Technology enthusiasts have been cooing over the Palm Pre, a touch screen phone previewed earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show. Many reviewers have taken note of the similarity to Apple’s iPhone, especially in its use of multi-touch technology, which allows users to control a graphical interface with multiple fingers.

Apple has noticed, too. Acting CEO Tim Cook made a lot of noise recently when he said Apple will use all its weapons to defend its intellectual property. And Apple was granted a new patent on touch screens technology this week.

It all points to possible legal battle between the powerful Apple and Palm, which desperately needs a hit product.

Guest: Nilay Patel, Engadget

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Want to watch Frost/Nixon from the comfort of home tonight? Or maybe The Wrestler is more to your liking?You can find DVD-quality copies of those films, and most of the other Oscar-nominated films, on the Internet right now.

Independent journalist and programmer Andy Baio has been tracking Oscar Internet piracy for the past seven years. He says the Motion Picture Association of America and Hollywood studios are not making progress in their campaign to keep copies of nominated off the Internet.

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In a new scholarly journal article, Texas A&M psychology professor Christopher Ferguson argues there is no significant relationship between violent video games school shootings like those at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School. A sense of “moral panic” rather then good science is driving many people to conclude that violent games lead to violent acts, said Ferguson.

Ferguson’s article appears in the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling.

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As hacking targets go, they don’t come much juicier than a credit card payment processing company. Such firms transmit credit and debit card transactions from merchants to Visa, Mastercard and banks.

We learned this week that malicious hackers managed to install spying software on the computer network of Heartland Payment Systems, the sixth largest payment processor in the U.S. It could go down as one of the biggest credit card theft schemes on record, but you may have missed the news, coming as it did on the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration.

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