Aug 30 2011

Firefox 6.0

Category: Reviews,SoftwareTeknovis @ 17:54

I started using Firefox 6.0 about two weeks ago. (I realise now that it was less than four months ago when I started using Firefox 4.0 according to Firefox 4. What happened that Firefox 5.0 was so brief?)

The feature that I find most interesting is the new Panorama (see Firefox Features or Firefox Panorama: The Web browser’s next big innovation). I am still getting used to it, but I am hoping that I can use it to de-clutter my Task Bar.

The most controversial aspect in my opinion is that the Startup page reverts to “Show my windows and tabs from last time” by default. I really wonder how many people will be caught-out because they were browsing sites they should not have been when they became interupted, so they closed the browser not realising that Firefox will restore everything when the browser is restarted! It could be very embarrassing!


Aug 28 2011

The Patent War

Category: PatentsTeknovis @ 06:13

I read a very good overview of the current patent war this morning in Patent war pending. I agree with the sentiments expressed. In particular, patents are becoming most valuable as a Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) asset.

I do not think this is derisible, it certainly stifles innovation, but it is unfortunately the reality :(

Aug 26 2011

Chinese Wind Turbines Coming to Ireland

Category: EnergyTeknovis @ 13:57

I am very enthusiastic about wind energy, and I believe that it is likely to be the most sustainable source of energy in Ireland. Indeed, if I was starting my carer again I think that I would probably look at opportunities in that area.

Anyway, I read an article recently about an Irish green energy company called Gaelectric teaming-up with a Chinese turbine manufacturer called XEMC. The article is Three new wind farms planned for Ireland, totalling 13.6MW.

This represents a significant investment, and it is a really good example of globalised technology transfer :)

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Aug 25 2011

SFI Funding

Category: Fourth LevelTeknovis @ 18:52

Science Foundation Ireland has announced its latest round of funding, in which 15 million Euro will be distributed to fund 79 different university projects. All of the usual universities are in there. See Robust and competitive research will drive Ireland’s economic development – Sherlock for the details.

To be honest, I find it a bit depressing to see some of the names I first came across over 10 years ago in that list, and these people are still doing basically the same projects. It makes me feel that the world moves on, but academics never change :|

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Aug 22 2011

NFC Introduction

Category: Hardware,Mobile ComputingTeknovis @ 20:27

I read this interesting introduction to Near Field Communications (NFC) today: Near Field Communication: A Quick Guide to the Future of Mobile.

Aug 20 2011

Two New High-Profile Web Apps

Category: Business,Internet,iPad,iPhoneTeknovis @ 08:39

This week I came across two more high-profile companies moving from apps to web app (HTML5) to avoid the Apple tax.

The other advantages that these developers will experience is that they no longer need to get approval from Apple (which can make planning and time lines difficult), and their apps are now cross-platform!

I previous wrote about this subject in Financial Times on an iDevice.

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Aug 19 2011

Android Operator Billing

Category: Android,Business,TelecomsTeknovis @ 21:03

There has been quite an amount of excitement today regarding Vodafone’s announcement that it will soon offer operator billing for Android app purchases in the Android Market. For more see Android operator billing comes to Europe, Vodafone the first to launch or the original announcement Vodafone Developer Announces Operator Billing For Android.

I think that it is a sensible move, and I image that it will facilitate more app purchasing. It is also a timely announcement, since research published today shows that Android users spend twice as much time using apps as they do the browser. See Android Phone Owners Use Their Devices For An Hour A Day.


Aug 18 2011

Patent Craziness

Category: Humour,PatentsTeknovis @ 16:44

In response to the electronic shipping notification patent described in The Week in Patents, a friend told me about an interesting bread refreshing patent (US6080436). The novel method described in this patent should not be confused with toasting the bread, and any similarities are coincidental!

Actually, it is a nice patent because it is so short and to the point (check the claims), and I guess this is why the examination process was so short. Still, you really have to wonder how this was granted by an examiner!

Honestly, I am not sure if this post is more appropriately filed under “Patents” or “Humour”!

Aug 15 2011

Google Buys Motorola Mobility

Category: Android,Business,PatentsTeknovis @ 18:02

So Google has surprised everybody by buying Motorola Mobility today. See Google Buys Motorola Mobility For $12.5B, Says “Android Will Stay Open” (or any mainstream news website).

I think that this is a very positive development for the ongoing development of Android. Both technically, and due to the patent portfolio that Google has just acquired.

It is also a very rewarding development for anybody with Motorola Mobility stock!

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Aug 12 2011

The Week in Patents

Category: Mobile Computing,PatentsTeknovis @ 18:11

It has been a really interesting week in terms of patents! Probably the biggest news has been Apple‘s attempts to block the selling of superior Android based tablet devices made by Motorola and Samsung. For example, see Samsung delays Australian Tab launch, Apple prevents Galaxy sales in EU, Will Apple block the Motorola Xoom in Europe next?, and Apple patent disputes Xoom towards Motorola. HTC should be in the mix there also as another infringer. However, the fight back in the EU has started according to The Battle Continues: Samsung To Appeal Apple’s European Injunction.

Apple have reasons to be concerned with the rise of the Android based tablets according to Android tablets peel away 20% of iPad’s mega market share.

Yes – I am annoyed by Apple for its behaviour. Although I imagine Google must be more annoyed! See Google Patent Woes for more details.

There has also been considerable interest in some of Apple’s patent applications that become public this week. For example see Apple Patents Hint At Multi-Part Gestures, Touchable OS X and Patent application: Apple wants to put projectors in its iPhones. The first of these is very interesting, and it makes me wonder if there is more to gestures on touch devices than we are currently considering. I do not think that I would be interested in the second idea, due to the extra hardware requirements it would impose on the device. Anyway, we will know if these applications are successful in about 5 years time.

Finally, Google had some success this week with one of its patents – US7996328. It is probably best described in Google lands patent for, um, estimating shipment time. That should help dissuade Amazon from taking patent infringement cases against Google anyway! Amazon is also in the patent news this week for its mobile device airbag idea – Amazon’s Bezos Dreams Up Protective Airbag for Smartphones.

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