Tech briefs

Godzilla vs. Goliath

One of the biggest ongoing stories in tech-related news this summer has been the Samsung versus Apple United States patent court case, which ended on Aug. 24, 2012. Apple sued Samsung for US $2.5 billion, claiming Samsung had violated Apples intellectual property and used its ideas in their own products. Samsung was found guilty of violating most of Apple’s intellectual property and now owes Apple US $1.049 billion dollars.

A few days later on Aug. 27, Apple sought injunctions against eight Samsung devices sold in North America. These devices are: Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 (AT&T, Skyrocket, T-Mobile, Epic 4G, Showcase), Droid Charge, and Galaxy Prevail. All of the devices listed, except for the Galaxy Prevail, have hardware design injunctions placed against them. This means the devices physical outer shell is in violation of Apple’s patents.

Samsung will be appealing the North American verdict while the patent fight continues worldwide in Asia and Europe. Currently Apple is limiting Samsung components that are used in its products, chiefly the new iPhone.

Al Jazeera Hacked

Al Jazeera, the Qatar and New York city based news organization, had its Arabic site hacked on Tuesday, Sept. 4. A group that refers to themselves as “Al-Rasherdon” defaced the site with an image of two darkened men sitting in the foreground with the red letters “HACKED” in the background. The group’s chief complaint was that Al Jazeera improperly portrayed Syrian conflicts and situations in the country, specifically its coverage of civil unrest against President Bashar al-Assad.

Samsung’s PureView camera controversy

It has come to light that Samsung faked PureView camera footage shot from a Lumia 920 phone in a recent advertisement. The ad showed a couple riding bikes together, with the male actor filming the female actor. A split screen shot from the phone’s perspective shows the woman smiling while riding her bike. The leftmost section is unstable, while the other is smooth; the purpose being to show the camera’s stabilization capability. Impressive, especially for a camera phone; unfortunately the footage isn’t from the Lumia – it’s from a camera crew.

Tech news publication The Verge noticed a cameraman caught in the reflection hanging out of a moving van in the video. This discovery prompted Nokia to issue an apology for their actions. Other sites such as Ars Technica further developed the story by finding non-PR photos of the ad’s film crew.

In an attempt to quash the controversy surrounding the Lumia 920’s launch, Nokia invited reporters to test the phone. The Verge’s conclusion, in particular, wasn’t gushing, but it was optimistic. “[N]one of the cameras we tried took in as much light as the Lumia 920 with any combination of settings or flash. It wasn’t in the same class as a shot taken with a DSLR, of course, but given the more diluted meaning of ‘PureView’ we didn’t expect it to be.”