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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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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 08:26 AM ET, 07/25/2011

The Circuit: RIM layoffs, Facebook privacy, patent trolling

LEADING THE DAY: Research in Motion announced that it will lay off 2,000 employees, the Associated Press reported on Monday. The severance payment for approximately 10 percent of its 19,000-person workforce will not be included in the company’s Sept. 15 second-quarter earning call, the report said.

The company also announced Monday morning that its chief operating officer, Don Morrison, will retire. Thorsten Heins will take on his duties as part of an expanded role of COO, product and sales. Jim Rowan will become COO, operations.

Facebook privacy: A Facebook glitch appears to have revealed the thumbnails and descriptions of users’ private information, Tech Crunch reported. Friends were able to see full lists of each others’ videos for about a week, the report said, though Facebook has since fixed the problem.

Patent “trolls”: Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life took a deep dive into patents and patent litigation in its weekly program, profiling former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold’s company Intellectual Ventures. The program addresses the history of buying and selling patents, as well as the recent Nortel patent auction. The sale of Nortel’s patents to a consortium of tech companies including Apple, Microsoft and Research in Motion has led to antitrust scrutiny from the federal antitrust investigators.

GeekWire reported that Intellectual Ventures has said it “fundamentally disagrees” with the program’s description of its company and its practices.

Cloud computing in Europe: Cloud computing is taking off in Europe, the New York Times reported, even with strict data privacy laws. Lawmakers in Brussels reviewing the European Union’s data protection directive are being asked to streamline and update the law to better facilitate cloud computing.

House examines cyber security and infrastructure: The House subcommittee on oversight and investigations will look at cyber security this week with a Tuesday overview on how the issue affects critical infrastructure. Representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and the Government Accountability Office will explain how the country currently handles cyber security and the challenges the GAO faces when it comes to protecting critical infrastructure.

China investigates fake Apple stores: Chinese officials have reportedly begun looking into a slew of fake Apple stores that have popped up across the country, the Associated Press reported. As The Washington Post reported, customers duped by the fake store returned to demand refunds after a American expat published photos of the stores on her blog.

By  |  08:26 AM ET, 07/25/2011

Tags:  Apple, International, Cybersecurity, IP, Microsoft, Facebook, Privacy, RIM

 
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