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August 31 2012


August 29 2012


Apple’s Billion Dollar Storytelling

Apple’s victory over Samsung in a recent smartphone patent brawl netted the company over a billion dollars in damages and, more importantly for Apple, might have strategically slowed the rise of the Korean tech juggernaught that today provides phones to 26 percent of all U.S. mobile subcribers according to comScore.

But what clinched Apple the win, one of the largest patent awards ever on record? Storytelling, according to jurer interviews by the Wall Street Journal.

For Samsung, the story it had to get across was that Apple’s patents weren’t as crucially innovative as Apple claimed them to be, and Apple had to tell the story of a Samsung copycat. ”The Apple lawyers were better at presenting their case,” juror Manuel Ilagan said to the Journal.

Of particular strength was a visual that showed Samsung phones before and after the iPhone came out.

The Journal quotes presiding juror Velvin Hogan to say that it seemed that Samsung didn’t tell a narrative that rose to their intellectual level of its audience. “It was just thrown out there to cause what they perceived to be an unschooled jury,” said Hogan, an engineer and patent holder.

Hogan reports to have “essentially ignored” paid experts and “saw through some of Samsung’s courtroom gambits.”

The storytelling device stood out the most: A chart.

Juror Ilagan says they were pursuaded by a visual comparison of Samsung devices before and after the iPhone was introduced. “It was obvious there was some copying going on,” he told the Journal.

The Apple/Samsung showdown is a reminder of the trumping power of storytelling — a power you don’t have to bill $582 an hour to wield effectively.

January 12 2012


Wearing Our Computers on Our Sleeves

It's natural to imagine our computers as devices that have screens and some sort of keyboard input, real or virtual.

Those two design elements constrain the device's form factor because the screens need to be big enough for us to see and the keyboards must make room for our fingers or thumbs. But a number of technological hurdles are being overcome that will, in the coming year, dramatically alter the shape of our computing and communication devices. We are about to enter the world of wearable computing.


Before the end of 2012 many of us will be sporting bracelets, watches, fobs and other fashion doodads that will send us messages or convey data to our phones, computers and the Internet.


These devices already exist.


The rise of the wearable device

Apple's year-old iPod Nano is being worn as a watch. There are at least a half-dozen companies making watch straps specifically for it. The Nano is a touch-screen iPod, a radio, a Nike running monitor, a photo frame and, of course, a watch -- with 18 different fashion faces. Apple's already considering the next step.

The Up Band, a thin, colorful bracelet from Jambox, captures biometrics about your exercise and sleep patterns and, when you plug it into your computer, sends that data to the Internet so you can see and share your health data. The Fitbit, a pedometer updated for online, does the same sort of tracking, but attaches to your belt, not your wrist.


But these are just the early vanguard of wearable computers that will be much more powerful and versatile. That shift will be fueled by four major trends: improved short-range communication protocols, flexible screens, and better battery life and voice recognition.

Protocols first. A new Bluetooth standard, Bluetooth 4.0, is now being built into smartphones and upcoming wearables. Standard Bluetooth 2.0 is a wireless communications protocol that allows smartphones to "talk" to earpieces.

But Bluetooth 4.0 uses less power and allows devices to "pair" with each other almost instantly. That means that a smartphone in your pocket can share information with a watch or bracelet on your wrist. That information could be the text of an incoming SMS, email or alert. Or, it could just be a signal that makes the bracelet flash blue if you have a new message, green if you've received a new email, or red if you've gotten an important alert.


Or, you could sport earrings that subtly buzz on your earlobes to signal arriving missives.


Of course, it could also have more serious uses, conveying health-monitoring data from patients to their smartphones and on to their doctors via the web, for example.


The devices could also support Near Field Communication (NFC) protocol so that your watch or bracelet could act as a transit token or a movie ticket by touching it to a point-of-purchase pad, much the way the Presto card in Canada works now.


A smart bracelet is possible due to advances made in flexible screens -- often OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) -- printed on a plastic backing. Such screens can arc along a circular bracelet. These screens display text, images and have a refresh rate high enough to show video. Cheaper e-ink screens (like those in Kindles and Kobo eReaders) have already been made of flexible backing and are being used to display color and monochrome data and images. It's easy to imagine an inexpensive bracelet that can, chameleon-like, alter its appearance based on sensors that detect a change in ambient temperature, surrounding colors or the vital signs of its wearer. Samsung is already working on flexible screens that will show up in wearable devices this year.


Of course, none of these wearables would work without power. Some, like watches or bracelets, could be powered by solar cells built as a layer of the display screen. Or, since the charging capacity of lithium-ion cells is improving dramatically and the Bluetooth 4.0 standard sips power, they could be powered by small, thin rechargeable cells.

Intelligent ears

Finally, these upcoming wearable computers can have intelligent ears. Siri, the speech-recognition technology now in iPhones, could power speech-recognizing earrings or watches. The wearable device, of course, would not do the speech-recognition work itself. It would just pass the captured speech to your smartphone via Bluetooth 4, then the phone would compress that audio data, send it to the Internet for Siri servers to decode, and then translate the text and send it as an SMS or email, sending a confirming alert back to your watch.

Why does this matter to us? Because these gadgets will become the next wave of communication devices, as different from tablets as tablets are from desktop computers. As journalists, we need to understand what's coming and ask important questions like -- how do you tell a story to a wristwatch?

Wayne MacPhail is a veteran journalist who now heads up w8nc inc., helping non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, charitable organizations and associations develop and implement technology-based, marketing driven communications strategies. MacPhail also teaches online journalism at the University of Western Ontario and Ryerson University. He serves on the board of rabble.ca where he founded the rabble podcast network and rabbletv. He's a tech columnist for the website.


This article was originally published on J-Source. J-Source and MediaShift have a content-sharing arrangement.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

July 29 2011


66pc of Q2 smartphone profit among top vendors: Apple's iPhone

BGR :: With just two smartphone models available for sale, Apple took in two thirds of profits from smartphone sales in the second quarter among the top eight vendors in the world. The news comes following Strategy Analytics’ confirmation that Apple is also the world’s top smartphone vendor by volume. Four of the eight major smartphone vendors were profitable in the June quarter — Samsung, Apple, RIM and HTC — while Nokia, Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson all reported losses.

Continue to read Zach Epstein, www.bgr.com

June 17 2011


Patent infringement - Apple had taken to referring to Samsung simply as “the copyist”

AllThingsD :: Apple ramped up the rhetoric in its patent infringement battle with Samsung on Thursday, filing an amended complaint that includes more allegedly infringing devices and stronger accusations that the company copied the look and feel of its iPhone and iPad.  Which is saying a lot, because as of its last court filing, Apple had taken to referring to Samsung simply as “the copyist.

Continue to read John Paczkowski, allthingsd.com

September 01 2010




Yesterday ViewSonic unveiled the ViewPad 7, not a very good one.

And tomorrow SAMSUNG will present its first Android 7-inch Galaxy Tablet (the iPad is 9.7 inches)

So iPad competitors are here and the winners will be… you and me, the consumers.

Expect immediate reaction from Apple.

And a new, better and cheaper iPad model very soon.

More competition is always good.

Another reason not to miss the INMA/NIEMAN/INNOVATION Harvard Tablet Summit.

Cambridge, December 2-3, 2010.

A Worldwide Summit to learn, master and share new ideas.

Be there!

April 14 2010




Roy Greensland writes a good headline:

Would Murdoch have spent £650m on a print plant if the iPad had been around?

Well, his response will be YES.

But as Burda or Rusbidger, I am sure that they know that these are tha last huge printing presses that the buy.

Printing is not our business.

Vertical integration is not the right strategy.

Universities need buildings but they don’t own construction companies.

And the cars of Ford needed tires and many years ago owned big rubber plantations in Brazil.


Yes, the 10,000 km² of land of Fordlandia!

So are the new mobile digital tablets going to be the next BIG IDEA?


But no media company needs to become an Apple, Microsoft, Samsung or Nokia…

We are not in the bottling business.

We are in the wine business.

Content matters.

Platforms, no.

Newsprint will survive.

Printing presses will survive…

But journalism will not need them like in the past.

More cheap, green and efficient digital platforms will be available in less than three years.

So cheap that media publishers will be more than happy to give these devices free to their subscribers.

When you see than in less than 10 days the photo application of The Guardian has generated 50,000 downloads, you know that the iPad and the digital tablet are here to stay.

January 08 2010


Next step news delivery – Sky News’ TV widget

Sky News feeds will be built in to viewers’ TV sets thanks to a new development from Yahoo and Samsung.

The Sky News TV widget, developed by the Yahoo Widget Engine, will be available on internet-connected TVs from Samsung. Selecting the TV widget will add a menu of the latest headlines and news stories from Sky to the programme being watched:

The widget will be available in just the UK from later this month. It will feature top stories, UK news, politics, sport, business, world news and showbiz news as channels and will be free to use with no requirement to subscribe to a Sky TV package.

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