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FDA approves software for iPhone-based vision test

anderzole anderzole writes  |  about a year and a half ago

anderzole (2729537) writes "The FDA recently gave clearance to Vital Art and Science Inc. (VAS) to market software which enables people with degenerative eye conditions such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy to monitor their vision at home with their iPhone. The software, which is called myVisionTrack, isn't a replacement for regular visits to the doctor, but rather allows patients to keep tabs on their vision in between visits with eye care professionals.

VAS notes that retinal diseases affect approximately 40 million individuals worldwide and 13 million in the United States. While treatments have been developed to deal with degenerative eye conditions, early diagnosis is of paramount importance — which is why the software is so important."

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German Court finds Apple's 'slide to unlock' patent invalid

anderzole anderzole writes  |  about a year and a half ago

anderzole (2729537) writes "Germany's Federal Patent Court on Thursday invalidated all of Apple's claims for its slide to unlock patent.

They death blow for Apple's slide to unlock patent was likely a Swedish phone called the Neonode N1m that launched well before the iPhone and featured its own slide to unlock implementation. The N1m was released in 2005 while Apple's own patent for slide to unlock wasn't filed until December of 2005."

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Hearing aid company sues Apple over EarPods trademark

anderzole anderzole writes  |  about a year and a half ago

anderzole (2729537) writes "Late last week, Apple was hit with a trademark infringement lawsuit courtesy of Randolph Divisions, a company that manufactures digital hearing aids. The suit, which was filed in Hawaii, alleges that Apple's EarPods headphones infringe upon their own "HearPod" trademark and product.

Apple's EarPods were originally released alongside the iPhone 5 this past September. They were touted as offering better sound quality and more comfort than previous Apple headphones which, while iconic, weren't exactly best in class audio-wise.

It's worth noting that Randolph Divisions has owned the "HearPod" trademark since 2007, though Apple itself does hold U.S. trademarks for both 'EarPods' and 'Apple EarPods'.

So does Randolph Divisions have a case here? It sure doesn't seem like it.

Under trademark law, the standard for infringement is whether or not two products are so similar as to cause a "likelihood of confusion" amongst consumers."

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Tim Cook's apology letter eases tension with China

anderzole anderzole writes  |  about a year and a half ago

anderzole (2729537) writes "Tim Cook yesterday, in an effort to assuage criticisms over Apple's warranty policies in China, posted an apology letter on Apple's Chinese website. Therein, Cook stressed that Apple does care about consumer feedback and outlined a number of steps Apple will take to improve its customer service in China.

China is a key country for Apple's continued growth and it's certainly in Apple's best interest to ensure that relations don't become strained.

To that end, the Chinese state-run media seemed to welcome Apple's apology. In a quick instant, Apple went from a targeted company to beloved. Well perhaps 'beloved' is a bit too strong of a word, but Cook's apology really seemed to do the trick. The Global Times, a state-run paper in China, wrote today that Apple's apology was very welcome and will work to ease the tension between the two parties.

"The company's apology letter has eased the situation," the paper explained, "softening the tense relationship between Apple and the Chinese market ... Its reaction is worth respect compared with other American companies,""

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MacBook Pro makes unintended cameo during Game of Thrones premiere

anderzole anderzole writes  |  about a year and a half ago

anderzole (2729537) writes "As the most pirated show on the planet, it's no surprise that HBO put a lot of advertising dollars behind last night's season 3 premiere. The show's dedicated following continues to grow by leaps and bounds and is just the latest chapter in HBO's illustrious history of top-notch quality and original programming.

During yesterday's exciting premiere, however, keen observers may have noticed an item or two that simply didn't belong in a show set well before the advance of technology. It's well-known that Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are huge Mac fans and use an assortment of Apple hardware and software to cut and edit the show. But what really caused me to take a double take yesterday was the slight appearance of a MacBook Pro in a few scenes."

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Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch headed to Apple

anderzole anderzole writes  |  about a year and a half ago

anderzole (2729537) writes "Some interesting news this afternoon as CNBC recently put out a tweet claiming that Kevin Lynch is stepping down from his role as CTO at Adobe and will be joining Apple. Lynch's departure has since been corroborated by an Adobe filing with the SEC.

So now the question becomes, is Lynch really heading to Apple? And if so, just what type of work/position awaits someone who was previously CTO of Adobe?

Moseying on over to Lynch's personal website, perhaps we can pick up a few clues.

Lynch writes of himself: "I'm currently CTO at Adobe, where I shape Adobe's long-term technology vision and focus innovation across the company along the lines of multiscreen, cloud, and social computing. The most recent embodiment of this work is Adobe Creative Cloud for creative professionals, and Adobe Marketing Cloud for marketing professionals."

Hmm, cloud computing certainly seems to be jumping off the page."

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Samsung is also reportedly developing a smartwatch

anderzole anderzole writes  |  about a year and a half ago

anderzole (2729537) writes "It's been widely reported that Apple is working hard on an upcoming iWatch that may be released as early as this year. But Apple may not be the only company developing a wristwatch these days. It's now being reported that Samsung is also busying itself with developing a smartwatch of sorts.

During a recent interview in Seoul, Samsung executive VP Lee Youhg Hee explained, "We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long, We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.”

"The issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully,” Lee added.

Samsung has of course released smartwatches before, but as you can see below, they all leave much to be desired."

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Andy Rubin to step down as head of Google's Android division

anderzole anderzole writes  |  about a year and a half ago

anderzole (2729537) writes "Some interesting news out of Google today as CEO Larry Page announced via the company’s official blog that Andy Rubin will be handing over the Android reins to Sundar Pichai. It’s important to note that Rubin will remain at Google working on other, and presumably secretive, projects.

Google acquired Android in 2005, back when the Andy Rubin led company was still a 22-month old startup based out of Palo Alto. The purchase price was $50 million and may very well be the smartest acquisition Google ever made."

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Adobe announces plans to stop boxed sales of its Creative Suite software

anderzole anderzole writes  |  about a year and a half ago

anderzole (2729537) writes "Adobe today announced that it plans to stop offering boxed versions of its Creative Suite software to consumers. Instead, the company will follow the growing trend – arguably spearheaded by Apple – of only offering its professional software via online download.

“As Adobe continues to focus on delivering world-class innovation through Creative Cloud and digital fulfillment, we will be phasing out shrink-wrapped, boxed versions of Creative Suite and Acrobat products,” an Adobe spokesperson explained.

Retailers have previously indicated that May 1 will be the cut-off date for boxed sales of Adobe’s Creative Suite software."

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Samsung's advertising game outmuscled Apple in 2012

anderzole anderzole writes  |  about a year and a half ago

anderzole (2729537) writes "With Samsung set to release its Samsung Galaxy S IV tomorrow in New York City, the South Korea based company has certainly learned a thing or two about creating a media buzz prior to a product launch. Previously, that was a talent that only Apple seemed to have mastered.

What’s more, Samsung has also proven rather shrewd at another one of Apple’s historic specialties – advertising. Not only are its latest people-centric ads resonating with consumers, they also bash Apple fans and iPhone users in the process. That’s a lot of bang for the buck.

And speaking of bucks, Samsung isn’t shy about spending a lot of its money on advertising efforts either. While Apple outspent Samsung by a factor of 3-1 in mobile advertising in 2011, Samsung stepped up its game in a major way in 2012. Last year, Samsung outspent Apple by $64 million in mobile advertising. Specifically, Apple spent $333 million on its advertising efforts while Samsung spent $401 million."

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Samsung Galaxy IV unveiling borrows a page from Apple's playbook

anderzole anderzole writes  |  about a year and a half ago

anderzole (2729537) writes "While iPhone competitors have come and gone, Samsung has actually been able to garner significant marketshare and provide an attractive to the iPhone in the form of its wildly popular series of Galaxy S smartphones.

Tomorrow, Samsung will be taking the wraps off its latest smartphone, the Galaxy S IV. And for the first time, Samsung will be unveiling its latest and greatest smartphone not in Seoul, South Korea, but smack dab in the middle of New York City at Radio City Music Hall, just blocks from Apple's flagship Apple retail store. What's more, Samsung will be broadcasting the event live in Times Square.

The main takeaway from Samsung's venture into NYC is that the company has learned from the master. The release of the Galaxy S IV is an event, has people buzzing, and is one of the top stories across the tech blogosphere. And all of that attention for a product that likely won't be that different from the Galaxy S III. That's an impressive feat for any company not named Apple to pull off."

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