Apple plays with fire in Chinese trademark stick-up

The problem with paying a ransom is that the hostage takers can come back for more — as Apple can now attest. The company paid $60 million to settle a spurious trademark suit in China only to be confronted with another claim as fishy as the first.

Is the Retina display necessary? Plus 4 other Apple stories to read today

Here’s our daily pick of stories about Apple from around the web that you shouldn’t miss. Today’s installment: the growing demand for high-definition touchscreens, the crackdown on App Store marketing, Apple doesn’t get HTC smartphones blocked by the ITC, a lost Steve Jobs interview hits iTunes.

The three-year itch: Why Apple needs to do more to keep older systems secure

Apple recently introduced software updates and a removal tool for the “Flashback” threat on Macs. Users of Apple’s current desktop OS, Lion 10.7.3, and the previous Snow Leopard 10.6.8, Apple’s got you covered. For anything older, Apple’s recommendation is disabling Java. That’s wrong, and here’s why.

VMware Fusion 4 now available with Lion-specific features

Not one to be left behind for long, VMware has introduced the new version of its Fusion virtualization software. Fusion 4 lets you install and run a second OS, including Windows, Lion or Snow Leopard in a virtual machine that integrates completely with your desktop.

Mac OS X Lion installation stats bode well for digital distribution

Apple’s latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, is doing well in its early days, nearing OS X 10.5 Leopard in popularity according to new OS market share numbers. Lion’s success could be a sign that computer consumers are read for more digital distribution.

Mac OS X Lion USB drive now on sale for the broadband-challenged

Have you been waiting on Mac OS X Lion because you don’t have a broadband connection? Then today’s your (sort of) lucky day. Apple introduced the OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive to the online Apple Store, but it comes with a premium price tag: $69.

How to downgrade from Lion to Snow Leopard

A few folks have asked me how to go about stepping back from Lion to Snow Leopard. It’s possible, but unfortunately you may not be able to easily take your current apps and documents with you unless you’ve cloned your original Snow Leopard drive.

1 million copies of OS X Lion already sold

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion went on sale on Wednesday, and already Apple is saying this release is selling “faster than any other OS release in Apple’s history.” It’s also the first time Apple’s done a major desktop OS release through its Mac App Store.

Why OS X Lion is the biggest test for digital downloads

Sometime next week we could see the arrival of Mac OS X Lion, according to reports. But this is no ordinary major software launch. The twist is that Lion will only be distributed digitally, the effect of which is difficult to predict.

6 ways to make Snow Leopard roar like Lion

If you can’t wait to try out some of Lion’s new features, but don’t have access to the developer preview, I’ve got good news: You can get many of Lion’s new features in Snow Leopard using these third-party apps, tweaks and downloads.