Comments: 'Thank you Apple for confirming that you invented the rectangle'
A shop manager in South Korea shows Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S mobile phone, right, and Apple's iPhone 3G.
August 24th, 2012
09:59 PM ET

Comments: 'Thank you Apple for confirming that you invented the rectangle'

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. Here's some comments we noticed today.

Apple and Samsung have been involved in a long battle over the design of Samsung devices that Apple says were "ripped off" from iPads and iPhones. Samsung also countersued Apple for infringing on some of its patents. After a federal jury in California recommended Friday that Apple be awarded more than $1 billion in damages, readers are talking about patents and the ways people define product designs.

Jury: Samsung should pay Apple more than $1 billion

Many readers were outraged, saying Apple's suit appeared malicious.

Jerad Howell: "What a ridiculous verdict. There are only so many ways you can design a touchscreen device. Apparently, this jury believes that Apple should be allowed to have a monopoly on touchscreen tablets and phones."

ogive17: "Apple's new motto 'litigate, not innovate.' Yes, I wanted Apple to lose."

Stnley Kubrick: "This sucks. Sanity once again defeated."

But some said there were some obvious design similarities.

TheH0LYT0AST: "For the life of me I don't understand how anyone can look at the picture at the top of this article and say, 'What? I don't see anything wrong with that.' "

Clint4CNN: "GOOD! Samsung is a thief, and they got caught!"

Nicholas Bloom: "Like Apple needs the money. They charge an arm and a leg for their products. Fair is fair, though."

Some made jabs at the U.S. patenting system. FULL POST

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Filed under: Apple • Business • Comments • Technology • U.S.
August 24th, 2012
03:47 PM ET

Report: Pilot error led to woman's fatal fall from glider

A passenger who tumbled about 1,000 feet from a hang glider to her death in Canada fell because she wasn't strapped to the craft and because the pilot failed to ensure attachment before takeoff, according to an investigation by a gliding industry group.

Pilot William Jonathan Orders, who previously was charged on suspicion of swallowing a possible video recording of the flight, didn't perform a required "hang check" that would have revealed Lenami Godinez-Avilla wasn't attached to the glider, the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada (HPAC) said this week.

Godinez-Avilla, 27, fell to her death on April 28, not long after she and Orders took off from Mount Woodside over a heavily wooded area near Agassiz, British Columbia, authorities have said.

"A review of the events leading up to takeoff suggests that there were multiple distractions that may have resulted in a breakdown of standard operating procedures," said the HPAC's report, which cited witness accounts and its examination of the glider and equipment.

Orders, 50, was charged in May with attempting to obstruct justice on suspicion of swallowing a memory card of an onboard video camera that might have recorded the flight, an action he said he admitted doing. Orders passed the card while in custody days later, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said Thursday that they've viewed the card's data but aren't discussing the contents.


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Filed under: Accidents • Canada
August 24th, 2012
03:29 PM ET

What's behind the Armstrong headlines

CNN has gathered plenty of news and opinion on the prospect that famed seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong may lose his titles after ending his fight against charges of illegal doping.

This post corrals much of it so you can quickly see what's out there.

The issue

Armstrong announced Thursday that he would no longer fight the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's charges, not admitting wrongdoing but rather saying he's tired of having to prove his professed innocence for years without any lasting success.

The USADA responded Friday that it was giving him a lifetime ban and disqualifying him from all events since August 1998. Still at issue is whether the USADA has the power to strip him of his victories; more about that in a bit.

A thorough look at what the USADA accuses him of can be found here. In a nutshell, though, the USADA in June charged Armstrong and several members of his former U.S. Postal Service team with illegal doping and trafficking of performance-enhancing drugs.

The USADA - responsible for monitoring drug testing and enforcing the World Anti-Doping Agency code for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic sports - alleges that Armstrong, who retired in 2011, took steroids and blood-doped during his career and says testimony from ex-teammates support the charges. This includes Floyd Landis, a former USPS rider who claimed that he saw Armstrong using blood transfusions to increase the level of oxygen-carrying red blood cells in his system as well as taking the blood-boosting drug EPO.

Armstrong has consistently denied allegations of illegal doping.

Armstrong sued the USADA to stop the investigation, arguing that it did not have the right to prosecute him. But a federal judge dismissed Armstrong's lawsuit Monday after ruling that the court did not have jurisdiction.

There's a question of whether Armstrong can be stripped of his wins, including his Tour de France titles, without other international agencies getting involved. The International Cycling Union (UCI), the cycling's world governing body, claims that it, not the USADA, has jurisdiction. That position has been recently backed by USA Cycling, the official organization recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee.


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Filed under: Cycling • Lance Armstrong • Sports
Police kill gunman in shooting outside Empire State Building
Police responded to the Empire State Building in New York after several people were shot Friday.
August 24th, 2012
03:19 PM ET

Police kill gunman in shooting outside Empire State Building

Read the full story and developments in the investigation on For local coverage, visit WPIX, WCBS and NY1.
Scroll down to catch up on the events as they unfolded.

[Updated at 3:19 p.m. ET] Two patients who were brought to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Friday have been discharged and one has been admitted, the hospital's public affairs office said in a statement.

The three people were brought to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center Emergency Department as a result of a shooting outside the Empire State building shortly after 9 a.m., the hospital said.

Other victims were brought to Bellevue Hospital after the shooting, which police said left eight wounded and two dead, including the gunman.

Police initially said nine bystanders were wounded in an exchange of gunfire between shooter Jeffrey Johnson and police. That number was later revised to eight.

Pictures from the scene

Police killed Johnson as he pulled a gun on them while trying to flee the scene where he fatally shot a former coworker, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.


August 24th, 2012
02:05 PM ET

3 U.S. Marines shot in Mexico

Three U.S. Marines were injured in a shooting south of Mexico City on Friday morning, a Mexican military official told CNN Mexico.

The motive behind the attack on the American servicemen, who were on a diplomatic mission, was not immediately known.

Unknown gunmen inside what was described as a Mexican federal police vehicle fired upon a U.S. Embassy vehicle that carried the U.S. servicemen, said the official, who declined to be named for security reasons.

The injured Marines were transported to a hospital in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

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Filed under: Marines • Mexico
August 24th, 2012
01:16 PM ET

Statement from Lance Armstrong

The following is Thursday's statement from Lance Armstrong, announcing he as stopping his fight against charges of illegal doping:

There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, "Enough is enough." For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by (USADA CEO) Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.

I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA’s charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA’s motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.

If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?

From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own eight-year limitation. As respected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges. The international bodies governing cycling have ordered USADA to stop, have given notice that no one should participate in USADA’s improper proceedings, and have made it clear the pronouncements by USADA that it has banned people for life or stripped them of their accomplishments are made without authority. And as many others, including USADA’s own arbitrators, have found, there is nothing even remotely fair about its process. USADA has broken the law, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuade USADA to honor its obligations. At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. For the last two months, USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules, applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practice what they preach. On top of all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their own rules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today.

The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced. The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged ex-teammate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It’s an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It’s just not right.

USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart.

Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in under-served communities. This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly $500 million. We have a lot of work to do and I'm looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause. I will not stop fighting for that mission. Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.

Filed under: Cycling • Lance Armstrong • Sports
August 24th, 2012
12:32 PM ET

Fast facts on Lance Armstrong

Famed cyclist Lance Armstrong could lose his seven Tour de France titles after giving up his fight against charges leveled by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

But there's a question of whether the agency has authority in the case and whether international agencies might have to weigh in before Armstrong would face the prospect of losing his titles.

In addition to catching up on his legal battle and the latest on a possible lifetime ban, read more about Armstrong and follow a timeline leading up to this week's events.


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Filed under: Cycling • Lance Armstrong • Sports
August 24th, 2012
12:32 PM ET

Statement from International Cycling Union on Lance Armstrong

The following is a statement from the International Cycling Union (UCI), regarding the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's announcement that it was giving cyclist Lance Armstrong a lifetime ban and disqualifying him from all competitive results since August 1, 1998:

The UCI notes Lance Armstrong’s decision not to proceed to arbitration in the case that USADA has brought against him.

The UCI recognises that USADA is reported as saying that it will strip Mr. Armstrong of all results from 1998 onwards in addition to imposing a lifetime ban from participating in any sport which recognises the World Anti-Doping Code.

Article 8.3 of the WADC states that where no hearing occurs the Anti-Doping Organisation with results management responsibility shall submit to the parties concerned (Mr. Armstrong, WADA and UCI) a reasoned decision explaining the action taken.

As USADA has claimed jurisdiction in the case the UCI expects that it will issue a reasoned decision in accordance with Article 8.3 of the Code.

Until such time as USADA delivers this decision the UCI has no further comment to make.

Filed under: Cycling • Lance Armstrong • Sports
August 24th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

Statement from USADA on Lance Armstrong

The following is a Friday statement from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, announcing it is giving cyclist Lance Armstrong a lifetime ban and disqualifying him from all competitive results since August 1, 1998:

USADA announced today that Lance Armstrong has chosen not to move forward with the independent arbitration process and as a result has received a lifetime period of ineligibility and disqualification of all competitive results from August 1, 1998, through the present, as the result of his anti-doping rule violations stemming from his involvement in the United States Postal Service (USPS) Cycling Team Doping Conspiracy (USPS Conspiracy).

Following the dismissal of Mr. Armstrong’s lawsuit on Monday, August 20, 2012, by the federal court in Austin, Texas, Mr. Armstrong had until midnight on Thursday, August 23, to contest the evidence against him in a full evidentiary hearing with neutral arbitrators as provided by U.S. law. However, when given the opportunity to challenge the evidence against him, and with full knowledge of the consequences, Mr. Armstrong chose not to contest the fact that he engaged in doping violations from at least August 1, 1998, and participated in a conspiracy to cover up his actions. As a result of Mr. Armstrong’s decision, USADA is required under the applicable rules, including the World Anti-Doping Code under which he is accountable, to disqualify his competitive results and suspend him from all future competition.


Filed under: Cycling • Lance Armstrong • Sports
August 24th, 2012
11:56 AM ET

What to know about the Empire State Building

Eleven people were shot outside the Empire State Building on Friday, leaving two dead, including the gunman, New York officials said.

New York police said they shot and killed the gunman.

Authorities converged on the building about 9 a.m. after reports of gunfire.

The Empire State Building is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world and one of New York's best-known tourist attractions.

Each year, about 4 million people visit the building's two observation decks. At more than 1,453 feet tall, the landmark building reaches more than a quarter-mile into the sky.

"There's always a focus and concentration on the building," said retired police officer Lou Palumbo. "That building gets special attention."

Learn more about the Empire State Building below.


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Filed under: Empire State Building
August 24th, 2012
08:35 AM ET

Norway killer Anders Breivik ruled sane

Anders Behring Breivik, the man who killed 77 people in a bomb attack and gun rampage just over a year ago, was judged to be sane Friday by a Norwegian court, as he was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Breivik was charged with voluntary homicide and committing acts of terror in the attacks in Oslo and on Utoya Island on July 22, 2011.

The issue of Breivik's sanity, on which mental health experts have given conflicting opinions, was central to the court's ruling.

Breivik, who boasts of being an ultranationalist who killed his victims to fight multiculturalism in Norway, wanted to be ruled sane so that his actions wouldn't be dismissed as those of a lunatic.

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Filed under: Norway • Terrorism • World
August 24th, 2012
04:09 AM ET

Tropical Storm Isaac sets eye on Haiti, Dominican Republic

Tropical Storm Isaac marched toward Haiti on Friday, posing a danger to the nation nearly three years after a devastating earthquake left hundreds of thousands living in camps.

Isaac is expected to whip the Caribbean nation with gale-force winds and stinging rain.

A National Hurricane Center forecast map shows the storm making landfall in the Dominican Republic on Friday morning before churning its way through Haiti over the course of the day. The neighboring nations share the island of Hispaniola.

Hundreds of thousands of Haitians are still living in camps with tents as their only shelters following a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in January 2010.

Isaac was 225 miles east-southeast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, early Friday. It had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, the hurricane center in Miami said.

Rainfall accumulations of 8 to 12 inches are expected, with maximum amounts of 20 inches possible over Hispaniola.


Filed under: U.S. • Weather • World