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Buzz Out Loud 1500: RIM's motto: The buck stops here ... and there (Podcast)

On today's show, RIM responds -- if you can call it that -- to an open letter purportedly from a senior executive calling out the company on all its woes. RIM's response? We're fine. Well, we're fine, but we will also agree to form a task force to investigate whether we need a better CEO and management structure. Ya think? Plus, the craziest Computer Love ever.

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Apple, RIM in group buying Nortel patents for $4.5B

A consortium comprising Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Research In Motion, and Sony has purchased Nortel Networks' remaining patent portfolio for $4.5 billion in an auction that began earlier this week.

The group purchased some 6,000 patents and patent applications encompassing technologies such as wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, Internet, and semiconductors, Nortel announced late Thursday.

Nortel, which filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2009, said in a statement it was pleased with the auction's outcome.

"The size and dollar value for this transaction is unprecedented, as was the significant interest in the portfolio among … Read more

ITC extends Kodak case against Apple, RIM again

The International Trade Commission has once again extended its target date for making a decision on Eastman Kodak's complaint against Apple and Research In Motion, which claims the companies are infringing on a patent it owns.

In a notice about the investigation (PDF), the ITC said that it's determined to "affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand in part the final initial termination" from its administrative law judge (ALJ). It also said it's found no violation of a provision of the Tariff Act of 1930 regarding unfair competition. However, based on changes made to … Read more

Oracle demands $2.6 billion from Google

Oracle is seeking $2.6 billion in damages from Google as part of its patent infringement lawsuit over Java.

In a document filed yesterday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oracle cited the $2.6 billion figure based on estimates by the company's damages expert, Iain Cockburn, a professor of finance and economics at Boston University.

That specific figure runs contrary to Google's interpretation, which is far broader in range. In a June 18 filing from Google and documented by FOSS Patents, the search giant came to the conclusion that if it were … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 1497: Lytro is the camera of the future (Podcast)

Lytro's Founder and CEO Ren Ng Ph.D. stopped by the BOL studio today to discuss his new product the Lytro Light Field Camera which allows you to focus different depths of field within one photograph. We picked his brain about how the technology works and how it will evolve into the art of photography and beyond. We also discuss the FTC's probe into Google's business practices as well as the upcoming possible overhaul of the United States Patent office rules and regulations. Lulzsec continues to make news and publish the identity of its victims while a rival hacker group calling themselves TeaMp0ison has vowed to out the members of Lulzsec by publishing Lulzsec's identities and personal information in retaliation. All this and more on today's Buzz Out Loud with special guest host from Android Atlas Antuan Goodwin who has a deep fear of Zombies.

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Making headway against hackers? (week in review)

Law enforcement officers may feel they've made a dent in the fight against hackers, but that doesn't seem to be stemming the tide of activity.

A 19-year-old U.K. man has been arrested on suspicion of hacking and online attacks by the U.K.'s Metropolitan Police. Sky News reported early on that the teenager is the mastermind behind LulzSec, a prominent hacking group that has wreaked havoc on several companies and government organizations of late. However, the Metropolitan Police's e-Crime Unit stopped short of saying whether the man in custody might be connected to LulzSec.

LulzSec … Read more

Report: Apple takes aim at Samsung in South Korea

Apple has filed a patent-related lawsuit against Samsung in South Korea, Bloomberg is reporting.

According to the report, Apple filed the suit in the Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday. Since details on Apple's claims were not made public, the company's lawsuit could be entirely new or relate to the earlier suit it launched against Samsung.

In April, Apple sued Samsung for allegedly infringing its patents on its mobile devices. AllThingsD reported at the time that Apple was charging Samsung with "copying" its user interface and product designs.

"It's no coincidence that Samsung's … Read more

This Day in Tech: Tesla says bye to Roadster; Google antitrust probes stepped up

Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET for Thursday, June 23.

Tesla bids farewell to Roadster Tesla will stop taking orders for its electric Roadster sports car later this year as it shifts its focus to the Model S electric sedan. More

FTC, Senate rachet up Google antitrust probes Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Senate appear to step up their antitrust investigations of Google, a development that follows formal investigations already under way in Europe. More

Microsoft chasing Apple's app lead Trailing badly in the number … Read more

ITC delays decision on Kodak vs. Apple and RIM

The U.S. International Trade Organization today announced that it is delaying its decision on the matter of Apple and Research In Motion infringing on a patent held by Eastman Kodak.

The decision, which was originally slated to be delivered today, could have big consequences for the two smartphone makers if the ITC sides with Kodak.

In its complaint, filed in January 2010, Kodak sought to get smartphones from both companies blocked from entering the U.S., arguing that their cameras made use of image previewing technology covered by a Kodak patent. A more likely outcome ahead of the ITC'… Read more

Apple applies for photo-correcting patent

Apple applied for a patent today for technology to use a mobile device's orientation sensors to help correct common photo problems.

One claim in the patent application involves using gyroscopes, compasses, or accelerometers to determine a device's orientation, then using that data to fix problems such as a tilt that would keep a horizontal line from being level.

A related claim involves a correction to distortion that can be caused when a camera isn't held vertically--for example when a view looking up makes the parallel vertical lines of a building converge. Here, a distance measurement to the subject could be factored in, too.

A photo could be corrected either after it was taken or on the fly as it's being taken.

The application is a new twist on hardware fixes for common photography problems. Modern digital cameras can move sensors or lens elements to counteract camera shake, and cameras or comptuer software can correct optical shortcomings of lenses. Start-up Lytro even hopes focusing errors can be avoided with light-field technology that lets people focus shots after they're taken. Smile detection technology can snap a photo only when you see the whites of their teeth, and face detection helps set exposure and focus.

The iPhone 4, with a backside-illumination sensor that's more sensitive than conventional models, is highly regarded as phone cameras go, and it's highly used, too, topping Flickr's camera usage charts. No doubt Apple would like to help its customers avoid those embarrassingly tilted oceans.

Now all we need is technology to ensure camera subjects look as healthy, vivacious, and beautiful as all the people in Apple's promotional illustrations. … Read more