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Mobile Technology News, January 23, 2013

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Steve Jobs Threatened Palm with Patent Suit Over No-Hire Policy
    Steve Jobs threatened to file a patent suit against Palm if they didn’t agree to not hire Apple employees, according to a Reuters report on a court filing (via AppleInsider) made public Tuesday. The court filing is a part of a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google, Pixar, Lucasfilm and others over an agreement those companies made to not hire each other’s employees.

    The companies attempted to keep an array of documents secret, but that request was rejected in parts by Judge Lucy Koh, which is why a statement from former Palm executive Edward Colligan has become public record. Colligan said that Jobs proposed the agreement to Palm, and that Jobs suggested that if Palm didn’t agree they could face lawsuits “alleging infringement of Apple’s many patents.” Colligan responded to Jobs with an email:

    Your proposal that we agree that neither company will hire the other’s employees, regardless of the individual’s desires, is not only wrong, it is likely illegal.[…] Palm doesn’t target other companies-we look for the best people we can find. l’d hope the same could be said about Apple1s practices. However, during the last year or so, as Apple geared up to compete with Palm in the phone space, Apple hired at least 2% of Palm’s workforce. To put it in perspective, had Palm done the same, we’d have hired 300 folks from Apple. Instead, to my knowledge, we’ve hired just three.

    Colligan also told Jobs that he was not intimidated by patent litigation and said that Palm had recently acquired some patents from Siemens that it could use against Apple and its iPhone patents. Jobs responded:

    Just for the record, when Siemens sold their handset business to BenQ they didn’t sell them their essential patents but rather just gave them a license. The patents they did sell to BenQ are not that great. We looked at them ourselves when they were for sale. I guess you guys felt differently and bought them. We are not concerned about them at all. My advice is to take a look at our patent portfolio before you make a final decision here.

    Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs revealed that Jobs was angry at Palm for hiring former employees, although the threat of patent litigation in Colligan’s statement is certainly a new revelation.

    “Jobs was so furious that Palm was hiring some of his former employees that he complained to Bono, who was a cofounder of a private equity group, led by the former Apple CFO Fred Anderson, that had bought a controlling stake in Palm.”

    These aren’t the only instances that Jobs became angry at the poaching of Apple employees, however. In January 2012 it was revealed, also according to a court filing, that Jobs complained to then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt about the hiring of Apple employees at Google.

    Recently, current CEO Tim Cook was ordered to give a deposition in this case, so more nuggets of information are likely to be released as court filings are made public.

  • VIDEO: Australia ‘prime target for hackers’
    The Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, says preventing attacks by online hackers will be a key part of the country’s national security strategy.
  • DealBook: Microsoft May Back Dell Buyout
    An investment by Microsoft — if it comes to pass — could be enough to push a leveraged buyout of the struggling computer maker over the goal line.

  • Despite Strong Earnings, Google Is Still Stymied by Mobile
    The search giant showed some progress on its advertising pricing, which had been hurt by lower-cost mobile ads, and investors responded warmly.

  • I.B.M. Reports 6% Increase in Profit Despite Flat Revenue
    The company’s fourth-quarter earnings exceeded Wall Street’s estimates, and even its revenue was a bit ahead of analysts’ forecasts.
  • San Francisco Welcomes The ‘Peace Corps For Geeks’
    San Francisco nerds aren’t taking revenge. Instead, they’re giving back. Programmers from Code for America, also known as the Peace Corps for Geeks, announced plans…
  • IBM Q4 Profits Up 6 Percent on Software, Hardware
    IBM announced a 6 percent increase in net income for its fourth quarter of 2012, driven by software, hardware and growth initiatives.

  • Melanne Verveer: Closing the Internet Gender Gap
    We have repeatedly seen that investing in women’s progress is one of the most effective, high-yield investments for economic and social progress around the world. Doubling the number of women online in developing countries is a critical step towards this progress.
  • Transgenic salmon steak ‘out soon’
    Lab-designed fish head to the dinner table
  • Intel to wind down desktop circuit board business
    The chipmaker says it will leave the traditional desktop PC circuit board business. As a result, the venerable tower PC will likely begin to fade.
  • Why Snapchat Sexting May Be A Terrible Idea
    There are a few good reasons why sending incriminating pictures, naked or otherwise, over the photo and video app Snapchat may not be such a…
  • Deji Olukotun: Open Source Design Tools for Human Rights Activists
    The world’s premier human rights organizations often have entire communications teams with dedicated graphic designers to celebrate their work. But not every organization can afford to have a designer. Not to worry!
  • Dark, Serialized And Dangerous: Netflix’s ‘House of Cards’
    "House of Cards" represents a huge gamble for Netflix. All 13 episodes of the first season of "House of Cards" will arrive on Netflix on…
  • James Reinhart: Re-commerce: The Resale You’ve Been Waiting For
    Following in the footsteps of retail, the future of used is all online. As technology continues to make the experience of selling and purchasing second-hand items easier and more secure, when will other verticals start to embrace resale?
  • Naomi Mandelstein: 5 Tips for Corporate Social (Media) Responsibility Communications
    Social media can be a powerful tool for stakeholder engagement. It can broaden your reach, help source new ideas from the margins, and create a real-time, continuous feedback loop. And it’s not just about Twitter and Facebook.
  • Thomas Clayton: 5 Ways Celebrities’ Social Media Presence Evolved in 2012
    There’s more to a celebrity’s social media profile than you think. There’s so much that goes into how they use and leverage their social media accounts. Here are five ways that I’ve seen the role and uses of celebrity social media profiles evolve over the past year.
  • AMD limps through Q4, and 2013 doesn’t look much better
    AMD tumbles to the end of the 2012 fiscal year with yet another poor result for its fourth quarter.
  • Why Is Obama’s Reelection Tech Team PO’d?
    In the aftermath of the election, a stark divide has emerged between political operatives and the techies who worked side-by-side. At issue is the code…
  • PHOTOS: Author Of ‘Sustainable Design: A Critical Guide’ Chats With NatGeo
    From National Geographic’s "The Great Energy Challenge" blog: We caught up with David Bergman, a green architect, professor, and author, who also shared the below…
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