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June 22

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Trending Tech: Microsoft’s ‘Surface,’ Lawsuits and Green Initiatives

June 22, 2012

Microsoft enters the tablet business with the launch of ‘Surface,’ eBay undertakes a green initiative by building data centers that will use renewable energy and Sharp unveils the ‘world’s biggest’ television. In lawsuit news, Yahoo seeks to settle its patent infringement case with Facebook, Kodak sues Apple and LinkedIn faces a $5 million lawsuit over its password breach.

10. Kodak sues Apple, says it is blocking sale of patents
The photography pioneer, which recently filed for bankruptcy, sued Apple along with privately-held Flashpoint Technology for falsely claiming patency ownership over 10 patents. Kodak has accused Apple of derailing plans to sell off its patent portfolio, something the company needs to shed to survive. Kodak has to sell its patents under the terms of a $950 million loan that the company obtained to keep operating while in bankruptcy.

9. Facebook acquires Israeli facial recognition company
The social networking giant has acquired Face.com, an Israeli company that makes facial recognition technology. The acquisition will enhance Facebook’s ‘tagging’ system, enabling features like allowing users to click a picture and tag their friends automatically before posting it on Facebook. 

8. RIM shedding jobs; part of broad, cost-cutting measures
The struggling Blackberry maker has begun lay-offs as part of its cost-cutting restructuring process. RIM is targeting to save $1 billion by the end of the year. In recent months, the company has seen departures of many senior executives and is expected to reduce positions as part of the turnaround effort. It is yet to be seen if the effort is enough to turn the company around.

7. LinkedIn hit with $5 million lawsuit over password breach
In the wake of the recent password breach involving 6 million LinkedIn users, the professional social networking company has been hit with a $5 million lawsuit filed by an Illinois woman. She is claiming that the company has violated its own privacy agreement by allowing the hacker to steal 6.46 million passwords. The company has said that “no member accounts have been breached as a result of the incident.” Do you think LinkedIn will fight off the lawsuit?

6. Yahoo, Facebook in talks to settle patent suit
The tech giants are reportedly in talks to end their patent suit. The legal feud started in March with Yahoo filing a lawsuit against Facebook over patent infringement. After months of trial, the two companies are in settlement talks to resolve the dispute.

5. Sharp unveils ‘world’s biggest’ LED TV
On Tuesday, the Japanese company introduced a 90-inch LED TV, making it the world’s biggest television set. Sharp’s huge TV is 4 feet tall and measures 6 feet 8 inches across. The screen is big, and so is its price. Available at a whopping price of $10,999, the world’s biggest television is 3D-ready and comes with a pair of 3D glasses. 

4. eBay plans data center that will run on alternative energy fuel cells
eBay has plans to build a data center that will run primarily off of renewable energy. Ever since environmental groups issued a series of rebukes aimed at Internet giants’ data centers’ heavy reliance on coal-fired power, the companies are taking efforts to go green.  eBay will be the first major tech giant to use alternative power as a primary source for ‘energy-hungry data centers.’

3. Silicon Valley as magnet for Barnes & Noble, Ford, Nokia
More non-tech companies are moving to Silicon Valley to increase their focus on tech innovation. Barnes & Noble has sent its Nook development team to Stanford Research Park. Also rolling into the Valley is Ford. The automaker has opened a Silicon Valley lab with intentions to become a leader in auto technology. Finally, Nokia has reset and rearranged its year-old Silicon Valley office to keep its U.S. operations from sinking.

2. Samsung scores victory in patent infringement case against Apple
A Dutch court ruled in Samsung’s favor for its 3G patent infringement case against Apple. The amount of damages that Apple has to pay is being determined. The two smartphone makers have been in legal battles over patents and copyrights that have been playing out in numerous courtrooms around the world.

1. Microsoft introduces a challenger to the iPad
On Monday, Microsoft unveiled the ‘Surface,’ a tablet that is intended to challenge Apple’s iPad. This is a big move for the software giant since it represents an entry into the hardware sector, since the entire tablet was designed in-house. Microsoft’s tablet comes with innovative accessories, such as a magnetic cover that doubles as a keyboard. Check out five ways that may make the Surface better than the iPad.

Disclosure: Microsoft and Samsung are Weber Shandwick clients