AMITIAE - Monday 16 July 2012
Cassandra - Monday Review: It will soon be Friday
By Graham K. Rogers
Opening Gambit:Apple and EPEAT, full steam astern. Free in-app purchases if you like risk; and stealing. Rumours on iPhone 5: coming soon, Yes/No. Patents: Android versus a $1 trillion market. RIM loses a patent case, but refuses to accept the verdict. Nokia closes sales offices in China. USA surveillance hypocrisy: FDA spies on its own scientists, including emails to the President.
eXtensions PodcastOver the weekend I uploaded the latest podcast to the eXtensions site.
Apple StuffApple often delivers new technology. When I used my first PC back in 1984, it used 5.25" disks, but Apple had 3.5" ones in the Mac. And the first iMac had no floppy disk drives: no one really missed them. Now optical drives are going and the Macs are moving from hard disks to SSD, while on the way there are a couple of other firsts, like USB, Firewire and Thunderbolt. Apple has a habit of doing this: giving us the technology we need before we know we want it, Brian Fung explains on The Atlantic, and it isn't going to stop. I picked this up on MacDaily News, who in their commentary use the famous advertisement that begins,
This all apparently stemmed from the newer products some speculated, like the Retina display MacBook Pro that would not qualify because the battery cannot be replaced. So how come that not only did Apple kiss and make up, but the return of Apple also saw the MacBook Pro with the Retina display awarded the EPEAT Gold Star: so all that speculation about the battery was wrong? Electronista had a report on this and explains why the star system may have been the reason for a mega-sulk by Apple and how points in the various categories are awarded. All rather weird. Is the gold star a sign that EPEAT is pleased to see Apple back?
Of course if you do click on this and go via the proxy server, allow false certificates to be installed on your device and then go online to make the downloads, not only are you stealing -- as many pointed out -- but who is to say you are not opening a massive security backdoor on your iPhone or iPad: and all to save a few cents. No sense there.
I did see a Tweet in which it was suggested that the deluded Russian thought that this was going to be his door to a position at Apple. I would think the only door he may be seeing is the one that closes on a cell.
Not available here. So I wrote to the developer late Friday night and was pleased to see a quick reply the next morning which explained, "We're really sorry that we can't offer it outside of the U.S. App store at this time due to legal reasons." So there. Part of the app includes a donation to an American charity, which could quite easily be disabled for other countries. Good for Kraft that they are backing such an app, and good for Kraft that they use this for charity support. But a shame for us.
With perfect timing on Saturday morning an article by Leanna Lofte on More suggests that Apple might consider a section for Kids now that there is even one for food. As Apple clearly aims many of the apps at children even in the New & Noteworthy section for example this makes much sense.
This rumour cancels the earlier one that suggested the release date would be August. We are back to September or October. This rumour is complemented by some information on AppleBitch which carries information from the same source: the Japanese blog Macotakara.
In a slightly related report from T.C.Sottek on The Verge, Amazon is reported to be developing a 10" tablet.
Half and HalfAlthough Apple has a few patent disputes on the go, an analysis by Florian Mueller on Foss Patents, suggests that most disputes right now are centering on the use by Android of technology that is claimed belongs to others. He has a pretty impressive $1 Trillion list of those so involved.
Let me resurrect that useful quote from Rene Ritchie on iMore who wrote, "it's easy to cast Apple, Microsoft, Oracle et al as the bad guys. They're giant, nasty for-profit corporations, after all. And fair enough. . . . But so is Google." He adds -- and this is the crux -- "Google had systematically and recklessly displayed such indifference to the intellectual property of others -- -- from huge corporations to private citizens, as to border on contempt."
What he said. . . .
Other MattersWe mention above how Google is alleged to just walk over everyone when it comes to patents, but they are apparently not alone as RIM, to add to its problems, has been ordered to pay $147 million to Mformation to settle a dispute. According to information in the article by Chris Velazco on Tech Crunch, negotiations had been under way as long ago as 2008, when RIM "included patented functionality into their own product after preliminary licensing talks went south." Which suggests to me they knew that patents were involved. Of course, as in many disputes in the US and other countries, these losers do not think the court has it right, so are going to try and get the decision reversed. And if that doesn't work? . . .
Well, Florian Mueller is one who certainly hopes it does as he analyses the award and thinks that with a fee of $8 per phone for one patent, that could lead to amazingly high costs per unit.
Despite the problems that RIM is facing right now, the current CEO,. Thorsten Heins, is optimistic (he has to be) and in an interview reported by John Biggs on Tech Crunch among other things he promises to keep the consumers fully connected and confirms that the Blackberry 10 is a guarantee to success for RIM.
Encryption, suggests Chris Matyszczyk in a comment on the NYTimes article, is something we may al have to consider: this may just be the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps all bosses do it.
The FDA says it is not a big deal as only 5 scientists were involved (1 is too many). This all stems from disputed review procedures and it is feasible that those under watch may be right on that as well. Since when is it OK to monitor emails sent to members of Congress or to The President?
And why is it OK for the US government to do this when it criticises other countries for doing the same: unless it is the UK and the other Echelon allies of course?
Local ItemsIn Singapore, Nera Telecommunications has reported that the Q2 profit has risen by around 33% to $3.34 million (this is probably Singapore dollars) with turnover up 16.7% to $41.73 million. The improvements are down to higher revenues, more competitive products and sales mix in product, project and services The Straits Times reports.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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