Today in Tech: Google attacks Apple, Microsoft, and RIM

August 4, 2011: 3:30 AM ET

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"Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it." -- David Drummond, Google Senior VP and Chief Legal Officer (Google Blog)

* David Drummond, Google Senior VP, aired his grievances against companies like Apple, Microsoft, and RIM, which are buying up patents from Novell and Nortel and reportedly asking Google to pay high licensing fees. "They want to make it harder for manufacturers to sell Android devices. Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation. Unless we act, consumers could face rising costs for Android devices -- and fewer choices for their next phone." (Ars Technica and the Official Google Blog)

* Cybersecurity company McAfee issued a report identifying a single perpetrator -- possibly a "state actor," one party acting on behalf of a government -- as being responsible for cyberattacks on more than 70 organizations that resulted in the theft of government secrets, email archives and legal contracts. The series of attacks have since been dubbed "Operation Shady rat." (Vanity Fair)

* Randi Zuckerberg, Facebook's marketing director and Mark Zuckerberg's sister, is leaving the social network after six years to start RtoZ Media, a media firm geared towards making companies more social. Zuckerberg was recently nominated for an Emmy for her news show "Facebook Live." (All Things D)

* Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky introduced new verification features to the apartment-swapping startup to further encourage trust and security. In addition to the recently-introduced "Airbnb Guarantee" which will offer up to $50,000 in home coverage, Airbnb will also integrate profile verification features like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook integration, as well as request profile photos and phone numbers. (Airbnb blog)

* Google + now has 25 million users, and it's gaining another million users each and every day. (Reuters)

* Remember that recent study indicating that Internet Explorer users have lower IQs than other browser users? Bogus. (BBC News)

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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