Friday Four: Apple-Samsung-Google Roundup, Robot Cars, and Kindle Sells OutAugust 31, 2012 11:22 am ·
The Apple-Samsung soap opera continues as international courts give their own opinions on the patent catfight.
In a complete reversal from the outcome of the case here in the States, a court in Tokyo has ruled that Samsung did not in fact copy Apple’s patented design, and that Apple must pay all of Samsung’s court fees too. It begs the question, are we looking at a simple cross-town, erm, cross-ocean rivalry, as each court seems to be loyal to their “local” favorite? This week the courts in Seoul also ruled that Apple infringed on two of Samsung’s patents, though they allowed that Samsung did violate one of Apple’s.
The Google roundup: Not to be overshadowed by the drama between Apple and Samsung, Google has some gossip items of their own. It sounds like they are trying to play Switzerland in the case, as CEO Larry Page and Apple’s Tim Cook have been meeting not-so-secretly to discuss their own patent issues. Since Samsung’s devices use Google’s Android OS, we say kudos to Google in their effort to play nice.
Going the way of Wave, Notebook, and a number of other fails, Google has made the decision to shut down their TV ads product. Traditional media advertising attempts have failed before; they shut down radio and print ads back in 2009. See, what they don’t understand is that you can’t have ethical business practices in old media advertising- you need shifty salespeople and disregard for your product.
Oh well, out with the old and in with the new; this week they presented their offering of Google+ for Business, which will be free until 2013. Although G+ is a social network, the enterprise tools are not designed to boost digital marketing for businesses. Instead, they are intended to facilitate internal communication, with the ability to create protected posts and will use their video chat mechanism, Hangouts, as video conferencing. Google+ has thus far been an attractive social network, but nobody seems to actually spend time on it. If businesses start to take advantage, it could finally be the social giant we all hoped it could be.
In non-Google (but still Google because what isn’t) related news, California legislators passed a bill to approve autonomous cars on public roads. The bill would set forth rules for robot cars to be allowed to drive you around while you text your friends to your heart’s content so you can finally decide where to go for lunch. State lawmakers were able to make their decision after taking a ride in one of Google’s self-driving cars. The last line of the bill asserts that when the Governor signs it, Google will legally have to change their name to Skynet.
Yesterday morning, Amazon announced that the Kindle Fire is completely sold out forever and ever. We all rolled our eyes and pictured them dumping their inventory in the ocean, getting ready to announce their lineup of shiny new toys at their press conference in Santa Monica, CA, next week. Not 24 hours later, leaked images of a possible reader referred to as “Paperwhite Kindle” emerge on The Verge. The new device will have “higher contrast, high resolution, integrated lighting, and eight weeks of battery life.” Eight weeks even when the light is on? Alright, Amazon, you have my attention.