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Showing posts from August, 2012

The USP of the HTC One X

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Advances made by Samsung and Nokia meant that when it came time to replace my Desire HD and HD7 I found myself without a HTC device. HTC's financial results suggest that I'm not alone either.

In response the Taiwanese company have released the One range of smartphones. And I'm seriously tempted by the One X.

I spend most of my time in the browser and HTC have the only browser which applies text properly as the zoom level changes.

When the competition between the One X and the Galaxy S3 is so close it's little pieces.of functionality like this that can make all the difference.

Galaxy Tab 10.1 Outlier ln Apple-Samsung Case

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With all the fallout from the patent case decision last week, Apple and Samsung have an outstanding piece of unfinished business.

Prior to the case Judge Koh applied a sales ban on the Tab 10.1, on the expectation that it would be found to infringe. Turns out it wasn't. Which leaves Samsung in a position to reclaim at least some of the $1billion judgement...

Groklaw Examines Apple - Samsung Verdict, Finds Evidence of Obvious Bias

The result of the Apple - Samsung patent case came pretty quickly. Suspiciously quickly some would say.

Groklaw has analysed the decision of the jury and found all sorts of anomalies. Not to mention plenty to suggest that the jury was far from impartial.

Samsung is likely to file some post-verdict motions to have the verdict set aside. This seems a obvious decision given the evidence uncovered by Groklaw. Given the location of the trial and the outwardly pro Apple bias of both judge and jury it will likely fail and result in an appeal.

The Groklaw article is here and makes for an interesting read:

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2012082510525390

Not Even At That Price!

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The Blackberry Playbook has had something of a troubled life thus far. Missing functionality at launch, flakey tethering with RIM's own smartphones and now a victim of collapsing market share for the Canadian company.

Its no surprise that Comet has decided to clear out its stock of Playbooks. They must be hogging warehouse space at an unprecedented level! Especially with the expected arrival ot the iPad Mini and the expected voracious consumer appetite for a product Apple said it would never build.

That clearout amounts to a price of £129 for the largest 64GB version - an absolute steal.

This doesn't seem to have generated the consumer interest that Comet may have been expecting. Probably because of that incoming iPad Mini.

l suspect that RIM are going to have to take a further hit on the Playbook and reduce prices to somewhere south of £100 to clear inventory.

ln times of trouble having the good sense to focus on your core products is key to survival. History from App…

RIP Neil Armstrong, Man On The Moon

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"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your Eyes Turned Skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." ~ Unknown

"I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer. And I take substantial pride in the accomplishments of my profession" ~ Neil Armstrong, Aug. 5, 1930 - Aug. 25, 2012.

There are many men who will lay claim to being the most famous in all history, only one man truly owns that accolade. The quiet, unassuming man from Western Ohio who was licensed to fly before he was licensed to drive.

Here's hoping those moon dreams finally come in your longest sleep.

RIP.

Apple Awarded $1bn Against Samsung

Mostly bad news for Samsung as the jury in its patent trial finds that it wilfuly infringed on Apple`s bounce back and pinch to zoom. The juryvalidated Apple`s iPad shape patent but found the Samsung`s Tabs had not infringed. The jury awarded $1bn in damages - however Judge Koh could treble these on the basis that the infringement was found to be wilful.

This decision - should it stand on appeal - significantly limits the future of software development. Create a piece of software that achieves a similar thing to a competitor and you will be turned over.

I hope that Google has its notification panel patented, as Apple have ripped that off, as well as Windows Phone`s Toast notification.

I`ve said it before, but this kind of decision hurts consumers, competition and innovation. The patent laws don`t work well in the 21st Century and Apple is exploiting that to its own ends.

Apple`s most rabid fans may well celebrate this decision, but it is they who are most likely to suffer in the futur…

Apple v Samsung Case Goes To Jury

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As an owner of large numbers of Apple and Samsung products and a possibly addicted buyer of new technology (professionally as well as personally) this case promises to change the industry forever.

Apple's claims range from the sublime to the ridiculous - there are certainly areas where Samsung have infringed Apple's patents, but a combination of prior art and common sense should tell us that these items should never have been awarded those patents. Samsung has been guilty of mis-use of its FRAND licensed patents and both have been guilty of deceptions and mis-direction through the trial.

Judge Koh, who has presided over the trial, has demonstrated exasperation with both sides. Even going to the extremes of demanding that the two sides CEOs speak in the last few days of the trial to avoid a decision which would be particularly damaging to the loser, whoever that turned out to be.

Apple's predatory use of dubious patents has been used to attempt to limit consumer choice acr…

Xbox Music Needs To Improve The Social

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I may have mentioned before but I believe that a Zune Music Pass is the best music subscription service if you're that way inclined.

With the launch of Windows 8 in the autumn I believe that the Zune name is going to disappear and a new Xbox Music service will take its place to improve Microsoft's chances of competing against iTunes and Spotify, the current market leaders. Its a good strategy - for most people Zune evokes only memories of the failed music player (if it evokes anything at all) whereas Xbox is one of Microsoft's big successes.

There is one area where the Zune music service fails: social interaction. Microsoft needs to address this as part of the migration, adding the ability to easily share playlists with fellow subscribers, ensure that playcounts are properly maintained both within the service and in the desktop client; and allow users to post information about their music listening to different social estates: Live, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Its a small cha…

Everything Everywhere Gets 4G Go-ahead... Just In Time For iPhone 5

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Orange and T-Mobile have been given the go-ahead by Ofcom to start the delivery of its 4G network. The new superfast mobile broadband will be marketed under the companies new branding, Everything Everywhere and may also provide signal to Three (will they rebrand to Four I wonder?)

The timing is perfect, with the new iPhone almost a dead cert to sport a 4G radio (and its likely to be popular with New iPad users too, which also sports a 4G radio, pointlessly as things stand) and with rivals O2 and Vodafone stuck on HSUPA could give the two networks a big sales boost as iPhone buyers flock to the faster signal.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Arrives

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The updated Galaxy Tab ten-incher has arrived in the UK finally and if you're keen to have one there's a bit of a deal at PC World at the moment. A £50 cash back offer which brings the ICS sporting tablet's entry level down to £249.

Having had a brief try of the Tab 2 I think its exceptional value at that price. Personally I'm waiting for the Note 10.1 to arrive, but if you're not interested in the S-pen and ability to run applications side by side the new Tab looks a good buy.

Dear Microsoft, Make Xbox An Equal Partner

My Nokia Lumia 800 is great, it really is. In a device horde that includes the iPhone 4S, Galaxy Note and, up until recently, a Galaxy Nexus; the Lumia has established itself as my number one phone.

Zune Music Pass is great too. I can access my music on the Lumia, on my PC, on my Mac and on my Xbox. Having tried Spotify and We7 I can safely say its the best subscription service money can buy.

My Xbox 360 is great too, Microsoft has done a great job of developing it from a games console into a home entertainment hub with marvellous integration of uPnP to allow streaming from a NAS or PC.

A perfect ecosystem. Not quite.

Microsoft has a rather elegant solution which ties its web properties and device OS together: SkyDrive.

Want to see you photos or videos on your phone, PC or just in web browser? No problem.

Unless you want to do the same on your Xbox. It seems Microsoft has forgotten that its big play for ecosystem relevance has one really strong foot in the living room and excluded it from S…

Nokia Pureview - Taking Cameraphones to a New Level

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The Nokia Pureview 808 is a camera phone which intrigues me. Its unique in both its technology and position in the marketplace and it may stand alone in this position for many years to come. The video gives a full in depth view of the design and engineering process. 
Whilst it intrigues me I can safely say that its unlikely to tempt the credit card from my pocket any time soon, running Symbian just puts it in the 'impossible to justify' category. On Windows Phone, iOS or Android this would be a absolute home run.
I hope the size of the lens and sensor unit (responsible for the unsightly bulge on the 808) won't stop Nokia delivering this same technology on a Windows Phone 8 device later this year. If it performs like this but adds a modern OS, I'll guarantee to put my hand in my pocket for one...

Olympic Badminton Disqualifications Unwaranted

Yesterday eight Olympians were disqualified from the Games and thrown out of the Badminton Pairs contest. For not trying to win. Why would anyone not try to win? You may well ask yourself. However the adoption of a flawed system, for as yet unclear reasons, meant that the teams in question were trying to win, by not trying to win!

For the London Olympics Badminton dropped its traditional knockout system for a groups and qualification system. Why I don't know. It increases the number of games required to decide the medal positions and leaves itself open to situations where teams are actively rewarded for not performing well.

In this case an unexpected result in one group meant that teams in another group were better off not finishing top of their qualifying group and were therefore incentivised to lose one game to improve their overall chances of getting a medal.

It produced a poor spectacle for the crowd (who were understandably upset) and the draconian penalty applied ended the O…