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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

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

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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 02:38 PM ET, 06/05/2013

The Circuit: Google releases economic impact data

Google releases economic impact data: Google said Wednesday that its search and advertising tools generated $94 billion of economic activity in the United States in 2012.

Going a bit more granular, Google said that it generated $640 million of economic activity in Washington, D.C. alone for businesses, Web site publishers and non-profits last year. The company also noted that it provided around $27.5 million in free advertising to non-profits through the Google Grants program.

In its calculation, Google includes the impact of Google Search, AdWords, AdSense and Google Grants.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Google marketing director Scott Levitan said that the company hopes that this data about its products will illustrate how businesses are changing and how important it really is for them to be on the desktop and mobile Web.

“It’s how we make money, but it’s also how others do, too,” Levitan said. He said that Google hopes that data show how important it is for businesses to be where their customers are more frequently shopping — online.

Majority of American adults own smartphones: For the first time, a majority of American adults are now smartphone owners, according to a study released Wednesday.

The Pew Center for Internet and American Life found that 56 percent of all American adults now use mobile phones that run an operating system such as Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android or Microsoft’s Windows Phone. That's up from 46 percent in 2012 and 35 percent in 2011.

Overall, the study found, 91 percent of the U.S. adults own a cellphone. Around one-third, 35 percent, of Americans own cellphones that don’t run mobile operating systems; nine percent of American adults still don’t own any kind of cellphone, the report said.

Apple, Samsung ITC ruling: The International Trade Commission Tuesday banned imports of several iPhone and iPad models for infringing a Samsung patent — dealing a publicity blow to Apple and a critical victory for Samsung as the companies continue a worldwide courtroom slugfest over intellectual property.

As The Washington Post reported, the ruling applies to older iPhone and iPad devices on AT&T’s wireless network.

In a statement, Samsung spokesman Adam Yates said the decision “has confirmed Apple’s history of free-riding on Samsung’s technological inno­vations.”

Apple, meanwhile, said that it would appeal the decision.

“We are disappointed that the Commission has overturned an earlier ruling and we plan to appeal,” said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet in a statement.

Google edges out Apple in reputation poll: Google beats out rivals Apple and Facebook when it comes to the all-important game of reputation, continuing its place on top of a Washington Post-ABC News poll measuring how respondents feel about some of the country’s top tech firms.

Google has fairly strong ratings across all age and ethnic groups and salary levels, with its lowest favorable rating coming from users over 65. They gave the company a 64 percent favorable rating.

Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 tended to have higher goodwill toward the tech firms. But Apple’s standing with users under the age of 30 dropped significantly from last year’s poll. The iPhone and iPad maker has a 71 percent favorable rating with the youngest respondents, down from last year’s 81 percent rating.

The survey was conducted May 29 to June 2 among a random national sample of 1,007 adults. For the full results of the poll, including breakdowns by education level, salary and political affiliation, check out the full set of data here.

By  |  02:38 PM ET, 06/05/2013

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