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Judge rules public Twitter posts can be used against you in court and accessed without a search warrant

In a ruling sure to have far-reaching consequences for how online speech is treated under the law, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Sciarrino said that public Tweets do not have the same protection as private speech. In other words, what you say online publicly, i.e. Facebook update, Tweet, or otherwise, can be accessed and used against you in court sans a search warrent.




"The Constitution gives you the right to post, but as numerous people have learned, there are still consequences for your public posts," wrote Sciarrino in his ruling. "What you give to the public belongs to the public. What you keep to yourself belongs only to you."


A little back story: Harris, the person directly affected by this ruling, was arrested during the Occupy Wall Street protests when he, along with many others, walked down the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge as opposed to the sidewalk. Before this march, he had deleted several Tweets that prosecutors believe contain evidence that directly contradicts one of his defenses.


He asserts that the police led the march and the prosecutors believe the Tweets say otherwise. Just in May, Twitter stepped up and filed a motion to squash the subpoena saying that the users retained ownership of their respective Tweets. This meant it wasn't their data to give up. The judge's ruling, however, grants ownership to the "public" rather than the user, if they are posted publicly.

Continue reading 'Judge rules public Twitter posts can be used against you in court and accessed without a search warrant' (full post)

Beats acquires streaming music provider MOG

It has finally been confirmed that music streaming service, MOG, has been acquired by Beats. Details of the acquisition aren't being made available to the public, but GigaOm initially reported that the price could have been hovering around $14 million, but sources close to MOG later said that the number was "significantly higher".




USA Today spoke to MOG founder and CEO David Hyman over e-mail, where he said:


The addition of MOG's music service to the Beats portfolio will provide a truly end-to-end music experience.


It's definitely an interesting move, with big players like Spotify being huge competition, and very established. But Beats' relationship with HTC will help them. Selling smartphones with Beats headphones and MOG trials with discounted subscriptions for example, could very well be the future for HTC.

Latest ComScore numbers are in for US market, Android still leads, Apple is number two

The latest quarterly data from ComScore is in for the US smartphone market, and Android is still top dog with 50.9-percent of the market, up 0.8-percent. Apple has grown 1.7-percent to take 31.9-percent of the pie, Research in Motion has dropped 2 points to 11.4-percent, Microsoft is up a tenth of a point to 4-percent, and Symbian continues to fade, dropping 0.4-percent to 1.1-percent.




Who's the leading phone maker in the US? Samsung. Samsung take 25.7-percent of the market, gaining 0.1-percent this quarter. LG slipped 0.3 points to 19.1-percent, while iPhone maker Apple takes just 15-percent. Motorola is down 0.8 points to 12-percent, in fifth place sits HTC with 6.1-percent of the market, up 0.2 points this quarter.


With the current legal battles between Apple, Samsung and now Samsung's ally, Google, things should get more interesting with these numbers over the coming months.

Microsoft set to take a quarterly loss from their under-performing acquisition of aQuantive

Microsoft purchased aQuantive, an online advertising service, back in 2007 for $6.3 billion, and since then, Microsoft's online department has reported $9 billion in losses. Now Microsoft is poised to take a one-time $6.2 billion charge to offset the lack of revenue from aQuantive.




The non-cash charge is most likely going to push Microsoft $1 billion into the red for their fourth fiscal quarter ending in June, assuming that the $5.3 billion in profits pre-charge are correct. We should expect Microsoft's quarterly results on July 19. At the time of the deal, it was the largest Microsoft had ever made, and until the $7 billion Skype acquisition, it still was.


Considering that at the time, in order to counter Microsoft's acquisition of aQuantive, Google scooped up aQuantive's competitor, DoubleClick the year after. DoubleClick earned Google $9.7 billion in the last twelve months on $38 billion in revenue, mostly from advertisements. Microsoft have said in a statement:


The aQuantive acquisition continues to provide tools for Microsofts online advertising efforts, the acquisition did not accelerate growth to the degree anticipated, contributing to the write down.

Micron set to buy Elpida, for around $2.5 billion

Bankrupt Japanese chipset maker, Elpida Memory Inc., is set to be acquired by Micron Technology Inc. for an estimated 200 billion yen ($2.5 billion), according to the Nikkei newspaper. Out of this $2.5 billion, Micron will use $1.76 billion of it to pay Elpida's debts, leaving as much as 70-percent of Elpida's liabilities unpaid.




The Nikkei wouldn't disclose where they got the information from, unfortunately. Micron will then invest 100 billion yen in Elpida facilities including their plant in Hiroshima, Japan, in order to boost output of DRAM chips. After acquiring Elpida, it should double Micron's share of the global DRAM market, up to around 24-percent. Considering Micron are an Apple supplier, this should only be good news for both Micron, and Apple.


It will help the company compete with currently industry leader Samsung, as well as give them greater control over supply gaps that have caused the company to endure four straight quarterly losses, even though DRAM prices have fallen. Micron shares jumped 4.4-percent, the most since March 13, to close at $5.97 yesterday.

Google contributed to the US economy in 2011 with big numbers, $80 billion of them

Google's Vice President of Americas Sales, Margo Georgiadis, took to the company's blog to say that the Internet is where business is done and jobs are created. How do you back up such as claim? Well, if you're Google, you can provide $80 billion of economic activity directly to advertisers, website publishers and nonprofit organizations across the US in 2011.




The post highlight that 97-percent of Americans use Internet search to find local goods and services, on both smart devices and computers. Some believe that technology is driving people to shop online versus locally, this isn't always the case.


Boston Consulting Group shows that US citizens who have researched products online throughout 2011 actually went in-store to purchase these goods, and spent around $2,000, rather than online. Google says that's nearly $500 billion in revenue that was spent on local retail. Georgiadis cites a bunch of examples of just how Google and the Internet are helping businesses expand. Citing New England baking company King Arthur Flour, who recently jumped online and has since become an internationally-renowned business.

Continue reading 'Google contributed to the US economy in 2011 with big numbers, $80 billion of them ' (full post)

Nokia says that Google's $199 Nexus 7 tablet infringes on their patents

Google's freshly-announced Nexus 7 tablet was only announced last week, but Nokia have already claimed that the 7-inch tablet infringes on some of their patents in regards to Wi-Fi technology. The Inquirer believes that these patents have to do with the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard.




A Nokia spokesperson has said to The Inquirer that they have more than 40 licensees under their standards essential patent portfolio which includes most of the mobile phone device makers. But, Google, nor ASUS are licensed under this patent portfolio. The Nokia spokesperson said that the two companies who have not licensed up should simply approach them and sign up for licensing rights.


We will most likely see Nokia going after Google and ASUS for licensing, instead of trying to push legal injunctions against them. You know, like other companies do when they're the biggest competitor to their precious iProducts.

Samsung Display is gaining momentum, features 39,000 staff and 7 facilities across the globe

Samsung's spun-out LED business Samsung Displays has completed its merger between the three-month old entity, and its Samsung Mobile Display and S-LCD corporations. The deal has created the world's largest display manufacturer, which happened back in April, but the latest news moves push the business to have 39,000 employees with seven production facilities across the world.




Oh-hyun Kwon, vice chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics, spoke at an investor meeting about the revised company, where he talked of the combined efforts will help the company develop its business:


Samsung Display is destined to attain virtually unlimited growth, through continuous efforts to combine our proven know-how in the display field with an overwhelming creative spirit. Our combined strengths will guide Samsung's display business through the next decade and longer, in turning the many synergistic benefits of the company into far-reaching, tangible results.

Continue reading 'Samsung Display is gaining momentum, features 39,000 staff and 7 facilities across the globe' (full post)

Apple settles with Proview over 'iPad' trademark dispute, hands over $60 million

Late last year, a Chinese court rejected Apple's iPad trademark infringement case toward Proview, after which Apple appealed in February, and now they've settled with the company who owned the iPad trademark in China, Proview.




Apple settled with Proview for the tidy sum of $60 million, reports the Associated Press. Apple ending up coughing the dough up to Proview for the rights to the "iPad" trademark in China.


The original talks earlier this year had Apple offering Proview $16 million to settle the case, but Proview were holding out for a $400 million settlement, as the company were looking to plug the holes in their business' looming bankruptcy problems. Proview can't complain, a settlement of $60 million is not bad at all.

Samsung, Google team up to take on Apple in the court room

We know that the legal problems between Samsung and Apple are getting more and more serious, with bans imposed on Samsung selling their GALAXY Tab 10.1 in the US, and on Friday the GALAXY Nexus was also denied from sale. The judge in both of these cases is US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California.




The Korea Times has reported, which Samsung later confirmed, for the first time that they are now getting help from Google in order to better defend themselves over patents. Samsung spokeswoman Lim Yoon-jeong has said that the two companies have been working closely to created a united front. Another undisclosed Samsung insider has been quoted in the article, where they say:


It's too early to comment on our game plan (with Google) in the legal battle; but we will do our best to get more royalties from Apple, which has benefited from our technology. The fight is becoming more dramatic and the possibility of a truce in the form of a cross-licensing deal seems to be becoming likely.

Continue reading 'Samsung, Google team up to take on Apple in the court room' (full post)

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