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Showing posts from August, 2012
Post-‘pinch’? Apple patent-case win could point to new digital age for smartphones
By Craig Timberg and Hayley Tsukayama, Published: August 27
If the swipe is the essential gesture of the smartphone revolution, the pinch is a close second. Many of the coolest things that can be done on today’s mobile devices — from finding an out-of-the-way bar to determining whether a thunderstorm is going to ruin your party — are made easier by placing fingers on the screen and sliding them.
Friday’s $1 billion court ruling for Apple, which upheld patents for what manufacturers call “pinch to zoom,” among other popular features, has clouded the future of the gesture for anyone inclined to buy mobile devices from other companies. Apple made clear its determination to press its advantage Monday, announcing plans to seek preliminary injunctions on eight phones made by Samsung, the loser in the case.
The ruling has sparked searches for possible alternatives to the pinch — some have suggested finger taps, ci…
Battle over who really runs the web begins...
August 27, 2012 8:13 pm The internet: Command and control
By Daniel Thomas, Richard Waters and James Fontanella-Khan
Future of digital world subject of intense debate to determine if it really will be for everyone
The man in the middle of the vast stadium pressed a button on a boxy old computer terminal, causing a message to flash across the darkness in front of a billion viewers scattered all over the world. This is for everyone, it said.
This was Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who helped create the World Wide Web and then surrendered control of it. The act, staged at the centre of the extravagant opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games, showed how his invention triggered a digital revolution as important as preceding scenes of industrial and social upheaval.
More than two decades after his breakthrough, the future of this digital world is the subject of intense debate to determine whether it really will be for everyone.
In December, the UN World Conf…
Apple seeks to ban eight Samsung phones in US AFP – 1 hour 58 minutes ago
Apple filed a court request Monday seeking to ban eight Samsung mobile phones in the US market following a major victory in a patent suit against the South Korean electronics giant.
The request includes phones being sold by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to US customers that were found to have infringed on Apple's patents from its iconic iPhone.
Apple asked the court to ban some of the newer 4G phones from Samsung's Galaxy line as well as the Droid Charge sold through Verizon.
The case -- in which the jury ordered more than $1 billion for patent infringement -- does not include Samsung's newest Galaxy S III, which was released subsequent to the suit but which is facing separate litigation.
Apple asked the US District Court in San Jose, California to issue a preliminary injunction on the eight devices as a permanent injunction is debated.
The phones include the Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 AT&T model, Galaxy S…
FCC eyes tax on Internet service
By Brendan Sasso     - 08/26/12 06:00 AM ET The Federal Communications Commission is eyeing a proposal to tax broadband Internet service.
The move would funnel money to the Connect America Fund, a subsidy the agency created last year to expand Internet access.
The FCC issued a request for comments on the proposal in April. Dozens of companies and trade associations have weighed in, but the issue has largely flown under the public's radar.
"If members of Congress understood that the FCC is contemplating a broadband tax, they'd sit up and take notice," said Derek Turner, research director for Free Press, a consumer advocacy group that opposes the tax. Numerous companies, including AT&T, Sprint and even Google have expressed support for the idea.
Consumers already pay a fee on their landline and cellular phone bills to support the FCC's Universal Service Fund. The fund was created to ensure that everyone in the country has access to t…
Who inherits your iTunes library?
Why your digital books and music may go to the grave
Aug. 23, 2012, 4:57 p.m. EDT
By Quentin Fottrell
Many of us will accumulate vast libraries of digital books and music over the course of our lifetimes. But when we die, our collections of words and music may expire with us.
Someone who owned 10,000 hardcover books and the same number of vinyl records could bequeath them to descendants, but legal experts say passing on iTunes and Kindle libraries would be much more complicated.
And one’s heirs stand to lose huge sums of money. “I find it hard to imagine a situation where a family would be OK with losing a collection of 10,000 books and songs,” says Evan Carroll, co-author of “Your Digital Afterlife.” “Legally dividing one account among several heirs would also be extremely difficult.”
Part of the problem is that with digital content, one doesn’t have the same rights as with print books and CDs. Customers own a license to use the digital files—but they don’t…
Verdict reached for Apple in Samsung case
By PAUL ELIAS Associated Press Published: Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 - 4:06 pm Last Modified: Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 - 4:21 pm
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A jury has ruled for Apple in its huge smartphone patent infringement case involving Samsung and ordered Samsung to pay $1.5 billion.
The verdict was reached Friday.
In its lawsuit filed last year, Apple Inc. had demanded $2.5 billion while accusing Samsung of ripping off the design technology of iPhones and iPads.
During closing arguments at the trial, Samsung attorney Charles Verhoeven called that demand ridiculous and asked the jury to award Samsung $399 million after claiming Apple used Samsung Electronics Co. technology without proper compensation.
The two companies lead the $219 billion market for smartphones and computer tablets. They are enmeshed in similar lawsuits in the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia.
Return for more on this breaking news story.
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All right…
India cracks down on Internet over migrant exodus AFP – 7 hours ago
India has demanded social networking websites take down provocative messages and blocked some online content after anonymous threats sparked an exodus of migrants from southern cities.
Tens of thousands of workers and students from the remote northeast region returned home last week from Bangalore, Mumbai and other cities fearing attacks from Muslims in reprisal for recent ethnic clashes in the state of Assam.
The Indian government has said many of the Internet posts, fake video clips and phone messages spreading rumours of plans to target migrants were sent from arch-rival Pakistan.
The Ministry of Communications said late Monday that an order had been issued on August 17 but that "such inflammatory and harmful content continued to appear on the social networking sites".
It added the government was meeting with representatives of the sites to curb the content, and it stressed that "a lot more and quicker act…
AUGUST 17, 2012 Twitter clamps down on developers with restrictive API rules The next version of Twitter's API aims to limit traditional Twitter clients and syndication By Jeremy Kirk | IDG News Service
Changes to Twitter's upcoming API release are aimed at restricting consumer-focused client applications in favor of business-oriented ones, according to the company's blog on Thursday. Version 1.1 of Twitter's API is scheduled for release in "the coming weeks," wrote Michael Sippey, a Twitter group  The technical changes are intended to grow applications centered around social CRM, media integration, social analytics, and social influence ranking. "Nearly eighteen months ago, we gave developers guidance that they should not build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience," Sippey wrote, citing applications such as Tweetbot, Echofon, Storify, and Favstar.fm. Among the significant changes are limits on how m…
Postal Service Posts Big Loss as Cash Runs Low U.S. NEWSUpdated August 9, 2012, 5:43 p.m. ETBy ERIC MORATHThe U.S. Postal Service on Thursday reported a $5.2 billion quarterly loss and said it was nearly out of cash and likely to exhaust its government credit line in coming months.

The agency said the loss was its widest since it began releasing quarterly financials in 2007. But Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the Postal Service would do whatever it takes to maintain its operations, even if that means defaulting on a second multibillion-dollar retiree obligation in as many months.
"We will do everything we need to do to make sure the mail is delivered," he said. "Congress needs to act responsibly and move on this legislation." Losses and defaults will continue, despite cost-cutting efforts, unless Congress passes a postal-overhaul bill, Mr. Donahoe said.
The Postal Service's loss for its third quarter ended June 30 compared with a $3.1 billion loss fo…
Android races past Apple in smartphone market share
By Julianne Pepitone @CNNMoneyTech August 8, 2012: 2:43 PM ET
Android and iOS made up 85% of smartphone market share last quarter, according to an IDC report.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The mobile space has quickly become a two-horse race between Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) and Apple -- and one of those giants significantly widened its lead last quarter.
Google's Android surged to a whopping 68% share of the global smartphone market last quarter. That's four times more than the 17% market share held by Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), according to a Wednesday report from research firm IDC.
IDC, which tracks smartphone market share by operating system, said that nearly 105 million Android phones were shipped in the second quarter -- more than double the number shipped at the same time last year.
Apple also showed strong growth, with an almost 28% gain over the previous year to 26 million phones shipped. "Android continues to fire on all cy…
Refugee from Facebook questions the social media life
By Craig Timberg, Updated: Friday, August 3, 7:07 AM
MARFA, Tex. — Not long after Katherine Losse left her Silicon Valley career and moved to this West Texas town for its artsy vibe and crisp desert air, she decided to make friends the old-fashioned way, in person. So she went to her Facebook page and, with a series of keystrokes, shut it off.
The move carried extra import because Losse had been the social network’s 51st employee and rose to become founder Mark Zuckerberg’s personal ghostwriter. But Losse gradually soured on the revolution in human relations she witnessed from within.
The explosion of social media, she believed, left hundreds of millions of users with connections that were more plentiful but also narrower and less satisfying, with intimacy losing out to efficiency. It was time, Losse thought, for people to renegotiate their relationships with technology.
“It’s okay to feel weird about this because I feel weird about thi…
For your eyes only: New twist on Digital ID could keep you from getting hackedSummary:Online verification involving visual preferences may prevent your accounts from being penetrated by hackers.
ByJason PerlowforTech Broiler| August 8, 2012 -- 17:01 GMT (10:01 PDT)


This week, the security methods used by Apple and other cloud-based software and service providers such as Google and Amazon are under intense scrutiny. A writer forWired, Mat Honan, had many of his online accounts compromised and his data destroyedon his cloud-connected Mac, iPhone and iPadafter hackers fooled Apple support representatives into re-setting the password on his iCloud account which then alllowed them to gain access to other linked social media accounts.
The hackers then defaced Honan's as well as Gizmodo's Twitter accounts in the process with embarassing racial and homophobic epithets.  The sordid tale on Wiredthat Honan tells of his unfortunate experience is a painful one. It is in essence a perfect storm…