Motorola gets injunction against Apple in Germany


Motorola gets injunction against Apple in Germany

Motorola Mobility won a preliminary injunction on Friday, forbidding Apple from selling any mobile devices in Germany that infringe on two Motorola patents related to wireless technology.

The district court in Mannheim, Germany, made a default judgment in Motorola’s favor after Apple failed to turn up in court, a spokesman at the Landgericht Mannheim said.

The verdict didn’t mention any Apple products by name, but said that the company can’t offer any mobile devices that infringe on two Motorola patents related to wireless technology, which makes the iPhone and iPad the most likely to be affected. If Apple does not respect the judgment, it may have to pay a €250,000, the court ruled.

Apple is not worried by the decision: “This is a procedural issue and has nothing to do with the merits of the case. It does not affect our ability to sell products or do business in Germany at this time,” a company spokesman said via email.

Vodafone Germany, which on Monday had banners for the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 on its website, expects the verdict will have no impact on its sales activites. The judgment refers to Apple Inc., the U.S. parent company, and not to the European subsidiary responsible for delivery of products in Germany, a Vodafone spokesman said via email.

A default judgement was handed down by the judge because representatives for Apple didn’t turn up, and Apple will now have to appeal the verdict if the company doesn’t agree with it, the spokesman at the court said.

Apple didn’t comment on what its next legal move will be.

Motorola would prefer to make its technologies widely available by licensing its patents, rather than using the patents to block sales of other products, it said.

Apple is involved in a number of patent-related cases around the world, and has been scoring victories most of them, including getting injunctions against Samsung in Germany and Australia. However, last weekit lost a case against a small Spanish company named, which Apple had tried to stop from selling an Android-based tablet.

Google is in the process of acquiring Motorola Mobility, and is itself involved in a court case related to Android.

Opinion: Is Microsoft too late to the game with Office 365?


Opinion: Is Microsoft too late to the game with Office 365?

If there’s one thing Microsoft does indisputably better than any other tech company, it’s being fashionably late, and Office 365 is the perfect example. Almost five years after Google Docs first arrived and two years after it finally left its long beta test, Microsoft finally introduced Office 365, Redmond’s own cloud-based productivity suite. But is it too late for anyone to care?

Let’s look back in the annals of tech history at a few of Microsoft’s other tardy releases to see how they fared to gauge whether Office 365 has entered the game too late.

Windows

The product that has come to define Microsoft was perhaps its first and best-known example of being two years late to the party. To be fair, Windows 1.0 in late 1985 wasn’t that far behind the successful January 1984 release of the Macintosh as the first graphical user interface system, especially if you consider that things didn’t turn over nearly as fast back then. And it wasn’t until two versions and a half-decade later, with the release of Windows 3.0 in 1990, that it really began its climb to become the OS of choice for much of the computing public.

Internet Explorer

By the time Microsoft threw its hat in the ring in the browser battles of the mid-1990s, Netscape had already established its dominance and IBM and Apple had also launched their own browsers. Yet what happened next was such a complete and total takeover of the market for a single piece of software by Microsoft that the Justice Department felt a need to get involved. Netscape disappeared into the black hole that is AOL, and Internet Explorer peaked in the early 2000s, when it was the gateway to the Web for more than 90 percent of the world.

Zune

Microsoft hasn’t turned every late release into global domination. In 2001, Apple shoved the music business into the future with the first iPod. Five years later and no longer distracted by the Justice Department, Microsoft debuted the Zune. The company had its sights set on repeating the magic it made in the operating system and browser worlds by biding its time. We now know how this turned out. By many accounts, the Zune is a nice piece of hardware, but compatibility issues with Macs and the iPod’s established cult following proved insurmountable.

Windows Phone

To be fair, Microsoft has been in the mobile game for more than a decade, but much of what it released in those years has been junk. Mobile 6.5 as a serious competitor to the iPhone? Please. If Windows Phone represents Microsoft’s attempt at getting serious about the smartphone market, it definitely qualifies as another instance of being late. And while I’m not betting on Redmond to turn the industry on its head as it did with Windows, some analysts say it’s a strong contender.

Of course, Microsoft isn’t always late. Sometimes it loses by being too early, as seems to be the case with tablets. As for Office 365, I don’t know that it will change the world, but I also don’t see it being the epic fail that the Zune was. It may be an instance where Google has primed the pump for cloud productivity and now Office can muscle up and become the new standard. It wouldn’t be the first time.

BlackBerry maker RIM meets Ofcom to discuss porn blockade


BlackBerry maker RIM meets Ofcom to discuss porn blockade

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) was summoned to a meeting with the UK communications regulator Ofcom yesterday, after it emerged that children are able to view pornography on its smartphones.

According to a report in The Telegraph, the problem is to do with the way the BlackBerry operating system works. While mobile operators have been able to apply adult filters to other handsets such as the iPhone and Android devices, they have been unable to do so on the BlackBerry, because data flows through RIM’s own servers rather than those provided by the networks.

Ofcom told the newspaper that it is “very concerned” about the issue, and is keen to get it resolved “as quickly as possible”. As well as Ofcom and RIM, the meeting was attended by all the UK mobile operators and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). A second meeting has been scheduled for the New Year to check on progress.

Once seen as a tool for business executives, the BlackBerry has become a popular choice among teenagers, thanks to its free BBM instant messaging service. A significant proportion of its eight million users in Britain are now believed to be under 18.

In a statement emailed to Techworld, RIM said that it is committed to child protection and an is active member of the IWF. The company offers its own content filtering solution to operators free of charge, enabling them to perform content filtering for BlackBerry smartphones. T-Mobile has been using this solution since 2006, when the operator first started selling the Blackberry in the UK.

“Operator partners around the world have implemented content filtering, including operator partners in the UK,” said a RIM spokesperson. “Any reference to content filtering having been turned off is inaccurate.”

However, an Ofcom spokesperson explained to Techworld that, although RIM has succeeded in blocking access to those URLs flagged up by the IWF, it does not currently prevent access to adult content by default.

RIM explained it is now working on new parental control features that will give parents the ability to control and restrict their children’s use of various services and applications on BlackBerry smartphones. Integrated parental control features will be provided in future versions of BlackBerry 7, and BlackBerry App World 3.1 also offers content rating and filtering options for applications based on the CTIA Wireless Association’s “Guidelines for App Content Classification and Ratings”.

Ironically, RIM’s decision to route BlackBerry data through its own enterprise servers has been one of its greatest selling points. The information is encrypted in transit so it is extremely difficult to steal – making it an attractive options for enterprise users who send and receive confidential information on their smartphones.

For some governments, indeed, Blackberrys are too secure. In August 2010 the United Arab Emirates announced it was planning to block RIM’s BlackBerry handsets from sending emails, accessing the Internet, and delivering instant messages, and Saudi Arabia also said it would prevent the use of the BBM.

Other countries, including India, Indonesia, Turkey, and Lebanon have also been negotiating with RIM over the same issue. These governments say the device could be a security risk because its instant messaging, email and SMS use a level of encryption that prevents the security services from monitoring users.

During the riots in London earlier this year, for example, BBM was used widely to organise protests and avoid police, prompting Tottenham MP David Lammy to demand that RIM suspend its instant messaging service to keep protesters from communicating.

Despite all this, however, RIM is struggling to keep up in the smartphone race. In November the company was forced to pay a $365 million (£233m) charge for unsold PlayBook tablets, and yesterday it announced that the launch of its QNX smartphones would be delayed until the latter half of 2012, rather than being out by March.

Apple updates AirPort


Apple updates AirPort

Apple has posted both an update (1.2) to its AirPort software and an invite to AirPort users to take part in a survey.

The update makes AirPort more stable. It also supports closed networks, which means the name of the network can be hidden. It’s available from Apple’s updates site.

AirPort 1.2 has a revised default configuration, which does not distribute IP addresses, or share a single address on ethernet, and disables AirPort-to-Ethernet bridging. These settings can be changed in the Network tab of the AirPort Admin utility.

To take part in the survey, click here.

Apple has also released an International English update, Printer Sharing 1.0. This allows USB printers to be shared by multiple Macs using Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) on Ethernet and wireless networks.

‘Toast to have FireWire support’ Adaptec


‘Toast to have FireWire support’ Adaptec

Adaptec Toast 4.1 will support FireWire and have a new MP3 decoder, according to the company.

Victor Nemechek, product manager for Adaptec Toast and Jam, said: “Toast will have native support for FireWire, and a new MP3 decoder that will provide increased performance and better quality.”

The product, rumoured to be undergoing its third beta testing stage, will be shipping to Adaptec’s OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) partners in early May, says Nemechek. A free, downloadable upgrade for registered users of Toast will be posted at that time.

Other enhancements will include an improved balloon help facility, and new skins. Improvements are also in hand to assist owners of USB CD recorders, Nemechek claims.

Call of Duty DLC to Feature Snoop Dogg Voiceovers | Call of Duty


Call of Duty DLC to Feature Snoop Dogg Voiceovers | Call of Duty

This is the sound that a slain giant makes before it crashes to the ground.

No, no really I didn’t just make this up. For two dollars and ninety nine cents, you — yes lucky lucky you — can have Snoop Dogg narrate all the multiplayer voice prompts in-game for Call of Duty: Ghosts. It is just one segment of a series of “customization items” that will be on offer to purchase on the 22nd of April.

To many it sounds like a caricature of a caricature of Snoop Dogg “rackin’ points with his homies in the joint with a brother from another mother” (yeah, he says all those things..yeah, I put them all together for comic effect). 

To me, it sounds like a death wail for the once mighty– nay– gargantuan monster, that was the Call of Duty giant. The pinnacle in monopolised “laissez-faire” gaming entertainment.

Keepin’ it real

I hear the tearing sound of flesh and sinew, as the wooden stake is driven through Activision’s soulless heart. For years it has bled dry innocent civilians; its insatiable thirst for profit margins ever-increasing. Those who have been stricken by its curse have in turn been left with their own insatiable and inexplicable desire to keep paying more money to play the same game. For all of eternity.

And now, this weird, overgrown, fictitious and absurd amalgamation of a Vampire Man-Dragon metaphor– so tortuously concocted inside my imagination — now keels over. And it begs of its own believers to just worship him this one last time. I was there first hand for the allegorical press release. In my head.

“My worshippers! If you will just spare me a moments decency, for I have one last thing to share with you! Before you permanently decide to leave for the Titan Brotherhood- I have some sound bytes recorded of Snoop Dogg saying stuff in a cool way..NO HANS, NOT LIKE ICE CUBE, IT’S FAR MORE STEREOTYPI- *ahem* , err..Hip.  

My fellow worshippers, before you go forever – please spare me the remaining nickels and lint in your pockets.”

And the followers, how they did flock to pay tribute to its fallen leader. They threw various pennies and notes at the bloated monster, which in return gave them things they already had, but didn’t realise they possessed. Not in a spiritual sense, but in a very literal con artist sort of way (see the $3.99 Soap Mac Tavish multiplayer skin).

And the beast laid, belly up, staring toward the stars. For what had seemed an eternity, was in fact less than a decade. The end was not now, but it would be soon enough.

Watch Dogs is Going Multiplayer! | Watch Dogs


Watch Dogs is Going Multiplayer! | Watch Dogs

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The Beauty of Innovative Multiplayer

As I watched the teaser to the multiplayer of the game Watch Dogs, my eyes widened. It seems like the developers enjoy what they are doing, and they want to further impact the gaming community.

The multiplayer of Watch Dogs is going to include both online play and offline play. The online play will be cross-platform, even going across to the Smartphone. When I heard about the Smartphone part, I flipped. This means you can play with your friends (who are on their console), at home, while you are on the bus with your Android tablet. That project itself is innovative and I’ve never seen it in a game before.

The multiplayer would also feature a non-lobby. You will automatically be placed in a game and you are going to find other people around the corner (although they specified it will not be an MMORPG).

Every time I hear news about this game my want for it grows. Can’t wait for it in November!

World Cup iPod guide


World Cup iPod guide

As the world goes football crazy, developers at mycitymate have put together a completely free 12-city World Cup guide for iPods.

The guide contains extensive information about the host cities during the championship, featuring roughly 750 venues – restaurants, bars and clubs, points of interest – and essential information to help football fans visiting one of the World Cup game-hosting cities to get around.

The company is also offering mobile Java guides for the World Cup which include more venues, metro maps and events.

iPod users must register in order to get hold of the free World Cup guide.

Nintendo will introduce a major 3DS title during the E3 2014


Nintendo will introduce a major 3DS title during the E3 2014

Nintendo has confirmed that they will address two events during the full length of E3 2014 to be held in Los Angeles from June 10 to June 12 2014. Each event will be focused on one game.

Nintendo E3 2014

On 10 June, Nintendo will focus its attention on Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, which will be presented by Masahiro Sakurai. 

Meanwhile, on 11 June, Nintendo will address another event, but this one will only be dedicated to a new game for 3DS, to which we really dont have any clue yet.

This will surely bring happiness and surprise element to 3DS gamers at E3 this year. Stay tuned for more updates on this upcoming 3DS title announcement.

In the meantime, can you tell us what you really hope from Nintendo at E3 this year for Wii U? It is kind of lost somewhere totally from next-gen consoles lineup.

Tom Clancy's The Division Trailers Shows New Gadgets And New York City's Zones


Tom Clancy’s The Division Trailers Shows New Gadgets And New York City’s Zones

A new Tom Clancy’s The Division trailer has reached the Internet before it was supposed to do, based on Ubisoft’s reaction that almost instantly saw the video brought down from YouTube. The clip, released by GameStop Italy, features a series of never seen before gadgets and zones of New York.

Tom Clancy's The Division

The video has been spread by GameStop Italy and almost instantly removed from YouTube, but some good guys on NeoGaf had enough time to make a “mirror” and save it for us to see in any moment we like. You can watch it here:

A female narrator introduces us all over again to the game’s New York City, explaining why it’s so devasted and what actually killed a lot of people who inhabited it just months before The Division’s story begins. The cause, the developer has been telling us for a couple of years, is a virus spread via banknotes and coins.

Tom Clancy’s The Division is releasing on March 8 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and a beta will be launching in a few days (rumors say January 29) for all platforms, after an alpha build was made public in late November for Xbox users.