Mar 21, 2016 - 4:21 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?
Feb 25, 2016 - 12:17 PM - by dgstorm
Engineers in the United States have made the final breakthrough for technology called Passive Wi-Fi. It's set to drive the revolution of the IoT (Internet of Things) and replace Bluetooth eventually. Passive Wi-Fi can generate an 11Mbps Wi-Fi connection, and although that doesn't seem very impressive, it does it with 10,000 times less power than standard Wi-Fi connections.
Additionally, the latest successful tests for Passive Wi-Fi had a range of 100 feet (30 meters) and consumed 1,000 times less energy, but with up to 11 times faster speeds than existing low energy standards, like Bluetooth and Zigbee.
Here's a quote with a few more details,
"To achieve such low-power Wi-Fi transmissions, the team essentially decoupled the digital and analog operations involved in radio transmissions.
The Passive Wi-Fi architecture assigns the analog, power-intensive functions - like producing a signal at a specific frequency - to a single device in the network that is plugged into the wall.
An array of sensors produces Wi-Fi packets of information using very little power by simply reflecting and absorbing that signal using a digital switch."
Joshua Smith, associate professor of computer science and engineering had this to say about the breakthrough, "Now that we can achieve Wi-Fi for tens of microwatts of power and can do much better than both Bluetooth and ZigBee, you could now imagine using Wi-Fi for everything."
It's amazing the magical things the wizards of engineering can create! Check out the video in the thread below for a demo of the new Passive Wi-Fi tech.
Feb 24, 2016 - 10:47 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like Facebook finally finalized their new expanded "Like" button. They call the new extra like functions "Reactions," and there are 6 of them. These include the standard "Like" as well as Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. These will obviously give users a wider range and variation on how they respond to Facebook posts.
It certainly took them a while to nail these down, especially when you consider that forums across the web have had this functionality for years. One could argue that Facebook is simply one gigantic social forum, so why couldn't Facebook have expanded this system sooner? Here's what Facebook themselves had to say about that,
"We understand that this is a big change, and want to be thoughtful about rolling this out. For more than a year we have been conducting global research including focus groups and surveys to determine what types of reactions people would want to use most. We also looked at how people are already commenting on posts and the top stickers and emoticons as signals for the types of reactions people are already using to determine which reactions to offer."
Regardless, at least the changes are coming soon. Facebook didn't reveal precisely when these changes would roll out, but we expect it to begin soon. For more info here's Facebook newsroom post: Reactions Now Available Globally | Facebook Newsroom
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