Samsung Declared Winningly Unhip
Today in international tech news: Samsung wins a ruling against Apple but is declared "not as cool" in the process. Also: Google launches a gay rights campaign; Germany backs off legislation that would allow local governments to sell sensitive information; and investigators rule that the infamous flaming Samsung phone had been microwaved.
Jul 9, 2012 8:56 AM PT
Samsung Electronics on Monday won an intellectual property ruling in the UK against Apple, according to Bloomberg.
But while the ruling leaves Samsung's finances intact, the company's pride may have taken a hit.
At issue was the design of Samsung's Galaxy tablet, which Apple claimed was lifted from its iPad.
The design couldn't be mistaken for an iPad, according to Judge Colin Birss, because it wasn't "cool" enough. The Galaxies, he said, "do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool."
This is the Apple's second recent courtroom loss after last week's ruling absolved Taiwan-based HTC from infringing on iPhone's "slide to unlock" feature.
Google Searching for Better Gay Rights
Google has launched Legalize Love, a campaign designed to promote gay rights in countries around the world.
As The Washington Times points out, the campaign is not, as some had suggested, designed to promote legalizing same-sex marriage, but instead to support people in countries that have criminalized homosexuality.
This is not the time Google has openly supported gay rights. In a 2008 blog post, cofounder Sergey Brin opposed California's Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage. In 2010, Google began providing additional compensation to gay and lesbian employees to pay for a tax on health benefits that heterosexual couples didn't have to pay.
Google explained the Legalize Love campaign, and allayed misconceptions, in this blog post.
German Gov Gives Ground
Germany's national government is backing off a bill passed last month that would permit local governments to sell private information to companies, according to Germany's Der Spiegel.
On Monday, after "a storm of protests" from data protection advocates, the government said that the legislation will be changed, according to the paper.
In addition to philosophical concerns about privacy erosion, which has long been an issue in Germany, opponents of the bill complained that it was rushed through parliament without proper deliberation. To that end, the bill was reportedly passed on the evening of June 28 -- that is, on the evening of Germany's semifinal matchup with Italy in the European Championship, the continent's eminent soccer tournament -- with very few legislators on hand.
Exploding Samsung Had Been Nuked
Investigators in the UK have ruled that a Samsung phone that reportedly caught fire had been put in the microwave, according to Cnet.
The case of the exploding Samsung was born from a message board post by a man who claimed that his phone started emitting sparks and smoke while he was driving. That anonymous post, however, has since been removed and replace with a note retracting the initial claims and asserting that the phone was damaged by someone else.
Facebook Sorry for Deleting Post
Facebook has apologized for deleting a post about human rights abuses in Syria, according to The Guardian.
The post, written by free speech group Article 19, detailed alleged torture in Syria. The post was mistakenly taken down after reports that it was offensive, Facebook reportedly told The Guardian.