Speaking from Ecuador’s Embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, spoke to the media and supporters expressing the need to put an end to the “witch-hunt” against his organization and its staff and supporters.

In facing extradition to Sweden, Assange spoke of the United States and its efforts against WikiLeaks, in saying, “As WikiLeaks stands under threat, so does the freedom of expression and the health of our societies. We must use this moment to articulate the choice that is before the government of the United States of America. Will it return to and reaffirm the values it was founded on? Or will it lurch off the precipice dragging us all into a dangerous and oppressive world in which journalists fall silent under the fear of prosecution and citizens must whisper in the dark?”

Assange, while speaking from the embassy, also thanked the Latin American country for asylum and also mentioned that he would not like to give political statements or face a nullification of his status.

Under the watchful eyes of about 100 policemen who has surrounded the embassy just in case Assange attempted to make an escape, he also said that the United States must ‘dissolve its FBI investigation’ but also make a pledge so as to not act against journalists who are trying to shine a light on rich and powerful people. He also thanked the people of the UK, US, Australia and Sweden for their support even though their governments have done otherwise.

In granting Assange asylum, tension between Britain and Ecuador have also escalated, and the British government has clearly stated that it will not allow Assange safe passage out of the country.

The highly publicized trial between Samsung and Apple draws to a close, where both companies have accused the other of infringing on its technology.

While Apple wants $2.5 billion from Samsung for replicating the look and feel of its products such as the iPhone and the iPad as well as its software features, Samsung wants $519 million from Apple for infringement on five of its patents on Apple’s portable devices mentioned above including the iPod.

Both sides went through the last few hours of the allotted 25 hours for clarifications and rebuttals and will now on to the next stage which involves closing arguments from both sides in order to sway the jury of nine in their favor.

Depending on which side the jury rules in favor of, the payouts would amount to millions if not billions apart from sales bans on products and software features that are deemed as infringements.

As of the last day of evidence, Apple had four hours to Samsung’s 46 minutes and the former spent time attacking the credibility of Samsung’s wireless patents while the latter weren’t granted extensions to fight back.

However, the tension that existed during the previous three weeks was not there as laughter prevailed during the testimony which was conducted at a quick pace.

With 100 pages of instructions that the jury and the two sides that have to agree on, it sure looks like that the option to settle out of court might not be ruled out completely, considering the risks involved in losing the lawsuit.

Most internet users are familiar with internet errors such as 404 Not Found and 403 Forbidden. However, there’s a new internet status code that is being proposed by Tim Bray, a developer advocate – for sites that are blocked for ‘legal reasons’.

 photo 451_zpsc84454ec.jpeg

Bray, who has experience in developing key Internet standards, says, “I’ve been told by the chair of the IETF HTTP Working Group that he’ll give the proposal some agenda time at the next IETF meeting. It’s not a big proposal; shouldn’t take long.”

However, the recognition for the need of a new code first started when Terence Eden tried to access The Pirate Bay to no avail. When the site’s server denied his request, Eden then expressed the need for a new “HTTP code for censorship”, which not only caught on sparking discussions on Slashdot and Hacker News – until the time when Bray agreed to turn the ‘idea’ into reality.

With the code (451) taken aptly from Ray Bradbury’s novel, Farenheit 451, which deals with censorship, the proposal for the error code if approved, will not only furnish the details on the restriction but also mention which legal authority is imposing the restriction as well.

Bray also thinks that once official consensus is reached, there would little or no work on the engineering side in order for servers to provide “explanatory text with a 451”. In the end, of course, this effort is to ensure that when censorship does happen, it takes place out in the open and thus, provides pertinent information for users everywhere.

With Facebook due to release its earnings in ad revenue in a few days, the numbers will provide a clear indication as to whether Google continues to win in this area of revenue or, in fact, Facebook is also a contender to its throne.

What makes these results important is because of Facebook making its initial public offering in May and which will indicate whether it is growing fast enough to justify a high valuation made during the time of the IPO.

Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with the market research firm eMarketer, explains why these results are so important, in saying, “Advertisers need more proof that actual advertising on Facebook offers a return on investment. There is such disagreement over whether Facebook is the next big thing on the Internet or whether it’s going to fail miserably.”

However, what Facebook has to its advantage is personal data of almost 900 million users but using it effectively provides effective and profitable ads – a task that is anything but easy. Google, on the other hand, being in the game much longer already creates 10 times the annual revenue from advertising that Facebook generates.

And so in order to get this task right, Facebook has hired the services Gokul Rajaram, who ran the AdSense engine, when it acquired his company, Chai Labs, and which specializes in building artificial-intelligence algorithms that analyzes online data.

Yet it isn’t going to be easy – since another challenge to reach mobile users with Facebook advertisements is also on the company’s list of things to do apart from having to cope with a lack of growth number of new users in the United States and little or no ad profits when it comes to Indian and Brazilian users.

An advanced search function, Google local search, which has been offered with the Galaxy S3 smartphone, has been disabled by Samsung, thanks to a patent dispute with Apple.

Simon Clark, head of intellectual property at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, explains this move by Samsung, in saying, “Samsung may be doing this as a precautionary measure to prevent it having to pay damages on devices sold outside the US in case Apple prevails in the States and then pursues a similar suit elsewhere.”

Samsung, according to Android Central, which released the news, said that its users were not made aware of these developments both internationally and in the United States.

The reason for this move is because Apple claims that Samsung’s innovation infringes its patent for a single search interface used in its Siri app, and has already enforced a temporary sales ban on another Samsung handset – the Galaxy Nexus.

This latest move comes as no surprise as both firms, Apple and Samsung, have been involved in a long list of lawsuits that has placed the technologies and design of their products under scrutiny.

While being unsuccessful in convincing a judge in London that Samsung had copied the iPad in terms of looks, Apple was successful in an appeals court in Dusseldorf where a preliminary injunction has been extended against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 across the EU.

And that’s not all – both these companies are set to clash yet again when a jury in the United States will hear the patent infringement suits filed by both companies against each other.