Tech 2.0 for Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Apple is demanding that Samsung Electronics pay it $380 million for copying vital iPhone and iPad features. An Apple attorney made the demand Wednesday during opening statements of a Silicon Valley patent trial. A previous jury already has concluded that 26 Samsung products copied Apple's scrolling function, iPhone design and other features. That jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion. But a judge ruled that jury miscalculated damages for 13 of those products and tossed out $400 million of the verdict and ordered a new trial, which began Tuesday with jury selection. The jury is tasked only with fixing a damage amount. The current trial is expected to last a week.
Motorola is making a cheaper smartphone aimed at emerging markets and budget-conscious consumers in the U.S. The company, which is owned by Google Inc., says the new Moto G phone runs recent Android software and has processors, screens and other components approaching what's found in many high-end phones. But it's just a third of the price. The phone starts at $179 without a contract requirement. Contract-free prices for leading phones typically exceed $600. The starting price is for a phone with 8 gigabytes of storage. Most phones have at least 16 gigabytes. Moto G costs $199 for a 16-gigabyte version. Moto G will have a removable back to allow for customization. Motorola's flagship Moto X also allows customization, but it must be ordered in advance and can't be changed.
Netflix is reprogramming the way its Internet video subscription service appears on millions of television screens in an attempt to hook viewers for even longer periods. The makeover of Netflix Inc.'s TV menu starts showing up Wednesday on televisions that connect to the Internet through recently released Blu-ray players, PlayStation and Xbox video game consoles and the Roku 3 set-top box. The new design includes more visual thumbnails that explain the company's recommendations, including a capsule that offers details about why a particular movie or TV series might appeal to the interests of each subscriber. A blurb about each episode in TV series also appears. If subscribers enable their Netflix activity to be tied to Facebook's social network, the new format lists friends who have previously watched the video.