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Apple Patents Portrait-Landscape Flipping 354

theodp writes "On Tuesday, the USPTO granted a patent to Apple for Portrait-landscape rotation heuristics for a portable multifunction device (USPTO), which covers 'displaying information on the touch screen display in a portrait view or a landscape view based on an analysis of data received from the one or more accelerometers.' Perhaps the USPTO Examiners didn't get a chance to review the circa-1991 Computer Chronicles video of the Radius Pivot monitor before deeming Apple's invention patentable. Or check out the winning touchArcade trivia contest entry, which noted the circa-1982 Corvus Concept sported a 15-inch, high-resolution, bit-mapped display screen that also flipped between portrait and landscape views when rotated, like our friend the iPhone. Hey, everything old is new again, right?"

Apple Delays Release of LGPL WebKit Code 209

jfruhlinger writes "Ever since Apple forked the KHTML project to create WebKit, the rendering engine at the core of Safari, the company has been a good open source citizen, releasing the code back to the community after updates. But that suddenly stopped in March, with no code releases for the last two updates to the iOS version of the browser, for reasons unknown. This might remind you of Google's failure to release the Honeycomb source code. But at least Google announced that it was holding the code back, and Android is under a license that allows for a delay; the LGPL'd WebKit isn't." Update: 05/09 21:21 GMT by S : Reader Shin-LaC points out that Apple has now released the relevant source code.

Apple Sues Amazon.com Over App Store Trademark 285

tekgoblin writes "Apple is suing Amazon.com over the use of Apple's trademarked App Store name in their mobile software developer program. Apple filed the suit back on March 18th, which detailed the trademark infringement and unfair competition which Apple felt was happening. Apple's statement in the suit reads: 'Amazon has begun improperly using Apple's App Store mark in connection with Amazon's mobile software developer program.' Apple also said, 'We've asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers.'"

New MacBook Pro Teardown Reveals 'Shoddy Assembly' 531

CWmike writes "Apple's new MacBook Pro shows some build-quality problems that shouldn't be seen in a notebook that costs $1,800, a teardown expert said on Monday. iFixit.com found several signs of substandard assembly while disassembling a 15-in. MacBook Pro. Among them: A stripped screw near the subwoofer enclosure and an unlocked ZIF (zero insertion force) socket for the IR (infrared) sensor. '[These] should not be things found inside a completely unmolested computer with an $1,800 base price,' iFixit said in the teardown description. iFixit also spotted an unusual amount of thermal paste applied to both the CPU and the GPU. 'Holy thermal paste! Time will tell if the gobs of thermal paste applied to the CPU and GPU will cause overheating issues down the road,' iFixit said. The refreshed MacBook Pro models launched last Thursday in what one analyst called a 'ho-hum' upgrade."
The Media

No Playboy App For iPad, After All 140

tsamsoniw writes "The rumors that a Playboy app would appear in the Apple App Store were greatly exaggerated. Playboy plans to offer an online service through which subscribers can access past and current issues of the nudie mag — and per Playboy, it will be accessible via Safari and support iPad features (whatever that means). But if Playboy does come out with a native app for iPad, all the nudity will be censored. That should be just fine for the legions of people who indeed read the magazine for the articles. This really shouldn't be a surprise, though: If Apple insists on 'protecting' users of its high-priced gear from pixelated naughty bits in a graphic-novel version of classic literature, it certainly won't let users access the full monty. It's a shame, though: If Apple's customers want access to that sort of content, Apple should allow them to get at it via a native app instead of suffering a potentially buggier, less secure browser-based experience."

WikiLeaks App Removed From Apple Store 338

Stoobalou writes "An 'unofficial' WikiLeaks App which contained published documents from the Cablegate leaks has been withdrawn from the Apple App Store.The $1.99 App created by developer Igor Barinov has been removed from sale without explanation despite the fact that all of the information contained in it is publicly available."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Apple Sues Steve Jobs Figurine Maker Over Likeness 172

eldavojohn writes "Techdirt brings word that China-based MIC Gadget, the maker of a four inch 'SJ figurine,' is being sued by Apple to stop making the product. The fairly well detailed figurine went for $80 and the manufacturer offered updates as it quickly sold out of the first 300 and was subsequently sued before starting a second batch. The glasses, the black turtle neck, the salt and pepper beard, the blue jeans and the new balance sneakers — that is Steve Jobs' look and you don't even have to consider the smug look or the iPhone 4 in his hand while standing in a classic press event spotlight pose. So far, this notice for copyright infringement only exists for the 'SJ figurine' (no mention of Apple or Jobs in the store listing) but it appears other companies are allowing MIC Gadget some leeway with trademarks or perhaps they just haven't noticed yet. Could it be that Apple is just concerned that their followers are purchasing lead-painted false idols?"

Beware the Garden of Steven 580

theodp writes "With its forthcoming Lion Mac OS and new Apple-curated Mac Apps Store, Apple will be locking down top tier applications on the Mac similar to the way apps are locked down on the iPad and iPhone. Only by submitting their apps to Apple's store and giving up 30% of their receipts will developers get to take advantage of two new OS features. The first is Apple's new 'Launchpad,' a tool for easily opening application; the second is the ability to update apps to new versions with one click. It will be a lot easier to use apps bought from the Mac App Store than ones downloaded in the wild. It didn't have to be that way, says Valleywag's Ryan Tate: 'Apple could have enabled its Launchpad and auto-update features for all applications, sold through the Apple Store or not. For example, an open system for updating applications has been in use for years on Ubuntu... Ubuntu's 'Apt' (Advanced Packaging Tool) lets users install, update, and remove software of their choosing with a single command. There's a central list of apps curated by Ubuntu's maintainers, but users are free to add and install from other lists... But Apple seems to have made a very clear choice not to take the open route.' Longtime Apple developer Dave Winer was also concerned, tweeting during Apple's presentation 'Is this the end of the Mac as an open platform?' The news also prompted developer Anil Dash to call for an open alternative to the Mac App Store."

Apple Wants Patent On Video Game-Based iBooks 104

theodp writes "Patently Apple reports that a new Apple patent application has surfaced describing an application that would record your personal journey through a video game and turn it into a custom comic or iBook when you're done playing. Imagine how thrilled little Billy's Mommy would have been if she only had the chance to read the story of her son's foray into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas or see how he dealt with BioShock's Little Sisters."
The Media

Apple Reverses Rejection of Ulysses Comic 422

gyrogeerloose writes "In yet another of what's become an almost predictable cycle of events, Apple today reversed its rejection of the 'Ulysses Seen' web comic, admitting, 'We made a mistake.' The comic is now available in the App Store — just in time for Bloomsday, June 16. The comic's author, Robert Berry, is pleased, and adds that Apple 'never acted as a censor, never told us what we could or could not say. ... We didn't believe these were good guidelines for art, but respected their rights to sell content that met their guidelines at their own store. Apple is not a museum or a library for new content then, so much as they are a grocer.'"
The Internet

Apple's HTML5 and Standards Gallery Not Standard 527

snitch writes "Apple has created an HTML5 Showcase that presents its vision for the next generation of the WWW. The fact that this page is only accessible using the Safari browser, while Apple advocates about web standards, has caused many to criticize the company's lack of broader platform support. The showcase demonstrates several HTML5 capabilities and features that have to do with video, typography, transitions, audio, etc. Further, on the front page the company states that 'Standards aren't add-ons to the web. They are the web. And you can start using them today.' The latter statement falls short by the fact that the featured examples only work with the Safari browser, and in the case of the CSS 3D transforms demonstration, require Mac OS X Snow Leopard (Safari PC or plain Leopard won't do)."

iPhone SDK Agreement Shuts Out HyperCard Clone 610

Halo1 writes "Demonstrating it's not just about Flash, Apple has officially rejected for the first time another alternative iPhone development environment following its controversial iPhone SDK Agreement changes. Even though RunRev proposed to retool its HyperCard-style development environment to directly expose all of the iPhone OS's APIs, Steve Jobs still rejected its proposal. The strength of RunRev's business case, with a large-scale iPad deployment project in education hinging on the availability of its tool, does not bode well for projects that have less commercial clout. Salient point: at last February's shareholders' meeting, Jobs went on the record saying that something like HyperCard on the iPad would be great, 'but someone would have to create it.'"

Steve Jobs Hints At Theora Lawsuit 686

netcrawler writes "Steve Jobs' open letter on Flash has prompted someone at the Free Software Foundation Europe to ask him about his support of proprietary format H.264 over Theora. Jobs' pithy answer (email with headers) suggests Theora might infringe on existing patents and that 'a patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other "open source" codecs now.' Does he know something we don't?" Update: 05/01 00:38 GMT by T : Monty Montgomery of Xiph (the group behind Theora, as well as Ogg Vorbis, and more) provides a pointed, skeptical response to the implicit legal threat, below.

The End of the PC Era and Apple's Plan To Survive 549

Hugh Pickens writes "Charlie Stross has written a very interesting essay, ostensibly about the 'real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash,' but really about how Jobs is betting Apple's future on an all-or-nothing push into a new market as Moore's law tapers off and the personal computer industry craters and turns into a profitability wasteland. Stross says that Apple is trying desperately to force the growth of a new ecosystem — one that rivals the 26-year-old Macintosh environment — to maturity in five years flat — the time scale in which they expect the cloud computing revolution to flatten the existing PC industry and turn PC manufacturers into suppliers of commodity equipment assembled on a shoestring budget with negligible profit. 'Any threat to the growth of the app store software platform is going to be resisted, vigorously, at this stage,' writes Stross. 'And he really does not want cross-platform apps that might divert attention and energy away from his application ecosystem.' The long-term goal is to support the long-term migration of Apple from being a hardware company with a software arm into being a cloud computing company with a hardware subsidiary. 'This is why there's a stench of panic hanging over Silicon Valley. This is why Apple have turned into paranoid security Nazis, why HP have just ditched Microsoft from a forthcoming major platform and splurged a billion-plus on buying up a near-failure; it's why everyone is terrified of Google,' writes Stross. 'The PC revolution is almost coming to an end, and everyone's trying to work out a strategy for surviving the aftermath.'"

Let's organize this thing and take all the fun out of it.