iFive: Google Battles Oracle, Nokia's N9 iPhone Rival, Verizon Ditches Unlimited Data, Dropbox Password Bug, FCC Fights Cramming

1. Google's disputing a claim by Oracle that Google could owe it as much as $6 billion in compensation for infringements of Java IP. That figure surfaced on Friday, as the legal dispute took its next turn, but Google's new statement says its "'methodology' [...] is based on fundamental legal errors and improperly inflates their estimates." It may be posturing by Oracle, but that figure is nearly as much as Oracle paid to buy Sun, the source of the IP, in the first place.

2. Nokia's released its slick N9 smartphone, the "first-ever pure touch smartphone that is all about making things simpler." That epithet could actually be applied to the iPhone, of course—the device that's partly led to Nokia's business woes and whose influence runs throughout this phone. It's a last gasp from the old Nokia before it embraces Windows phones, which CEO Stephen Elop said are coming later this year, to save its business future.

3. Verizon is due to drop its unlimited data plans next month, according to new rumors, following in the wake of AT&T's move to do the same—which came last year, shortly before the launch of the iPhone 4. The new tiered plans will start at 2GB for $30, and tethering is an additional $20 for 2GB. The move will constrain some plans for mobile music and video content streaming, and could hint at the iPhone 5 is due soon.

4. Dropbox, popular file storage and sharing locker, made a normal update to its systems late yesterday that resulted in an enormous bug: Passwords for access to data were effectively side-stepped for about four hours. The company has seen enormous growth, and is predicted to have a value north of $1.5 billion, so the security accident is particularly significant—especially since the firm touts its security skills in its PR.

5. The FCC is vowing to fight phone carrier "cramming"—the process of adding on small but significant additional fees to a phone bill for services clients didn't need or ask for. It's sneaky profiteering. The FCC's Julius Genachowski is now promising new rules that would prevent cramming fees, to back up over $12 million in fines it just meted out for the habit. It's alway's been illegal though, which suggests the FCC's weak power over the issue.

Chat about this news with Kit Eaton on Twitter and Fast Company too.

Add New Comment

1 Comments