Apple Lawsuit, Pink Tax, Free Gigabit Internet to Public Housing & The Hub at Causeway

Weekly Roundup 2.5

Top Story: Apple Loses in Patent Lawsuit

On Friday, the East Texas District Court announced that Apple was guilty of committing patent fraud against VirnetX with four of their systems. “A jury has ordered Apple to pay $626 million in damages after finding that iMessage, FaceTime and other Apple software infringed on another company’s patents (CNN).”

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[Times of India]

According to CNN, VirnetX is known as a “patent troll.” The company owns about 80 different patents and makes their money by licensing patents to other firms — and by suing businesses that it believes has infringed on its intellectual property.

VirnetX has had mixed success in its patent cases in the past. It settled out of court with Microsoft for $200 million in 2010 and filed another lawsuit against the company in 2015. But it lost a patent case it brought against Cisco last year (CNN).

Apple recently has revised the iMessage, FaceTime, and VPN software so that it no longer contradicts VirnetX’s patents.

Under the Radar: The “Pink Tax”

The women of London to New York are finally fed up with the price differences between men’s products and women’s products. Some everyday products cost women on average 48% more than men’s products do, with comparable ingredients.

“It found that female razors are 11% more expensive than men’s. Jeans cost 10% more. Even toys marketed to little girls are 11% pricier compared to those for boys” (CNN).

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[Cradle to Cane]

According to the Times, New York has placed several laws against gender-based prices for services like dry cleaners and hair salons but can’t do much more with the pricing of goods. It’s out of their jurisdiction.

Tech of the week: Google Gives Free Internet to Public Housing

The struggle for low-income families to be able to afford good high-speed Internet might be a thing in the past. On Wednesday, Google began a program that “will provide free, super-fast Internet connection to people who live in public housing.” According to NBC, the first place to see this program taking place is in a housing complex in Kansas City, Missouri.connectHome_chromebook (2)

[Google Fiber]

Eventually Google plans to connect nine low-income properties in the Kansas City metro area fairly soon. This program has mentioned their goal for the future is to expand to the cities that already have access to Google Fiber like, Provo, Utah and Austin, TX.

“The U.S. has some of the most expensive broadband in the world, while lagging far behind other countries in Internet speeds. And for families in affordable housing, cost can be one of the biggest barriers to getting online,” Dennis Kish, vice president for Google Fiber, said in a blog post.

Around the Hub: Hub at Causeway

The groundbreaking of the new project that will be expanding the TD Garden is underway. “The Hub on Causeway, its newly named, 
1.5 million-square-foot-plus development on the old Boston Garden site that is set to transform the North Station area”(Boston Herald).t2

[Boston Curbed]

This space will be multi-functional including retail, office, and residential space. On top of the new business opportunities happening in this area, the commuter rail and subway will be getting a new underground connection via Causeway Street.

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[Boston Curbed]

“This development will be the crown jewel of this neighborhood revitalization,” said Charlie Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North Boston Holdings.

 

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