Tech 2.0 for Tuesday, November 19, 2013
A Silicon Valley jury has asked a judge for calculators to help it determine how much Samsung Electronics owes Apple for copying key features of the iPhone and iPad. The federal judge presiding over the patent trial granted the jury's request Tuesday before the smartphone rivals' lawyers delivered their closing arguments. The one-week trial is being held to determine damages for 13 of the 26 devices an earlier jury said Samsung infringed Apple's patents in making. Apple Inc. is demanding $380 million. Samsung counters that it only owes $52 million for using features such as "pinch-to-zoom" in the 13 older-generation products. The jury is expected to begin deliberating Tuesday afternoon.
U.S. safety regulators are investigating fires in Tesla Model S electric cars. The National Highway Traffic Administration says fires broke out in two of the cars' batteries after the undercarriage hit road debris. The debris damaged the batteries and caused a thermal reaction and fires. No one was hurt in the fires. The probe affects more than 13,000 cars sold in the U.S. The agency says wants to examine risks from the undercarriage getting hit. Tesla's batteries are located beneath the passenger compartment and protected by a quarter-inch-thick metal shield. Tesla says it asked the government to investigate even though its cars catch fire at a far lower rate than gas-powered vehicles. The investigation could lead to a recall, but no decision has been made.
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates choked up while reading from prepared remarks during Steve Ballmer's final shareholders meeting as chief executive. The co-founder of the software giant said progress was being made to find Ballmer's replacement and he thanked him for serving as CEO for the last 13 years. Only Gates and Ballmer have led Microsoft Corp. since its founding 38 years ago. Gates grew emotional while saying that both he and Ballmer are committed to making sure "that the next CEO is the right person for the right time for the company we both love." The company, based in Redmond, Wash., says that all of its proposals, including the re-election of board nominees including Ballmer and Gates, have been approved.