Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Coincidence? (Score 5, Informative) 179

Could it be that HTC have started performing badly as a company, so Apple don't consider them worth the lawyer fees any more?

That and a few more. I imagine it to be a mixture of several factors:

1. HTC successfully managed to transfer cases to a venue away from Californian courts

2. ITC found only one of the four / five Apple's patents to be valid and infringed by HTC devices (one related to data-tapping, i.e., detecting links, phone number etc within emails and texts)

3. HTC won a case in Europe on similar patents, where most of Apple's patents were deemed invalid. Only one was deemed valid, and HTC was found not to infringe that.

4. Judges in Delaware found that few of HTC standard essential patents to be likely valid and possibly infringed by Apple and HTC exploring seeking an injunction against iPhone 5 and new iPads using these patents.

So, Apple saw a possibility of loosing the case.

It is still significant development coming from Apple. They have repeatedly held that they are not in the business of licensing "product differentiating features". Only known licensing deal is with Microsoft and Nokia. HTC is the first company which also manufactures Android phones to have reached a settlement with Apple.

Comment Re:Prior Art (Score 4, Interesting) 300

why are they not attacking these patents directly?

Samsung lawyers are doing that as well in one of the many filings. Basically calling each of the patents asserted by Apple invalid due to indefiniteness because of vague words like "substantially centered", ambiguous use of dotted lines in the design patents, and so on.

See comment here for a brief summary.

Claim 50 uses such a term of degree, requiring that the first and second "boxes of content" be "substantially centered" on the touch-screen display. JX 1046.49 (emphasis added.) [...] There are no tests, parameters, or other criteria for determining whether such a box is or is not "substantially centered."

Comment Re:Apple store? Really? (Score 1) 154

Only one media outlet is reporting this story about Samsung store as being inspired by Apple --- AllThingsD !

If one were to look at the coverage of the Apple-vs-Samsung legal court case, AllThingsD was visibly biased in favor of Apple. A simple glance at the comments section of AllThingsD will be enough to figure out that their primary audience is also Apple Fans. So, this title by them is just pandering to their audience. I have a feeling that the 'anonymous' submitter to /. is also an editor of AllThingsD ! Fortunately for them, the article survived the firehose and made it to the main page of /.

Comment Re:Impressive, but (Score 1) 465

I agree, computers will be better than humans in these kind of decision making tasks. Both in terms of time to decision making and accuracy.

However, consider this. The controlled experiments prove that the algorithms are good at decision making in presence of human introduced exceptions in a well behaved society. Now, take this system to say Manhattan, or worst case --- a typical Indian city, and the algorithm will always be handling one exception after another.

Add to this the fact that not every car would be Self-driven. There will be people who would want to go for non-automated cars for reasons of "low cost" and "My reflexes are good" and "I am a very good driver I understand the pulse of my car".

I am not very sure that a computer controlled Self-Driven car will "always be safer" than human driven cars.

Comment Impressive, but (Score 4, Insightful) 465

It is indeed an impressive statistic about the number of accidents by the self-driving car of Google. This does prove that their decision making algorithms are good.

However, comparison to humans is probably not fair. Human mind is more prone to giving in to temptation. Exceeding speed limits, violating lane changing rules once in a while to get ahead, talking while driving, texting while driving, getting distracted by the hot chick/dude in the car in the next lane are all errors that humans would routinely make. Some of them would lead to accidents where the erring driver suffers an accident. Some lead to an innocent driver suffering due to the errors of others. It is the latter condition where the Self-Driving car's algorithms appear good --- handling exceptions generated by human drivers, pedestrians and traffic.

Comment Re:With the level of corruption in India ... (Score 2) 104

This is exactly what the GP claims it to be. A populist measure before the election campaigns start. Only difference being that it is happening at the Central Government level instead of being limited to a few state governments till now.

There have been numerous such pre-election promises and surprisingly they work. Few examples in the recent state election in south Indian states for freebies

"Taking the war of freebies to a new high, AIADMK manifesto for April 13 Assembly elections today promised 20 kg of free rice for ration-card holders, laptops for students from classes XI, free fans, mixers and grinders to all and mineral water to BPL families."

"free grinders to 35 kg free rice every month for 1.6 million poor families, free bus passes for senior citizens to free laptops for Dalit engineering students, increase in old age pension to new insurance scheme for fishermen"

Comment Re:No moral high ground (Score 4, Informative) 360

If the copyright holders were to take a more sensible, open approach and show a direct link between the copyright fees they collect and real artists (not multi-millionaire celebs) making a living from those royalties - with maybe a small "fee" taken by the media businesses themselves, then I reckon the public would view copyright fees like restaurant tips - directly benefitting the people who merit them, rather than just buying a few more snorts of coke for some anonymous fat-cats.

Agreed !

A good example of this is Louis C K. The best part, a Paramount Exec Al Perry claimed that Louis C K could have earned more with DRM !

Another example is Russel Peters, who gives a lot of credit to pirated videos (on YouTube) of his early career performances.

Comment Slashdot statistics? (Score 5, Insightful) 264

Does Slashdot have any statistics to share on the percentage of troll posts / off topics and flamebaits by ACs vis-a-vis registered users ?

Agreed, that registered users may not be using real names. But, still Anonymous comments v/s registered comments will provide a good starting point. My gut feeling is that the statistics would have a higher number of ACs being abusive and malicious than the registered users.

Comment Re:Star Trek: TNG is prior art (Score 1) 257

From the same wikipedia link.

Design patents cover the ornamental nonfunctional design of an item.

I am unable to find any reference that makes it mandatory for a design patent application to be accompanied with a working prototype in order to merit the protection. Anyways, as far as the design patent goes, the Star Trek tablet provides the some function, so it qualifies for a design patent.

Another example: A 1994 video demonstrated Roger Fidler's concept for an electronic newspaper tablet.

Fidler had a chance to patent his tablet idea way back when, but took a pass. He believed it should be left unprotected so that the entire newspaper industry could benefit from it.

Guess what, the testimony of this guy will be used in the Apple-Samsung trial.

Comment Re:Star Trek: TNG is prior art (Score 2) 257

Design patent just covers drawings and nothing else. I dont know if it is essential to have a working prototype in order to patent a design (although I think it is not required).

Example: The design patent for the iPad

The only text in the entire design patent is this:

"We claim the ornamental design for an electronic device, substantially as shown and described."

Effectively, this is exactly what the Star Trek TNG tablet was. An electronic device no different from the class of devices that iPad is a part of.

I am not sure if a digital photo frame can fit into the same class of devices because the patent just claims an electronic device. Technically a digital photo frame is also an electronic device.

Comment Re:Biased Wired.com article (Score 2) 257

Do you REALLY think that Apple designed and built the iPhone in ONE YEAR?!?

Well, I guess we can tell who's never worked on a REAL product design...

And if you had bothered to read TFA

In February 2006, before the claimed iPhone design was conceived, Apple executive Tony Fadell circulated a news article to Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive and others. In the article, a Sony designer discussed Sony designs for portable electronic devices that lacked buttons and other excessive ornamentation, and fit in the hand .......

According to Nishibori's testimony, his design changed the course of the iPhone project, and pointed it toward the iPhone of today.

So, guess what, it was really ONE YEAR, based on a testimony of Apple's own designers. I believe there is no doubt that the Apple designer Nishibori has worked on a REAL product design.

Comment Re:Biased Wired.com article (Score 3, Insightful) 257

With these two basic modifications, there is no difference between the SONY concept phone of 2006 and the iPhone 4 of 2010

This is what I claim. I never claimed that the first iPhone of 2007 was a copy of the SONY concept phone.

I am not even sure that the SONY concept phone is actually dated 2006. But, that is not the point. The basic point is the industry was anyways gravitating towards touch enabled phones. There had been many PDA phones (with no keyboard) before the first ever iPhone. So, at best Apple can only claim to have accelerated the era or touchscreen phones.

No company ever claimed sole ownership to qwerty / flip / candybar / slider phones by blocking products of competitors in the market. There could have been reasonable royalty arrangements where the customer choice was not limited. Apple's stance is that a rounded rectangular object with a glass top is owned by them. That is the difference.

Comment Re:Surprises? (Score 5, Informative) 257

3. The fact that the iPhone design was lifted from another product design seen by Apple's team isn't a surprise, it's how all companies work.

They didn't see it. Apple *read* (in an interview) about a prototype Sony was working on and then did a mock-up based on the description. Sort of a "What would Sony do?" or "How would Sony do it?"

Cant find an accurate date on these SONY phones (range 2006 to 2010), but the iPhone 4 looks extremely close to these.
And multiple phones in these pages (plus/minus a few pages)

It does not matter whether SONY actually released the particular product in the market or not. The bottom line is Apple's claim that they have come up with an "entirely original" idea that never existed before does not hold water. If anyone is going to design a new touch screen only phone / tablet, there is not much one can do. They cant Patent a rounded rectangle and assert it to prevent competition in the market and escape the microscopic examination of others.

Apple keeps parading the image of before / after iPhone cellphones, where it claims that all cellphones before iPhone were flip / qwerty and candybar and touchscreens did not exist at all (which is a lie). There were many PDA phones before the first ever iPhone in 2007. Even without the iPhone touchscreen phones would have come in the market.
http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_ericsson_p910-846.php (one cant argue that size of this phone would have never shrunk with time and with advances in technology)

Comment Biased Wired.com article (Score 4, Insightful) 257

The Wired.com article is totally biased towards Apple.

An example is the SONY concept phone released in 2006.

Going by Apple's logic, their version of "inspiration" is removing the slider from the SONY concept phone and making the front all touch (removing the silver buttons). With these two basic modifications, there is no difference between the SONY concept phone of 2006 and the iPhone 4 of 2010. I fail to see why does Apple have double standards when treating with the issue when Samsung / Motorola and HTC are concerned. (rather all popular Android manufacturers)

The industry was already gravitating towards touch screen phones in 2007. The technology was not ready earlier in terms of CPU power, price/performance ratio and OS maturity for touch only phones to be popular mainstream phones. Apple was the first to released a polished product, granted. But, Apple is behaving as if it owns all rights to a touch screen phone / tablet, which I find ridiculous.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Gotcha, you snot-necked weenies!" -- Post Bros. Comics