Friday Grab Bag: Too Many Penguin Texts? Free Wi-Fi for Intel.

Barry Bonds was interviewed last week and it seems that the former Pirates and Giants slugger is interested in taking a role in baseball. He met with Giants team executives about a role for himself with the squad.

Bonds has a personal service contract with the team that has apparently been inactive while he went through his trial and now that it’s behind him is looking for it to become active. I guess if Mark McGwire can return why not Bonds? I think sports reporters cringe at the idea.

The Patent Wars — A visual representation
The number of patent lawsuits seems to be increasing geometrically in the last few months as company after company either sues or countersues rivals. It has gotten so big that it is almost impossible to stay on top of all of the suits, lower and up court rulings along with alliances and patent sell-offs.

Now a site called has set it out in a graphic format that sets out the details much clearer. It shows who is selling patents to whom, and how many. It shows the back and forth suits between players such as Microsoft and Motorola. Head over and see if you can figure it out.

Technicolor seeks to enforce 40,000 patents
Remember Technicolor? You still occasionally see its logo on older movies, particularly many of the early classics that were filmed in color. Well the company has apparently been working to enforce a range of patents that it owns and its prime target appears to be mobile devices such as handhelds and smartphones.

The company said that the patents are in areas such as video, audio and optics and it has a team of 220 people that are dissecting products to see if and how they might violate its patents. The licensing division at the company represents a growing revenue and profit stream.

The Mariners erupt for lots of runs — and Twitter fans celebrate
I know from experience that it is always hard to stay positive about your favorite baseball team when they are playing poorly and it looks like it will be a very long season of poor play and lots of losses. The Mariner fans have seen their team flounder a bit but it certainly rose to the occasion when the Texas Rangers came to town this week.

Two high scoring games by the team, with one final score more closely resembling a football score had the teams’ fans sharing their enjoyment on Twitter. I do not follow the team on Twitter but was surprised to see the results when MLB pointed it out and directed users over to its Twitter Hub, a site I had previously missed. Interesting place.

Intel/Devicescape a Boon to Mobile Devices Owners with Intel Inside
Intel has reached a deal with a company called Devicescape that will enable users of ultrabooks and tablets that are using select Intel technology to gain free access to a network of 7 million public Wi-Fi spots. Using a feature called ‘enhanced connectivity’ that is in some Intel-powered devices a use can connect to Devicescape’s Curated Virtual Network (CVN).

The CVN has the ability to update a wide range of apps such as Facebook, email and Twitter on the device even if that device is in sleep mode. It even has the ability to log in to select networks that require that.

Cisco claims 2.5 web connections for each person on earth by 2016
In an annual survey conducted by Cisco Systems it predicted that by 2016 the number of Internet connections in the world would grow to 18.9 billion, a growth that is being driven by the demand and deployment of mobile devices.

The survey said that last year there was a mere 10.3 billion connections and that the biggest traffic growth would come from India, Brazil and South Africa. Sounds like a good time to be a networking company.

Pittsburgh Penguins abuse fan via Text
A fan is suing the Pittsburg Penguins hockey team over disregarding the terms of an agreement that he signed with the team and claims that it is sending him too many text messages. The agreement limits the team to three text messages a week and in the first week it sent 5 and the following week 4. He is seeking class action suit status and wants unspecified damages. The horror, the horror.

Twitter use slowly growing, survey says
The Pew Internet & American Life Project takes a look at Twitter use and finds that its adoption rate is stable and slowly growing, from 11% of US adults last May 2011 to 15% one year later. The study found that daily usage had increased to 8% of Internet users.

The biggest growth area, probably not too surprising, was in younger Internet users, in the 18-24 year old space, which tripled in the last year.

Google files antitrust complaint against Microsoft/Nokia
Google is claiming in an antitrust complaint that Microsoft and Windows phone ally Nokia use of patents has been done in such a way as to disrupt Google’s Android business. The complaint, filed with the European Commission, claims that the two plaintiffs, and others, are conspiring to enforce their patents in relation to smartphones and then splitting the resulting revenue.

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Chipped Jerseys?

Microchip in Jerseys boosts merchandise, ticket sales
The NHL’s Tampa Bay Lighting has added a replica jersey to its lineup that features a radio frequency chip that allows fans to scan to get assorted deals. The chip, when scanned at stadium stores will offer discounts on team merchandise and refreshments.

The team had been struggling with fan support and claims that this program has been a boon for its sales and has attributed the chip in part for a twofold increase in its season ticket sales this year. A secondary effect has been the increase in fans wearing the home team jerseys, rather than those of the opposition.

Acer readies budget Iconia Tablet.
After leaks about its new tablet starting hitting the streets Acer must have decided “why not” and unveiled its budget tablet, the Iconia Tab A200. The company kept some things the same-10-inch display and dual core Tegra 2 processor.

To save costs the available storage has been reduced to 8GB or 16GB rather than the 16GB and 32GB offerings elsewhere in the Iconia line. It will have a 2MP front camera but no rear facing camera, a microSDHC card slot and will ship with Android 3.2 but the company said that it will be upgradable to 4.0. Pricing has not been announced.

A Microsoft platform without Windows?
Well not quite but PC Advisor is reporting that the forthcoming Windows 8 Tablets and other devices will just have to do without the traditional Windows desktop since it will not be offered on ARM-based devices.

Instead Microsoft will continue to push its Metro interface as the interface of choice on mobile devices. The company has already debuted Metro on the Windows Phone 7 devices. If you are an iPhone or Android user Microsoft is offering test drives of the interface on those platforms.

Intel eyes China as destination for additional investments
EE Times Asia is reporting that Intel Capital is planning to increase its investments in China next year. The company looks to focus on technologies that are related to the mobile device and ultra-thin portable PC technologies sector.

Intel said that in 2011 it invested approximately $70 million in 10 companies based in China, out of a total worldwide investment of $500 million. Other areas that it will look into investing in include cloud computing, software, security and products that support the mobile device ecosystem.

New features for Android in 2012
Wondering what will be in store for your next generation smartphone, assuming you are using an Android-based device. Well PC World has taken the time to list a range of the new features that are expected, but not announced for that platform.

Included are some that are expected such as better graphics and better cameras as well as a few that might be a bit further out such as enhanced voice command capabilities and hopefully a translation features as well.

Samsung wins latest patent round with Apple
A US federal judge has stymied Apple’s efforts to block Samsung from selling a range of smartphones and Tablets that Apple claims infringe on its patents related to its iPads and iPhones. Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court in San Jose last Friday denied Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung.

This is just one of the ten countries that the two are fighting a heated patent battle with the results mixed for both companies. This ruling opens the door for Samsung to sell its highly rated Galaxy S and other tablet and phone products.

Scrolling by the patent wars

While a great deal of noise over who stole what is still going on, Apple has apparently licensed some of its iOS technology and even offered it to Samsung, according to a report from the Verge. It said that the “scrollback” feature that displays a different background when you scroll past the edge of a document.

The report stated that Apple licensed the technology to both IBM and Nokia and offered this to be licensed by Samsung as well. Samsung declined. This technology is one of the bones of contention between Apple and Samsung.