Michigan company claims Apple infringed on its touch screen patent
Nartron has filed a lawsuit against the iPhone maker.
A customer tries out a new Apple iPhone 6S at an Apple store in Chicago. Photo: Kiichiro Sato / AP
Nartron, a Michigan-based company also known as UUSI, has filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming that several of the tech giant's mobile devices are infringing on a touch screen patent.
In the lawsuit, Nartron says that it notified Apple of the potential infringement back in 2007, suggesting a licensing deal. However, Apple declined, arguing that its tech was not infringing on the patent.
Kevin Moloney / Fortune Brainstorm Tech
Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire investor who funded ex-wrestler Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker, is seeking to pause the sales process of the now-defunct website, arguing that he was unfairly excluded from making a bid, according to a bankruptcy court filing obtained by BuzzFeed.
Why it matters: The buyer of Gawker.com (the rest of Gawker Media's properties were acquired by Univision last year) will be able to do with its contents as they please, including deleting specific articles. There are still ongoing legal actions over a few articles in the archive. Though Thiel never admitted as much, it was long rumored that his decision to help Hogan was fueled by unflattering coverage of him and his business activities over the years, including a 2007 story about the fact that he is gay.
Josh Edelson / AP
Lyft is the latest company to get a permit to test self-driving cars on California's public roads, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles website.
Why it matters: Lyft earlier this year unveiled plans to build its own autonomous driving tech, as well as make its ride-hailing network available to other companies for testing. Getting the California permit suggests it's ready to begin putting self-driving cars on the road.
Richard Drew / AP
A new clue about Apple's work on autonomous driving technology has emerged in the form of a scientific paper authored by two of the company's engineers, as Reuters first noticed.
Why it matters: Apple is notorious for its secrecy and while rumors floated for years that it was working on an automotive project, its interest in the area wasn't confirmed until it obtained a permit to test self-driving cars in California earlier this year. This new paper is a departure from Apple's secretive culture in that it reveals some of the technological approaches it's developing.
Key tech: Apple's paper reveals that it's been working on software that lets LiDAR sensors perceive pedestrians and other road elements clearly without the help of cameras, and better than other approaches to do the same. LiDAR is among the most common sensors used for autonomous driving at the moment despite its high prices.
Ola's mobile app. Photo: Ola
SoftBank is seeking to increase its stake in Indian ride-hail company Ola, in which it already owns 25%. According to The Financial Times, the Japanese giant is in talks to buy some or all of a 13% to 14% stake currently held by U.S.-based Tiger Global Management.
Bigger picture: SoftBank basically wants to own global ride-hail, having already invested in China's Didi Chuxing, Southeast Asia-focused Grab, Brazil's 99 and launching a multi-billion dollar tender offer for Uber shares.
SoftBank's investment in all the major players could further consolidation more likely (last year Uber sold its Chinese business to Didi).
Silicon Valley is determined to improve education by infusing it with technology. Its latest example is Kiddom, whose personalized learning software has quietly entered classrooms in 70% of U.S. school districts, according to the company.
Bottom line: Education is an obvious target for tech entrepreneurs—it has both mission and market size, especially as schools increasingly invest in tablets and lightweight laptops, amidst growing concerns over of the future of work.
The pitch: The promise of "personalized learning" is that students will be more successful if enabled to learn and work at their individual paces, along with regular guidance from teachers. Kiddom helps track each student's progress and can provide customized lesson materials. It also collects information on each student's skill level, learning pace and learning style.
"Memorizing content is not what makes students successful," argues Abby Griffy, an instructional supervisor for Marshall County School District in Kentucky. Griffy's district began using Kiddom earlier this year as part of an effort to overhaul its approach and shift away from its previous focus on standardized tests. It also still uses software from some of Kiddom's competitors.
But not all experts are convinced yet that tech-enabled personalized learning is an education panacea.
Go deeper: Mother Jones recently looked into Summit Learning Platform and its parent company, a network of charter schools founded in 2003.
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Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP
Apple has acquired Canadian VR headset maker Vrvana (whose product was praised but never shipped) for about $30 million, according to TechCrunch.
Between the lines: The acquisition adds to the growing rumors that Apple is planning to develop more augmented and virtual reality products in the future. The release this year of its ARKit showed the company's interest in augmented reality using smartphones, but it's hard to believe Apple isn't interested in adding new devices to its lineup. Also in June, it confirmed it acquired a small German maker of eye-tracking glasses.
Photo: Jaap Arriens / Getty Images
Uber has parted ways with chief security officer Joe Sullivan and one of his deputies, over their handling of an October 2016 data breach in which hackers stole account information of 50 million customers and 7 million drivers, the company told Bloomberg.
The big deal: Instead of immediately disclosing the incident to customers and relevant government agencies, Uber paid the hackers $100,000 to delete the data and keep the incident quiet. Ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who was ousted in June, learned of the incident one month after it happened. The attack was discovered recently by an outside law firm hired by Uber's board to investigate the activities of Sullivan's security team.
New order: This is the latest attempt by new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to set a new tone for the company, which has long been known to skirt regulations.
Binary Capital website
Binary Capital is pushing back on a lawsuit filed in June by a former employee, seeking to move some of the claims into private arbitration, according to court documents filed on Friday.
Memory refresh: After allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against Binary Capital co-founder Justin Caldbeck, former employee Ann Lai filed suit against the firm. She claimed that Binary Capital threatened her ability to find work if she discussed her work experiences, and made disparaging statements about her to prospective employers.
Eatsa, the San Francisco-based company that recently shuttered most of its robot-assisted restaurants, is beginning to make its technology available to outside eateries, starting with Chicago's Wow Bao.
Why it matters: This is a classic startup play—focus on the tech while leaving heavy operations to partners and customers, helping them to streamline restaurant operations.