Showing posts with label tech com. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tech com. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

HTC Android Phones Are Being Banned from the US Next Year

Apple VS HTC
Apple just won a big court victory against HTC that could force HTC to stop selling its Android phones in the United States. The United States International Trade Commission ruled that HTC was infringing on an Apple patent that effects HTC Android devices running Android 1.6 to 2.2.

The devices that may be banned from being sold in the U.S. is basically a who's who list of Android phones: Droid Incredible, Evo 4G, T-Mobile G2, Nexus One and a bunch of older Android devices. The patent that the courts ruled HTC was infringing on (#5,946,647) is potentially a big one. According to Fortune, who took a deep look at the specific patent, it works like this:

When an iPhone receives a message that contains a phone number or an address — e-mail, Web or street — those bits of data are automatically highlighted, underlined and turned into clickable links.

Click on the phone number, and the iPhone asks if you want to dial it. Click on the Web address, and it opens in Safari. Click on the street address, and Maps will display it.

That's huge, not only because it's an important feature in smartphones but because it could mean Apple could go on to attack other Android phone makers because it's the OS that's infringing the patent, not the hardware. However, if HTC Android phones removed that feature (unlikely) or implement it in a different way (which we expect HTC to do), they could keep on selling. And that's pretty much what HTC expects to do, HTC, which has responded to this decision with rainbow colored unicorn tears, reached out to us with this statement:

This decision is a win for HTC and we are gratified that the commission affirmed the judge's determination on the ‘721 and ‘983 patents, and reversed its decision on the ‘263 patent and partially on the ‘647 patent. We are very pleased with the determination and we respect it. However, the ‘647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.

Yes, the patent in question is a fixable problem but I'd hardly categorize the court's decision as a win for HTC. If HTC doesn't fix this issue however, the ban on HTC Android phones in the US is set to take into effect on April 19, 2012. That's not winning.

There are still some real moves left for HTC to make to avoid the import ban (a Presidential veto is an option) but this is sure setting up for a major stateside war (thermonuclear, even) between Apple and Android phone makers much like with what's happening with Apple and Samsung Tablets in Europe and Australia.

News by Gizmodo

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Feds: Cyber Criminals Hijacked 4 Million Computers

cyber criminal
Cyber Criminal
An Eastern European pack of cyber thieves known as the Rove group hijacked at least four million computers in over 100 countries, including at least half a million computers in the U.S., to make off with $14 million in "illegitimate income" before they were caught, federal officials announced today.

The malware allegedly used in the "massive and sophisticated scheme" also managed to infect computers in U.S. government agencies including NASA and targeted the websites for major institutions like iTunes, Netflix and the IRS -- forcing users attempting to get to those sites to different websites entirely, according to a federal indictment unsealed in New York today.

The accused hackers, six Estonian nationals and a Russian national, rerouted the internet traffic illegally on the infected computers for the last four years in order to reap profits from internet advertisement deals, the indictment said. The FBI busted up the alleged international cyber ring after a two-year investigation called Operation Ghost Click.

"The global reach of these cyber thieves demonstrates that the criminal world is... flat," said Janice Fedarcyk, the FBI Assistant Director in charge of the New York field office. "The Internet is pervasive because it is such a useful tool, but it is a tool that can be exploited by those with bad intentions and a little know-how."

Though they operated out of their home countries, the alleged hackers used entities in the U.S. and all over the world -- including Estonia-based software company Rove Digital from which the group apparently gets its name -- to carry out the plot.

According to the indictment, the suspects entered into deals with various internet advertisers in which they would be paid for generating traffic to certain websites or advertisements. But instead of earning the money legitimately, the FBI said the defendants used malware to force infected computers to unwillingly visit the target sites or advertisements -- pumping up click results and, therefore, ill-gotten profits to the tune of $14 million.

The malware was also designed to prevent users from installing anti-virus software that may have been able to free the infected computers.

The six Estonian nationals have been arrested on cyber crime charges while the Russian national remains at large.

"Today, with the flip of a switch, the FBI and our partners dismantled the Rove criminal enterprise," Fedarcyk said. "Thanks to the collective effort across the U.S. and in Estonia, six leaders of the criminal enterprise have been arrested and numerous servers operated by the criminal organization have been disabled."

How the Fraud Worked, According to the FBI

The indictment describes several examples of alleged cyber fraud including two principle strategies: traffic redirection and ad replacement.

In the first case, if a user searched for the websites of major institutions like iTunes, Netflix or the IRS, the search results would return normally. However, if the user tried to click on the link to the websites, the malware on the computer would force a redirect to a different website where the criminals would profit in their advertisement deal.

In the second, when an infected computer visited a major website -- like -- the malware would be able to simply replace regular advertisements on that page with advertisements of their own making.

News by Yahoo

Read current news at

EBook: The Japanese Rakuten buys Canadian Kobo

AFP - The manager of the largest Japanese online shopping mall, Rakuten, announced Wednesday the acquisition for $ 315 million (228 million) of Canadian society Kobo reading lights that provides electronic and digital books to sites of booksellers. Rakuten, which just opened in Japan's own virtual library "Raboo" ready, subject to regulatory approvals, to purchase and pay in cash 100% stake in Kobo, to expand its international presence considered promising in this area.

This acquisition marks a new stage for Rakuten, which extends its branches abroad. Kobo is a number of digital books in Canada. The company offers reading terminals enriched with attractive features (links to social networking sites Twitter and Facebook) and boasts a catalog of 2.5 million book titles, mainly in English. Founded in 2009 by Canadian bookseller Indigo, Kobo presents itself as one of the few companies in the sector to be able to resist the giant Amazon, through its partnerships with various distributors in the world, including Fnac in France.

For the founder and CEO of Rakuten, Hiroshi Mikitani, "Kobo provides reading experiences with the most community integration of social media, while Rakuten Kobo offers unique opportunities to grow." "This transaction will greatly strengthen our position in existing markets and will allow us to diversify rapidly in other countries and other types of e-commerce", for its part welcomed the Director General of Kobo, Michael Serbin , said in a statement released in North America. The French retailer Fnac cultural products has recently announced the launch of Kobo reading lights in France, which are already offered by foreign chains Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Future Shop, WHSmith, and Collins Booksellers Whitcoulls?

Through its subsidiaries in various countries, claims to offer Kobo Rakuten an even broader international presence in Germany, Brazil, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Indonesia, and of course, in Japan, where its service Raboo (short Book of Rakuten) is already compatible with a special reading light, and soon Panasonic models with Sony Reader. Rakuten aims to build on its reputation and experience in selling products and services via the Internet and adapt its proven very lucrative for content immaterial. For the first nine months of fiscal 2011, Rakuten has certainly deplored a loss, but this disappointment is due to an exceptional charge related to the restructuring of a business credit card, while the purely operational it posted record sales and profits.

The group, which takes advantage of the historical force of the Japanese currency, launched a major offensive abroad where he buys companies with a vengeance. He announced the acquisition in September, to 25 million pounds (29 million), the British company that manages Play Holdings one of the most important platforms for electronic commerce in Britain. In July, Rakuten had put his hand on the mall Tradoria, one of the largest in Germany, a year after taking the French company.

Read current news at