Apple is famous for crafting beautifully designed products, but it is a little condescending to start giving design advice to its competitors. Nevertheless, this is exactly what Apple has done in a legal brief filed with their earlier request for a ban on Samsung's devices in the United States (a request which was denied by a district judge a few days ago). The legal brief from Apple describes both what their U.S. design patents cover and what the patents do not cover. The latter is especially interesting as they are essentially guidelines on what Samsung can do to avoid being sued in the future.
The patent wars between Samsung and Apple are stretching everyone pretty thin, lawyers and judges from 10 countries are contending with over 20 cases, manufacturers are having to make last minute adjustments to devices, and most importantly reporters, including yours truly, are having a hard time keeping up with it all.
Bringing the discussion stateside, on Friday a U.S. District Judge in California denied Apple's request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung. Apple had earlier sued Samsung in the U.S. claiming that the Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets "slavishly" copied the iPhone and the iPad. However, the Judge disagreed and noted that "it is not clear that an injunction on Samsung's accused devices would prevent Apple from being irreparably harmed".
Yesterday, we caught early wind of two class action lawsuits filed against CarrierIQ, HTC, and Samsung in Chicago and St. Louis. You can now add a whole new class action suit to the pile, except this time it also names AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Motorola, and Apple in addition to the aforementioned three companies.
Led by law firms from Delaware and New Jersey - Sianni & Straite LLP, Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy LLP, and Keefe Bartels L.L.C. - the lawsuit "asserts that three cell phone providers (T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T) and four manufacturers of cell phones (HTC, Motorola, Apple and Samsung) violated the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communications Act, and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act." CarrierIQ is not named in that quote, but it is listed in the press release's title, so don't worry - the whole gang is included.
Carrier IQ is bad news. We have spent much ink covering and debating the maliciousness of this pre-installed service which hides itself in the background of some Android devices, collects user information, and then sends it back to carriers. However according to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Carrier IQ is just the tip of the iceberg as most smartphones can be hacked remotely "with ease." At a recent speech, Assange stated point blank that anyone with an iPhone, BlackBerry or Gmail account was "screwed." While Assange didn't mention Android by name in his introductory speech, our favorite operating system is indeed referenced in some Wikileaks' reports.
The Android Market certainly doesn't have a lack of group chat-messaging clients, but it appears that Yahoo is ready to throw its hat into the ring away. Separate from the Messenger app (which has been available on Android for quite some time), Hub uses text messages over a data connection - meaning that you won't incur any text messaging charges from using it. Unfortunately, your friends who don't have the client installed will, and in fact they may not be able to use it at all.
If both you and the person (or people) you are chatting with have the client installed (currently only available for Android 2.1 and up) then your messages will be sent over data.
Adding another entry to the Tegra Zone's small, yet ever growing collection of Tegra 3 optimized games, Pitbull Studio Ltd is planning to release Big Top THD in December 2011. Big Top is a cartoony, yet lavishly styled game that lets you run away to the circus, while fully utilizing the awesomeness that is NVIDIA's powerful quad-core superchip.
Big Top THD takes players through a beautifully-rendered circus, including pie throwing, plate spinning, juggling, and diving challenges as well as testing a handful of other typical circus skills.
Besides allowing players to try their hand at various circus acts, the game is technologically stunning, incorporating real-time shadow generation, per-pixel lighting, and sophisticated animation capabilities.
Although it wasn't among the select few HTC devices confirmed to be receiving Ice Cream Sandwich, we have reasons to believe that T-Mobile's myTouch 4G will indeed be receiving the update in early 2012, according to an HTC customer support representative. Here's the original message:
First I want to thank you for the amazing job you've done building and maintaining my phone. It's my favorite phone I've ever owned by far. I'm incredibly excited for android 4.0 (Ice cream sandwich) and am really hoping for the update to come to the T-mobile mytouch 4g. I absolutely love the phone and don't want to replace it with another. I'm emailing to request that the T-mobile mytouch 4g be put on the forefront of update candidates. Thank you again.
Looks like Verizon is going with the go big or go home motto pretty heavily these days - it has been attacking plans to expand its LTE network across the country with great earnest, and now it has entered into an agreement with multiple cable companies to purchase 122 Advanced Wireless Service Spectrum licenses for a cool 3.6 Billion smack-a-roos.
The deal, which will have to be cleared by the FCC, will allow VZW to grow its LTE network even further, giving it an even bigger advantage over AT&T. The Justice Department will also have to be involved in the deal, as an antitrust review will have to be done before the okay can be given.
The Asus Transformer Prime: the first Android device to ship with a quad-core chip, courtesy of NVIDIA's brand new Tegra 3 (Kal-El) CPU. But there's more of a hook here than power alone - Asus has gone back to the drawing board for the Prime (model number TF201) and revamped the device from nearly head to toe compared to its predecessor, the TF101. It's substantially thinner, lighter, and more attractive than the rather portly 101, while packing a much more powerful CPU, better display, and reportedly better battery life. But can they really improve upon all those aspects without cutting any corners?
If there is one thing that has been on my to-do lost for the biggest part of my life, it's blow stuff up with a tiny tank. Since that's highly unlikely to happen in the physical world, I can now turn to Tank Riders from Polarbit to fulfill this lifelong dream in digital space.
As you can see, Tank Riders is a damn good-looking game. The environments are rich, graphics are nice, gameplay looks smooth, and, best of all, you get to blow stuff up. Shoot things, toss bombs at your foes, and wreak havoc with missiles and other heavy artillery.