It turns out we’re not the only ones who are ready to see this patent battle royale come to an end. Last night, Judge Lucy Koh denied Samsung a retrial in the case that will not die, but took the opportunity to shame Apple’s lawyers for bringing the Korean company’s foreignness into the equation. The court-appointed shaming comes as a result of closing arguments made during a partial retrial that saw a portion of Apple’s original award bumped from $450 million down to $290 million in damages. At the time, Apple’s attorney argued that Samsung’s infringement of Apple’s patents could have an impact on the US economy.
When I was young, I used to watch television on televisions that were manufactured in the United States. Magnavox, Motorola, RCA. These were real companies. They were well known and they were famous. They were creators. They were inventors. They were like the Apple and Google today.
But they didn’t protect their intellectual property. They couldn’t protect their ideas. And you all know the result. There are no American television manufacturers today.
Samsung originally moved for a mistrial in that case based on those comments, but was denied. Instead, Koh informed the jury to avoid letting prejudice inform its decision. While Koh didn’t see a need for yet another trail, she repeatedly referred to the comments as “troubling,” saying they “could have been perceived as invoking racial or ethnic prejudice.”
Dong Nguyen, the developer of Flappy Bird, the viral hit that remains at the top of the App Store rankings, has promised on Twitter to remove the app from the App Store because the sheer amount of attention the app has drawn is something he isn’t interested in dealing with.
Nguyen has repeatedly said on Twitter that the press is “overrating the success” of his games and that the sudden fame and attention is something he doesn’t want, tweeting “please give me peace”. He said today that though he is planning to remove Flappy Bird from the App Store, he will continue to make games. However, he isn’t interested in the future of Flappy Bird and he won’t sell the app to another developer.
I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
I also don't sell 'Flappy Bird', please don't ask.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
Aio on Friday announced a handful of new devices and better plan prices — just in-time for Valentine’s Day. As the perfect Valentines gift to you, Aio has introduced the Motorola Moto G ($149), Nokia Lumia 520 ($99.99), and ZTE Sonata 4G ($79.99). The Moto G and Lumia 520 will be available from Aio on February 15th while the Sonata 4G is available now.
Aio has also made it even more compelling to sign up by offering better prices on it’s 3 main plans. And, don’t forget that AutoPay users can save an extra $5 each billing cycle.
The new prices for Aio’s plans are listed below.
- Basic Plan: $35 after Auto Pay credit ($40 without Auto Pay credit), unlimited voice/text/data, including 500MB of high speed data (same price as before but double the data);
- Smart Plan: $40 after Auto Pay credit ($50 without Auto Pay credit), unlimited voice/text/data, including 2.5 GB of high speed data ($5 less/month plus an extra half GB of data); and
- Pro Plan: $55 after Auto Pay credit ($60 without Auto Pay credit), unlimited voice/text/data, including 5 GB of high speed data ($10 less/month with 5 GB of data).
All taxes ad fees are already included in the prices above.
For move information on Aio’s Valentine deals visit an Aio retail store or visit the Aio Wireless website.
Serious photographers who host their pictures at 500px will soon get to profit from their skills — if not quite in they way they’d expect. The company has just unveiled Prime, a licensing store that’s theoretically more lucrative than many cut-rate stock photo sites. Every image will carry a minimum $250 license fee, and photos will be ranked based on community reactions. A frequently shared photo may stand out from the pack, for instance. There’s only one catch. 500px is only giving sellers a 30 percent commission, regardless of the licensing terms — that’s a considerably smaller cut than some pros are used to, and might not be as rewarding as selling the work directly to customers. Prime may be difficult to justify for full-time shutterbugs, then, but it could prove useful to hobbyists who’d like to earn some extra cash with minimal effort.
Filed under: Internet
Welcome to Feedback Loop, a weekly roundup of the most interesting discussions happening within the Engadget community. There’s so much technology to talk about and so little time to enjoy it, but you have a lot of great ideas and opinions that need to be shared! Join us every Saturday as we highlight some of the most interesting discussions that happened during the past week.
This week, we took a look through Steam’s catalog and highlighted some of the strangest games we could find. We also asked for recommendations on reliable and cheap desktop computers, as well as discussed options for data recovery. Lastly, we kicked off the Engadget Game Club with Outlast on the PS4. Click past the break and read what fellow Engadget users like you have to say.
Steam’s strangest games
We decided to have a bit of fun this week and track down some of the strangest games on Steam. From obvious gems such as farming simulators to more obscure examples such as a burrito-themed platformer. Take a look and share your nominations for the strangest games on Steam.
Desktop computer recommendations
RJMacReady is about to embark on a long-term adventure to an Antarctic research station. He wants to get his girlfriend a solid, reasonably priced desktop computer to keep in touch, but there’s a ton of options. Should he build a custom computer, get a simple Chromebox or just buy a Mac mini? Give him some recommendations!
When you think of frustrating software, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? For Engadget reader swim1974, it’s iTunes on a PC. He’s looking for some potential tips and alternatives for managing his media library. Is there a way to keep his media library integrated while avoiding iTunes? Or is it time to chuck the Apple TV and look for a different option? Tell us how you manage your media library.
If you have a hard drive failure, do you turn to a software-based solution or call up your favorite recovery service? AllMyStuff wants to know how data-recovery software differs from data-recovery services. If you lose your data, who or what do you put your trust in? Let us know!
Engadget Game Club: Outlast
Engadget contributing editor Tim Seppala is excited about Outlast on the PS4. And he’s using it to kick off the inaugural Engadget Game Club. Download the game and then head over to the forums to share your experience.
That’s all this week! Do you want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!
Google knows that not everything in Field Trip will reach the high watermark of creepy areas around New York, but it hopes that the app’s latest update will make cool spots easier to find wherever you are. The search giant’s Niantic Labs has added a rating system on Android and iOS and is enabling the community to possibly cull banal info from the mobile point-of-interest database. The five-star rankings should offer more granularity than the previous thumbs-ups/thumbs-down system, and soon enough the cards with the highest average score could be all you see. If your city is inherently boring though, there’s nothing Mountain View can do about that.
Via: Field Trip (Google+)
STM Bags is a name that most people will associate more with premium quality laptop bags and sleeves than with smartphone cases, but STM does have a few cases for the Samsung Galaxy S4 which we’re going to take a look at today. The cases in question are the STM grip and STM harbour 2, both hard shell cases with slightly different characteristics, so let’s ive in and see what’s what.
As its name suggests, the primary characteristic of the grip is, well, for superior gripping purposes. It’s back is covered in ridges which create a much better surface for getting a good hold on your device and the material is a plastic which has a rubbery finish making it the perfect texture for something that needs to be grippy. The case itself is made from polycarbonate which ensures that the case is rigid and tough, but also very light.
The grip is extremely easy to apply as the Galaxy S4 just slips in and clips into place. Ample room has been given to all ports and access points, though I did notice the volume and home buttons are a little close to the edge of the alcoves they’re in. Even so, there’s enough room to operate the buttons correctly.
The grip also has enough of a lip on its front to protect the screen in the event of a screen first drop. While the grip looks sturdy enough to protect your Galaxy S4 from normal daily rigours and the occasional waist-high drop, it probably isn’t a prime candidate to protect your device from an earth-shattering leap of faith. That said, the grippy nature of the case will hopefully help in that respect to stop that eventuality even occurring.The price of the STM grip is $19.95 AUD which is a fair amount for a solid, protective case and one which shouldn’t break the bank.
STM harbour 2
The harbour 2 is a slightly different case to the grip, and yes, as you might have guessed from the spelling of “harbour”, STM Bags is actually an Australian-based company that has now gone global. The name “harbour” actually refers to the ability of the harbour 2 to still allow your Galaxy S4 to dock with other devices; how it does it is devilishly simple.
As you can see in the above image, the harbour 2 has a hinged section which allows it to bend away. Being able to do this has multiple benefits including being able to use it as a makeshift stand, or being able to dock your Galaxy S4 with whatever specialized device you have. Since the harbour 2 is made from thermopolyurethane (TPU), it is a little bit stiffer than the grips polycarbonate shell, so the hinge actually acts as an aid when putting your phone into the case, allowing you to slip in in the bottom and closing it to seal the device in. That said, as functional as the hinge is, I do worry that over time that the hinge point will eventually wear out and simply separate the bottom section from the case.
Unlike the grip which had open button ports, the harbour 2 utilizes closed button covers. These seem to be well made and don’t appear to put too much pressure on the buttons as some cases are liable to do. The remainder of the ports have plenty of clearance and aren’t impeded by anything, though if you have a set of headphones that has a particularly chunky audio adapter, you might not be able to fit your adapter into the jack of the harbour 2 as it leaves only a small diameter gap for use.
Much like the grip, the harbour 2 also has an extra lip on its front to prevent any screen damage during falls, and it feels like more of a heavy duty case than the grip courtesy of its thicker case and greater coverage of the phone. I also think it’s a better looking cases thanks to its two-tone colour scheme; both cases are available in 4 different colours. The STM harbour 2 is slightly more expensive than the grip at $29.95 AUD, but obviously it does offer a little more protection and a little more functionality than the grip.
So there you have it: two very solid cases from STM Bags which do the job admirably depending on what you’d prefer your case to be able to do. The grip is a great, light case for the people who are a bit prone to letting their phone slip whereas the harbour 2 is a slightly more functional case which is a bit more protective.
If you’re interested in either of these cases, you can visit their respective product pages (links below), or if you wanted to find out about STM Bags or any of their other products, you can visit their website here.
There are a lot of mixed opinions on the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tablet since it debuted at CES 2014, most of them centred around it’s new Magazine UI and also it’s price. The price in particular has garnered quite a lot of attention as preorders for the device have been priced at $849.99 USD for the 32GB version, which is a gargantuan amount of money. It’s probably this outpouring of slightly negative response that has caused Samsung to release a trailer today that actually does a pretty good job of showing off all the great new features. Check it out:
Interestingly, the trailer doesn’t even show a peep of the new Magazine UI, which might be Samsung’s way of saying “we’re listening”, though I wouldn’t get your hopes up of them removing it from the final product. I really liked this trailer as it shows quite a few new and some further developed features of the Note Pro that show exactly how far Android has come over the last few years and I think it definitely shows how much closer tablets are to actually being a viable alternative to laptops in the near future. The one feature that had me impressed was the multitasking cascade view with all the open windows being stacked up; oddly reminiscent of another OS don’t you think?
It looks like Samsung is going to be promoting the Note Pro pretty hard considering the device is expected to become available on February 13th. Will you be getting the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro? What from the trailer did you like the best? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
You’ve undoubtedly seen one of these before; Native Union‘s POP Phone was the first to bring back the old retro handset with its 1950′s curves and make it into a mobile headset. I think it was, and is, one of the better novelty accessories available to mobile devices; I mean, who doesn’t want to relive the days when you could hold your phone between your head and shoulder. Sure, you can try that now, but you might end up with a hefty repair bill. Native Union’s next step is to bring the POP Phone into the future with its next iteration, POP Bluetooth, which, as you might have already guessed from the name, makes the original POP Phone wireless.
In your box, you get the minimum required to get your retro phone-answering started with the handset itself, a charging cable and a felt resting pad for your POP Bluetooth. I like that the charging cable maintains the whole retro vibe with its coils, which cleverly disguises the fact that the charging cable is in fact a lot longer than it appears to be. I’m indifferent to the resting pad as it implies that you’re not going to be taking the POP out very much, though since it is so thin, you can always pack it up if you’re on the move.
The construction of the POP Bluetooth is solid, as you’d expect from something inspired by a retro design. The exterior of the handset appears to be a kind of rubber/plastic hybrid as it much more closely resembles the texture of rubber. This is both good and bad: this exterior means that your POP is going to be much more durable and is easily cleanable if you get stray marks on it, but it also means that it’s going to be a little bit of a dust magnet as you’ll probably be able to tell in a few of the photos.
The POP Bluetooth isn’t a particularly complicated device; there are a total of 3 buttons on the handset and two of those are for volume control. The centre button serves as a multifunction button, acting both as a Bluetooth mode on and pick up/hang up button. As with most Bluetooth devices, all that’s required to turn on the device is to hold the centre button for a few seconds and it will begin looking for a device to pair with. Once paired, the indicator LED located just above the volume up button flashes blue every few seconds. This became an issue for me as I struggled to find a way to put the device into standby mode and the light kept flashing, though it did stop flashing after what was presumably its timeout period.
To charge the device, all that’s needed is a micro-USB cable plugged in at the button of the handset. According to the FAQ sheet, it takes 3-4 hours to fully charge the POP and discharges that in 8 hours of talk time. That said, it is supposed to be able to last 100 hours in standby mode, so unless you’re a serial chatter, the POP should serve your purposes as a wireless handset. It can of course also be used while plugged in so you can charge as you talk, provided you’re near a USB port. I’m slightly miffed that Native Union haven’t elected to retain the ability to have the POP Bluetooth also operate as a standard mobile handsfree handset through the use of a mobile adapter cable as it means you have to have charge in the device to use it.
During my time with the POP Bluetooth, I didn’t experience any audio issues either from my side of the call or reports from my receivers, though I have to say that the quality of the call itself sounded slightly tinny. The POP also has its own ringtone, a retro ringing sound, of course, but it can take awhile to get used to listening for that instead of your own ringtone. I think it would have been nice to be able to configure whether you want the default ringtone or the one from your device, but as I said, the POP is an uncomplicated device.
The original POP Phone was a nostalgic gem that kindled the memories of an age when we could still slip the handset between our head and shoulder and we could nonchalantly play with the cable as we chatted away. The POP Bluetooth offers the same opportunity and does a good job of it, but somehow I feel that a bit of that nostalgia is lost by cutting the cable and making it wireless. Sure, you can still use it wired as you charge it, and presumably, using the phone without a cable is probably a lot safer and functional, but for me, it just seems like a weirdly shaped handsfree handset. That said, if you’re a multitasker, maybe this doesn’t even factor into the decision.
Though, when you factor in that it costs $69.95 USD (compared to the $49.95 POP Phone), the POP Bluetooth can be seen to be a bit expensive as a simple accessory which will only be used during phone calls. As a novelty gift, there’s probably none better or more nostalgic than the POP Phone and POP Bluetooth, but if its a personal purchase, you’ll want to focus on the fact it’s great for multitasking and looks stylish despite its retro influences.
If you want to pick up a Native Union Pop Bluetooth Retro Handset, you can visit its product page here, or for more information about Native Union’s other products, you can visit their website here.
Gallery of photos
You no longer have to grab one of Firefox’s ever-changing nightly builds to try the browser’s new Australis interface ahead of its official launch. Mozilla has just released a new Aurora version that includes Australis’ simpler, more customizable layout; it also brings the easier, account-based sync system. The new Firefox edition is still quite rough, but curious web surfers who were only waiting for more reliable code can start downloading today.