Motorola RAZR and Apple iPhone 4S

And just like that, the longstanding legal battle between Apple and Motorola appears to be winding down. The two smartphone giants have reached an agreement that will see them drop patent lawsuits against each other. The truce doesn't involve offering technology licenses, but Apple and Google (still Motorola's owner at this point) say they'll "work together in some areas of patent reform." Neither side is revealing what this entails, although it won't be surprising if it involves efforts to curb the patent trolls that they face.

The companies haven't said what prompted the change of heart. However, it comes hot on the heels of an appeals court reviving patent claims from Apple and Motorola that had been dismissed in 2012. The phone makers faced the prospect of renewing a fight over some relatively old (and no longer very valuable) infringement allegations -- peace may simply be the more pragmatic option. Whatever led to the decision, it's good news for those who'd rather see phone makers compete in stores than in the courtroom.

Remixing Renaissance art with help from a 3D scanner