Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Windows 8 apps, Motorola’s FTC Issues

Just days after Apple received an injunction banning Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 being imported into the United States Apple has received a second injunction against Samsung. U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who granted the first injunction, has also granted one that prevents the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

As with the first injunction Apple must first post a bond, this time $96 million to cover damages if the case is ultimately decided in Samsung’s favor. The judge ruled that it was likely that Samsung infringed on four Apple patents.

FTC looking at Motorola patent licensing practices
The Federal Trade Commission is looking at how Motorola licenses its patents with an eye out as to how the company deals with licenses for its patents that are adopted as industry standards. The FTC has sent investigative demands to the company this week, according to Electronista.

The FTC is examining if Google is living up to its requirements to meet fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing of the patents and follows a similar investigation that has just been opened by the European on FRAND violations. A ruling against Motorola could have a major impact on the various lawsuits it currently has ongoing with rivals such as Apple and Microsoft.

HP eyes business with next generation tablet
Hewlett-Packard has said that its first Windows 8 tablet will not chase the consumer market but will instead be focused on the business side of the industry. The first offering will run on an x86 processor and run Windows 8.

It does possibly also plan on offering an ARM-based system that will use the Windows RT version of Windows 8 for consumers but has not publicly committed to that move just yet, according to PCWorld.

Asus to release Audio Dock for Nexus 7

Asus, Google’s manufacturing partner for its Nexus 7 has said that it plans to release an Audio Dock for the tablet later this year. According to Pocket-Lint it will be designed to look as if it is part of the Nexus 7 and will also come in black.

The dock will be designed to charge the tablet as well as hold it upright so that a user can watch videos at the same time, according to the article.

Pebble smartwatch unveils SDK

The Pebble e-paper smartwatch, the poster child for Kickstarter success stories, has taken its next step to mainstream product with the release of its software developer kit at the Google I/O show last week. It will be interesting to see if the support from the developer community matches the huge support it received from individual investors.

Upcoming Summer Olympics fuel increased spam

Silicon Angle is reporting that there has been an upsurge in spam that is seeking to exploit fans interest in the upcoming Summer Olympics in London. Seeking to plant malware on your system or just pushing some product that you have never heard of or care for it does not matter, they are coming for you.

According to the article, the number of message titles is large and growing. An example includes:
• 2012 Games Entertainments Co-ordinator
• 2012 Olympic Draws
• 2012 Olympic Promo
• 2012 Olympic Promotion Board United Kingdom – South Africa
• 2012 Olympics, A Lottery For The Future
• 2012 Summer Olympic Lottery
• 2012 Summer Olympic/Paralympic Games

Microsoft thinks global with Windows 8 apps
Microsoft has said that when it starts shipping its upcoming Windows 8 operating system users in 180 countries will be able to have access to the growing number of apps being developed for the operating system. While the list is a work in progress the company said that most nations will have access to ts Marketplace and App hub. According to PC Mag, apps are currently available in only 63 countries for the current Windows Phone and Windows 7 operating systems.

Nielsen starts tracking top YouTube Channels

Nielsen has started tracking streaming video on YouTube’s growing family of partners and the first results are in about who is included in the Top 5 . The race is led by Vevo, followed by WMG, Machinima, Fullscreen and Maker.

The names in some cases might not ring a bell, but the traffic is enough to make you stand up and take notice. Vevo has 695 million streams and 41 million unique viewers! Maker, the #5 drew in an impressive 9.6 million unique viewers. All of this is just for the month of May, 2012. One interesting tidbit was that more than half of the viewers to each channel were under 35 years of age.

Friday Grab Bag: Big Kindle Sale, Kentucky Derby Point System

Looking for a sports watch that can track your every move but dislike the bland sameness that seems to pervade the industry? Well Nike has teamed with TomTom to break that boredom with a set of Nike+ Sports watches that come in day-glo colors so that you can match your jogging outfit.

The upgraded GPS watch, which runs around $149, will support NikeFuel and provide users with a wealth of information including position, speed, and the ever popular calories burned. It also can be programmed with reminders and motivational messages.

Apple to kill Ping in next OS release?
Apple has been hinting for some time that Ping, its attempt at social networking, was on a short leash and now it sounds as if it is at the end of its short product life as the company decides not to spend good money after bad.

All Things Digital reports that the technology will be absent in future operating system releases. Of course in hindsight that seems quite obvious considering all of the Facebook integration there will be in the next release.

ESPN loses Premier League broadcast rights
Sports Illustrated has reported that ESPN was shut out of the latest round of broadcast rights for the English Premier League. The winning bid of $4.49 billion was submitted by BSkyB and BT for the domestic TV rights in a 3-year deal. The previous deal, which was split between ESPN and BSkyB was for $1.95 billion.

ITC throws out Google patents in Apple/HTC dispute
The International Trade Commission delivered some bad news to Google when it threw out five of its patents that it had assigned to HTC. HTC needed the patents in its legal battles with Apple where it is trying to bar the import of select Apple products into Taiwan.

According to Foss Patents the court rejected an investigation into the assigned patents and said that it cannot sue Apple over violating patents that it does not own, and which it appears is just renting from Google for the trial. HTC said that it will appeal. Both Apple and HTC/Google have a series of patent lawsuits against each other ongoing around the globe.

HTC buys some patents
So if you can’t rent them, buy them. HTC has confirmed that it is buying once high flying graphics processor developer S3 Graphics, and that a driving reason behind the deal is to get its hands on the company’s patent portfolio.

While not the largest in the industry S3 does own approximately 270 patents, some of which are licensed to other third party developers. HTC is one of the major companies that has been fighting it out with Apple over patents used in mobile devices such as smartphones.

Kentucky Derby Follows NASCAR’s Lead
Ever wonder how a horse qualifies for the Kentucky Derby? Well wonder no more because the races organizers are taking steps to spell out how and why horses manage to gain entry to one of the premier racing events in the world.

Churchill Downs
has developed what it calls the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” and will use a point system much like NASCAR’s that will assign points to horses that run select races, based on how they finish. The program will start this fall for the current crop of two year olds and will be used to determine next years crop of horses for the race.

Android growth still strong
Google’s Andy Rubin, who is the head of the smartphone operating system, said that the daily activation of devices running the Android operating system is now averaging 900,000 devices a day. Last year at the same time it was 500,000.

Asus confirms Google Tablet-off the record of course

Android Authority said that it sat down with an executive from Asus at the recent Computex show who confirmed that his company was building a Google-labeled tablet that will enter the 7-inch form factor fray.

Expected to be powered by Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor the device is expected to be priced in the $150-$250 range. Look for Google’s big Google I/O conference at the end of the month as the launching pad for the device.

Want to make your pillow a touchscreen? With MaKey MaKey you just might be able to
MaKey MaKey is the latest startup to catch my limited attention span has appeared at Kickstarter, a project that seeks to turn everyday items into functioning touchscreens with the ability to interact with the Internet.

Sound too good to be true, well it is not reality yet but there is a some interesting demos over at Kickstarter. It is simply a board, some alligator clips and an Internet connection via a PC and in no time you to could be using bananas as a keyboard.

Its funding effort, which ends today, has been a tremendous success. Seeking a $25,000 goal it went over the top and at the time of this post had already received pledges worth $533,313 with close to 11,000 backers. Nice bit of overkill.

Kindle scores big with State Department
While Apple gets most of the publicity due to its tremendous success with the iPad the Kindle just scored a major deal with the US State Department. According to a piece from The Atlantic Wire, the State Department will be purchasing thousands of Kindles.

The total value of the deal has been reported at $16.5 million and will call for the tablets to come with a teaching program. The initial buy for the project is 2,500 devices and they will be sent to libraries and other education around the world.

Crowdfunding Site Indiegogo Closes $15 million Series A Funding Round

Indiegogo, company that understands from firsthand experience the challenges and disappointment that can come from trying to get a project funded has taken that experience and has moved into the crowdfunding space, with a hefty financial infusion from some major players in the VC space.

The latest player in the increasingly crowdfunding field has some funding of its own to brag about after receiving $15 million in Series A venture funding in a round that was lead by Insight Venture Partners and included Khosla Ventures as a new investor.

Existing investors Metamorphic Ventures, MHS Capital, ffVenture Capital, and Steve Schoettler, co founder of Zynga also participated. The company had previously closed a $1.5 million seed round. It plans to use the money to scale out its operations according to Venture Wire.

While the growth of crowdfunding sites has been credited to the enactment of the JOBS Act that eased direct investment in companies by individuals, Indiegogo precedes the act by a number of years. After failing to get funding for a project that its founders were trying to get off the ground it turned to helping others find funding, ranging from indie films to tech projects.

The site operates much like others in that it has a number of profile fund raising efforts, the close date for the funding project, the goal and where the effort stands to date. If a company does not reach its goal it gets nothing.

This field seems to be growing by leaps and bounds and we hold out hope that some really solid products come from all of the various crowdfunding efforts. I suspect that we will see some continued growth in this market as others seek to cash in before the inevitable market retraction.

Pocket TV Seeks to Turn your TV into a Giant Android Device

A new crowdfunding effort has caught my eye this week with a project to turn your television into an Android tablet. It does seem a bit counterproductive at first since I can buy quite a few tablets for the cost of my TV but on looking at the details it seems that if it is priced right it could make a very solid tool for people on the go, work wise and for vacation.

However the Pocket TV is an interesting device. The builders have created a computer on a dongle powered by a 1GHz Cortex A9 processor that runs the Android 4.0 operating system and is designed to plug into a TV’s HDMI port. Once connected it permits you to display your Android environment on the big screen.

The dongle enables you to bring the environment with you wherever you go so that you can use it in say a hotel room and it would give you video conferencing capabilities if you so wanted. It also allows you to access data and videos that you have stored in the cloud, giving a traveler even more flexibility. Included with the dongle is a standard IR remote that enables you to control the device while using the big screen since it does not convert it to touch screen capabilities

The funding process is going quite well for the effort. As of this morning it had a bit over $94,000 pledged of the $100,000 that it is seeking and it still has 33 days to go, so it looks like it will reach its goal with time, and possibly money to spare.

The more I learned about the device the more interested I was in Pocket TV. I can really see this as a boon when you have short trips and just need something to respond to check social media, play a game or two or respond to email but dislike carrying a notebook or tablet, and with the large screen it can be much more convenient than a smartphone in some environments.

The Pocket TV is the first from a startup called Infinitec, a technology developer that is based in Dubai, making it the first high-tech project I have seen from that country. It has been around for some time, having opened its doors in 2008 and was founded by Ahmad Zahran and David McKern and got its start developing USB memory drives.

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Facebook Phone, Dell Tablet Specs?

Toshiba has announced that it is getting out of the netbook market and will not be offering new ones, at least in the United States. This follows a trend that has been developing for some time as others have already discontinued their efforts, including Dell.

Toshiba said that it will instead be focusing on the ultrabook, an emerging class of notebooks that feature light, sleek form factors coupled with powerful processors, according to Liliputing. I suspect that the netbook category is going to be killed, at least in the US, by ultrabook from one direction and tablets in the other.

Dell Tablet specs leaked?
I am always a bit leery of publishing leaked information unless it was leaked to me personally but the piece over at Neowin looks pretty compelling. It appears that Dell is developing its forthcoming Windows 8 tablet around Intel’s Clover Trail dual core Atom processor and that the device will have a 10.1-inch HD display with 1366 x 768 resolution.

Other features include 2GB of memory and as much as 128 GB of SSD storage. An interesting feature looks to be a removable battery that allows users to choose between one that has a 6-8 hour life and a larger one that has 10-12 hour life.

Apple’s response to DOJ a good read
While I have not read the legal documents the people at Forbes have gone to the trouble and bring out some marvelous quotes from Apple’s filings and some interesting commentary about how they foresee the case progressing.

Not being a lawyer hinders any real objective opinion on my part but I think that the author of the piece, Philip Elmer-DeWitt, makes a pretty compelling argument on Apple’s side. Head over for his piece and a like to the Apple filing.

Crowdfunding site flaws?
I increasingly talk about crowd funding as it is an interesting method for small developers to get the initial funding needed to launch a product. However there is another side to the equation that is clearly brought out by Gizmodo — the failures.

It points out that companies that you see on its front page are ones that are getting funding, while ones that fail, or are on their way to failure, seem to completely disappear from the site, as it only wants to show winning or potential winning offerings.

Since, according to the article, Kickstarter gets a percentage of the amount pledged; this makes sense since only projects that get 100% of their request get anything. To see why some of them might have failed head over to Mashable for a short piece on crowd funding mistakes.

The Patent Wars continue

Microsoft wins round versus Motorola in Germany
Apparently Microsoft owns patents relating to how you splint one log text message into two smaller ones and Motorola has violated those patents. A German court ruled that Motorola’s technology to permit this feature infringes on Microsoft’s patents. It was reported that while Microsoft could ban Motorola products in the country it is instead seeking a license fee.

The two have been going at it tooth and nail for some time in the patent department with both sides scoring what appear to be major victories. I wonder of the license fee is the first step towards resolving their issues.

Apple tops in mobile PCs
The preliminary results are in for the NPD DisplaySearch’s Quarterly Mobile PC Shipments and Forecast Report is in and to the probably surprise of no one Apple is the top dog in this field. According to the report Apple shipped approximately 17.2 million mobile PCs in Q1’12.

This is a 118% increase over the same period from a year ago and of the total iPads represented 80% of Apple’s total, or 13.6 million units. For the industry as a whole the results were nowhere near as good with shipments growing 30% year to year, reaching 76.2 million for the quarter.

Cisco kills Tablet
In a move that surprised me because the product never appeared on my radar in the first place, Cisco is killing its Cius tablet. The networking giant had developed and introduced the tablet a year ago with the stated purpose of pioneering the business market with the product.

The tablet featured a 7-inch display and had a $750 list price. Sold via its channel partners it was obviously hurt by lower cost offerings from rivals that businesses increasingly allowed employees to bring in from home.

Facebook building smartphone?
The New York Times has reported that Facebook is once again dipping its toe into the smartphone market and has a project underway that should see a new product available in the market sometime next year.

According to the article Facebook has been actively hiring hardware and software engineers including a number that had worked on Apple’s iPhone. It had been reported a few years ago that Facebook had a development project for a phone but killed it.

Cookoo seeks to follow in Pebble’s Footsteps

Another connected watch; this time from developer ConnectedDevice called the Cookoo Connected Watch has found its way to the land of hopeful investors that is Kickstarter. The offering is less ambitious than what Pebble is seeking to deliver but also comes in what appears to be a much sleeker package.

The Cookoo seeks to strip down the connected device experience to the basics. It connects to either an Android or iOS powered device via Bluetooth and lets you know if you have received a call, text, Facebook notification and a few other settings. Using its app a user can set what information it will alert them to and how, either a buzz or a vibration. The appropriate icon on the watch will flash when a notification is required.

The watch uses a regular watch battery and is not rechargeable but the company estimates that an average user will get a year’s activity per battery. It is expected to have a $99.95 list price when available. On Kickstarter the Cookoo has so far raised $25,094 of its goal of $150,000 with 357 backers. It has 43 days to go before the make or break it deadline.

While many of the emerging class of connected accessories have a sports aspect to them, goggles that show ski terrain, a watch that show the distance to the pin in golf for instance. While Pebble is not designed specifically for that the first apps emerging are sports related.

However the Cookoo may be the validation for this type of endeavor even if it is not sports related. Hauling out your smartphone to look at the time, or check text messages is increasingly frowned on in meetings as management wants your attention. By simply looking at your watch to see if a text has arrived, to check your calendar and the few other functions could really make the device beneficial.

It is interesting in that the runaway success of Pebble’s could have some negative aspects. The products developers were seeking $100,000 and received backing of $10,266,845. Maybe a bit of overkill?

The issue here is taxes. The company’s product is not yet available, and yet it will soon have revenue of $10 million, so it seems that developers using crowd funding had better read up on this aspect of their business plan quickly.