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Tech News: Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Brilliant Scheme, Google Inc (GOOG)’s Chrome OS & Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), 3M Co (NYSE:MMM), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)

Apple should be breaking new ground – not the law (Guardian)
After more than a year of debate, US district judge Denise Cote handed down a ruling this month in the case of United States of America v Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), otherwise known as the ebooks pricing case. The US Justice Department accused Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) of conspiring with the big five publishers, and the judge agreed, calling it a “brilliant scheme” to raise ebook prices. This was “agency pricing”: because Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) allowed publishers to set their own prices for ebooks on its devices, publishers could justify imposing the same model on Amazon – which was always the real target of the whole business.

Google appears ready to ditch Android over its intellectual property issues (AppleInsider)
While Android has been widely deployed on smartphones globally and is almost universally considered a tremendous success, the platform and its close association with its namesake Rubin, who was himself nicknamed “Android” while working at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the early 1990s, has inflicted more liability and expense on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) than it has strategic opportunity, revenues or profits. Evidence from multiple sources, including the design decisions behind Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s latest Chromecast product, support the idea that the company now sees more future potential and interest in investing in Chrome OS than in continuing to support Rubin’s Android and defending the platform from ongoing intellectual property disputes, even if the company has no interest in publicizing those intentions.

Microsoft looks to white spaces to light up Limpopo (WebWire)
The pilot project is the latest from the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) 4Afrika Initiative, a new series of investments designed to enable Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to actively engage in Africa’s economic development and improve its global competitiveness. …Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has launched a pilot project in the rural Limpopo province of South Africa that aims to deliver high-speed and affordable broadband to underserved communities using so-called “white spaces” technology. The focus of the pilot will be to prove that TV white spaces can be used to meet the South African government’s goals of providing low-cost access for a majority of South Africans by 2020.

Apple’s Bob Mansfield Shifts Work to Special Projects (Bloomberg)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Bob Mansfield, whose $85.5 million compensation made him one of the highest-paid U.S. executives in 2012, is stepping down as technologies chief to work on special projects. “Bob will no longer be on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s executive team, but he will continue to work on special projects,” Katie Cotton, an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) spokeswoman, said by phone. Mansfield presided over some of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s toughest hardware-engineering jobs in the past decade, including a transition of its Mac personal computers to Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) chips and development of the iPad tablet.

6th Street Consulting Achieves a Microsoft Gold Small Business Competency (Virtual-Strategy)
6th Street Consulting (6SC) is pleased to announce that it has attained a Gold Small Business competency, demonstrating a “best-in-class” ability and commitment to meet Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) customers’ evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment and distinguishing itself within the top 1 percent of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s partner ecosystem. To earn a Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) gold competency, partners must successfully complete exams (resulting in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Certified Professionals) to prove their level of technology expertise, and then designate these certified professionals uniquely to one Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) competency, ensuring a certain level of staffing capacity.

Congress Betrays 3M to Google Over Patent Fees in Sequestration (BusinessWeek)
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) are among the top patent-holding companies which agreed two years ago to pay higher fees if Congress let the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office use the funds to address a work backlog and improve application scrutiny. Congress instead held back as much as $148 million in fees due to automatic federal spending cuts under a process known as sequestration — and the companies are crying foul. “We were willing to pay those and thought it was an investment that needed to be made in the patent office,” said Kevin Rhodes, chief intellectual property counsel for 3M Co (NYSE:MMM)…

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