobic, profanity-laced rant.

“Stop it with your mouth, stop it with your ‘For what, sir, for what, sir,’ stop it with that bullsh*t,” the plainclothes officer screams while mocking the driver’s accent.

Then, before slamming the cab driver’s door and walking back to his unmarked police car, the officer screams, “I don’t know what f***ing planet you think you’re on right now.”

The video appears to have been filmed on Manhattan’s West Side Highway in the West Village. According to the YouTube description from passenger Sanjay Seth, the incident occurred in the NYPD’s 6th Precinct.

“Our Uber driver, Humayun, was abused by a police officer today in New York,” Seth wrote on Facebook Monday. “The rage, door slamming, throwing items into the car, threatening arrest without cause was bad enough — but the officer’s remarks at the end really took it to another level.”

Although the officer alleges the driver committed three traffic violations, Seth says that wasn’t the case.

“In an unmarked car, the policeman was allegedly attempting to park without using his blinker at a green light,” reads Seth’s YouTube description. “(His reverse lights weren’t on. Likely double parked without hazards on.) The Uber driver pulled around and gestured that he should use his blinker, casually and non-offensively, and kept driving us. The policeman aggressively pulls up behind us and this is what happens.”

Seth or the other passenger in the backseat can be heard telling the driver in the video that this is “an abuse of power, obviously.”

“This guy is just a dick, to put it mildly,” one of the passengers says.

When the officer returns to the car, the driver briefly attempts to explain why he honked his horn. The officer becomes angry.

“I don’t know where you’re coming from, where you think you’re appropriate in doing that; that’s not the way it works,” the officer screams. “How long have you been in this country?”

“The only reason you’re not in handcuffs and going to jail and getting summonses in the precinct is because I have things to do,” the officer adds near the end of the video. “That’s the only reason that’s not happening. Because this isn’t important enough for me. You’re not important enough.”

The officer then hands the driver a ticket and marches back to his car.

“Can you take his license plate number please?” the driver asks his passengers.

“I got his plate,” one of the passengers responds.

In a statement Tuesday, the NYPD said “We are aware of the incident and video and it is under review with the Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.”

Matthew Wing, a spokesman for Uber, told The Huffington Post in a statement that the company is “disheartened by this officer’s behavior and appreciate the NYPD investigating the incident.”

“We have reached out to the driver to provide any support he needs,” Wing said.

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These Events Were Canceled Because Of Indiana’s New Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Law

WASHINGTON — Indiana has been facing a national backlash after Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a “religious freedom” bill into law last week that could open the door to discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act would allow any individual or corporation to cite religious beliefs as a defense when sued by a private party.

The criticism is already hitting the state economically. The governors of Connecticut and Washington have imposed bans on state-funded travel to Indiana. Organizers of Gen Con, which has been called the largest gaming convention in the country, are also considering no longer having their event in Indiana.

Cities like Chicago are capitalizing on the controversy, with Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) trying to lure Indiana-based businesses into his city.

Here are some of the events that have been canceled in the state since Pence signed RFRA:

Wilco Concert

wilco

Indie rock band Wilco tweeted Monday that it will cancel its May 7 show in Indianapolis because RFRA “feels like thinly disguised legal discrimination.” “Hope to get back to the Hoosier State someday soon, when this odious measure is repealed. Refunds available at point of purchase,” the band added.

Comedy Show

nick offerman mullally

Comedian Nick Offerman, perhaps best known for playing Ron Swanson on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” tweeted Tuesday that he is canceling a May 16 show in Indiana. He and his wife, fellow comedian Megan Mullally, are touring the country with their “Summer of 69: No Apostrophe” comedy-variety show. They will go ahead with their appearance at Indiana University Wednesday but will be donating the proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign.

AFSCME Conference

lee saunders

On Monday, Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, announced that he was pulling the union’s 2015 Women’s Conference out of Indianapolis in October. “The 1.6 million members of AFSCME cannot in good conscience make such a sizable financial investment in Indiana knowing that women and men in that state are deliberately being targeted for discrimination,” said Saunders. A new location has not yet been chosen.

Angie’s List Expansion

angies list

Indianapolis-based business Angie’s List has cancelled a planned $40 million headquarters expansion, a move that could cost the city 1,000 jobs over a five-year period. “Angie’s List is open to all and discriminates against none, and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents,” said CEO Bill Oesterle, who used to be an aide to former Gov. Mitch Daniels (R).

Tech Conference Sponsorship

marc benioff

Marc Benioff, CEO of tech giant Salesforce, said he is canceling all company travel to Indiana in the wake of RFRA. This means Salesforce will no longer sponsor or attend the Indy Big Data Conference set to be held May 7 in Indianapolis. EMC, Cloudera, Pivotal and Platfora have pulled their sponsorships as well. Conference organizers issued a statement calling on state politicians to come up with “an immediate correction to this law in order to prohibit discrimination in Indiana on any grounds.”

HUFFPOST READERS: If you live in Indiana, we want to hear about how this law is affecting you. Email your story or any tips to openreporting@huffingtonpost.com. Please include your name, the city you live in, and a phone number if you’re willing to be contacted by a reporter.

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Serious talk about contacting aliens is sparking a fiery debate in the scientific community

exoplanetOne of humanity’s biggest questions is “Are we alone?”

But is that still the right question?

Astronomers have confirmed over 1,800 exoplanets in our galaxy and estimate that there are around 100 billion in total. About 50 of these seem to be habitable. So, chances are good that we are not alone.

A better question for the new age is: If ET exists, what should we do about it?

That’s what scientists at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute discussed last month at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting.

SETI is famous for its series of telescopes that search the skies for messages that look like they could be sent by intelligent extraterrestrial beings. But so far the cosmos have been quiet.

And after 50 years of listening, some of the folks at SETI are starting to say it’s high time for a change to the way we search.

If we’re ever going to make contact, then the burden is on us to do more than listen: We should be initiating the conversation, the director of SETI’s interstellar message composition, Douglas A. Vakoch, told Business Insider.

Vakoch calls this initiation project Active SETI.

“It may be that signaling of our intention to make contact is what’s really required to trigger a response,” Vakoch said. And so, “the most critical reason to add Active SETI to our search strategy is that this may be the strategy that lets us make contact.”

A bold move for humankind

arecibo observatoryVakock and some of his colleagues at SETI want to use some of the institute’s telescopes, including the Aerecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, not only to listen, but to send powerful transmissions deep into space that clearly state: We are here and we want to communicate.

That’s a very bold move for humankind, and not everyone is on board. Those who are hesitant or downright against the idea include Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Elon Musk, and Sean Carroll.

Why are these men, who are famous for their innovation and intelligence, so seemingly close-minded? After all, if Active SETI did succeed, making contact with an alien race would be the most important discovery in human history not only from a technological standpoint but from an intellectual one, as well.

DeGrasse Tyson was especially firm on his stance during a recent interview with Business Insider.

“We don’t give our address to members of our own species whom we don’t know. So, the urge to give our home address to aliens? That’s audacious,” he said.

The problem is that even though making contact would be the most important discovery in human history, it might also be one of our last discoveries.

In a statement issued earlier this year a group of scientists write, “We know nothing of ETI’s [Extraterrestrial Intelligence] intentions and capabilities, and it is impossible to predict whether ETI will be benign or hostile.” Of the several dozens of people who signed this statement in a cautionary measure against Active SETI was Elon Musk.

Sean Carroll has similar sentiments in a brief Twitter conversation with Business Insider: 

Fear of the unknown didn’t stop Ferdinand Magellan, Lewis and Clark, or Neil Armstrong, human history’s most important explorers. But the key difference is that if something goes wrong when we make contact with aliens, we’re not just risking the lives of the few who brave the unknown. The existence of our entire species and the thousands of other species on Earth is at stake.

To this, Vakoch and his colleagues argue that any alien civilization advanced enough to wipe out life on Earth would already know we’re here. We’ve been transmitting into space since the ‘70s. Anyone advanced enough to obliterate our speices would be advanced enough to listen, and would be here by now or are already on their way.

So we’re pretty screwed in that regard.

Speaking for Earth

crowdCommitting global suicide is not the point of Active SETI, emphasizes Vakoch.

“What Active SETI does is announces ourselves to civilizations that don’t have those capacities far in advance of humans,” he said. 

Moreover, extinction is just half of the issue here.

“One of the key questions that we raise when contemplating Active SETI is: Who speaks for Earth?” Vakoch told Business Insider. “And the answer is, well, everyone should.”

That’s why Vakoch and his colleagues at SETI launched the study “Earth Speaks”, which solicits online comments from, quite literally, everyone on Earth, or at least everyone with access to the Internet. And the overall theme shining through the thousands of submissions is encouraging. 

Many people articulate the fact that they’re ready to make contact, so “I suspect that the idea has been discussed so often that people will accommodate to this discovery pretty readily,” Vakoch said.

And despite the unknowns, deGrasse Tyson did acknowledge how incredible a discovery it would be:

“But here’s the thing: Holding aside those uncertainties, it would be awesome to make contact with an advanced civilization.”

CHECK OUT: Epically awesome photos of Mars

SEE ALSO: Scientists are baffled why a small cloud survived an epic battle with a black hole

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