Apple looses UK appeal against Samsung

NewsApple has lost one of a number of long running global appeals against Samsung in relation to Samsung allegedly copying their iPad design. This appeal was in the UK courts and the judges today have ruled that Samsung did not infringe Apples design of the iPad.

However it is very likely that Apple will appeal against this decision.


“Apple has lost its appeal against a UK ruling that Samsung had not infringed its design rights.

A judge at the High Court in London had originally ruled in July that the look of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab computers was not too similar to that of the iPad.

He said at the time that Samsung’s devices were not as “cool” because they lacked the “extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design”.

He also ordered Apple to run ads saying Samsung had not infringed its rights.

Judge Birss said one notice should remain on Apple’s website for at least half a year while other adverts should be placed in various magazines and newspapers to “correct the damaging impression” that Samsung was a copycat.

A spokeswoman for Samsung said it welcomed the latest ruling.”

Personally I think this spat between the two companies has gone on long enough and both products have a place in the marketplace as they cater for a different user base, it will also help drive new innovations and technologies, which will give the end user more choice.

What are your thoughts on the long running battle of the two companies, does it do more harm that good?

Read the full article at BBC News HERE

Microsoft releases Surface RT prices

Surface LogoMicrosoft today have released the prices for the RT version of their new Surface tablet, the prices start from £399 for the 32GB version without the Touch Keyboard (Black). The Touch keyboard as an optional extra is £99.99 and comes in Black, White and Cyan Blue.


However you can get 2 other versions of the Surface tablet that come with the Touch Keyboard (Black) for 32GB for £479 and the 64GB version for £559, but you only have the choice of the black keyboard, that also doubles up as the screen cover. If you wish one of the other two initial colours you will have to stump up £99.

I personally think the 32GB version either with black Touch Keyboard or for those who wish to be different the 32GB without keyboard will be the two to take on the iPad. The iPad 32GB is £479 so exact pricing as the equivalent Surface RT 32GB but the Surface RT has the Touch keyboard/cover for this price.

No prices as yet for the Pro version, which is the one I’m waiting for.

Prices for the versions of Surface RT and accessories HERE at the Microsoft Store UK, but if link doesn’t take you to the Microsoft Store in your region then search for Microsoft Store in your area if available.

Mozilla Firefox latest version taken offline

Firefox logoMozilla’s latest version of the popular alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has been taken offline for download due to a vulnerability found in the browser that could allow an attacker to gain access to your pc.

“The latest version of Mozilla’s Firefox browser has been taken offline after a security vulnerability was discovered.

Users who had upgraded to version 16 were advised to downgrade to the previous safe release until Firefox developers released a fix.

The vulnerability allowed “a malicious site to potentially determine which websites users have visited”, Mozilla said.

The non-profit company said that only a “limited number of users are affected”.

The download had been taken offline within a day of its initial release, the organisation’s UK spokesman said.

Some users were upgraded automatically to the new version, but are now being advised to uninstall the updates.”

Those using the latest version 16 of the browser are advised to downgrade to the previous version HERE or in my mind use an alternative as in Internet Explorer.

I will say that these days no browser is safe and issues like these are common place, we as the user just need to make sure we keep our Windows version and all software up to date and safe surf.


Full article from BBC News HERE

Microsoft Disrupts the Emerging Nitol Botnet

Cyber SecurityMicrosoft and its Digital Crimes Unit have disrupted the emerging Nitol Botnet, which is a really good bit of detective work from a study that found unsecure supply chain systems could be easily utilised for malware.

“Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit permission to disrupt more than 500 different strains of malware with the potential for targeting millions of innocent people. Codenamed “Operation b70,” this legal action and technical disruption proceeded from a Microsoft study which found that cybercriminals infiltrate unsecure supply chains to introduce counterfeit software embedded with malware for the purpose of secretly infecting people’s computers. In disrupting these malware strains, we helped significantly limit the spread of the developing Nitol botnet, our second botnet disruption in the last six months.”

Read the full article at The Official Microsoft Blog HERE

iPhone 5 released but…..

apple logoThe new incarnation of the iPhone, the iPhone 5 has been shown to the press and public, but does it have the “wow” factor? I have been reading some articles and the tech specs of the new device and for me personally it does not have anything that would make me rush out and buy one.

The main change is in the USB connection that is much smaller than the current one, this means you will need to purchase a “Lightening” adapter at £18 to allow you to connect any 3rd party hardware you have, such as speakers.

iphone 5 001 iphone 5 002

“The device’s new size allows it to display an extra row of app icons on its home screen.

The firm said it was 18% thinner and 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S. However, it does not feature an NFC (near field communication) chip to allow it to make touchless payments”

More from the article at BBC Technology News HERE

Now there will be many buyers for the new iPhone as Apple do have a core client base that will buy anything they release, I know some devote Apple users who have iPhones original,  2, 3, 3GS, 4 and 4GS, similar with iPad. While its not wrong its a personal choice and I do this myself in sticking with new releases of Window OS, but are Apple innovating enough to make you open your wallet for this new shiny gadget? especially as we all know in 4-6 months time there will be an iPhone 5GS.

I don’t knock the iPhone as its a superb entrance into the “smartphone” arena, but there are other choices and some are more innovative than this new iPhone, that are now more easy to use, just take the Windows Mobile series, back when Windows Mobile 6 was out it was not an easy OS to use, now with Windows Mobile 7 and soon 8, its much easier and offers new exciting ways to use a mobile.

Choice is yours but I would like to hear your thoughts on not just the new iPhone 5 but the other mobile OS’s?

US Botnet Hacker Jailed

hackerWell a bot… oops bit of good news on the spam front is that a hacker who sold a huge list of 70k+ of infected PCs to to spammers has been jailed in the USA, and good I say too as these people cause misery for many novice PC users as they can have personal data including banking information stolen from them.

I personally would not let him use a PC ever again and not a 3yr supervisory order, as I think for this level of criminality it should be one strike and your out!

“A US hacker who sold access to thousands of hijacked home computers has been jailed for 30 months.

Joshua Schichtel of Phoenix, Arizona, was sentenced for renting out more than 72,000 PCs that he had taken over using computer viruses.

Millions of PCs are enrolled in these networks, known as botnets, and many help to send out junk mail messages.

Schichtel’s customers installed their own malicious software on the PCs to aid their own cybercrime efforts.

As well as going to prison for 30 months, Schichtel was also sentenced to a three-year supervised release programme that he will serve after leaving jail. The supervision will tightly control his access to computers and the net.

In a brief statement about the case, the US Department of Justice said Schichtel pleaded guilty to one count of selling access to 72,000 machines that formed part of a bigger botnet he controlled.”

If you have any comments on this story then please do post a comment as I’m always interested in hearing other computer users thoughts on malware, spam and hacking.

Read the full article at BBC Technology News HERE

Nokia unveils new Windows 8 Phones

NewsNokia yesterday unveiled their new range of Windows 8 Phones in a bit of glitz and a little bit of bugs in the system in New York. The bugs where that the video presentation at the start of the press release was in best traditions of tech releases a bit buggy, the video stuttered and lost sound on occasion, so not the best of launches

product_nokiaLumia820ColorRange_Page product_nokiaLumiaColorRange_Page

“Nokia revealed two new Windows Phone 8 Lumias at a press event in New York City this morning.

From the circuit board on up, the new phones – the Nokia Lumia 820 and the Nokia Lumia 920 — were designed to take full advantage of Windows Phone 8, Microsoft’s forthcoming phone operating system, says Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Windows Phone Division. At the press event, Nokia showed off the two next-generation Lumias, available in a number of colors, as well as some accessories, including a wireless chargers and speakers.”

Hopefully the launch bugs in the presentation are not a sign of things to come as Nokia needs the new Windows 8 Phones to succeed and from the tech specs they do offer much more than Apples current iPhone4, that said Apple are launching their new iPhone 5

    • 5 Sept: Nokia/Microsoft (New York)
    • Expected to unveil two Windows Phone 8 handsets
    • 5 Sept: Motorola/Verizon (New York)
    • Android device for the US market
    • 6 Sept: Amazon (Santa Monica)
    • Kindle Fire 2 tablet and speculation of a “surprise” handset
    • 12 Sept: Apple (San Francisco)
    • Unveiling of iPhone 5
    • 18 Sept: Motorola (London)
    • Details of firm’s first Intel-powered smartphone
    • 19 Sept: HTC (New York)
    • Likely to include company’s first Windows Phone 8 handset

List  above from BBC Technology News HERE with some comments from tech writers and some comments from end users.

Will the new Nokia Lumia series Windows 8 Phones be a success, well I hope so as the Windows 7 and new 8 Phones are a bit undervalued by many “smartphone” users sadly, when they are a superb device, they are more a business user phone as you can connect to Outlook Exchange easily, you have a version of Microsoft Office Mobile and the sync capabilities are fantastic and soon to be much better with the release of Windows 8 and Surface Tablets.

The release of Windows 8 and Surface Tablets will give the user a unified look and feel, will sync devices with ease and not be as expensive as the equivalent Apple products as in iPhone+iPad+iMAC.

Nokia will just have some competition from other phone makers such as Samsung and HTC as they are to release Windows 8 Phone powered devices.


Full press release from Microsoft HERE and Nokia HERE

Apple Lawyer “smoking crack” jibe by Judge

NewsI have to say a judge with a sense of humour, it is rare these days. I have not really been following too closely the Apple vs Samsung legal spat, although I do know the background of the patient “hoohaa” surrounding it.

William Lee had named 22 people he wanted to rebut testimony given by Samsung’s choice of experts.

“Unless you’re smoking crack you know these witnesses aren’t going to be called” said Judge Lucy Koh.

Mr Lee replied: “Your honour, I’m not smoking crack. I can promise you that.”

Just seems to me the Apple lawyer “William Lee” was just pushing the judge too far with the amount of expert witnesses he was going to call in a short time, likely a tactic.

Made me laugh today though!

You can read more on the case HERE at BBC News

Windows 8 RTM released to developers

Windows 8 logoWhile I’m a little late with this news, due in part to being very busy in work but also installing and using Windows 8 Pro at home in testing. I wanted to check out the clean  install to my netbook via a USB install, which I generally think is the quicker method than that of DVD.

The RTM installed in no more than 15 minutes, with very clear instructions on user interaction for items like the licence key to your preferences. The hardware was really well supported on my Samsung N110 and the only driver I needed to install was an Intel Graphics driver.

w8 001  w8 002

I guess you may ask where I managed to get Windows 8 from before public release on October 26th 2012, well as a Microsoft MVP, I get access to MSDN and TechNet. So for those of you who do have the likes of MSDN and TechNet accounts you can download Windows 8 too in ISO format.

Below are the dates from Microsoft on availability.

“People will be able get Windows 8 starting on October 26th” either by upgrading for $39.99 or on a new PC or device. And if you buy an eligible Windows 7 PC today, you will be able to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 (U.S.) through the Windows Upgrade Offer.

However, we have a number of programs that provides various audiences early access to the Windows 8 RTM code to help prepare for Windows 8 as it enters the marketplace this fall:

  • August 15th: Developers will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via your MSDN subscriptions.
  • August 15th: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through your TechNet subscriptions.
  • August 16th: Customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization.
  • August 16th: Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8.
  • August 20th: Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) receive access to Windows 8.
  • September 1st: Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers.

Please note: if a program you are in is not mentioned, please be patient as dates for Windows 8 RTM code availability for other programs will be communicated when the information becomes available.”

The USB install method I used for those interested was an older ISO to USB/DVD application Microsoft discontinued after Windows 7 was released, I don’t know why as its a great tool, but luckily it is still available for download HERE at

I will be installing Windows 8 Pro on my desktop PC at some point and will blog about feature at that time.


Full quoted text HERE at the Windows Team Blog

Windows 8 release date October 26th

Windows 8 logoMicrosoft have announced that Windows 8 will be released on October 26th 2012, this will be in time for the Christmas holiday period. If the Surface Tablet which also uses Windows 8 is released on or around the same time, this could be a very lucrative sales period for Microsoft as many  users have been holding off on new computers or tablets in the past quarter in anticipation of Windows 8.

“October 26th, 2012! That’s right! Just a few minutes ago, Steven Sinofsky announced at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that customers will be able to get Windows 8 – whether in upgrade fashion or on a new PC – starting on October 26th. Earlier this month at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Tami Reller told attendees Windows 8 would be available in October.”

So make a note in your calendar….


Full blog article post from the Windows Team Blog HERE