Reuters has some vague new information on the Nexus 7 successor from Google today. Rather than being available at Google I/O in May (which would have been my guess), Reuters thinks it won’t hit the mass market until July. Perhaps a limited run will be available to developers in May?
Vint Cerf, “father of the internet” and Google’s chief internet evangelist, is speaking out about Google’s decision to push users toward using their real names across services. In a recent interview with Reuters, the Google executive said the initiative to get users using their real names across profiles on various services such as Google+ and YouTube has “sparked intense debate” at the company:
Over the past year, the company has strongly encouraged users to merge their accounts on YouTube, Gmail and other Google properties into a single Google+ identity, the company’s social network offering that asks users to use the “common name” they are known by in the real world.
“Using real names is useful,” Cerf said. “But I don’t think it should be forced on people, and I don’t think we do.”
Vint said not using real names is “perfectly reasonable” in certain situations, especially in countries with governments seeking to ban anonymity: Read more
According to a report from Reuters, Google issued a statement that a Wisconsin federal court has decided to dismiss Apple’s “patent lawsuit with prejudice.” The report explained this particular case was brought on by Apple in part to determine what the courts considered fair and reasonable licensing terms for the patent portfolio Google acquired when purchasing Motorola.
Google said in a statement that it is still interested in making a deal with Apple “at a reasonable and non-discriminatory rate in line with industry standards”:
“We’re pleased that the court has dismissed Apple’s lawsuit with prejudice,” a Google spokeswoman said in an emailed statement on Monday…”Motorola has long offered licensing to our extensive patent portfolio at a reasonable and non-discriminatory rate in line with industry standards,” Google said in its statement. “We remain interested in reaching an agreement with Apple.”
Reuters explained the case being dismissed with prejudice means it is officially over at the trial court level. However, Apple can still appeal: Read more
This is not the first time we heard major Android vendors are aiming to hit lower price points in the months to come. With iPad mini expected to eat into a large chunk of the 7-inch tablet market, and recent price drops and refreshes to the Kindle lineups, it makes sense Google and other Android manufacturers are aiming to offer an even better value following its launch. Digitimes, despite not having the best track record, stated confidently in September, while citing its usual supply chain sources, that Google is planning a $99 Nexus 7 tablet. It also claimed an upgraded model would take over the $200 price point. This would seem to make sense with rumors of a 32GB Nexus 7 landing for under $250. Leaked retail inventory listings and even a unit that accidentally shipped have backed up those rumors.
Digitimes is once again claiming today that Google’s $99 Nexus tablet is real, adding that Taiwan-based manufacturers have confirmed it will launch in the fourth quarter of this year. Where this leaves the rest of the Nexus line is unclear. If the $99 tablet and 32GB Nexus for $250 are real, it could mean the $99 tablet comes with 8GB or 16 GB. There is also a chance Google keeps a tablet at the $199 price point. This would seem to point to a 8GB model at $99, 16GB model at $199, and 32GB model at $250. However, we are not quite buying the idea tht Google will offer an extra 16GB for only $50 more than a $199 16GB model…
A Reuters report (via CNBC) from this afternoon claimed top U.S. Federal Trade Commission officials want to bring an antitrust case against Google over numerous complaints about it abusing search dominance to suppress competition in the market.
The FTC announced earlier this year that Washington lawyer Beth Wilkinson is leading its investigation, while FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said last month they would reach a decision by 2013. If found guilty, the FTC and Google could enter settlement talks to resolve the matter or duke it out in court.
Reuters cited “three people familiar with the matter,” and it indicated Google could soon face the gristly negotiation process:
Four of the FTC commissioners have become convinced after more than a year of investigation that Google illegally used its dominance of the search market to hurt its rivals, while one commissioner is skeptical, the sources said. All three declined to be named to protect working relationships. Two of the sources said a decision on how to proceed could come in late November or early December. A long list of companies has been complaining to the FTC, arguing that the agency should crack down on Google.
Yelp and Nextag have both criticized Google at open hearings in Congress, according to Reuters, asserting Google unjustly gives “their web sites low quality rankings in search results to steer Internet users away from their websites and toward Google products that provide similar services.”
Google has continually rebuffed any lawlessness or partial practices, and the search engine’s vice president of engineering, Amit Singhal, even stormed to the Google Public Policy Blog earlier this summer, in an aggressive tactic not usually taken by the Mountain View, Calif.-based company, to address the antitrust accusations in a “claim vs. fact” format.
U.S. Judge Lucy Koh granted Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone in June, and the decision resulted in the temporary removal of the device from Google Play pending a software fix with Android 4.1. Today, Reuters reported that Apple’s U.S. injunction on the Galaxy Nexus has been reversed.
TheNextWeb got its hands on the official order. Samsung argued that its product would ”sell almost as well without incorporating the patented feature” :
Samsung argued, somewhat humiliatingly, that the sales of the Galaxy Nexus were so poor that they didn’t pose a threat to Apple’s iPhone and that the unified search feature was not essential to the success of its device. The appeals court apparently agrees, as it states in its official order:
…it may very well be that the accused product would sell almost as well without incorporating the patented feature. And in that case, even if the competitive injury that results from selling the accused device is substantial, the harm that flows from the alleged infringement (the only harm that should count) is not.
According to Reuters, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled the court “abused its discretion in entering an injunction” and will send the case back to the California court for consideration. Read more