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Yandex on Jolla

Finnish handset maker Jolla has begun offering its Sailfish OS-based smartphone in Hong Kong through the carrier 3. This is the first notable Asian channel for Jolla — when the merry band of ex-Nokians were first developing their Meego-derived platform, they were set to have a huge distribution deal through Chinese retailer D.Phone, but that didn’t pan out. Jolla handsets, which can run Android as well as Sailfish apps, will also soon be on offer through Indian retailer Snapdeal. According to recent reports, Jolla is looking to hire former Nokia employees recently laid off by Microsoft, to support its international expansion.

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Vienna’s commercial court has decided it’s not the right place to adjudicate a massive and unprecedented class action suit over Facebook’s alleged breaking of European privacy law. As Network World reported on Friday, the court said the suit should be heard in a nearby court that deals with civil cases. Max Schrems, the man orchestrating the suit, told me this was because the case straddled the line between contract and data protection issues, and the court had merely decided the latter was more relevant than the former. “It’s a wholly administrative thing,” he said. 25,000 people have joined the suit, and another 20,000 have signed up to follow if Schrems decides it’s practical to expand the list.

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A U.K. man has been arrested for running a proxy server that granted access to “piracy” websites that had been blocked by the courts. The unnamed 20-year-old was arrested earlier this week in Nottingham, according to a Thursday statement by the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). According to Wired, the arrested man was running Immunicity, a proxy service set up in 2013 to bypass court-ordered site blockages. As far as I’m aware, this is the first arrest in the U.K. over the circumvention of copyright-protecting measures by proxy, so it should be an interesting case to watch.

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Like peers such as Axel Springer, the German magazine-publishing giant Bauer Media has been branching out into the digital world as an investor, notably in Swedish health startup Lifesum earlier this year. Now it’s really diving in: On Monday, Bauer announced the creation of Bauer Venture Partners, with €100 million ($134 million) lined up for a decade’s worth of investments. Created alongside VC Thomas Preuss, late of Neuhaus Partners, the fund will invest in European tech startups at a range of stages. As I noted when Google came to town with a $100 million fund a few weeks back, the days of European startups complaining about a lack of local capital seem to be fast receding.

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German security researchers claim to have identified a serious vulnerability in the fundamental security of USB devices. The SR Labs team is preparing a presentation for Black Hat next week in which they will demonstrate the “BadUSB” reprogramming of the firmware in USB peripherals, such as thumb drives, keyboards and even mobile devices, to allow data theft and the hijacking and surveillance of computers to which those peripherals are attached. Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell say there are no known defences against such malware, largely due to the way USB works, and possibly even no way to clean up after infection.

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When Yelp and the European Consumer Organisation joined the 4-year-old EU antitrust case against Google, it became pretty clear that competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia would not get his wish of settling the case before his departure later this year. And lo, it comes to pass: According to the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, the European Commission is now planning to reopen its settlement arrangements with Google for an unprecedented fourth round of revisions. A Wednesday letter from original complainant Foundem expressed clear dissatisfaction with existing settlement proposals, and it seems the NSA mess is providing political pressure as well.

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