Tech News

Google Books, Firefox OS, YotaPhone, Coin Card [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 15-11-2013

Today in Tech News Digest, Google Books is ruled to be fair use in the eyes of the current copyright laws, Firefox OS is revealed as being more for developing countries than the U.S., the dual-screen YotaPhone gets a vague release date, the credit card-beating Coin is revealed to the world, new Airbnb apps are released, and a PlayStation 4 gets shot to pieces to commemorate its official launch.


Google Books Ruled “Fair Use”

After eight long years of litigation, Federal Judge Denny Chin has ruled that Google Books does not infringe on the copyrights of the authors and publishers who own the works being digitized. Google Books 10 Ways to Use Google Books for Lifelong Learning and Research Read More is a project intended to scan 20 million books and make them available in digital form on the Internet. The key factors in determining the ruling were that Google does not sell the scans or make whole copies available. Which means there is little chance of the market for the original work being harmed in any way.

Google said of the verdict, “This has been a long road and we are absolutely delighted with today’s judgement. As we have long said Google Books is in compliance with copyright law and acts like a card catalog for the digital age – giving users the ability to find books to buy or borrow.

Authors Guild Executive Director Paul Aiken said of the verdict, “We disagree with and are disappointed by the court’s decision today. Google made unauthorized digital editions of nearly all of the world’s valuable copyright-protected literature and profits from displaying those works. In our view, such mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of the fair use defense.


As you can see from these statements, and the tweets embedded above (just two of the many sent in the wake of this ruling) there is very little middle ground on this issue. On one side is Google and advocates of the existing fair use clause in copyright law. On the other side is the Authors Guild and those who feel this goes far beyond fair use and strays into outright theft.

Where do you stand on the issue of Google Books?

Firefox OS For Developing Countries

Firefox phones, that is handsets running on Firefox OS, are already available to buy in the U.S. on eBay, but they’re meant for developers rather than the general public. And according to CNET, Mozilla Executive Chair Mitchell Baker has suggested that U.S. customers shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for any other Firefox phones to go on sale. This is because Firefox OS is meant more for developing countries, where “price is really important.” Baker continued, “Currently, there are no plans to launch in the US.” Which sucks for those of us getting bored of Android and iOS.

YotaPhone Launching In December

Google Books, Firefox OS, YotaPhone, Coin Card [Tech News Digest] yotaphone duo


The YotaPhone, an intriguing smartphone variant from Russia-based Yota Devices, is due to be launched internationally in December 2013. The YotaPhone features two screens, one being a traditional LCD screen, the other being an E Ink screen perfect for reading eBooks on The Best Four E-Paper Displays Coming To Your Smartphone and Tablet Looking for months of reading time from your smartphone or tablet? E-paper display technology may soon satisfy your needs. Read More . TechCrunch may have nailed down a release date for the YotaPhone but there’s still no word on a price. With a standalone Amazon Kindle Kindle Paperwhite Review & Giveaway The Kindle Paperwhite is Amazon's current flagship reader, and one that we've been wanting to review and give away for quite some time. If you already own a Kindle or a different eReader, you may... Read More being extremely affordable the price would have to be competitive to persuade people to buy a YotaPhone instead.

Coin: One Card To Rule Them All

Coin is the cleverly named electronic device that its creators hope will replace all of your existing credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, and membership cards. It works by storing all of your card information on the one device, as managed by its companion app. Coin is being crowdfunded in order to raise the money needed to bring this clever idea from concept through to reality. A single Coin card will retail at $100 once commercially available, but is $50 for those willing to gamble at this early stage of development.

New Airbnb Apps Arrive

Google Books, Firefox OS, YotaPhone, Coin Card [Tech News Digest] airbnb apps


Airbnb, the company which acts as the go-between for people looking to rent or rent out their properties, has released brand new apps AirBnB Launches New Mobile Apps to Make Hosting Easier AirBnB has just had a major update on mobile with all-new apps for Android and iOS. The app has larger images, easily navigable maps, and thoughtful animations. Read More built from the ground up. Both hosts and travelers have new features to play with, including a hosting mentor, dynamic images, and the chance to build communities with other users in the local area.

PS4 Shot To Pieces

And finally, on the day that the PlayStation 4 has finally launched PS4 Reviews, Moto G, Chromebook 11, Domainapalooza [Tech News Digest] PlayStation 4 gets reviewed, Motorola unveils the Moto G, HP Chromebook 11 is removed from stores, Yahoo tries to sell domains, Snapchat rebuffed Facebook's acquisition offer, Chrome Beta is listening in, and Bing gains musical... Read More after months of anticipation, YouTuber RatedRR, who we previously saw destroying a new iPad Air Twitter IPO, Android Profit, Silk Road Returns, PS4 Exposed [Tech News Digest] 37signals helps you work remotely, Silk Road 2.0 is launched, the Internet Archive is damaged in a fire, the innards of the PlayStation 4 are exposed to the world, and an iPad Air gets badly... Read More , can be seen shooting up the new Sony console. That PS4 is not going to be repairable, which is a shame as it could have gone to a good home (such as mine). Still, the experience of seeing a bullet wiping out the PS4 in super slow-motion will keep Xbox One fans Xbox One Leaks, iPhone 6 Rumors, YouTube Haters [Tech News Digest] An Xbox One escapes into the wild, Intel acquires education startup Kno, Digg Video arrives to waste your time, curvier iPhones could be next for Apple, and the co-founder of YouTube attacks Google+ comments. Read More entertained while they wait another week for their console of choice to turn up.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks

Image Credit: Brad Lindert

Related topics: Ebooks, Mobile Payment, Mozilla Firefox, PlayStation.

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