EU-Google Search Settlement Doubts

Google’s super-secret EU antitrust deal already raising eyebrows

By on February 7, 2014 at 8:45 PM.

Google’s super-secret EU antitrust deal already raising eyebrows

Google appears to have managed to avoid a costly fine in Europe where the Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia was investigating the company for antitrust practices related to its local Search business, after a third settlement offer was apparently accepted by the EU. However, due to the secrecy surrounding the event, several members of the European parliament (MEP) have already cast their doubts over the deal, The Register reports. More →

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2014 Apple Samsung Patent Lawsuit

The Apple-Samsung patent spat is about to get ugly

By on February 5, 2014 at 6:00 PM.

The Apple-Samsung patent spat is about to get ugly

After Apple beat Samsung in the pair’s first U.S. patent trial, and then won against the South Korean Android device maker in the appeal – Samsung owes Apple $929 million following this fight – the two giants are going to go head-to-head in a second U.S. bout that kicks off on March 31st. In preparation for the trial, both companies have chosen their “weapons” (patent claims to attack the other with) and determined their respective lists that contain rival devices that allegedly infringe on patents, FOSS Patents reports. More →

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One-ring Phone Scam

How to avoid a crazy new phone scam that’s costing people a fortune

By on February 5, 2014 at 4:16 PM.

How to avoid a crazy new phone scam that’s costing people a fortune

Upon seeing missed calls from unfamiliar numbers on our cell phones or home phones, we often instinctively call the number back to see who it was. According to a recent warning issued by the Better Business Bureau, however, that quick call-back can end up costing consumers ridiculous sums of money. More →

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HTC Nokia Patent Ruling

HTC forced to redesign phones to avoid sales ban

By on February 4, 2014 at 3:40 PM.

HTC forced to redesign phones to avoid sales ban

A German court recently ruled in favor of Nokia in its patent case against HTC. According to the finding, several HTC smartphone models made illegal unlicensed use of a Nokia patent covering a “method and apparatus for enabling a mobile station to adapt its revision level based on network protocol revision level.” In a recent filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange picked up by ZDNet, HTC acknowledged the loss, called the technology covered by the Nokia patent redundant and stated that HTC is “investigating modifications for our handsets” that will prevent the impacted devices from being banned. Nokia, on the other hand, was obviously happy with the ruling. “Nokia is pleased that the Regional Court in Mannheim, Germany has today ruled that HTC products infringe Nokia’s patent EP 1 579 613 B1, which enables modern mobile devices to work in older networks,” the company said in a statement.

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Apple E-Book Price-Fixing Fine

Apple’s fine in price-fixing suit could approach $1 billion

By on February 3, 2014 at 4:35 PM.

Apple’s fine in price-fixing suit could approach $1 billion

Apple faces a fine of up to $840 million in “state and consumer antitrust claims” in its eBook price-fixing suit in the U.S., Bloomberg reports. State attorneys general and consumers who sued the company over its eBook pricing practices want at least $280 million in damages and are seeking to have the amount tripled, according to a document filed on Friday with U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan, the same judge who presided over the case last year. More →

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Google Fine Private Data

Google smacked with yet another fine for illegal private data collection

By on January 30, 2014 at 12:41 PM.

Google smacked with yet another fine for illegal private data collection

Google has been fined yet again for illegally collecting people’s private data. This time around, the fine comes from South Korean regulatory body Korea Communications Commission (KCC) and it relates again to Google’s supposedly inadvertent collection of passwords, network addresses, credit card numbers and more while setting up Street View. “The latest penalty is the first of its kind imposed on a global company that violated the private information protection laws,” KCC head Lee Kyung-jae told The Korea Herald. Google has received a number of fines in countries around the world as a result of its Street View snafu, though each has been minuscule by Google standards. South Korea’s fine certainly fits that description as well, amounting to just $194,000 at today’s exchange rate.

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Google Patent Lawsuit Ruling

Google ordered to pay hundreds of millions for stealing patented tech

By on January 29, 2014 at 9:12 AM.

Google ordered to pay hundreds of millions for stealing patented tech

Chalk up another win for the patent trolls — and this time is was a big one. A United States District Court judge for the Northern District of Virginia in 2012 found Google guilty of stealing protected intellectual property and using it in the flagship AdWords advertising platform. On Tuesday evening, the judge finally decided on the penalty: a 1.3585% royalty rate on all U.S.-based AdWords revenue. According to Ars Technica’s math, that figure amounts to as much as $250 million annually on U.S. AdWords revenue of between $15 billion and $18 billion each year. More →

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FBI TorMail Database Breach

Nothing is safe: FBI reportedly bulk collects entire TorMail database

By on January 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM.

Nothing is safe: FBI reportedly bulk collects entire TorMail database

By now, the NSA is known for its bulk collection of personal data, including metadata from cellular carriers. However, it was not known that the FBI also participates in its own share of bulk collection. According to Wired, the FBI somehow ended up with the entire e-mail database of TorMail. More →

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Dutch Pirate Bay Ban Lifted

Dutch court lifts ban on The Pirate Bay after it proves ‘innefective’

By on January 28, 2014 at 5:45 PM.

Dutch court lifts ban on The Pirate Bay after it proves ‘innefective’

A Dutch court lifted a ban on The Pirate Bay, ruling that the ban had proven to be “innefective,” reports Tweakers. Dutch ISPs XS4ALL and Ziggo are now allowed to give their subscribers access to file-sharing website, and a spokesperson for XS4ALL says it has already lifted the ban and that the DNS changes may still be propagating. More →

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Microsoft Google NSA Lawsuit Deal

Government reaches deal with Microsoft, Google on data requests

By on January 27, 2014 at 5:00 PM.

Government reaches deal with Microsoft, Google on data requests

Microsoft and Google, joined by Facebook, Apple and other tech firms, have been fighting for months to ensure that the public is given a more comprehensive look into the private data that the government collects from them, and it looks like they’ve finally made some real headway. Bloomberg reports that the Justice Department has reached an agreement with the tech firms which will finally allow them to share the number of government data requests they receive with their users. More →

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BlackBerry Ryan Seacrest Lawsuit

BlackBerry turns up heat on Ryan Seacrest, tries to block Typo sales [updated]

By on January 24, 2014 at 2:15 PM.

BlackBerry turns up heat on Ryan Seacrest, tries to block Typo sales [updated]

BlackBerry is not messing around, Ryan Seacrest. IDG News, via InfoWorld, reports that BlackBerry this week asked a court in California to block all sales of Typo, the iPhone keyboard attachment co-created by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest. In its argument before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, BlackBerry claims that “Typo’s blatant copying of BlackBerry’s keyboard presents an imminent threat of irreparable harm to BlackBerry, and that threat is magnified in combination with the significant market power of the iPhone.” While this legal analysis may indeed be accurate, it’s still remarkable for BlackBerry to admit that a $99 keyboard attachment poses an “imminent threat of irreparable harm” to its entire business. BGR recently reviewed the Typo and found that “it’s a well thought out, well designed, well made product by two people who can’t live without their physical keyboard.” More →

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iPad Floor Tiles Scam

Scammers slap Apple logos on floor tiles, sell them as iPads

By on January 23, 2014 at 8:45 PM.

Scammers slap Apple logos on floor tiles, sell them as iPads

Everyone’s heard of getting your iPad bricked but what happens when your iPad gets tiled? The answer, it turns out, isn’t that it becomes a Windows tablet but that it’s actually a floor tile that has been not-so-cleverly disguised to look like an iPad. SFGate reports that scam artists in the Central Valley area are selling people fake iPads that are actually floor tiles with an Apple logo slapped across the back. The scammers have wrapped the tiles in bubble wrap and put them in boxes so that interested buyers will believe that they’re iPads if they only casually glance at them before buying. The lesson here seems to be that if you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars buying a gadget from someone on the street, you should probably ask to try it out before handing over your cash.

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