It’s sad to see Eastman Kodak reduced – at least in many investors’ eyes – to a punt on the photographic pioneer’s patents.

On Wednesday, its shares jumped by a quarter on the suggestion that its intellectual property could be worth more than the company itself. It’s a sign of the times as much as it is a sign of Kodak’s failure to find a convincing answer to the digital photography challenge: Google’s $12.5bn agreed bid this week for Motorola Mobility was largely based on the value of the mobile phonemaker’s patent portfolio.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • Google Music, a streaming service that will store user’s existing music library on Google’s servers, is nearly complete and being tested on internally, reports CNet. Greg Sandoval writes, “Negotiations with at least some of the top publishers and four largest record labels are ongoing, according to sources.”
  • Kodak is suing RIM and Apple over an image preview phone patent. Bloomberg reports that $1 billion dollars could be at stake.

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Like the slideshows they display, digital photo frames have been going through a number of transitions.

From single-purpose devices, they have changed to screens that not only show photos but also can wake you up with a weather report and a stock quote. With Kodak’s Pulse frame, the move is back to a purer, simpler concept, backed by cloud-based intelligence. Read more

Until recently, most of the Taylor family’s digital photo frames (DPFs) were gathering dust because we had unplugged them. We had bought a clutch of these first-generation devices for displaying digital photos but found the screens disappointingly small and low-resolution, and the limited internal storage capacities allowed only a few dozen images to be displayed.

But digital photo frames have become cheaper and evolved quickly to add features that include: slots for extra memory cards, which make it easier to load photos; Wi-Fi networking capabilities, so content can be added via a home network; and the ability to refresh content over the internet, so friends and family can add photos, and images can be downloaded from web-based services. Read more

Hewlett-Packard, which is trying multiple ways to get people to keep printing things instead of just posting them online, will roll out something truly novel this fall: a printer that doesn’t need a computer.

The high-end HP Photosmart Premium will sell for about $399 and has its own 4.33-inch touch screen, allowing consumers to select pages to print from a limited number of providers. Read more