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Friday, July 16, 2010

GigaOM's Summer Reading List

If you are looking for a good book to thumb through or to load up on the Kindle for summer vacation, the team at GigaOM has compiled a list of their favorites for our consideration. With all bases covered, from Facebook to discussing the myths and realities of the energy debate, sci-fi and the movies... the list runs the gambit. There is likely to be something here that tweaks every geek's interest, but if not I'd like to add Power Friending by Amber Mac to the list. If Social Media is your thing, or if you are just trying to figure out where it fits in your life and/or business, this is a very good read by someone who lives this stuff! Check it out!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Apple Calls Surprise Press Conference 15/07/2010

While they won't say what the topic will be, Apple has called a surprise press conference for today and much speculation is they'll be addressing the iPhone 4 antenna issue. Maybe Steve Jobs will give a personal "how to hold the iPhone 4" demonstration or perhaps they'll simply introduce the illusive white version :)

In any case the public is getting their "knickers in a knot" over this, deservedly or not, and Apple has to do some damage control. Some industry analysts however believe that this is the chink in Apple's armor that competitors have been waiting for and the hype is being inflated in an attempt to discredit the Apple name. 

"Apple is probably one of the most important brands of the last 50 years," said Olivier Blanchard, president of Brand Builder Marketing.

"They are rock stars in that sense and I believe that this fiasco with the iPhone 4 is an excuse to attack a company that is becoming such a giant. Five years ago when they were the underdog this would have been a non issue," Mr Blanchard told BBC News. (I suspect he was wearing his "I <3 Steve" boxers at the time.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

eBay Target of $3.8-billion Patent Infringement Suit

The Globe and Mail is reporting that eBay is the target of a $3.8-billion law suit filed Tuesday in Delaware by XPRT Ventures LLC, who cited six patents that they felt eBay had infringed upon in the development of Paypal Pay Later and PayPal Buyer Credit.

In the complaint "XPRT said that when eBay on April 30, 2003 filed a patent application titled “Method and System to Automate Payment for a Commerce Transaction,” it failed to tell the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office it knew of XPRT’s own patent applications." XPRT says information was shared in confidence with eBay by the inventors on XPRT’s own patents.

"XPRT is seeking a minimum $3.8 billion in monetary damages, based on their estimated present value. It is also seeking treble damages resulting from eBay’s alleged “willful and malicious conduct,” punitive damages, and other remedies."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Consumer Reports Says No To iPhone 4

Influential publication, Consumer Reports, says that it can't give the iPhone 4 a recommendation because of the faulty antenna issue. "When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone's lower left side — an easy thing, especially for lefties — the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you're in an area with a weak signal. Due to this problem, we can't recommend the iPhone 4."

Consumer Reports says that it consistently reproduced the issue on 3 separate iPhone 4 test devices and that it had also tried unsuccessfully to replicate the issue on older iPhone models, the Palm Pre, and other AT&T devices.

"Our findings call into question the recent claim by Apple that the iPhone 4's signal-strength issues were largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software that 'mistakenly displays two more bars than it should for a given signal strength,'" the site said. "The tests also indicate that AT&T's network might not be the primary suspect in the iPhone 4's much-reported signal woes."

Hmmmm! So much for the "all phones suffer from this" defense! Maybe Apple is not perfect after all?

Read more:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Roll Your Own Android Apps

Google is taking the wraps off of a new android development tool aimed at the masses and setting Google App Inventor for Android free. The tool has been under development for a year and tested by users with little or no formal technical knowledge, "User testing has been done mainly in schools with groups that included sixth graders, high school girls, nursing students and university undergraduates who are not computer science majors." 

"App Inventor requires NO programming knowledge. This is because instead of writing code, you visually design the way the app looks and use blocks to specify the app's behavior." says the company's About page.

I think I know what I'll be doing this evening!