iFive: Amazon’s Cloud Music, Twitter’s Spam Retweet, Facebook’s Politicos, Beatles MP3 Fines, Nokia Sues Apple…Again

Our round-up of the early news helps you catch up on what’s been happening in tech and innovation.

1. Late yesterday Amazon proved last-minute rumors true and released the Amazon Cloud Player–a cloud-based music “locker” and streaming system that beats Apple to the punch. The thing is it’s just for “Web and Android,” and it seems Amazon is deliberately blocking users accessing the streaming system through mobile Safari on iPhones and iPads–it’s not a Flash issue. Anti-competitive, or just a taste of Apple’s own medicine?


2. Proving how sensitive to accidents and abuse a system that enables “one to many” digital broadcasting is, Twitter’s own official Top Tweets user account just retweeted adult content spam to its one million-plus followers. It’s part of what seems to be a resurgence in spam activity–something Twitter has previously had successes conquering.

3. Facebook is massive–its hundreds of millions of users around the globe give it a technological clout that’s almost unparalleled. But it also has political clout, and the New York Times has a story this morning that reveals exactly how weighty the firm has become: “It’s layered its executive, legal, policy and communications ranks with high-powered politicos from both parties.” The idea is to protect the company from criticism and challenges as it pushes forward with its privacy-redefining plans. Is Facebook the new “Man”?

4. How much does it cost you in legal fees if you dare to illegally offer Beatles tracks for download without permission? The very Dr. Evil-ish $1 million dollars, apparently. That’s the amount BlueBeat is paying EMI Music for doing exactly that, to the tune of some 67,000 downloads in 2009. Since BlueBeat was selling the music for just 25 cents, that means for $16,750 in income, they’re paying over 59 times the cash back. Apple remains the only legal portal for digital Beatles tracks.

5. Nokia’s apparently not satisfied that preliminary rulings in its patent battle against Apple have swung Apple’s way, and has just filed another complaint against Steve Jobs and company with the ITC. This time it’s saying tech that controls “multitasking operating systems, data synchronization, positioning, call quality and the use of Bluetooth accessories” has been illegally appropriated. That sounds like huge parts of what makes every smartphone tick–but Nokia’s mainly blaming Apple.

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