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AP Technology NewsBrief at 9:55 a.m. EST
[December 30, 2010]

AP Technology NewsBrief at 9:55 a.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sony files phone patent complaints against LGSEATTLE (AP) _ Sony Corp. has filed a patent infringement complaint against LG Electronics Inc. and its U.S. subsidiaries with the U.S. International Trade Commission, saying LG's mobile phones and modems step on proprietary technology including photo-based caller ID. Among the seven patents Sony cites is one that describes how phones associate photos with phone numbers, so that when someone calls a friend, for example, the caller's photo pops up on the friend's phone, according to commission documents made public Wednesday.

Skype adding Wi-Fi, 3G video calling to iPhone appSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A new version of the free iPhone app for Skype SA will let users make and receive video calls. Users of the Internet calling and messaging service will be able to use both Wi-Fi and AT&T Inc.'s 3G cellular network. FaceTime software, which comes with iPhones, works only with Wi-Fi.

Pew study hints at what Web users will pay forNEW YORK (AP) _ The Web may seem like the land of something for nothing. Free video. Free news. Even free tools such as word processing and spreadsheets. But almost two-thirds of adult Internet users in the U.S. have paid for access to at least one of these intangible items online, according to a new survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

China's online population hits 450 millionBEIJING (AP) _ China's number of Internet users _ already the world's largest _ rose to 450 million this year, more than a third of the country's population, a senior official said Thursday. Official statistics show that the number of users, as of the end of November, is an increase of 20.3 percent compared to last year, Wang Chen, head of China's State Council Information Office, told a news conference. China's population is more than 1.3 billion.

Bad gifts may be history with Amazon's ideaSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ For some, it's the red reindeer Christmas sweater. For others, it's the diamond-encrusted dreidel. Whatever your worst gift nightmare might be, Amazon may soon give you a reason to cheer. Inc., the source of many presents good, bad or ugly, has patented a system that would let people exchange unwanted gifts for those they actually want _ even before they get them.

Americans turn to technology to control impulsesNEW YORK (AP) _ Dan Nainan can't trust himself to work at his computer without clicking on distractions, so he uses an Internet-blocking program to shut down his Web access twice a day. "I'm sorry, but try as I might, I could never, ever do this on my own," said the New York City comedian who's struggling to finish a book. "I wish I could, but I just don't have the discipline." Review: High-tech snow sports gear is cool funTANNERSVILLE, Pa. (AP) _ Each winter the masses spill on to snow-slathered slopes, often wearing a new jacket or toting new skis and a renewed desire to test the mountain. This year there is plenty of high-tech gear to help them do it faster and better. I tried a few products aimed at augmenting the snow-riding experience: two helmet cameras that record high-definition video, an ultra-light snowboard made with a layer of hemp and gloves designed with shutterbugs in mind.

Time Warner Cable customers may lose TV networksNEW YORK (AP) _ Time Warner Cable Inc. customers from Portland, Maine, to Pensacola, Fla., could lose access to one of their network TV stations because of a contract dispute with Sinclair Broadcast Group. The dust-up between Sinclair and Time Warner is one of a growing number of disputes over the fees that cable providers pay broadcast stations to include their signals in channel lineups. The last high-profile dispute that caused a blackout came earlier this year when Cablevision Systems Corp. customers went without Fox programming for 15 days _ missing two World Series games.

Alcatel to pay $137M to settle bribery chargesNEW YORK (AP) _ Alcatel-Lucent SA has agreed to pay more than $137 million to settle charges brought against it by the federal government. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused the Paris-based maker of telecommunications gear of paying bribes to foreign government officials to illegally win business in Latin America and Asia.

China to go after Internet phone servicesBEIJING (AP) _ China is going after Internet phone services like Skype in a move to protect the country's state-owned telephone companies. A notice from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on its website this month has caused alarm among consumers who turn to the Internet calls because they're far cheaper.

(c) 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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