Well, well, well; it looks like Apple has been caught altering the data that Siri returns to their users when asked specific questions. Last week it was reported that when users asked Siri “What is the best smartphone” it replied with the answer The Nokia Lumia 900. Now Apple has previously stated that the information from Siri all comes from WolframAlpha “computational knowledge engine” (pronounce that search engine) and they have no power to alter the data that Siri sends.
With every new product that hits the market there are going to be winners and losers. This is true from CPUs to GPU s and everything in between. There is one place where this is more true than any other segment of the market; this is the mobile market. Now the mobile market does not just mean phones (smart or dumb). This market includes everything from portable power sources to fully fledged desktop replacement notebooks. Currently the most competitive market is in the Tablet world. To most people Apple is king. They have the most successful tablet device out and are well into the second generation of the iPad. But first does not always mean best nor does popularity alone indicate complete success (although it certainly helps). Today we have the chance to take a look at one of the competitors to Apple. Not necessarily the iPad, although it will challenge that device in a major way, this is more of a direct threat to the Apple fan base and their tablet/ultra-portable devices. This is the EEE Slate EP121 (also called the EEE Pad) from Asus; a product launched at CES and one that packs quite a bit of hardware including an Intel Core i5 Dual Core CPU and up to 4GB of RAM. So sit back for a good read and decide for yourself if this one falls into the winner’s group or the losers.
After being impressed with the House of Marley’s Redemption Song On-Ear headphones we have now spent some time with their Zion In-Ear head phones. These follow in the same style as the Redemption Song headphones and are made of recycled or renewable materials. They also follow in the trend of being tuned for high quality sound and are designed for use with Apple’s lineup of products (iPad, iPod, iPhone) but will work with just about any media player or smart phone (with a few exceptions). With a price tag of $99.99 we are hoping that these headphones give us the same level of performance that we saw with the Redemption Song. Follow the bouncing ball and sing along as we tell your just how well they perform.
Apple is famous for many things. They are famous for making the iPhone and iPad, they are famous for their never ending stream of patents for things that already exist and last but not least they are famous for making sure that you cannot use their mobile products without their approval. You see if you buy an iDevice your core file system is pretty much locked down. Now there are ways to get into the file system and move things around, but it can get messy and things do not always make the transition intact. The other side of this is that there is no way to add more storage to any of their products. It is not like an Android or Windows based tablet with an SD card slot or USB ports. So what can you do if you bought one of the 16GB non-3G iPads or if you only own the iPad touch? Kingston has an answer for you. Kingston has put their expertise in making flash drives to good use and attached a flash drive to a wireless controller that can also act as a wireless bridge. They are calling it the Wi-Drive and when you pair this up with the WiDrive app from the AppStore you might just have a relatively low cost answer to a lot of people’s needs. So follow along as we take a look at the $180 32GB Wi-Drive on a first generation iPad.
In our second dive into the Non-Apple Tablet market we take a look at one of the more popular Android based tablets available right now. This is the Asus EEE Pad TF101 known more affectionately as the Transformer. This 10.1-inch Tegra 2 sporting device was first shown off at CES earlier this year. It generated quite a bit of interest as it not only works as a tablet but also has an available dock that lets you use it like a small netbook (and get a few extra hours of battery life). The Transformer comes in two flavors; one with 16GB of internal storage and one with 32GB. Other than that they are identical. You get the dual 1GHz Tegra 2 SoC (which features an nVidia GPU core and Cuda Acceleration for Flash) plus 3D SRS surround sound, MicroSD and SD Card readers (the SD card comes with the Dock) and much more. The best part of all of this is that you can get the 16GB Transformer with Dock for only $50 more than an iPad 2 16GB WiFi. Now the question is, is it worth that much and have we found a non-Windows tablet that is anything other than a toy? Read on to find out.
Apple is in an interesting position right now and it is one that we are not sure will work out to their benefit. Although Apple is following other smart phone manufacturers and catching up to where they were 2 years ago they are also working very hard to patent items that should NEVER be allowed. Because of this we have a feeling that Apple will be pushing their legal battle on the smartphone and tablet front even harder than before. The problem is that they will only come out looking bad in the end especially overseas where some of the courts are starting to wake up to Apple’s pattern of broad “attack” patents meant for use against competitors.
Judge Lucy Koh has apparently decided the fate of the Samsung V Apple case all on her own. In fact she has even ordered evidence to be destroyed. Now correct me if I am wrong, but why on earth would ANY judge interested in making a sound and fair decision ask for evidence to be destroyed. The only reason I can think of is that Luck Koh knows that the evidence is valid and would hurt Apple significantly during this trial. It is apparently also something that Samsung knows as well. Samsung are the ones that leaked this rejected evidence to the press. The move was partly to prove the point that Apple borrowed from Sony for the iPhone design and also to show Judge Koh’s bias in the trial.
So Microsoft is on a push to get out as much information as they can about Windows 8. This new operating system represents a massive change for Microsoft and not just in the way the new OS will function, but also in the manner they are interacting with the public. This is evident in almost everything they are doing, from the building Windows 8 Blog to the public statements, demos and interviews that are happening frequently.
Someone needs to send some of the Apple lawyers back to preschool where they find shapes that are the same and get to pick out colors as well. We are frankly getting sick of Judges bowing to Apple’s request for outright bans on products because they claim that they “look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging”. It simply does not hold up under even the most cursory examination. The latest after a ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for possibly infringing on a SINGLE PATNET is they have been awarded one for on the Galaxy Nexus.
"We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours." This is the boilerplate statement that Apple makes in every patent case they are involved in. It is a message that the company claims time and time again. Even Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, says this about Apple. However, the statement is probably one of the biggest myths that the company perpetrates on the consumer and one that is finally coming to light as more and more consumers and even the media are starting to report on the number of times Apple has patented technology AFTER someone else invented it.