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The big news on Thursday was undoubtedly the jury decision in Apple's favor which awards the iPhone maker another $290 million from Samsung over 13 older devices found to have infringed on Cupertino's patents. Combined with the earlier verdict, that puts nearly a billion dollars in Apple's coffers, although it does little to stomp out the Samsung copying machines from firing up more knockoffs down the road. With that victory behind us, let's get on with one last Friday recap ahead of next week's Black Friday!
Staying safe on the internet can often be a challenge, which is why the makers of Pogoplug have just released a new device aimed at keeping your web browsing as private as possible. Now available for $49, Safeplug is a little black box which plugs into your router. Once activated, the Safeplug keeps websites from finding out who you are and where you live based on your IP address -- no matter what kind of device you access the web from. Pogoplug claims the device can be set up in 60 seconds, and is available now from the company's web store.
Few Americans are familiar with Mail.ru, which could be considered a sort of Google for Russian-speaking countries. The company is expanding its horizons this week with a new service called My.com, and its first product is a free email client for iOS and Android appropriately known as myMail. The third-party email app is built to work with Google, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook and iCloud accounts as well as "nearly every" IMAP or POP email address, offering real push notifications even for services that don't offer them natively. MyMail features iOS 7 visual flair and bucks the current trend of trying to disguise itself as a messaging app, and is now ready to download from the App Store.
As cloud storage services go, MediaFire is a veritable old timer, despite lacking a lot of the niceties of younger upstarts such as Dropbox and SugarSync. But that's all changed this week, as the company has announced MediaFire Desktop, a free application for OS X and Windows that enables users to upload, collaborate and share their cloud media with automatic file syncing. The news is likely to be welcome by users who have already racked up 50GB of free space with MediaFire, but the company also offers aggressively priced plans starting at $25 per year for 100GB of storage -- nearly half the cost of competitors.
The fine folks at Fancred announced Thursday the debut of Fancred 2.0, a major new update to their iPhone app built from the ground up for iOS 7. The app offers a social network dedicated to sports fans, including photos, articles, opinions, videos and conversations with like-minded individuals around the world. Fancred also ranks fans by their social engagement, offering a "Fancred score" that rises the more users engage with others. The service has been endorsed by 2013 World Series champs Boston Red Sox, who were the first pro sports team to partner with Fancred for an official team profile, with a number of college teams also now listed among the ranks. Fancred 2.0 is now available as a free update from the App Store.
The Verge reported Thursday that users of the HBO Go mobile apps for iOS and Android now have a second option for getting their favorite premium movies and TV shows onto an HDTV thanks to Google Chromecast support. With the latest update, that now adds HBO Go, Pandora and Hulu Plus to the roster which already includes Netflix and YouTube, meaning Google is making slow but steady progress for its little gray $35 HDMI dongle.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter