itwbennett writes "Foxconn has ambitious plans to deploy a million-robot army on its assembly lines. But while robots already perform some basic tasks, when it comes to the more delicate assembly work, humans still have the edge. George Zhang, senior principal scientist with ABB, a major vendor of industrial robots, thinks Foxconn will eventually replace human workers for much of its electronic assembly, but probably not in time for the iPhone 6. For now, humans are still a cheaper and more practical choice."
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zaphod777 writes with this bit from Groklaw on more Jury related intrigue in the Apple-Samsung trial: "Samsung has now filed an unredacted version [PDF] of its motion for judgment as a matter of law, a new trial, and/or remittitur. That's the one that was originally filed with a redacted section we figured out was about the foreman, Velvin Hogan. The judge ordered it filed unsealed, and so now we get to read all about it. It's pretty shocking to see the full story. I understand now why Samsung tried to seal it. They call Mr. Hogan untruthful in voir dire (and I gather in media interviews too), accuse him of 'implied bias' and of tainting the process by introducing extraneous 'evidence' of his own during jury deliberations, all of which calls, Samsung writes, for an evidentiary hearing and a new trial with an unbiased jury as the cure." It would seem that everyone's favorite foreman did not disclose that he was sued by Seagate for breach of contract, and that he may have had a chip on his shoulder considering that Samsung is the largest single shareholder of Seagate.
An anonymous reader writes "Many iPhone 5 users are complaining that its camera is adding a purple flare to their photos. Speculation is that it's caused by the new sapphire lens cover that Apple touted as 'thinner and more durable than standard glass with the ability to provide crystal clear images.' Apple's response to those who've complained? 'The purple flare in the image provided is considered normal behavior for iPhone 5's camera.'"
Nerval's Lobster writes "Current rumor suggests that Apple is gearing up to unveil its iPad Mini Oct. 17, with invitations to media arriving Oct. 10. That's according to Fortune, which obtained the information from an unnamed Apple investor who, in turn, heard those dates from other unnamed sources. While that attribution might prove a bit too vaporous for some people, it does align with earlier reports from AllThingsD that Apple is planning to reveal a smaller iPad sometime in October. If those rumors prove accurate, the unveiling of an iPad Mini in that timeframe could prove very bad news for the upcoming Windows 8 tablets. (Gizmodo offers a pretty complete rumor rundown on the iPad Mini's possible features here.) Unlike the traditional PC market, Microsoft doesn't dominate the market for mobile-device operating systems. Windows 7 tablets never gained much of a toehold among tablet users, who prefer iPads and Android-based devices by wide margins. When it comes to Windows 8 (and Windows RT, the version of next-generation Windows for ARM architecture), Microsoft is starting out as the underdog."
another random user sends this quote from the BBC: "A temporary sales ban on Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in the U.S. has been lifted by a U.S. court. District Judge Lucy Koh gave a court order rescinding a ban on U.S. sales that was part of a patent dispute with Apple. ... The ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 had been placed before a month-long patent trial between Apple and Samsung. In August, at the conclusion of that trial Apple was awarded a victory on many of its patent violation claims where it said Samsung had copied Apple's iPhone and iPad designs. It was also awarded more than $1bn (£664m) in damages. However, the jury found that Samsung had not violated the patent that was the basis for the ban on the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Samsung, therefore, argued for the sales ban to be lifted." Samsung also went on the offensive against the iPhone 5 today, filing a motion to add the device to its ongoing patent infringement suit against Apple. Meanwhile, on another front, some good news for Apple: Motorola Mobility, owned by Google, has withdrawn its second complaint against Apple to the ITC. The complaint was filed in August over patent infringement claims involving several minor features. No explanation has been provided for the withdrawal, but Google indicated there was no agreement between the companies.
An anonymous reader writes "The European Union believes that Apple should be investigated for the way that it advertises warranties on their products. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding wrote to the member countries which is 27 to ask them to check whether Apple retailers failed to let buyers know about the right to a minimum 2-year warranty for products such as the iPhone and iPad under EU law."
He co-founded Apple Computer, he's a programmer and engineer who invented the Apple I and Apple II computers, he's one of our most influential readers, he is known simply as Woz. To kick-off our 15th anniversary month, Woz has agreed to take some time to answer a few of your questions; as with other Slashdot interviews, you're invited to ask as many questions as you'd like, but please ask them in separate posts. We'll be running a number of other special interviews this month, so keep your eyes open.
TheBoat writes "Tim Cook has apologized for the company's Maps app in iOS 6. 'We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.' Cook said the company is continuing to work on the app, but recommended several alternatives in the meantime: apps from Bing, MapQuest, and Waze, or the map websites of Google and Nokia." This is unusual for Apple, but not unprecedented. Steve Jobs acknowledged reception issues with the iPhone 4 in 2010, but he wasn't quite so contrite about it.
tlhIngan writes "So why did Apple decide to ditch the (working) iOS maps app with one based on their own data (despite having one more year to the contract)? It turns out to be turn-by-turn voice navigation. It wasn't a feature in the original Apple-Google licensing agreement, so Apple went back to Google to renegotiate what has become a top-tier feature on Android. Apple wanted it. In return, Google wanted increased branding in the maps app (Apple refused) or to integrate Latitude (Google's FourSquare competitor), to which Apple refused as well. As a result Apple was forced to seek other sources in order to obtain this feature." Eventually, iOS users who don't want to wait for Apple-Google parity will be able to download a native version of Google's maps (rather than a hacked version), but that could be a ways off.
Nerval's Lobster writes "It's proven a busy month for mobile-device releases. First Nokia whipped back the curtain from the Lumia 820 and 920, its first Windows Phone 8 devices. The very next day, Amazon unveiled its new line of Kindle devices, including the Kindle Fire HD. Not to be outdone, Apple executives took to a stage in San Francisco the next week to show off the iPhone 5, complete with a larger screen and faster processor. But September's not over yet, and the releases keep coming: Barnes & Noble has launched a pair of HD tablets, the Nook HD and Nook HD+, designed to maintain the bookseller's toehold in the tablet space. The question is whether the Nook, even with upgraded hardware and new services, can successfully punch above its weight against the iPad and Kindle Fire, which are widely perceived as the dominant devices in the tablet market." Nook HD specs (Android 4.0, Dual 1.3Ghz Cortex-A9, 1G RAM), and HD+ specs (1.5GHz Coretex-A9 and a larger screen). Nate the greatest writes with a job posting that may indicate B&N is defecting to Windows 8, or at least hedging their bets.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The LA Times reports that Steve Jobs is about to join Barack Obama, Jackie Chan, Nicole Kidman, and Mozart at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, the tourist attraction famous for creating hauntingly lifelike sculptures of famous people. The model of Jobs, to be unveiled to mark the first anniversary of Jobs' death, is based on pictures taken of the tech innovator during a 2006 Fortune magazine shoot and shows the Apple Inc. cofounder in a relaxed position, arms crossed loosely over his chest, with a pair of silver-rimmed Lunor glasses perched on his face and wearing a black cotton turtle neck, Levi 501 jeans and New Balance trainers. The company says a team of artists spent three months working on the wax figure, inserting each strand of hair one by one into the wax head using a forked needle, and using fine silk threads to recreate the subtle veining in the whites of his eyes. The figure will remain at the Historical and National Heroes attraction of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong through November 26, before travelling on to Madame Tussauds Bangkok and then Madame Tussauds Shanghai."
MrSeb writes "Reverse engineering company Chipworks has completed its initial microscopic analysis of Apple's new A6 SoC (found in the iPhone 5), and there are some rather interesting findings. First, there's a tri-core GPU — and then there's a custom, hand-made dual-core ARM CPU. Hand-made chips are very rare nowadays, with Chipworks reporting that it hasn't seen a non-Intel hand-made chip for 'years.' The advantage of hand-drawn chips is that they can be more efficient and capable of higher clock speeds — but they take a lot longer (and cost a lot more) to design. Perhaps this is finally the answer to what PA Semi's engineers have been doing at Apple since the company was acquired back in 2008..." Pretty picture of the chip after using an Ion Beam to remove the casing. The question I have is how it's less expensive (in the long run) to lay a chip out by hand once instead of improving your VLSI layout software forever. NP classification notwithstanding.
Nerval's Lobster writes "A physical teardown of the iPhone 5 by IHS iSuppli reveals that Apple has managed to keep its materials and manufacturing costs roughly in line with that of the iPhone 4S. The firm estimated the Bill of Materials for the iPhone 5's low-end variant at $199.00, rising to $207.00 once manufacturing costs are entered into the equation. It tallied the BOM for the 32GB version at $209.00 (or $217 with manufacturing) and the 64GB one at $230.00 (rising slightly to $238 with those manufacturing costs). Compare that to the BOM for the iPhone 4S, which IHS iSuppli estimated at $188 for the 16GB version (rising to $196 with manufacturing costs added in), $207 for the 32GB version ($215 with manufacturing) and $245 for the 64GB version ($254 with manufacturing)." Reader redkemper writes with another kind of comparison of the newest iPhone to its predecessor: "Apple didn't spend too much time talking about the iSight camera at the iPhone 5s unveil event because it's mostly the same as the one found in the iPhone 4S. Thankfully, iMore grabbed an iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S and did a fantastic shoot-out between the two device's rear cameras. [The new camera] just barely edges out the iPhone 4S's year-old camera."
An anonymous reader writes "While there's much talk of Apple asking for more money from Samsung, there's less talk of the likelihood that the verdict will be overturned completely. Based on voir dire, and the foreman's subsequent statements to the press, it seems he failed to follow the law."
angry tapir writes "A California jury may have awarded Apple more than US$1 billion in damages in late August when it triumphed over Samsung in a hard-fought case over smartphone and tablet patents, but the iPhone maker is coming back for more: late last week it asked for additional damages of $707 million. The request includes an enhanced award of $535 million for willful violation of Apple's designs and patents, as well as about $172 million in supplemental damages based on the fact that the original damages were calculated on Samsung's sales through June 30."