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theEweekly Wrap

End in sight for Apple and Samsung – Facebook shares nosedive – 3D glasses on way out

Apple v Samsung - will it ever end?

After weeks of build-up, aborted settlements and harsh words, the long-running patent dispute between Apple and Samsung could finally be about to see some resolution.

The jury at their California trial has retired to consider its verdict after several hours of evidence and witness statements from both sides. Each juror must consider a 109-page briefing note from the judge, and must base their decision on the answers to 33 key questions.

Apple argues that Samsung copied its iPad design and wants $2.5 billion (£1.6 billion) in compensation, along with a ban on sales of Samsung products.

Samsung maintains that not only is this allegation false, but that it is in fact Apple who copied them by infringing the South Korean company's wireless technology patents.

In a strange twist, this bitter battle heads to its conclusion in the same week that Samsung has spent $4 billion (£2.5 million) on improving a factory that supplies Apple with parts for it iPad and iPhone.

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Facebook endures blue Monday

One company who will be pleased to see so much focus on Apple and Samsung is Facebook, who began the week in disastrous fashion as their share prices plummeted.

They were sold for as much as $38 each in the wake of its much-hyped IPO in May, but on Monday they had dipped as low as $18.75. This effectively halves the value of creator Mark Zuckerberg's stake, with a $10 billion (£6.3 billion) hit taking him down to $9.5 billion (£6 billion).

The slump is thought to have been partially brought about by the expiration of a 'lock up period' that allowed several early investors to sell a lot of their shares. This caused the pool of available shares to increase by 60 per cent.

It is not yet known which investors sold up, but with more lock-up expirations on the horizon that could see staff shed shares as well, this is certainly a worry for the social network. Its value also slipped from $100 billion in May to just $40.61 billion.

It completes a bad month for Facebook after three members of its management team left the company in quick succession.

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Glasses-free 3D could soon be reality

3D glasses in cinemas could soon be a thing of the past after researchers in South Korea revealed they were developing a new type of screen.

The technology, revealed in the Optics Express journal, involves viewers watching the action through a barrier with slats that gives each eye a different perspective of the images.

This creates the same illusion of depth you get from glasses, which work by focusing on a different 2D picture in each lens.

However, there is still a little more work to be done before we can expect to say goodbye to glasses. Currently the screen can only have the desired effect if cinema-goers all sit in a specific spot, which of course is not practical if you have an audience of hundreds.

Lead scientist Byoungho Lee is certainly enthusiastic about the future of the project, claiming that with a little more research the new screen "might constitute a simple, compact, and cost-effective approach to producing widely available 3D cinema".

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Written by James Riches

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