A new patent war started this week as a consortium known as 'Rockstar' launched a barrage of lawsuits against big name companies including Google, Samsung, HTC and Huawei. And who is behind this mystery consortium trying to take on such big patent battle hardened veterans? Well, some formidable opponents - a rather strange alliance of rivals Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony. In 2011, the Rockstar consortium formed by the aforementioned giants outbid Google to buy a number of patents held by Nortel for a whopping $4.5 billion (£2.8 billion) when the telecoms firm filed for bankruptcy. Google seems to be the group's biggest target, with the company accused of wilfully infringing on seven patents. The patents are concerned with technology that works to aid targeting advertising, possibly the most integral part of Google's advertising business.
Apple's iPad Air has gone on sale around the world as 42 countries received the device with the availability of the iPad Mini 2 still unknown. The device went on sale at midnight via the online store in each territory with CNET reporting lines that were "several hundred deep" in Sydney, the first Apple retail store to get the device. Crowd control barriers were absent at the launch and the interest in the new tablet device is less than what was present when Apple released two versions of the iPhone in September.
Major telecoms firms should make public whether they were obliged to give spies access to their networks, according to Labour MP Tom Watson. "Let me be clear," Watson told MPs in a fiery debate that took place in Westminster Hall. "Telecoms companies have been illicitly aiding the security services to tap into data being processed by internet companies with whom they have a commercial relationship." The American NSA and the UK's GCHQ are accused of participating in a programme codenamed "MUSCULAR", which involved copying entire data flows that pass between the fibre-optic cables carrying information between data centres belonging to Silicon Valley tech giants.
Google has officially unveiled its next-gen smartphone, the Nexus 5, and launched an updated version of Android, dubbed KitKat. The smartphone sports a 4.95in, 1,920 x 1,080 full HD IPS Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display with 445 pixels per inch. It runs a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip, 450MHz Adreno 330 GPU, and will be the first device with Android 4.4 KitKat. With a 2,300mAh battery, Google promised up to 17 hours of talk time, 300 hours of standby, 8.5 hours of Internet time on Wi-Fi and seven hours on LTE. If you need more, the Nexus 5 includes built-in wireless charging support. There's 16GB of internal storage (actual storage will be less thanks to pre-loaded software) and 2GB of RAM. The Nexus 5 is available immediately, unlocked and in black, for £299 via Google Play.