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Today in Tech News Digest, Apple and Google call a truce, AT&T buys DirecTV, Apple gets sued, YouTube circles Twitch, the world’s first Braille phone launches, and Heathrow’s T5 is renamed Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5.
Apple & Google Call A Truce
Cats and dogs, living together — mass hysteria! Apple/Google patent detente announced http://t.co/k9V5bDaEEz
— Michael T. Rose (@MikeTRose) May 16, 2014
Apple and Google have called a truce over any and all current lawsuits being fought between them. The two tech giants have stopped short of promising not to sue each other in the future, but peace has broken out in the patent war trenches for the time being.
The two sides announced this détente by issuing the following statement: “Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies. Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform. The agreement does not include a cross license.”
The stopping short of announcing cross licensing isn’t at all surprising, but it seems even Apple and Google are getting sick of paying lawyers millions of dollars in return for very little in the way of progress. That money would be better spent elsewhere.
It should be noted this only applies to direct lawsuits against each other, meaning Samsung is still likely to be in Apple’s firing line no matter how integral Android is to future cases. At least until the increasingly failing U.S. patent system is fixed.
AT&T Acquires DirecTV For $67 Billion
U.S. telecommunications giant AT&T is buying satellite television operator DirecTV for $67.1 billion. AT&T will pay $95-per-share, valuing DirecTV at $48.5 billion. The higher price reflects AT&T taking on DirecTV’s $18.6 billion of debts.
According to BuzzFeed, these two companies have been keen to get in bed with each other for the past decade. Comcast’s impending acquisition of Time Warner Cable pushed the two sides to finally come to an agreement which suited the interests of both parties.
Both of these mergers still require regulatory approval, and that’s far from guaranteed. Consumer groups are already bemoaning both deals as bad for consumers, who always end up having less options when acquisitions of this size and scale occur.
Apple Sued Over Android Text Messages
As someone testing android with a Samsung loaner phone, I can tell you this is a thing – http://t.co/mZLXRnoelg
— Scott Kurtz (@pvponline) May 16, 2014
Apple is being sued over allegations that iPhones are unable to deliver text messages to Android handsets. The individual taking this stand filed her case in San Jose, California, and is aiming to turn this into a class-action lawsuit.
The issue, which concerns people who switch from an iPhone to an Android, is well-documented. Apple appears to have admitted the iMessage problem is real and in need of a fix, with tech journo Adam Pash managing to wring an admission from Apple’s customer support.
Let us know in the comments section below if you have experienced this problem.
YouTube Close To Acquiring Twitch
YouTube is reported to be buying Twitch for $1 billion. Multiple companies have been eyeing an acquisition of the rapidly-growing live streaming service, but Google has won out. Twitch allows gamers to stream themselves playing video games, and for others to watch them doing so. Which is surprisingly addictive.
World’s First Braille Phone Launched
British company OwnFone has launched what it claims is the world’s first Braille phone. While the company admits others have previously designed Braille phones, it insists this is the first to have been made available to consumers.
The OwnFone Braille phone retails for £60 ($100) and features Braille buttons “pre-programmed to call friends, family, carers or the emergency services.” All of OwnFone’s handsets feature 3D-printed front and back covers, which the company claims helps to keep costs down.
Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5 At Heathrow
“The Samsung Galaxy S5. THIS TIME IT’S TERMINAL (5 at Heathrow)”. #failedmovietitle
— Ben Rudolph (@BenThePCGuy) May 16, 2014
And finally, passengers travelling from Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport are about to be bombarded with pleas to buy the Samsung Galaxy S5. This is as a result of Samsung taking over T5 and renaming it Heathrow Samsung Galaxy S5. Probably.
There is some disagreement over the scale of this rebranding. Samsung claims it’s “taking over signage, wayfinding, website, and every digital screen” at Terminal 5, whereas Heathrow Airport claims Samsung has merely rented out all of the existing advertising space.
If you travel through Heathrow in the next two weeks then please do let us know the truth, with photographic evidence an obvious advantage.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Aidan Jones via Flickr