World Outraged as New Gadget Resembles Another

Demonstrations break around the world as people spontaneously take the streets, after new information surfaced regarding a gadget released by one tech company is somewhat similar to a gadget released previously by another company.

Pope Francis took some time after the homily to address the worried thousands of catholics gathered in the Vatican last Sunday. Pope claims he’ll offer to mediate between companies, to ensure agreeable and amicable terms before any sort of escalation.

Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and United States’ President Barack Obama also made a joint press conference at the G7 meeting in Japan, claiming this sort of behaviour to be “unacceptable“ as well as “distasteful”.

Jane Gutierrez, respected copyright attorney, was quoted “rectangles of metal with rounded borders and a black screen on one side doesn’t have to look similar. There are literally half a dozen ways to design a modern smartphone. Companies can’t just go around ripping each other designs“.

The Amazing New Thing

A few months ago I read the worst thing Apple did was releasing the iPad just three years after the iPhone. It set people expectations not just high, but unreachably high. By making two consumer technology megahits one after the other, it led people to believe that Apple not only will be releasing new products at that pace, but that for Apple to survive and to avoid going back to their early 90s status, the company needed to release a whole new category every 12-15 quarters.

I think the past Google IO was a rather common developer conference. You get your developers in one place, and tell them to prepare to make things for your new stuff. The new services look amazing, and the unification of the assistants looks great. But Google was just catching up. And it is true. They teased (nothing more, really) their iMessage, their FaceTime, their Echo, their Oculus player, etc. Google is just wrapping things up. Android N is near completion and the exciting things to add are already baked in.

With N, Android is almost over, and so is iOS 10. Maybe Apple or Google end up bringing the multiple floating window capabilities and desktop support, maybe not. We all have some quirks and features we’d love to see added, and —in iOS specially— chances are that you can’t get a good enough workaround if they don’t want to add it.

And that’s the point. Most of the Amazing New Things have already been implemented. The appstores, the voice assistants, the office suites, multitasking, multiwindow, widgets… Both Android and iOS are just plain great, stable and secure. So stop asking for the Amazing New Thing in smartphones. It just wont happen. Smartphones’ big last trick, as with any magician, is to disappear. To make sure that these devices are helping us so much and so effectively that we don’t need to be in our hands and in front of our eyes.

Apple’s response to the San Bernardino case

Customer Letter – Apple

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.

Signed by Tim Cook himself. I don’t know the legal base to this, but the mere thought that there could be a workaround baffles me. There should shouldn’t be an option, even for Apple, to circumvent their own security measures.

Apple ordered to aid FBI in unlocking California shooter’s phone

Apple ordered to aid FBI in unlocking California shooter’s phone

A U.S. judge on Tuesday ordered Apple Inc to help the FBI break into a phone recovered from one of the San Bernardino shooters, an order that heightens a long-running dispute between tech companies and law enforcement over the limits of encryption.

Not going to happen. But will be interesting to see the evolution of the case.

Microchip Technology to Buy Atmel for Nearly $3.6 Billion

Leslie Picker

Chip makers have been combining to cut costs and build scale for their customers. Microchip agreed to acquire the 37-year-old chipmaker Micrel in May for about $839 million. Microchip purchased Supertax for $394 million in 2014, and the year before that, bought the closely held Brussels-based EqcoLogic for an undisclosed amount.

Semiconductor manufacturing needs more heavy consolidation. This is small and mid-sized companies making deals to be able to just survive. I wonder we’ll see real big changes in operations between Qualcomm, TSMC, Samsung Electronics or Intel.