Let's face it. The patent system is a mess. Applying for a patent can be a process that takes years. Then there's the issue of prior art. Is this patent valid? Was it obvious? Should it have been granted in the first place? And that's without getting into whether or not other devices infringe. It can be a huge cluster of ugly. Enter AskPatents. This new Stack Exchange site has been set up to crowd source the finding of prior art and researching whether or not patents are valid.
Reuters is reporting that Samsung will be amending its counterclaims against Apple in the two companies' second lawsuit in California, currently scheduled for trial in March 2014. Here's what Samsung is saying:
"Samsung anticipates that it will file, in the near future, a motion to amend its infringement contentions to add the iPhone 5 as an accused product ... Based on information currently available, Samsung expects that the iPhone 5 will infringe the asserted Samsung patents-in-suit in the same way as the other accused iPhone models."
This trial focuses squarely on software patents Apple is claiming are violated by the entire Android operating system (eg, the app picker, unified search, auto-correct), and has essentially nothing to do with product design.
Looks like ASUS is gearing up to announce the second iteration of its Turducken phone, the Padfone. A save the date for October 16th was sent out this morning to numerous Italian blogs, highlighting a dual-announcement - one in Milan, Italy, and another in Taipei, Taiwan, which is where ASUS is headquartered.
We haven't heard much about this updated phone-in-a-tablet-in-a-laptop before now, but rumor has it that a quad-core processor should be powering the device this go around.
Back at the end of May, a gaming accessory company called PowerA announced a new Bluetooth gaming controller for Android phones called the MOGA. At the time, release date and pricing information wasn't yet available, only that the controller would be released "before the holiday season." Looks like PowerA met that deadline, because it just officially announced the MOGA would be hitting the streets on October 21st for $50.
For those who may not be familiar with the MOGA, it's a game controller that includes a nifty built-in clamp-style holder for your smartphone, essentially turning it into a handheld gaming system.
No, it's not the Bard of Avon, but this smarmy rogue should still be able to keep you plenty entertained. The Bard's Tale is a Diablo-ish RPG starring Cary Elwes (best known for ruining your perception of the Dread Pirate Roberts and Mel Brooks' Robin Hood by doing this). Complete with absurd humor, catchy drinking songs, and adventure galore, this game promises to keep you engaged for up to 3.5GB worth of your time (for Tegra device owners, 1.7GB otherwise).
SoundCloud's Android app received a substantial update today, adding some new features to the recording UI that's been present in the app for some time.
Namely, track trimming and fade in / out effects, which should be a godsend for those who actually use the app for this sort of thing, as opposed to simply for listening to your feed (or for listening to our podcast, which you totally should).
It's been a long time since Desktop Tower Defense - the genre needs a little shaking up. And with the Prey series of shooter games under their belts, Human Head Studios thinks they're the ones to do it. Their latest game is Fort Courage, and it fits broadly into the mobile-friendly category. The free game is available right now on the Google Play Store, but you'll need an NVIDIA Tegra-powered device to run it, and a Tegra 3 for the best results.
MetroPCS just announced a new 4G smartphone from ZTE for its ever-expanding 4G LTE network. Dubbed the Anthem, this new handset offers mid-range specs under a 4.3" 480x800 display, including a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor and Android 2.3. Past that, the pay-as-you-go carrier was overly-scant on details, but we'll assume it's packing 1GB of RAM and some sort of camera (5MP, maybe?).
So far as looks are concerned, it's not the prettiest thing we've ever seen, but it's hard to complain for around $220 (after MiR) with no contractual agreement.
We heard that the ZTE Warp Sequent was on its way to Boost Mobile a couple of weeks ago, and sure enough, it's now available to buy for $199.99.
The 4.3-inch phone packs a qHD display, and is powered by a 1.4GHz CPU with 768MB RAM. You'll be able to take photos and make video calls using the 1.3MP front facing camera, whilst the rear shooter allows you to capture 5MP shots.
New and existing users will be able to download the movie from the Samsung Media Hub, with T-Mobile encouraging customers to take advantage of their unlimited 4G data. Users with Samsung AllShare will be able to stream the movie, and any other movie downloaded from the media hub, to their TV.