Morning Coffee Aug 27 2012

Apple Patent Decision Upends Mobile Industry

By Joseph Walker

Apple cannot be stopped. Late last Friday, a San Jose, Calif. jury said that Samsung's smartphones and tablets violate several Apple patents and ordered it pay more than $1 billion in damages. A judge will decide in the coming weeks whether to ban the sale of patent-violating Samsung devices in the U.S. Samsung says it plans to appeal.

The repercussions of the decision are still unclear. Some experts say that the decision could put a chill on rival engineers and product designers fearful of violating Apple's patents, the New York Times reports. App developers, meanwhile, could run into trouble as device and software makers alter their product specifications to make them less like Apple's.

Google, the Android software maker that animates Samsung's most popular devices, said in a statement that most of the patents the jury found to have been violated by Samsung "don't relate to the core Android operating system." Kara Swisher of AllThingsD, though, writes that Google is terrified that Apple may sue the search giant next.

The surprise winner may be Microsoft. Microsoft's Windows mobile operating system has gotten big kudos from reviewers, but with the exception of Nokia, most hardware makers have lined up behind Google's Android. Microsoft can now argue that distributing Android is too much of a gamble and hardware makers should embrace Windows, Bloomberg reports.

New Settlement (The Oregonian)

Salesforce.com plans to open a satellite office in Portland. The arrival of the cloud-based management software maker could signal the largest influx of tech jobs in some time.

Pairing Up (FINS)

Some believe it takes two to make code go right. Pair programming, which has two engineers share one computer and take turns typing, has high-profile adherents like Facebook's Kent Beck. But some programmers say two is a crowd.

M&A (Bloomberg)

IBM is acquiring human resource software company Kenexa for $1.3 billion, the latest high-profile deal in the HR space. Kenexa, based in Wayne, Pa., employs 2,800 across 21 countries.

Done With It (WSJ)

The New York Times has sold About.com to Barry Diller's IAC/InterActive Corp. for $300 million in cash. Once a money maker, About.com began struggling when Google altered its algorithms to supress sites like it in search results.

Digging (Associated Press)

The Mitt Romney campaign is using sophisticated data mining techniques to unearth untapped -- and wealthy -- Republican donors. The project relies on the same strategies used in the business world to influence consumer decisions.

Openings (The Wichita Eagle)

NetApp, the data storage company, plans to hire 400 new employees at an average annual wage of $73,000. The company will receive up to $418,000 in cash from the county in exchange for adding the jobs.

Picking Up the Pieces (China Daily)

Motorola Mobility says it will offer 40 new positions to workers laid off at its Nanjing Software Center in China. Last week, protests erupted in the country over the 1,000 job cuts Google-owned Motorola announced.

Throwback (NYT)

There's still room for engineers who want to work on tangible products like the Pebble smartwatch instead of social networking. The rise of cheap, 3-D printers have allowed entrepreneurs to experiment with new hardware ideas, helping to put the silicon back in Silicon Valley.

Clout (Los Angeles Times)

AT&T, Verizon and other tech companies have used their influence with California lawmakers to get a bill passed that bans regulation of companies using the Internet to deliver phone calls.

Buzz Around the Office

A Place to Call Home (BuzzFeed)

From Frasier and Friends to I Love Lucy and the Simpsons, here are 15 iconic, made-for-TV floor plans sketched out for your viewing pleasure.

List of the Day: Lessons from Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong's decision to step back from doping allegations led to him being stripped of the accolades that have made his career as an athlete. Here's what you can learn from him:

1. Know when a battle is worth fighting.

2. Sometimes stepping away does more harm to your opponent.

3. A scandal doesn't always mean your career is over.

(Source: AOL Jobs)



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