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To: zax who wrote (16782)2/17/2012 8:41:15 AM
From: sylvester80
   of 32253
BREAKING..Google files patent app for unlocking devices, says we don't need no stinking slide-to-unlock
Google Patent Reveals Future Unlock Features for Android Devices
February 16, 2012

Back in October 2011 we reported that Apple's " Slide to Unlock" patent stirred up a hornet's nest in Taiwan and we now see that Apple has filed another patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung over this feature. On Tuesday, Apple's CEO Tim Cook stated during a Goldman Sachs conference that he loved competition – as long as they invented their own stuff. While it's pretty clear that Samsung has copied Apple's slide to unlock feature on certain smartphones, relief may be on the way. A new Google patent that was published by the by the US Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month, reveals that Google will offer Android OEMs new options to unlock future Android devices. One method simply involves using voice recognition while a second method involves a nifty two-icon methodology. Although Google's alternative unlocking feature based on face recognition method has been compromised, it now appears that Google has finally found a few new tricks to unlock future Android devices while avoiding patent infringement trouble with Apple. That's something that Samsung will be very glad to get their hands on – sooner rather than later.

Google's Patent Background

Computing devices, such as smartphones or desktop computers, often have a security measure that prevents accidental and/or unauthorized access. The locking of a device may simply be aimed at preventing casual contact with the device from leading to a dialed number or similar input, or it may be aimed at preventing a user other than the owner of the device from accessing the full functionality of the device (partial functionality like a clock and access to dialing 911 may be permitted even when the device is locked). For example, a user of a smartphone may enter a number of alphanumeric characters to gain access to the full functionality of the smartphone, or a smartphone may have a touchscreen on which a simple pattern can be drawn by a user to unlock the device. A more complex pattern can be used to prevent access by unauthorized users. Larger computers, such as desktop computers, also often require a person to enter a username and password to unlock or gain access to the device.

Google's Proposal: Security-Based Unlocking

Google's invention describes systems and techniques by which a locked computing device may respond to inputs from a user of the device who is preferably an authorized user of the device. In particular examples presented below, the input is a request to perform a particular operation beyond simply unlocking the device. For example, icons for a number of commands may be displayed on a touchscreen, though a user will not be able to invoke those commands when the device is locked simply by tapping them in a normal manner, as the user could if the device were unlocked. Instead, the user may be required to perform a more complex action that is unlikely to be performed accidentally or by an unintended action such as contact with the touchscreen when the device is in a user's pocket. Such action may involve, for example, dragging from one of the command-related icons to an unlock icon at a different location on the touchscreen and releasing over that other icon. The device may then respond by executing at least part of the requested command while the unlocking operation is still being performed, such as launching an application to which the first icon is directed. In this two-icon dragging example, the motion may also be reversed, with the user starting at an unlock icon and dragging it to a command-related icon.

In one aspect, a computer-implemented method for making an input to a locked device includes receiving at a computing device that is in a locked state, one or more user inputs to unlock the computing device and to execute at least one command that is different from a command for unlocking the computing device.

Implementations can include any, all, or none of the following features. Executing at least one command begins before the user inputs to unlock the computing device are fully received. The method includes comparing the user inputs to unlock the computing device to one or more passcodes, and executing the unlock operation only if the user inputs to unlock the computing device match the one or more passcodes. Receiving the user inputs to unlock the computing device and to execute at least one command, includes receiving a touch input on a device touchscreen to unlock the computing device and a spoken input to execute the at least one command.

A system can receive a voice input that requests an operation while an unlocking operation is performed. Results of an operation that was requested while a computing device is locked can be presented audibly while the computing device is being unlocked.

In some implementations, a system can provide efficient input commands by accepting a single input that initiates multiple actions, such as an unlocking operation and another operation or an email operation and an email recipient selection.

Google's patent FIG. 1 noted above is a schematic diagram that shows an example of a system (100) for initiating an action at a mobile device (102) while unlocking the mobile device. The mobile device is an electronic device that performs one or more actions, such as a smartphone or a tablet computer. The mobile device includes a user interface that can be locked and unlocked by a user, and typically will implement the interface as a touchscreen display in a familiar manner.

Google's FIG. 1 also illustrates "Voice Search Requests" being able to be executed for regular searches as well as being used as part of the unlock process. If the request to unlock the mobile device is valid, then the mobile device unlocks itself. Otherwise, the mobile device remains in the locked state and can prompt the user to reenter the unlocking information.

As long as the user has not entered an appropriate credential (password or passcode), the device maintains a typical locked state in which it accepts only very limited inputs, such as dialing of emergency numbers, and provides only limited, non-secure information such as the date and time.

Patent FIG. 2 shows an example of a user interface for initiating an action while unlocking a device.Google notes that before a user completes a password entry input, the user can press the search icon, speak a voice command to the mobile computing device, and subsequently complete the password entry input using the keyboard.

In another example, the user can input the password or other unlocking information in another way, such as by speaking the password or drawing an unlocking pattern on the touch screen.

Google's Proposal: Convenience-Based Unlocking

Google's patent FIG. 3A shows an example of a mobile computing device (300) that allows a user to initiate an action while unlocking the mobile computing device. In general, the device provides for convenience-based unlocking rather than the security-based unlocking described earlier.

In particular, convenience-based unlocking is directed to requiring a user to perform an action on a touchscreen that would not easily be performing accidentally or by inanimate objects that might come in contact with the screen, such as in the user's pocket. Patent FIG. 3 illustrates such an action involving the user dragging an icon of a phone contact at the top of the display to an unlocking icon position below. Alternatively, the system may be set up to illustrate a number of functions or feature icons related to a document file, email and more. The user could decide that their unlock combination is dragging two or more icons to the unlock icon at the bottom of the UI.

Google's Proposed Radial Menu Interface Element

Google's patent FIG. 4 illustrates how they may introduce a new menu interface element to assist in unlocking process in future devices. While the element may look like Apple's iPod Clickwheel, how it functions is different. It's not about moving the circular element to move up or down a list of items like iTunes, but rather the wheel containing a series of action icons that are mated to the unlock icon to open the device.

Example: the mobile computing device 400 receives an input from the user that drags the unlock icon (406) to the action icon (404c), then to the action icon 404b, and finally back to the action icon 404c. In this example, the first selection of the action icon 404c indicates a request from the user to open the email application upon completion of the unlocking operation.

Subsequently, the user drags an unlock pattern through the action icons 404b-c (i.e., drag one action clockwise to the action icon 404b and then one action counter-clockwise back to the action icon 404c). After the first selection of the action icon 404c for the email application, the mobile computing device begins initiating the email application, such as by refreshing the inbox, retrieving content for messages, and/or retrieving contact information. Once the mobile computing device receives the remainder of the user input including a successful unlocking pattern, then the mobile computing device presents the user interface for the requested email application.

Of course, the user may combine the unlock icon to any action icon of the user's choosing so that other actions could take place as they unlock their device. Meaning instead of ending up in your email after entering your security code, it could be that you end up in your documents, social networking apps, a video game or whatever is part of your passcode/action combination and priority to you.

If all of that sounds too complicated, then you'll be given the option to duplicate your combination of icons verbally to unlock your device. It would sound like a chess move: Unlock to Mary to email to documents.

Google's patent was originally filed in Q3 2010 and published this month by the USPTO.

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To: zax who wrote (16786)2/17/2012 8:49:53 AM
From: sylvester80
   of 32253
That is massive bad news for CRAPple... "Apple's iPhone loses China market share"... cause it means there is a massive backlash on the company's China workers exploitation as well as its trademarks... glad to see that the Chinese are not stupid, unethical and complete morons like the American iSheep....

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From: sylvester802/17/2012 1:09:50 PM
   of 32253
I loooove this ad....

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From: sylvester802/17/2012 2:42:37 PM
   of 32253
NOK up 5% for the day while crApple RED... LMFAO... too funny...

NOK in the process of completing the last leg of a W formation.... and it's going to be big....the last leg up always is and surpasses the 2 previous highs... I'm fully loaded from $5... do you DD...

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To: FUBHO who wrote (16752)2/17/2012 5:17:43 PM
From: zax
   of 32253
Foxconn Auditor Finds ‘Tons of Issues’
By Peter Burrows - Feb 17, 2012 2:55 PM CT

Foxconn employees near the gate of the plant in Shenzhen city, south Guangdong province. Photograph: Imaginechina/

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -– The Fair Labor Association, a watchdog monitoring working conditions at makers of Apple Inc. products, has uncovered “tons of issues” that need to be addressed at a Foxconn Technology Group plant in Shenzhen, China, FLA Chief Executive Officer Auret van Heerden said.

Van Heerden made the comments in a telephone interview after a multiday inspection of the factory. Apple, the first technology company to join the FLA, said on Feb. 13 that it asked the Washington-based nonprofit organization to inspect plants owned by three of its largest manufacturing partners.

“We’re finding tons of issues,” van Heerden said en route to a meeting where FLA inspectors were scheduled to present preliminary findings to Foxconn management. “I believe we’re going to see some very significant announcements in the near future.”

He declined to elaborate on the findings. The FLA plans to release more information about its inspection in the coming weeks. By then, the company will have had a chance to contest or agree to steps to prevent further violations.

Representatives of Foxconn didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment outside regular business hours. Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, referred to the company’s Feb. 13 statement about the audits.

Van Heerden said later in an interview with Reuters that Foxconn’s plants were “first class.” He said he was surprised“how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory.”

Hard-to-Find Violations Heather White, the founder of Verite, another monitoring group, said that many alleged violations -- say, forced overtime or use of certain toxic chemicals -- can be hard to detect.

“Those are not things one would see on a hosted tour that was planned in advance,” she said.

Van Heerden said the comments reflected his previous interactions with Foxconn.

Apple had commissioned the FLA to carry out smaller projects in the past two years, in order to try out some of the inspection techniques used by the group to more effectively root out workplace problems.

Van Heerden said he had been impressed with Apple and Foxconn’s responses to hazards related to the polishing of aluminum, which led to explosions at Foxconn and another Apple supplier, Pegatron Corp., that killed at least three workers and injured more than 70 people last year. Van Heerden said that Apple researched the problem and hired a respected consultant.

Apple shares gained less than 1 percent to $502.36 at 3:45 p.m. in New York. Before today, the stock had risen 24 percent this year, extending Apple’s lead as the world’s most valuable company.

Workplace Improvements In response to the consultant’s recommendations, Foxconn bought state-of-the-art extraction and ventilation equipment to prevent dust buildup, and developed an automated approach so that no humans are involved in the polishing work.

“I’ve seen the improvements that have been made, and they’re dramatic,” he said. “The room is full of robots. It’s totally automated. But people need to see the proof.”

Van Heerden said that FLA’s 30-person inspection team will interview 35,000 Foxconn employees, via meetings with small groups of randomly picked workers, chosen to reflect the demographics of the campus in terms of age, gender and skill levels. As part of the process, workers log answers to questions on tablets connected to FLA servers so they can be tabulated.

White, who is now a fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, says group meetings on Foxconn’s premises may not yield honest responses. She says she found it more productive to talk to workers in their homes or other off-site locations.

“It’s very hard to get people to speak openly about very serious issues,” she said.

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To: sylvester80 who wrote (16788)2/17/2012 6:08:35 PM
From: zax
   of 32253
It was widely reported today that there is a massive bug in Safari on the Mac, iPad and iPhone that numerous advertising agencies have been and are taking advantage of to extensively track Apple users web-viewing habits. X-D

Check out this webkit changelog, where two Google engineers submitted a fix for the problem:

Wasn't that nice of them?

Myself, I only accept cookies on an as-needed basis.

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To: zax who wrote (16792)2/17/2012 6:45:21 PM
From: Sr K
   of 32253

Google Inc. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is selling stock currently worth about $1.45 billion as part of a trading plan that would cut his ownership stake in the Internet giant to about 2.1% from 2.8%.

Mr. Schmidt, who stepped aside as chief executive in April after almost 10 years to make way for co-founder Larry Page, adopted the stock trading plan in November, according to a regulatory filing.

Under the terms of the plan, Mr. Schmidt intends to sell up to 2.4 million shares, which are each worth $604.64 at Friday's closing price.

The plan allows Mr. Schmidt to spread stock trades over a one-year period to reduce market impact.

Google shares had fallen 3.3% in the past year as of the close Friday, and were up slightly over the prior three months.

Write to John Letzing at

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To: zax who wrote (16792)2/17/2012 7:31:07 PM
From: sylvester80
   of 32253
There is no bigger piece of garbage junk than Safari. Year after year continues to fail at hackathon. And Google's Chrome is the only one that keeps passing with flying colors.

Apple's Safari = POS JUNK GARBAGE
Google's Chrome = PURE GOLD

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To: zax who wrote (16791)2/17/2012 8:04:28 PM
   of 32253
Apple's iPhone loses China market share

By Lee Chyen Yee and Huang Yuntao

HONG KONG/BEIJING | Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:23pm EST

HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) - Apple Inc's share of China's booming smartphone market slipped for a second straight quarter in October-December, as it lost ground to cheaper local brands and as some shoppers held off until after the iPhone 4S launch last month.

China, the world's largest mobile phone market, has not been easy for Apple, which is grappling with a lawsuit from a local firm over the iPad name and issues at its suppliers' factories over wages and working conditions.

With the number of mobile subscribers set to top 1 billion in China this year, there is cut-throat competition among South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Nokia, Apple and local firms Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp.

While Apple regained its top spot as the world's largest smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter and for last year as a whole,
it slipped to 5th place in China, overtaken by ZTE. Apple's China smartphone market share slid to 7.5 percent from 10.4 percent in July-September.

In the last quarter, Samsung knocked Nokia off the top slot, taking 24.3 percent of the market, more than three times Apple's share, data from research firm Gartner showed. Nokia's market share more than halved last year, from above 40 percent in the first quarter to below one fifth by the fourth quarter.

"Chinese handset makers have been actively promoting their smartphones with China's three telecoms operators, so we saw ZTE and Huawei gain significant market share," said Taipei-based Gartner analyst CK Lu.

Gartner said this week it expected Apple's iPhone market share to slip for a couple of quarters as the novelty of its latest 4S model wears off.

In the first quarter of last year, ZTE had a market share of just 3 percent, but ended 2011 ranked 4th with more than 11 percent market share.

Chinese firms are gradually shifting up towards the higher end of the market, unveiling more feature-packed smartphones.

"If you want to sell handsets to the mass market, a simple rule of thumb in China is that the handset price has to be close to 70 percent of the monthly salary," said Jayesh Easwaramony, an analyst with Frost & Sullivan in Singapore.

"Today, an iPhone is more than two months salary."

This, said Easwaramony, gives the likes of Huawei and ZTE the opportunity to cater to a mass market that is captivated by the iPhone, but doesn't have the purchasing power for it.


"The quality of Huawei's phones is quite high and it's good value for money compared to the iPhone," said Dale Dai, a 28-year-old sales executive from Beijing.

Dai, who uses his Huawei phone to write weibo, or Chinese microblogs, surf the Internet and make calls, recently bought a new Honor smartphone for 1,800 yuan ($290), almost a third of the price of a new iPhone 4S at 4,988 yuan.

But given the sheer size of the Chinese market, just targeting the highest end users should be enough for Apple, though it's not always been a smooth ride.

Last month, shoppers in Beijing threw eggs at the Apple store and fought with police when they were told the iPhone 4S would not be on sale as scheduled.

In Shenzhen, some genuine iPhones and iPads are smuggled in from Hong Kong, while sellers also take advantage of Apple's popularity by packaging fake iPhones in iPhone 5 boxes - even before the 4S was launched.

In Hong Kong, Apple resorted to an online lottery reservation system for the 4S model after crowd control issues disrupted initial sales.

Analysts expect Apple to stem its slide in market share in China by signing up another carrier.

China Unicom, the country's No.2 telecoms operator, is currently the only carrier to officially carry the iPhone. It has not officially given its iPhone sales, but analysts estimate it has sold around 3 million iPhones since signing a contract with Apple in 2009.

China Telecom Corp Ltd, the third and smallest operator, is expected to be next to clinch a similar deal with Apple later this year, and analysts predict it would sell about 1.4 million iPhones this year if it can reach a deal with Apple by May, rising to 2-4 million new iPhone users in 2013.

($1 = 6.3016 Chinese yuan)

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To: zax who wrote (16791)2/17/2012 11:00:32 PM
   of 32253
Chinese firm in iPad row threatens to sue Apple in US

February 17, 2012

A debt-laden Chinese computer firm embroiled in a copyright row with Apple over the iPad name on Friday threatened to sue the technology giant in the United States for $2 billion.

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