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Archives from month » July, 2012

Battle ground: Jury chosen for Samsung, Apple legal proceeding

The 10 jurors who were selected to decide the US copyright fight between Apple and Samsung consist of 7 men and 3 women including an insurance agent, a project manager for AT&T, an avid unemployed video gamer a system engineer, payroll manager and cycling store operations manager. The background of the jurors was well examined by the US District Judge Lucy Koh, as the case begins on Tuesday after a year of pretrial collision.

The two largest electronic companies, Apple and Samsung accuse each other of patent breach and fight for their superiority. It started around a year back when Apple sued Samsung in a federal courtingSan Jose,Californiafor copying the designs of iPad and iPhone. Samsung countersued it. The federal courthouse inSan Josewas flooded with lawyers, observers and media to watch the proceedings. The jury was finalized after Koh interrogated 3dozen members of the jury pool about their phone choices, links with Samsung, Google Inc, Apple or Motorola Mobile services, economic impact and encounter with the legal system which led to the selection of aSilicon Valleyjury with no partiality.

 

Google is the framework actor in the battle as Samsung uses Google’s Android operating system. Some researchers feel Apple’s patent battle is a proxy war against Google. An Apple employee was not included in the jury after he hoped for his employer to win. Another reason of not selecting a juror was his raising similarities of Apple battle with Microsoft over Windows in which Apple failed.

 

However, it is the same thing but with slightly different technology. A man holding 120 patents was excused by lawyers as they had a peremptory challenge to eliminate few jurors. Samsung is keeping itUSsales ban of Galaxy Smartphone at stake while Apple gives a test of its patent litigation work. Samsung is facing tough time as Judge Koh halted theUSsales of Galaxy Tab `10.1 and Galaxy Nexus revealing Apple’s early win. Samsung has appealed for it. The trial can last for four weeks.


Windows 8 Official Release Date Announced: 26 October 2012

Microsoft has finally made a commitment and has announced the final release date for Windows 8 — 26th October 2012. As expected, the blogosphere has been reporting about it incessantly with a large number of related posts pouring in from all directions.

Microsoft had already declared earlier that it will be launching Windows 8 during Fall this year but it is always nice to have a fixed date for such things. This is expected to be a large combined release with the main Windows 8 launching alongside several other smaller launches such as accessories and hardware. Hardware vendors partnering with Microsoft to make Windows 8 devices will also be releasing a lot of devices around the same time. There’s no telling how many models of Ultrabooks, desktops and genera laptops will be available on the market but the number is sure to be quite high thanks to the generally high levels of enthusiasm amongst the said partners.

There’s also likely to be a lot of Windows 8 based tablets and tablet convertibles making an appearance on and around the launching day. Microsoft has timed it really nicely this time so that they and their partners are right on time to take advantage of the holiday buying frenzy. Many were afraid that with the amount of work that Windows 8 demands Microsoft might miss out on the holiday season entirely; just like it did with Windows Vista. And this time with Windows 8 the stakes are even higher.

Amongst other news, Microsoft is going to release the RTM (Release To Manufacturing) build in August. Which means manufacturers will be readying their devices from next month onwards and developers have already started their work. Looks like the launch will see a lot of new things coming out.


Apple prepares for September 12 event, fuels iPhone Talk

This September, Apple enthusiasts will be up for a surprise! Apple speeds up to launch a new product on a September 12 major event, someone who is known to the plan revealed. It is predicted that the much awaited redesigned iPhone 5 will be launched on that day.

One of the worlds’s most known and prestigious company, Apple unfolds its latest and much awaited Smartphone around the fall, allowing the new technology, to hit the stores in September, the peak time for holiday shopping. The fifth replication of the iPhone will bring a revolution in the mobile industry as people expect it to sport a much slimmer look and have a larger screen than before, along with a smaller dock connector.

However, the company completely denied commenting on it on Monday. The launch of Apple’s iPhone is one of the biggest events on Silicon Valley’s calendar and is being highly watched over by trade investors, consumers, analysts and enthusiasts. The sources on condition of not revealing their name said that the date may shift from September 12.

Just few months back, Samsung launched it Galaxy device in recent months, leading Apple in the crude battle for mobile supremacy. Both the companies hold more than half of the global Smartphone sales. It was the Technology blog iMore which first reported the launch of the new iPhone on September 12 event this Monday.


Samsung Allegations on Apple’s iPhone- the design was inspired by Sony

According to the South Korean mobile company Samsung, the tech savvy Apple’s leading brand iPhone is not the firm’s real discovery but a dupe of Sony products.

In accordance with the court petition made by Samsung regarding a patent infringement controversy as it continues its battle with Apple from the year 2006, the year before iPhone was launched, Apple professional designer Shin Nishibori was asked to design an iPhone prototype which was inspired by Sony. The Apple prototype was seen with “Sony” icon bar which was renamed as “Jony” after the Apple design Chief Sir Jonathan Ive.

Right after the December, Australian High Court hearing where it overturned the decision to ban the galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale, the Federal Court is hearing Samsung’s counter –statements that Apple violated Samsung’s patents connected to 3g technology. Samsungs also presented its confidential internal documents of iPhone designs “before iPhone was announced” from the year 2006 allegedly.

As Age quoted Samsung saying” Since the year as early as 1991, Samsung has researched and developed new mobile telecommunication tech and discovered new technology for Smartphone being launched nowadays”. Further adding, Apple could not have sold a single iPhone without utilizing Samsung’s patented telecommunications as it sold the first iPhone 20 year after Samsung invented mobile phone telecommunications. Australian patent lawyer quoted ” the hearing of the Australian case should not affect the US case hearing as the US case is about Apple’s design patents defending the product’s physical appearance and the Australian case is about their function”.

It was also revealed that Apple’s internal prototype was like an iPod Mini and Richard Howarth, Apple designer noted the designs inspired by Sony permitted for a “small looking product with a much finer shape”. Talking about the settlement issue, the patent lawyer revealed that it has failed as Apple strongly believes that its patents are considerably more than the Samsung patents in the case.


Apple and Twitter – A Partnership to Come?

According to few people, Apple had made efforts to get into social media, and for that it has talked to Twitter for making some strategic investment. Although, Apple has highly been successful in selling its product yet it has low social network, an important activity on Web and mobile devices as it aims to influence the people how to invest their money. Thus, this becomes a consideration for Apple too. “Apple valued Twitter for more than $10 billion”, people said. The discussion is kept private. It is not sure, that the two companies will ever come to an agreement. But the earlier conferences predicts that they might give a strong competition to Google and Facebook .

Apple relationship with Facebook had fallen apart. And Google, its rival is promoting its own network, Google plus. Apple doesn’t have any social network, but it does need one. Recently, Apple integrated twitters features into its software’s. In reality, twitter has managed to have more resources to support its relationship with Apple. Investing $117 billion in twitter on Friday, is not a big financial decision for Apple, yet it a favorable one made by Mr. Cook as a Chief Executive. It will be an unusual deal for Apple but this deal would help Apple and its products to make use of Twitter’s social Web.

Twitter has more than 140 million active users generating messages about everything. Twitter relationship with Apple will make it a tech savvy icon and increase it valuation in comparison to Facebook. It is said that, the shares of Social companies have wilted but, Dick Costolo, Twitter’s Chief Executive said company has huge money. People added, “More than $600 million in cash on hand”, which comes from the financing ($1 billion) and advertising.

Twitter is expected to deal with investors like Apple. There are already dealing logically. Twitter has no strategies to compete with Apple in any field. And Apple has no social Web in its DNA.

 


Apple to purchase AuthenTec, the US mobile security firm

SAN FRANCISCO: A US phone and network safety provider, AuthenTec made an announcement on Friday that it has surrendered to Apple. The US Securities and Exchange Commission in regulatory filings posted on the firm’s website that Apple will buy $8 a share, delivering a 56.9 % premium as per AuthenTec closing share price on Thursday.

According to a report by technology news from AllthingsD  “Apple is paying $356 million for AuthenTec’s acquisition which is its biggest deal in the recent times”. The headquarter of  AuthenTec in Florida, USA delivers a wide range of network security products to many companies like Lenovo, Motorola, Samsung, Cisco, HP and Fujitsu.

Some analysts have taken the fingerprint sensor feature used for security and authentication in the bill payment of phones of the firm to be the main reason for Apple’s purchase. While filing with the Security and Exchange Commission, AuthenTec said it has reached a mutual agreement with its buyer, Apple to share between them some confidential information which may require the development of a 2D fingerprint sensor apt for use in an Apple product. Apple would take the advantage of this acquisition to show its high knowledge in the tough competition in the mobile payment market.

In the agreement, Apple is ready to pay $20 million to buy comprehensive licenses and few rights of the firm’s technology and copy right. In the agreement, Apple has also the option to license tech and copy rights from the firm on a continuous and comprehensive base up to $115 million.

As quoted by AuthenTec, “the deal is subjected to the rules and regulation approval and other conditions and is expected to end in the 9th month of 2012.


GTalk returns, Google fixes service

Google’s chat service Gtalk, the most widely used instant messenger by people across the world underwent a massive breakdown around 4PM India time. The outage lasted for more than four hours and resumed around 8.25PM India time according to Google Company.

The problem came to light when users on social networking sites like twitter and facebook started making complain about it. A user on Twitter said “Google talk being down is massively annoying! You don’t realize how much you take it for granted.,” Following number of updates by Gtalk users, Google finally confirmed that there was some problem with its chat service GTalk, however the reason for this global breakdown is yet unknown.

After suffering the outage for nearly 5 hours, the company fixed the service but not completely. Users have reported earlier that they could sign into their accounts but were unable to send or receive messages while some others could not even log into their accounts. Users across the world had to face problems as GTalk is used by billions of people and has become the most popular instant messaging service. It is not only used for catching up with friends but also for official purposes and to keep in touch with co-workers.

Meanwhile, the company officials said that “Google Talk service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please not this time frame is an estimate and may change”. About 40 minutes after this message, Google declared that GTalk service has been fixed and is ready to be used. The company also apologized for the inconvenience that majority of its users had to face and thanked them for patience and support. They further added that system reliability is top priority and the company is undergoing continuous improvements to make the system better.


Office 2013 Finally Available For Free Download And Preview

Just when everybody was getting impatient to see what was becoming of the latest Office (code named Office 15), Microsoft decided to release the app suite for an official Public Preview. Called Office 2013, we first caught glimpses of it during a presentation that showed how Excel would look running on an ARM tablet. And a few quick snaps was all the information we had up until now. Office 2013 became available on Monday and we have gone hands on with the entire suite.

Overview

Microsoft has worked hard to make Windows RT a good case for replacing laptops and tablets and Office 2013’s touch abilities will go a long way in to making that claim more solid and appealing to the working masses. Office 2013 is really tablet and touch friendly.

And if you didn’t anticipate it — it is all about cloud integration from this version onwards. Cloud syncing, sharing and syncing of all custom preferences and sharing. SkyDrive naturally is at the fore front here, as all the syncing and sharing is done via the proprietary cloud from Microsoft just like the rest of Windows 8.

Click here to read original Office 2013 review.

Appearance

If you have worked on any of the latest versions of Office, you will be comfortable working on Office 2013. The interface has remained quite the same, with the ribbon UI intact and well. It is hidden by default but then you can change that whenever you want.

Office 2013 also displays your account name and photo wherever you are in the app. This serves the dual purpose of confirming that you are indeed logged in and syncing to your account and to show you that you are logged in to the right account or that you need to log in to your own account. Since it is all cloud based now, it is important that you sync everything to one single account.

 

Interactions

Office 2013 is the same at first glance but then you can easily change it to become touch friendly by switching on the Touch Mode. There’s a button that looks like a circle with a dot in the middle, which can be found under the downward arrow on the upper left corner. This is the same control that toggles your hidden icons. Once you trigger touch mode, not much happens. Things just space out a bit to make way for a finger driven control set up. The UI becomes somewhat flatter and menus especially so, just so that it is easier to navigate through. You will not see sudden bits of Metro appearing all over the UI. It prevents you from getting disoriented and helps you maintain your workflow even after transitioning in to Touch Mode.

Office 2013 cloud sync

Office 2013 cloud sync

 

The Cloud

Microsoft has been all about integrating things in to the cloud of late and Office 2013 is no different. Just like Windows 8, Office 2013 is completely plugged in to SkyDrive and the result is a fully connected suite of applications that are profile aware and are able to change in to the custom set up of the currently logged in user.

All your documents are stored on SkyDrive by default (you do still have local copies available). The integration is deeper than last time and all your changes and progress is synced in real time. A progress bar show you how much has been synced up. Surely there will be plug ins developed for a similar integration with DropBox and Google Drive at some point. But since your profile is synced to SkyDrive, it makes more sense to stick to the default. Especially if you are one of the lucky ones who got a free 25GB storage space (or you intend to buy space on SkyDrive).

Cloud syncing also paves way for better syncing. You can now go to the file menu and choose “Get Link” to share a copy of the document with someone or choose “Invite People” to start collaborating on the document. The others don’t have to have their own copies of Office 2013 because they will be able to use the web apps. You can also do the usual sharing by email or via social networks from within Office itself.

Office also works better at integrating online content in to your document. You can now directly log in to Facebook and Flickr and pull images from there. The apps now also support direct embedding of videos through HTML code, the likes of which are provided by YouTube and Vimeo when you want to embed videos somewhere. There’s also a Live Layout feature that adjust text and wraps it around your image, shape, chart, video, etc.

Cloud syncing also makes sure that you are carrying your custom settings, custom dictionaries and your documents with you wherever you are going. When you log in to the system, all your settings, custom dictionaries are there and your documents are in the exact state as you last left them. This means even your cursor will be in the same position as you had last left it. This is true for every Office app, so no more lost presentation or excel sheets because you got shut down halfway through your work. Saving happens automatically and in the background.

 

Availability

Microsoft’s Office 2013 is available only to the users of Windows 8 and Windows 7. The decision to exclude Windows Vista and Windows XP has got to a lot with the need to make users upgrade to the latest version so that they can have access to the latest features like full cloud integration. The general availability will be around October and will be available in retail packages unlike Windows 8.

 

Conclusions

Office 2013 is too large to get it all in to one single broad review, so will go deeper in to each application and review them individually. There are in fact some very important improvements in Excel that make life easier for users by making certain repetitive tasks simpler.

The latest Office is has no drastic change and that’s the best part. It has enough changes to make sure that your Office experience will change for better but it is still similar enough to smoothen out the transition and not make you feel alienated.


Apple OS X Mountain Lion: Will We Hear it Roar?

Apple, in a bid to make their position in the market even stronger, has come out with the new Mac operating system, named the OS X Mountain Lion. This new release by Apple, like all its recent releases, aim to integrate the system more closely with social websites like Facebook and Twitter.

The operating system was recently launched on Wednesday on the Mac application store and the incoming reports asserted that the app store crashed for a little while after the release of the Mountain Lion. Though the reports were mixed and the Internet Exchange in London claimed that there was not an appreciable rise in the online traffic in the period.

Apple aims to take the cloud computing to a new level by introducing the Apple iCloud system. Thanks to this feature emails, contacts and other data can be easily used wirelessly over a number of computers and other products by Apple like the iPhone and the iPad.

People addicted to social networking have been specially targeted with an innovative notification hub which brilliantly compiles all social updates in a single place. The dictation centre gives an option to users for dictating their mails and documents.

Philip Schiller, senior vice president at Apple was very excited about the Mountain Lion and believes that the public would become infatuated with the novel feature of the new Operating System. The Operating System is very easy to install and can be easily downloaded from the Apple application store at a price of £ 13.99.

The Apple OS X Mountain Lion had mixed reviews with many critics claiming it to be a thoughtful and gentle upgrade by Apple. While some were more critical blaming it to be just a cocktail of features from the OSX and iOS. The overall review of the product is certainly positive and the Mountain Lion does not fail in keeping up with the high standards of the other Apple products.