Tech News Today 478

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Tech News Today
Episode 478

Tech News Today 478: A Quantum Computing Leap

Microsoft roadmap leaked, Nest fights to defend its.... Nest, Canon's new 4K camera, and more.

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Top Stories

  • Australian government may also sue Apple over e-book pricing
  • Macmillan and Penguin: we've 'done no wrong,' DOJ may allow Amazon to 'recover the monopoly position' (update)
  • DOJ is likely to lose e-book antitrust suit targeting Apple
  • US has 'strong case' against Apple's e-books
    • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has advised retailers to raise any concerns related to the local market, according to the Financial Review.
    • The commission declined to say whether there is an ongoing investigation
    • Penguin Group chairman John Makinson has released a similar statement, and says that the DOJ's complaint "contains a number of material misstatements and omissions, which we look forward to having the opportunity to correct in court."
    • Tim Coates, former managing director of WH Smith and Waterstones, and founder of e-books sales and lending site Bilbary, told the BBC's Today programme's Simon Jack that he thought the US government had "a very strong case" against Apple.
    • CNET: The Department of Justice "has a far better case against the publishers than Apple," says Dominick Armentano, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Hartford
    • CNET: Richard Epstein, the prolific legal scholar and professor of law at New York University, goes further. Epstein argues in an essay published yesterday that there are "difficulties" with the Justice Department's case against publishers as well: "It will take some time to hear the whole story, but the betting here is that this lawsuit is a mistake."
    • "I'm not saying that Apple can smile and walk away from this," says Joseph Bauer, a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame. "It's just that the government will have to show that Apple had some kind of involvement in the original arrangement."
    • This lawsuit is stupid. How can you say that publishers colluded in changing to a pricing model that allows them to sell products for whatever they choose? It's not like they decided to set the price of e-books to $20. They decided based upon discussions with a merchant that they preferred being able to set the price of any given title to a value they think is appropriate.

You can argue that this raised prices for the consumer. In many cases it probably did, but this is pure supply and demand. If a merchant raises a price, fewer people will buy it. If a consumer thinks the price is too high, they can choose not to buy it. In Amazon's model there were many publishers who were slow to release titles because they didn't think the price they were earning was worth it. Having low prices comes at the expense of number of titles. There are trade offs for all of this, and the market does a pretty good job sorting things out. The government gets into this stuff to ""protect consumers"", but protection is often a very limited scope that pretty much makes price the top concern with no regard to anything else. This is a political decision that is used because it sells well to consumers who think of nothing but what they pay.

-- Mike"

  • Nest Fires Back in Honeywell Suit, Brings Apple Chief Legal Counsel on Board
  • Nest officially answers patent lawsuit: 'Honeywell is worse than a troll'
    • Nest is fighting Honeywell (Honeywell sued Nest over thermostat patents)
    • Nest filed an answer and also hired an attorney who managed Apple's patent portfolio for 10 years, Richard “Chip” Lutton
    • "Honeywell is worse than a patent troll," says Nest CEO Tony Fadell told the Verge "They're trying to strangle us, and we're not going to allow that to happen."
    • Nest claims: Nest does not use the Honeywell patents; but even if the patents covered what Honeywell alleges, they are hopelessly invalid. They are retreads — already invented by others years before …
    • Honeywell claims: you infringed our patents, you even have Honeywell thermostats in your offices!
    • Nest says was aware of Honeywell's contributions to the thermostat industry
    • Patents in question:
      • Remotely controlling temperature set-point marks, displaying temperature set points on an LCD inside a rotating ring, and presenting a user of an HVAC controller with “complete grammatical sentences” — are either indistinguishable from earlier Honeywell patents or aren’t worthy of a patent.
  • Microsoft roadmap leaks for Office 15, IE 10 and more key products
  • Microsoft Office Now Hitting Nokia’s Symbian Handsets
    • Mary Jo Foley reports: Maarten Visser, CEO of Meetroo — a new SharePoint and mobility startup — recently posted screen shots from it and tweeted links to them.
    • IE 10 could be out by mid-year — maybe around the time Microsoft delivers the Windows 8 Release Candidate.
    • Office 15 Beta mid-year, general availability early 2013 (the “whisper date” for Office 15 RTM is November 2012)
    • Windows Phone: There’s a square (marking general availability) somewhere around the latter part of 2012 marked as “future investments.” Foley thinks it's probably Apollo aka Windows Phone 8
    • VS11, the coming release of Microsoft’s tool suite that will support Windows 8, is shown as being released to manufacturing in the latter part of 2012, as expected.
    • MS said ina statement: “We often provide forward-looking information to our partners and customers under our confidentially agreements with them. This information contains our best estimates and is, in no way, final or definitive.” Microsoft Office for Symbian is now presently available for some handsets. To get the update, Nokia says you can plug your phone into your PC using Nokia Suite or on your Nokia handset through the Nokia Software Update utility. The apps will also be available in the Nokia Store in the following weeks.

Discussion Stories

  • Facebook now lets you download more of your data, including previous names, friend requests and IP addresses
  • Facebook launches 'groups for schools,' keeps enrollment tight
  • Facebook Offers More Disclosure to Users
    • Facebook today announced that it has expanded the breadth of its ‘Download Your Information‘ tool. Go to and click on 'Download a copy of your Facebook data.'
    • Since 2010 you'v been able to get an archive of photos, posts, messages, a list of friends and chat conversations
    • Now you can access additional categories of information, including previous names, friend requests you’ve made and IP addresses you logged in from. This feature will be rolling out gradually to all users and more categories of information will be available for download in the future. Download Your Information is available from your Facebook Account Settings.
    • Move thought to be meant to assuage concerns of European Regulators
    • Max Schrems, the German law student at the University of Vienna who filed the complaint leading to the agreement with the Irish authorities: ""Facebook is still not in line with the European Data Protection Law. With the changes, Facebook will only offer access to 39 data categories, while it is holding at least 84 such data categories about every user.”
    • 'Groups for schools' creates a virtual venue for collegiate collaboration, letting students and faculty members share un-copyrighted files within the groups created for their sports teams, clubs and even individual classes.25 MB limit. US only for now. Must have valid .edu address.
  • Canon EOS-1D C and C500 bring 4K video recording
  • Canon C500 adds 4K recording to the Digital Cinema line
    • EOS-1D C DSLR - records 4K video.18.2 mp full-frame sensor. Video captured as 8-bit 4:2:2 MJPEG at 24fps, can also record 1080p at 24/60fps if space is tight. ISO up to 25,600 in video mode.
    • C500 4K Cinema video camera, upgrade from C300 that only did 1080p video (great for web, not pro movies). 8.85-megapixel Super 35 sensor, records at 50mbps video from 1 to 60fps. can output RAW video but requires an external recorder. two RAW modes: 4096×2960, and 3840×2160. Shooting at higher 120fps rate can only handle 4096×1080 resolution. dual CompactFlash slots, can only handle 1080p video.
    • PRICING:
      • EOS-1D C: $15k.
      • C500: no pricing, expected to be more expensive than the $16,000 C300. Both cameras expected to ship by the end of 2012.
      • NAB is next week, possibly more info/pricing then
  • 75 Ultrabook Designs on the Way, Prices to Reach $699
  • First Intel Ivy Bridge launch expected on April 23
    • Yesterday morning Intel announced 75 Ultrabook models are already in development and will include new form factors such as hybrids that can switch from laptops to touchscreen tablets. It seems to have caught the fancy of the Internet today
    • The big headline-grabber is Intel's assertion that Ultrabooks will reach a starting price of $699 within several months by the back-to-school period this year
    • Meanwhile CNET reports the first of a series of Ivy Bridge chip announcements is expected on April 23
    • Ivy Bridge is also the first Intel chip to employ new 3D transistors and the first to support USB 3.0
    • Apple Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sony, Toshiba, Acer, and Asus lare all expected to update and/or bring out new systems" quad-core chips appear first followed by the most power-efficient processors that go into ultrabooks - some power-efficient mobile models may launch a few weeks later than originally expected but no widespread Ivy Brige delays

News Fuse


  • Scientists Build First Working Quantum Network
  • World’s First Quantum Network Built with Two Atoms, One Photon
    • Scientists say they’ve managed to create the world’s first working quantum network, a functional analogue of the kind you probably use at home or work, only in the quantum version, individual atoms form the network nodes and information is shuttled back and forth by photons. Those photons zip along a 60-meter fiberoptic cable, bounding between two single atom “nodes” capable of transmitting, receiving as well as storing information. Scientists at the Quantum Dynamics division of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching, Germany





"My employer (a large multinational corporation) sent out a company wide email informing everyone that over the coming weeks they would be ""upgrading the Microsoft"" on everyone's computers. After some digging I found out they meant that everyone would be upgraded to Office 2010.

Love the show, Brian"



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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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