Apr 27, 2016 - 8:20 AM - by dgstorm
Here's a story from yesterday that we didn't quite get to at the end of the day. YouTube just announced they are planning to implement their new 6 second un-skippable micro-ads. They are called bumper ads and Project Manager Zach Lupei described them as – “a new six-second video format […] ideal for driving incremental reach and frequency, especially on mobile, where “snackable videos” perform well.”
Luepi also shared, “We like to think of Bumper ads as little haikus of video ads — and we’re excited to see what the creative community will do with them." While we appreciate his passion for his job, we can imagine that being un-skippable might irritate YouTube users. You can check out an example of the Bumper ads above. Let us know what you think of them.
Apr 20, 2016 - 9:42 AM - by dgstorm
The European Union has moved from investigating Google to charging them for supposedly violating anti-trust regulations. This charge is in reference to the way Google has bundled apps with Android, and for the aggressive contracts with Android OEMs which forced them to do so.
Margrethe Vestager, EU's commissioner for competition, specifically explained that Google violated EU anti-trust laws by "requiring manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Google's Chrome browser and requiring them to set Google Search as the default search service on their devices, as a condition to license certain Google proprietary apps;" and by "preventing manufacturers from selling smart mobile devices running on competing operating systems based on the Android open source code;" and finally by "giving financial incentives to manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-install Google Search on their devices."
Basically, the EU contends that Google's contracts force Android OEMs to bundle Google's Apps, like Chrome and Google Search by creating a host of requirements in order to use and license these apps. The EU believes this hurts competition by taking away choices from the OEMs to bundle apps from other developers besides Google.
The EU's other main problem is that they believe Google made it nearly impossible for any potential rivals to design a competing search engine, app store, or browser for Android. They claim Google did this by requiring the Play Store installed in order for Chrome or Google Search to be installed.
Of course, Google has a counter-argument which is pretty convincing. Google points out that OEMs are only required to agree to design their device to ensure that Android apps will function properly on any device which uses the Android base OS. Google explains their intent is to make sure the user experience is good if customers choose to use their apps on an Android device.
Google highlighted Amazon as the prime example of this, since they use the base Android OS for their Fire tablets, yet do not feature any Google apps prominently as the primary choice for users of the tablets. Owners of Amazon Fire tablets can side-load Google apps on their device, if they choose to.
Google's final argument pointed out that any OEM who chooses to use Android can choose to load the suite of Google apps to their device at any time, and they are perfectly free to add other apps as well. For example, phones today come loaded with a plethora of of pre-installed apps from various sources, including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and even the mobile carriers themselves. The gist of Google's argument is that they provide the Android OS (and support for it) for FREE, and all they ask in return is that OEMs that choose to use it make sure that Google apps will function properly on the device which uses it.
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Mar 21, 2016 - 3:21 PM - by dgstorm
It looks like the age old war between Apple and Samsung will finally be going the distance. You folks remember that "ancient history" right? Way back in 2011, Apple sued Samsung for a large number of patent infringements. Some of the accusations were probably legit, but quite a few were really silly (like suing for having rounded edges). The case dragged out over many years and dominated headlines for 2012 and 2013.
After a while it became just as exhausting to cover the story, as it was for our members to constantly read about it. It basically became the must-ignore story of the century, even after Apple "won" a landmark $1 Billion settlement. Samsung appealed several times, and eventually got the settlement reduced down to $548 million.
Apparently, that reduction still wasn't enough to satisfy Samsung's sense of justice. Samsung is appealing to the highest court in the United States, the Federal Supreme Court. They felt that the award of total profits from the sale of their products would basically be unjust. Samsung is seeking to pair back $399 Million of that final award agreement, claiming that the iPhone's bezel and colorful grid of icons, as well as the rounded-corner front face, only contributed marginally to a complex device.
Here's a quote with more of the specifics,
"Last May, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington upheld the 2012 patent infringement verdict. The court, however, said the iPhone's appearance could not be protected through trademarks, forcing another trial later this month in federal court in San Jose, California, to recalculate some of the damages Apple is owed.
The Supreme Court has not reviewed a design patent case in more than 120 years, when the products involved included a spoon handle and a rug.
In court papers, Samsung said that for complex, modern products such as smartphones, design patents have led to "unjustified windfalls," far beyond the inventive value of the patents.
On Monday, the high court said it would answer whether courts should award in damages the total profits from a product that infringes on a design patent if the patent applies only to a component of the product." ~ Reuters
Technically, Samsung already paid the $548 Million settlement to Apple. Samsung's court filing specified that it expects to be reimbursed by Apple if it wins this final, final appeal. It looks like this farce might be finally coming to a close. At least some meaningful legal precedents might be set from the whole debacle. One way or another, sometime this year, we will finally get to breathe a sigh of relief as this ends. What do you folks think?
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