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Google Victorious in 6-Year Aussie Legal Battle

Google Victorious in 6-Year Aussie Legal Battle

Today in international tech news: Google ends a lengthy legal battle in Australia; Raspberry Pi goes on sale in Europe for $25; Japanese authorities and rights-holders plant fake files on piracy sites; the new BlackBerry is received with a collective "meh" in Canada; and Nokia drops a hint about a future tablet.

By David Vranicar
02/06/13 11:26 AM PT

A court in Australia has ruled in favor of Google in its lengthy legal fight with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The case, which lasted six years, concerned search results from 2006-07.

The Commission claimed that sponsored links published by Google diverted users to rival companies, according to the Herald. For instance, a search for "Honda Australia" would prompt a paid ad for CarSales, which was a competitor.

The Commission charged that results like that insinuated that CarSales and Honda were partnered in some way -- and Google, therefore, was to blame for the mix-up.

The Federal Court found Google liable for misleading and deceptive conduct, but upon appeal, the High Court ruled unanimously in favor of Google.

In October, an Aussie court found Google liable for damages when a man complained that Google's autocomplete function linked him to a meth kingpin.

Raspberry Pi on Sale in Europe

A less expensive version of the Google-funded Raspberry Pi computer is now on sale in Europe.

The BBC reports that the computer, dubbed Model A, is scaled-down from its Raspberry Pi successor, the Model B. The Model A lacks a network jack and contains less memory. It also uses less power.

Drawbacks, maybe, but the humble design means the computer costs all of $25.

The Model A is only available in Europe, but that will change soon, according to the BBC.

Japanese Government, Rights-Holders Planting Fake Files

In Japan, government authorities and rights-holders are seeding fake files on file-sharing sites that contain anti-piracy messages, according to Torrent Freak.

The nation approved a major upgrade in anti-piracy legislation in 2012. However, file-sharers have been slow to heed the policies. Thus the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and rights-holding companies have embarked, as the Ministry puts it, on "experiments to contribute to the enlightenment of users" who download illegal files.

Torrent Freak posted a sample warning. It says that similarly-named files contain illegal content, and that downloading said files is illegal. The message also makes note of the October 2012 passage of laws that can punish offenders with up to two years in prison and more than US$20,000 fines.

No Frenzy for New BlackBerrys in Canada

Tuesday's launch in Canada of BlackBerry's new Z10 phone was a "subdued event," according to The New York Times.

The debut of the new smartphone, which is seen as critical for BlackBerry, was "underwhelming" and "sluggish" across Canada, home country of BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion or RIM.

All three major Canadian carriers are charging US$150 for the Z10 if customers agree to a three-year contract. Verizon said that it would charge $200 for the Z10 when it arrives in the US in March.

Nokia Eyeing Tablet Market

Nokia could soon take a shot at the tablet market, according to The Australian Financial Review.

The tablet will likely be Windows-based, which makes sense seeing as Nokia turned to Windows for its Lumia 610 smartphone.

The company has yet to officially confirm plans for a tablet, but company CEO Stephen Elop spoke to reporters in Sydney about "broadening out the [company's] portfolio," and that tablets could be part of that strategy.

David Vranicar is a freelance journalist and author of The Lost Graduation: Stepping off campus and into a crisis. You can check out his ECT News archive here, and you can email him at david[dot]vranicar[at]newsroom[dot]ectnews[dot]com.

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Yes -- self-driving cars will save lives.
Kind of -- I'd like some self-driving features, like parking.
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