Daily Video: Apple, Google Others Fight U.S. on Mobile Data Access

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2015-05-20 Print this article Print

Apple, Google and other tech firms fight the U.S. on smartphone data access; Microsoft says "genuine" OS is required for a free Windows 10 upgrade; it's a partial win for Samsung and Apple as their patent-Infringement case continues; and there's more.

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Today's topics include tech companies banding together to oppose data encryption "backdoors," a clarification from Microsoft regarding piracy, a partial patent lawsuit victory for Samsung and new big data storage systems from Toshiba.

Some 140 tech companies led by Apple and Google are urging President Barack Obama to oppose any policies that would weaken data security in smartphones and other devices so that law enforcement agencies could gain access to encrypted data through "backdoors."

In a six-page letter sent to Obama on May 19, the companies and security experts argued that opening up such code to potential law enforcement access will also open code to attackers who could gain access to the data.

Microsoft is clarifying its policy on upgrading pirated versions of the company's flagship operating system to Windows 10.

In March, Microsoft caused a stir in tech circles by revealing that Windows 10 upgrades can be applied to copies of the software that were attained by less than reputable means. Now, Microsoft is signaling that there will be no free rides for users of older, pirated versions of Windows 10.

Samsung has won part of its appeal of a $930 million court verdict that was awarded to Apple in 2012, when Samsung was ordered to pay for infringing on patents related to Apple's iPhones.

In its original patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung, Apple argued that Samsung's smartphones mimicked Apple's design. But after hearing Samsung's appeal of the earlier trial verdict, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the look of the iPhone is so integral to the way smartphones work that it's natural that Samsung and other companies would use the same design.

Toshiba unveiled new data center hardware May 18 that is designed to address the in-demand categories of scale-out object storage, big data analytics, virtualization and active archives.

One of them is a multidevice storage solution that integrates Ethernet, NAND flash drives for low latency an, large-capacity hard-disk drives for higher throughput. The other storage system Toshiba announced is an Ethernet-based HDD-only version, primarily optimized for the emerging shingled magnetic recording media interface.


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