Loek EssersAmsterdam correspondent for IDG News Service, IDG News Service

Loek Essers focuses on online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues.

vodafone

Vodafone gets approval for €7.7 billion Kabel Deutschland takeover bid

Vodafone is close to acquiring Kabel Deutschland, Germany's largest cable operator, for €7.7 billion ($10 billion).

Micrografx targets Google, Motorola and Samsung with vector graphics patent suit

Graphics software company Micrografx sued Google, its subsidiary Motorola Mobility, and Samsung Electronics, alleging that the Galaxy SIII, Galaxy S4 and several Nexus devices infringe three of its patents.

Google partners on new online learning site, platform

Google will team with the online-learning consortium backed by Harvard, MIT, Stanford and others to build out a new site that can be used to host courses online.

Sony's PS Vita TV set-top box challenges Apple TV, Google Chromecast

techhive.com

Going head-to-head with Apple and Google, Sony has launched the PlayStation Vita TV set-top box to bring video and games to TVs.

Facebook offers real-time feed of user data to online and TV news

techhive.com

Facebook revealed a new tool that enables news organisations to tap into user comments and display them online or on TV in real-time.

Botnet likely caused spike in number of Tor clients

The spike is likely being caused by a botnet, according to one of the original Tor developers.

Survey: Almost 90 percent of Internet users have taken steps to avoid surveillance

Hackers, criminals and advertisers are at the top of the list of groups people wish to avoid, according to the survey from the Pew Research Center's Internet Project and Carnegie Mellon University.

Rapidshare

File hosting service Rapidshare must scan for copyright infringing files, German federal court rules

Online file locker services that, like Rapidshare, have a business model that provides an incentive to share copyright protected materials must monitor incoming links to discover infringing files, the German Federal Court of Justice has ruled.

facebook

Facebook's new face recognition policy astonishes German privacy regulator

A German privacy regulator is astonished that Facebook has added facial recognition to a proposed new privacy policy it published on Thursday.

Pirate Bay co-founder's appeal of fraud conviction relies on 'remote control' argument

Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg's appeal of his conviction on charges of data intrusion, attempted aggravated fraud and aggravated fraud started on Wednesday, with arguments centering on the contention that other parties used the defendant's computer by remote control.

Privacy campaigners want review of Irish Facebook, Prism decisions

The privacy campaign group Europe-v-Facebook said Wednesday it will ask the Irish High Court to review decisions made by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner not to investigate Facebook and the U.S. government surveillance program Prism.

patent

Samsung claims Ericsson is demanding billions more for its patent licenses

Samsung Electronics claims that Ericsson demanded billions more for patent licenses after their license agreement expired in 2007.

Linus Torvalds celebrates 22 years of Linux with nostalgic message

It was 22 years ago on Sunday that Linus Torvalds announced in a newsgroup posting that he was creating a free operating system, a message he echoed in his announcement Sunday of the latest Linux kernel release candidate.

Google buys augmented reality display patents from Foxconn

Google has bought Foxconn's Hon Hai Precision Industry display patent portfolio as the search company ramps up its development of Google Glass.

google privacy

Privacy groups criticize proposed $8.5 million Google settlement

Five U.S. privacy groups have opposed a proposed $8.5 million settlement with Google in a class action lawsuit over search privacy, as it fails to require Google to change its business practices, they said.