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PC Makers In Desperate Need of a Reboot 622

nmpost writes in with a story about how hard it is to be a successful PC company in today's world. "Hewlett-Packard Co. used to be known as a place where innovative thinkers flocked to work on great ideas that opened new frontiers in technology. These days, HP is looking behind the times. Coming off a five-year stretch of miscalculations, HP is in such desperate need of a reboot that many investors have written off its chances of a comeback. Consider this: Since Apple Inc. shifted the direction of computing with the release of the iPhone in June 2007, HP's market value has plunged by 60 percent to $35 billion. During that time, HP has spent more than $40 billion on dozens of acquisitions that have largely turned out to be duds so far. HP might have been unchallenged for the ignominious title as technology's most troubled company if not for one its biggest rivals, Dell Inc. Like HP, Dell missed the trends that have turned selling PCs into one of technology's least profitable and slowest growing niches. As a result, Dell's market value has also plummeted by 60 percent, to about $20 billion, since the iPhone's release."

Google Distances Android From Samsung Patent Verdict 404

Nerval's Lobster writes "On August 24, a California court ruled in favor of Apple in its patent-infringement case against Samsung, hitting the latter with a $1.05 billion fine. Tech pundits spent the weekend chattering about the possible repercussions of the decision, which Samsung will surely appeal. One of the biggest issues under discussion: how Apple's victory will affect Google Android, the operating system that powers the majority of Samsung's mobile devices, and itself a player in the patent-infringement actions shaking the tech world. For its part, Google made every effort to create some distance between Android and the smoking ruins of Samsung's case. 'The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims' the company wrote in a widely circulated statement. 'Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office.' Google didn't end there. 'The mobile industry is moving fast and all players—including newcomers—are building upon ideas that have been around for decades,' the statement continued. 'We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that."

Apple v. Samsung Jurors Speak, Skipped Prior Art For "Bogging Us Down" 506

eldavojohn writes "PJ over at Groklaw has consolidated some of the more interesting juror comments made following the landmark $1 billion settlement. Apparently the foreman (a patent holder himself) took the jury through the process of how patents work and thus allowed them to return so quickly with a verdict without need of any instructions on how to work through all the material. Most sources are incredulous that all of the information was considered in the process. CNET quotes a juror as saying 'After we debated that first patent — what was prior art — because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art, that there wasn't something out there before Apple. In fact we skipped that one so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down.' While the fact that they they voted one way on infringement and another way on invalidity shows they were at least consistent, Groklaw is reporting on some odd inconsistencies in the aftermath of accounts from jurors. The appeal for something this huge goes without question but the accounts collected at Groklaw make this verdict and verdict process sound hasty, ambiguous and probably the result of one man's (the foreman's) personal opinion of patents."

Amazon, Apple Expected to Strut Their Small-Tablet Stuff Soon 115

After a few years of rumors and hints, All Things Digital says that a smaller iPad will debut in October. And Amazon may be trying to steal their thunder with a revamped Kindle tablet: Nerval's Lobster writes with a report at SlashCloud that "Amazon could be readying a new set of Kindle tablets for unveiling in early September. That's the widespread speculation following the online retailer's invitations to media for a Sept. 6 event in Santa Monica, Calif. Even by the coy standards of most tech companies' event invitations, Amazon's is notably bereft of detail. It will take place at 10:30 AM PST at Barker Hangar, a noted (and quite large) event space. But the timing of the event is auspicious: with Apple rumored to be unveiling a smaller iPad in the near future, and the holiday shopping season a few months away, early September could prove the ideal time for Amazon to whip back the curtain from a new tablet and dominate the media conversation, at least for a few days."

Victory For Apple In "Patent Trial of the Century," To the Tune of $1 Billion 1184

pdabbadabba writes "The jury is in in the epic patent dispute between Apple and Samsung and Apple appears to be coming out on top. The court is still going through the 700+ items on the verdict form, but things seem to be going Apple's way so far. In the case of Apple's various UI patents, the jury is consistently ruling that Samsung not only violated Apple's patent, but did so willfully." Reader bob zee also points to the AP's story, as carried by, and Charliemopps adds Reuters' take. Reader Samalie contributes a link to a live blog of the (at this writing) ongoing recitation of the verdict. Whether you like it or not, even this verdict won't be the last word.

Apple and Samsung Both Get South Korea Bans 216

New submitter Mackadoodledoo sends this quote from the BBC: "A South Korean court has ruled that Apple and Samsung both infringed each other's patents on mobile devices. The court imposed a limited ban on national sales of products by both companies covered by the ruling. It ruled that U.S.-based Apple had infringed two patents held by Samsung, while the Korean firm had violated one of Apple's patents. The sales ban will apply to Apple's iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and its tablets the iPad and iPad 2. Samsung products affected by the ban include its smartphone models Galaxy SI and SII and its Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet PCs."

Samsung Opens New Apple Store In Australia 154

An anonymous reader writes "Samsung opened its first retail 'Experience' store in Sydney, Australia today and its design and ethos, even in the most generous light, bear an uncanny resemblance to those of the Apple Store. Now, to be fair, Samsung’s corporate color is blue and there are only so many ways you can design a retail experience. That said, it seems difficult to look at Samsung’s store and not immediately be reminded of Apple’s understated chain of brick-and-mortar retail stores which, at the time it debuted, was considered pioneering. And it’s awfully hard to imagine that the similarities between the two won’t further bolster Apple’s allegations that Samsung is a 'copyist.'" This comes on the heels of both companies claiming the other is "anticompetitive" during Tuesday’s summations in the Apple-Samsung trial.

OS X 10.8 vs. Ubuntu On Apple Hardware, Benchmarked 130

An anonymous reader writes "OS X 10.8 has been benchmarked against Ubuntu Linux with some interesting results. From the tests on a Apple Mac Mini and Apple MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion was clearly superior when it came to the graphics performance, but the rest of the time the operating systems performed quite closely with no clear winner. OS X also seems to have greater performance issues with solid-state drives than Linux."
Hardware Hacking

Revisiting the Macintosh ROM Easter Egg 98

eldavojohn writes "NYCResistor has published photos of what they call 'Ghosts in the ROM' after dumping Apple Mac SE ROM images from a roadside Motorola 68000-era Macintosh and looking at all the data (they mention an Easter egg reference to this from 1999). They go into some nice detail about the strategy for extracting this data from a discarded unit and noticing structure. There's also other data that they weren't able to identify, which causes one to wonder how many other Easter eggs are lying about in various ROM chips and what modern Easter eggs must be shipping with software/hardware today."

AT&T Defends Controversial FaceTime Policy Following Widespread Backlash 220

zacharye writes "AT&T is wasting no time hitting back at critics of its decision to limit the use of popular video chat app FaceTime over its cellular network to users who sign up for its shared data plans. In a post on the company's official public policy blog on Wednesday, AT&T chief privacy officer Bob Quinn sneered at criticisms that restricting FaceTime over cellular to shared data plans violates the Federal Communications Commission's network neutrality rules for wireless networks."

The Worst Apple Store In America — An Employee Confession 310

Cutting_Crew writes "Gizmodo has a piece that describes one of the worst and most corrupt Apple stores. Two employees recount management exchanging brand new computers for face-lifts (and other things), not just from customers, but also from businesses. Other common activities ranged from destroying devices repeatedly and ringing up new ones (for themselves and friends as fake customers) to outright stealing merchandise and cash. Customers may have also lost their data if they weren't polite when coming in for a repair, or the 'Genius' help may have been intoxicated."

Jury In Apple v. Samsung Case May Have to Agree on 700 Points 111

puddingebola writes "Jurors in the Apple v. Samsung case will receive a 100 page 'instructions to the jury' document. They will also receive a multi-page form with numerous questions to come to a verdict. From the article: 'The document, which both sides have yet to agree on, is still in its draft stage. In Samsung's case, it's 33 questions long, and stretched across 17 pages. For Apple, it's 23 questions spread over nine pages.' Perhaps this is standard in patent trials? Perhaps road sobriety tests will soon include hopping on one foot while juggling?" As usual, Groklaw has the juicy details on the battle over writing the jury instructions.
Desktops (Apple)

Sealed-Box Macs: Should Computers Be Disposable? 673

An anonymous reader writes "Apple's new Retina MacBook Pro is essentially completely non-upgradable, a sealed-box, following a trend started with the MacBook Air in 2008. It's a given that hardware companies are in the business of selling hardware, and would love for computers to have iPhone-like replacement cycles of 1-3 years. But does this mean we're moving irresistibly into an era of 'sealed-unit computing,' even for power users?"

Apple Is Now the Most Valuable Company In History 398

derekmead writes "Apple, as of this morning, is valued at $621 billion, thanks to a stock price that spiked at $663.10 per share (and that has risen this afternoon). That finally beats Microsoft, who previously held the record for most valuable company in 1999 at $619 billion. Incredibly, Apple has almost doubled its valuation in the last year, when it topped Exxon-Mobil for most valuable American company with a valuation of $346 billion. It's not the cleanest comparison, but to give you an idea of how much $621 billion actually is, only 23 countries had a GDP higher than that in 2011. So, basically, Apple alone is worth more than what 200+ countries in the world could produce in an entire year."

Who Cares If Samsung Copied Apple? 544

hype7 writes "The Harvard Business Review is running an article that's questioning the very premise of the Apple v Samsung case. From the article: 'It isn't the first time Apple has been involved in a high-stakes "copying" court case. If you go back to the mid-1990s, there was their famous "look and feel" lawsuit against Microsoft. Apple's case there was eerily similar to the one they're running today: "we innovated in creating the graphical user interface; Microsoft copied us; if our competitors simply copy us, it's impossible for us to keep innovating." Apple ended up losing the case. But it's what happened next that's really fascinating. Apple didn't stop innovating at all.'"