theodp writes "ProPublica's Lois Beckett reports that the Obama for America campaign's new mobile app is raising privacy concerns with its Google map that recognizes one's current location, marks nearby Democratic households with small blue flags, and displays the first name, age and gender of the voter or voters who live there (e.g.,'Lori C., 58 F, Democrat'). Asked about the privacy aspects of the new app, a spokesperson for the Obama campaign wrote that 'anyone familiar with the political process in America knows this information about registered voters is available and easily accessible to the public.' Harvard law prof Jonathan Zittrain said the Obama app does represent a significant shift. While voter data has been 'technically public,' it is usually accessed only by political campaigns and companies that sell consumer data. 'Much of our feelings around privacy are driven by what you might call status-quo-ism,' Zittrain added, 'so many people may feel that the app is creepy simply because it represents something new.'"
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An anonymous reader writes "Apple, by going to a jury trial to defend the patents of its most prized products, is allowing competitors and the public to see inside one of the most secretive companies in the world. From the article: 'While in court on Friday, Philip W. Schiller, Apple's senior vice president for worldwide product marketing, pulled the curtain further back when he divulged the company's advertising budgets — often more than $100 million a year for the iPhone alone. Also at the hearing, Scott Forstall, senior vice president for iPhone software, explained that the early iPhone was called "Project Purple." Mr. Forstall said it was built in a highly secure building on Apple's campus. A sign on the back of the building read "Fight Club." Behind the security cameras and locked doors, most employees on the project did not even know what they were working on.'"
Robadob writes "Yesterday a hacker gained access to Mat Honan's (An editor at Gizmodo) Apple iCloud account allowing the attacker to reset his iPhone, iPad, and Macbook. The attacker was also able to gain access to Google and Twitter accounts by sending password recovery emails. At the time this was believed to be down to a brute-force attack, however today it has come out that the hacker used social engineering to convince Apple customer support to allow him to bypass the security questions on the account."
colinneagle writes "In an interview with Fortune a few years ago, Steve Jobs explained that Apple never does market research. Rather, they simply preoccupy themselves with creating great products. On Monday, Apple's Greg Joswiak — the company's VP of Product Marketing — submitted a declaration to the Court explaining why documents relating to Apple's market research and strategy should be sealed. Every month, Apple surveys iPhone buyers and Joswiak explains what Apple is able to glean from these surveys. And as you might expect, Apple conducts similar surveys with iPad buyers. Apple wants all of these tracking studies sealed. Joswiak explains that if a competitor were to find out what drives iPhone purchases — whether it be FaceTime, battery life, or Siri — it would serve as an unfair competitive edge to rival companies. Further, competitors, as it stands today, have to guess as to which demographics are most satisfied with Apple products." A few other interesting facts have come out of the trial so far; Apple spent $647 million advertising the iPhone in the U.S. from its launch through fiscal 2011, and they spent $457.2 million advertising the iPad from its launch up to the same point.
theodp writes "Responding to Microsoft's Windows 8 efforts, Apple CEO Tim Cook insisted in late April that combining a tablet and a notebook would be like converging a toaster and a refrigerator. But a patent application submitted by Apple last year — and made public Tuesday morning — proposes marrying a tablet and a keyboard to create 'a true laptop alternative,' which GeekWire notes looks a lot like Microsoft Surface (comparison pic). In its patent filing, Apple describes various ways that a tablet's cover could be used as an I-O device — as a tactile-feedback keyboard ('word processing and email become much more efficient'), to display additional output, as a touchpad replacement, and even to receive stylus input. 'The experience,' claims Apple, 'is even better in some ways than the laptop experience.'"
Hugh Pickens writes writes "James Kendrick writes that after Apple introduced the iPad, companies shifted gears to go after this undiscovered new tablet market but in spite of the number of players in tablets, no company has discovered the magic bullet to knock the iPad off the top of the tablet heap. 'What's happening to the 7-inch tablet market is what happened to the PC market several times. Big name desktop PC OEMs, realizing that consumers didn't care about megahertz and megabytes — yes, that long ago — turned to a price war in order to keep sales buoyant,' writes Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. 'Price becomes the differentiating factor, and this in turns competition into a race to the bottom.' Historically, when a race to the bottom is dictated by the market, it's more a sign of a lack of a market in general. If enough buyers aren't willing to pay enough for a product to make producers a profit, the market is just not sufficient. Price is a metric that most people know and understand because it's nowhere as ethereal or complicated as CPU power or screen resolution. Given a $199 tablet next to another for $299, the $100 difference in the price tag will catch the eye before anything else. But if price is such an important metric, why is the iPad — with its premium price tag — so popular? Simple, it was the first tablet to go mass market, and cumulative sales of around 85 million gives the iPad credibility in the eye on potential buyers. 'So the problem with the Kindle Fire — and the Nexus 7 — is the same problem that's plagued the PC industry. Deep and extreme price cuts give the makers no wriggle room to innovate,' writes Kingsley-Hughes. 'By driving prices down to this level so rapidly, both Amazon and Google have irrevocably harmed the tablet market by creating unrealistic price expectations.'"
djl4570 writes "Samsung released to the press documents that had been excluded by Judge Lucy Koh. According to Samsung 'The judge's exclusion of evidence on independent creation meant that even though Apple was allowed to inaccurately argue to the jury that the F700 was an iPhone copy, Samsung was not allowed to tell the full story...The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design,' An article at another site described judge Lucy Koh as 'Livid.' The defendant released exculpatory evidence that had been suppressed by the judge. This after many stories in the tech press portray the case as Samsung versus Lucy Koh instead of Samsung versus Apple." An anonymous reader sent in Groklaw's detailed take on the spat. Related to the trial, colinneagle sent in more info revealed about iPhone prototypes. One early design would have featured shaped glass, but materials weren't up to spec at the time.
theodp writes "BetaBeat reports that people are pretty much falling over themselves to mock Apple's cheesy new Genius ad campaign, using zingers like 'intellectually cheap,' 'cringe-inducing,' 'borderline smarmy,' and — perhaps the unkindest cut of all — Microsoft-worthy — to describe them. Apple's trilogy-of-terror ad lineup includes Mayday ('An Apple Genius shows a fellow passenger how easy it is to make great home movies with iMovie. All before the tray tables are returned to their upright position.'), Labor Day ('An Apple Genius shows a soon-to-be father all the amazing things he can make with iPhoto.'), and Basically ('An Apple Genius points out there are a lot of things that separate a Mac from an ordinary computer, like great apps that come built in.'). The Atlantic's Jordan Weissmann says Steve Jobs would be appalled by the new ads, which certainly don't fare well in a head-to-head comparison with Think Different."
New submitter zaphod777 writes with an update on Samsung's release of info on pre-iPhone designs. It seems the additional information released relating to the F700 was actually rejected from the trial, and the judge isn't too happy: "Samsung has already appealed the rulings denying the evidence, but that didn't stop the company's lawyers from trying again today after Apple briefly showed the F700 on a slide during its opening statements. Claiming that Apple had 'opened the door' to discussion of the F700, Samsung asked the court to reconsider. That didn't go so well with Judge Koh, who noted that 'Samsung has filed like 10 motions for reconsideration,' and asked Samsung lead attorney John Quinn to sit back down. At one point in the exchange Quinn told Koh that he was 'begging the court,' and desperately asked 'what's the point in having a trial?' — but Koh simply wasn't buying it. 'Don't make me sanction you,' she said. 'Please.'"
jfruh writes "10 jurors have been sworn in for the Apple v. Samsung case, which is at the heart of the ongoing patent disputes over the companies' smartphones. While most Slashdot readers are familiar with many of the facts of the case and the law, the jury is at least in theory supposed to be something of a blank slate. Thus, it's interesting to see the detailed instructions Judge Lucy Koh gave to the jury, covering everything from the differences between utility and design patents to how to measure the credibility of witnesses."
sfcrazy writes "The court battle between Apple and Samsung has created the possibility of disclosing the cross patent agreement between Microsoft and Samsung. Microsoft is suddenly scared and has filed a motion asking the court to seal the cross license agreement. I would like to remind that the Judge has asked both parties to make all the filings in this dispute available to the public for free." And on Monday, IBM filed for a restraining order to prevent Reuters from publishing their agreement with Samsung as well.
hypnosec writes "Apple has announced that its latest Mac OS X version, Mountain Lion, has had three million downloads in just four days thereby making it the most successful OS in Cupertino's history. Philip Schiller, iPhone maker's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said, 'Just a year after the incredibly successful introduction of Lion, customers have downloaded Mountain Lion over three million times in just four days, making it our most successful release ever.'"
Rambo Tribble writes "Reuters is reporting that Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University has filed a suit against Apple claiming patent infringement by the Siri voice-recognition software. At issue are two patents dating to 2007 and 2010. From the article: 'The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, on Friday, it said. "We filed that lawsuit in the Texas court because it processes faster and its rulings are usually in favor of patent owners and the compensations are usually higher," said Yama Chen, legal manager of National Cheng Kung, in the southern Taiwan city of Tainan.'"
twoheadedboy writes "Microsoft is going to release its Surface tablet on the same day Windows 8 goes on general availability, Oct. 26. The news was disclosed in a filing made with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which also revealed that the company expects launch and the accompanying marketing to harm its profits. We'll soon find out whether Microsoft has what it takes to take on the seemingly indomitable iPad."
martiniturbide writes "Author Holly Lisle tried to publish her guide How To Think Sideways Lesson 6: How To Discover (Or Create) Your Story's Market at Apple's iBooks store. She says it was rejected first by Apple because it had 'live links' to Amazon. After she removed the links, it was rejected again because according to her: 'The problem is the CONTENT. You can't mention Amazon in your lesson.'"