Mix: President’s Medal, AAPL, CD-quality, Thunderbird

The Royal Academy of Engineering will award its coveted silver President’s Medal to Apple design guru Jonathan Ive for “his outstanding achievements in engineering design and in particular in the design of the iPod, which represents the very best of human interface engineering.”

Shares of Apple dropped nearly 5% early Friday after saying Thursday that it had settled an iPod class-action lawsuit that could cost the company as much as $100 million.

In an article looking at CD-quality downloads, BusinessWeek’s Peter Burrows reports: “If the digital music revolution is to reach its full potential—an all-digital future, perhaps, in which CDs racks are no longer needed—analysts say the industry will have to hit a far better-sounding note.”

Developers of the Mozilla Foundation’s Thunderbird have added podcasting features to the open-source e-mail client.

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