Tech News Today 304
Recorded: August 11, 2011
Published: August 11, 2011
Tech News Today 304: Measuring Piles of Patents
Google Plus gets game(s), final word on the patent mess, PCs are over, and more.
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- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar
- Jason Howell ( )
- Jonathan Strickland
- Google Plus gets games
- Facebook and Google’s Dueling Game Announcements Tonight
- Games tab will show up, only give you games contnet when you click into it (no Mafia Wars type news feed pollution)
- Launches with Angry Birds... and well you don't really care about anything else do you
- Rolling out slowly to users
- U.K. May Block Twitter, Blackberry Services in Future Violence After Riots
- England riots: Government mulls social media controls
- Former British Telecom CTO: U.K. Plans to Control Social Media ‘All Bluff’
- David Cameron, said in parliament the government is working with police, the intelligence services and companies to look at “whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”
- All social media are subject to inclusion, Cameron’s spokesman Steve Field told reporters. The government is still investigating how useful and practical blocking the websites and services would be and hasn’t reached any conclusion
- Three people were arrested by police in Southampton, England, on suspicion of using social media and messaging to encourage rioting.
- Facebook has a policy of taking down content that threatens violence or might qualify as hate speech.
- Part of a wider speech on the mistakes made by polic dealing with the riots. Curfews may be put in place and a ban on face masks (Guy Fawkes day will be sad this year)
- “Free flow of information can be used for good, but it can also be used for ill,” Cameron said in an address to Parliament today. “When people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them.”
- Our only comment is that if the government would like to talk about this we’d be happy to listen. Twitter PR exec Rachel Bremer, responding to UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s trial balloon to limit access to Twitter, Facebook and communication technologies like BlackBerry Messenger in the aftermath of his country’s riots.
- Seeking Street Cred, HTC Investing $300 Million in Beats Electronics
- HTC to buy stake of Beats Electronics for $309 million
- Pantech Vega Tablet Phone and Vega Racer Smartphone Will Feature DTS High-Performance Technology
- HTC's Beats deal: Hear no evil?
- HTC will buy a 51 percent stake of U.S. company Beats Electronics for $309 million
- The first HTC product with Beats technology included is due out later this year
- Beats Electronics, which makes high-end headphones and speakers, was founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre, a U.S. rapper and music producer.
- Iovine will continue to run the company. He is also chairman of Interscope Records
- HTC CEO Peter Chou said “help create an emotional connection to HTC’s brand.”
- Beats partnership w/Monster to produce headphones since 2008, partnership w/ HP since Oct. 2009
- The patent system isn’t broken — we are
- When Startups Fail, Investors Recoup By Selling Patents
- Fark settles with patent troll for $0
- LG, Sony drop patent infringement lawsuits, strike cross-licensing agreement
- Sanjay Jha hints at Motorola's plans to collect patent royalties from Android competitors
- The public aspect of patents means innovation doesn't end up hidden as a trade secret.
- Software as math isn't patentable, but the courts have found various ways over the years to make the results of software patentable
- In 1998 software was patentable as long it yields a “useful, concrete, and tangible result.” Overturned in Bilski, then SC gutted Bilski, so where are we now? Nobody knows for sure.
- What do we do? Add software to Title 35, Limit software term to reflect pace of industry? Provide a mechanical licensing mechanism? Limit damages?
- Wait? The gold rush on software patents may cause future attempts to be deemed obvious. Tim Carmody at Wired has an article pointing out why patents are essential for the startup economy
- Google Tells ITC Judge: Microsoft Revealed Our Secret Source Code
- Google has asked a judge at the International Trade Commission to sanction Microsoft, saying that the company revealed “highly confidential source code” to an expert witness Robert Stephenson in violation of the court’s rules.
- Case is Microsoft against Motorola over an Android phone
- Shows Google is involved and assists handset makers
- Google says it should have had a chance to review the credentials of Stephenson and had a chance to object.
- Google wants the ITC judge overseeing the Microsoft v. Motorola case to stop Stevenson from testifying.
- Google has asked Microsoft to respond by August 15
- PCs 'going the way of typewriters,' says IBM
- Dean's post: "IBM Leads the Way in the Post-PC Era"
- Mark Dean, IBM CTO Middle East and Africa wrote a blog post commemorating the 30th anniversary of the launch of the IBM 5150. (August 12)
- "I, personally, have moved beyond the PC... My primary computer now is a tablet. When I helped design the PC, I didn’t think I’d live long enough to witness its decline... they’re no longer at the leading edge of computing. They’re going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs."
- "PCs are being replaced at the center of computing not by another type of device - though there’s plenty of excitement about smart phones and tablets - but by new ideas about the role that computing can play in progress."
- Excited about Android's upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich update? The new version of the Android OS can be seen running on a Nexus S in a set of newly leaked photos. Changes shown include a revamped notification bar, a new launcher, and an overall blue theme that matches the look of current Honeycomb devices. The Nexus Prime is expected to be the first phone to receive the new version of the OS.
- Ice Cream Sandwich First Look (RootzWiki Exclusive)
- Anonymous and political hacker crew TeaMp0isoN have decided to do something no one saw coming - release a song. The two groups announced that they are currently working with an unnamed artist and will flood channels like YouTube and iTunes with the song when it's done! No word on the genre of music, but proceeds of the song will apparently go to charity. To quote the release: "Once this hits the charts, radio stations will by law, have to play it"
- So your smartphone or tablet is all fancy with its bright touchscreen, but it's virtually useless without power. UCLA may have come up with a solution by creating a new type of photovoltaic polarizer, which it calls "polarizing organic photovoltaic." It would charge the battery of a device by harnessing energy from the backlight of your screen. The polarizer could also charge a battery using sunlight or ambient light.
- Twitter just made its "New Twitter" interface default for all and is already changing things up. The @Mentions tab will be replaced with two tabs. One will be @YourUsername which will show you mentions, retweets, and when someone adds you to a list. The second tab is called "Activity" and it shows you the same information but related to people you follow (like if your friend is retweeted, etc). These changes started rolling out yesterday.
- Hulu for sale! Hulu has put itself on the auction block and lots of big tech players have been linked to negotiations. Peter Kafka over at AllThingsD is reporting the first bids for the streaming video service will be in by the end of next week. So who will take over Hulu?
- Europeans can still buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the Netherlands for a few more months. The presiding judge called the lawyers "terriers" and said his will come September 15th and if there is an injunction, it won't take effect until October 13th. So much more patient and relaxed than the Germans.
- Get ready for "Next Generation 911." FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced that the US emergency telephone number will be able to handle more than just phone calls eventually. Next Generation 911 will be able to handle video, texts, photos, and of course, voice calls to respond to emergencies. What's the time table for this change? Five to ten years.
- T-Mobile will no longer throttle you down when you go over your data limit on one of its two basic plans. Starting August 14th you won't be throttled when you exceed your limit, you'll just be charged 10 cents per megabyte up to a maximum payment of $40 or $45 depending on your plan. Customers will be notified when they get to 90% of their limit. Customers of the 2GB plan will still get throttled to 2G speeds when they pass their limit.
- People burned by the Netflix price increase may have turned to other ways to get DVDs like Redbox. Well, Redbox and Foursquare are partnering up in a promotion that runs from August 15th to August 24th. If you check in at a kiosk using Foursquare, you can grab yourself a discount code that could take somewhere between 10 cents and $1 off the rental price of a movie or game.
- Sony's Face-to-Avatar blimp soars through SIGGRAPH, melts the heart of Big Brother (video)
- For all intents and purposes, it's a motorized blimp with a front-facing camera, microphone, a built-in projector and a WiFi module. It's capable of hovering above crowds in order to showcase an image of what's below, or displaying an image of whatever's being streamed to its wireless apparatus
- On this day in 1942: Hedy Lamarr, once described by German actor-director Max Reinhardt as “the most beautiful woman in Europe,” received a U.S. patent for a frequency-hopping device designed to guide radio-controlled torpedoes while making them more difficult to detect in the water. It proved to be one of the forerunners of spread-spectrum communications, which has applications in satellite systems and cellphone technology.
- Happy Birthday Woz! Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, turns 61 today.
- Walmart & Target can both claim FIRST! by cutting the asking price for the Nintendo 3DS down from $250 to $170, both in-store and on each store's websites.
- It's also the last day to register for free Nintendo 3DS games - you have to register by 11:59PM Eastern Time on August 11th for 20 free games.
- Dell has introduced slimmed-down Inspiron 13z and 14z laptops sporting aluminum lids & USB 3.0
- IFA Berlin kicks off September 2nd and Pocket-Lint reports that Windows Phone Mango will launch there on the 1st... the day before the show opens
- OnLive, the cloud gaming service, hits the UK on September 22nd
- Dell's Latitude XT3 is available up for pre-order, will come your way September 22nd
HTV-2b did not launch yesterday it was scrubbed due to poor weather over the Pacific Ocean
- The DARPA glider, called the Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle 2 (HTV-2), blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California atop a Minotaur 4 rocket at 7:45 a.m. PDT. The U.S. military lost contact with an unmanned hypersonic glider shortly after it launched on a test flight today (Aug. 12) as part of a global strike weapons program to develop vehicles capable of flying at Mach 20 and reach any target in the world in an hour.
I don't know if this is new (haven't listened to the last couple of shows yet) but as far as I am concerned, facebook has done about the dodgiest thing they have done so far in terms of privacy. If you run the facebook app for iPhone, the app has uploaded all your contacts to facebook - if you go to ACCOUNT > EDIT FRIENDS and then click on 'contacts' at the far left, you should see every contact from your phone address book with phone numbers - both people who are on Facebook and ones that are not. I guess I missed the TOS in facebook where they said they were entitled to upload all the data on my phone. Presumably this will make the whole Skype integration easier meaning you can call friends who aren't on facebook from within facebook. However, this not asking approach just seems incredibly underhanded. Did they really think that no-one would notice and they'd just get away with it? Keep up the awesome work.
FB's response: “Our Contacts list, formerly called Phonebook, has existed for a long time,” the statement says. “The phone numbers listed there were either added by your friends themselves and made visible to you, or you have previously synced your phone contacts with Facebook. Just like on your phone, only you can see these numbers.”
Allen the web front-end engineer here. You guys were talking about how Amazon's new ebook web app didn't look right on the iPhone maybe because HTML5 isn't ratified yet. I'm sad to say that even if HTML5 was ratified, it wouldn't make that big of a difference. HTML5 isn't a magic bullet that makes web apps work across browsers and hardware (e.g., IE9, mobile, low-power CPU's w/ no GPU acceleration), and web engineers still often choose to optimize for one or two target browser types.
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- Edited by: Jason
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