Google discloses paid bloggers to judge in Oracle case, lists Stanford prof. Mark Lemley as ‘outside counsel’

We told you earlier this month that a judge in the Google/Oracle case ordered the companies to disclose any payments it made to journalists, bloggers, and other members of media who made commentary or reported on the lawsuit. It was no secret at the time, but even paid blogger Florian Mueller of Foss Patents admitting previously that Oracle, in addition to other companies such as Microsoft, funded some of the posts on his blog.

Oracle later disclosed to the courts that Mueller was indeed a paid “consultant.” Today, we get an update on Google’s follow up to the judge’s request in a recent court filing (via The Verge).

While the majority of the people listed by Google include former interns, copyright lawyers, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, The Verge noted Mark Lemley, a Stanford professor who is often quoted by Google with no mention of the relationship, appears on the list as Google’s “outside counsel” for unrelated cases. Another name mentioned in the document is Google employee Tim Bray. The document cited tweets made by Bray from his personal Twitter account related to the case:

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Report: Android and iOS make tech history with worldwide, fast-growing adoption

Mobile analytics firm Flurry published a new report today asserting Android and iOS handsets have experienced adoption at such a supersonic speed that their growth rate has now eclipsed all consumer technology in history.

According to Flurry:

The rate of iOS and Android device adoption has surpassed that of any consumer technology in history.  Compared to recent technologies, smart device adoption is being adopted 10X faster than that of the 80s PC revolution, 2X faster than that of 90s Internet Boom and 3X faster than that of recent social network adoption.  Five years into the smart device growth curve, expansion of this new technology is rapidly expanding beyond early adopter markets such as such as North America and Western Europe, creating a true worldwide addressable market.  Overall, Flurry estimates that there were over 640 million iOS and Android devices in use during the month of July 2012.

Smartphones making headway as they spread worldwide is nothing new, but their history-making adoption rate is certainly notable. The report illustrated countries with the greatest number of device activations as well as the fasting growing markets. The results indicated the United States sits at No. 1 with 165 million iOS and Android handset activations for July, but China experienced a leading 401 percent activation growth during the same period.

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Google’s attempt to block U.S. imports of iPhone and iPad thwarted as ITC remands investigation of one patent

Following the verdict in the Apple vs. Samsung trial today, where Samsung was found guilty of infringing various Apple patents related to the case, Apple is also coming out a winner, at least temporarily, in Google/Motorola’s attempt to block imports of iPhones and iPads to the United States.

In late June, we told you about Google’s attempt to block U.S. imports of iPhones and iPads based on a previous ruling that Apple infringed on one standard-essential Motorola patent. The initial ruling was under review by the ITC, which has power to block U.S. imports of Apple devices from Asia, with a decision expected at a hearing scheduled for today.

The ITC has now concluded its review (via paid blogger FossPatents), finding no violations for three of the four patents in the initial suit (including the one mentioned above), but remanded an investigation on a fourth, non-standard essential patent to Judge Thomas Pender. The result? According to FossPatents, there might be a violation and import ban related to the patent, but a remand and ITC review could take up to a year:
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Amazon adds ‘Parks and Recreation’ to Prime Instant Video, with more popular NBCUniversal content

Amazon, NBCUniversal Cable and New Media Distribution announced an agreement today that will bulk the online retailer’s Prime Instant Video selection with hundreds of award-winning TV episodes.

Amazon’s Instant Video touts 22,000 movies and episodes for Prime members to stream on the Android-powered Kindle Fire or other supported devices like the iPad. A few of today’s catalog additions include “Parks and Recreation”, “Parenthood”, “Friday Night Lights”, “Heroes” and “Battlestar Galactica”.

““We are thrilled to have several of our iconic programs available to subscribers of Amazon Prime, a service focused on the best possible consumer experience,” said President of Cable & New Media Distribution for NBCUniversal Frances Manfredi in a press release. “We look forward to further expanding NBCU’s content offering available to Prime subscribers in the near future.”

It is worth noting non-Prime members can test Amazon Instant Video for one complimentary month. Oh, and a list of compatible devices is here.

The full press release is below.
This article is cross-posted on 9to5Mac.

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Apple is putting Google’s Voice search app through purgatory yet again

Google unveiled a new feature within its iOS search app in August that reminds us a lot of Siri. Taking features from its Siri competitor Google Now, Google announced the search app would now allow folks to use natural voice commands to make searches. For example, a user can “ask for the weather in a natural way and it will provide results,” Google explained. Google noted during its announcement that the updated app would be available in a few days. But, two weeks later…nothing.

After the announcement, Google told reporters the app was submitted a week before the event. So, Google’s updated app has been going through Apple’s App Store approval for three weeks. We have to wonder: What is the hold up?

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Amazon announces September 6th Press Conference. New Kindles on tap? Phone?

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Amazon just announced a press conference for September 6th in Los Angeles. They really don’t do big media events outside of Hardware launches so Kindles are what we’re expecting.

Amazon last held a Kindle Event in NYC where it released the Android based Kindle Fire and a few eInk tablets.  We’re expecting a bigger Kindle Fire  –perhaps iPad sized – this year and improvements to the Fire bringing it up to date with the ASUS Nexus 7. Oh, and maybe a phone. Read more

Verizon again tops J.D. Power and Associates Network Quality Performance report

J.D. Power and Associates is out with the second half of its 2012 “U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study”, and Verizon once again come out on top for network performance in five of the six regions included in the report. Only second to U.S. Cellular in the North Central region, Verizon posted the best overall network performance among the other carriers in the remaining regions based on 10 key problem areas that could impact the customer experience.

For a 16th consecutive reporting period, Verizon Wireless ranks highest in the Northeast region. Verizon Wireless achieves fewer customer-reported problems with dropped calls, initial connections, transmission failures and late text messages, compared with the regional average. Verizon Wireless also ranks highest in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest and West regions… U.S. Cellular ranks highest in the North Central region for a 14th consecutive reporting period. Compared with the regional average, U.S. Cellular has fewer customer-reported problems with dropped calls, failed initial connections, audio problems, failed voice mails and lost calls.

The study also covered the customer experience specifically for data-related problems. Not surprisingly, LTE device users experienced significantly less issues than older 3G devices like the iPhone:

The study finds that the number of data-related problems, especially those related to slow connection speeds, is significantly lower among customers using 4G LTE-enabled devices than among those using devices with older 3G/4G technology standards, such as WiMAX and HSPA+… For example, among customers with 4G LTE-enabled devices, the problem incidence for excessively slow mobile Web loading is 15 PP100, compared with the industry average of 20 PP100. Furthermore, the overall problem incidence for excessively slow mobile Web loading is even higher among customers with WiMAX and HSPA+ technology

Based on responses from over 26,000 U.S. wireless customers, the report explained how network performance was calculated: Read more

Google Music updated, featuring expanded Jelly Bean notifications and improved Google TV support

Here is some good news for those who like to get their music dose from Google Play: Google Music has been updated this evening with expandable notifications in Jelly Bean to allow playback control and viewing of album art. Furthermore, the update includes improved Google TV support to get rid of issues with TVs and set-top boxes caused by Jelly Bean. It would not be a Google update without a few bug fixes too. We have the full release notes embedded below. Download: [Play Store via Droid Life]

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Chrome for iOS updated with social and email sharing features, bugfixes and optimizations

For those of you who enjoy a little Chrome in your iOS experience, Google updated Chrome today with some nice social-sharing features. Posting to Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are all included with the ability to push pages to the email application. The additions start to bring Chrome up to par with Apple’s Mobile Safari, which still benefits from speed due to an optimized Nitro engine that sandboxed apps do not have access to.

It would not be a Chrome update without a few “stability and security improvements” and “bug fixes addressing user feedback” either.

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Archos unveils 10-inch 101 XS tablet with ‘coverboard’ for $400 [Photos]

The Archos 101 XS just unveiled with a bevy of attractive features for a budget-friendly tablet.

The Ice Cream Sandwich-powered, 10-inch slate will land in November for $400 with a detachable, full QWERTY keyboard dock, dubbed the “coverboard,” that connects to the tablet magnetically. The coverboard notably boasts keys for Home, Recently Opened, etc., so Android OS browsing is more streamlined.

The tablet further features support for Micro USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0, and it includes a 1,280-by-800-pixel display, 16GB of internal storage, 1.3-megapixel 720p front-facing camera, and Office Suite Pro 6 preloaded. Archos said the slate would even upgrade to Jelly Bean in October. A slew of accessories also unveiled with the 101 XS—including a speaker dock, docking station and protective carrying pouches.

The full press release is below.

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