A company called Contois Music Technology has hit Apple Computer, Inc. with a lawsuit over Apple’s iTunes software. The suit, filed early last week in Vermont, alleges that the iTunes software design infringes on Contois’ six-year old patent (US Patent No. 5,864,868) Computer Control System and User Interface for Media Playing Devices. Contois says that 19 aspects of the iTunes interface are in violation of the patent, including iTunes abilities to transfer music to a portable music player and sort music files by artist, genre, or album.
Read More | AppleInsider
Within the next few weeks, America Online plans to showcase a new feature on their newly designed free Internet website. Users will have the choice of two custom start pages- the first with text and image links like any other site, and the second filled with video content. Users who choose the latter will have their own personalized “Video Hub” allowing them to view anything from news highlights to movie trailers. AOL isn’t the only web giant getting “tuned in” however. MSN, Google, and Yahoo are also getting on the network bandwagon, all of course hoping to increase revenue through advertising.
Read More | USA Today
Those of you who don’t like PayPal should be pretty happy to hear this news- the Wall Street Journal reported online Friday that search engine giant Google is planning to roll out it’s own payment proccesor sometime later this year. This could be bad news to PayPal owner eBay, since the payment processor accounted for 23% of eBay’s revenue in the first quarter of this year. Google could pose a major financial threat to one of it’s biggest advertisers, but that might not be such a bad thing.
Expanding into online payments might make Google less dependent on advertising, which accounted for nearly all of its first-quarter revenue of $1.26 billion. The merchants who run auctions on eBay are major buyers of Google’s ads, which appear alongside search results.
Read More | USA Today
Michael Dell, of Dell Computers, has noted that should Apple “decide to open the MacOS to others,” they’d be glad to offer it up over at Dell.
Over Steve Jobs’ dead body, I’m guessing the answer will be. Some of the panicked mac-enthusiasts, however, are blinded by paranoia after the announcement that Intel will be Apple’s new chip supplier starting in 2006, and see a bleak future for the OS. I’m going to put a stop to this here and now, everyone. When are people going to get it through their heads that just because Intel is going to be Apple’s new chip supplier, the world isn’t ending? It’s hardware, the OS is to remain the same. Apple isn’t going to offer MacOS on non-Apple computers, they’ve already said it. I believe MacDailyNews said it best:
It’s a processor. A lump of silicon. Would we have preferred to have PowerPC if it could deliver what Apple needs? Sure. But, if Apple thinks they can get better performance in the future from Intel than from International “Where’s That 3GHz G5 You Promised Us Last year?” Business Machines, so be it. What’s next, are some Mac users going to burst a blood vessel if Apple changes hard drive suppliers?
Seriously. If people really think that just because Apple switched to a different supplier for one of their components, we’re likely to see MacOS X running on Dell’s computers, I’ve got a mile of oceanfront property in Nevada to sell them. Ain’t gonna happen.
Apple shocked the developer world once again by announcing plans to include WebObjects as a free application, included with OS X 10.4 Tiger Developer tools package. It’s a strong tool that is extremely versatile and is the muscle behind Apple’s iTunes Music Store, and many other high-profile e-commerce projects. While WebObjects isn’t very well known outside the development and design community, those who develop web applications for not only the Mac platform but also the PC, are buzzing about this new announcement. So, you may ask, why all the fuss about WebObjects, and what does it do?
MacWorld UK explains:
WebObjects is a Java-based application-server and builder for Web publishing and internal application building. It’s often used for e-commerce applications, and can even produce pure Java applications that can be run on non-Mac platforms.
In other words, this is one hardcore, powerful tool (and very spendy, even after an extreme price drop from $50k to $700 in 2000). Apple previously released the WebObjects deployment software for free with the XServe and OS X Server in 2002 but now plans to offer the powerful tool free of charge with their developer tools bundle.
Does Microsoft even know what they are up against? It’s as if they still consider Apple to be a “garage based” company in some kid’s basement. iTunes isn’t exactly some garage-based idea. It’s a big chunk of the legal music download industry. Is the Goliath of the software industry taking the wrong approach?
Microsoft is planning to bolster its own online song store with a new subscription service later this year as well as is “considering a more direct attack on Apple, seeking rights from copyright holders to give subscribers a Microsoft-formatted version of any song purchased from iTunes so they can be played on devices other than an iPod…
Read More | MacNN.com
It looks like Comcast is moving forward with their plans to migrate all of their analog cable subscribers to digital cable, despite having the infrastructure to support analog for some time to come. It appears it is an attempt to increase the monthly fees on these accounts, as the analog-only plans are the most inexpensive. Here is their letter:
Dear Comcast Customer:
In a continuing effort to bring you the best entertainment value possible, we are making some changes to your current channel lineup.
As a result of these changes, the premium channel(s) which you currently subscribe to will be available exclusively to those customers who have digital converters, and any analog packages or promotional offers you currently have that include analog premium channels may no longer be available.
However, you will be able to receive these channels on our digital lineup for a special discounted price.
Now, while they mention a discounted price, the fact is that the bill is more. The price reflects a per channel discount, yet digital cable by default includes many more channels than its analog counterpart.
Read More | Detroit Free Press
Now do note that this is all purely speculation - but there is a lot to be taken from it. Why did Apple choose Intel when AMD seems like such a better fit for the company? Why did they announce the partnership two full years before it is expected to be complete, if Rosetta would make it pretty much seamless anyway? Will Steve Jobs really be giving keynotes over the next two years hawking new Apple PC’s that will be considered by the average user to be obsolete in a couple of years since they don’t have an Intel chip in them? These are all questions that deserve a deeper look. Could is be that Apple and Intel are joining forces as a way to defeat the almighty Microsoft?
Read More | PBS
After losing $1.1 billion during the first quarter of this fiscal year, GM has plans to cut 25,000 jobs by 2008. Rick Wagoner, GM’s chairman and CEO, has justified his plans by stating that it could save the company $2.5 billion a year. It will undoubtedly save the company money, but its competitiveness will not be reaffirmed by cutting jobs. Hopefully the 25,000 jobs figure will be cut, but that’s wishful thinking - good luck to GM and good luck to their employees.
Read More | New York Daily News
Macrovision is in the business of helping content creators keep their works safe from being pirated, providing enterprise level DRM solutions. They recently did a survey on video game piracy, and found that up to 40% of gamers have pirated a game at least once. They have a few very interesting ideas going forward to protect content, such as inserting what are essentially little bugs into games that will self-recognize they have been pirated, changing the game mechanic altogether. We chat with Robert about this and more. Click here to download the MP3, or you can just subscribe to the Gear Live Podcast feed.
Voices: Andru Edwards, Jesse Easley, Robert Ellison - Macrovision Director of Product Management
Length: 9:24, 8.6 MB
Listen | Macrovision Interview
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