Saturday, February 28, 2015
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Swedish telecom hardware maker Ericsson has sued Apple for patent infringement, filing a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).
Apple allegedly refused Ericsson's offer to have a court ruling determine licensing terms between the companies.
Ericsson's patents are related to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards used in all of Apple products and Ericsson wants an injunction on the affected products and also damages.
The previous licensing agreement expired a month ago. At that time, Apple filed a lawsuit claiming that the patents were not essential to the industry's standards, and that Ericsson was charging exorbitant royalties fees.
If Ericsson wins, Apple will have to pay at least $250 million a year in royalties, depending on how many iPhones are sold.
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Panasonic has unveiled their first 64-bit Android smartphone, the awfully named Eluga U2.
The device runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop, has a 5-inch 720p IPS display, a 64-bit quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and a 2500mAh battery. The cameras are 5MP/13MP, providing clearer selfies than most existing phones.
Most importantly, the phone will be priced at $250 unlocked when it launches, although it is unclear if it will ship outside of Asian markets.
Paired with the recently announced Lumix CM1 and its DSLR-esque, it appears that Panasonic is back in the game.
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Google SVP and head of Android and Chrome has said today that some popular products may soon breakaway from Google+, starting with Hangouts and Photos.
Currently you need Google+ to have access to the other products but that could change soon. "I think increasingly you'll see us focus on communications [Hangouts], photos, and the Google+ stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area," Pichai noted.
Hangouts, which allows users to chat, video chat and send photos, is popular among Gmail and Android fans but has nowhere near the popularity of WhatsApp or even Facebook's own Messenger service. That's okay, says Pichai: "Things like WhatsApp are a great example of success that others have had on Android, which we see as welcome innovation on the platform. In the aggregate, we also care about building great services for people. At that level, we view communications as an important area. But that doesn't mean the answer is always a vertical service. We do have products like Hangouts which we will invest in and evolve. But we also care about the platform in these areas, how we evolve the platform so we support others to do these innovations as well."
Google has been slowly but surely lifting its ecosystem's reliance on Google+, which was first marketed as a centerpiece for the whole Google relationship but has subtly disappeared over time.
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Friday, February 27, 2015
In 2013, Target had a massive data breach in which 70 million customers had their credit and debit card information stolen.
Today, the company has finally revealed the losses it took from the breach, a staggering $162 million.
In 2013, the company booked a $61 million gross loss and $191 million for 2014. Cyber attack insurance covered $90 million over the two years. Those figures could get larger in 2015 as the retailer faces a number of class action lawsuits.
In recent months, attacks on retailers and other companies have escalated, culminating with a breach by Anthem Health, one of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S.
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The crew over at Vsauce has set out to answer a very important and critical question: would car headlights work at the speed of light? Unsurprisingly, the answer is not simple, but in the process, you do learn a lot about general relativity and photons and other sciencey stuff.
As Vsauce explains, you could never have a car travelling at the speed of light — nothing with mass can travel at the speed of light. So your car would have to be massless; but it would also not experience time, or be able to turn headlights on, for starters.
As with most things involving relativity, it's a little difficult to understand. But if you can follow along for 12 minutes, you'll definitely have some serious knowledge ready for your next dinner party. Just don't invite the physics department. [YouTube]
Contact the author at email@example.com.
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Thursday, February 26, 2015
The crackdown marks a shift in attitude for two services that have traditionally been freewheeling forums where users could literally let it all hang out. The lax approach has opened the door for nude and sexually explicit photos and video to be posted on Reddit and Blogger, even if the subjects featured in the images intended them to remain private.
Until now, Reddit has had a hands-off approach to privacy, largely allowing its 160 million users to police their own forums within certain guidelines such as no child pornography or spam. The change comes about six months after hackers obtained nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities and posted them to social media sites including Reddit and Twitter.
Without specifically calling out Reddit or Twitter, Lawrence lashed out at the sites that permitted nude photos to be posted of her. She likened the unauthorized use of photos of her body as a "sex crime."
A Tuesday posting signed by Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao and other company executives said the shift is an effort to help grow the site "for the next 10 years and beyond." Effective March 10, Reddit will prohibit any photograph, video or digital image of a person who is nude or engaged in a sexual act if the subject hasn't given permission for it to be used. Anyone who wants an image of themselves...
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Buick, Toyota, Cadillac and Honda and Porsche, which were tied, rounded out the top five spots in the annual survey, released Wednesday by the consulting firm J.D. Power. The survey asked original owners of vehicles from the 2012 model year about problems experienced in the last year.
Lexus owners reported 89 problems per 100 vehicles; the industry average was 147 problems. Fiat was the worst performing brand, with 273 problems per 100 vehicles. Land Rover, Jeep, Mini and Dodge rounded out the bottom five performers.
The top two complaints were technical ones: inability to pair phones to the car and trouble with voice recognition systems, which often misunderstood drivers' commands. That's a change from past years, when design problems like wind noise or mechanical issues like squeaky brakes topped the list.
J.D. Power spokesman John Tews said it's difficult to compare the results to prior years, since J.D. Power changed this year's survey to include more specific questions about technology. But it's clear that high-tech features -- and owners' expectations about how they will perform -- are increasingly important to overall perceptions of quality.
J.D. Power said 15 percent of respondents avoided a model because it lacked new technology, up from 4 percent in last year's survey.
"Owners clearly want the latest technology in their vehicles, and they don't hesitate to express their disapproval when it doesn't work," said Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive at J.D. Power.
Wind noise was the third most reported problem on this year's list, followed by hesitating automatic transmissions and excessive road noise.
The rankings are important to automakers, since unhappy customers are more likely to shop other brands when they buy their next vehicle. J.D. Power said 56 percent of...
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The new Moto E will also have a front-facing camera for selfies, though images won't be as sharp as the 5 megapixels on the rear. There's also a model with 4G cellular connectivity. Last year's model was available only for slower, 3G networks.
In the U.S., Motorola will target prepaid customers, as well as those looking to buy children their first smartphones. The 4G model will cost $150 in the U.S., while the 3G will go for $120, both without contract requirements.
The screen measures 4.5 inches diagonally, slightly larger than before.
Motorola, which Lenovo Group bought from Google Inc. in October, has been trying to set itself apart from other phone makers by selling cheaper phones that have some features found in higher-end products. For instance, all of its phones use Corning's Gorilla Glass for durability.
"Even in developed markets, a large percentage of the population isn't on a smartphone," Rick Osterloh, Motorola's CEO, said in an interview. "This category represents the biggest growth area."
Motorola, which is headquartered in Chicago, announced its new phone Wednesday ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Samsung, HTC and others are expected to unveil their spring lineups at the show. Sony also announced a budget phone this week for 129 euros ($146), though there's no plan to sell it in the U.S. LG announced four mid-range smartphones. Details on prices and U.S. availability weren't immediately revealed.
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Earlier today, Lenovo.com got defaced by someone claiming to be the Lizard Squad, an embarrassing take down and more bad PR for the company still reeling from the fallout of pre-installing adware on some of their PCs.
At around 4PM, visitors to the site saw a slideshow of teens with 'Breaking Free' from High School Musical playing in the background.
The attackers are said to have hijacked Lenovo's domain record, having the ability to redirect Lenovo.com to a third-party server. In the source code of the hijacked pages, you can find the sentence "the new and improved rebranded Lenovo website featuring Ryan King and Rory Andrew Godfrey."
Both names have been identified as members of Lizard Squad, but it is unclear if they were really behind the attack.
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