Saturday, July 9, 2011

Apple Ordered to Pay $8 Million for Infringing on Playlist Patent

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Apple has been ordered to pay Personal Audio LLC $8 million after a federal jury in Texas found that the company infringed on a patent for downloadable playlists, according to Bloomberg.

Personal Audio, a patent licensing company with an office in Beaumont, Texas, sued Apple in 2009 for $84 million in damages, claiming infringement of two patents. The jury today found that the patents were infringed, and upheld their validity, according to Personal Audio's lawyer, Ron Schutz of Robins Kaplan in Minneapolis.

Bloomberg notes that the patents covered an audio player that could receive navigable playlists and skip forward or backward through the downloaded list. Apple said it wasn't using the patents and that they were invalid.




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iSuppli speculates LTE costs and extra chipset will keep Apple away this year

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In a note last night, Wayne Lam of IHS-iSuppli made the case against Apple going with 1st generation LTE chips in its next iPhone.

“It remains to be seen whether the next Apple iPhone set for introduction in September will support 4G LTE,” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for IHS. “However, if it does, two things are clear. First, the iPhone’s minuscule printed circuit board (PCB) will have to grow in size in order to support the first-generation LTE baseband processor as well as all the supporting chipset. Second, the next iPhone’s BOM value certainly will increase substantially compared to the iPhone 4 if LTE is implemented in the same manner as in the HTC Thunderbolt.”

I think Apple is more concerned with the extra space and battery life the new chips would consume much more than the extra cost of the components.“The first generation of LTE chipsets forced a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple chief financial officer, speaking at the company’s April 2011 earnings call.

The next round of chips which would allow Apple to put LTE in a similarly sized package won’t hit the streets until the first half of 2012.

I don’t see an iPhone as big as the Thundebolt or Charge, ever!

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American Airlines to Save $1.2 Million By Using iPads Instead of Paper Charts

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American Airlines began testing iPads yesterday in an effort to ditch paper navigational charts and save about $1.2 million a year in fuel, according to MarketWatch.

Pilot flight bags typically weigh 35 pounds or more, and contain navigational charts and other important flight information. The tablets are being tested on two flights departing Los Angles for Tokyo and Shanghai, respectively. The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the iPad tables for all phases of flight, allowing for the first time the use of device during takeoff and landing.

This announcement follows the news that Alaska Airlines would similarly issue iPads to its pilots. The 1 1/2-pound iPads replace up to 25 pounds of paper flight manuals that their pilots are required to carry when they fly. Alaska Airlines expects to have completed the switchover process by this month.




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HDMI Organization Says Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Cables Cannot Be Sold

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HDMI Licensing, LLC, the agent responsible for administration of the HDMI Specification, says Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cannot be sold and should be withdrawn from stores.

TechRadar was told that there are several reasons for this:

"The HDMI specification defines an HDMI cable as having only HDMI connectors on the ends. Anything else is not a licensed use of the specification and therefore, not allowed."

Also, "All HDMI products undergo compliance testing as defined by the Compliance Testing Specification. The CTS clearly defines necessary tests for all products defined in the HDMI Specification. Since this new cable product is undefined in the Specification, there are no tests associated with this product. It cannot be tested against the Specification."

MacRumors reports that Monoprice has already discontinued their cable; however, the Apple Store is still selling the cable.

For those who need to go from Mini DisplayPort to HDMI, an alternative would be using a Mini DisplayPort to a female HDMI dongle.



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