Too busy to keep up with today's tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET (and elsewhere) for Friday, July 22.
Encrypt your data? Here's a scoop you'll want to read: The U.S. Department of Justice swipes at the online civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation over encryption passwords. Here's the situation: A Colorado woman named Ramona Fricosu is being forced to decrypt her laptop for police. Phil Dubois, Fricosu's criminal defense attorney, told CNET's Declan McCullagh that "to force my client (assuming that she has the ability) to decrypt the hard drive would be an unreasonable and therefore unconstitutional search and so a Fourth Amendment violation."
A start-up called Moon Express is building a robotic lunar lander to find money in moon rocks. "It'll be the biggest ROI in history," said Moon Express co-founder Barney Pell. Watch Pell give Rafe Needleman the space pitch.
Did Google mess up when it deleted brands from Google+? The ordeal over brand pages isn't going to go away lightly. It's a big deal, according to GigaOm. "While some may see Google+ as just another copycat social network, it has the potential to affect the bread and butter of companies that do business online, and that is not a trivial issue," writes GigaOm's Mathew Ingram.
The patent war continues. Oracle gets rid of an embarrassing Java blog written by former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz. Beyond the blush factor, Google is using it as a defense item against Oracle. The two companies are in the middle of a heated lawsuit, after the database software giant is suing Google for infringing on its Java patents in the Android operating system. In related news, Google Chief Executive Larry Page has been ordered to testify in the court so Oracle can depose him for up to two hours. CNET's Lance Whitney writes "Patent infringement findings could raise the costs of using Google's ostensibly free operating system. And the Oracle suit is a distraction for Page as he tries to improve Google's product focus."
We are reporting a lot of lawsuits today. An Ohio company is suing Microsoft over Kinect for patent infringement. Music publishers filed a lawsuit against Grooveshark. Here's one to cross off: A judge dismissed a claim brought by the Winklevoss' twins against Facebook last month that asked the court to explore whether Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had suppressed evidence during their original lawsuit..
Hackers get smart and figure out a way to kill batteries by attacking a microcontroller in Apple laptops.
Just because the iPhone 3GS only costs $49, the phone's slower processor can be an annoying setback. CNET's Roger Cheng runs through a few of the pitfalls to look out for if you're thinking of saving money by going for the aging device.
Apple gets ready for iOS 5 beta 4 launch in the fall and uses its over-the-air update system for the first time.
Verizon's new CEO is all gaga for the next iPhone, hoping it will help boost the company's growth.