An investigation examining 400 apps conducted by Develop shows that there is a lack of consistency in the way in-game purchases are presented on digital stores. The investigation follows the UK government agency the Office of Fair Trading’s recent announcement that it would investigate in-app purchases in children’s games.
The Federal District Court in Seattle, Washington has given Google's Motorola Mobility a slap in the face, ruling that its FRAND patent fees collected from Microsoft to be worth only about $1.8 million a year. The court said that the H.264 video standard and the 802.11 wireless standard patents weren't worth the $4 billion Motorola was seeking to collect.
Apple has won another battle this month at the U.S. International Trade Commission. The ruling dismissed patent claims by Google's Motorola Mobility against Apple's iPhone. If Motorola had prevailed, the ITC could have instituted a ban on imports of the iPhone into the United States from Apple's manufacturers in China.
Security research firm Lookout has identified 32 separate apps on Google Play for Android devices that contain malware called BadNews, according to this BBC report. The BadNews malware has been known to steal cash by racking up charges from sending premium rate text messages. Lookout says that the malware can hide on a user's phone for weeks before being detected. As a general rule the BadNews malware targets Android phone owners in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries in eastern Europe.
A trade group that Google, Yahoo, Oracle and others are members of has come out in support of CISPA. In a letter sent to the leaders of the House Intelligence panel on Wednesday, TechNet CEO Rey Ramsey told lawmakers that the bill addresses the need for companies and government to be able to send and receive information about cyber threats to one another in real time. He also applauded the panel leaders for taking steps to address privacy concerns with their bill (when did this happen? - ed.), but that it looked forward to continuing talks on "further privacy protections."
Google has made a dramatic move in removing apps that are either non-compliant or engage in some way in the art of spam. According to Techcrunch the marketplace for Android apps has about 60,000 less titles to choose from. These titles were removed in the last couple of weeks of February, according to the tech web site.
During the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last week Google's YouTube announced a new API for game developers that allows them to allow users to directly stream video from their games without using an external streaming service such as Twitch.TV or Ustream. YouTube streaming is already in some games - like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - but the goal of the new API is to bring in-game streaming solutions tied to YouTube to far more developers.
On Friday the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) finally and formally dismissed a case brought forward by Google's Motorola Mobility unit that alleged that Microsoft's Xbox 360 violated a handful of its patents. ITC Judge David Shaw issued the ruling on Friday, dismissing the last of the five patent disputes. The verdict is still subject to a review by the ITC, and Google retains the right to appeal the decision if it so chooses.
Indie developer Mat Dickie announced that his wrestling title for Android, Wrestling Revolution, is back on the Google Play store. In late December Dickie said that WWE somehow compelled Google to pull the game from the store. While he posited that this was done because his game was outperforming WWE's WrestleFest game, there was very little proof to back up that claim.
Google will donate 15,000 Raspberry Pi computers to various schools in the United Kingdom, reports Develop. The massive donation is part of an initiative to stimulate a new generation of computer scientists in the region. The partnership was announced at Chesterton Community College in Cambridge, where students were given the unique opportunity to get a programming lesson from Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt and Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton.
According to indie UK game developer Mat Dickie, World Wrestling Entertainment has managed to get his wresting game, Wrestling Revolution, pulled from the Google Play Store. While the details on how the WWE accomplished this remain unknown, Dickie claims that the world's biggest professional wrestling organization had it pulled because it was doing better than their game, WWE WrestleFest.
As expected, Google has backed off of its International Trade Commission complaint against Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, which uses one of its video compression patents. The company had sought to stop the sale of the system in the United States while Microsoft and its subsidiary Motorola duked it out in court over royalty payments related to FRAND patents. But earlier in the week the Federal Trade Commission stepped into the fight, ordering Google to take a more reasonable approach to "essential patents."
On Friday after the Federal Trade Commission issued an order on Google's Motorola patents and how the subsidiary needed to stop charging high royalties on FRAND patents it holds, Microsoft went into action.
The Federal Trade Commission issued a Consent Order (PDF) this week forbidding Google from charging a lot of money for certain critical patents it gained when it bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in May 2012. This is good news for both Apple and Microsoft, but particularly for Microsoft because (according to Microsoft) Motorola Mobility wanted to charge $4 billion a year in royalties for patents Motorola holds on Wi-Fi and video technology.
On Christmas day iOS and Android device activations were greater than any other day in history, according to a new report from mobile analytics company Flurry. As highlighted by VentureBeat Flurry claims that over 17 million new smartphones and tablets were activated on Christmas day. Compared to the rest of December, new iOS and Android activations rose a whopping 332 percent on Christmas Day.
Google-owned Motorola has failed to ban sales of the Xbox 360 in both Germany and the United States related to patents the system uses. Motorola and Microsoft have been in a very public court battle over royalty payments related to patents owned by Motorola that Microsoft is using for the Xbox 360 system. Motorola claims that the patents being used by Microsoft are worth $4 billion a year in royalty payments, while Microsoft says that those patents are worth only $1 million a year. U.S.
Google's Motorola Mobility has withdrawn an earlier claim that Microsoft violated Wi-Fi patents it holds with its Xbox 360 console, according to this lengthy analysis from Foss Patents. The company filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) earlier this year.
A new research paper from Google reveals what most gamers already know: the majority of tablet users spend more time playing games than anything else on their device of choice - whether it be Android, Windows, or iOS-based. In fact, Google's research found that gaming is the most popular activity on tablets right behind checking email.
The US International Trade Commission has launched an investigation into patent infringement claims made by Motorola against Apple. The ITC announced that it had launched a formal investigation into the claims that Apple's iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Mac computers infringed on patents held by Motorola. Motorola filed the complaint last month claiming that Apple violated patents it holds related to wireless communication devices, portable music players, and more.
Google has completely removed the infamous file-sharing site The Pirate Bay from its autocomplete results, meaning that users who type the search in will have to implicitly type "The Pirate Bay" without any suggestions from Google.
The change is meant to quell complaints from rightsholders who have long held that Google is an accomplice in directing users to domains strongly associated with illegal filesharing and copyright infringement. Google began the process of suppressing and censoring links to pirated material in its instant and auto-complete tools last year.
Having bested Samsung in a U.S. court over patent infringement, Apple is putting its focus on defending itself against phone maker HTC, but it may have an uphill battle on its hands. As SlashGear points out in this article, Apple is not starting out on the best footing.
Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai thinks that the Google Fiber in Kansas City is the cat's pajamas, calling it a model for other metropolitan areas to follow. He says the deal shows that "it is critically important that states and local communities adopt broadband-friendly policies when it comes to rights-of-way management."
There's some debate among financial analysts and patent law experts on what impact (if any) Friday's news that Apple had won a $1 billion verdict against Samsung related to claims that its tablets infringed on various iPad-related patents. This morning various financial analysts offered their two cents including JP Morgan, Barclays, UBS, and Macquarie Equities Research. GIGA OM offers a rundown of comments from various financial analysts, but we offer the bullet points below.
Episode 17 of the Super Podcast Action Committee is here and that means more fun with hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight! This week they talk about Apple's patent victory over Samsung, OnLive's CEO Steve Perlman giving a donation to former employees, the results from our latest poll and a whole lot more. An earthquake guest stars, causing Andrew much consternation. We didn't feel a damned thing.
If you've longed for using currency that doesn't come at the expense of your credit card on Google Play, then you'll be delighted to hear that Google has officially announced the availability of Google Play gift cards.
Those cards, which come in increments of $10, $25 and $50, will make their way to such retailers as Target, RadioShack and GameStop in the United States over the next few weeks. Google says that these cards will be available on Walmart.com later this month, but not in Walmart stores for some reason.
Today Google began a new initiative that basically buries the search results of websites that have a substantial amount of "valid claims" of copyright infringement filed against it. But, as the BBC reports, two major file-sharing sites are saying that the new way in which Google is organizing the search results will likely drive even more traffic directly to their domains. So just who are the two sites making these claims? The Pirate Bay and Isohunt. Both sites also claim that Google search results are not their main source of traffic.
Google has decided to play ball with rights holders, according to this Politico report. The world's biggest search engine revealed that it will now make search results from sites with "frequent copyright removal notices" appear lower in Google search rankings. Google announced late Friday that web sites with high numbers of "valid" removal notices would be affected by this new policy.
Google takes a break from suing other companies over phone designs using patents it acquired from Motorola to lay off 4,000 employees, or 20 percent of the company's work force. Google says that this reduction is part of a larger restructuring plan that will ultimately see the closure of one-third of Motorola’s 90 offices.