Samsung owes Apple a LOT of Money

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If you think that Apple is too pricey for charging $1000 for a bottom line laptop, get a load of this.

After a long, heated dispute on patent infringements that took a staggering 21 hours in court, Apple’s bill for Samsung comes out to $1.049 BILLION dollars.

To put that in perspective, the US treasury’s cash balance is around 75 billion. Samsung owes Apple around 1.4% of the worth of the US treasury.

But what for? I could go through the entire list, but it basically comes down to Apple’s design patents from device exteriors to the packaging of a plethora of Samsung’s products.

For the 21.5 hour period, the jury was deciding on some “inconsistencies” on two of the products: The LTE-enabled Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Samsung Intercept. It was decided that Samsung would owe around $200,000 for the Tab, even though nobody formally noted any patent infringements.

About the Samsung Intercept, Samsung made some stupid error that isn’t really important enough to mention and they owe an extra $2,000,000 for that.

So finally, the long tale comes to an end, with an unfortunately typical ending: Money —–> Apple.

HP TouchPad Discontinues, Disappears

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The HP TouchPad has had terrible sales, and as a result it was discontinued by HP and put on a sale of $99. Within hours, the HP online store was sold out, and every store that carries them in the bay area was out of stock within 3 hours of opening.

At $99, I wanted one. Last night I called best buy and they said that they would start the sale this morning. This morning I call 10 minutes after opening and they tell me they’re out of stock. I call every Walmart, Best Buy, Costco, Office Max, Office Depot, Staples, and Radio Shack in the area – all out of stock.

Now it’s 11:00. Nobody has them anymore, and it’s as if they never existed.

It’s amazing how an unwanted product can sell out at the right price. Every product is a features:price ratio. If you have terrible features (HP TouchPad) and a low price ($99) you will get good sales (out of stock in 3 hours).

If your’e looking for a Touchpad, you’re probably out of luck. The 32GB version is still available on the HP online store for $150, but I think that’s a little bit of a ripoff.

Where’s those thunderbolt devices?

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Fourth months ago, a new MacBook Pro line was released. And as I said here, it was a total disappointment. The biggest thing on it was probably the new “Thunderbolt” port, which is a port with the same form-factor as the Mini DisplayPort, however it allows for transfer up to 10 GBPS. Yah, that’s fast.

Everyone I talked to said that it was awesome; it would be so good to use.

My argument was that it was too proprietary – Only three models of computers have that port, so why would a manufacturer go after making products for it?

The usual argument was that “It will standardize and products will be released for it eventually.”

Okay…

So here we are four months later, and the only product I’ve ever seen compatible with the thunderbolt port is an external hard drive from LaCie.

That’s it.

So….. Where’s those thunderbolt devices?

I believe that thunderbolt was (and still is) a total failure. Nobody uses it – and because no body uses it, manufacturers won’t create devices for it. And because manufacturers won’t create devices for it, nobody uses it. It’s a total loop – a manufacturer would have to make a product for it, so people would use it, so other manufacturers would make more products for it.

Nowadays, the only other computer line with a thunderbolt port is the most recent line-up of iMacs, which few people have.

But there still is hope for Thunderbolt. If every single Mac gets a thunderbolt port, after a while every Mac that is in use will have a port – that’s when manufacturers will start making products for it.

But until then, don’t expect much from Thunderbolt.

Motorola Xoom Tablet: First Impressions

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While at the Launch Conference, I got to play with Robert Scoble’s Motorola Xoom. Here’s what I thought.

Software:

Honeycomb was quite a bit mesmerizing. It looked beautiful on that tablet’s screen, and it’s 3D rendering capabilities showed on the home screen. The speed was pretty good, and the browser seemed extremely nice and smooth to use. The software side of this tablet really shined in speed and smoothness of effects, and this tablet would have been terrible with anything but honeycomb.

Also, remember when BumpTop was bought by Google?

Well, turns out they used some of their 3D stuff in Honeycomb. Good to see such an awesome piece of software go to a good cause!

Hardware

Lets start off with this: I hated the widescreen layout. I prefer to use my iPad in horizontal mode because when reading you can see a lot more, therefore you don’t have to scroll as much, and the Xoom sideways resulted in a very overwhelming layout that was like a widescreen monitor turned sideways.

I HATED the location of the power button. It’s in a very odd place in the back. Someone had to literally show me where the power button was. If you can’t immediately turn it on without any doubt of the power button location, you know that there’s a problem with your product.

The two cameras? Absolutely terrible. They don’t even have an auto focus, or a focus at all. I would never even attempt to take a picture with this thing.

Conclusion

Overall, it’s a nice product, but the screen annoyed me, the power button takes getting used to, and the cameras aren’t even worth having. They are worse than nothing, because you get to see what it would be like to have a camera on a tablet, but a terrible implementation of it.

And for $800? Don’t think so.

 

BlackPad. What now.

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So all of the other smartphone companies are drooling over the sales of the iPad. So they are all trying to make their own tablet.

But it seems that they all have to take their name (or part of it) and put PAD at the end. That will be two more products that people are going to be commenting on their revalance to a female hygiene product. That’s just what we needed.

So first we have the iPad.

Then we have the palmpad.

And now watch out for the BlackPad by our friends RIM!

They should’ve called it the blackbook are blacklet or for heavens sakes the Blackberry 6″.

So RIM hasn’t officially confirmed that the blackpad exists, but RIM has indeed bought the domain BlackPad.com. I think we all know where that leads.

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Palmpad?

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You have to be kidding me.

So a few months ago, you may have noticed that palm was dying in the dust, and one of the most unexpected things happened: HP bought palm. When you look back on it, it was smart. The Windows 7 slate wasn’t performing well at all, and palm was a dying company with some really great technology.

We all knew that a slate with webOS was on it’s way. But what I’m trying to point out is it’s physical appearance and the name. It seems like HP might just be copying apple.

First, look at that picture. How can you tell me that doesn’t look much like a sideways iPAD? It just happens to be running an interface identical to Palm’s webOS.

Second, the name. Another PAD?! It seems like this:

iPhone–>iPad

Palm Pre–> Palmpad

But there’s one difference: Only one of those pads was an original idea, not a copycat.

But I’ve asked about the slate before. I had a chat with the CTO of HP, Phil McKinney and I joked that I had almost brought in my iPad to take notes (that would have been a lolz), and I also said that I would have brought my slate. He confirmed to me that the launch would indeed be in 2010. And I was definitely curious when people said that the slate was vaporware. Also, Phil had never said a thing about Palm. That came as a complete surprise. But here we have it, the no-longer vaporware previously known as Slate, now known as the Palmpad. I’m still a little unhappy about the name because it is a complete copycat…

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My thoughts on the new iPad

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The iPad was THE BIG announcement on 1/27. It is the once-rumored tablet was awaited for months, and it’s finally here. the wall street journal said, “the last time I saw this much excitement about a tablet it had some commandments written on it.” Well, here it is with positive and negative opinion, but here are my thoughts:

Many of the negative opinions state that the iPad is just “an oversized iPod Touch”, which I don’t disagree with. But it’s so much better. Between the amazing redesign taking advantage of the bigger screen Also, the keyboard is now almost full-sized. Plus you can get the keyboard dock for it to use a physical keyboard, or if you already have the apple wireless keyboard you can connect that through bluetooth as well. I completely forgive the keyboard for these two things.

Another amazing thing is the iBookstore, the store of iBooks. I find it quite awesome, but the prices NOT so awesome….

The iPad has a custom built silicone chip called the A4, built by apple’s hardware team in constant with the software team, which gives an amazing level of performance. this is absent in the iPod touch and iPhone. I assume you have heard of the game DoodleJump, #1 in the App Store. Now imagine playing that on a ten inch screen. who can’t call that awesome?

10 Hours of battery life? Wow….. That’s a lot…. The movie watching experience is so amazing due to the LED backlit display, which also has IPS allowing you to view the iPad from 178º with a completely clear contrast of color etc.they have also redesigned the iWork suite for the iPad. Now I’m sold. Yet only a few more months….. Did I mention they are coming out with a 3G version? Check this out: for 250MB per month, you only have to pay $15. Even better, for UNLIMITED 3G data you can pay a monthly fee for only $30!! Also, there is NOO contract, and you can cancel anytime. There is still one HUUUGEE flaw in well not exactly the device, but the network the 3G plan is on: AT&T SUCKS!!! I might be okay If I didn’t have any dropped calls but all of the dropped calls and lack of service AT MY HOUSE made me switch…. I have had 1 dropped call since I’ve had Verizon, and that doesn’t mean the 3G data coverage would be any better….

But I must say my favorite feature is the price. Everybody was so sure that it would be $999, which apple mentioned was predicted at the announcements. But the price for the lowest end 16GB WiFi only model is……. $499!!!!!!1 WOOHOO!!!! For 32 to 64, you need to add a hundred bucks more…. worth it? I dunno… Also, the same applies for the WiFi +3G version, but it all costs an extra $130 for the 3G radio… Overall, my opinion concludes to….

OMG I WANT ONE

Wacom Bamboo

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Yup, another product review. I am almost out of freeware, and I have been resorting to web apps. Therefore, there may be blogging less frequently. But to keep it this way (weekly), please click some of the ads in the sidebar. Every click counts!
The Bamboo ($80) is definitely the best 1 week in advance of purchase thing I’ve ever bought. Basically, wacom makes pen displays and tablets. the Bamboo is a Pen Tablet. While at a friend’s house, I tried out their older version of the intuous. I was amazed at what accuracy and speed you could achieve. Of course it was a little hard when I first picked it up, because it is a little different from a mouse. The bamboo has a square surface. If I hover 3-5 mm over the surface of the active area (the inner square) with the pen in the exact middle, the pointer will go straight to the middle of the display. Basically, while hovering, the position of the tablet is the same as the position on the display. to click, just touch the pen tip to the surface of the tablet. Do this twice in a row quickly and you have just double-clicked. The bamboo is pretty much just a faster way to navigate, draw, touch-up photos and even hand-write notes.
Let’s take a look at the pen.
As you can see, then pan has 2 programmable side switches. By default, hover over the tablet (3-5 mm) and push the top button to right click. hold the bottom button while moving the mouse from bottom to top of a document/webpage/anything window. Basically, it is a pan/scroll. Personally, I have found that it’s a lot easier to have the bottom button to be right click and the top button scroll/pan. Other than that, there really is nothing much to it.
Let’s take a closer look at the tablet.
The inner and lighter square is called the active area. This is where the pen is responsive. But over all that you see these buttons called ExpressKeys™. You can assign these to do pretty much anything from forward/back to open an application/do a keystroke. The inner circle is a touch sensitive ring. you can have this zoom in or scroll. It is not the nicest piece of touch sensitivity I have ever used (the iPod touch is!) though. But being a 2 monitor person, I ned a way of switching between them. To do this I have to go into system preferences and select which monitor I want–Monitor 1, Monitor 2, or I can even have it go across both monitors if I want. But If I was on my extended monitor (Monitor 2) there would be no way for me to access the system preferences to change back to monitor 1. So I only had 1 thing left to do: The ExpressKeys™. If I could use the left arrow to go to the left monitor, right arrow to go to the right monitor, and the FN1 do span across both, it old be perfect. But how? There is no setting for those keys to do that. So I used something I’ve never used before: Automator. Id never used it, but it was actually really easy. To do monitor 1, I just hit record, open system preferences from the dock, go to Pen Tablet, go to details, monitor 1, close, then go into the menu and hit quit Then I stop the Automator logger. I can then save it as an application, which I then programmed the right ExpressKey to do that.
Overall, for the price tag of $80, i’ll give this one a 6 out of 5. AMAZING! The things I can do with it are amazing.
Check out what I’ve done in photoshop with it so far!:
Wave Of Emotion
Waterfall of life

Sea of creativity

Psychedelic

Flocks Of Love
Flashback

Explosion

Cruise of life

Braindump