You know who took the iPad 2 launch pretty seriously? Samsung, that’s who. Just as we had heard, the company’s executives were impressed by Apple’s ability to slim down its tablet and, well, it turns out that it took it as a challenge to come up with some thinner tablets of its own. That’s right, in addition to theSamsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 that we have seen repeatedly teased over the last few weeks the company’s announcing a totally revamped Galaxy Tab 10.1, and both slates are incredibly thin yet very well spec’d. On top of that, both will be the first Honeycomb tablets to stray from the pure Android 3.0 experience and add what Samsung’s taken to calling its TouchWiz UX or TouchWiz 4.0. We’ve got all the details and some hands-on impressions waiting below, so hit the break!
Updated: Samsung came clean with the pricing at its press conference this morning. The WiFi 10.1 will hit on June 8th — the 16GB version will cost you $499 and the 32GB $599. The 8.9 is $469 and $569 for 16GB and 32GB, respectively.
The music industry wants LimeWire to pay up to $75 trillion in damages after losing a copyright infringement claim. That’s right … $75 trillion. Manhattan federal Judge Kimba Wood has labeled this request “absurd.”
You’re telling me. To put that number into perspective (I bet a lot of you didn’t even know “trillion” was a real number), the U.S. GDP is around 14 trillion — less than one fifth of what the music industry is requesting. Heck, the GDP of the entire world is between 59 and 62 trillion. That’s right, the music industry wants LimeWire to pay more money than exists in the entire world.
According to Law.com, the RIAA and the 13 record companies that are suing LimeWire for copyright infringement have demanded damages ranging from $400 billion to $75 trillion, and have claimed that Section 504(c)(1) of the Copyright Act allow them to request damages for each instance of infringement where two or more parties were liable. In other words, the RIAA thinks it should be entitled to damages not only for the individual works, but for every time that work was infringed (i.e. downloaded by another user).
At the moment, about 11,000 songs have been identified as “infringed” material, and each song probably has probably been downloaded thousands of times. The RIAA thinks it should be compensated for each individual download.
Judge Wood disagrees. In a 14-page ruling (PDF), Judge Wood said that the music industry is entitled only to a “single statutory damage award from Defendants per work infringed,” for several reasons, including “Absurd Result.” According to the document, the “Plaintiffs’ position on statutory damages also offends the ‘canon that we should avoid endorsing statutory interpretations that would lead to absurd results.’”
The document goes on to read: “As it stands now, Defendants face a damage award that ‘could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, if not over a billion dollars.’”
Judge Wood also points out that “if one multiplies the maximum statutory damage award ($150,000) by approximately 10,000 post-1972 works, Defendants face a potential award of over a billion dollars in statutory damages alone. If Plaintiffs were able to pursue a statutory damage theory predicated on the number of direct infringers per work, Defendants’ damages could reach into the trillions. As Defendants note, Plaintiffs are suggesting an award that is ‘more money than the entire music recording industry has made since Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1877.’”
This “absurd results” clause isn’t anything new, Judge Wood points out. She mentions the 2010 Arista Records LLC v. Usenet.com, Inc. case, in which Arista Records requested the court calculate the damages by multiplying the maximum amount of damages ($150,000) by the number of infringements (878), or $131,700,000. The court found the defendants liable for $6,585,000, by multiplying the number of infringements by $7,500.
Unfortunately, this still isn’t great news for LimeWire — while Judge Wood says the music industry is entitled to only a single statutory damage award per infringed work, there are still 11,000 works. That means LimeWire could still be liable for damages in excess of one billion.
The folks over at MacRumors heard a story that’s unsourced and most likely apocryphal, but it’s just too good to not share. According to “an individual close to Apple,” the company in Cupertino has been going over iPad 2 returns to keep track of various problems with the new tablet, and among the returns was one affixed with just a little Post-it note saying something every would-be early tech adopter husband will probably understand: “Wife says no.”
Supposedly, the return was sent up the corporate lines as something funny, and as MacRumors says, “two of the VPs got wind of it.” They decided to do something nice for the guy, and reportedly sent him out a free iPad 2, along with their own note: “Apple says yes.”
Very cute. We’ve contacted Apple to see if there’s any truth to this one, and we’ll let you know if we hear back. Urban legend or not, it’s a great story.
Building on the growing number of rumors pointing to a larger screen on the iPhone 5, 9to5Mac cites a reliable source at Foxconn who divulged that the iPhone 5 will soon begin the normal stages of mass production. More tantalizing, though, is that the iPhone 5, while looking similar to the iPhone 4, will come with a larger screen.
For the last few months we have been working feverishly on something very very special for iPhone and iPad users. Something totally new. Something very exciting. Something imbued with #TigerBlood. It’s our brand new TweetDeck app for iPhone and iPad and you’re so going to love it.
Our Android app set a new level for not just mobile Twitter apps, but Android apps in general. Still gaining great reviews, Android TweetDeck also defined a new era of TweetDeck design, form and function. For our brand new iPhone/iPad app, we have taken this level of quality and innovation and built in a whole bucketful of magic to create a TweetDeck app that will raise the bar for iOS apps just like we did for Android.
This totally new, fully iOS4-compatible TweetDeck app has been built completely from scratch. It is not only the most powerful and flexible mobile app we have ever produced, but also the most jaw-droppingly beautiful. This is the app your retina display has been crying out for.
Now this is the sort of activity you’d expect from a true search giant. Instead of sitting on its hands during the tsunami that has stricken Japan today, Google has put together a Person Finder tool where people worried about the plight of their loved ones can look them up by name. There are only a few thousand records up on the site at the moment, but it should still be a useful repository for missing person data, particularly since mobile networks were taken down by the tsunami’s damage earlier this morning. Information should also start piling up as recovery efforts continue. Let’s just hope this Person Finder won’t have to be used for too long and things can be brought back to normal soon.
Most of us are familiar with LCD technology. You probably have an LCD monitor in front of you right now. There may be an LCD TV sitting in your living room, or bedroom, at this very second. You know that LCD screens come with a power cord. You plug it in and your screen comes to life.
But what if you did not have to plug in your LCD at all? What if it soaked up the light in the room to power itself?
Samsung is betting that consumers will be intrigued enough by the idea to make it worth the purchase. They have tweaked their existing transparent LCD technology, it is now energy efficient enough that it can be powered by ambient light alone. That’s right, just the light in the room, no cords and no batteries to replace.
A prototype of the technology was debuted at CeBIT 2011.
The prototype featured a 46-inch screen that supported full HD resolution video, at 1920x1080 pixels. The screen was also able to act as a full ten finger touchscreen. The company does have plans for commercial models in the works, but they were not too forthcoming with details such as when devices may be available or how much they will cost. This may have something to do with the fact that this technology is still in development. During the demo the touch screen did have some problems.
There are some rumors of Samsung using this technology to develop larger panels than the ones currently in existence. The biggest panels that the company currently releases is a 65-inch model.
Break out the Kleenex. A dog that was euthanized at an over-crowded Oklahoma shelter made a miraculous recovery from the deadly injections a day after his body was discarded in a trash dumpster, believed to be dead. The three-month-old black and white puppy was found walking around inside the bin, and has been officially named WALL-E — after the Pixar trash compactor robot in the 2008 movie of the same name.
WALL-E tells the tale of a lone robot who is stranded on Earth in the year 2805, after the planet has been evacuated and covered in trash. An army of WALL-Es were sent to clean up the mess, but only one remains. The dog WALL-E shares a similar story. He is the only pup from his litter to survive the euthanasia — the rest were put down as intended. WALL-E and his littermates were left outside the shelter, where staff found them “thin” and “sickly.” The miracle dog does have hookworms, fleas and parasites, but has started treatments and appears to be otherwise healthy.
An Oklahoma vet has been caring for WALL-E since the bizarre events unfolded, and hundreds of people have been vying to adopt him since an ad was posted on PetFinder.com. Vet Amanda Kloski wrote on the popular pet adoption site, “We have NEVER had the problem (or BLESSING) of more than one family wishing to adopt a dog. Most of our dogs do not get this chance or opportunity even ONCE.” It’s always reassuring to know that happy endings don’t just happen in the movies.
Last night, I was browsing through story after story on the interwebs that hoped to help people decide on a tablet purchase by comparing the Motorola Xoomspecifications with the iPad 2. From multitasking to chip speed to RAM, analysists attempted to find consumers the best possible value for the money.
When it comes to tablets, it’s not about the specs. It’s about user experience. It’s about the way we use the device and how the device fits itself to the way we want to use it.
Why has the iPad been killing the netbook this past year? Compared to netbooks, the iPad offers the same feature set for the same users, with a far better engineered device. Anyone who has used a netbook for light surfing, for e-mail, and for enjoying media and then tried out the iPad gets it.
The iPad provides a lighter, slimmer, easier-to-use interface that accomplishes the same tasks without the awkward netbook geometries and keyboard that come between a user and what he or she is trying to do. You don’t have to touchpad your way to an on-screen item. You just touch it.
And then there’s the Xoom. The Xoom isn’t a netbook, or a netbook wanna-be. It’s a computer. A big old honking computer. With a touch screen. It’s what you get when you let engineers build something without designers and artists cracking the whip and instilling fear into them.
Sure, the Xoom does better multitasking. Sure, it has lots of nifty bells and whistles, chips and ports. But chips and ports are not why people buy iPads.
People buy iPads because a 2-year-old human or a dimwitted cat can figure out how to use one. People buy iPads because an iPad does everything the user wants it to do and more than the user expects. It does so beautifully, revolutionarily, and, dare I say it, magically.
Picking the iPad is not about the Apple logo on the back — or at least not directly. It isn’t about some sort of Pavlovian response or cult mentality or drinking the Kool-Aid. Buying an iPad is about solid design and user experience, and the overall quality of the purchase. It’s about what the iPad does; not just what it could do, which is not really of interest to most people in the end.
If you have the money and want to buy a tablet computer instead of a iPad, sure, go ahead and pick up the Xoom. It’s your money, and your choice.
Then just wait until this fall when Lion goes tablet and knocks the Xoom out of the water. Because I think it probably will. Educated guess, but I’m willing to stake some money on Apple bringing out a Lion-based touch computer. One that will make the Xoom look paleolithic.
Apple gets touch. Apple’s engineers and designers understand touch. They design touch. Touch is not just about sticking a capacitive screen on a computer. It’s about designing a different way for users to interact from the ground up.
Specs support that design. They don’t define it.
— I would have to agree. Google has never really had good designers, not to say that their design is lacking but as I have always said, they lack polish. iOS4 is great when it is stock but if you want a little more then you have to jailbreak it. This is not the same with Android but the problem with Android is that it isn’t great when it is stock. I do like the iPad but I don’t think having a computer for a tablet is a bad thing. I want a computer that’s portable. If they do intend to release Lion for the iPad then it may prove quite a challenge for other tablets.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words — but in this case, a picture is worth tens of billions of dollars in market share. Nielsen has broken down its US smartphone market share stats between November and January in two dimensions — by market share and by platform — and stuffed all that data into a single block of mesmerizing color. It’s interesting to see the Apple and RIM juggernauts flanked by two imposing, red slivers of HTC, isn’t it? The research firm also took a look at platforms by age group; the shares are surprisingly consistent across the board, though Android does have a slight edge with the young’uns. Follow the break for that chart.
Before the Super Turbo Hyper BBQ HD Ultra Mega Remixes there was just plain ol’ Street Fighter 2, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. Capcom posted a birthday reminder for its classic fighter, which was born two decades ago in the arcades (remember those?).
Since 1991, Street Fighter 2 has seen six arcade iterations and near countless ports across consoles, PCs and handhelds (Tiger even!). Chances are you’ve played the game a time or two … and had your pixelated butt unceremoniously handed to you.
Shockingly enough, Apple found plenty of things to tweak and update on its spectacularly successful iPad. Alright, so the screen resolution didn’t improve and we didn’t get that ultra-speedy Thunderbolt connector on board, but the iPad 2 is thinner and lighter while somehow becoming more powerful — a 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 SOC lurks within. Check out our full breakdown of the key spec differences in the chart after the break. It’s great fun, we promise!
P.S. - While you’re poring over these stats, don’t forget that Apple’s decided to slap a $100 price cut on the original iPads, making them eminently more desirable today than they were yesterday.
Google’s notoriously generous at developer events, tossing out freedevices like candy on Halloween, but here at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco it’s letting them flow like wine. Each attendee at Google’s Web Developer Day yesterday got a free Cr-48 laptop, and today the company dished out even greater prizes — either a free Motorola Xoom tablet or a Nexus S smartphone to every soul listening to some exceedingly well-attended technical sessions on Android. That’s certainly one way to attract game developers to your platform.
I went to an Austin cake show today, and amid several superhero cakes, wedding confections and some impressive feats of fondant I stumbled upon an ode to Angry Birds. I don’t know who entered the cake, as the entry forms don’t offer personal details, but if I were judging this competition, it would get my vote.