Hugh Pickens writes "Anna Leach reports that Siri support has been a contentious issue for owners of earlier iPhones, but a recent filing from Audience shows that Siri won't run on the iPhone 4 because the phone's chip can't handle it. Linley Gwennap of the Linley Group cracked one of the secrets of the new iPhone's A5 chip after working out that it packs some serious audio cleaning power not available on the iPhone 4's A4 chip. Audience has developed technology that removes most or all of the background noise when someone places a cell-phone call from a restaurant, airport, or other noisy location. The iPhone 4S integrates Audience's 'EarSmart' technology directly into the A5 processor, improving its technology to handle 'far-field speech,' which means holding the device at arm's length rather than directly in front of the mouth. Apple has also licensed the Audience technology for a 'new generation of processor IP,' which may mean that the forthcoming A6 processor will appear in the iPad 3 and iPhone 5. 'Why Apple has not simply purchased Audience is unclear. An acquisition would prevent Audience's other major customer, Samsung, from using the technology to compete with Apple,' says Gwennap. 'The company may be hedging its bets, as it could switch to Qualcomm's Fluence noise-reduction technology in the future.'"
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First time accepted submitter creativeHavoc writes "Forbes author Tomio Geron takes a look at data accrued by mobile app monitoring startup Crittercism. After looking at normalized data of crashes over the various mobile operating system versions he compares crash rates of apps on the two platforms. He also breaks it down further to look how the top apps compare across the competing mobile operating systems. The results may not be what you expect."
SpuriousLogic sends this excerpt from a BBC article detailing the suspension of a sales ban on certain Apple products in Germany: "Motorola Mobility had forced Apple to remove several iPad and iPhone models from its online store [yesterday] after enforcing a patent infringement court ruling delivered in December. An appeals court lifted the ban after Apple made a new license payment offer. However, Germany-based users may still face the loss of their push email iCloud service after a separate ruling. 'A suspension like this is available only against a bond, but Apple is almost drowning in cash and obviously won't have had a problem with obtaining and posting a bond.' ... A statement from Apple said: 'All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple's online store in Germany shortly.'" Reader DJRumpy points out that Motorola is seeking royalties of 2.25% for Apple's wireless devices in exchange for a license to use Motorola's patents.
bonch writes "After drawing criticism over iBooks Author's licensing language, Apple has modified it in a software update to make clear that Apple is claiming rights to the .ibook format itself and not the content therein: '[The license restriction] does not apply to the content of such works when distributed in a form that does not include files in the .ibooks format.' In other words, the content may be sold on competing book stores as long as it is not packaged using iBooks Author."
chrb writes "Apple has failed to get a patent ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1N and the Nexus phone in Germany. Presiding Judge Andreas Mueller stated, 'Samsung has shown that it is more likely than not that the patent will be revoked because of a technology that was already on the market before the intellectual property had been filed for protection.' The patent in question covered list scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display. This news follows the recent Appeals court ruling that upheld the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban."
littlekorea writes "New South Wales Police have arrested a man selling USB keys bearing the Apple logo, which offered access to over a thousand Pay TV channels, another thousand movies on demand and several hundred adult films. A forensic analysis of the device revealed the content was hosted in China but streamed via US servers and domains."
alphadogg writes "Many IT departments are struggling with Apple's 'take it or leave it' attitude, based on discussions last week at MacIT, which is Macworld|iWorld's companion conference for IT professionals. Much of the questioning following technical presentations wasn't about Apple technology or products. It was about the complexities and confusions of trying to sort out for the enterprise Apple's practices. Those practices include the use of Apple IDs and iTunes accounts, which are designed for individual Mac or iPad or iPhone users, and programs like Apple's Volume Purchase Program, which, according to Apple 'makes it simple to find, buy, and distribute the apps your business needs' and to buy custom, third-party B2B apps."
New submitter Killer Panda sends word that a German Appeals Court has upheld the injunction prohibiting sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany. Apple convinced lower courts to issue and uphold the injunction last year by making the case that Samsung's devices "slavishly" copied the iPhone and iPad. "Samsung, which is Apple's supplier as well as a competitor, has been trying to have the German decision overturned while also seeking other means to fight Apple. It redesigned the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for the German market only and named it Galaxy Tab 10.1N to get around the sales ban. Apple challenged the reworked version but a German court last month rejected Apple's claims in a preliminary judgment." The European Union announced some more bad news for Samsung: they'll be investigating the company to see whether its use of patent lawsuits is illegally hindering other companies' use of standardized 3G technology. "Under EU patent rules, a company that holds patents for standardized products is required to license them out indiscriminately at a fair price."
porsche911 writes "The NY Times has a great story comparing the top-down versus bottom-up innovation approaches of Apple and Google. From the article: '"There is nothing democratic about innovation," says Paul Saffo, a veteran technology forecaster in Silicon Valley. "It is always an elite activity, whether by a recognized or unrecognized elite."'"
Hugh Pickens writes "The Guardian reports that Apple's image is taking a dive after revelations in the NY Times about working conditions in the factories of some of its network of Chinese suppliers and the dreaded word 'boycott' has started to appear in media coverage of Apple's activities. 'Should consumers boycott Apple?' asked a column in the Los Angeles Times as it recounted details of the bad PR fallout amid detailed allegations that workers at Foxconn suffered in conditions that resembled a modern version of bonded labor, working obscenely long shifts in unhealthy conditions with few of the labor rights that workers in the west would take for granted." Read on, below.
mikejuk writes "Evi, a new rival to Siri, Apple's voice-driven personal assistant, has made its debut on both the iPhone and Android. And people are so keen to that Evi's servers are overloaded — so be prepared for a wait for answers." The app costs 99 cents for iOS users, but it's free on Android.
Frankie70 writes "'Siri's dirty little secret is that she's a bandwidth guzzler, the digital equivalent of a 10-miles-per-gallon Hummer H1.' A study by Arieso shows that users of the iPhone 4S demand three times as much data as iPhone 3G users and twice as much as iPhone 4 users, who were identified as the most demanding in a 2010 study. 'In all, Arieso says that the Siri-equipped iPhone 4S "appears to unleash data consumption behaviors that have no precedent."'"
New submitter tcjr2006 writes "Obama's State of the Union focused on the return of manufacturing jobs to America. This New Yorker story makes the case that the manufacturing jobs aren't going to come back, and he should be focusing on software. Quoting: 'Yes, there are industries where manufacturing jobs can be brought back to America through proper tax incentives and training programs. But maybe he should have talked more about the things that he could do to keep software jobs here. He spoke of federal funding for university and scientific research. But a real pro-software agenda would also include reforming patent law to stop trolling (and perhaps eliminating software patents altogether); increasing H-1B visas for highly skilled coders; stopping Congress from defunding DARPA, whose research helped create Siri, the iPhone’s talking assistant; and opening up the unused, federally owned wireless spectrum. That agenda wouldn’t bring Apple’s manufacturing jobs back, but it would help to keep the company’s coding jobs here. And it would certainly help develop "an economy that’s built to last."'"
theodp writes "Testifying before Congress in 2007, Google's HR chief stated: 'We make great efforts to uncover the most talented employees we can find.' But according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Google actually went to some lengths to avoid uncovering some of tech's most talented employees, striking up agreements with Apple, Intel, and other corporations to avoid recruiting each other's employees. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh ruled that Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Disney, Pixar, Intuit and Lucasfilm must face a lawsuit claiming they violated antitrust laws by entering into no-poaching agreements with each other. 'I don't want to see any obstruction on discovery,' Koh told lawyers during a hearing. According to the head attorney representing the plaintiffs, the total damages could exceed $150 million if just 10,000 entry-level engineers were affected."
FrankPoole writes "Indie iPhone game developer Nimblebit is accusing social games giant Zynga of ripping off its popular mobile title Tiny Tower. Nimblebit's Ian Marsh got word out about the similarities between Dream Heights and Tiny Tower with an image that's still making the Twitter rounds. The image is made up of screenshots showing how Dream Heights' interface and gameplay mechanics appear strikingly similar to Tiny Tower's."