DigitalOutbox Episode 116
DigitalOutbox Episode 116 – Twitters IPA, Nokia Woes and Windows 8
1:07 – Twitter introduces the Innovators Patent Agreement
- Like many companies, we apply for patents on a bunch of these inventions. However, we also think a lot about how those patents may be used in the future; we sometimes worry that they may be used to impede the innovation of others. For that reason, we are publishing a draft of the Innovator’s Patent Agreement, which we informally call the “IPA”.
- The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees’ inventions in offensive litigation without their permission. What’s more, this control flows with the patents, so if we sold them to others, they could only use them as the inventor intended.
- This is a significant departure from the current state of affairs in the industry. Typically, engineers and designers sign an agreement with their company that irrevocably gives that company any patents filed related to the employee’s work. The company then has control over the patents and can use them however they want, which may include selling them to others who can also use them however they want. With the IPA, employees can be assured that their patents will be used only as a shield rather than as a weapon.
- We will implement the IPA later this year, and it will apply to all patents issued to our engineers, both past and present. We are still in early stages, and have just started to reach out to other companies to discuss the IPA and whether it might make sense for them too. In the meantime, we’ve posted the IPA on GitHub with the hope that you will take a look, share your feedback and discuss with your companies. And, of course, you can #jointheflock and have the IPA apply to you.
6:38 – Nokia in Trouble
- In its latest quarterly results, the Finnish handset maker said things were “mixed” in the face of “greater than expected competitive challenges”, as it posted a loss of €1.3 billion ($1.8 billion).
- The problem stems in large part from dramatic falls in mobile sales. Despite the recent launch of the lower-priced Lumia 900, net sales for the first quarter were €7.4 billion — down 29 percent on the same period last year — and Nokia witnessed falls from top to bottom. There was a 52 percent drop in smartphone sales revenue on the same time last year, and a 32 percent reduction in revenue from featurephones.
10:37 – Apple make flashback removal tool available
- Apple has released an update for Java on Macintosh computers running Mac OSX 10.6 and 10.7 (“Snow Leopard” and “Lion”) which it says gets rid of the Flashback malware that has affected as many as 600,000 Macs worldwide. The tool is available through the company’s built-in Software Update system.
- Symantec published research on Thursday night as the tool was released which suggests that the number of infected Macs has dropped precipitously since the existence of the infection was publicised. It says that the number of infections fell from 600,000 on 6 April to 380,000 on 10 April, to around 270,000 on 11 April – suggesting a dramatic cleanup rate among Mac owners.
13:27 – Windows 8 will come in three flavours
- Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT
- Windows 8 will be the mainstream consumer edition. The Pro version will bring a number of features that most mainstream consumers don’t necessarily need to Microsoft’s next operating system. These include encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Both Windows 8 Pro and the mainstream consumer edition will be available in 32 bit and 64 bit versions. Microsoft will also offer an enterprise version of Windows 8. Microsoft has not shared any details about the pricing of these editions yet.
- Windows 8 Pro, according to Microsoft, was designed “to help tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies.”
- The RT edition – which is meant for machines that run on ARM chips – will come with touch-optimized editions of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. While there will likely be desktops that will run Windows on ARM, this edition is mostly geared towards tablets (though the other Windows 8 versions can obviously also run on x86-powered tablets).
- Until now, it also wasn’t quite clear if Microsoft also planned to include its Media Center in Windows 8. Judging from today’s announcement, Media Center will only be an option for Windows 8 Pro users and will be “available as an economical ‘media pack’ add-on.”
- Microsoft will also offer an enterprise version of Windows 8 that will include all of the features of Windows 8 Pro. This version will also feature a number of tools “for IT organization that enable PC management and deployment, advanced security, virtualization, new mobility scenarios, and much more.”
- So that’s six editions really
16:23 – Ikea to sell TVs
- Ikea to sell TV’s, blu ray players and sound systems
- However they will be integrated into Ikea furniture
- “We’ve had very clear signals from customers that there is a need to be able to buy and integrate home electronics with the furniture in a simple way,” said Tolga Öncu, sales chief at IKEA Sweden, told Reuters.
- Ikea’s electronics come from Chinese CE giant TCL.
- The product range – called Uppleva: it means ‘Experience’ – will go on sale in Sweden in June, before being rolled out to other countries in the autummn. The UK won’t get a look-in until 2013
18:21 – Pocket
- Now called pocket
- Updated look and feel on iOS and Android – much better image and video support
- Now free – looks to be a great update
20:01 – Game selling EA titles
- Mass Effect 3 and Fifa Street now in stores and online
- Nintendo also back in stores
- Good to see Game back in business it seems
21:25 – Halo 4
- 6th Nov
- Microsoft said it marked a “new beginning” for the series, which it confirmed would now continue for the next decade.
The new game will be set four years after Halo 3 and see the game’s hero, Master Chief, “confront his destiny and face an ancient evil”.
- First game since 343 Industries took over the reigns from Bungie
- universal app iOS.
- Free to download but exporting OCR’d txt is an in app purchase.
- Only works in portrait mode. OCR happens once you’re finished rather than as you type. Works well – multiple language support and you can add your own vocabulary. Nice palm rest feature so you don’t write with your palm and finger.