iFive: Microsoft Wants an “App Store,” Google Drops H.264, Sony Sues Hacker, Google Analytics Legality, Hotspot Hitting iPhones

Wednesday’s here, so to help you get over the midweek hump we present some early tech and innovation news:

1. Not content with Apple’s ascendancy through the iOS and Mac App Store stratosphere, Microsoft has filed a motion to block Apple’s trademarking of “App Store.” MS argues this is a generic term, and that competitors should be able to use it for copycat systems they’re building to compete with Apple. MS has an eye on the future of its Win Phone 7 devices, for sure.


2. Meanwhile despite the fact that the vast majority of online video services have added in support for the H.264 video codec over the last several years (to accommodate Apple’s iPhone and iPad) Google is now dropping support for it from the Chrome browser, to promote its own WebM system. The argument is the H.264 is proprietary, not open, but WebM is. Oddly, Google’s still supporting Adobe’s closed Flash system.

3. Sony is filing a legal motion against super-hacker Geohot–who made his name breaking the security protecting the iPhone–because he and his team recently published a hack for the PS3 that lets console owners install their own software. The move is causing a stir online because the hack doesn’t allow game piracy–Sony is merely piqued that someone is modding its systems.

4. Google’s in a legal spot in Germany: Authorities there have broken off discussions with the firm over the way Analytics works. Concerned that too much private user data (such as IP addresses) is exposed to users of the system, regulators are even warning German firms that using Analytics may mean they’re violating strict local laws about online personal data.

5. When Verizon revealed its iPhone yesterday it had one treat for early adopters: The ability for iPhones to act as Wi-Fi hotspots, sharing a 3G connection with up to five other users. Now there’s scuttlebutt that the facility will indeed hit other iPhone 4 systems via a firmware update soon–though we’re not sure about AT&T embracing it, as the company has had resistance to tethering a single computer.

To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

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I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise.