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USPTO Knows Apple's Next Big Reveal

(image via appleinsider.com)

Want to know what Apple is up to next? Just check with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Appleinsider reported that the next generation iPhone could have 3D picture capabilities. A patent filed by Apple called, "Systems and Methods for an Imaging System Using Multiple Image Sensors" suggests that the hottest U.S. company is entering into the world of 3D imagery. The rumor mill is already a buzz as to what the new features will be on the iPhone5. Take 3D photography off the list of rumors. It's now a possibility.

Also discovered via the USPTO, not as cool a find as a 3D camera, but for those intrigued by all Apple products, Apple maybe working on a Power Adapter with a built-in battery device to charge such devices as a Macbook, iPhone or iPod when away from an electrical outlet. According to the image (shown above) submitted to the USPTO, the device has a "wireless control". One can only guess that this means wireless charging is in the future.


Source:

appleinsider.com (3D Imaging)
appleinsider.com (Power Adapter)

iPad2: 5pm Product Launch to Minimize Liability?

Last year when the AT&T iPhone4 was released, Apple saw recorded number turn outs on the first day of sales. I was one of the thousands of people who stood in line for hours at the Apple store. I arrived at 6am to secure a good placement in line. Well, as it turns out, I wasn't the only one with the plan to arrive early. People had been camping out since the stores closing the night before. This was a common story across the country.

Tomorrow, Apple will launch the iPad2. Speculation has begun as to how big the turn out will be. Most say the crowd will not be as big as it was for the iPhone4, but there will still be large numbers. Apple’s website states that sales of the iPad2 will begin at 5pm. Is Apple trying to minimize their liability with an afternoon product launch? I guess well see if Apple die-hards will be popping their tents tonight.

Apple Calls Out the Kettle


Apple has had some difficulties obtaining a trademark for its App Store. The App Store runs on iOS (iPhone Operating System) and Mac OS X (Computer Operating System). Of course, the road bump they have hit has something to do with a little company named Microsoft. Microsoft filed an objection to Apples “App Store” trademark stating that the mark is too “generic”.  Apple shot back at Microsoft and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office saying that they should be allowed to the ownership of the trademark just like Microsoft is allowed to own the mark to its operating system, “Windows”. Microsoft has had many challenges in the past registering the mark “Windows” due to its generic nature. This sounds to me like the pot is calling the kettle black.

Another Apple Blog. Sorry.

I’ve been an Apple®-ite for all of my adult and most of my quasi-adult life.  It was an easy sell when I was younger, though almost prohibitively expensive.  Also problematic – Apples had this almost certainly predictable life of 3 years.  At the three year point, the machines would just, well, sort of give up.  Slow down, crash, generally present themselves in a grumpy fashion, indicating they were ready for eBay discounting.  This happened with my first generation G3 powerbook, and again with my first generation swivel-screen iMac.

Then it happened.  Prices came down, quality improved.  Apple crossed into everyman’s land and left the musician/artist-centered demographic – their former and exclusive domain.

I’m writing this from a 2004 PowerBook G4 from my desk at work.  I have the same machine at home.  Both are flawless.  Our office runs Macs exclusively, a complete anomaly in the legal world.  Ten years ago, it would have been impossible.

The constant in all this is the culture of Apple.  Somebody somewhere commissioned a poll at some point that measured the attrition rate of Apple users and similarly (and comparatively) the attrition rate of PC users.  The crossover, I’m positing, is a one-way street.  Once you’re in, you don’t leave.  You drank the Kool-Aid® and it tasted great.

My entrenchment only escalated with the introduction of the iPhone.  I’m a veritable foster parent to the iPhone in all its released forms, having adopted (purchased and loved) each generation thus far.  The Wall Street Journal apparently broke the rumor that the next generation will be released later this year and according to Apple’s track record the rumor fits into the product cycle (Read:  Author salivating).

Reasons my Appliction (trademark pending, all rights reserved) is growing:

1.  My son took his first steps this morning.  iPhone was in hand to capture it.  A couple of keystrokes later and the video flew through the info-highway to my family and friends.

2.  Monday morning, washing hands at the sink.  iPhone on sink counter.  A series of events (my idiocy) caused said iPhone to attempt suicide by diving into sink.  Water ensued, submerging apparently depressed iPhone (why else would it jump, I ask??).  Two hours of depressed iPhone thinking it had headphones plugged in, erratic volume adjustments, a passionate desire to enter Airplane Mode and cries for help (Read:  Never before seen error messages).    Then it happened.  It was perfect again.

Not entirely true.  On the way home that fateful evening, I was doing some life-coaching with iPhone.  I mean, everyone needs a little pick-me-up after such an event.  We were reminiscing about the old days, when life was simpler ya know?  As we both love poker (iPhone has an app, I have patience), I decided to pull up a YouTube clip from the 2008 World Series of Poker (Quad Aces beat by Straight Flush – a real scorcher).  No audio, no volume bar.   iPhone suggested watching some home movies instead – maybe it was just a b-level clip that someone uploaded poorly.  Enter clip of baby fighting with hose in backyard – no audio, no volume bar.  Uh oh.

Then it happened.  Restore through iTunes.  Perfect again.

I’m not saying it’s waterproof.  I AM saying WOW!  More Kool-Aid, please.

Until next time.  I promise to write about something other than Apple, unless I buy an iPad.

Steve Jobs emailed me!

No, he didn’t.  There is a chance that some day he will though.  The semi-undipsuted king of computing does, on occasion, respond to random emails from Apple geeks.  It’s only a Google away to find his personal email address (Hint:  it may be sjobs@apple.com) and you may even run across some of the responses people have received from Sir Apple himself.

So what?
The number one complaint people voice about their attorneys is no communication.  Unreturned phone calls, emails, letters, smoke signals – all amount up to client frustration and often result in client departure.  If Steve has time to field emails form 989apple_rocks!@hotmail.com (The address portrayed in this sentence is a work of fiction, any resemblance to an actual person’s address is unintentional.  But let’s be honest, there’s only about 3 people who still use Hotmail.  If you’re one of them, please let me know if this is yours!), then there’s never an excuse for us as attorneys to let clients fall by the wayside.

We may not be changing the world of communication or culture on a daily basis, but we deal with serious matters for businesses and individuals and our charge is to keep those lines of communication open, most of all when a client has reached out to us.

There is a remarkably intriguing study (and corresponding book) by Masaru Emoto entitled “Hidden Messages in Water.”  You may have run into its mention in the film “What the Bleep Do We Know” if it’s ringing a bell.  It’s a quick read and, objectively, fascinating.  In addition to the pictures of the effect of classical music vs. death metal on a water crystal’s formation (beautiful and destroyed, respectively), there is a recounting of an experiment conducted with grains of rice. Here’s the short story – families were given the task to place three grains of rice in three separate jars and speak to them on a daily basis.  The grain in jar 1 was praised, encouraged and otherwise given reassuring and positive messages.  Jar 2 was subjected to negativity, disgust, hate, etc…  Jar 3 was ignored.  Not surprisingly (or completely shocking, depending on your metaphysical and spiritual inclinations), Jar 1 flourished and sprouted; Jar 2 did not; Jar 3 rotted and decayed rapidly.

Whether you doubt the veracity of the study or accept it without reservation, the anecdotal lesson is a very simple one:  Not communicating is the most damaging thing one can do.  It doesn’t need to be the greatest news in the world, but people need to hear something.  Ignorance kills.

You’re never going to be in Jar 3 on a shelf at Guzman Law Group.

Until next time…

Why Jury Duty Gets a Bad Rap

Their sits a man, a man in his early seventies with a balding grey head. In his striped collared shirt and his blue jeans he dawns head phones and an iPod as he rocks out to, what sounds like, country music. With all distracting sounds isolated, the man can focus on his crossword puzzle. “16 Down...” he mutters, “Ovation...”. Apparently, today’s crossword puzzle is oral. Too bad he is not reading the entire puzzle out loud, this could have been a fun group activity. I sit in my corner of the “L” shaped air conditioned trailer and wait; wait for my name to be called, wait to go to lunch, wait for something, wait, wait, wait. I’m at Jury Duty. The Jury Room clerk announces that the only people who will be excused from duty are the ones who produce their own death certificate. I guess I’m not going anywhere soon.

I continue to sit patiently in the grey, unexpectedly, thick padded chair, with my laptop open, catching up on emails and watching my tweets. Apple has just commenced one of their big events where they unveiling new products. Just a few minutes into Apple’s presentation, Twitter became overwhelmed and inactive, overloaded with Apple lovers’ excitement to spread the word of Job. That’s Steve Job. Taking a break from my computer screen while Twitter regrouped, I took in my fellow jurors who sat in our corner of the “L” shaped trailer.

A lot of reading was happening: books, newspapers and magazines. The business men and women, most whom attempted, and with little success (since they still have a pulse), to get out of their day of civic duty, tap away at their keyboards, flip through papers and cross reference information on their iPhones or Blackberrys. The man sitting in front of me is an attorney who is still not sure why legal professionals should be summoned. The man sitting next to him is a commercial airline pilot who just came back last night from piloting an LAX to JFK turn around trip. His name was called, not for jury duty, but because he accidentally left his car in neutral and it rolled out into the street. His subconscious was telling the world, or at least the Court House parking lot, that he didn’t really want to be here. And finally, the man sitting at the table: his beast of a laptop is probably three inches thick when closed. I deduced that he is a high school football coach by the copious notes he takes while watching a game on his laptop. Here we are, your jury selection for the day. All of us anxious to be excused, fearful of hearing our name called out. At least we get to go to lunch early.

Once back from lunch, a trial is in need of a jury. One by one, names are called and people rise from their chair, leave the trailer and head to the fifth floor. One woman’s name was called and her response was: “Ah Dang!”. Why is it that people look at Jury Duty as an unwanted responsibility? Today’s excuse is that people can’t afford to loose a day or more of work. It’s true, but what about when the economy was thriving? Why is it that Jury Duty has always had a stigma around it? I guess in our busy, ever quickening world, who has time for civic duty?

Apple vs. Google – Celebrity Death Match?

Forgive the MTV reference to the once-favored cult classic program, but the notion of these two icons ceasing to work together seems so ridiculous and far-fetched, even more so than claymation celebrities killing each other.  Obviously, the latter is more entertaining and the former more newsworthy.  Obviously, Celebrity Death Match wasn’t worried about federal investigations.

The latest news is that Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from his position on the board of directors of Apple.  It may be news to many that he was actually on the board in the first place.  As Google is moving to expand its reach beyond the search engine and online advertisement monopoly (Google Voice, Google’s G1 phone on T-mobile, Android, Chrome, Chrome OS, etc…), it follows suit that there aren’t too many issues left on the Apple plate which wouldn’t necessitate Schmidt recusing himself from discussion.

Apple’s recent rejection of the Google Voice (which allows users to utilize the internet as a phone company, similar to Skype but WAY more advanced) applications from its application store was no shock to the system as they are married to AT&T for providing iPhone users a network on which to surf. The FCC is currently “inquiring” as to the basis of the rejection and are particularly concerned with any concerted action betwixt Apple and AT&T.  The FTC is continuing its investigation of the relationship between Google and Apple for anti-competitive practices and Schmidt’s resignation has not showed signs of slowing the hunt.  Arthur Levinson, formerly of biotech giant Genentech, still sits on both boards.  Don’t expect Mr. Levinson to enjoy both positions for much longer.

The blanket rejection of Google Voice apps, while expected, still sent a message about the future of telecom and the once symbiotic relationship between Apple and Google.  I would like to think that Steve Jobs is angry that we can’t all just get along.  I imagine Steve playing with the Google Voice app and routing his calls to his iPhone 5.0 beta model just to see how well it works.

You can only have one leader of the pack and it would seem that the pack is developing factions with competing pack interests.  Perhaps there are greater things to come from the packs and Schmidt’s resignation was necessary to avoid further “inquiry” and distracting governmental interest.  It doesn’t really matter.  Competition drives innovation, even if the competition is forced by Big Brother.  Perhaps we will all reap the technological rewards as the icons take a step back from each other and return to the playground for another round of tekky tether ball.

Stay tuned for more as the saga unfolds.