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News Archive for 12/12/19

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OpenTV sues Netflix over DRM, recommendation patents

12/19, 11:05pm

Swiss company licensing efforts with Netflix fail

Patent holder OpenTV has launched a lawsuit against Netflix on Wednesday, claiming the company is misusing its patents on viewer recommendations, digital rights management and video playback. The owners of OpenTV, Kudelski SA, have been attempting to negotiate licenses for the patents in question for a year, but Netflix has signed no agreement with the Swiss company.

Humble Bundle 7 launches with six cross-platform games

12/19, 9:48pm

Documentary Indie Game: The Movie included if median beat

The Humble Indie Bundle has fired up again for the last time in 2012. The new bundle brings four games for purchase, with an additional two games and documentary film if the average bundle purchase price is exceeded. As usual, the purchaser can divvy up the purchase price between the developers, charity, and the Humble Bundle purveyors themselves. Soundtracks for many of the games is also included (in lossy or lossless formats) in the purchase price.

Google Maps said to drive massive iOS 6 adoption spike [U]

12/19, 7:46pm

MoPub sees iOS 6 adoption jump after Google Maps

[Update: Chitika study contradicts MoPub, says increase due to China debut] Google Maps recent arrival on iOS 6 may have led to a significant number of users upgrading to that version of iOS. This according to ad network MoPub, which saw iOS 6 adoption jump 29 percent in the five days following the release of the new version of Google Maps. A later study by rival Chitika reported that in fact, US increase in iOS 6 adoption rates were basically flat, and credited the bump to the iPhone 5's debut in China, where it sold more than two million units in its first weekend.

Cook named runner-up in Time's 'Person of the Year'

12/19, 7:26pm

Apple CEO inherited challenging job, long shadow

On Wednesday, Time Magazine named US President Barack Obama as its "Person of the Year," but had also considered the contribution made by Apple and its CEO Tim Cook, ultimately placing him third on the list, along with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, scientist Fabioloa Gianotti, and Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai. The magazine also profiled Cook, reiterating many of the highlights and quotes Cook had given in previous interviews, including his prime-time chat with Rock Center host Brian Williams earlier this month.

ARRIS shells out $2.35 billion to Google for Motorola Home

12/19, 7:23pm

Google gains 15.7 percent stake in ARRIS in already-approved sale

Communications technology company ARRIS Group and Google today jointly announced that ARRIS and Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility have entered into an agreement under which ARRIS will acquire the Motorola Home business from Motorola Mobility for $2.35 billion in a combined cash and stock transaction. The sale has already been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

WV Senator floats bill mandating violent video game study

12/19, 6:55pm

Senator believes court rulings supporting games 'do not get it'

Vague and unconfirmed reports that school gunman Adam Lanza periodically used violent video games for recreation have not gone unnoticed by lawmakers in Washington DC. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has put forth draft legislation that would require the National Academy of Sciences, in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission, to "study the impact of violent video games and violent video programming on children," despite the fact that several such studies have already been done.

Quickoffice iPad app now free for Google Business users

12/19, 6:43pm

Free Android version of Quickoffice on the way

Google today announced that it would be making the Quickoffice iPad app available for free for all of its Apps for Business customers. The app allows users to open and edit Microsoft Office files stored on their Google Drive cloud accounts. The search company acquired Quickoffice in June of this year, and the free iPad version looks to be a step to strengthening the app ecosystem surrounding its Google Docs platform.

Apple accelerating second-gen iPad mini, analyst claims

12/19, 4:56pm

Texas Instruments said to be more involved

Apple is speeding up production of a second-generation iPad mini, says RBC Capital Markets' Doug Freedman. The analyst is touring chip manufacturers in China, and makes the Mini claim in a recent investor memo. "iPad Mini Gen-2: Apple's gen-2 iPad mini is getting pulled-in, and is likely to have several new suppliers, with TXN gaining content," he writes.

Dropbox buys social photo aggregation service Snapjoy

12/19, 4:51pm

Second Dropbox acquisition in two-week period

Cloud-storage service Dropbox has acquired Snapjoy, a photograph aggregation site. Snapjoy collects together images captured on a camera or phone, as well as those posted on social sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr, and allowed users to view their entire collection through an app for iOS or the service's website.

Evernote updates Food app with iPad support, local search

12/19, 3:36pm

Also bakes in new recipe functions

Evernote has released v2.0 of Food, an iOS app meant to be a comprehensive tool for food lovers. The update represents a major redesign, for instance including a native iPad interface. New categories have also been introduced, such as Explore Recipes, which lets people grab recipes from websites and save them into the new My Cookbook tab, which also incorporates recipes pulled from the regular Evernote app.

ICANN produces gTLD application list, ordered by raffle

12/19, 2:54pm

Amazon second in priority, Apple in position 948

ICANN has released a list of applications for generic top-level domains (gTLDs), along with their position in a raffle. The randomly-drawn list sets the order for ICANN to evaluate and process the applications for domain suffixes, with the first gTLD to be issued expected to be the word "catholic" in Chinese, as requested by the Catholic Church.

Twitter tops 200 million active monthly users

12/19, 2:48pm

Twitter moves ahead of LinkedIn, Google+

Popular microblogging service Twitter hit another milestone today, passing the 200 million mark for monthly active users. Twitter announced the milestone in a tweet this morning, thanking its users, which it called "the pulse of the planet." The 200 million mark evinces the considerable growth rate for Twitter, which has added 100 million users in the time since September of 2011.

FTC updates COPPA, backs away from some app store rules

12/19, 2:47pm

Apps, websites to require consent before obtaining data

The US Federal Trade Commission has formally updated rules derived from the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, better known as COPPA, says the Wall Street Journal. The act was originally passed by Congress in 1998, but subsequent evolution of the Internet prompted the FTC to start reconsidering its enforcement in 2010. Influenced by feedback, proposed changes started emerging last year.

Google adds Read Aloud text-to-speech to Play Books app

12/19, 1:47pm

Reading feature accompanied by pinch-zoom, bug fixes

Google has updated its ebook app for Android with a feature that reads books aloud for the user. Updated yesterday, Google Play Books (Google Play) also adds the ability to pinch or double-tap to zoom, text-editing features for notes, as well as recommending other titles within the Play bookstore, using the already-owned book collection and popular titles to offer potential titles to purchase.

Verizon, Redbox begin deploying Redbox Instant

12/19, 1:12pm

Verizon, Redbox begin deploying Redbox Instant

Verizon and Redbox have started rolling out Redbox Instant, according to the service's Twitter feed. The service is only deploying "gradually," Redbox says, and the company is asking for people to sign up to a wait list if they can't already subscribe. An account costs $8 a month for unlimited streaming and four DVD rentals; access to Blu-rays raises the price to $9. For streaming, Redbox is promising support for both web browsers and mobile apps.

Kodak sells patents to Apple, Google consortiums for $525M

12/19, 12:03pm

Microsoft, Samsung among benefitting parties

Kodak has sold off $525 million in digital imaging patents to two consortiums led by Apple and Google, according to an official announcement. In all 12 licensees are involved, split between the two consortiums, Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation. Each licensee will get rights to part of Kodak's patent portfolio, which is highly valued as a means of defending against lawsuits, or in theory launching new complaints against competitors.

NEC updates thin LaVie ultrabook with 15.6-inch IPS display

12/19, 12:01pm

Notebook has bigger screen, maintains half-inch thickness

NEC is preparing to release a notebook that updates its thin line of ultrabooks in Japan with a new size of display, among other upgrades. The LaVie X has a 15.6-inch full HD IPS display, bigger than the LaVie Z's 13.3-inch display shown back in May, while keeping a slender profile that measures 12.8mm (half an inch) thick at its thinnest point.

Briefly: Cara case for iPad mini, Splashtop 2 now free

12/19, 11:47am

SwitchEasy releases Cara for iPad mini

SwitchEasy Limited has launched a new protective case designed for the iPad mini. The Cara case offers full body protection, including a scratch resistant polycarbonate screen shield. Available in three different colors, black, white, and red, the case also features a vertical stand system that can be used to position the device at multiple angles. The Cara is available through SwitchEasy's online store for $40.

Samsung confirms Exynos vulnerability, promises fix

12/19, 11:46am

Galaxy S II, S III affected by security bug

Samsung has confirmed recent reports of a security vulnerability that affects Exynos-equipped handsets, such as the Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II. In a statement issued to AndroidCentral, the company acknowledged the "potential security issue" relating to the Exynos processor and promises to release a software patch, however a release timeframe has yet to be announced.

UK phone networks to carry BlackBerry 10 smartphones

12/19, 11:14am

Four main carriers to sell new RIM handset at launch

Major phone networks in the United Kingdom have expressed their intent to support BlackBerry 10 handsets when they are released. Carriers Vodafone, O2, Three, and EE will all carry the new handsets, which are set to be on sale shortly after Research In Motion's operating system global launch event, set for January 30th.

Report disputes 2013 date, Sharp link for Apple HDTV

12/19, 11:00am

No LCD supplier lined up, source says

A new report by Focus Taiwan -- an English service of Taiwan's national news agency -- is disputing some recent claims about Apple's expected HDTV. Sources close to Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn, support the notion that the manufacturer is testing several TV designs. One source argues however that it's unlikely that the TV will ship in 2013, something some analysts have previously called for.

Oregon, New York may be competing for Apple chip factory

12/19, 10:58am

Sites in Texas, California also allegedly under consideration

The states of Oregon and New York may be competing for a chip factory under consideration by an Apple supplier, says The Oregonian. Oregon's economic development agency, Business Oregon, says it is trying to recruit a company operating under the codename "Azalea." A non-disclosure agreement is preventing any more details from emerging, though a similar project --tagged with a "Project Azalea" codename -- is being pursued in New York state.

Rumor: Nokia to reveal 10-inch Windows RT tablet at MWC

12/19, 7:03am

Project delayed by Microsoft Surface release

Another rumor relating to previous potential Nokia device reports has surfaced, claiming the troubled phone maker will be unveiling a 10-inch tablet in early 2013. It is also suggested that Nokia stayed away from unveiling their own Windows RT-based tablet this year because of Microsoft's own efforts with its Surface.

Report: high-res displays for mobile devices on the rise

12/19, 6:53am

2013 to be the year of high-res mobile displays

A new report by Digitimes Research examing developments in the flat panel market shows that a major trend expected in 2013 will be a shift towards much higher resolution displays for mobile devices. The report estimates that smartphone panels with 400 pixels per inch and higher, which only began in this quarter, will reach around 78 million units by this time next year. Conversely, panels with 150ppi and less will start to decline as users demand better displays on their devices, a trend started by Apple with the iPhone 4 in 2010 that featured a display with a pixel density of 326ppi.

Briefly: Blogger iOS, Apple free shipping, Russian iPhone 5

12/19, 2:00am

Blogger for iOS gets iPhone 5, iPad compatibility

Google, on a recent spree of iOS apps and updates, has upgraded its blogging application Blogger to v2.0.1.5, which adds compatibility with the longer screen of the iPhone 5 along with native support for the first three models of iPad. More controls are now available as well, now offering "Save as draft," "Publish" and "Cancel" along with support for Google Analytics usage. In addition, a number of big bugs have been fixed, including the composing screen (which previously had issues with losing entered text under some low-memory conditions). Also fixed where some photo upload errors, a bug with Japanese and Chinese keyboard entry, and occasional application launch failures.

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