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Microsoft Buys, Licenses AOL Patents In $1bn Deal

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MICROSOFT  is buying the majority of AOL’s patents in a deal worth $1.06 billion (£668 million).

A statement said the agreement covers the intellectual property rights to more than 800 innovations. Microsoft will also be granted licensing rights to about 300 patents that AOL is keeping.

It is the latest in a series of such deals as technology firms act to bolster their chances in related lawsuits. If a company successfully sues another it can demand a sales ban of its competitor’s products, or force the loser to pay expensive licence fees.

Since the start of the year Intel, Google and Facebook are among those to have bought significant numbers of patent from other tech companies.

AOL said it intended to pass on a “significant portion” of the proceeds of the sale to its shareholders.

“The agreement with Microsoft represents the culmination of a robust auction process for our patent portfolio,” said the firm’s Chief Executive, Tim Armstrong.

Its shares rose more than 40 per cent on the news.

Microsoft’s executive vice of legal affairs Brad Smith said, “this is a valuable portfolio that we have been following for years and analysing in detail for several months.”

The companies said that the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The deal comes ahead of Microsoft’s appearance in a court in Mannheim, Germany on April 17 when it faces claims that it infringed Motorola Mobility’s H.264 video-compression technologies.

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Electronic Results Transfer: Only Media Can Save Nigerians – Onuesoke

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A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Delta State governorship aspirant, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has appealed to Nigerians and the media to sustain the pressure on the members of the Senate, Federal Government and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the merit of application of electoral transmission of voter’s result in 2023 polls.
Onuesoke’s appeal is coming on the heels of rejection of electronic transmission of voters’ results by Senators elected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Reacting to the rejection while addressing journalists in Asaba, Delta State, he disclosed that with the rejection of elec­tronic transformation of votes, it is duty of vocal Nigerians and the media as the Fourth Es­tate that can rescue the helpless masses by crying out loudly to the world the oppression of the Senators against those who vot­ed them into office.
He alleged that the action of APC Senators was an assault on the sensibilities of Nigerians, who looked up to the Senate for improvement in our electoral process in a manner that would engender free, fair and credible process.
Onuesoke explained that the Senators claim that NCC had declared that only 43 per cent of the country was currently under effective telecommunications coverage is false as evidence abound that GSM phones are used in all the remote villages of Nigeria.

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Community Woos Telecoms Over Mast Erection

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The people of Ipo Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area have called on telecommunication companies in Nigeria to consider the need to erect communication mast in the area.
The Ipo Council of Chiefs Chairman, Chief Samuel Amadi made the call at a public function in the community recently.
Amadi said the call was unavoidable in that network provision in the area has become very poor.
He pointed out that as an Airport community, they deserve the best network provision as to enable it attain its international status.
According to him, the presence of mast in the area will also boost the business growth in the community.
He expressed regrets that the community could be lacking in such area even in this 21st century.
Though, was not particular about any network provider, but said that the community, would appreciate any of the telecommunication companies that came to their rescue.
He maintained that receiving and making calls in the community over the years has been a herculean task and wondered why the trend should continue.
“Lack of mast has been a challenge in our community. We can not make or receive calls with ease. Such a thing should not happen in this modern world” , he said.
The community leader, also blamed part of its plights on the nonchalant attitude of the Airport authority towards them as a host community.
“We have not benefited anything from the Airport authority. Even employment, they ignore us, while our graduates roam the streets in search of employment”, he said.
The Tide, however, gathered that the possibility of erecting telecommunication mast in Ipo is slim, due to its closeness to the International Airport, as mast are believed by experts to be a challenge to flight operations.

By: King Onunwor

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Reps Fail To Consider Two-Year SIM Swap Probe Report

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The House of Representatives last Friday failed to consider the report by its Ad Hoc Committee on the Increasing Incidents of SIM Swap Fraud, which was mandated to carry out the investigation two years ago.
The report of the committee was listed for consideration on Thursday and Friday but was stepped down for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill 2020.
The National Assembly has now proceeded on a two-month annual recess.
The House had on July 25, 2019 resolved to investigate the alleged Subscriber Identification Module swap by service providers in the telecommunication and banking sectors, following the adoption of a motion moved by Mr Ifeanyichukwu Ibezi, titled ‘Increasing incidents of SIM swap fraud’.
The lawmakers had unanimously resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to conduct an investigative hearing on the ‘increasingly emerging trend of SIM swap fraud, with a view to determining ways that banks and telecommunications operators can collaborate in devising measures to combat the menace’.
In its recommendation, the panel, said, “Banks should be urged to stop using SMS as a primary method of communication; they should rather use encrypted messaging apps that are not as prone to snooping as SMS.”
It also recommended that the NCC and Central Bank of Nigeria ‘be urged to ensure that all monies lost as a result of card/ATM and web-based frauds are refunded to the affected subscribers/customers’.

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