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March 3, 2012

ITC to Barnes & Noble: Antitrust talk is rubbish

The International Trade Commission (ITC) has denied Barnes & Noble's (B&N) request to review antitrust complaints against Microsoft, according to an article by Foss Patents.

In January, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the ITC had dismissed B&N's initial antitrust related  patent abuse case against Microsoft. With this decision, ITC has confirmed the decision of the ALJ. This is a major setback for B&N as the only option left for it, in its fight against Microsoft, is to convince the judges that it doesn't violate any of Microsoft's patents.

German courtroom dismisses two patent lawsuits between Apple and Samsung

The Mannheim state court in German has ruled on two cases involving Samsung and Apple, dismissing both of them. This includes a suit brought by Samsung against apple concerning essential 3G/UMTS patents as well as one of the two "slide to unlock" patent brought by Apple against Samsung.

According to an article by BBC, Samsung was disappointed with the ruling and planned to appeal against the verdict. Samsung also said that a separate case involving four patent infringements is still pending in Mannheim.

Apple has so far not commented on the cases, and could wait for the other "slide to unlock" case before taking further action.

March 2, 2012

Feb Browser share: IE, Chrome lose; Firefox, Safari gain

Net Applications has released browser market share numbers for February 2012.

Among the desktop browsers, Internet Explorer (IE) could not repeat the success of last month and lost market share. Chrome also lost market share for the second consecutive month, while the other three major browsers, Firefox (FF), Safari and Opera, gained.
In the Mobile browser segment, Safari and Android increased their share and now combined account for 81% of the total pie while Opera saw its market share decline of 5%. Overall, mobile market share continue to show major month over month changes, though Safari has consistently accounted for over half of the pie.
Let us look at the numbers in more detail.

Android as risky as IOS: Apps can access and send photos, without permission

Android has a great security feature, Permissions, where apps can typically only do what they are permitted to do before installation. This can potentially reduce scenarios like IOS, where data was being sent back to the app developers without the knowledge of the users.
But an investigation by New York Timesand covered by Ars technica,  has shown that there are some important things for which permissions are not required. And this includes access to extremely personal things like photos.

Apple crosses 500 - Next target 1,000?

Source: Ycharts
Apple added another feather to its hat by crossing US$500bn in market cap for the first time on Wednesday Feb 29th, 2012. It is a historic day for a company, who little under 15 years ago was close to bankruptcy, which was only avoided after an investment by its bitter rival, Microsoft.

According to HispanicBusiness, Apple has become the fifth US company ever to cross US$500bn in market cap. Previously Cisco, Intel, Microsoft (twice) and General Electric had managed to surpass the landmark.

March 1, 2012

Boot 2 Gecko: Mozilla's new Mobile Internet OS

Mozilla had announced the launch of Boot 2 Gecko (B2G), a standalone open source web based operating system targeted at mobiles and tablets, in July last year. This project was recently shown at the Mobile World Conference.
Mozilla wants to develop "native" HTML5 apps which will run on top of Gecko, the HTML rendering engine used in Firefox. B2G aims to be HTML5 code extended for device capabilities like Bluetooth and SMS and tie all the "native" HTML5 apps together to give a feel of an integrated OS.
In a roadmap released by Mozilla, the company has set an aggressive schedule and plans to reach product stage by Q2 2012.

Microsoft Beta Day: Windows 8, Windows Server 8, Visual Studio 11 and .NET Framework released

Photo credit: Microsoft
Yesterday Microsoft released several beta versions of it upcoming products, including the much awaited Windows 8 preview. Microsoft also released beta versions of Windows 8 server, Visual Studio 11 and .NET Framework — targeted to develop apps using the Metro interface.

February 29, 2012

US$35 Linux computer launched

As reported by Ars Technica, UK based, Raspberry Pi foundation has launched a low cost Linux based compute amidst very high level of interest. Raspberry intends to launch two versions of the system a US$35 version and another lower cost US$25 version. Today’s launch was for the US$35 (Model B) version while the US$25 (Model A) version will be launched later, sometimes in 2012.
While, as expected, the specs of the devices are on the lower end, in a recent interview with Eurogamer Raspberry had claimed that its GPU outperforms the iPhone 4S GPU by a factor of 2 (across a range of content) and is also better than NVIDIA’s Tegra 2. While it needs to be seen how the GPU hadles real world tasks, if the GPU is anywhere close, it would prove to be useful in various applications.

Magnets not torrents: Pirate Bay stops serving torrents

As reported on TorrentFreak, PirateBay has switched from torrents files to magnet links —replacing all torrent files being shared by more than 10 people by magnet links.

Pirate Bay started moving towards magent links by shutting down its tracker in November 2009, when magnet links were still not mature and in Jan 2012 it announced that it will discontinue torrent links completely.

iPad 3 expected to launch on March 7

Apple has started to send press invites for a special media event on March 08, 2012. The event is going to be held in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater.
It is widely expected, but not confirmed, that iPad3 is going to be launched in the event. According to nj, a photo in the e-mail invite featured a close-up photo of what is believed to be the next iPad and the words: "We have something you really have to see. And touch."

February 28, 2012

Microsoft announces Tango update; Support for low end devices

Microsoft today announced its upcoming update for Windows mobile codenamed “Tango” with planned release in April 2012. Tango is expected to be a minor update which will, among other things, add support for low cost devices having 256MB ram and lower power CPU's. The update is expected to be preloaded on Nokia Lumia 610 (EUR189) and ZTE Orbit, but is expected to be rolled out on other Windows phones subsequently.

Windows Phone Developer blog also indicated that only 5% of the 65,000 current apps will not be compatible, other 98% will run fine on the lower spec phones. It also said that, If these apps are not updated to be able to run on the new devices, they will be flagged, so that users know of it beforehand.

Nokia releases awesome 41MP sensor camera phone...on Symbian

Nokia today announced it latest phone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), Nokia 808 PureView, which boasts a 41MP camera and stunning photo quality. The phone uses Nokia's new PureView technology to reduce noise and eliminate image distortion, resulting in amazing details. PureView, using oversampling combines several pixels into a single pixel, which reduces noise but keeps the image details, leading to amazing picture quality. Initial shots released by Nokia are very impressive - you can download them on Nokia Conversations..

February 26, 2012

Average quarter for Windows Phone; Nokia becomes largest manufacturer

According to a research by Strategy Analytics, Nokia has become the largest Windows smartphone supplier in Q4 2011, replacing others device manufacturers including HTC. Overall Windows based smartphones sales grew 35% QoQ to 2.7mn in Q4 2011 from 2.0mn in Q3 2011.
While the numbers might seem good overall, it is disappointing that sales from other vendors actually declined QoQ by 10% to 1.8mn units.