Patent battle pits iPod father v Android creator

Tony Fadell and Andy RubinImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Tony Fadell - seen on the left - and Andy Rubin's fortunes could be affected by the case

A legal battle over use of a smartphone technology has pitted two Silicon Valley leaders against each other.

Keyssa - a start-up funded by Tony Fadell - has claimed its wireless data-transfer tech was stolen by Essential - a smartphone manufacturer founded by Andy Rubin.

Mr Fadell co-developed the original iPod and Nest's smart home kit, while Mr Rubin helped create and develop the Android operating system.

Essential has yet to comment.

Neither of the two entrepreneurs are named in the legal papers filed so far, but their links to the companies involved are likely to ensure the case has a high profile.

The two men briefly overlapped at Google in 2014, where both served as senior executives.

Image copyright Essential Image caption Essential decided not to license Keyssa's data-transmission tech for its 360-degree camera module

Keyssa was founded in 2008 and has developed a new way to transmit data at high speeds from one device to another.

Its metal-free solution, called Kiss Connectivity, is marketed as being more secure and power-efficient than Bluetooth and wi-fi, and less prone to wear and tear than a wired connection.

Keyssa alleges that it discussed and shared information about its tech with Essential over a 10-month period before the phone-maker opted to use a rival company's chip to connect a camera accessory and dock to its handset.

In doing so, Keyssa alleges, Essential made use of its trade secrets and breached a non-disclosure agreement.

"Keyssa has not been compensated for Essential's use of this guidance and know-how," it said in a statement.

"We are pursuing this action because our attempts to resolve this matter through discussions with Essential have not been successful."

Essential told the Reuters news agency[1] it had yet to receive the legal paperwork and would not comment before doing so.

The development coincides with news that Apple faces a $440m (£334m) payout in a separate patent dispute over communications technologies used in its Facetime video chat app and other software.

The sum claimed by Virnetx[2] is about $140m more than last reported but less than the initial award[3].The latest sum takes account of the fact that a judge has ruled that Apple's infringement was "wilful".

Apple told the Techcrunch news site[4] that it planned to appeal....

References

  1. ^ Essential told the Reuters news agency (uk.reuters.com)
  2. ^ sum claimed by Virnetx (www.virnetx.com)
  3. ^ less than the initial award (www.bbc.co.uk)
  4. ^ told the Techcrunch news site (techcrunch.com)

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Google removes cupcake calorie counter from Maps

CupcakesImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Some users did not want to be told how many cakes they had walked

Google has decided to remove an update to Maps that shows users how many calories they would burn if they walked to their destination.

It follows what the search giant described as "strong user feedback" with many criticising the feature as patronising, shaming and a possible trigger for eating disorders.

The pink cupcake calorie counter was also lambasted as being unscientific.

It will be removed by the end of the day, Google has confirmed.

The experimental feature was rolled out on the iOS version of Google Maps, beneath walking directions.

It told people how many calories they would burn if they walked and what that was in terms of cupcakes.

Twitter user Taylor Lorenz summed up the attitude of many when she tweeted that the feature could be "extremely triggering" for someone with eating disorders.

She also criticised it because it could not be turned off, and for being "wildly inaccurate" because it failed to take into account general health information.

End of Twitter post by @TaylorLorenz

End of Twitter post 2 by @TaylorLorenz

Priya Tew, a member of the Association of UK Dietitians said:"Although it is good to encourage people to walk more, having the calories used on Google Maps does not seem to be the best way to do this.

"Firstly it encourages competition, trying to burn more calories each day which could be triggering for some people who have a tendency to over-exercise.Secondly it could make people feel shamed that they have not walked far enough or burned enough calories.

"If people want to count their calories then they should be given the option to do this, rather than it being enforced."...

References

  1. ^ Skip Twitter post by @TaylorLorenz (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ October 17, 2017 (twitter.com)
  3. ^ Skip Twitter post 2 by @TaylorLorenz (www.bbc.co.uk)
  4. ^ October 17, 2017 (twitter.com)

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Australia launches revenge porn reporting tool

Young woman with phone looking upsetImage copyright iStock

Australia has set up the first national reporting tool to help victims of revenge porn.

Revenge porn, or image-based abuse, is the sharing of explicit images without consent.

The online portal provides advice on getting the images removed, reporting the abuse to authorities and pursuing legal action.

The country's eSafety commissioner said 20% of Australians aged between 16 and 49 have experienced image-based abuse.

Young women and indigenous Australians were more likely to be victims.

The same research found that 76% of victims took no action, often because they didn't know what to do.

In a statement, communications minister Mitch Fifield said the $4.8m (£2.8m) portal was a "world-first".

He also said the government is considering introducing civil penalties for perpetrators or websites that distribute revenge porn....

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