Independent news, views, opinions and reviews on the latest gadgets, games, science, technology and research from Apple and more. It’s about the technologies that change the way we live, work, love and behave.
THIS Apple v Samsung patent fight is actually getting rather interesting at last. The judge asked one of Apple’s lawyers yesterday whether he was smoking crack, leading to distinguished counsel having to deny it.
Judge Lucy Koh has grown increasingly irritated with lawyers on both sides of the ongoing lawsuit between Apple and Samsung, but she hit a new boiling point on Thursday when Apple presented her a 75-page list of potential rebuttal witnesses for the four hours it has remaining in the trial.
“This is ridiculous,” the San Jose Mercury News reports Koh as saying. “Unless you’re smoking crack, you know these witnesses aren’t going to be called.”
The judge has ruled this trial with an iron fist, allowing each side only a limited amount of time to present evidence to the jury. One reason being that if Apple could drag the trial out over months and months then they would have won: Samsung currently isn’t allowed to sell some of its products in the US and won’t unless they win this case.
TO the Bonneville Speed Week, Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA. This is the annual event that sees hundreds of car builders and drivers gather on the salt flats to try and break land speed records in various different categories of vehicle. This is a hark back to the halcyon days of what Iowahawk calls “the global warming era“. This is salt and nitro. “Take that, Gaia!” (Photos with added Shelby and Donald Campbell.)
A mechanic works on a car in the pits during Bonneville Speed Week, held on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA. The annual event sees hundreds of car builders and drivers gather on the salt flats to try and break land speed records in various different categories of vehicle.
THIS is how not to use twitter. Let’s say that you’re a very rich person indeed. Billions of $ worth of rich. And in fact you’re so rich that lots and lots of money is spent on your security each year. Maybe, like $2.7 million is spent on keeping you safe from attack and or kidnapping each year.
Or perhaps you’re the teenage daughter in a family like that. So this is how not to use Twitter:
Alexa Dell’s overenthusiastic social networking habits were curbed after she unintentionally disclosed details about her father’s whereabouts. His security team is understoof to have considered the posts compromising.
The 18-year-old was a keen user of Twitter and the photo-sharing website Tumblr, ostensibly using it like any other teenage girl to update her friends and followers on the minutiae of her daily life.
But many of her posts were stamped with a GPS location, showing exactly from where it was sent. Her posts also included the exact dates she and her family were arriving and departing certain cities and the location she was shopping.
AS the papers salute Mo Farah, the Somalia-born double gold meal winner for Team GB, the Daily Mirrorreadies its readers to the post-Olympic descent. The paper choses the morning of the final day of the London 2012 Games to leads with the news that paedos are out to get your children:
“TWITTER PAEDOS EXPOSED – Police swoop as we reveals vast network of child perverts”
After sport and bonking, drugs-taking celebs, what tabloid readers next like to look at is a story on paedophiles, especially in the summer months. The number of child rapists is not high. The number of readers who like reading about them – and politicians and hacks who like to talk about them – is huge. What better story than one of peados to illustrate all our fears? Is this interest in paedophiles healthy? No. Is the Mirror just tapping into a subject that it feels will unite its readers in a common revulsion? Yes. Does that story foster mistrust, telling us all that it’s not only strangers you need to be fearful of but every adult, even those in a virtual world behind your computer screen? Yes. From being a nation of winners the Mirror reminds us that we are locked in fear of one another, insular and suspicious. The paper says:
“Vile perverts using social networking site to find victims and trade intelligence”
THE Curiosity Rover has landed on Mars. This is the first full colour photo to be beamed back from the red planet. It’s a 360-degree view of the Gale Crater, the landing site for the Curiosity rover. 360-degree view. NASA explains:
Scientists will be taking a closer look at several splotches in the foreground that appear gray. These areas show the effects of the descent stage’s rocket engines blasting the ground. What appeared as a dark strip of dunes in previous, black-and-white pictures from Curiosity can also be seen along the top of this mosaic, but the color images also reveal additional shades of reddish brown around the dunes, likely indicating different textures or materials.
The images were taken late Aug. 8 PDT (Aug. 9 EDT) by the 34-millimeter Mast Camera. This panorama mosaic was made of 130 images of 144 by 144 pixels each. Selected full frames from this panorama, which are 1,200 by 1,200 pixels each, are expected to be transmitted to Earth later. The images in this panorama were brightened in the processing. Mars only receives half the sunlight Earth does and this image was taken in the late Martian afternoon.
NASA’S mission to Mars is go! The mega-millions Curiosity rover is now roving Mars. The first photo beamed back is snapshot of the rover’s shadow. We live in the age of celebrity and self-promotion. You might laugh as the photo is spotted and heralded by the line that will reverberate down generations: “It’s a wheel, it’s a wheel!”
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA engineers work on Curiosity, a mega-rover at the Mars Science Laboratory, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Monday, April 4, 2011. The rover is scheduled to be launched for lift-off from Cape Canaveral, Florida in the fall of 2011, and land on Mars in August 2012. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
APPLE does not do it for the money. This is a nice claim but I wouldn’t want to run too far with it.
Sir Jonathan Ive, the man credited with shaping the iPad and iPhone and whose personal fortune is estimated at $130m, said today that Apple’s guiding principal was nothing to do with its balance sheet, instead it simply wanted to make “great products”.
“Our goal isn’t to make money. Our goal absolutely at Apple is not to make money. This may sound a little flippant, but it’s the truth,” said the British designer. “Our goal and what gets us excited is to try to make great products. We trust that if we are successful people will like them, and if we are operationally competent we will make revenue, but we are very clear about our goal.”
“WE’RE happy with the performance of the electric car so far. Early indications suggest it works well around the city and may be making savings for us in fuel costs,” says Brighton and Hove mayor Bill Randall, a leading Green.
Mr Randall was referring to the electric Renault Fluence ZE he’s been road testing. As he said:
“I think it sends out a good message…This is great news, not just for the environment, but for the taxpayer too as the electric car won’t cost them a penny.”
Apple may be waiting some time yet before it gets the rights to use the IPAD name in China after reports from the region suggested that lawyers of its court room opponent Proview are requesting temporary seizure of the trademark until they are paid.
A report on technology news portal Sina Tech (via Marbridge Daily) claimed that Grandall Law Firm has submitted an “asset protection application” to Shenzhen’s Yantian District People’s court.
ONE could take this as a storm in a teacup or one could take it as the destruction of a great iconic brand. But Apple’s computer kit is now officially not green. In fact it’s now so not green that it’s probably illegal for any part of the UK government to buy it:
The city authorities of San Francisco have banned departmental purchases of Apple hardware after Cupertino dropped out of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) green-standards scheme.
“We are disappointed that Apple chose to withdraw from EPEAT,” Melanie Nutter, director of San Francisco’s Department of Environment, told The Wall Street Journal, “and we hope that the city saying it will not buy Apple products will make Apple reconsider its participation.”
TO Triberg, Germany, where the town’s mayor, Gallus Strobel, has marked out car park spaces for men or women. The spaces for women are wide, well-lit, and near to the exits. The spaces for men are tight and more remote. Strobel says men will like it because “men are, as a rule, a little better at such challenges“.
That challenge, presumably, being how to pretend to be a woman in one of his car parks.
WHEN Dr Fabiola Gianotti used Comic Sans to tell the world about Cern’s ATLAS collaboration, we chortled.
Now Alby Reid has launched a petition calling on Microsoft to rename Comic Sans “Comic Cerns” in the Windows 8 OS:
I’ve just signed the following petition addressed to: Microsoft Corporation.
Rename the font ‘Comic Sans’ to ‘Comic Cerns’ in the Windows 8 OS.
We were all moved by Fabiola Gianotti’s incredibly strange choice of font in announcing the recent results of Cern’s ATLAS collaboration and feel that her use of Comic Sans has gone a long way to rehabilitate this awful, awful font.
In recognition of the work of Professors Peter Higgs, François Englert and Robert Brout and others in the description of the Higgs mechanism by which vector bosons gain mass by interacting with the Higgs field; and in recognition of the work of the scientists and engineers at Cern’s Large Hadron Collider, in particular the members of the ATLAS and CMS collaborations in their search for the Higgs boson, the quantum of the Higgs field; we believe that Microsoft should rename ‘Comic Sans’ to ‘Comic Cerns’ in Windows 8 and in future releases of the Windows operating system. Renaming Comic Sans to ‘Comic Cerns’ would be a unique way of recognising the groundbreaking achievements of these scientists and engineers.
READERS of a certain vintage will recall Martin’s Marvelloius Mini, the mainstay strip in the Tiger comics: Martin Baker owned a racing mini which he called ‘George’. With his mechanic pal, Tiny Hill, he’d travels the world competing in amazing races. He’d drive over mountains, rivers, jungle and active volcanoes. He could drive upside down. Fast forward to the 2012 X Games Los Angeles, and drivers Tanner Foust and Greg Tracy have driven twin race cars over a 66 foot tall Hot WheelsDouble Dare Loop.
Comics are now real life. Growing up might not be overrated, after all:
THE submarine races are on. No, not those once the kids in the Fifties use to go and watch by the lake. These are actual human-powered submarines being raced at Qinetiq’s Ocean Basin test tank in Gosport, Hampshire. These are the European International Submarine Races, contested by university students and amateurs – the winning sub is chosen by its design, build and performance around the course. It’s all eccentric and challenging. And, oddly, not a TV show…
Engineering students from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal ready their human powered submarine, Achimede V, before racing at Qinetiq's Ocean Basin test tank in Gosport, Hampshire. The craft, powered only by the person inside has to navigate a horse-shoe shaped course including a slalom section.
I KNOW, I know, it’s not quite what you would think is a sensible idea four years after the Great Financial Crash. But video games companies are starting to hire economists to help them design the games.
Here’s one such job ad. They really are looking for an academic economist to help them work out how to write the rules for the games.
This isn’t though to do with Angry Birds and the like. This is about the big online games where there are thousands, perhaps millions, of players. Certain of the games companies have got seriously out of their depth here. Once you start introducing money into the games, the ability to find gold, use that gold to buy powers or attributes, even feed real money in to buy gold, then you’re facing all of the same problems that central banks do in the real economy.
FACEBOOK has just altered your email address to read @facebook.com. You might want to sort this out, revert to what was once your own address. Here’s how:
Go to Facebook and access your profile. On “About” find your email address. Click “Edit”. Find your Facebook email address and click the button next to it to say “Hidden From Timeline”. Find the email address you want and next to it click ”Shown On Timeline”.
THERE was little racism in evidence at the Euro 2012 Championships in The Ukraine and Poland. The BBC and the tabloids had warned England fans about neo-Nazi gangs waiting to murder blacks, Asians and Jews. In “Anarchy in the Ukraine – ‘Nazi’ militia train yobs to fight our fans“, the Sun showed us local thugs rehearsing for murder with wooden knives. But Ashley Young’s family sat in the stands for England’s match with Italy came home not in coffin, as Sol Campbell told BBC viewers black fans might, but on the smart seats of a passenger plane.