When Lawyers Send Letters

Wage Fixing Scandal: Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe Pay $324 Million In Damages

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After the tech crash of the early 2000’s, major tech CEO’s started sending each other emails saying, ‘Hey, why don’t we try not to poach each other’s employees? It could keep salaries from going through the roof.’ Some, including Steve Jobs himself, would call that a gentleman’s agreement. The Department of Justice, however, calls it collusion, and now some of the biggest names in tech history are paying up.

Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit for $324 million, Reuters is reporting. About 64,000 tech workers sought a combined $3 billion in damages, and while the settlement is technically a victory, it comes out to roughly $5,000 per employee — a far cry from the roughly $47,000 each that they wanted. Read More

Good Job Internet

Bye Bye Iron: Monopoly Makers Pander to Internet With Introduction of New Cat Token

A life-size version of the new Monopoly token, via the Today Show's Instagram. (Photo: Instagram)

Today is a triumphant day for cat lovers everywhere, but especially for those who despise ironing. Hasbro’s Facebook stunt, devilishly proposed to distract us from the fact that Monopoly takes for-freakin-ever, has reached a delightful conclusion. Today reports that the iron token is getting the boot, and will be replaced with a sparkling cat token. Congratulations, Internet! Read More


Hasbro Turns to Facebook Stunt to Distract People From the Fact Monopoly Takes For-Freaking-Ever

Poor wheelbarrow. (Screenshot: Facebook)

When was the last time you finished a game of Monopoly–like actually finished it, didn’t get bored in the middle, get up to grab a drink and then just never return? We assume it’s been quite some time, as Monopoly is basically the jury duty of board games: lots of sitting around, not much action, maybe getting into a tussle with a weird old guy over ethics, etc. Read More

Tablet Wars

New York’s Publishing Set Loves Amazon’s New Kindle Fire

NY is en fuego for the Fire

There was a reason Jeff Bezos came all the way to New York to unveil Amazon’s new suite of Kindle e-readers and tablet devices. Like the iPad the Kindle is first and foremost a device for consuming media, with the new Kindles going beyond the book to offer music, television and movies as well. And the Big Apple’s high end publishers are thrilled to have a second dance partner for the party beyond Apple.

As the NY Times reports, Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet will come with a digital newsstand front-and-center where users can buy magazines and newspapers. To glossy publishers, this sounds like a haven from a digital world dominated by Angry Birds. Read More

Planet Google

Wherefore Art Thou, Eric Schmidt of Yore?

via Reuters

Eric Schmidt made his much-anticipated appearance in Washington D.C. yesterday for the Senate antitrust hearings on Google. Sadly, it was not the show Betabeat was hoping for.

Not only did Congress fail to familiarize itself with how the internet works and seem confused as to whether they wanted to chastize Google or beseech it to bring broadband to their home states. But Mr. Schmidt, who could always be counted on for a wry/terrifying turn-of-phrase during his tenure as CEO, seemed to have been coached into submission.

He did, however manage to sneak in a few quips into his prepared remarks. Read More

API Economy

Foursquare API Turns New York Into Giant Game of Monopoly

Going to jail no longer a good strategy

As Dennis Crowley pointed out on Twitter yesterday, foursqaure’s robust API has allowed developers to create thousands of interesting apps that are running primarily and in some cases entirely off the services data.

We already told you about Fourcraft, which turned New York into a giant game of risk. Today it’s Foursquaropoly (tough name), which layers the basic principles of the classic board game Monopoly on top of Big Apple check-ins. Read More