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Chomp Is Gone From Android | Tumblr President Leaves | Rise Of Social Apps

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Apple Kills Chomp for Android (GigaOM)
Apple acquired app discovery service Chomp earlier this year, betting that it would help make app discovery easier and better on its iTunes App Store. The casualty of that acquisition is the Chomp for Android app which seems to have been discontinued. Ars Technica Chomp’s app allows users to search the App Store using a proprietary algorithm to figure out what apps actually do (instead of just using keywords or app names). The app also allows users to see which apps their Facebook or Twitter friends have reviewed, adding a social networking element to the service. MacRumors Apple reportedly paid about $50 million for Chomp, which also had a deal with Verizon to power its Android app search tools. That agreement will presumably be ending as Chomp completes its integration into Apple and focuses all of its attention on iOS. SlashGear Still, beyond the annoyance factor for Android users previously relying on Chomp to ferret out new software, the real interest should come when Apple better integrates the engine into its own store. According to sources speaking when the deal was first revealed, Apple intends to use the technology to dramatically improve the discoverability of new and interesting apps in its increasingly crowded store. Read more

Square Stuck in Patent Hell

Mobile credit card payment startup Square, whose card reading service works with a nifty magnetic card reader that plus into a mobile device’s headphone jack, is missing a very important piece: The patent for the hardware.

Square, Inc. and founder Jim McKelvey filed a complaint against Robert Morley, Jr., an associate professor of electrical engineering at Washington University, claiming that he neglected to list McKelvey as co-inventor of the device.

According to the story told McKelvey, a glass artist and entrepreneur, he came up with the idea for a mobile card reader in 2009 after losing a sale because he couldn’t accept credit card payments. He then teamed up with friend and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, and they decided to use a mobile phone’s headphone jack as a way of interfacing with a card reading device. McKelvey then turned to friend Morley to help design the prototype hardware.

The three reportedly had discussed obtaining a patent once the prototype was finished, but Morley filed solo in June 2009, and a patent in his name for the card reader device was granted on October 12, 2010.   Read more

Internet TV Startup Launches Pre-Emptive Lawsuit Against Networks

Barely a week after launch, a Seattle-based streaming TV startup filed suit against major broadcast networks, hoping that a court will approve of it’s attempt to retransmit live television broadcasts over the Web.

Unlike streaming video-on-demand services like Hulu and Netflix, the plucky ivi, Inc. says it will give viewers access to more than 20 live TV streams from networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox for the low price of $4.99 a month. Only one problem: Nobody ever told the networks.

Because it’s “retransmitting” TV streams online, ivi claims that it does not have to pay the pesky FCC mandated retransmission fees like a cable company would, but it does pay content royalties to broadcasters through the copyright office, and releases viewership data to Nielsen so networks can factor it into their advertising calculations. According to ivi, it’s actually doing broadcasters a service by distributing existing broadcast feeds to a larger audience. However that hasn’t kept most of the major broadcasters from sending cease and desist letters to the company.

Rather than wait to get sued, ivi filed a suit of its own against broadcasters including NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and Major League Baseball, seeking a declaratory judgment from the state of Washington’s legal system.

The 18-person ivi says it has gone to great lengths to prevent content piracy by encrypting its feeds, and founder Todd Weaver scoffed at a comparison between ivi and online piracy. “We’re conforming to us copyright law exactly to the letter and paying the original broadcaster. We’re more comparable to the early cable companies. It has nothing to do with piracy whatsoever, and we frown upon piracy,” he said in a statement.

For the legally-minded, a ful .pdf of ivi’s complaint can be found here.