Stories by Loek Essers

Google AdWords cleared in geotagging patent lawsuit

Google AdWords does not infringe a location-based search patent owned by a company called GeoTag, a U.S. judge ruled in a case in which Google and Microsoft teamed up to come to the aid of customers who use their mapping services.

Google Hangouts for Android merges conversations

The new Android version of Google communication tool Hangouts will allow users to merge SMS and Hangout conversations.

Twitter to promote app downloads in mobile timelines

Twitter's new mobile advertising suite lets companies pitch their mobile apps in promoted tweets or place ads inside other apps.

Google Glass to get a workout from Dutch firefighters

Can Google Glass help first responders work more effectively? Firefighters in Amsterdam want to find out, and plan to try out the wearable-of-the-moment in training scenarios and at accident scenes.

Telefónica starts exchange for targeted mobile ads

Telecom operator Telefónica has launched the first mobile ad-exchange platform to use the operator's customer demographics and real-time location data to serve targeted mobile ads, the company said on Wednesday.

Uber ride-sharing service hit by Brussels court ban

A Brussels court has banned Uber from operating its ride hailing service in the city because its drivers don't have a taxi license, local media reported Tuesday. If it flouts the ban, Uber must pay a penalty of €10,000 (US$13,800) per violation.

Report: Facebook about to enter e-money market in Europe

Facebook is mere weeks away from becoming a registered e-money firm in Ireland, the Financial Times reported.

Sweden won't enforce data retention law against ISP that deleted metadata

The Swedish authorities won't take action against an ISP that erased all retained communications metadata, even though there is still a law in place compelling providers to retain such data, the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) said Friday.

Party's over for the Dutch: pirated downloads now prohibited in the Netherlands

The Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice has banned downloading pirated content, finally making this illegal for people in the Netherlands.

Swedish ISP deletes all retained customer data in wake of EU court ruling

A Swedish ISP has deleted all retained customer data after European Union laws that require communications providers to retain metadata were invalidated by the EU's supreme court earlier this week. The ISP on Thursday called on other providers to do the same.

UK spies did not misuse powers for mass surveillance, watchdog says

British intelligence agencies do not misuse their powers to engage in random mass intrusion into the communications of law-abiding U.K. citizens, a government watchdog said in an annual report.

EU data retention rules violate privacy rights and are invalid, EU court rules

European Union laws requiring communications providers to retain metadata are invalid because they seriously interfere with fundamental privacy rights, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled Tuesday.

Music piracy battle erupts in Russia as major labels sue large social network

Russia's vKontakte social network is stridently out of tune with copyright laws, according to three major record labels that are suing the company alleging it deliberately facilitates large-scale music piracy.

Government plan to adopt ODF file format sparks standards debate in UK

The U.K. is moving to a system where citizens can exchange information with the government digitally by default -- but in choosing the file formats to use for that exchange, it must balance corporate interests with those of citizens.

Wanted: developers to make outdated documents readable again

The Document Foundation is looking for developers who want to help make documents locked in old, outdated and inaccessible file formats readable again.

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