We knew that when the judge said hundreds of thousands of documents would have to be made public during the Apple vs Samsung mutual patent suit that we would get the opportunity to learn a lot about how both companies work. We also knew that we would get to learn about a lot of products that both companies had abandoned before market. What we didn't know was that we would be talking about cars and a purple building this week.
The "Purple Building" was the top-secret location of the top-secret "Project Purple," which became the primary object of this case, the iPhone. The reason for the ridiculous title was because no one within the company was allowed to know this was going on right under their noses. In fact, even people being hired into the company were not allowed to know why they were being hired. In fact, the only information they received was that they would be giving up nights and weekends for a few years. That was made more comfortable by the dorm-like construction of the "Purple Building."
Scott Forstall, software engineer for Apple, said about the project,
I never directed anyone to go and copy anything from Samsung. We wanted to build something great... and so there was no reason to look at something they'd done.
Of course, the original iPhone looked strikingly similar to a series of handsets from HTC, the PPC series, and the operating system, now known as iOS, looks amazingly identical to that of an early Sony MP3 player. I guess that does indicate they were never directed to steal from Samsung. To be fair, however, both of those operating systems look almost identical to Windows 3.0, but it's because it was a decent design, made more appropriate on the smaller screen. Also, how many ways can you differentiate a black rectangle with a button and a speaker?
The object of the case was not the only interesting information, however. Hit the break to find out how cars factor into this trial.
The Windows 8 release date is getting closer and closer and while we already know a lot about their new software offerings, upgrade prices and about some of the tablets we'll see at launch, there's a lot that still is unanswered. Of course, we're also very excited about the new Microsoft Surface, too. However, Microsoft never mentioned what cool hardware accessories would be for purchase to go along with this fine new piece of computing software.
This week, Microsoft answered with five brand new products for your purchasing pleasure, with two Bluetooth keyboards and three wire-free mice. You can get all of these at the Microsoft Store from $49.95 to $79.95, depending on the flavor.
Now, I know you want to see these products, so we'll show some of them to you after the break.
Since Disney picked up Marvel 3 years ago, there has not been a lot of Disney involvement in the comic company. Until recently, Marvel has been run as it always has been, being left alone by the parent company. With the recent successes of the live-action films, however, Disney cannot leave money on the table and has started discussions to bring a live-action Marvel series to Disney-owned network ABC.
According to reports from Deadline, a television series based in the movie universe has already begun its life, described as "a kernel of an idea." What we know is that it will revolve around the Avengers aspects of the universe, but will probably not involve any of the main characters from the movies. What it could involve, however, are some of the lesser movie characters, such as Jasper Sitwell, whose movie actor could reprise his role to connect the two stories.
We could also see the series take on the role of launching characters who could be in the future Avengers films, such as Ant-Man (a founding member so far ignored), Captain Britain, Marvel Boy or any other of the many members over the years. Such a connection between the movies and TV show could be dangerous, and certainly difficult, with the incredibly narrow timeline so far presented across all of the films, with Iron Man 2 taking place during the events of The Incredible Hulk. It would mean the movies would have to live in a wider timeline, meaning a lot of events between movies would not be covered, or the show would somehow have to exist within an incredibly narrow timeline.
The other possibility, of course, is that everything takes place in the current universe, but decades earlier. It would certainly allow them to have the existing characters without having to convince Robert Downey, Jr. to appear on television from time to time. As has been said, the series is in very early talks, so these details will be hammered out over probably the next 10-18 months before anything ever comes to television.
Zynga's incredibly low earnings have started the conversation among analysts that we started nearly 18 months ago: is Web 2.0 about to collapse? Based on stock prices for many of the large, public companies, it is starting to look like Web 2.0 is about to become dot com bust 2.0.
Zynga has seen a stock from from a high of $15 to a low of just under $5. Facebook seems to have given up on its stock, watching it fall faster than a skydiver. Netflix has been affected, with a stock drop over the past few months, despite work to prevent customer losses. Groupon's failure has been legendary. Even Digg failed to fetch a decent price. The only giant in the industry succeeding is LinkedIn, and they are doing it well.
So, how does this affect us in the short run and also the long run? Hit the break for some answers.
While Facebook's Timeline may have almost everything, one thing suspiciously missing is the ability to post your Netflix rental history automatically. Since people seem to enjoy sharing every aspect of their lives with their fringe acquaintances, then why would Facebook and Netflix not allow you to do the same with the movies and TV shows you watch?
The answer is simple: it's against the law. Yes, you read that right: there is a federal law prohibiting you from sharing your watch history from Netflix onto Facebook. More specifically, a law currently on the books prevents a video rental service from sharing your rental history. The law was passed after the Washington City Paper published a list of videos rented by Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork during his nomination process. Congress was so concerned by the privacy breach that the law was passed quickly to prevent their colleagues and the rest of the nation from this type of breach.
Will this law stand forever or will we one day be able to let one of the last private pieces of our lives out of our control? Hit the break for more.
If you missed the Olympic opening ceremony, you missed one of the biggest honors that Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee will ever receive. While you may not know the name, you know what he is responsible for: the World Wide Web. Because of his contributions to society, for better or for worse, the host nation of England honored one of their own with a segment titled "Frankie and June Say 'Thanks Tim.'"
While the segment was showing both the positive and negative impacts of constant technology on society, Berners-Lee certainly was shown the respect he deserved. Sitting at a desk, in the middle of the stadium, with a CRT monitor, he posted a message to the world through a series of thousands of tiny screens around the stadium: "This is for everyone." A simple message put exactly the way anyone who knows the man would expect.
If you truly have not seen the opening ceremony, you should. It was one of the most impressive I have experienced, and a shout-out to the creator of the technology that changed a generation and has spawned thousands of businesses was a highlight for tech junkies like us.