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    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    Reuter site - Apple triumphs over Samsung in landmark patent case

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    Apple triumphs over Samsung in landmark patent case

    Fri, Aug 24 22:01 PM EDT

    By Gerry Shih and Dan Levine

    SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - Apple Inc scored a sweeping legal victory over Samsung on Friday as a U.S. jury found the Korean company had copied critical features of the hugely popular iPhone and iPad and awarded the U.S. company $1.05 billion in damages.

    The verdict -- which came after less than three days of jury deliberations -- could lead to an outright ban on sales of key Samsung products and will likely solidify Apple's dominance of the exploding mobile computing market.

    Apple's victory is a big blow to Google, whose Android software powers the Samsung products that were found to infringe on Apple patents. Google and its hardware partners, including the company's own Motorola unit, could now face further legal hurdles in their effort to compete with the Apple juggernaut.

    Samsung lawyers were grimfaced in the quiet but crowded San Jose courtroom as the verdict was read, and the company later put out a statement calling the outcome "a loss for the American consumer."

    The jury deliberated for less than three days before delivering the verdict on seven Apple patent claims and five Samsung patent claims -- suggesting that the nine-person panel had little difficulty in concluding that Samsung had copied the iPhone and the iPad.

    Because the panel found "willful" infringement, Apple could seek triple damages.

    Apple upended the mobile phone business when it introduced the iPhone in 2007, and shook the industry again in 2010 when it rolled out the iPad.

    It has been able to charge premium prices for the iPhone -- with profit margins of as much as 58 percent per phone -- for a product consumers regarded as a huge advance in design and usability.

    The company's late founder, Steve Jobs, vowed to "go to thermonuclear war" when Google launched Android, according to his biographer, and the company has filed lawsuits around the world in an effort to block what it considers brazen copying of its inventions.

    The legal win on Friday came one year after CEO Tim Cook assumed the helm of the company. Shares in Apple, which just this week became the biggest company by market value in history, climbed almost 2 percent to a record high of $675 in after-hours trade.

    Brian Love, a Santa Clara law school professor, described the verdict as a crushing victory for Apple: "This is the best-case scenario Apple could have hoped for."

    CHALLENGE FOR COMPETITORS

    The verdict comes as competition in the mobile device industry intensifies, with Google jumping into hardware for the first time with its Nexus 7 tablet, and Microsoft's new touchscreen friendly Windows 8 coming in October, led by its "Surface" tablet.

    Apple's victory could present immediate issues for companies that sell Android-based smartphones and tablets, including Google's own Motorola subsidiary, which it acquired last year for $12.5 billion, and HTC of Taiwan.

    Amazon -- which has made major inroads into the tablet market with its cheaper Kindle Fire -- uses a modified version of Android for its Kindle products but has not yet been subject to legal challenge by Apple.

    Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu said the entire Android universe may now have to consider "doing something different."

    "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to look at it and figure it out," he said. "Prior to the iPhone, none of the phones were like that. Android, if you look at it, is very similar."

    Some in the industry say Apple's legal offensive is bad for consumers.

    "Thx Apple it's now mandatory for tech companies to sue each other. Prices go up, competition & innovation suffer," Mark Cuban, an Internet entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, said in a Twitter message.

    But the legal battles are far from over. In a separate but related case, Apple has won a pre-trial injunction against the Google Nexus tablet. Another lawsuit, against Motorola, was thrown out recently by a federal judge in Chicago, but litigation between the two at the International Trade Commission continues.

    Earlier on Friday, a South Korean court found that both companies shared blame for patent infringement, ordering Samsung to stop selling 10 products including its Galaxy S II phone and banning Apple from selling four different products, including its iPhone 4.

    Still, the trial on Apple's home turf -- the world's largest and most influential technology market -- was considered the most important test of whether Apple would be able to gain substantial patent protection for the iPhone and the iPad.

    FAST-PACED, HIGH-STRESS TRIAL

    The legal fight began last year when Apple sued Samsung in multiple countries, and Samsung countersued. The U.S. jury spent most of August in a packed federal courtroom in San Jose -- just miles from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino -- listening to testimony, examining evidence and watching lawyers from both sides joust about patents and damage claims.

    Jurors received over 100 pages of legal instructions from U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh on August 21, prior to hearing the closing arguments from attorneys.

    Lawyers from both tech giants used their 25 hours each of trial time to present internal emails, draw testimony from designers and experts, and put on product demonstrations and mockups to convince the jury.

    At times, their questions drew testimony that offered glimpses behind the corporate facade, such as the margins on the iPhone and Samsung's sales figures in the United States.

    From the beginning, Apple's tactic was to present what it thought was chronological evidence of Samsung copying its phone.

    Juxtaposing pictures of phones from both companies and internal Samsung emails that specifically analyzed the features of the iPhone, Apple's attorneys accused Samsung of taking shortcuts after realizing it could not keep up.

    Samsung's attorneys, on the other hand, maintained Apple had no sole right to geometric designs such as rectangles with rounded corners. They called Apple's damage claim "ridiculous" and urged the jury to consider that a verdict in favor of Apple could stifle competition and reduce choices for consumers.

    Samsung's trial team appeared to suffer from strategic difficulties throughout the case. Judge Koh gave each side 25 hours to present evidence, but Samsung had used more time than Apple before Samsung even began calling its own witnesses.

    By the end of the trial, Samsung attorneys had to forgo cross-examination of some Apple witnesses due to time constraints. During closing arguments, Samsung lead attorney Charles Verhoeven played mostly defense, spending relatively little time discussing Samsung's patent claims against Apple.

    The jury had not been expected to return a decision so rapidly. Even on Friday, Samsung's lead lawyer was spotted casually clad in a polo T-shirt and jeans.

    But late Friday afternoon, a court officer announced a verdict had been reached. After the verdict was read, Koh found some inconsistencies in the complex jury form and asked the jury to revisit it, ultimately resulting in a reduction of about $2 million in the damages award.

    The jury decided Samsung infringed six out of seven Apple patents in the case, and that Apple had not infringed any of Samsung's patents. Apple's protected technology includes the ability for a mobile device to distinguish one finger on the screen or two, the design of screen icons, and the front surface of the phone.

    The jury also upheld the validity of Apple's patents, and said Samsung acted willfully when it violated several of Apple's patents. That could form a basis for Koh to triple the damages tab owed by Samsung.

    "This is a vindication of Apple's effort to create significant airspace around their design, and that's relevant not just for Samsung, but for firms coming over the horizon," said Nick Rodelli, a lawyer and adviser to institutional investors for CFRA Research in Maryland.

    Apple's lawyers said they planned to file for an injunction against Samsung products within seven days. Koh set a hearing for September 20.

    The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, No. 11-1846.

    (Additional reporting by Poornima Gupta and Edwin Chan; Editing by Gary Hill)

    Reuter site - Kodak to sell retail print, document imaging businesses

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    Kodak to sell retail print, document imaging businesses

    Thu, Aug 23 17:54 PM EDT

    By Nick Brown

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Eastman Kodak Co said on Thursday it plans to sell most of its consumer and document imaging businesses and shift its focus to commercial printing as it works to emerge from bankruptcy.

    The once-dominant photography firm, already in the midst of auctioning off its digital patent portfolio, hopes to complete the sales by mid-2013, Chief Executive Antonio Perez said in a conference call on Thursday.

    The company needs to raise nearly $700 million to pay back its creditors and exit bankruptcy, and initially hoped its patent sale would generate at least that much. But more than two weeks into its auction and still without a deal, the company may be looking for other ways to raise cash.

    "For ensuring sufficient funding for successful emergence (from bankruptcy), the sale of these businesses is important in that regard," Perez said on the call.

    Kodak went bankrupt in January, unable to adapt to the shift to digital imaging.

    The businesses to be sold are Kodak's personalized imaging business, which includes most consumer products and retail printing kiosks, and its document imaging business, which makes scanners for enterprise customers.

    Perez declined to comment on the progress of the patent sale. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that initial bids, including from Apple Inc and Google Inc, came in lower than expected.

    The auction began on August 8 and had been scheduled to wrap up by August 13, but Kodak extended the deadline as talks continued without a buyer.

    The newly-announced sales would mean that Kodak would emerge from bankruptcy as a different company than when it went in, with less of a focus on consumer and retail, and heavier attention to commercial, packaging and functional printing.

    "You can't succeed these days without focusing in certain areas and putting all your money in areas that are synergetic with each other," Perez said, adding that he believes Kodak is "as strong or stronger" in the commercial space as in the consumer space.

    Perez would not reveal the estimated value of the businesses to be sold.

    The bankruptcy is in Re: Eastman Kodak Co. et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-10202.

    (Reporting By Nick Brown in New York; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

    Reuter site - Facebook co-founder Moskovitz sold stock post lockup

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    Facebook co-founder Moskovitz sold stock post lockup

    Fri, Aug 24 21:39 PM EDT

    (Reuters) - Facebook Inc co-founder Dustin Moskovitz sold 450,000 Class A shares over the past three days, his second such sale since last Friday, becoming the latest insider to sell shares following the end of the lockup, according to a regulatory filing late on Friday evening.

    Moskovitz, who was Facebook's first chief technology officer, sold the shares in three batches of 150,000 shares each beginning on Wednesday, raising more than $8.7 million.

    A regulatory filing from Tuesday shows a similar 450,000 share sale in three batches beginning last Friday through Tuesday, raising a little over $8.83 million.

    Earlier this week, Facebook director Peter Thiel sold roughly $400 million worth of shares in the company, as investors look to cash out their stake after the end of the first lockup, which barred early investors and insiders from selling shares following the initial public offering.

    Moskovitz, a onetime Harvard roommate of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, had been with the company since its earliest days and left in 2008 to form a social-networking company for business called Asana.

    Moskovitz still owns 6.6 million Facebook Class A shares and 126.2 million Class B shares, according to the filing.

    More than 1.4 billion additional shares held by early investors and Facebook employees are set to become available for trading by year's end, as additional post-IPO lockup restrictions are lifted.

    Facebook shares closed at $19.41 on Friday on the Nasdaq, down 3 cents.

    (Reporting by Aman Shah in Bangalore; editing by Carol Bishopric)

    Reuter site - Two members of punk rock band flee Russia

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    Two members of punk rock band flee Russia

    Sun, Aug 26 09:19 AM EDT

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Two members of Russia's anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot have fled the country to avoid prosecution for staging a protest against President Vladimir Putin at a church altar, the band said on Sunday.

    A Moscow court sentenced three members of the all-female opposition band to two years in prison on August 17 for staging a "punk prayer" at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in February and calling on the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Putin.

    The sentence drew sharp international criticism of the Russian government, while opposition groups at home have portrayed it as part of a Kremlin clampdown on dissent.

    Police said earlier this week they were searching for other members of the band.

    "In regard to the pursuit, two of our members have successfully fled the country! They are recruiting foreign feminists to prepare new actions!," a Twitter account called Pussy Riot Group said.

    Defence lawyers of the convicted Pussy Riot members - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich - are expected to appeal against their sentences next week.

    Tolokonnikova's husband, Pyotr Verzilov, told Reuters on Sunday that the two members of the group who have fled Russia had taken part in the cathedral protest along with his wife.

    "Since the Moscow police said they are searching for them, they will keep a low profile for now. They are in a safe place beyond the reach of the Russian police," he said by phone.

    Asked if that meant a country which had no extradition agreement with Russia, Verzilov said: "Yes, that suggests that."

    "But you must remember that 12 or even 14 members who are still in Russia actively participate in the band's work now, it's a big collective," he added.

    The Kremlin has dismissed criticism by Western governments and prominent musicians including Madonna and Sting as politically motivated.

    Putin, back at the Kremlin since May for his third presidential term, said before the three band members were sentenced that they should not be judged too harshly.

    Under Russian law the three Pussy Riot members put on trial could have faced as much as seven years' jail for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, but the prosecutors asked for three years and they were sentenced to two.

    (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Tim Pearce)

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Reuter site - Factbox: Journalists killed in Syria

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    Factbox: Journalists killed in Syria

    Tue, Aug 21 08:24 AM EDT

    (Reuters) - More than 18,000 people have been killed in Syria since the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad began in March, 2011, according to the United Nations.

    Here are some of the foreign and Syrian journalists who have died in the conflict:

    FOREIGNERS

    January 11, 2012 - Gilles Jacquier, of France 2 television station, is killed along with at least seven other people by bombardment during a government-organized visit to Homs. He was the first foreign journalist to be killed in the uprising.

    February 22 - Marie Colvin, an American who worked for Britain's Sunday Times and Remi Ochlik, a French photographer, are killed by bombardment in Homs.

    February 16 - New York Times journalist Anthony Shadid, an American of Lebanese descent, dies of an asthma attack while reporting in eastern Syria.

    April 9 - Ali Shaaban, a Lebanese cameraman for Lebanon's Al-Jadeed television channel is killed by gunfire near the border between Syria and Lebanon's northern Wadi Khaled area.

    August 20 - Mika Yamamoto, a Japanese journalist working for independent news wire Japan Press, is fatally wounded while travelling with the rebel Free Syrian Army in Aleppo.

    SYRIANS

    November 20, 2011 - Cameraman Ferzat Jerban is found dead in Homs.

    December 27 - Basil al-Sayed, a freelance cameraman, dies days after being shot in the Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs.

    January 4, 2012 - Shukri Abu Burghul, who worked for state-run Radio Damascus, dies in Damascus days after being shot.

    February 4 - Mazhar Tayyara, a photo journalist who contributed to Agence France-Presse and other international outlets, is killed in Homs.

    February 24 - Anas al-Tarsha, a videographer who documented unrest in Homs, is killed in a mortar attack.

    June 27 - Gunmen storm headquarters of pro-government Syrian television channel Ikhbariya, killing three employees.

    August 5 - Islamist militant group claims responsibility for the kidnap and killing of Syrian state television presenter Mohammed al-Saeed.

    August 11 - Gunmen kill Ali Abbas, head of domestic news at state news agency SANA, at his Damascus home. Bara'a Yusuf al-Bushi, who contributed to international outlets including Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera and Sky News, is killed the same day.

    Additional sources:

    The Committee to Protect Journalists www.cpj.org/

    Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) http://en.rsf.org/

    Index on Censorship http://www.indexoncensorship.org/

    (Compiled by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Blast from recent past: Twitter terminates Steve Jobs parodist • The Register

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/02/twitter_axes_jobs_parodist/

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    Reuter site - Ugandan takes marathon, U.S. wins most golds

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    Ugandan takes marathon, U.S. wins most golds

    Sun, Aug 12 12:24 PM EDT

    By Mark Trevelyan and Matt Falloon

    LONDON (Reuters) - Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda broke away from two Kenyan rivals to win the men's marathon near Buckingham Palace on Sunday in front of vast crowds enjoying the climax to 16 days of Olympic competition and drama.

    After running side by side with world champion Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang, the 23-year-old put in a powerful kick to shake off the Kenyans six kilometers from the end of the 42km race. He crossed the finish line draped in the red, black and yellow Ugandan flag, which he knelt to kiss.

    The dense throngs that lined the route through central London on a sweltering day were a sign of the huge enthusiasm the Games have generated in a host country where many had been skeptical about the cost and potential disruption.

    Britain's best medal haul for a century, the record-breaking exploits of swimmer Michael Phelps and the sprint pyrotechnics of Usain Bolt, who won his third London gold when Jamaica smashed the 4 x 100 meters world relay record on Saturday, have made for a memorable Olympics.

    "I will say history has been written by many athletes. The Games were absolutely fabulous. London has absolutely refreshed the Games," International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge told reporters.

    On the 16th and final day of competition, Cuba, Ukraine and Kazakhstan picked up golds for boxing and Japan and the United States for wrestling.

    Hungarian Adrienn Toth was leading in the women's modern pentathlon, a combination of fencing, swimming, horse riding, shooting and running, which was the last event due to finish.

    Starting Sunday on 44 gold medals, six ahead of China, the United States were already unassailable at the top of the overall table and added a 45th when Jake Varner won the 96 kg freestyle wrestling.

    They were looking to go one better as their basketball "Dream Team" defended the title against a Spanish team looking for revenge for defeat in the final at Beijing four years ago.

    "We all know what's on the line," said U.S. player Kevin Durant. "They're going to come out and give us their best shot. We got our work cut out for us."

    Women's modern pentathlon will be the last event to round off the two-week extravaganza of sport before some of Britain's best-known pop acts, including The Who and George Michael, play out the closing ceremony.

    The U.S. basketball team will find it hard to top Saturday's spectacle on the track when Bolt anchored the Jamaicans to relay gold and Britain's Mo Farah claimed the 5,000 to go with his 10,000 title.

    "CONFIDENCE BOOST"

    Bolt added the relay crown to the 'double double' he won in the 100 and 200, defending both after his Beijing triumphs and writing his way into Olympic history as one of the finest - and zaniest - sprinters the world has known.

    As he crossed the line, Bolt made his hands into an 'M' shape above his head - a nod to Farah's famous celebration while the Briton later copied Bolt's well-known lightning strike pose as two of the stand-out performers of the Games had fun.

    Farah, contributing to Britain's 28 golds, is the seventh man to win the 5,000 and 10,000 titles at the same Olympics.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron hailed his heroics as well as the country's response to the Games as a whole.

    "It's an enormous confidence boost about who we are as a country, what we can do, what we stand for, and the fact that we can make our way in a very tough and competitive world," he said.

    The final moments of Olympic glory in track and field on Saturday brought a close to an eventful penultimate day of the Games in which startling athletic prowess did not completely dominate the headlines.

    China bowed out of the Games with a swipe at the critics who had accused teenage swimming sensation Ye Shiwen of doping after her times rivaled the top U.S. men.

    Aged just 16, Ye set a world record, a Games record and won two gold medals in the women's individual medleys, but her victories were overshadowed by questions and insinuations of cheating. There was no evidence that she had broken any rules.

    The head of the Chinese delegation to London, Liu Peng, said the accusations were totally unfounded and stressed that China was strongly opposed to any doping "misbehavior".

    "This is really unfair. This is groundless," Liu told a news conference on Sunday.

    "There are individuals and media that are accusing, unfounded, our Chinese athletes. These people should respect sporting persons' dignity and their reputation."

    Syrian athlete Ghfran Almouhamad, who competed in the women's 400 meters hurdles, on Saturday became the 11th athlete to be excluded from the Games since July 16 after testing positive for a banned substance.

    On Sunday, two Egyptian wrestlers were disqualified for arriving late for the start of their competition. No one had told them that Sunday's bouts started earlier than usual because of the closing ceremony later in the day.

    "FEELGOOD GAMES"

    Despite concerns about the creaky transport system and a shortfall of private security guards, which forced the government to call in thousands of extra troops to help screen visitors, the Games have so far passed by fairly trouble-free.

    A furor over empty seats at several Olympic venues blew over, especially once the track and field showcase kicked in and drew capacity crowds.

    Even the weather improved as the Games wore on. Bright sunshine has graced the closing weekend of a festival that has helped to lift the gloom in recession-hit Britain.

    Cameron has tried to use the Olympics to woo investment to Britain, hoping they would give the economy a much-needed boost, although some London businesses complained that warnings about overcrowding from the Games had driven customers away.

    The Spice Girls and One Direction are among those expected to play the closing ceremony as London prepares to bid goodbye to what The Guardian newspaper dubbed the "feelgood Games".

    As well as a "hit list" of more than 30 popular songs, the show will feature thousands of athletes and volunteers and a section devoted to the next summer Olympic hosts, Brazil.

    "I think it's a gift that we've got Rio next because their eight minutes is so wonderful and really full of that samba beat," artistic director Kim Gavin said of the 2016 hosts.

    (Reporting by Reuters Olympic team, Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

    Friday, August 10, 2012

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    Sunday, August 5, 2012

    Yahoo! Curtis Martin HOFI

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    Reuter site - Russian female punk band trial hurtles towards verdict

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    Russian female punk band trial hurtles towards verdict

    Sun, Aug 05 08:03 AM EDT

    By Gleb Bryanski

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Three young women from the punk band Pussy Riot could face sentence this week in a trial over their "protest prayer" in a church that has transfixed Russia and opened President Vladimir Putin to new accusations of a crackdown on dissent.

    The first week of hearings divided the mainly Russian Orthodox country. Some believers want tough sentences but many others are calling for leniency, even though few approve of the unsanctioned performance at the altar of Moscow's main church.

    The trial for hooliganism, punishable by up to seven years in jail, resumes on Monday in the same Moscow courtroom where oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky faced the second of two trials after defying Putin by taking an interest in politics.

    His 13-year sentence has for Putin critics become a symbol of political pressure on the court system, and defense lawyers fear Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, and Maria Alyokhina, 24, are not getting a fair hearing.

    "This trial will define the development of the country as a whole. Either we move toward 'Orthodox sharia law' or remain in a situation of 'velvet authoritarianism'," defense lawyer Nikolai Polozov said.

    The trial started on July 30 and lasted late into the evening each day until Friday, with only brief breaks for the defendants - confined to a courtroom cage - and lawyers.

    On one day, Alyokhina felt ill and received medical attention, but the defense's complaints that the trio were being deprived of sleep and food were ignored.

    The defense team says the court hopes to finish the trial quickly, while many Russians' attention is diverted by summer vacations, and that a verdict is likely this week. Few people in Russia have much faith in the independence of the judiciary.

    Putin faces international condemnation over the trial, and the organizers of the biggest protests since he rose to power in 2000 see it as part of a crackdown that includes a tightening of control over foreign-funded lobby groups, a toughening of rules governing the Internet and a sharp rise in fines for protesters.

    Putin, who began a six-year term in May, said in London on August 2 that there was "nothing good" in the trio's performance, in which they burst into Christ the Saviour Cathedral on February 21 and urged the Virgin Mary to "throw Putin out!".

    But Putin said the three women "should not be judged too harshly" over the protest, which they said was not intended to offend believers but to highlight the close relationship between the church and state.

    LAWYERS FEEL "CHEATED"

    The band's lawyers initially seemed heartened by his remarks but later suggested they were intended to appease an international audience.

    "Putin cheated us yet again," Polozov said on the social networking site Twitter on Friday. "The court continues pressurizing the defendants and ourselves."

    The trial has mixed drama and farce, dividing Russian society into those who see the young women and heroes and others who see the three as blasphemers who should be punished.

    "They spat on my soul," Lyubov Sokologorskaya, who sells candles and icons at the cathedral told the court on Monday, complaining that she could see under the women's skirts when they kicked their legs up in "aggressive" dance moves.

    Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova and Samutsevich have often looked tired and grim, but at other moments burst into laughter - such as when Judge Marina Syrova read out obscenities from their songs.

    Some guards turned to the wall to conceal their laughter when defense lawyer Violetta Volkova said an expression used by the band in a song was not meant as an insult for church goers.

    "This expression is a mere translation of the English 'Holy shit!', which, according to the Cambridge dictionary, means 'unpleasant surprise'," Volkova said, adding that the expression was often used in programs broadcast on Russian television.

    Volkova also questioned the prosecution's references to rules on church behavior set by a Church Council held in Constantinople in 692, saying that the same council prohibited Christians from taking a bath with Jews.

    The complaints of the defense team, who at times shouted at the judge, have often been met by silence from the prosecutors, who rolled their eyes in disbelief at some of their motions.

    "They are sticking their necks into the noose themselves," one member of the prosecution team told another while discussing the defense team's plea for the judge to read out all 2,500 pages of the prosecution's case.

    A group of Russian journalists published an open letter on Sunday complaining they were pushed and bullied at the court by black-uniformed bailiffs who carry automatic weapons designed for combat in confined spaces.

    (Additional reporting by Nastassia Astrasheuskaya, Alissa de Carbonnel and Maria Tsvetkova, Writing by Gleb Bryanski, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

    For Real Though?

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    Reuter site - Apple's Jobs was open to making a smaller iPad: executive

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    Apple's Jobs was open to making a smaller iPad: executive

    Fri, Aug 03 21:28 PM EDT

    By Poornima Gupta

    SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - Steve Jobs was receptive to Apple Inc making a smaller tablet, a senior executive said in a 2011 email revealed on Friday, fanning speculation it plans to make a mini-iPad to take on cheaper gadgets from Google Inc and Amazon.

    An Apple mini-version of the market-dominating 10-inch iPad could counter increasing inroads made by tablets such as the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. But the company has never confirmed the intensifying talk of such a launch.

    Vice President Eddy Cue urged then-chief operating officer Tim Cook in January 2011 to build a 7-inch tablet, according to an email from Cue that Samsung Electronics presented as evidence in a U.S. patent trial.

    In an email addressed also to software chief Scott Forstall and marketing head Phil Schiller, Cue said he believed there was a market for a 7-inch tablet and that "we should do one."

    Cue's brief email was introduced on Friday as part of a high-wattage trial that will play out in a San Jose courtroom this summer and is expected to transfix the technology industry.

    "There will be a 7-inch market and we should do one. I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time," the executive wrote in the email. "I found email, books, Facebook, and video very compelling on a 7-inch. Web browsing is definitely the weakest point, but still usable."

    Cue had previously forwarded an article entitled "Why I just dumped the iPad (hint: size matters)". He wrote: "Having used a Samsung Galaxy, I tend to agree with many of the comments below (except actually moving off the iPad)."

    Apple and Samsung are going toe-to-toe in a patents dispute mirroring a struggle for industry supremacy between two rivals that control more than half of worldwide smartphone sales.

    The U.S. company accuses Samsung of copying the design and some features of its iPad and iPhone, and is asking for billions of dollars in damages and a sales ban. The Korean firm, which is trying to expand in the U.S. market, says Apple infringed some of its key wireless technology patents.

    Cue, who rose to prominence overseeing the iTunes and Apps stores, became the company's senior vice president of Internet software and services in September. His email was introduced by Samsung during a cross-examination of Forstall on Friday.

    In the email dated January 24, 2011, Cue said he had broached the idea of a smaller tablet to Jobs several times since Thanksgiving, and the co-founder was receptive "the last time."

    That appeared to run counter to Jobs' famous dislike of smaller tablets. In 2010, Jobs told analysts on a conference call that 7-inch tablets should come with sandpaper, so users could file their fingers down to a quarter of their size.

    "There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick, or pinch them," Jobs, who died in October after a years-long battle with cancer, said at the time.

    "This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet Apps."

    Apple still dominates the global tablet market, but rivals are closing in. Google unveiled the Nexus 7 in July to strong reviews. And Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet, with a price tag about half the iPad's, has encroached on Apple's market share. Analysts say smaller, cheaper tablets entice cost-conscious buyers unwilling to spend $500 or more for an iPad.

    COURT FIREWORKS

    The trial began this week and has already granted Silicon Valley an unprecedented peek behind the curtain of Apple's famously secretive design and marketing machine.

    Forstall described the early days of the iPhone's top-secret inception. The smartphone that went on to revolutionize the mobile industry was developed in a building engineers nicknamed the "purple dorm." Security was so tight employees sometimes had to swipe their badges four times just to get in, he said.

    Earlier on Friday, Schiller told a packed courtroom that Apple's strategy in maintaining its market momentum is to "make the product the biggest and clearest thing in advertising."

    The 15-year Apple veteran told the jury the company has spent about $647 million on advertising for the iPhone, launched in 2007, and over $457 million for the two-year-old iPad.

    Dressed in a dark suit and yellow tie, Schiller -- who favors blue jeans and is among a handful of executives reporting directly to CEO Cook -- said Samsung's copying of Apple's designs has hurt its sales and disrupted its marketing.

    "I was pretty shocked at the appearance of the Galaxy S phone and the extent it appeared to copy Apple products," he told the jury, adding that he was even more shocked when he saw the Galaxy tab. "I thought they've done it again, they're just going to copy our whole product line."

    Justin Denison, Chief Strategy Officer for Samsung Telecommunications America, took the stand after Forstall, stressing that the world's largest technology company by sales was also no slouch when it came to design and marketing.

    Denison told the court Samsung spent $1 billion on U.S. product marketing in 2011 and employs over 1,200 designers.

    Before Schiller took the stand, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected Apple's request for severe sanctions against Samsung over the conduct of one of the Korean firm's attorneys, though she said such conduct risked tainting the jury.

    A Samsung statement this week contained links to documents Koh ruled could not be admitted at trial. Attorney John Quinn, of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, acknowledged he authorized the statement but said it was not designed to sway the jury.

    Apple had asked Koh to punish Samsung by ruling that Apple's phone design patents were valid, and had been infringed. Koh rejected that request but said there may be a post-trial investigation.

    "I will not let any theatrics or any sideshows distract us from what we are here to do," Koh said.

    The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, No. 11-1846.

    (Writing by Edwin Chan; Editing by Matthew Lewis, Bernard Orr, Gary Hill)

    Friday, August 3, 2012

    Obama authorized secret support for Syrian rebels

    http://m.yahoo.com/w/legobpengine/news/exclusive-obama-authorizes-secret-support-syrian-rebels-010014457.html?orig_host_hdr=news.yahoo.com&.intl=US&.lang=en-US

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    Reuter site - RIM to launch new PlayBook line next week

    This article was sent to you from bombastic400@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSBRE8710R120120802

    RIM to launch new PlayBook line next week

    Thu, Aug 02 15:09 PM EDT

    TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's Research In Motion has chosen its home country to launch a PlayBook tablet with built-in support for cellular networks, a crucial feature missing from its poor-selling initial models.

    The BlackBerry maker said on Thursday it would launch the new tablets in Canada next week and roll them out in coming months in the United States, Europe, South Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

    The PlayBook tablet, introduced more than a year ago, is strategically important for RIM as it is the first product to use the QNX operating system that RIM is adapting for a new generation of BlackBerry phones designed to compete with sexier devices already on the market.

    But the PlayBook was widely criticized at launch for lacking basic features such as email, and it has failed to wow consumers despite sharp discounts and a major software upgrade.

    RIM has so far only sold Wi-Fi capable PlayBook devices and this has played a role in making the device less attractive to potential buyers, as users would need access to a Wi-Fi network or to tether the device to the BlackBerry to use the Internet.

    The new device will run on the latest 4G LTE networks that offer high-speed data downloads capabilities. Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology is being widely deployed by carriers both in North America and overseas, as smartphone adoption has increased and boosted demand for wireless data downloads.

    The 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will come with 32 gigabytes of memory and will be available from major Canadian carriers like BCE Inc's Bell, Rogers Communications Inc and Telus Corp in Canada on August 9.

    Variants of the tablet supporting various cellular networks are expected to be available in the coming months from carriers in other countries, RIM said.

    The company did not release pricing details on the new PlayBook.

    HEAVY DISCOUNTS

    Over the last year RIM has been forced to offer heavy discounts to boost flagging sales, as the PlayBook runs on the QNX operating system that will power RIM's next generation of smartphones, due early next year.

    The Waterloo, Ontario-based company needs to have more applications available before the new phones, powered by QNX software called BlackBerry 10, hit the market. It hopes greater PlayBook adoption will encourage developers to create apps for the new devices.

    RIM has struggled to compete against Apple Inc's iPhone and iPad, and a host of devices smartphone and tablet devices powered by Google's Android. The one-time technology giant's fate now rests almost completely on the success or failure of its new line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

    Shares of RIM were down 2 percent at $6.97 on Thursday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

    (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Frank McGurty)

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

    AP Mobile BlackBerry client: Immigrants prove big business for prison companies

    A story from AP Mobile BlackBerry client has been shared with you.

    Immigrants prove big business for prison companies
    http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_16026/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=OUzhY0Js


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    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    Reuter site - Google acquires social ad start-up Wildfire

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@gmail.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSBRE86U1BN20120731

    Google acquires social ad start-up Wildfire

    Tue, Jul 31 16:05 PM EDT

    By Alistair Barr

    (Reuters) - Google Inc said on Tuesday it acquired marketing start-up Wildfire to help the world's largest Internet search company expand further into social media.

    Google paid about $250 million for the business, according to a person familiar with the deal. The source is not authorized to speak publicly about the transaction and requested anonymity.

    Wildfire provides software that links to Facebook Inc, Twitter, LinkedIn Corp, Pinterest and other social networks, allowing customers to manage their online brand and presence. Wildfire's clients include Sony Corp and Amazon.com Inc.

    The deal is the latest in a string of social media acquisitions by Internet and enterprise software companies.

    Salesforce.com Inc snapped up Buddy Media in June for almost $700 million, and Oracle Corp has acquired several social media businesses this year, including Involver, Vitrue and Collective Intellect.

    Google bought social media start-up Meebo for about $100 million in June.

    "There's still a lot of opportunity for advertisers to get their message out on social media," said Ben Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie. "As more and more social sites are being used, such as Pinterest, it gets more and more complicated for companies and brands to manage."

    Wildfire business should fit well within Google because the company specializes in technology that helps advertisers reach consumers online, the analyst added.

    Founded by Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard in 2008, Wildfire has about 400 employees and powers social media marketing for more then 16,000 businesses, including 30 of the top 50 global brands.

    Google plans to slot Wildfire into a group of online ad services offered through its DoubleClick business.

    (Reporting By Alistair Barr; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, John Wallace and Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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