Friday, May 20, 2011

Apple needs to step up for its developers on Lodsys –EFF

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Mere weeks before the WWDC, Apple is still quiet on the Lodsys situation, leaving developers unsure of what to do in the patent trolling case. The silence is truly deafening. EFF sums up many of our thoughts on this:

In case you missed it, Lodsys – a troll whose sole business model is owning and suing on patents – has sent letters to many of Apple’s app developers accusing them of infringing a patent that covers the in-app purchasing functionality that Apple provides as part of its operating system. In addition to these accusations, Lodsys’ letters demanded payment. Unfortunately, suing app developers – who often lack the resources required to defend a lawsuit – is a trend we’re seeing more and more often. What’s different here, however, is that Apple provides this functionality to its developers and requires that they use it. Apple itself is protected from liability – Apple took a license from Lodsys’ predecessor to use this very patent (which was likely part of a larger blanket license). And the apparently one-sided Apple-developer agreement does not require that Apple indemnify developers from suits based on technology that Apple provides.
Apple clearly needs to take a stand on this one way or another. Even just a public statement saying, “we are working on this and will have an answer before the 30 days to respond to Lodsys time is up” would suffice.

By putting the burden on those least able to shoulder it, both Apple and Lodys are harming not just developers but also the consumers who will see fewer apps and less innovation. We hope that going forward companies like Apple will do what’s right and stand up for their developers and help teach the patent trolls a lesson.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Apple exploring displays with privacy mode viewing

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Apple’s R&D team has been on a roll lately. The latest patent application describes an interesting privacy mode on displays for mobile gadgets that can steer display light beams in various directions, allowing only the person directly in front of the display to see its content. Patenty Apple explains:

The new privacy option mode only allows those directly in front of the display to view its content. Anyone on the periphery would simply see a blank display. A number of professions may find this feature very appealing. The patent also vaguely points to this technology being used in association with a future pico-like projection system and/or 3D holographic display.
The invention called “Systems and Methods for Electronically Controlling the Viewing Angle of a Display” is credited to an Apple engineer David Gere. So, how is this CIA-like stuff supposed to work?

The trick for locking out peripheral viewing is a simple one, Apple argues. Picture elements comprising the display could be controlled by directing a light beam towards a liquid crystal material and steering it via microscopic mirror-like structures that apply a variable electrical control signal to the liquid crystal material. As a result, viewing can be restricted only to the person directly in front of the display. The privacy mode could be entered by touching a dedicated corner that would invoke a software setting for changing viewing angles, Apple wrote. The invention applies to a wide scope of devices, from handheld music players to smartphones to tablets and desktop computers.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com
- Posted using my iPhone 4

Intel owns ‘full rights’ to the Thunderbolt trademark, not Apple (UPDATED with clarification from Intel)

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Chip maker Intel had stressed they, not Apple, own all Thundebolt trademarks. Even though Apple and Intel collaborated on this high-speed I/O technology featured on the 2011 MacBook Pro and iMac families, the confusion arose when Patently Apple discovered that Apple filed for the Thunderbolt brand name trademark, their third since the technology debuted on the new MacBook Pro family in February of 2011. Few were convinced Apple owns the trademark, including Cult of Mac’s Ed Sutherland who asked, “Who the heck owns Thunderbolt, Intel or Apple?”

Deciding enough is enough, Intel has now made claims it owns the Thunderbolt trademark. Responding to an inquiry from Theo Valich over at Bright side of news, Intel’s senior communications manager Dave Salvator provided this statement:

As part of our collaboration with Apple, they did some of the initial trademark filings. Intel has full rights to the Thunderbolt trademark now and into the future. The Thunderbolt name will be used going forward on all platforms, irrespective of operating system.
[UPDATE May 20, 2011 3:15am Pacific] Intel’s representative has contacted the publication with additional clarification. To make a long story short, Intel and Apple have agreed that the iPhone maker will transfer their Thunderbolt trademark to the semiconductor giant. Valich explains:

Apple filed for the original trademark and is now transferring that trademark to Intel. At the same time, Apple will continue to have unrestricted use of the technology. 3rd party implementations such as Sony’s desire to use USB Connector instead of DisplayPort and the eventual change of technology branding (Sony’s IEEE1394 a.k.a. Firewire implementation was named i.LINK) will have to be ironed out as the time passes by.

I guess this invalidates Apple’s ahead-of-time November 2010 Thunderbolt trademark filed with the US and Canadian trademark offices in Jamaica. And what about another Thunderbolt trademark claim from Apple that surfaced in the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s database on May 11, 2011? The situation is getting murkier with each passing day, if you ask us.

Another interesting tidbit came when Valich asked Intel’s Salvator to reflect on future Thunderbolt implementations based on optical connectivity (current version uses copper wiring for cost reasons).

“The (Thunderbolt optical) cable could carry power in the same cable (running next to optical part of cable), but exact product plans are still to be announced”, Salvador said.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com
- Posted using my iPhone 4

China Telecom “in touch with Apple”, wants a CDMA iPhone

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Asian carrier China Telecom has approached Apple with an idea of bringing a CDMA version of the iconic handset to its 216 million subscribers. Apple, of course, is currently dealing with China Unicom only. That company commands a whopping 886 million users in the 1.4 billion people market. China Telecom’s chairman Wang Xiaochu told Reuters:

We’re not denying that we’re in touch with iPhone (Apple), but I cannot comment on the progress.
The state-owned carrier, the smallest of China’s three major wireless operators, sees a window of opportunity opening as Apple’s exclusive agreement with Unicom is set to expire later this year.

The news arrives just as we learned that Apple and China Mobile, the country’s largest wireless operator, have come to a “consensus” about future iPhones supporting the carrier’s fourth-generation TD-LTE radio technology. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless’ finance chief Fran Shammo went on record claiming that a next-generation Verizon iPhone would be a so-called world phone – that is, a single hardware version which works with GSM, CDMA and upcoming LTE cellular technologies.

The basis for this would be a Qualcomm-branded Gobbi chip. A world-phone device would greatly expand iPhone’s distribution footprint while letting Apple – a company that prides itself with keeping things simple – engineer, support and maintain one instead of multiple hardware revisions of the iconic smartphone. Whether or not iPhone 5 or one of the subsequent iterations enable world-phone compatibility is up for debate. According to DigiTimes, an LTE-supporting iPhone may not be in the cards before end of 2012, at the earnest, due to low yield rates of the Qualcomm chip.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com
- Posted using my iPhone 4