Apple vs. Samsung: the verdict
After two and a half days of deliberations, the Apple vs. Samsung jury returned a decisive verdict in Apple’s favor today — holding that Samsung owes Apple $1.049 billion for copying Apple’s intellectual property. Specifically, the jury found that all three of Apple’s software patents on the iOS user interface were valid and infringed by a long list of Samsung devices, that Apple design patents were valid and infringed by several Samsung phones, and that Apple’s trade dress on the iPhone and iPhone 3G were diluted by several Samsung phones as well.
On the other hand, Samsung lost every part of its case against Apple — the jury ruled that none of the Apple devices in the case infringe Samsung’s patents, including patents that are part of the 3G networking standard. The only major decisions that went to Samsung were related to the iPad — the jury didn’t think Samsung’s tablets copied the iPad’s design.
Google’s Nexus 7 tablet pops up in rare home-page ad
The $199 tablet started popping up on Google’s home page today, a rare instance in which Google is actively promoting one of its own products. It’s similar to the way Amazon’s front page is often dominated by Kindle advertising.
That Google would go to such lengths underscores the company’s desire to make a bigger dent in the burgeoning tablet market, one still dominated by Apple’s iPad. Given the traffic that goes through Google, the home page would be one of the most coveted spots on the Web for advertisers. The company, however, has traditionally resisted attempts to run advertisements for paid products on its main page.
Flipboard passes the 20 million user mark, with one new user per second
Flipboard is celebrating its second year anniversary this summer, and has just announced some impressive statistics to boot. Just last year the reading app announced that it had passed the 5 million user mark, and now it reports more than 20 million. Some other relevant numbers it has just posted to its blog include the fact that Flipboard, which is available for iOS and Android devices, adds 1 new user per second on average, and sees 14.5 million social actions per month.
Speaking of the social aspect of Flipboard, the company reports that 75 percent of iPad users have connected their account to a social network such as Facebook or Twitter (which recently made it clear with new API terms that apps like Flipboard could have a rough road ahead). Possibly the most impressive figure Flipboard has revealed is the fact that its 1.5 million daily users spend an average of 86 minutes per month in the app. Be sure to check out Flipboard’s official blog for more stats in an attractive infographic format.
Hipstamatic Out Of Film? Camera App Lays Off Engineers And Others
Is Hipstamatic, the iPhone photo app that was an early hit on the App Store, on the rocks? TechCrunch understands that Synthetic, makers of the app, has recently had to let go of much of its engineering staff, among others, as part of a wider restructuring as it looks for cash. A number of public tweets (embedded below) also point to people leaving.
The news comes as a surprise, given that Synthetic says that it has been profitable since the second week after it launched. It is projected to make $22 million this year (from $10 million in 2011). Contacted for a response to the news, a spokesperson confirmed that Hipstatmatic is restructuring but nothing more: ”Business is moving forward as usual, and we’re heads down focused on making beautiful, creative and fun products for our community and the world.” The company to date has never had VC backing.
TechCrunch has been told from a reliable source that among those who are no longer at the company are Jon Wight (iOS Engineer), Justin Williams (iOS Engineer), and Stuart Norrie (designer), who were all let go today with severance. Kevin Smith (iOS/Rails Engineer) left on his own earlier in the week. In fact, our source says that apart from the “core team,” everyone (including the office manager, and the social media manager) is being let go. There are some who work there on contract who may be exempt from this move.
Dropbox enables two-factor verification in “experimental build”
Roughly a month after Dropbox said it would offer two-factor authentication, the cloud-based storage company has quietly done so in an experimental build of the application. In the wake of the Mat Honan hack and Dropbox’s own security problems, the company seems to have taken a stronger tactic for hardening user accounts.
In a discussion in the company’s online forums, Jie T., a Dropbox developer, said the company would be adding two-step verification as an optional add-on “sometime in the next few days.”
“Two-step verification adds an extra layer of protection to your account by requiring an additional security code that is sent to your phone by text message or generated using a mobile authenticator app,” he wrote last Friday. “We’d like to give our loyal forum viewers a chance to try it out first.”
To use it before the official release comes out, Dropbox users have to upgrade to the latest “forum build,” version 1.5.12. Once that’s installed, users are required to click the two-step verification link and enable the option.
Similar to Google’s two-factor authentication for Gmail users, Dropbox’s version gives the option of receiving a text message with a six-number code, or a private list of codes that can be used offline.
The company has remained quiet on both its Twitter account and its blog regarding when this build of the application will be rolled out officially.
Geek This Week:
Aaron: Giving Dr. Who a try again. Watched S1E1, though I saw it when it first aired. Better than I remember, less camp.
The Geek’s Choice:
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