Every Friday we bring you our selection of some of the digital stories that got us talking throughout the week. We’d love to hear your views too, so join the conversation and have your say with the comments box below.
Click on each story’s title to read more from around the web.
James Wheatley, Head of Technical & Scoping
This week Apple was granted an injunction against Samsung to stop it shipping its new Galaxy tablet in Europe over a patent dispute with the iPad. Most of the big tech companies have been keeping the courts busy recently. Nokia has been suing Apple over technology used in the iPhone, so Apple sued Nokia back over its own patents. Meanwhile Apple and Microsoft have been suing anyone using Android, LG has tried to sue Sony over TVs and Blu-ray players, who in turn sued them over mobile phone technology. This has even spread to games, with Farmville creators Zynga being sued over its systems – the tech lawyers must think its Christmas everyday!
Delve a bit deeper into this head spinning web of disputes and it gets a bit murky. A lot of the patents used to sue Android vendors were not filed by Apple and Microsoft but acquired in an auction from other companies. The settlement with HTC means they pay Microsoft for using Google’s wares, increasing the cost of using Android and making it a less attractive system for manufactures. These kind of dirty tactics are seeing patent portfolios being developed and used as a weapon against the competition. Fortunately the judges are getting wise to this, buts it’s not exactly in the spirit of competition.
This is not what the patents system was intended for, it is meant to protect intellectual property, not be used as a hostile business strategy, and the big loser in all this is innovation. It’s doubtful that the tech industry would have got off the ground if this was the way everyone carried on. IP laws need to be brought up to date for the 21st century.
How can innovation be protected and room allowed room for both large and small players to operate?
George Hurrell, Digital Designer
Shot entirely on Nokia N8 smartphones, Oscar winners Aardman have broken the world record for the largest stop-motion animation set with their film ‘Gulp’. Created entirely on Pendene beach in South Wales, each frame was meticulously combed into the huge frame on the smooth beach and with what looks like a toy boat and play figure, but is actually a real person and a real boat (to give some perspective).
The short film broke a world record with the biggest scene stretching over 11,000 square feet of Welsh sand. Gulp tells the story of a hunter becoming the hunted, as the tables turn on a lone fisherman after he lands a big catch.
Budding film maker? Who needs £50,000 high speed cameras when you’ve got a mobile phone?
When Nokia released their latest range of ‘N’ phones they were launched with a set of small short films created entirely on their phones to showcase the quality of the video and lenses incorporated into them. With the likes of YouTube being so widespread and popular, the idea of being able to create something so epic with technology that you can carry around and fit in your pocket is quite remarkable and will only continue to improve.
Move over James Cameron, my 10 year old nephew has much better ideas than Avatar, and he’ll soon be able to make it look just as good on his phone….nearly.
Craig Goode, Digital Designer
Vimeo is a video hosting website alternative to YouTube and tends to be a home more for short films, music videos and animations than comedy cats and drunk people falling. I love it; I’ve got lots of my own music videos, animations and films on there and have got a healthy circle of contacts and groups that I’m a part of. When I first joined the site I set up a travel films group to put a film I’d made while in France in and the group now has 240 members and over 700 videos.
The one thing that always bugged me about Vimeo though was the need to keep clicking on the next video instead of being able to set it off automatically playing a series or collection. Well my dreams have been answered; Vimeo has now introduced a couch mode that works in all browsers. Last night instead of sitting in front of whatever rubbish was on TV, I watched an hour of Vimeo films I had added to my favourites. It’s also been designed with TVs and tablets in mind, so I can lie in bed watching it on my ipad on a lazy Sunday morning.
Paul Mallett, Managing Partner
Now that Apple is officially the world’s biggest company, it’s going to be really interesting to see what it does next and whether the the power will go to its head. Will it subjugate its consumers to Microsoft style monopolistic bloatware? Will it buy everyone else and become master of the digital universe? Will it take its funds and use them to affect positive change in the world? Probably a bit of all of the above.
But the real question is around what Apple has in its research and development pipeline. Having apparently trademarked the rectangular slab, where will it deploy this next? The iGames console seems to be the most glaring gap in Apple’s arsenal, but does it have more sinister plans?
Mark Kelly, Digital Solutions Director
Klout has added new services to its measurement portfolio in a bid to get more a more granular/accurate take on how influential you are online.
What struck me was that there’s a huge amount of effort being put into the measurement of our (online) influence. Defining Influence versus Noise versus Authority is a subject in itself, but if you accept the premise that having a ‘good’ influence score in the future will give you certain career/life advantages (or even one-off perks), then this is another interesting development.
The services being added are Blogger (not WordPress which I think would be a really good one to get on board) , Flickr, Instagram, Last.fm and Tumblr. Actually the Flickr account activation didn’t work for me – maybe just an API glitch?
The thinking behind the extra services is discussed in the Mashable article : “The networks we launched today were chosen to give the Klout score a more holistic view of influence,” (Klout CEO Joe Fernandez) “ .. we are moving closer to our goal of providing a complete picture of your influence.”
Putting aside just what that influence actually means, I think there’s a distinction between Professional and Personal Influence and being able to discern between the two might be interesting. Mixing my music and photography activity in with my (professional) blogging and LinkedIn activity to get a blended score may be confusing.
That said, I’m activating those services I use to see what comes of my Klout score. And the fact that my high-ish PeerIndex score got me a really good free book last week means I‘ll keep trying these services out!