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FTC Suing Amazon For Not Falling In Line On Settling Unauthorized Purchases Made By Children On The Appstore

While Apple was eventually forced into settling for $32.5 million in customer reimbursements during a similar investigation launched by the FTC last year, it seems Amazon isn't interested in paying out for unauthorized purchases on its own Appstore, and the FTC isn't taking it lying down.

Today, the de facto consumer protection agency in the US filed a federal lawsuit against Amazon under the wide-reaching FTC Act's section 45, which prohibits "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce." Yes, that is a law.

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FTC: T-Mobile Has Been Shadily Profiting Off Bogus 'Premium' SMS Charges To The Tune Of Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars

Update: Well that didn't take long. Here's what T-Mobile had to say in response.

We have seen the complaint filed today by the FTC and find it to be unfounded and without merit.  In fact T-Mobile stopped billing for these Premium SMS services last year and launched a proactive program to provide full refunds for any customer that feels that they were charged for something they did not want.  T-Mobile is fighting harder than any of the carriers to change the way the wireless industry operates and we are disappointed that the FTC has chosen to file this action against the most pro-consumer company in the industry rather than the real bad actors.

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Google And Apple Agree To End Patent Disputes, Will Work Together On Patent Reform Instead

Apple and Google have been fighting it out over patents ever since Android devices went on sale. Until today, that involved more than 20 ongoing lawsuits (in the US and Germany) between the two technology behemoths. In a joint statement earlier today, Apple and Google have announced all that is over. They will be ending the patent cases and will instead work to reform patent law.

This certainly sounds great, but it's probably not as significant as you're imagining.

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Jury Finds Samsung Guilty Of Patent Infringement And Awards Apple Almost $120 Million In Damages

The latest round of back-and-forth in the endless IP battle between Apple and Samsung is over, and the former has come out on top. According to an 8-person jury in the federal court, various Samsung phones and tablets, including the Galaxy S II and III, Galaxy Note, and Galaxy Nexus, infringed on three Apple patents. The jury awarded Apple $119.6 million USD in damages. 

Apple didn't have it all its own way: the jury also found that none of the Samsung phones presented violated two other Apple patents, and they awarded Samsung $158,400 after finding Apple guilty of unintentionally violating one of the Korean company's patents presented in a counter-suit.

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[New Game] Cut The Rope 2 Drops Into The Play Store With New Gameplay-Altering Characters And Cavity-Causing Visuals

Cut the Rope isn't Angry Birds, but in term's of popularity, it's come pretty close. The original game centered around getting a piece of candy into the mouth of the most adorable green, one-eyed something we've ever seen. The core gameplay in the latest sequel is, unsurprisingly, largely the same. Players will still spend their time feeding the appropriately named Om Nom by cutting the many ropes that some unspeakably evil being (game designer) has used to keep the poor creature hungry.

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Federal Jury Decides Google Owes SimpleAir $85 Million For Push Messaging Patent Infringement

You can't run a tech company these days without infringing on someone's patents, and if you feel that you're infringee material, the Eastern District of Texas is the place to set up shop. SimpleAir, a Texas-based "inventor-owned technology licensing company," took Google to court over push messaging systems used in Android. Last month a jury found that Google infringed on all five of the asserted claims, leaving the company liable to pay up to $125 million for damages.

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AT&T Will Shut Down Aio Budget Brand And Combine Its Assets With Cricket After Leap Wireless Acquisition

The big news in the wireless business this week has been AT&T's upcoming purchase of Leap Wireless, which the FCC approved yesterday. The deal has been in the works since July of last year. That leaves AT&T in an interesting spot, since it now owns the CDMA-based Cricket Wireless, which directly competes with the budget-focused Aio sub-brand. Apparently AT&T prefers the more established brand, because the company said it will combine the assets of both under the "Cricket" name.

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Download: Latest Google Play Store 4.6.16 / 4.6.17 With Batch App Install, New 'Require Password' Option, Tweaked UI, Forced Self-Update, And More [Updated]

Hey look, everyone - Google sent us all a treat tonight in the form of the first Play Store update in over 3 months. And we just love new things (hi, Kirill!). As usual, you'll find the apk for v4.6.16 towards the bottom of this post.

What's New?

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Mother Sues Google After Child Buys $66 Worth Of In-App Purchases In Marvel Running Game

Attention, parents: if you've used your Google account to buy apps, books, videos, or music on Google Play, your credit card information is stored. If you give your phone or tablet to your kids, they might be able to buy stuff that you don't necessarily want. That's a lesson that Ilana Imber-Gluck learned after her 5-year-old son spent $65.95 on Marvel Run Jump Smash. Unsurprisingly, she chafed at the experience, suing Google in a northern California court on behalf of herself and "all others similarly situated."

2014-03-11 13.25.52

The central issue seems to be a 30-minute window after downloading an app, during which the user - whoever that might be - can rack up in-app purchases without supplying a password.

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We Will Stand Up For Free Speech

Well, we got our first defamation threat based on one of our posts.

No, we won’t be discussing who sent it.

We’ve retained Kenneth P. White to handle it. You may know him from Popehat.com, where he:

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