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Apple wins $1bn in damages from Samsung in patent litigation
The Apple v. Samsung dingdong finally concluded on the side of the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant, leading to a catastrophic $1 billion in damages heading Apple's way out of Samsung's coffers. It was an embarrassing loss for Samsung after a U.S. court determined that the Korean technology giant had copied the iPad's design.
Despite Apple losing in some jurisdictions around the world, ultimately the only one that really mattered was the U.S. case. Apple could still seek even more damages from Samsung. But $1 billion may dent the company's finances mildly -- Samsung's operating profit for Q3 was $7.3 billion alone -- the embarrassment of losing such a high profile case will live on for some years to come.
SOPA, PIPA, CISPA: all dead, but the idea still lives on
This year could have seen widespread Web site blocking, censorship and major changes to the Web that would have affected hundreds of millions of users around the world. From the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) to the PROTECT-IP (PIPA) bills, and not to mention Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), these bills were shelved thanks to the sheer power of online protests.
Instead of the catastrophe landing on the doorstep of ordinary Web users, the embarrassment came to Congress after the author of SOPA -- arguably the worst bill of them all -- was shelved by its author, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who clearly didn’t expect much the Web to black out in a 24 hour protest at the controversial anti-piracy bill.
Still, the idea of legislative action lives on, and no doubt there will be more bills along the way -- even if one silly politician thinks it's a good idea to draft a bill that would bar Congress from messing with the Internet.
Search giant Google really annoyed the European 27 member-state bloc after it decided to consolidate its 60-plus privacy policies across its services into one, single policy. Google said it would enhance the experience for users, but critics warned that it would make it far easier to collect data on users, and users could not opt-out of the policy without the user pulling the plug on the service altogether.
Only a few services were exempt -- Google Apps, Google Chrome, and Google Wallet -- but for the remaining users of Search, Gmail, Google+ and so on, they remain vulnerable to having their data collected by advertisers (albeit anonymously), which may make it easier
And Europe wasn't happy, not one bit. After the EU regulators gave their verdict, while Google hadn't directly breached EU data protection laws, it was told to review and change the policy, leaving the search giant rather red faced.