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Apple, Google: Battle of the Cloud Maps 179

Nerval's Lobster writes "Google has sent invitations for a June 6 event in which it will apparently unveil 'The Next Dimension of Google Maps.' Meanwhile, rumor suggests Apple is preparing its own mapping service for iOS devices. The escalating battle over maps demonstrates the importance of cloud apps to tech companies' larger strategies." I only wish my phone would hold by default the X-million data points that my outmoded (but cheap and functional) dedicated GPS device does, without quite so much cloud-centric bottlenecking, and leave all expensive data use for optional overlays and current conditions.

Technicolor Takes Aim At Apple, Samsung, Others for Patent Infringement 161

Master Moose sends this quote from a Bloomberg report: "When Apple's next iPhone hits store shelves, Technicolor's engineers will rush to get the handset — not to make calls or play games, but to rip it apart. Technicolor, an unprofitable French company that invented the process for color movies used in The Wizard of Oz and countless other classics, plans to cash in on its 40,000 video, audio and optics patents to turn its fortunes around. The company has a team of 220 people dissecting every new smartphone and tablet from industry goliaths such as Apple, Samsung Electronics and HTC for patent infringements. Although Technicolor signed its first licensing deal in the 1950s, de Russe [executive vice-president of intellectual property at Technicolor] said, 'it feels like the rest of the world has just woken up to why patents are interesting.' Patent licensing is the most profitable business of the company."
The Almighty Buck

World Cup Memo Written By Steve Jobs Going Up For Auction 206

New submitter Dega704 writes with an excerpt from El Reg: "Before Steve Jobs came up with the iPhone or even the Apple II, he designed paddles for ball-flipping games at Atari where the scruffy 19-year-old was employed to improve game design. Sotheby's New York will auction off a document dating from Jobs's time there: a 1974 report that Jobs wrote for his boss suggesting ways to improve arcade game World Cup. According to Jobs' biography, his Atari days are most notable for his clashes with colleagues, who he considered to be 'dumb shits'. He was made to work night shifts there partly because he was in a phase of refusing to wash and so he apparently smelt bad, causing complaints from his co-workers. But Jobs obviously did some work at Atari too, with the document laying out his ideas for improving player experience. The typed four-page document includes three circuit designs in pencil and additional designs for the paddles and alignment of players defending a soccer goal."

Apple Fires Back At DoJ Over eBook Price Fixing 311

An anonymous reader writes "CNN takes a look at Apple's response to the Department of Justice's investigation into eBook price fixing. The filing 'cuts the government's case to shreds' while at the same time not bothering to defend the five publishers also under investigation. Apple said, 'The Government starts from the false premise (PDF) that an eBooks "market" was characterized by "robust price competition" prior to Apple's entry. This ignores a simple and incontrovertible fact: before 2010, there was no real competition, there was only Amazon. At the time Apple entered the market, Amazon sold nearly nine out of every ten eBooks, and its power over price and product selection was nearly absolute.'"

Australian IT Price Hike Inquiry Kicks Off: Submissions Wanted 70

New submitter wirelessduck writes "After some recent complaints from a Labor MP about price markups on software and technology devices in Australia, Federal Government agencies decided to look in to the matter and an official parliamentary inquiry into the issue was started. 'The Federal Parliament's inquiry into local price markups on technology goods and services has gotten under way, with the committee overseeing the initiative issuing its terms of reference and calling for submissions from the general public on the issue.'"

Apple and Samsung Ordered Talks Fail - Trial Date Set 165

Fluffeh writes "Apple and Samsung just can't come to an agreement, even when the two CEOs have been ordered by a court to hash it out over a two-day period. U.S. Judge Judy Koh had ordered the sit down prior to court proceedings between the two giants, but the talks resulted in nothing more than each side confirming its position. Although Apple CEO Tim Cook said, 'I've always hated litigation and I continue to hate it,' he also said, 'if we could get to some kind of arrangement where we'd be assured [they are inventing their own products] and get a fair settlement on the stuff that's occurred.' Perhaps Tim is worried that Samsung is still the primary component supplier for mobile products, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, or perhaps Apple has bitten off more than it really wants to chew, with the litigation between the two getting to truly epic and global proportions."

Ten Cops Can't Recover Police Chief's Son's iPhone 277

Hugh Pickens writes "The Oakland Tribune reports that when Berkeley police Chief Michael Meehan's son's cell phone was stolen from a school locker in January, ten police officers were sent to track down the stolen iPhone, with some working overtime at taxpayer expense. 'If your cell phone was stolen or my cell phone was stolen, I don't think any officer would be investigating it,' says Michael Sherman, vice chairman of the Berkeley Police Review Commission, a city watchdog group. 'They have more important things to do. We have crime in the streets.' But the kicker is that even with all those cops swarming around, looking for an iPhone equipped with the Find My iPhone tracking software, police were not able to locate the phone. 'If 10 cops who know a neighborhood can't find an iPhone that's broadcasting its location, that shouldn't give you a lot of confidence in your own vigilante recovery of a stolen iProduct,' writes Alexis Madrigal. 'Just saying. Consider this a PSA: just buy a new phone.'"

Worried About Information Leaks, IBM Bans Siri 168

squiggleslash writes "CNN reports that IBM CEO Jeanette Horan has banned Siri, the iPhone voice recognition system. Why? According to Horan '(IBM) worries that the spoken queries might be stored somewhere.' Siri's backend is a set of Apple-owned servers in North Carolina, and all spoken queries are sent to those servers to be converted to text, parsed, and interpreted. While Siri wouldn't work unless that processing was done, the centralization and cloud based nature of Siri makes it an obvious security hole."

Foxconn Invests $210 Million To Build New Production Line For Apple 178

redletterdave writes "On Monday, Foxconn agreed to invest $210 million to help Apple build out a new production line for 'unspecified components.' The 40,000-square-meter plant plans to hire roughly 35,800 new employees to help assemble parts for either desktop and laptop computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, or possibly even new products or devices. Apple projects the plant's annual output between $949 million to $1.1 billion, and also estimates the import and export value at roughly $55.8 million."

Apple Lifts Ban On the Word "Jailbreak" 113

Gunkerty Jeb writes "After banning the word 'jailbreak' from its app store and music library, Apple [Friday] reversed course and again permits the term — slang for hacking into a device to download unauthorized content — to appear on iTunes and its App Store. On Thursday bloggers noticed Apple had censored the word, using the Thin Lizzy album 'Jailbreak' as an example. For awhile, the title was listed as 'J******k' in Apple's music library, at least its U.S. version. In other instances, digital content continued to bear the full name Jailbreak."

Apple Commits To 100% Renewable Energy Sources for NC Data Center 108

judgecorp writes "Stung by continued criticism from Greenpeace and protests at Apple's headquarters over its use of electricity from non-renewable sources, Apple has promised that its data center in Maiden, North Carolina will use 100 percent renewable electricity, 60 percent of it generated by Apple itself. The update is possible because it is building a second giant solar array, and because its data center only needs 20MW at full capacity, instead of the 100MW which Greenpeace had estimated."

With Mountain Lion's iCloud Integration, Apple Strengthens the Garden Wall 376

snydeq writes "With WWDC around the corner, iOS 6 rumors are taking center stage, but the real action for developers may be around iCloud. Forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion will integrate iCloud into the formal file system, making iCloud usage much easier and thus more common, and thanks to iCloud Documents, which lets apps open and save documents directly in iCloud, developers will be able to better tap iOS-to-OSX document syncing in their apps, a la iWork. But there is a downside to this opportunity: 'For developers, it further enmeshes you in the Apple ecosystem, almost in the way that America Online did in its heyday. Case in point: OS X apps can use the iCloud Documents APIs only if they are sold through the Mac App Store.'"

Flashback Click Fraud Campaign Was a Bust 29

zarmanto writes "It seems the Flashback botnet has netted their creators nothing but frustration. Flashback was tagged early on by anti-virus vendors, who promptly sink-holed many of the command & control addresses, and essentially crippled the hacker's ability to control the vast majority of the Flashback botnet... but that's not the best part. The Flashback spawned click fraud campaign resulted in... nada! It seems that their pay-per-click affiliate may be on to their scheme, as they refused to pay out. Score one for the good guys, for once."

Wozniak's Original System Description of the Apple ][ 170

CowboyRobot writes "Opening with the line, 'To me, a personal computer should be small, reliable, convenient to use and inexpensive,' Steve Wozniak gave his system description of the Apple-II in the May, 1977 issue of BYTE. It's instructive to read what was worth bragging about back then (PDF), such as integral graphics: 'A key part of the Apple-II design is an integral video display generator which directly accesses the system's programmable memory. Screen formatting and cursor controls are realized in my design in the form of about 200 bytes of read only memory.' And it shows what the limitations were in those days, 'While writing Apple BASIC, I ran into the problem of manipulating the 16 bit pointer data and its arithmetic in an 8 bit machine. My solution to this problem of handling 16 bit data, notably pointers, with an 8 bit microprocessor was to implement a nonexistent 16 bit processor in software, interpreter fashion.'"