2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Big Tech winning battle with 'patent trolls'

    By Andrew Chung and Dan Levine (Reuters) - For two decades, companies that buy software patents to sue technology giants have been the scourge of Silicon Valley. Reviled as patent trolls, they have attacked everything from Google's online ads to Apple's iPhone features, sometimes winning hundreds of millions of dollars. But now the trolls are in retreat from the tech titans, interviews and data reviewed by Reuters show. In the wake of several changes in U.S. ...

  • Snowplow driver says he didn't see Total CEO's jet
    Snowplow driver says he didn't see Total CEO's jet

    MOSCOW (AP) — The driver of the snowplow that apparently caused the plane carrying the Total CEO to crash at a Moscow airport says he neither saw nor heard the private jet as it sped toward him down the runway in the dark.

  • Bank robber who bummed cigarette gets 10 years

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — A bank robber who stopped during his escape to bum a cigarette off a construction worker has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a federal judge in Pittsburgh.

  • Is Iowa's Joni Ernst a pragmatist or a partisan? The Senate's balance of power could hinge on the an …
    Is Iowa's Joni Ernst a pragmatist or a partisan? The Senate's balance of power could hinge on the an …

    The contest between Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst and Rep. Bruce Braley is one of the closest Senate races in the country. And whether Iowans believe her claim that she is a middle-of-the-road Republican conservative who likes to solve problems — rather than a tea party candidate who wants to impeach President Barack Obama and abolish the Department of Education and the IRS — will decide the race and possibly determine which party controls the Senate.

  • Neanderthals and Humans First Mated 50,000 Years Ago, DNA Reveals
    Neanderthals and Humans First Mated 50,000 Years Ago, DNA Reveals

    The DNA from the 45,000-year-old bone of a man from Siberia is helping to pinpoint when modern humans and Neanderthals first interbred, researchers say. Although modern humans are the only surviving human lineage, others once lived on Earth. The closest extinct relatives of modern humans were the Neanderthals, who lived in Europe and Asia until they went extinct about 40,000 years ago. Recent findings revealed that Neanderthals interbred with ancestors of modern humans when modern humans began spreading out of Africa — 1.5 to 2.1 percent of the DNA of anyone living outside Africa today is Neanderthal in origin.

  • 8 awesome paid iPhone apps that are free downloads for a limited time
    8 awesome paid iPhone apps that are free downloads for a limited time

    Another day, another batch of nifty paid iPhone and iPad apps that are now on sale for free for a limited time. On Tuesday, BGR shared a list of seven paid iOS apps that were on sale for free, and a few of them are still free if you hurry. But now, we have eight more paid apps for you that are all available for free… but only if you hurry, because each of these sales could be over at any time. DON’T MISS: The 10 best iPhone apps with iOS 8 Notification Center widgets These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to

  • Cost of making 'Hobbit' movies up to $745 million
    Cost of making 'Hobbit' movies up to $745 million

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The movie trilogy "The Hobbit" has so far cost nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars to make as the epic continues to set new benchmarks for studio spending.

  • Google launches new email service dubbed 'Inbox'
    Google launches new email service dubbed 'Inbox'

    (Reuters) - Google Inc launched an email service called "Inbox" on Wednesday that will better organize emails and display information such as appointments, flight bookings and package deliveries in a more user-friendly way. Google said it was sending out invitations to selected Gmail users to try out the new service. Users can also email the company at inbox@google.com to get an invitation. For now the new service is being provided alongside Gmail, which was launched in 2004. It will be available on the Web as well as on Android smartphones and iPhones. ...

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