Back in the start of the summer Apple was granted an injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Nexus based on the ‘604 universal search patent. The court has reversed its decision based on the fact that Apple had not shown that universal search was a main selling feature of the phone. I realize that injunctions such as this require expediency in the legal system in order to be effective however an issue such as this must surely have been in the mind of the court when granting the injunction. I understand that Apple has many patents and is merely utilizing them to ensure competition is increased in the marketplace but it is quite a stretch to believe that people are buying phones based on unified search. I think we will be seeing more of this as the courts delve deeper into Apple’s patents and find that many of them are overly broad or have some prior art to invalidate them.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Apple has just been granted another patent on Slide to unlock that creates a much broader claim. The new claim eliminates the proviso of the slide having to move along a predetermined path. Many of the workarounds to the previous patents involved eliminated the predetermined path and adding other options to the unlock such as in Android’s ICS and Jellybean implementations. This new patent broadens the scope of Apple’s claims and it will be interesting to see if this one holds up in the courts or if it will be shot down for been overly broad.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Is Google stopping litigation against Apple? Was there a settlement made behind the scenes? I am very curious to know as to why this case was dropped alas I do not think we will find the answers any time soon.
Motorola drops the latest ITC patent infringement against Apple
This isn’t really in the description of my account but I felt it was too awesome not to share.
Here's Your Chance To Win A Role On 'Arrested Development'
Monday, October 1, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Engadget is reporting that Apple has now applied for a patent for an ‘Automated Assistant’ which sound a whole lot like Siri, here is the abstract from the US patent application:
“The intelligent automated assistant system engages with the user in an integrated, conversational manner using natural language dialog, and invokes external services when appropriate to obtain information or perform various actions. The system can be implemented using any of a number of different platforms, such as the web, email, smartphone, and the like, or any combination thereof. In one embodiment, the system is based on sets of interrelated domains and tasks, and employs additional functionally powered by external services with which the system can interact.”
It looks like it was filed way back in June so it’ll be working its way through the system for the next little while. I am very curious to see if the patent goes through, it looks like it is specific in terms of the use of a conversational dialogue but I am still curious to see how this plays out for Google’s own Google Now.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
RIM is taking BB10 on tour with its Blackberry Jam tour and it showed off some awesome new tweaks to the public. Hopefully we will get to see the new handsets too, I personally would love to at least try one I think they look very forward thinking! Hit up the link to crackberry.com’s hands on!!
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Checked out the iPhone 5 today, it is a great looking piece of hardware, especially in comparison to the old one. The phone feels fake because it is so thin and light but the industrial design is impeccable. I am still very disappointed by how stale iOS feels and for that reason I do not think I could switch to the iPhone but it is one of the nicest looking phones out there that is undeniable.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
In drafting the American constitution the US sought to fight centralized government and give more power to the people whereas Canadians sought to create a centralized government to bring together the vast land. In the present day the Canadian provinces are much more free than the individual States in the US while the central government in the US has gained very much a centralized role in the legal system.
Monday, September 17, 2012
After so much teasing and non-commitment from Microsoft there is finally a date for the launch of Windows 8. This is the most exciting change to the Windows line since its inception. Microsoft has put all its chips in one basket and is pushing a unified brand strategy for both PC and Mobile spaces. Is this the start of the end for Apple and Androids recent dominance? When will Windows 8 Phone be launched? I for one can’t wait to see what happens with this strategy for Microsoft.
Friday, September 14, 2012
The first week of classes have been extremely good at easing us in to the study of law. The concepts and cases are straightforward and easy to read plus the profs have been excellent in understanding that we do not all ‘think like lawyers’ yet. The readings have been ok, mostly about 10-20 pages except for one 60 page behemoth that took forever. One of the hardest things to do in school is keep up with the readings so right now that is my goal…hopefully I can keep it as a priority.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
This is why Apple is dominating the industry.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Amazing explanation of the Canadian political system! Rick Mercer is a Canadian Gem.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Well O-week is rounding up, lots of information delivered to us in a very short amount of time. The jest of it is that we are now part of the law profession and we must act accordingly. We are now responsible for our reputation in the community and must follow the professional rules of conduct set out by our regulating bar. This may not have been the most exciting week but it was very important and needed to set us along the right path as we become lawyers. Thanks to everyone that put together this week as it has been very informative though the people I’ve met have been the best part of the week.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
The Apple v. Samsung trial that took place in California for the last few weeks has been THE tech trial of the year if not the decade. The trial was a clash of titans in the tech industry covering a broad spectrum of issues from bounce-back scrolling to the trade dress of Apple’s products. In the end the jury found overwhelmingly for Apple and in the light of the current system they made the right decision even if many people do not agree with the findings. In an interview with the team at the tech news website The Verge the foreman of the jury told Bryan Bishop that he believes that the courtroom is not the place to take a stand on current policies and that only ”through fair and heated debate and the use of logic that if a philosophy is wrong — such as the Patent and Trademark Office, as many are saying it’s sick, or it’s broken — if that is the case then it’s the court of popular opinion that makes the change.” I agree completely that the jury did it’s duty to the court by applying the current system to the facts presented in the case and applaud them for not attempting to force a change in an area most of them are not related to. I hope that lawmakers in the US see this case and realize that the patent system must change and that the length of time for these patents are far too long for the rate at which this industry changes.
Amazing video from the past that we were shown in class to help explain the US legal system.
The new RAZR collection from Google’s new acquisition Motorola. The design aesthetic is definitely moving in the right direction but I still don’t understand why manufacturers still force their own versions of Android on the customer. Hopefully the rumours of 5 new Nexus devices turns out to be true this year.
Welcome to my new blog. This is where I will be commenting on my experiences in law school for the next three years. During that time I will also be commenting on the tech industry as well as the legal issues that arise. I will also be attempting to hone my writing skills as I venture into the (new to me) forum of blogging.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
HTC has finally taken stock of their phone company and decided to release fewer devices leading to an overall higher quality. HTC has unified its branding with the HTC One series devices each identified by a superscript letter. This rethink of HTC’s strategy seems to borrow heavily from the current king of Android, Samsung with its Galaxy line of hardware. The HTC phones launched at MWC bring back the focus on beautiful design and great products HTC has previously been known for, however I still have a problem with their “Sense” overlay. When Android first came out it was not as polished as its competitors in terms of the user interface and HTC created a dazzling UI that patched quite a few holes left by stock Android. Successive iterations of the Android operating system created solutions to many problems that “Sense” solved and over time “Sense” became bloated causing great devices to suffer from poor performance as resources were redirected to the proprietary skin. The bloating of “Sense” was painful to watch from the outside however it allowed newer Android users safety from what many considered an ugly UI. Android 4.0 has completely redesigned the UI and now in my opinion in looks superior to any proprietary skin that could be placed on it, which is why I do not understand the newest iteration of the “Sense” brand. Up until this point skins helped to cover a UI only nerds could love with some eye candy at the cost of performance and now once we have a more mature platform that anyone can enjoy HTC has decided that the look of Android 2.3 is the future of their line of devices. HTC has stripped out the new docks at the bottom of the screen and replaced them with what looks to me to be a reproduction of the dock found in previous Android versions and most prominently in Gingerbread.
Asus is very highly regarded in the tech industry for their great computers and has created a strong presence for itself in the tablet market with the innovative docking tablet the Transformer Pad. Asus has started to think even further out of the box on its creation that was announced last year and finally come to fruition this week, the PadPhone. Asus has created a smartphone that docks with a tablet which in turn can dock into a keyboard which when combined create a megazord device with 9x the original battery life of the smartphone while increasing the productivity aspects found in Android. The phone itself looks fantastic and appears to have very little skinning overtop of 4.0, the tablet/keyboard docks also look very similar to previous outings by Asus and I think this could be a viable competitor to a traditional system. This concept is very interesting and I think we will see a trend towards docking devices like this over the next few years as we move further into the post-PC space. As more and more OS’s are merging with their mobile counterparts it makes sense to have one device that can be used in many different ways. As much as I like the concept of the PadPhone I still enjoy having the physical separation of my phone and other devices even though I would like my information to be available across my devices, maybe that is going to be out of fashion but for now I enjoy having multiple devices.
Nokia has been working hard to create fantastic Windows Phone devices and in just one quarter has become the largest Windows Phone manufacturer, their presence at MWC has been very significant to say the least however a phone they announced for a dying platform is aiming to be the belle of the ball. Nokia shocked the media at MWC with a brand new Symbian device that has a 41MP camera. Let that sink in 41MP. Now forget that because in reality this will not be a 41MP shooter, it will be more like a 5 MP on steroids. In the digital camera world more MP means a sharper image so long as the size of the lens can accommodate all the extra pixels. On a mobile device the sensor for the camera is not nearly big enough for anything much larger than 8-12 MP as it is simply too many for clarity. What Nokia has done here is created a sensor that will incorporate about 7 pixels into one to create the equivalent of a 5MP shot, however this will create for some absolutely stunning pictures. Obviously the 41MP part is a very clever bit of marketing as people will see it and think more is better but this camera will still be better just not for the reason the end user has in mind. My biggest question is why put such great technology on a platform that has been left to die? I realize that it will help sell those phones but last I heard Nokia was planning to be all in with Windows Phone, why not stick this sensor on one of those phones and see how quickly it raises the profile of the entire OS and brings proper marketshare to a critically acclaimed system?
Thursday, May 10, 2012
To increase release cycles and decrease the issues people have with fragmentation Google and their partners need to change the way they operate. I have one thought that could greatly reduce the amount of complaining about fragmentation even if it doesn’t actually solve the problem, and that is to include a “Vanilla” version of Android on any phone for those who want it. Part of the waiting game associated with manufacturers updates is the implementation of their proprietary skin and approval from regulators, if all of the partners offered a Google approved Vanilla build there could be an update for those interested much quicker than if it was to be released with the skin overlayed. This does not change the fact that drivers and regulations still have to go through approval and the software still has to be tested to ensure its compatability with the software but it does take out the step of retrofitting a proprietary UI. This would also satisfy many hardcore Android fans with giving speedy builds and stock Android however it would likely detract from the Nexus program itself.
I myself am a firm believer in the Nexus program and currently own devices that are updated by Google without any sort of overlay as I view the stock Android as the most usable and pleasing version (I also enjoy getting the latest and greatest in updates and software). In my opinion this is the only true Android and it is relatively free from fragmentation and always up to date (just like iOS).
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Release flagship product once a year, create a premium product, add powerful apps in house.
Release flagship products once a year.
Google is starting to get on track in terms of proper releases for Android. The Nexus line is released once a year with the new Android OS which is perfect in keeping interest high and fragmentation low just like iOS. Small point releases keep the OS moving in between major releases and keeps people from grumbling too much about lack of updates. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 6 month product staggered cycle with Nexus phones in the fall/winter and Nexus tablets coming in the spring/summer similar to the release cycles of the iPad and the iPhone. Right now it looks like Google has learned this part of the equation at least with the launch of their Nexus line of phones (including a glitzy launch party, maybe next time launch it from North America though).
Create a premium product.
Google is a little behind on this one mostly due to the fact that it is at heart a software company. Google must partner together with manufacturers to bring any ideas for its products to light and this may cause part of the less than premium lines we have seen. It is my understanding that for the Nexus program the Android team chooses the requirements and picks the manufacturer that it believes will create the best product with those internal components, however it does not seem to have much input into the physical design of the device. So far Nexus phones have echoed other product lines from the manufacturer with slight changes but with the same materials. I do not think that my Galaxy Nexus is by any means flimsy or cheaply made however it does not feel quite as substantial and premium as the iPhone 4S. Google needs to ensure that the company producing the Nexus devices uses top of the line premium materials to properly battle the folks at Apple (this will be especially important with the rumoured Nexus tablet due out later this year). I think Google is starting to consider this especially with the new focus on beautiful software coming into play they will want their hardware offering to reflect the same design principles.
Add Powerful Google Produced apps.
This category is a little bit of a double edged sword as Google does have some incredible apps that are included with their phones, however there are certain apps from Apple that just blow people’s minds. Applications such as Gmail, Chrome (Beta), Maps and Navigation, Calendar and YouTube are all great apps and have been hugely successful and are much better on Android than on iOS. Apps such as iPhoto, Garageband and the iWork/iLife suite are just lightyears ahead of what stock Android has to offer. In order to compete with the fanfare that surrounds Apple products Google needs to put some energy into creating products that can compete on the same level as these wonderful software applications. Google is at a disadvantage in this area as most of the mindblowing iOS apps from Apple are versions of already successful OSX programs that Apple has just refined for a mobile device. Google products tend to be created from scratch and take ages to appear in public and almost always enter a perpetual Beta program. If Google wants to catch up to Apple in the tablet space it needs to focus on these sorts of apps that become very significant on a larger interface than on a phone screen.
Following these suggestions may not be enough to take down the mighty iOS but it will certainly create a more fierce competition in the tablet market which will be interesting to watch as Google releases Jelly Bean and Key Lime Pie.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Enter ChromeOS, the operating system in a browser. With the surge of netbooks in recent years Google saw an opportunity to create a lightweight OS to run on low powered machines such as these. Google discovered that when people turned on their computers the main reason they do so is to access the web and they wanted that access to be fast so they set their sights on their own home brewed browsing solution. The Chrome browser has been my main browser ever since I heard about it many years ago and I love the speed and stability it gives me along with integration with my Google life. In addition to the browsing capabilities of Chrome it also offers the ability to offer “extensions” which are programs that you can run within the browser itself. Already having a web browser that allowed for programs to reside within Google decided that they were in the position to offer a unique OS solution for easy access to the internet with a lightweight platform. I was able to install a version of the ChromeOS (known as ChromiumOS when compiled from a non-Google source) and used it for a few weeks and found it to be exactly as advertised, a browser. The ChromeOS feels as though it is not complete as there is no desktop environment and other items usually found in an operating system are behind the scenes or not present at all.
In my opinion neither of these operating systems offers a fully functional replacement for Windows, OSX or a Linux distro. The power of Android is immense and is the best mobile solution on the market whereas ChromeOS is extremely lightweight and offers a desktop like solution to computing on the go.
What I would like to see from Google in the future is an integrated solution that allows me to flow from one device to the next while offering full desktop functionality when I need it. I would like to see a desktop similar to Ubuntu with the ability to customize anything you want and gives access to all Google products as apps once you sign in just like Android. I would like a desktop with access to all file systems and a terminal and full web browsing experience like the desktop version of Chrome. A search of images gave me this mock up from deviantart that I believe would be a good initial visual cue for the direction of this new desktop OS.
The evolution of our relationship with our technology leads me to believe that an all around solution that merges mobile and personal computing is just around the corner. The company that is currently closest to this new paradigm is Apple with their new Mountain Lion version of OSX integrating many parts of iOS into the desktop in allowing many services from their mobile platform to be accessible in the desktop environment. Google needs to follow this lead and create a more robust user environment to keep the end user deeply involved in the Google lifestyle.
Cell phone specs are starting to converge with the power we are used to seeing with our laptops and desktops. Canonical has taken the Motorola webtop idea to the next level with creating a version of Ubuntu that works with Android on the same device switching between the two when the device is docked. This new paradigm sounds amazing if the power behind the device can keep up. I do think it would be a great solution in a pinch however I would still like to have a separate device for serious work and gaming at this point. I guess we will have to wait to see what happens in the coming months with rumours starting to swirl around the next Android release possibly titled "Jelly Bean."
Monday, February 20, 2012
OK so I haven't really used this to review or comment on anything since my initial post. I am aiming to change that starting now. I have decided to refine my focus and keep this blog dedicated to comments, views, reviews related to Google products. From time to time there will be products and services from other companies as a comparison to existing Google products or as a directing I hope they follow in the future.
Stay tuned for my first official post on the state of Google operating systems.