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Cellphones Patents Apple Technology

Samsung Galaxy S3 Stripped of Local Search 243

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-not-a-feature-it's-a-bug dept.
DavidGilbert99 writes "Ahead of a legal battle with Apple, Samsung has begun disabling the local Google search functionality on the international version of the Galaxy S3. This mean S3 owners will no longer be able to search contacts, messages, or other content stored locally on their phones using the in-built Google app. The interesting thing is that Apple has yet to sue Samsung over this feature in the EU or the UK and so it seems as if Samsung is being ultra cautious ahead of the the companies' big court date on Monday next."
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Samsung Galaxy S3 Stripped of Local Search

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  • i don't know if that's a good thing or bad!!!

  • Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @03:19PM (#40768031)

    Fuck you, Apple.

    • by santax (1541065)
      I would mod you up if I could.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      exactly. though couldn't they just add a local search textbox right next to the web search textbox?

    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @03:42PM (#40768343) Homepage Journal

      and Fuck "IP".

      Time to mass-invalidate all software patents. This is ridiculous.

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      *esoteric sneer*
      - Apple

    • Man, this comment's gonna get modfucked into oblivion. Thou shalt not make fun of the Cult. Never make fun of the Cult.

    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @03:55PM (#40768497)
      I second that. Fuck you, Apple
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by execthis (537150)

      How can something as basic and obvious as performing a search of local system have a patent?

      I cannot be more thoroughly disgusted by Apple. Just like everything else in society, it is the people who purport to provide something who are ultimately the ones responsible for its deprivation.
      It is, for example, precisely because of the "healthcare" industry that there is so much actual deprivation of healthcare in our society. The deprivation would not be possible without it.
      It is precisely because we have a g

      • There is a long history of makers and craftsmen borrowing ideas and often improving upon them.

        And indeed Apple is one of the most talented at doing so and selling it for a premium.

  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @03:21PM (#40768057) Homepage Journal

    Being that my version of the Galaxy S3 was purchased through Verizon, and they are notoriously slow with software updates, i can safely say that this feature will be present on my phone for a long time to come. Thanks for being lazy slackers, Verizon!

  • by alen (225700) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @03:22PM (#40768063)

    oh wait, that's why apple is suing them

    seriously, google had local PC search like 10 years ago with google desktop. apple had it with finder i can't remember when.

    unless samsung has really dumb lawyers that's prior art right there. local search has been on computers since the 1990's

    • by Anderu67 (1179779) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @03:25PM (#40768109)
      Ah but this is a cellphone. It's different, innovative.
    • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @03:36PM (#40768257)

      It's not local search that's the issue. It's searches on multiple databases from a single interface that are in question, specifically a single search UI that checks both local data and online for results. Apple had that with Sherlock back in 1997, and the patents being used in the various cases against Samsung go back that far in some cases.

      As you said, local search has been around forever, but a single interface for simultaneous local and online searches is a newer thing, and Apple seems to think they own it. Considering they've already had a few rulings in their favor in the U.S. for these patents, you can't blame Samsung for playing it cautious. IANAL, but I wouldn't be surprised if they could be sued for knowingly infringing at this point, given that the other rulings have gone against them with regards to these patents.

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @03:48PM (#40768417) Homepage

        As you said, local search has been around forever, but a single interface for simultaneous local and online searches is a newer thing, and Apple seems to think they own it.

        Sadly, if they have been granted a patent to it -- they effectively do.

        Which is the most annoying thing about all of these lawsuits; they've all been granted ridiculous patents, that mostly seem to cover an idea, they all overlap, and the only thing corporations seem to understand now is to sue.

        I honestly don't see a way out of this, unless companies just decide amongst themselves to play nice -- but with billions in product revenue at stake, everybody would rather sue everybody else to make sure nobody else sells a product like their.

        Blame software patents. That's what is fundamentally broken here -- the companies are just looking out for their own interests, even if that means they're spending so much time in court.

      • by Solandri (704621)
        Apple's patent on this dates back to the early 1990s. Back then, Archie [wikipedia.org] indexed and let you search a single ftp site. Veronica [wikipedia.org] did a similar thing for multiple gopher sites, but only the menus (categories, probably most analogous to directories in today's GUI-centric model). "But those are all remote servers!" you say. Well, if the Unix system you were using to conduct your Veronica search also ran a gopher site, it was simultaneously a local search as well.

        A group of companies, including Apple, got
    • seriously, google had local PC search like 10 years ago with google desktop. apple had it with finder i can't remember when.

      ... and Microsoft has had it with Indexing for about the same amount of time.

      The real story here is how the term "justice system" is no longer an accurate descriptor of American courts.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Branciforte (2437662)

      Apple filed the patent in 2000. I'm guessing it had something to do with Spotlight.

      Google Desktop Search came out in 2005, I think. Just before the Apple patent was finally approved.

      It's still a bogus patent. It's even short enough to be readable, despite the legalese. It basically says, you enter a query into a box, and the "machine" looks in several different places for the answer.

    • 10+ to be correct maybe 13 years.

  • by Chemisor (97276) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @03:25PM (#40768097)

    Patent holders win.
    Consumers lose.
    Where's profit?

  • Wait, I am a little confused and not only did I RTFA, but I did a Google search for more information.

    Apple has a patent on searching local files for information? wtf? Did they get a patent for searching both the internet and the local files....I mean this must be a twisted reality when a grep or find type operation, which has been around for a looooooong time not only gets a patent, but stops another company from performing said function on its own machines.

    Somehow we are getting to the point where comp

    • I think it is a patent on searching for and showing unified local and web search results. And I think it is a mater of time before prior art shows up to invalidate.
    • I think the real issue here, is that people are taking the opinion of some jerk-off blogger* as gospel, with absolutely zero evidence to support his claims.

      Maybe, and I know this is a stretch, but maybe they issued a stability update which removed the feature, because it really was causing a stability issue. Crazy, right?


      * nothing against the guy personally, I happen to think the vast majority of bloggers are jerk-offs.
    • Wait, I am a little confused and not only did I RTFA, but I did a Google search for more information.

      Maybe Samsung disabled the ability to find useful results on the topic in Google.

    • by Shagg (99693)

      Apple has a patent on searching local files for information? wtf?

      They also have a patent for the rectangle.

      • by djdanlib (732853)

        It would be great if Xerox would rise up and strongarm everyone who's patented their prior art, and invalidate the patents.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @03:31PM (#40768187)
    Wouldn't an Android search GUI just be a front end for a bunch of grep (for data) or find (for files) commands?
    • by alen (225700)

      will grep work searching the contents and metadata of email and mp3's?

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        If it's part of the actual file it will ... grep doesn't object to binary files last I knew.

        It won't be broken out into nice fields like "Composer" or whatever, but grep will chew through files looking for text matches.

  • Does it have local search without using a specific google app?

    I have a nexus one right now, and I can't search a damn thing with it. It drives me downright nuts. I've run into so many frustrating usability issues with android that I've decided I'm going to have to move away from it on my next purchase. It's really sad when the evil proprietary overlords support industry standards (eg: caldav) better than an open OS.

    • So basically, your evil overlord stops Android companies to implement search, then you support the evil lord for it.

      Amazing, I never knew someone could actually fuck themselves with such a tiny dick.

      • I didn't realize that case verdicts could go back in time and change things after the fact.

        My Nexus ONE is on 2.3.7, and it doesn't have anything resembling decent device-wide search. As far as I'm concerned this court ruling hasn't changed anything because I haven't had this feature in the first place.

        Furthermore, Apple cannot block google from implementing industry standards such as caldav and carddav, yet google hasn't implemented those. Yet Apple and Microsoft have. That's the other point I was tryin

  • Their competitors are now scared to implement the most basic functions. Congratulations! Everybody else loses out, but fuck those guys and fuck society, am I right?

    • who said companies exist to help society?

      you (and I) may think that's a great idea; but I assure you, those who run things DO NOT.

      sorry. the world is not just or fair.

      • by Jeng (926980)

        who said companies exist to help society?

        No one, but when they actively hinder society then society should eliminate said company.

  • by nightfire-unique (253895) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @03:47PM (#40768411)

    I want to preface this with: I love Samsung and have spent a lot of money on their products. I own a Captivate Glide, and am looking at the SGS3. I hope they triumph over Apple and cost them a lot of money in the marketplace.

    But, if they roll out an update which removes this functionality from devices that have already been sold, I hope a class action lawsuit is filed against them.

    Partly because removing functionality from a product that has been sold should be very illegal (criminal, not contract law), but also because it's important that every company suffers the consequences of software patents - regardless of whether or not they screw their customers by backing out functionality. I hope billions of dollars are wasted on this garbage, so that the situation ultimately becomes untenable. One day, multinational corporations will, together, take a step back and realize that this nonsense must stop.

    • by wiedzmin (1269816)

      this nonsense must stop

      have spent a lot of money on their products

      'Nuff said. Nothing will stop as long as you keep giving them money.

    • I don't see how you can really blame this on Samsung. The Galaxy Nexus was subject to an import ban over this feature and couldn't be sold til it was removed. Yeah, that ruling technically only applies to the Nexus, but the feature is exactly identical across their other products. I wouldn't expect them to wait for each product to be banned before making this change, especially when that puts them at risk for Apple to claim willful infringement (subject to much harsher penalties), since they now obviously k
  • by goruka (1721094) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @03:47PM (#40768415)
    Apple is too much of a newbie at playing the evil monopolist game. Software patents suck, but at some point, Apple will run out of patents to assert, specially now that the competition is getting ahead of them in innovation and features. Google has learned that they only have to remove existing features and reimplement them differently. Microsoft, on the other hand, is a true veteran at being evil and forces Android manufacturers to sign up for expensive and shady "IP" licensing schemes.
    • by wiedzmin (1269816)

      Right. I guess "Hi I'm an iPhone, and I'm a Samsung Galaxy III" advertisements hit a snag with all the same features being there :)

    • Right on and Samsung holds plenty of hardware patents. Look out Apple.

  • Workaround (Score:5, Informative)

    by StripedCow (776465) on Wednesday July 25, 2012 @04:06PM (#40768603)

    They (Samsung) should just implement an enabling code (like an easter egg), that is supposed to be secret, but "accidentally" ends up in the open. Entering this code on your phone will then enable all features owned by Apple. With this workaround, all Apple can do is blame the individual users. Btw, this is the same technique that has been used successfully by DVD player manufacturers for circumventing region-code restrictions enforced by trading authorities.

    • by ihavnoid (749312)

      The problem is that there are many cases the "workaround" will not be acknowledged as a proper removal of the feature. You better have a good reason why you left a backdoor, and how come it was unintentional.

      Remember the GTA hot coffee mod? They disabled the part of the game that was considered inappropriate for minors, but it didn't count as a proper removal, so they had their age ratings change until they completely removed it.

  • When did the Common Lisp find-if procedure appear? What other similar built-in collection-searching functions have there been in programming languages? Would that not be a generic prior art preventing anyone from patenting the ability to search through a collection of entries? Searching a list must have been obvious to anyone "skilled in the art" since some time in the 1960s.
  • ...Google disagrees with you:

    Before the legal fiasco began, Google warned Samsung not to copy Apple:
    In February 2010, Google told Samsung that Samsung’s “P1” and “P3” tablets (Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1) were “too similar” to the iPad and demanded “distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad for the P3.”

    http://9to5mac.com/2012/07/25/before-the-legal-fiasco-began-google-warned-samsung-not-to-copy-apple/ [9to5mac.com]

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