Archive for August 1st, 2012

Yoshida on SOCOM: We ‘never retire any franchise’

Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios, wants to quell fears that we’ll never see another entry in the SOCOM franchise. Even though series creators Zipper Interactive was shuttered back in March, “never say never,” he said.

“It’s not done. We never retire any franchise,” Yoshida told Official PlayStation Magazine (via UK) when asked about future entries. Yoshida then pointed to Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, the recent resurrection of the Sly Cooper series, as a sign. “It’s sometimes good to have a fresh look at the franchises we have.”

The last game in the series, SOCOM 4, was far from the series’ best. So while it’s hardly confirmation we’ll see a new SOCOM game in the future, at least Zipper’s closure is not the death knell we feared it was.

, , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Apple claims Samsung copied iPhone technology

An attorney for Apple told a jury Tuesday that rival Samsung faced two options to compete in the booming cellphone market after Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to critical acclaim in 2007: Innovate or copy.

Attorney Harold McElhinny claimed Samsung Electronics Inc. chose to copy, making its smartphones and computer tablets illegal knockoffs of Apple’s popular products.

Samsung “has copied the entire design and user experience” of Apple’s iPhone and iPad,” McElhinny told a 10-person jury during his opening remarks at the closely watched patent trial.

Samsung denies the claims and its lawyers were expected to deliver their opening statement later in the day.

Samsung has previously countered that Apple did the stealing. It has also said some of the technology at issue, such as the rounded rectangular designs of smartphones and tablets has been the industry standard for years.

The witness lists of both sides are long on experts, engineers and designers and short on familiar names. For example, Apple CEO Tim Cook is not scheduled to testify.

Cupertino-based Apple filed its lawsuit against Samsung last year and is demanding $2.5 billion in damages, an award that would dwarf the largest patent-related verdict to date.

The case marks the latest skirmish between the two companies over product designs. A similar trial began last week, and the two companies have been fighting in other courts in the United Kingdom and Germany.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose last month ordered Samsung to pull its Galaxy 10.1 computer tablet from the U.S. market pending the outcome of the patent trial. However, she barred Apple attorneys from telling jurors about the ban.

“In some sense, the big part of the case is not Apple’s demands for damages but whether Samsung gets to sell its products,” said Mark A. Lemley, a professor and director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science, and Technology.

A verdict in Apple’s favor could send a message to consumers that Android-based products such as Samsung’s are in legal jeopardy, Lemley said.

A verdict in Samsung’s favor, especially if it prevails on its demands that Apple pay its asking price for certain transmission technology, could lead to higher-priced Apple products.

In court papers filed last week, each company laid out its legal strategy in trial briefs.

Apple lawyers argue there is almost no difference between Samsung products and its own, and that the South Korean company’s internal documents show it copied Apple’s iconic designs and its interface.

Samsung denies the allegation and counter-claims that Apple copied its iPhone from Sony. Samsung lawyers noted that it has been developing mobile phones since 1991 and that Apple jumped into the market in 2007.

, , , ,

Leave a comment

RIM ties up with Global Outlook

NEW DELHI: Blackberry maker-Research in Motion (RIM) today said it has tied up with cloud-based business communication service provider Global Outlook which will host its enterprise services for small and medium businesses (SMB).

Leave a comment

Facebook re-designs photos section

NEW YORK: In a move to make photo viewing more enjoyable on Facebook, the social networking giant has announced launching a re-designed version of its photos section.

“We are announcing improvements to the photos section that make viewing photos more enjoyable,” Facebook Product Manager Emily Grewal announced on the company’s website yesterday.

With this move, users would be able to access photos all at one place above the timeline. Earlier Facebook’s users could view photos segregated into albums.

“Now when you click photos at the top of your timeline, you’ll see larger pictures that fill up the page. You can use the menu to find shots you are tagged in, pictures you have shared and albums you have created…With your Facebook photos all in one section, it’s simple to show friends your favourites. Click the star button to make important photos stand out,” she added.

Facebook, which has over 900 million users across the world, said upgradation of its photo gallery would be rolled out across the globe.

“We’ll continue to improve the (photo view) experience and then begin rolling out globally,” Grewal added.

Leave a comment

Twitter can predict when you will fall sick!

LONDON: Social networking site Twitter can predict whether you are going to fall ill- eight days in advance, a new study has claimed.

Researchers from University of Rochester have already used the site to track flu as it spreads through New York using a ‘heatmap’ of users who complain of being ill, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

Adam Sadilek from the University and his team analysed 4.4 million GPS-tagged Tweets from over 6,00,000 users in New York City over the course of one month in 2010.

They trained their artificial intelligence algorithm to ignore tweets by healthy people such as those claiming they were ‘sick’ of a particular song, and trained it to find those who were really ill.

Sadilek said the key to his system is friendships. “Given that three of your friends have flu-like symptoms, and that you have recently met eight people, possibly strangers, who complained about having runny noses and headaches, what is the probability that you will soon become ill as well?” he was quoted by the paper as saying.

“Our models enable you to see the spread of infectious diseases, such as flu, throughout a real-life population observed through online social media,” he added.

The tweets were plotted on a map, and used to predict when a particular user was at high risk of getting ill.

“We apply machine learning and natural language understanding techniques to determine the health state of Twitter users at any given time,” Sadilek said.

“Since a large fraction of tweets is geo-tagged, we can plot them on a map, and observe how sick and healthy people interact,” he said.

“Our model then predicts if and when an individual will fall ill with high accuracy, thereby improving our understanding of the emergence of global epidemics from people’s day-to-day interactions,” he said.

The heatmaps show a city going through a flu epidemic. The more red an area is, the more people are afflicted by flu at that location.

“We show emergent aggregate patterns in real-time, with second-by-second resolution,” Sadilek said.

The algorithm was correct 90 per cent of the time and about eight days in advance, the team said.

The findings were described to New Scientist during an interview at the Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Toronto, Canada, the report said.

Leave a comment