Tech is a very competitive sector of the global economy, with the biggest firms constantly trying to out-muscle each other in order to be top of the technology tree. The likes of Apple, Samsung and Microsoft have tried to pull out all the stops to make sure their latest gadget or console is the most popular with consumers, but when making a wrong turn, they occasionally find themselves in court!
As this infographic by the guys at first4lawyers reveals, when tech giants are summoned to the court for being on the wrong side of each other or the authorities, they can end up paying a huge amount in damages. The most recent of all these cases involved an epic courtroom battle between Apple and Samsung over patent infringement.
The Korean firm were asked to pay Apple over $1bn, a fee which they have tried to bring down in order to minimise the impact on company profits. Other cases listed here involve firms trying to improve profitability at the expense of the consumer and smaller rivals, something that Microsoft in particular have been accused of.
To stay out of court in the future, the biggest tech firms should try to play fair, while also taking into account the needs of the consumer. The amount of money fined is substantial, so the incentive to stick to the rules is there!
This coming Saturday, Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S4, goes on sale.
Global smartphone market share by provider.
Like with most mass market technology, there is a war going on in the smartphone industry. In 2012, according to market analyst firm ICD, Samsung controlled 30.3% of the global smartphone market, 59.5% up on the 19% of the market it controlled the year before.
There is no doubt that Samsung is currently the dominant force in the smartphone market. The firm seems to slowly be winning its battle with Apple, and looks set to take on Google next, with rumours that it soon plans to ditch Google’s Android operating system altogether.
Nokia are predicted to make a comeback (how successful I am unsure) thanks to Windows RT, and makers of BlackBerry, RIM, are also looking stronger in 2013 after the release of BlackBerry 10 earlier this year.
Samsung are trying to steal even more of the market from its competitors with the Galaxy S4, so it has pulled out a few stops, maybe not all the stops, but quite a few, to make sure that the phone is a success.
So, the phone has loads of new features, to make it slightly better than its predecessor – the S3.
The S4 has a slightly bigger (5mm to be exact) screen, boasting a whole 5 inches of full HD display, which no doubt gives it amazing clarity. The new phone is also slightly thinner than the S3.
You can buy a Galaxy S4 in black and white, or as Samsung like to call them: black mist and white frost. I have never looked at a phone before (smart or not) and thought “that looks like frost” or mist, but maybe the S4 really does; or maybe it’s just marketing.
Samsung claim the latest edition of its Galaxy is usable even with gloves on, hopefully reducing the cases of zombie fingers – Jonny, you might be able to use it! 😉
The phone has various other new features, such as Samsung WatchON, which connects your phone to your TV, turning your phone into a remote control.
Another new feature is the multi-speaker capability – if you have more than one handy, you can sync them together to create a better quality of sound.
The S4 will also come with built in 4G compatibility, which the original S3 didn’t. If a fast internet connection is important to you when you are on the go, then the S4 is probably a better choice than the S3.
Probably the most exciting new feature of the Galaxy S4 is the new eye-tracking technology. The phone uses its front camera to monitor the users eye movements, and uses can use this function for a host of different activities.
One of the features which uses the eye-tracking technology is video playback. If you are watching something, and then look away, the device automatically pauses the media for you. Furthermore, eye-tracking technology can be used to scroll up and down a page, without the need to even touch the screen.
There are two interesting developments in the photographic area of the phone, the first is that you can now add audio snippets to pictures, to enable you to catch even more of the moment. You can also merge video with picture, creating partially animated pictures – sort of like the photographs in the Harry Potter films.
The S4 can also use (and display) the front and rear camera simultaneously, which shows that its quad-core ARM processor is pretty quick!
So what are your thoughts on the S4? If you are getting one, do let us know!
Do you think that Samsung have done enough to fend off the competition from its closest rivals?
Personally I think the S4 looks like it is set to become the best smartphone on the market when it goes live at the end of the week.
This post was going to be entitled “Why you should stop using Internet Explorer” however I didn’t think that was a strong enough title, so I changed it to the direct instruction you see above this text: Stop using Internet Explorer.
You have a choice. You can use Google, Bing, Yahoo! or Ask. You can buy Windows, Mac OS, Chrome OS or Ubuntu. You can go with Apple, Samsung, Sony or RIM.
Although Google dominate the search market, there are still many other search engines out there. Microsoft dominate the computer market, but you can still choose from a [reasonable] selection of other, popular operating systems. You could argue that Samsung now dominate the global smartphone market, but there are still many other companies you can go to to get a smartphone.
You also have a choice as to what browser you use. The internet is arguably now the main function for any computer, so surely you should devote some time then to choosing which browser is right for you?
If you have tried more than three different browsers before, for a considerable length of time and have after weighing up all the pros and cons of each, have chosen your favourite, well done you. If you haven’t, read on.
If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), stop. Okay, well you can finish reading the article, but then stop using it. A simple instruction, which could do wonders for your internet experience.
Reasons To Not Use IE
There are many reasons not to use IE. Here is a list of what I think are the strongest arguments against the heavy, slow and outdated browser.
Lack of Security
IE seems to constantly be in the news for its security issues. Much of the malware out there on the internet is only made possible by bugs and holes in Internet Explorer! Need proof? Check out this section of IE’s Wikipedia page.
In recent years Microsoft have been really working on making Internet Explorer faster, and IE 9 is much faster than IE 6 or 7 were; granted. That said, it is still much slower than the competition. For example, loading Technology Bloggers from cold (hard refresh) in Firefox, Chrome and Safari took 3 seconds, Opera took 4, while Internet Explorer took 7 seconds.
Lack of Features
Without a doubt, for features, add-ons and extensions, Firefox and Chrome are miles out in front. Safari and Opera also have a reasonable number of things you can add to your browser to customise/improve it, but Internet Explorer has only really started to embrace such features since IE 8. Apart from toolbars, Flash, Adobe Reader etc. IE 6 didn’t really do add-ons.
How IE rendered the same code (our social buttons) on three separate page loads – neither is correct.
Take a look at the three images to the right.
Each of the images is a different variation of the social buttons on our sidebar that IE rendered. The screen size remained the same, and the loads were seconds apart.
IE managed to render three completely different versions of the same code. How does that work?
In the first image it didn’t even attempt to load the social buttons before declaring it was finished. It took a better shot in the second image, whilst in the third image it didn’t bother loading Twitter and threw Google+ to the bottom. Why?
Upon loading the blog in Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera, I saw the exact same result. Each browser displayed them as they are meant to be displayed, every time – Internet Expolorer didn’t.
Lack of Compatibility with Modern Code
Code is advancing all the time, and a good browser will keep up to date with changes, and make sure it is able to interpret and display modern CSS, HTML, PHP etc.
When the blog snows at Christmas, IE doesn’t show that, IE also doesn’t like the ‘modern’ code which makes our search box work, or the code we use to add shadows to text.
Lack of Compatibility with Older Operating Systems
IE 9 doesn’t work with Windows XP, or any Mac OS or Linux system. Only Vista, 7 and 8 support IE 9. IE 10 only works with Windows 7 and Windows 8. According to StatCounter, in the last 6 months, 26.55% of all computer users used XP, whilst 7.13% used Vista and 7.46% use MacOSX – that’s 41.14% of the market that Microsoft are isolating straight away, and Windows 7 and 8 don’t even own all of the 58.86% share of the market that is left!
Microsoft have recently undergone a quite extensive advertising campaign for IE, to try and shake off its bad reputation. They state how ‘lightning fast’ it is compared to how it used to be, which I can’t dispute. What they don’t however say is how it compares to Chrome or Opera. They also try to reassure users that it is now secure, although that is still debatable!