UK Judge: Apple must post web notice saying Samsung didn’t copy tablet design

BusinessInsider highlights an upcoming story from Bloomberg stating that a UK Judge has ruled that Apple must publicly state that Samsung did not copy the iPad design for its tablets. The public statements by Apple must be carried out in two ways:

  • Apple must post a message up on its website
  • Apple must post this message in British newspapers

The report says that Apple must leave the notice up on its website for six months. Details about the notice in British newspapers are currently less clear. We will update when Bloomberg’s report with more details becomes available. (Image: DigitalTrends)

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Google Fiber coming to Kansas City on July 26

Google announced on the Google Fiber blog today that it will launch the “100 times faster than broadband” Internet service on July 26 in Kansas City. We do not know a lot about what to expect, but a Google Fiber-branded set-top box of sorts did make its way through the Federal Communications Commission in June. We will keep you posted later this month when Google reveals more about its Google Fiber plans for Kansas. Until then, you can sign up to get the latest announcements:

Google Fiber is coming to to Kansas City on July 26. We appreciate your help and support, and we feel privileged to be part of the Kansas City community. For updates on our project, please sign up for our mailing list and look out for an announcement on July 26 at http://google.com/fiber.

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Sony tackles iPod touch with new ICS-powered Walkman with 3.5-inch LCD

Yes, the Walkman still exists, and right now Samsung Galaxy Player is the only iPod touch-comparable Android MP3 player, but maybe (…maybe?) the latest Walkman series by Sony will finally give Apple and its iconic music player a run for its money.

The F800 Series sports a 3.5-inch multi-touch LCD screen, 4.5-hour battery life for video and 20 hours for audio, and it comes in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB flavors. The most notable feature, however, is that it runs Android 4.0 with Google Play access. The F800 also touts an S-Master MX Digital Amplifier and five Clear Audio technologies with a built-in xLOUD speaker system.

“Powered by Android 4.0, the web-enabled Walkman F800 Series lets you enjoy a generous range of pre-installed apps, from email to maps and media gallery. Connect wirelessly via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and download more from an ever-growing choice on Google Play,” announced Sony. “Interacting with your media collection, apps and games is a pleasure, thanks to the large, highly-responsive 8.9cm/3.5” multi-touch screen, plus plenty of processing power for smooth, speedy responses.

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World’s thinnest Android phone used to hammer nails into board [video]

You may have heard of the world’s thinnest Android phone, the Oppo Finder, when the company put it up for pre-order last month. At just 6.65mm, the company also wanted to show off how tough the device is, and it recently did so by using it to hammer nails into a piece of wood. We would not recommend doing this with any smartphone. Nevertheless, at $393, Oppo Finder packs some decent specs with its 1GB of RAM, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, Android 4.0, and 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display.

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Google launches Gmail SMS service in Africa

In a blog post on the official Google Africa blog today, the company announced it created Gmail SMS. It is a new service that will allow users to send and receive Gmail messages via SMS. Rolling out first in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, Google explained the feature would hopefully make Gmail even more accessible to users who often find themselves without an Internet connection:

You can now send and receive emails as SMS messages using your mobile phone, regardless of whether or not your phone has an internet connection, like Wifi or 3G. Gmail SMS works on any phone, even the most basic ones which only support voice and SMS. 

Gmail SMS automatically forwards your emails as SMS text messages to your phone and you can respond by replying directly to the SMS. You can control the emails received by replying with commands such as MORE, PAUSE and RESUME. Additionally, compose a new email as an SMS and send to any email address recipient – who will find your message in the right email conversation thread!

Receiving Gmail messages via SMS will be free, but your standard SMS rates will apply for replying to messages and everything else. Google has instructions for how to sign up for the new service on its blog.
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Watch Peter Thiel tell Eric Schmidt that Google doesn’t Innovate

Thiel is probably a bit of an outlier (understatement), but, from a philosophical standpoint, Google could technically be investing more in R&D.

The problem is, to invest responsibly, there has to be a certain level of confidence that the projects will pay off. If anything, Google has become more responsible and focused on R&D.

Thiel is an avowed libertarian, and he has spoken about the importance of beating inflation (not that Google’s money is under some monster mattress somewhere in Mountain View) before.

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ITC import ban on Motorola Android devices kicks in tomorrow, company promises availability in US

As noted in a report from Ars Technica, the ITC’s import ban on Motorola Android devices is set to kick in tomorrow. It covers 18 Motorola products infringing patents related to Microsoft’s Exchange Active Sync technology. Motorola, of course, has the option to pay Microsoft to license the patent, as it has in the past, but the company told Ars in a statement that it plans to continue selling its flagship devices in the U.S. following tomorrow’s ban:

“In view of the ITC exclusion order which becomes effective Wednesday with respect to the single ActiveSync patent upheld in Microsoft’s ITC-744 proceeding, Motorola has taken proactive measures to ensure that our industry leading smartphones remain available to consumers in the US,” Motorola said. “We respect the value of intellectual property and expect other companies to do the same.”

The following Motorola devices are covered by the ITC ruling: the Motorola Atrix, Backflip, Bravo, Charm, Cliq, Cliq 2, Cliq XT, Defy, Devour, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, Droid X, Droid X2, Flipout, Flipside, Spice, and Xoom.

Ars also received a statement from Microsoft’s Deputy General Counsel David Howard:
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Man assaulted over augmented reality glasses, as Google patents security features for Google Glass

Although we have not seen that much about how Google’s augmented reality glasses will actually work (apart from a few photos and video at the Google I/O skydiver demo), the company plans to get the $1,500 Explorer Edition into hands of I/O attendees who preordered the device by next year. Google appears to already be thinking about security features for Project Glass with a patent published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (via Engadget) that details various ways of locking the device or sounding an alarm when detecting unnatural movements. It would also be capable of alerting authorities that the glasses have been stolen or unintentionally removed.

These features would have certainly been useful to University of Toronto professor Dr. Steve Mann (pictured above), who recently was physically assaulted for wearing his EyeTap Digital Eye Glass system. Mann described the experience of having his vision system, which he explained could only be removed with special tools, ripped off his head by a McDonalds employee:

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Motorola Xoom does not violate iPad design patent, rules German court

A German court ruled this morning that the Android-powered tablet does not violate the patented look of Apple’s tablet. The Duesseldorf court discarded one claim by the Google-owned manufacturer, however, about the iPad’s design patent being inapplicable.

FoxBusiness explained:

  • Apple initially sued Motorola for allegedly infringing three iPad designs with the Xoom. It sought to have the device banned across Europe.
  • Although the judges ruled Motorola’s Xoom doesn’t infringe on the iPad, the court rejected a counterclaim brought by Motorola alleging the iPad’s design patent is invalid, a spokesman for the court said.
  • As the court ultimately rejected both parties’ claims, it ordered Apple to pay two-thirds of costs and Motorola to pay a third, the spokesman added.
  • […] During two hearings prior to the ruling, the presiding judge had indicated the court was leaning in Motorola’s favor. Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann said in March that the court considered the evenly bent back and shaped edges on the front of the Xoom tablet sufficient to give the product individual character.

Apple is also suing Motorola in a Mannheim court for allegedly breaching a patent on multi-touch enabled devices.

Get the full report at FoxBusiness.

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Google Ideas announces the INFO summit as a way to expose violent illicit networks

In a blog post today, Google Ideas head Jared Cohen described a new initiative to expose violent illicit networks.

  • Violent illicit networks represent a trillion-dollar problem that affects every society in the world and claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year. For example, more than 50,000 people have died in the past five years as a result of the ongoing war in Mexico between rival drug cartels. And although data on this subject is scarce and often unreliable, in 2003 the UN estimated the value of the illicit drug market to be nearly $320 billion, greater than the gross domestic product of 88 percent of countries in the world—and that was almost 10 years ago. It’s clear that illicit networks—particularly those that are violent and coercive like drug smugglers, arms dealers and human traffickers—have a devastating human and financial impact on every nation.
  • We think Google can help. Eighteen months ago we launched Google Ideas with the belief that Google is in the unique position to explore the role that technology can play in tackling some of the toughest human challenges in the world. Our first area of focus was counter-radicalization; last year we convened the Summit Against Violent Extremism with former gang members, right-wing extremists, jihadists and militants as well as survivors of violent extremism. Among the many outcomes of the summit was a platform that we established as a one-stop shop for tackling violent extremism through formers and survivors.

Google will upload videos from the summit to the YouTube channel and on Twitter via @googleideas and #infosummit2012.

This is an interesting wing of Google, where former CEO Eric Schmidt plays a big role (Cohen and Schmidt are co-authoring a book). Ideas has not yet bore any fruits other than goodwill, but it has some potential to create some real change.

For a profile on Cohen, check out a Fortune post I wrote a few years ago. Read more