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Will Samsung and Apple Lay Down Their Swords?
May 20, 2014
After years of legal wrangling over their mobile technology intellectual patent rights in courtrooms around the world, Apple and Samsung apparently are ready to call it a day. Representatives of the companies reportedly are in negotiations to settle their legal differences out of court. This is not the first time such a rumor has surfaced, noted Peter Toren, partner with Weisbrod Matteis & Copley.
US Toughens Stance on Chinese Cyberspying With 5 Criminal Indictments
May 20, 2014
The U.S. Justice Department on Monday kicked up a notch the Obama administration's efforts to curb China's economic espionage activity against American businesses. A grand jury indicted five members of the Chinese army on DoJ allegations they conspired to hack into the networks of U.S. companies to steal information that would be useful to their competitors in China.
Russian Rocket, Satellite Don't Quite Make It
May 19, 2014
A space-bound satellite designed to provide Internet access to remote regions in Russia and neighboring states was destroyed when its ride blew apart mid-flight. The Proton-M rocket, affixed with a European-built Express AM4R satellite, seemed to be doing just fine until nine minutes into the flight, when it exploded some 93 miles above Earth. The exact cause of the crash apparently was not known.
'I Am Google': Pride Comes Before a Fall
May 19, 2014
Last week, I observed repercussions from one of the most arrogant moves I've ever seen an executive make. A small uproar occurred when a Google product strategist learned there were fewer people than he'd expected at an event he'd volunteered to speak at. As he stormed out, he uttered the immortal words, "I Am Google," to the event organizer -- whom he apparently thought was a booth babe.
In the Eye of the Right-to-Be-Forgotten vs. Right-to-Know Storm
May 16, 2014
A disgraced politician, a pedophile, and a doctor who received negative ratings from patients reportedly are among the hordes of people asking Google to take down links to information published about them. The requests followed Tuesday's preliminary ruling by the European Court of Justice indicating Google may have to remove links to people's names on request, if appropriate.
FCC OKs Controversial Net Rules, Screaming Period Begins
May 15, 2014
The FCC has approved proposed new rules governing neutrality on the Internet. Following a public comment period and review of those comments by the commission, the agency will finalize the rules, possibly as soon as the end of this year. "Today marks the starting line for a new conversation, not the finish line," said Nuala O'Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology.
Fallout Begins Following EU Google Decision
May 15, 2014
This week's European high court decision against Google was "astonishing," according to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who called it "one of the most wide-sweeping Internet censorship rulings I've ever seen." Wales, like anyone who read the ruling, noticed that the parameters for judging whether content be removed were exceptionally ambiguous. This puts Google in dilly of a pickle, Wales said.
Steering Driverless Cars to Market
May 14, 2014
The hype around driverless cars, or autonomous vehicles as they're also known, is increasing, with Google on Tuesday taking reporters for spins around the city of Mountain View, Calif. Figuring prominently in resulting news reports were the big red kill button between these cars' front seats; the emphasis on safety in their design; and yes, a few abrupt lane changes.
No, Bot! UN Ponders Regulations for Killer Robots
May 14, 2014
In a move that could complicate the creation of any more Terminator movies, United Nations diplomats on Tuesday discussed international laws to govern, or simply ban, the use of killer robots. This was the first time that a UN meeting was devoted entirely to the topic, which makes sense given that the robots in question don't yet exist. That said, the UN wants to be proactive.
Ending the Embedded Linux Patent War Before It Begins
May 13, 2014
The Open Invention Network was created in 2005 as a white hat organization to protect Linux. It has considerable financial backing from Google, IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. More than 800 organizations worldwide have joined the community by signing the free OIN license. A clamor recently has been growing for OIN to take steps to protect embedded Linux from patent pillagers.
EU Court Hands Google a Missing Links Quandary
May 13, 2014
The European Court of Justice, which is the highest court for matters of European Law, has handed down a preliminary ruling that indicates Google may have to remove links to consumers' names on request -- if appropriate. The case was referred to the ECJ by Spain's Audiencia Nacional, or National High Court. The ECJ's ruling lays down the guidelines for the Audiencia Nacional in hearing the case.
Parrot Uncages New Drone
May 13, 2014
Parrot has added a new model to its line of airborne drones -- the Bebop. The lightweight Bebop includes some snappy features, such as built-in image stabilization, a 14-megapixel camera with a fish-eye lens, and support for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Although a price hasn't been announced, the drone is expected to hit a sweet spot between $500 and $1,000.
FCC Chair Changes Tune on Net Neutrality
May 12, 2014
The chairman of the FCC reportedly is changing a proposal for regulating Internet traffic in response to a wave of dissension against the idea. Chairman Tom Wheeler had proposed a new "Net neutrality" plan that would allow ISPs to negotiate with companies that use the Internet to provide services to end customers in order to grant preferential treatment of their data in exchange for fees.
Samsung Invests $2B in Biopharmaceuticals
May 12, 2014
Samsung is investing at least $2 billion in... biopharmaceuticals? With this foray into the drug industry, Samsung hopes to become a major player in biotechnology, which is expected to be a booming industry in coming years. A key component of this play is so-called biosimilars -- cheap versions of brand-name biotechnology drugs that no longer are protected by patents.
Snapchat Makes FTC Privacy Charges Disappear
May 09, 2014
Snapchat has agreed to a settlement with the United States Federal Trade Commission to resolve privacy issues resulting from a hacker's publication in January of data associated with 4.6 million of its users. The company has not admitted any wrongdoing, but it has agreed to implement a comprehensive privacy program that will be audited by a third party for the next 20 years.
Tech Industry Leans on FCC in Net Neutrality Clash
May 08, 2014
More than 100 companies in the tech industry have come together to battle a proposal by the Federal Communications Commission that they say could irreparably harm the open Internet. Firms including Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, and Yahoo signed an open letter to the FCC advocating the benefits of an open Internet.
Apple v. Samsung: Honey, I Shrunk the Damages
May 08, 2014
A California jury on Tuesday reached a decision in a long-running courtroom dispute between Apple and Samsung over their respective claims of patent infringement. The jury's findings were mixed, with both Apple and Samsung able to claim some sort of victory but neither emerging as the decisive winner. Both companies were found to have infringed the other's patents.
Nintendo Won't Include Gay Characters in Sim Game
May 08, 2014
Nintendo won't include same-sex romantic activities in English editions of an upcoming life simulator game. The company has faced pressure, including a fan-fueled social media campaign, to let users have gay relationships in Tomodachi Life, a game whose characters are modeled after real people. The company never meant for the game to be a "social commentary," Nintendo of America said.
Alibaba Files for Much-Anticipated IPO
May 07, 2014
Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba filed an initial public offering prospectus Tuesday, inching closer to what could be the biggest technology IPO in history. Alibaba Group handles 80 percent of all online commerce in China; it processed some $250 billion worth of transactions for 231 million users in 2013. The company's market value has been estimated as high as $200 billion.
ISPs Put the Squeeze on Content Distributors, Level3 Charges
May 06, 2014
Six major ISPs providing residential broadband services are refusing to augment their networks unless content providers pay more, according to Level3. Five of them are in the U.S. and the last in Europe. While Level3 has not named them, it has repeatedly mentioned writing to AT&T about broadband throttling. The six "are deliberately harming the service they deliver to their paying customers.
Mobile CRM May Widen the Big Data/Privacy Divide
May 06, 2014
The White House last week added to the ongoing national discussion about online privacy and tracking with the release of a review counselor John Podesta conducted on Big Data and privacy issues. Among other things, privacy advocates hope the findings will spotlight the role of mobile in the gathering of consumer data by companies. Mobile technologies have a particularly voracious appetite.
British Supermarket Chain to Launch Its Own Smartphone
May 06, 2014
Tesco, a British-born multinational grocery store chain, plans to launch its own smartphone later this year. The device will reportedly run on Android software and have specs comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S5. Of course, the Galaxy doesn't come equipped with preinstalled Tesco services; the new phone will. Tesco has been electronically progressive, at least as far as supermarkets are concerned.
The Tangled Web of IoT Security
May 06, 2014
The Internet of Things, or IoT, consists of "uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure," according to Wikipedia. The IoT is "the network of physical objects accessed through the Internet," according to Cisco Systems. In addition to there being no clear definition of the IoT, estimates vary widely about the number of unique devices it includes.
Facebook's $2B Baby Oculus Denies Rival's Rights Claims
May 06, 2014
A simmering conflict between Oculus, a virtual reality startup Facebook bought last month for $2 billion, and ZeniMax Media began to boil Monday. ZeniMax las week claimed one of its former employees, John Carmack, improperly shared some of its tech with Oculus for use in its Rift virtual reality headset, which is touted as having the power to bring VR to the masses.

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