The Circuit: Apple considering unlimited music downloads, S. Korean government sites attacked, Android leads with new smartphone users
LEADING THE DAY: Apple is reportedly in talks with major record companies to negotiate unlimited music downloads of purchased music. The move would enable customers to listen to purchased music across multiple devices. Citing anonymous sources “with knowledge of the plans,” Bloomberg reported that Apple is talking to Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music. The move would put Apple in an excellent position to take on streaming music sites such as Pandora and the European service Spotify, which is said to be pursuing a U.S. launch.
South Korea says government sites attacked: The South Korean government says that about 40 of its government Web sites were targeted by a distributed denial of service attack Agencies attacked included the presidential office, the Foreign Ministry, U.S. Forces Korea and the National Intelligence Service. The point of origin for the attacks was not immediately clear. The Korea Communications Commission said the Web sites reported no immediate damage.
Android leads mobile by a nose: Data from a recent Nielsen report indicates that Android is now the dominant smartphone platform among new users, with Apple’s iPhone and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry in a “statistical dead heat” for second place. According to the report, 32 percent of recent smartphone buyers use Android, 25 percent use Apple’s iOS and 26 percent use a BlackBerry. BlackBerry still holds the largest smartphone user share, 31 percent.
Google, Microsoft take on GeoTag: Google and Microsoft are joining forces to stop a patent by the company GeoTag. The Texas-based firm has been suing companies for violating its patent on technology that depicts geographical information in map or text form and then provides information about resources available in that area. Ars Technica reported that GeoTag has sued at least 397 companies for violating this patent, many of which rely on Google Maps or Microsoft’s Bing Maps for their mapping services.
European Commission closes Hollywood antitrust probe: The European Commission closed an antitrust investigation after U.S. movie studios agreed to change contract terms regarding the installation of digital projection equipment. The commission had raised concerns in a preliminary investigation that the requirements might have kept small film distributors from getting access to digital cinemas, a breach of European Union rules against prohibitive business practices.
Motion for cloture filed on patent reform: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed for cloture on the patent reform bill yesterday. The Senate will vote on the motion Monday. Cloture would stop debate on the bill and move the Senate toward a final vote on the measure.
| March 4, 2011; 8:22 AM ET
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