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Tech Companies Ramp Up Fight Against Patent Trolls

patents, IP, social media, social networks, mobile apps, facebook, google,

Google, BlackBerry, Earthlink and Red Hat today petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on companies whose chief business is enforcing patents held by individuals. The move came one day after cloud host Rackspace announced that it was suing one such patent assertion entity, IP Nav, for violating a previous agreement that both companies would provide 30 days notice before suing over a group of contested patents.

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Social Media Newsfeed: Foursquare’s Future | Child Trafficking on Facebook?

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Foursquare Replacing Check-in Data with Data from APIs, Crowley Indicates (SocialTimes)
Foursquare CEO and co-founder Dennis Crowley indicated that the company does not need users to check in to businesses and other points of interest to retain relevance as a local search engine, suggesting that the company can rely instead on data sent from apps that use its API. “If people think it’s all about mayorships, that muddles the story. We’re starting to put a lot of that stuff in the background,” Crowley said in a keynote presentation at South by Southwest, the tech confabulation where Foursquare launched four years ago.

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Neil Gaiman & BlackBerry Team Up for Storytelling Project

Novelist Neil Gaiman and BlackBerry have teamed up to create a storytelling project called A Calendar of Tales.

Gaiman will write a new tale for every month of the year, drawing inspiration and illustrations from his millions of online fans. The project will create “an amazing calendar showcasing your illustrations beside Neil’s stories.” We’ve embedded a video explanation above.

Here’s how to join the project: “Why is January so dangerous? Tweet your answer to Neil’s question and your thoughts could be the inspiration for his January story. Make sure you’re following BlackBerry so if you’re lucky enough to be chosen by Neil we’ll be able to contact you directly. If you’re not a follower, we won’t be able to use your tweet. Start sending Neil your tweets from 5pm GMT 4th February and get them in by 5pm GMT 6th February.”

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Social Media Newsfeed: Instagram Privacy | Apple-Foursquare Talks?

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Instagram Assures Users it Will Not Sell Their Photos (SocialTimes)
Tuesday morning tech blogs and social media lit up with users reacting to changes to Instagram’s privacy policies, which some users took to give the company permission to sell user’s photographs to advertisers. Instagram has taken notice and has issued a response reassuring users that it is not claiming rights to their photos.

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