After the Library of Congress declared that mobile phone unlocking is illegal by the consumer, a firestorm of protests resulted in a petition to the White House. That resulted in pressure on the FCC to take up the matter with the wireless carriers, and now an agreement has been reached that makes it easier for consumers to unlock their phones at the end of their contract.
Former Google executive Michelle Lee has been put in charge of the U.S. Patent & Trademark (USPTO) office. Reuters reported that Ms. Lee was appointed deputy director of the agency, and that she will be in temporary charge until a permanent director is named.
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I don't think her promotion is good news for patent trolls. With Congress and the White House both interested in curbing the power of NPEs, Ms. Lee's very appointment likely means she was chosen with that subject in mind.
Instagram has introduced Instagram Direct, a new way to send private photo and video messages to friends. It's part of Instagram 5.0 for iOS.
LEGO Star Wars fans, rejoice! Warner Bros. Entertainment released LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga for iPhone and iPad on Wednesday, and it's waiting to suck up your time even now. The game allows you to play either the Light or the Dark, and includes a host of Star Wars characters lovingly created in LEGO realism.
Walmart is tapping Apple to bring in holiday shoppers again with special pricing on iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s on Friday. According to online reports, the retailer will offer aggressive discounts on iPhone 5c ($27) and 5s ($127), a $45 gift card with the purchase of an iPad mini, and $30 gift cards for only $25.
The Seoul Central District Court ruled on Wednesday that Apple wasn't infringing on three Samsung patents. Businessweek reported that the court dismissed Samsung's claims, saying that technologies covered by two of the patents could be easily developed, while Apple didn't violate the third patent at all.
Apple released iPhoto 9.5.1 on Wednesday, an update that fixes a preview issue. The patch notes also include unspecified improvements.
One analyst thinks Apple and Microsoft will have to merge into a single company to fight off Google and Facebook, so Jeff and Bryan take it upon themselves to explain why he's flat-out wrong. They also dive into Apple's iBeacon deployment, the call for NSA reform, the media calling out Judge Cote in Apple's antitrust case, and whether or not it's time to cut the cable cord.
Ergotron is offering two sit-stand workstations designed to work (and look good) with Apple's iMac and MacBook Pro and Air devices. WorkFit-A for iMac and WorkFit-B for MacBook are adjustable stands that allow you to raise them so you can work standing at your desk, or lower them for when you want to sit. They were designed for the growing movement of people looking to do more of their work standing up, and they work by clamping to the edge of your desk. The WorkFit-A for iMac (US$649) has a tray that holds your keyboard lower than the display, and it's also compatible with Apple's LED Cinema Display and Thunderbolt Display. WorkFit-B for MacBook ($329) serves as a platform for the laptop itself. Both have an Integrated cord management system for keeping everything straight.
Apple's App Store is edging towards crossing the one million app mark, according to app tracking site 148Apps.biz. Apple long ago crossed the million app mark of apps that had been approved for the App Store, but as of December 9th, the company had some 998,919 apps and games currently active.
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