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Apple goes after Galaxy S3, Note in new court filing

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Friday 31 August 2012 9:58 pm

Coming off its big victory in its patent suit against Samsung in a Northern California court, Apple has filed an amended complaint with the same court in a separate case — adding the Galaxy S3 and
Galaxy Note to the list of Samsung devices it says infringe its intellectual property.

As reported by Apple Insider, the filing was made earlier today and involves a complaint first made in February that charged 17 Samsung devices with violating utility patents owned by Apple.

In relation to that complaint — again, it’s separate from the headline-grabbing case that began in April 2011 and wound up last Friday with an overwhelming win for Apple — the
iPhone and iPad maker sought a sales ban on Samsung’s
Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The San Jose, Calif., court where the complaint was filed granted the ban, but it has been temporarily lifted while it’s on appeal before a court in Washington, D.C.

Apple also sought a ban on the Galaxy S3 back in June, but that effort was put on hold owing to a packed court schedule.

In the amended complaint filed today, Apple says “infringing Samsung products include the at least 21 new smartphones, media players, and tablets that Samsung has released beginning in August 2011 and continuing through August 2012” and it lists the Galaxy S3, the Galaxy S3 — Verizon, and the Galaxy Note smartphones, as well as the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, among the other products.

Apple would no doubt like to put the kibosh on the Galaxy S3, which has enjoyed brisk sales and has, according to analysts, helped increase Samsung’s lead over Apple in the two companies’ smartphone sales competition. The Note seems to be doing OK too, if numbers released by Samsung are any indication.

The Amended complaint is embedded below.

Update, 8:38 p.m. PT: Details and links added throughout.

Amended Galaxy Complaint

Twitter Ads Are About to Get More Relevant

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Friday 31 August 2012 3:49 pm

If all goes according to plan, ads on Twitter are about to get a lot more relevant to the people that see them. That’s the idea behind the interest-targeted ad system the company has been testing. Having presumably ironed out the kinks, Twitter has just rolled the feature out to all of its advertisers. 

Previously, when Twitter displayed a promoted tweet or trending topic, it didn’t take into account whether or not that ad is relevant or useful to a given user.

How Facebook Targets Ads

For years, advertisers on Facebook have had the ability to target ads very granularly based not only on demographic data and life events, but on specific interests held by users. The result, is many cases, is advertising that’s sometimes eerily accurate and relevant to users’ lives. Twitter is now adopting similar functionality as part of its quest to monetize its growing microblogging service. 

But Twitter isn’t Facebook. On the world’s biggest social network, users explicitly declare their interests on their profiles and through clicking “like” buttons woven throughout the Web and apps everywhere. Twitter doesn’t have the luxury of such detailed user data, so it must employ other means to target its ads. 

The concept of interest-based advertising isn’t new, but it is evolving thanks to the social Web. From the outset, Google has monetized its search engine based on people’s interests. Early on, users declared those interests on a case-by-case basis by typing in a search query, which Google used to display targeted text link ads. Over time, search advertising has evolved to become more targeted and personalized, as have the competing social advertising models that have cropped up since the early days of Google. 



How Twitter Targets Ads

Twitter offers 350 categories of interests from Bollywood movies to gardening. Since users don’t specify their interests on their profile, those interests must be gleaned from such things as what they say, who they follow and other user activity. Twitter doesn’t elaborate on how it all works, but we wouldn’t be surprised if things like favorited tweets weren’t factored into the algorithm it’s using.

To get more granular, advertisers can specify @usernames of users. Rather than target these people specifically, Twitter will attempt to show ads to users who share interests with those who follow them. The example the company uses is an indie rock band that wants to promote its upcoming tour on Twitter. To do so, the band can use this feature to list similar acts on Twitter and target people with like-minded taste in music. Again, Twitter isn’t forthcoming about how that will work, but hopefully it has a way of filtering out pornbots and ghost followers.


How Do You Define Open Source? #LinuxCon

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Friday 31 August 2012 9:33 am

Richard Fontana LinuxConSAN DIEGO. What is open source?

It’s not as easy a question as you might think. For me, I used to (perhaps naively) believe that any license approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) is open source. Those licenses are all supposed to conform to the Open Source Definition.

Speaking at the LinuxCon conference, Red Hat lawyer Richard Fontana led an awesome session that really illuminated by view of the whole discussion.

“There is often just a deference to authority,” Fontana said. “People just say OSI has a definition and that’s that.”

Apparently that’s enough. Fontana has some criticisms of the OSI, an organization that is now undergoing a period of transition. Fontana like the Free Software Foundation (FSF) approach to understanding and labelling open software.

“Institutions should be providing rationale for how they reach a decision on what is and isn’t open,” Fontana said.

Perhaps even more interesting, to me is that there is also a movement to expand the definition of what is open source beyond just the license.

Fontana suggests that perhaps it’s time to also consider adding open development criteria to the definition of open source. That’s the idea that a project isn’t truly open unless it actually accept patches that are then including back into the project.

That idea might not work for really small projects, but for projects of reasonable scale it will.

The point that Fontana makes is a really good one. Simply relying on licensing terms and the fact that source code is available isn’t necessarily enough to ensure that there is software freedom.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Husband buys electronic billboard to get his wife a job

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Friday 31 August 2012 2:58 am

(Credit:
Fox Toledo Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

The struggle to get a job can warp the mind.

It can make you disappear into a cold, hard shell, so much so that those closest to you don’t quite recognize your outer shell at all.

Yet Brandon Stuard, as he watched his wife struggle to find employment, decided he couldn’t just gaze upon her pain: he had to get everyone else in Toledo, Ohio to gaze upon it too.

So, without his wife Holly’s knowledge, he bought a rather brightly illuminated double billboard for $700 and allowed her mini-resume to shine.

It displayed a large picture of her. The copy was blissfully direct. “PLEASE HIRE MY WIFE,” read the headline.

Stuard, a deputy sheriff, clearly understands the perils of marketing, as immediately beneath this was a large and memorable e-mail address: Hiremywife@Yahoo.com.

The billboard also mentioned that she had business and academic experience, as well as an MBA.

Holly Stuard had been laid off a year ago from her job as program manager for the MBA program due to budget cuts at the University of Toledo.

“I felt a sense of, she was getting a little frustrated, but not losing hope,” Brandon Stuard told Fox Toledo. “But I wanted to do something, maybe help lift her spirits if nothing else.”

When someone is desperate to get a job, spirit-lifting can be as precarious as Toledo steel sword-swallowing.

So this rather public display might not have warmed his wife’s inner core. Indeed, she told ABC News she was “shocked.”

But how did she even see it? Did friends see it and call her? Did she happen to drive by and say: “Oh, look. I’m up lights.”

Not quite.

She told ABC News: “He made plans that we’d go out to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants on the other side of town so that we’d pass the billboard on our way. Our older son saw it before I did and said, ‘Momma that picture looks like you’.”

Yes, Mom. Like you, but bigger and brighter.

The electronic dual billboard has, sadly, not delivered any job offers in the 4 days that it’s been illuminating the Toledo skyline.

Some might, perhaps, find Brandon Stuard’s attempts at showing love and support gauche or even misguided. However, when it comes to keeping your lover happy, some people just get carried away with their enthusiasm and passion.

Who knows what Stuard might do next? Project her name on the front of the Bellagio in Vegas, perhaps.

Dell & Samsung Join Parade of Windows 8 Convertible Laptop/Tablets

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 30 August 2012 8:49 pm

The launch of Windows 8 may still be two months away, but the tide of new hardware releases is beginning to swell – including hybrid notebook/tablet devices from Dell and Samsung.

HP just announced a convertible Windows 8 notbook tablet (see HP Envy x2 Tablet/Laptop Combo Cuts Across Categories), while Dell used the IFA show in Germany to announce its first Windows RT device as well as a convertible notebook/tablet.

Not quite a convertible, Samsung debuted its Series X5 ultrabook, which looks exactly the same as the previous model, but adds a capacitive touch screen to the 13.3-inch display. Lenovo also debuted a series of Android tablets – including one with a detachable keyboard, following its earlier launch of the ThinkPad Tablet 2.

The message? Windows 8 is making touch more important than ever, and is driving a move toward tablets and convertibles that combine an ultrabook with touchscreen functionality to be both content creation and consumption devices.



Samsung

Take the new Series 5 notebook from Samsung. Like its rivals, the new Series 5 will be released about the time of Windows 8, on Oct. 26. Starting at $799 with an Intel Core i5 processor, the real innovation is adding touch to the notebook screen to take advantage of Windows 8’s new user interface. But Samsung also said that those who don’t love the new Modern UI, (formerly known as “Metro”) will also be able to take advantage of a proprietary widget that replicates the “Start” button and control panel familiar from Windows 7 and Vista.

Dell

Dells new products include the XPS 10 (a 10-inch, ARM-based tablet running Windows RT) and the XPS Duo 12 convertible.

Dell had already said it would build a a Windows RT tablet, so the XPS 10 comes as little surprise. (Others promising RT tablets include Samsung and Lenovo.) Windows RT, as you might recall, is Windows 8’s little brother, a new version of the operating system that runs on ARM processors, rather than the X86 chips that power regular Windows 8 hardware.

Unfortunately, the release of a Windows RT tablet didn’t offer any peeks at the mysterious Windows RT operating system. But that wasn’t the case. The the XPS 10 was released under glass, blocking efforts to explore the interface, and how apps interacted with the RT interface. So we still don’t really know whether you should buy Windows 8 or Windows RT.

Dell also didn’t release the price of the XPS 10, the other major question surrounding Windows RT tablets.


Convertibles Are Hot

Given the launch of the rival HP Envy X2 a day ago, however, it seems fair to say that PC makers believe convertible ultrabook/tablets will be the most popular new form factor.

Both the Envy X2 and the XPS Duo 12 combine a tablet with a keyboard unit that allows them to function as either a tablet or a notebook computer. The two aren’t exactly alike, however; the Envy X2 actually includes a detachable tablet, while the Duo 12 simply uses a screen that flips back and forth on a hinge, tucking the keyboard behind it.

Dell isn’t commenting on the exact specifications, even whether or not the “12” stands for a 12-inch display. The company did say in a press release that the tablet supports full HD resolution, however, and uses Corning’s Gorilla Glass for toughness.

“We haven’t disclosed full specs on the XPS Duo 12 and will be providing further info as we get closer to availability,” a Dell spokeswoman said in an email. “It does meet the Ultrabook specifications, so is based on Intel technology, and will run Windows 8.”

Dell clearly designed both the XPS 10 and the Duo 12 as devices that could be brought from home into an enterprise environment. “The XPS 10, XPS Duo 12 and XPS One 27 represent the culmination of a deep understanding of the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ movement and insights gained from both our consumer and business customers,” said Sam Burd, global vice president, PC product group at Dell, in a statement.

That combination of business and consumer uses is what Microsoft hopes will be Windows 8’s special sauce in a wide variety of devices including Microsoft’s own Surface. And it now looks like there will be plenty of choices in this new cross-over genre.



Of course, Microsoft isn’t the only company hoping to ride the convertible bandwagon: Lenovo introduced the S2110, a  10.1-inch tablet that can plug into an optional keyboard dock that gives it a 20-hour battery life. It includes both 16 GB and 32-GB storage options.


How Do You Define Open Source? #LinuxCon

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 30 August 2012 2:19 pm

Richard Fontana LinuxConSAN DIEGO. What is open source?

It’s not as easy a question as you might think. For me, I used to (perhaps naively) believe that any license approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) is open source. Those licenses are all supposed to conform to the Open Source Definition.

Speaking at the LinuxCon conference, Red Hat lawyer Richard Fontana led an awesome session that really illuminated by view of the whole discussion.

“There is often just a deference to authority,” Fontana said. “People just say OSI has a definition and that’s that.”

Apparently that’s enough. Fontana has some criticisms of the OSI, an organization that is now undergoing a period of transition. Fontana like the Free Software Foundation (FSF) approach to understanding and labelling open software.

“Institutions should be providing rationale for how they reach a decision on what is and isn’t open,” Fontana said.

Perhaps even more interesting, to me is that there is also a movement to expand the definition of what is open source beyond just the license.

Fontana suggests that perhaps it’s time to also consider adding open development criteria to the definition of open source. That’s the idea that a project isn’t truly open unless it actually accept patches that are then including back into the project.

That idea might not work for really small projects, but for projects of reasonable scale it will.

The point that Fontana makes is a really good one. Simply relying on licensing terms and the fact that source code is available isn’t necessarily enough to ensure that there is software freedom.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Facebook ad targeting to use email addresses, phone numbers

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 30 August 2012 8:16 am

Facebook plans to roll out a new advertising tool that will let companies target their ads to existing customers based on their phone numbers and email addresses.

The social network is launching the new tool next week and touts it as a way for businesses to reengage with customers that have already used their services, according to a Facebook spokesperson.

For those who may have privacy concerns over this exchange of personal information, the social network said the process is secure.

What this means is Facebook isn’t giving any of your data away, it’s taking existing numbers and addresses from businesses and letting those businesses use the information to target its ads.

On the flip side, Facebook won’t be gaining any new data from businesses. When advertisers give Facebook your data, it is hashed — a secuirty techinque that scrambles your data — before it is fed into the advertising machine. Once the ads are placed, Facebook dumps the hashed data, so that if an advertiser wants to do another ad, the process starts over again.

The new method was available briefly in the Facebook Power Editor, a virtual toolbox used by advertisers to create ads, according to InsideFacebook.

Facebook continues to figure out how to improve its advertising service amid revenue reports and forecasts that have not been up to par.

Of course, it’s not the only company expanding its targeted advertising efforts. Twitter launched a feature today that puts tweets in the streams of a broader audience than before.

If Facebook Is Smart, It’ll Do More With Voice

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 30 August 2012 1:44 am

Facebook could boost revenue by as much as $800 million per year by adding Skype-like voice service, according to a report by the Copenhagen-based research firm Strand Consult. The question is, should it?

The report says Facebook’s sheer size could allow it to succeed where Google Voice and Microsoft, which acquired Skype for $8.5 billion in May 2011, have not. 

Facebook could, in fact be the “Skype killer,” according to the Strand report. Facebook and Skype have a partnership, announced last year, to bring video calling to Facebook.

We’ve asked Facebook and Skype for their thoughts, and will update here when we hear back. 

Crucially, Facebook has payment-collection abilities that it uses for multiplayer games. It could use that function for billing voice-over-IP services. The report concludes that Facebook “could create a communication experience far richer than what is available today.”

Jonathan Rick, who runs a Washington, D.C.-based social-media marketing firm The Jonathan Rick Group, noted that many inside North America have never used or even heard of voice over IP. That could work to Facebook’s advantage.

“Facebook wouldn’t be competing against Skype and Google Voice, but introducing a brand new feature to its 1 billion users,” Rick said. “This makes for a beautiful opportunity. The risk isn’t that people won’t use VOIP; it’s that they won’t use Facebook’s VOIP. In other words, the marketplace already exists; it’s a question of whether Facebook can hack together the technology.”

Stefan Rust of business-app developer Exicon Global, however, cautioned that Facebook may not have an easy time taking on Skype. Skype is primarily used for business communication, whereas Facebook remains predominantly social.

“The beauty of Facebook (is that it) doesn’t require active engagement and is ambient. It’s a watercooler,” Rust said.

Facebook would be “much better off opening APIs to third-party VOIP providers to tap into their community that want to use VOIP. I have a Skype account and now want to communicate with someone on Voxer, and Facebook as a central hub would allow me to do that.”

The voice question comes as company observers say it needs to make a bold move to add revenue. The company’s share prices have slumped since its initial public offering in May and investors are getting restless.

“In this mindset, and especially with its stock down 50 percent, Facebook doesn’t need to overtake Skype; it just needs to add another revenue stream,” Rick said.

“Despite Facebook’s flock of failures — ranging from Beacon to Offers to Places — none of these has really hurt the social network’s growth or reputation. Instead, taking a crack at VOIP squares nicely with Facebook’s motto to ‘move fast and break things.’”


Linux 4.0 Coming in 2015? #LinuxCon

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 29 August 2012 7:36 pm

Linus Torvalds LinuxCon 2012From the ‘I asked, Linus answered’ files:

SAN DIEGO. Linus Torvalds took stage tonight at the LinuxCon conference in a panel discussion about the state of Linux. Lucky for me they took questions from the audience via Twitter – though apparently i was the only one that asked questions over Twitter…

I asked about the naming issue – many of us were almost caught of guard by how the whole Linux 3.0 name came about, with Linus pretty much saying at the time that the numbers in the 2.6.x series had simply just gotten too large. The last 2.6 kernel was the 2.6.39 kernel.

So I wondered – when will he make the call to move to Linux 4.0?

“When we hit the 30’s,” Torvalds said. (ie. when the 3.30 kernel debuts.)

Greg Kroah-Hartman who joined Torvalds onstage said that it doesn’t matter, and that it’s just a number.

“We are not going to go to the mid-30’s,” Torvalds said. “It’s just mentally much easier for people to remember the small number. We’ll do 4.0 in three years maybe when the sub numbers have grown in the 20’s and our feeble brains can’t handle it.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Square adds AT&T to list of card reader distributors

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 29 August 2012 1:36 pm

Square’s card reader in action.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani)

Square added to its list of retail partnerships with the announcement today that ATT will begin selling the Square Card Readers at its stores.

The mobile payments startup’s credit card reader will be available at 1,000 ATT stores, making Square available at more than 20,000 retail locations in the U.S., including Apple stores, Best Buy, FedEx Office, Radio Shack, Target, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart.

“ATT stores are a convenient retail destination for purchasing Square Card Readers, offering entrepreneurs the ability to purchase all of the devices they need to run their business in one place,” Square’s Jeffrey Kolovson said in a statement. “Square Card Reader makes it easier than ever for businesses to get started and grow using only their mobile device.”

The card reader, which has a suggested retail price of $9.95 with a $10 rebate upon signup for new users, plugs into the headphone jack of an
iPhone,
iPad, or
Android device. Credit cards can then swiped in the device and processed. The company charges 2.75 percent per swipe for Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

The mobile startup has been busy inking partnerships, recently announcing an extensive deal with Starbucks that includes a $25 million investment from the coffeehouse giant. Square will process credit and debit card transactions at U.S. stores, and Starbucks customers will be able to make purchases with Pay with Square — Square’s payer app — at Starbucks locations later this fall.

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