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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

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Brian Fung

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Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 10/02/2012

Judge overturns ban on Samsung tablet #thecircuit

Apple, Samsung: Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District Court of California has overturned a Samsung tablet sales ban, Ars Technica reported. The ban, put into place before the companies’ summer legal battle, dealt with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. A jury found that the Samsung tablet did not infringe on the design of the iPad.

In a separate filing, Samsung also added claims about the iPhone 5 to a second case in district court, saying that Apple’s latest smartphone infringes on two of Samsung’s standard patents and six of its feature patents. As Bloomberg reported, Samsung said that it would investigate the iPhone 5 for infringement when the phone was released on Sept. 21.

On Tuesday, Samsung said it would also add Apple’s iPhone 5 to another ongoing patent case, according to a report from the Associated Press.

FCC proposes $5 million forfeiture on calling cards: The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a $5 million forfeiture against NobelTel, which the agency said was involved in a prepaid calling card schemes directED at immigrant communities.

This is the sixth carrier the FCC has targeted for this issue, with forfeitures totaling $30 million, the agency said. According to an agency press release, a $2 card from NobelTel that advertised 400 minutes of calls to Mexico could be completely used up in a 10-minute phone call because of varied fees. The FCC said that while these fees were disclosed on the calling cards, they were in very small print and did not contain adequate information.

The agency said that “the only possible way consumers might be able to make calls of 400 minutes was if they made a single call of that length – almost seven hours.”

Facebook launches Help Center: Facebook is launching a redesigned help center, meant to help users navigate its privacy settings and lead them to new features on the site.

The new hub, launched Tuesday, gives users a central location to learn how to manage privacy on the site, read up on changes to Facebook’s layout such as the Timeline and see what new features the company has on tap. Facebook is also revamping its support dashboard, which will let users keep track of issues they’ve flagged throughout the review process.

“Both of these tools aim to provide the people who use our service with access to the information they need from Facebook as quickly and as efficiently as possible,” Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, said in a statement to The Washington Post. “These resources demonstrate our commitment to transparency and our continued effort to ensure that the people who use Facebook can create the experience that is right for them.”

Google, Microsoft vie for second: Google overtook Microsoft in market value Monday, though it fell back to third place as the market opened Tuesday. The news came as the IHS analysis firm dramatically cut its 2012 shipping estimates of ultrabooks — the trend that was supposed to save the PC industry this year — to 10.3 million from 22 million. Estimates for next year were nearly as grim, with analyst Craig Stice updating his prediction to be 44 million in shipments from 61 million.

It’s been a little over two years since Apple passed Microsoft as the world’s most valuable technology company, a change that itself was seen as a sign that mobile computing was well on its way to eroding the PC market. The growth of Google, with its Web-based background and strength in the cloud, could be seen as another shift.

White House confirms cyberattack: The White House confirmed that one of its unclassified networks was hit with a cyberattack, the Associated Press reported Monday. White House spokesman Jay Carney told the Associated Press that no data had been removed form the system. The incident appears to have stemmed from a “phishing” attack, one that aims to trick targeted recipients to open links or attachments to e-mails in order to obtain access to a network.

Carney did not specify if the White House believes the attack was linked to China.

By  |  12:00 PM ET, 10/02/2012

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