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Smartphone hang-ups (week in review)

iPhone battery and Gmail app hit redial, while Internet sales tax gets another look. Also: A CNET exclusive on the death of Microsoft's Courier tablet.

Screenshot by Rick Broida

iPhone users must have felt a bit drained this week.

Apple finally broke radio silence over criticisms of lackluster battery life affecting iPhones old and new since releasing iOS 5 last month. The company said in a media statement that it's aware of the problem and plans on offering a fix in the form of a software update.

Users have flocked to Apple's support site to complain about lower-than-advertised battery life on the new phone, which went on sale in mid-October, as well as on Apple's previous models. Affected users say fully-charged devices are running out of juice during the course of a workday, even with minimal use, a problem that wasn't present on their devices before the iOS 5 software update.

But that wasn't all. Google launched--then yanked--a new dedicated Gmail iOS app brings alerts, searches, photo uploads, and more to users of iOS devices.

CNET exclusive

The inside story of how Microsoft killed its Courier tablet

Microsoft's decision to cancel its innovative Courier tablet computer a year and a half ago reverberates today, as the software giant plots strategy to catch up the the market-leading iPad.
More headlines

Republican senators push for Internet sales taxes

Two GOP politicians are going further than Democrats with proposal targeting and other online retailers, CNET has learned. Conservative tax groups are crying foul.

Copyright bill controversy grows as rhetoric sharpens

Proponents and detractors of the Stop Online Piracy Act enlist new allies, while pop icon Justin Bieber suggests a U.S. senator "needs to be locked up."

Netflix, Amazon can boast new Disney deals

There's an arms race heating up in online video, and Netflix and Amazon just made sure their catalogs are loaded with Disney-owned shows.

Groupon IPO oversubscribed, shares price at $20--reports

The daily deals giant appears to have created an updraft for its initial offering, which was heavily oversubscribed.

Google alters algorithm to make results more fresh

The Web giant makes changes to bring the most recent Web content to its search results, a move that affects about 35 percent of all searches.

Anonymous threat on Mexican cartel going forward, source says

After a cancellation, plans for operation against drug cartel are back on, unofficial Anonymous spokesman says.

Yahoo moving ahead with new products, despite its own turmoil

The Web giant debuts several new products, including a Flipboard competitor called Livestand, at its Product Runway event.

Outsmarted: Captcha security not much of a gotcha

Web sites including Blizzard, eBay, and Visa's use a flawed antibot mechanism, Stanford researchers say. They say companies should take security more seriously.

'Socialbots' steal 250GB of user data in Facebook invasion

Programs designed to mimic real users made off with 250 gigabytes of personal information from the social network's inhabitants in a vulnerability study.

October ends with no iTunes Match

The deadline Apple set to deliver its iTunes Match service has passed. The company said last month that it would deliver Match by the end of October.

Also of note: