The digital business week


12 Dec 2011

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A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

Facebook countersues Timelines.com

Facebook has countersued a Chicago company called Timelines.com, which first sued Facebook over its new Timeline feature for redesigned profiles.

Timelines.com is a website which lets users make scrapbooks of moments in history. It sued Facebook after it introduced its new Timeline feature, which structures a Facebook user’s life story on their profile.

The site claimed Facebook’s new feature would eliminate it and cause customer confusion between the two services. A court granted it a temporary order to block Facebook from rolling out the service, which is only beginning to appear on user profiles now.

paidContent reports Facebook has now countersued Timelines.com, asking the court to strip it of its trademarks. It believes the word “Timeline” is far too generic to be trademarked, saying it’s used as a description.

Google Android Market gets to 10bn downloads

Google has passed 10bn downloads from its Android Market, it announced in a blog post.

The internet giant said it is achieving app downloads at a rate of 1bn downloads per month.

"Of course, none of these apps would have existed if it weren’t for the developers who created them. Every day, these developers continue to push the limits on what’s possible and delight us in the process. For that, we thank them," Eric Chu, director of Android, wrote in the Google blog.

Court lifts Samsung tablet ban in Australia

Christmas shoppers in Australia will be able to get their hands on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, now that the country’s High Court has lifted a ban on the sale of the tablet computer.

Samsung had been unable to sell products in Australia since July, after Apple won a case in which it claimed Samsung copied its iPad tablet and iPhone smartphone.

It’s the latest move in Apple and Samsung’s ongoing smartphone and tablet patent disputes which span across the globe, including Japan, the US and Europe.

Nintendo visionary Shigeru Miyamoto is not retiring

Nintendo has denied that Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the Mario and The Legend of Zelda franchises, is considering retiring from his role as head of game development.

In an interview with Wired, Miyamoto said he was considering stepping down from his current role supervising Nintendo’s big releases to make smaller projects within Nintendo.

“Inside our office, I’ve been recently declaring, ‘I’m going to retire, I’m going to retire,’” Miyamoto told Wired.

“I’m not saying that I’m going to retire from game development altogether. What I mean by retiring is, retiring from my current position. What I really want to do is be in the forefront of game development once again myself. Probably working on a smaller project with even younger developers.

“Or I might be interested in making something that I can make myself, by myself. Something really small. In other words, I’m not intending to start from things that require a five-year development time,” he said.

However, Nintendo quickly denied this, saying there was a misunderstanding and he meant he wishes to train a younger generation of game developers.

Honeywell Turbo Technologies to cut 29 jobs – report

Honeywell Turbo Technologies is reportedly cutting 29 jobs at its operations in Waterford, citing the economic downturn.

RTÉ reported that Honeywell Turbo Technologies will begin discussing a voluntary redundancy programme to cut the jobs at the manufacturing company.

Honeywell Turbo Technologies builds engine boosting systems for cars and commercial vehicles. Its Waterford facility manufactures turbine, compressor and SST wheels for turbochargers.

However, the competitive global automotive industry has seen a reduction in demand, causing the company to cut these jobs.

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