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Microsoft appeals ban on Microsoft Word sales

Microsoft on Tuesday asked a court to stay an injunction that could put a stop to sales of Microsoft Word. In a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Microsoft also asked for an expedited review of its appeal.  The moves follow an injunction issued by the court last week that said Microsoft had 60 days to stop selling Word products that let users create custom XML documents. The ruling, which also includes additional damages Microsoft must pay, was related to a patent infringement suit filed by i4i in 2007. The court has issued total damages against Microsoft of more than US$290 million. If Microsoft doesn’t win a stay, it may be able to develop a workaround that avoids using the technology in question or possibly strip the capability from the products.

Apple responds to iPhone lemons

Apple is investigating reports that some of its popular iPhones may have malfunctioned following a query from a European Commission directorate that oversees consumer safety issues. Apple told the Commission on Tuesday that “these are isolated incidents and that there is not a general problem,” according to a statement issued by Directorate-General for Health and Consumers. An 18-year-old French teenager complained his eye was injured last week when his girlfriend’s iPhone began making a hissing noise and the device’s glass touchscreen shattered, according to a report in AFP. It wasn’t clear which model of iPhone was affected. In the U.K., a 47-year-old man from Liverpool told The Times earlier this month that his daughter’s iPod Touch made a hissing noise and exploded after he dropped it. In an incident in the Netherlands, an iPhone 3G was reportedly sitting in a car when the owner returned to find it was destroyed, burning a huge hole in the vehicle’s seat.

HP business better than expected

Hewlett-Packard reported a 2 percent drop in revenue for the July quarter, which was better than expected, and said its business is stabilizing. Net earnings for the quarter, the third of HP’s fiscal year, were US$1.6 billion, or $0.67 per share, down from $2.0 billion, or $0.80 per share, in the same quarter a year earlier, HP announced Tuesday. The company’s purchase of services giant EDS last year again helped to prop up its results. Revenue from HP’s services business almost doubled thanks to the acquisition, to $8.5 billion, while sales of printers, servers and desktop PCs all declined sharply from a year earlier.

Facebook sued for privacy violations, false advertising

Five people have filed a suit against Facebook, charging the social-networking company with violating California privacy laws and false advertising.  Facebook users assume that personal information and photos that they post on the site are shared only with authorized friends, the suit, filed in the Superior Court for California in Orange County, says. It added” “Users may be unaware that data they submit … may be extracted and then shared, stored, licensed or downloaded by other persons or third parties they have not expressly authorized.” The suit describes at length a massive data mining operation at Facebook, which it says has transformed itself from a social-networking company to a data-mining company. It faults the company for collecting and analyzing site content without user knowledge or consent. The social-networking site said that it sees no merit to the suit and plans to fight it.

…And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

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