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.

Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-10_vs-Ipad-2

“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.

microsoft-surface001

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.

Kia Motors and Microsoft team up with UVO eService

Kia UVOKia Motors and Microsoft have collaborated on an in-car telematics application which has the functions of gathering data from your car and driving style, this can then feedback to the owner, when maintenance schedules such as servicing are alerted to the owner.

UVO also adds technology for satnav to being able to make phonecalls.

Kia UVO-hi-Phone_Call

What UVO feeds back to the car owner:

    • UVO eServices is connected to a multitude of sensors embedded throughout a Kia vehicle. These sensors watch for data such as diagnostic trouble codes, mileage and driving patterns.

    • Customers access this maintenance and vehicle diagnostic information on their PC or mobile device.

    • Customers can also request a customized maintenance schedule, which Kia formulates by adjusting the factory maintenance schedule based on the performance data for their vehicle.“What’s great about UVO eServices is that it showcases how an intelligent system can use information that already exists to improve various aspects of your daily life,” says Steven Bridgeland, senior product manager for Windows Embedded at Microsoft. “Kia has done an impressive job of blending the practical benefits of technology in a way that redefines how you interact with your car.”

I have a car that has Blue and Me from Fiat & Microsoft, which is pretty much the early Windows Mobile in-car telematics service, while it does not have all the functions of the Kia developed one, it is how I feel cars should be developed in the future.

“Ask most people how they track the maintenance of their car, and it’s likely they’ll reference the tell-tale or the ubiquitous static cling oil-change reminder tucked in the corner of the windshield. But if Korean auto maker Kia Motors has its way, these analog mainstays could give way to something a bit more high tech.

Kia this year rolled out UVO eServices, which includes a suite of telematics tools to monitor your vehicle’s performance and help you stay current with factory maintenance schedules. UVO eServices also includes navigation and location-based services that help monitor your car’s location — whether lost in a parking garage or keeping tabs on where your teen took it the night before.”

KiaOptimaWithUVOeSer_Web

Read the full press release at Microsoft News Centre HERE

Is Apples voice control Siri biased?

Apple SiriWell it looks as if Apples iPhone based voice control Siri is not all she is cracked up to be, in that from a complaint from Nokia, the results of a question users could ask on “what is the best smartphone?” has been alleged to have been changed for a default answer.

“The debate over “what is the best smartphone ever?” took an unexpected twist after Apple’s voice-activated assistant Siri appeared to favour the iPhone’s rival.

Over the weekend, users of Siri were told the answer was Nokia’s Lumia 900.

But Siri now responds to the same question with a jovial: “Wait… there are other phones?”

Nokia has accused Apple of “overriding the software” after the quirk was noticed.”

If this is found to be true then it for me and likely others will bring what Siri can do and honestly into question, especially if Apple can manipulate the replies to specific questions, skewed in their favour or ignoring a rival device or software.

Read the full article at BBC Technology News HERE

File sharers move to VPNs to beat bans on The Pirate Bay in UK

Pirate BayOne of my massive interests in the tech arena is the battle between copyright holders and the warez (illegal software or media) suppliers/search services. Today some news being reported, is the increasing use of VPN (Virtual Private Networks) in sharing illegal material between users.

However VPNs are not a new thing and definitely not a new area that illegal sharers have used, however I do personally feel if the media companies like the RIAA etc. are to try and have ISPs (Internet Service Providers) ban VPNs then they are entering a very grey area as VPNs are used in industry to share secure information.

“Young people are increasingly turning to virtual private networks (VPNs) to anonymise their free sharing of music and movies, a new study has suggested.

Sweden’s Lund University indicated that there had been a 40% rise in the number of 15 to 25-year-olds using such services since 2009.

Many believe a clampdown on piracy is behind their rise in popularity.

The Pirate Bay has advised visitors to make use of VPNs. It would be illegal to do so to download pirated files.”

It will be interesting to see how this information and news pans out over the next few weeks or months and what the media industry decide to do as to be very honest, if they use the courts to force ISPs to block a specific download route, at least two or more routes will pop up, it’s a never ending spiral.

If the media companies put more effort into developing digital services that do not cost a fortune they will reduce the need for some users to resort to illegal downloads (warez).

 

Read the full article at BBC Technology News HERE

Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs released

Intel Ivy-BridgeI have to say I have been awaiting this release of CPUs and Chipsets from Intel over the Sandy Bridge chips, these Ivy Bridge CPU’s are based off Intel’s latest Tri-Gate transistors.

 

The Ivy Bridge CPUs are to give us 20% more computing power with 20% less power usage, thus lower temperatures for CPU and system.

“Today marks the release of Intel’s third-generation Core i ‘Ivy Bridge’ processors, which the latest test results suggest will increase CPU performance by around 10 percent and integrated graphics by 75 percent. See also: Intel launches Ivy Bridge processor family.

This improved graphics power pushes Intel closer to rival AMD. You can see the effects in our first Intel Ivy Bridge PC review.

With nine desktop models in the i5 and i7 series and six i7 variations destined for the portable market, these processors are the first batch of what will eventually be a complete refresh of Intel’s CPU line-up.”

Read more: HERE at PC Advisor UK

Skype to hire 400 new staff in UK and Sweden

Skype

Microsoft Owned Skype are to expand in Europe and thus going to take on near 400 new staff to cover this expansion in London and Stockholm,

 

“Skype is to hire 400 people between London and Stockholm, as the Microsoft-owned company seeks to expand its presence in the UK and Europe.

London geeks, update your CV’s. Microsoft-owned Skype has plans to hire people in London and Stockholm as part of a wider European expansion, according to the BBC.

But it comes as Yahoo reportedly plans to shed 2,000 jobs in the near future. Some are pegging the pink slips to drop at New York’s market opening today.

The Internet-calling giant was bought by Microsoft for $8.5 billion last October following U.S. and EU approval, and was formally rolled into the bosom of the Redmond technology giant as its own division.

Skype’s expansion to the British capital could not come soon enough for the UK government, which is keen on stressing how London will be the “powerhouse” for European tech, as it continues to invest in the East London Tech City, known colloquially as “Silicon Roundabout”.”

Read full article at ZDNews HERE

BBC iPlayer comes to Xbox360

Xbox360imgThe XBox360 only just gets better and better in my opinion, with now having the fantastic catch-up service from the BBC in iPlayer it now adds a large and superb range of TV programming to this platform.

“The BBC and Microsoft today announced the launch of the BBC’s popular video-on-demand service, BBC iPlayer, on Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE free platform. BBC iPlayer is now available on every major gaming platform in the UK.

The launch means the BBC is the only UK content provider to make its programmes available for free to all Xbox 360 users in the UK. Users will be able to catch up on all the BBC programmes they know and love in a familiar, easy to use BBC iPlayer experience.

Xbox 360 users with Kinect will benefit from enhanced functionality. For the first time it is possible for BBC iPlayer users to discover and play programmes using hand gestures and voice recognition”.

Read more and view a video from BBC Media Centre HERE

Europe’s biggest WiFi Zone set for London

wifiI have to say that this is a great bit of news but why just London, yes its to likely co-inside with the 2012 Olympics but this type of thing should be rolled out across many cities, as London is not the only attraction for visitors, my home city of Liverpool is as well.

“Mobile operator O2 is to provide free internet to “millions” of residents and visitors in central London by launching Europe’s largest free wi-fi zone.

The service will be rolled out across the boroughs of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea in 2012.

It will be powered by a system installed on street furniture.”

More from the article at BBC News HERE

Website Blocking Law to be dumped by UK Government

164ASP21704517Well this is one bit of news that I’m really happy with as for me when you introduce website blocking you are entering the realms of creating a nanny censorship state and the amount of legitimate website that would be blocked by this due to the gatekeepers of this system not knowing what is good from bad.

“Plans to block websites that host copyright infringing material are to be dumped by the government.

Business secretary Vince Cable announced the change following a review of the policy by telecoms regulator Ofcom.

Website blocking was one of the key provision contained in the Digital Economy Act.

Internet Service Providers had objected to the idea that copyright owners could compel them to cut-off some sites”.

I do not condone illegal downloads of music and video, but you do run the risk of  potentially cause disruption or harming to legitimate businesses.

One of the most anticipated areas of this new information from Vince Cable is the Hargreaves Review and the information on Legal Ripping or “Format Shifting” of your media be that Music or Video. This I would non scientifically say that virtually everyone has done this at some point in “shifting” a CD to digital format such as MP3, or for many years copying a TV show or film off TV to a CD/DVD or nowadays HDD, as in theory you have shifted the original format to another format.

“Mr Cable also announced a raft of measures intended to update the UK’s copyright laws.

The changes are based on the Hargreaves Review which was set-up to examine current legislation’s fitness for purpose in the digital age.

One of the most significant recommendations that the government plans to implement is the legalisation of “format shifting” – where users rip content from CDs or DVDs to for their own personal use.

“We are talking about big changes,” said Mr Cable.

“Bringing the laws more up-to- date to have a proper balance which allows consumers and businesses to operate more freely, but at the same time protect genuinely creative artists and penalise pirates.”

The business secretary said the economy would benefit by £8bn over the next few years by updating the legislation.”

Full Article at BBC Technology News HERE