View Full Version : The Apple Tablet, hmm...
02-03-2006, 10:41 AM
An update to Apple, patenting a tablet based Mac.
What do you think about it?
02-03-2006, 10:51 AM
See if you can find the lifestyle patents no doubt associated with it. I don't want to buy one to find out I have to have an albino chihuahua named after some kind of coffee that ends in a vowel.
(I just spent another subway ride hearing audio bleed - - but it only (as always) comes from little white ear buds. I wonder what it'll be with this tablet, people holding it at arm's length on a crowded subway?)
02-03-2006, 11:02 AM
Apple is on a patent binge. Patents don't necessarily lead to products. But they can lead to lawsuits for infringement of ideas that will *never* be used by their creators. Just ask RIM.
(Side note: Some eejit is suing Apple for hearing loss "casued" by his iPod. I hope someone does some investigation to see if Sony was ever thusly sued over the Walkman. And what the Walkman's max volume is/was vs iPod's.)
02-03-2006, 01:06 PM
An Apple Tablet has been the holy grail for many Mac users. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few prototypes floating around Cupertino. (Don't forget, OSX has the Inkwell technology built right in. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to have it working on a tablet.)
Personally, I wish they would come out with a sub-portable laptop; something under 2.5 pounds. I love my 12 inch Powerbook, but sometimes I just don't want to lug it around. On those days, I take my Japanese imported Panasonic R3; 2.2 pounds with up to 8 hours of batter life. Love it.
02-03-2006, 03:27 PM
What do you think about it?I just read the patent application. The representation that the ideas in the application are just now being 'invented' is totally f__ing ridiculous. The USA patent system is hopelessly broken - the courts that enforce patents are hopelessly incapable of doing their job - and the whole situation is just a disaster for the individual in the tech age. A pox on Apple - they deserve all the scorn we can muster.
02-03-2006, 03:46 PM
LOL! Tell us how you really feel, Remote User. :)
I do agree with you, the USA patent system is hopelessly broken and I don't see anyway it can be fixed. The way it operates is antiquated and it's been unable to keep up with new technology.
02-03-2006, 03:52 PM
LOL! Tell us how you really feel, Remote User! I've been doing nothing but building touchscreen graphical user interfaces for decades. I DEFY the people whose names are in this patent application to show me they are doing something new. If they are, there's no hint of it in the patent application. It makes me literally sick in my stomach to see people doing things like this.
(By the way, at Reggie's suggestion, I opened my control panel and put you know who in my ignore list. You and @desktop should do the same. He will be 'dead' to you from that point onward. You'll never see another word he writes.)
02-04-2006, 04:11 AM
So what it is a patent APPLICATION, not a patent. One can apply for anythink. Hopefully, if it is not found to be new, they won't get a patent.
02-04-2006, 04:40 AM
Jerome, yes, exactly. One can apply for a patent for anything with the proper legal papers and fees. Part of the problem with the US patent system is it's overwhelmed with applications.
Remote User has a good point too, especially as someone who works in the field of this particular patent. I find it hard to believe that what Apple is applying for is something new and never done before. Seems to me they just have the money and resources to get the patent.
And, some patents just seem so ridiculous when said applications that have been patented would've come as technology evolves. I think RU is right that the US patent system is in need of serious reform.
ETA: RU, thanks for the suggestion. Personally, I'm not one to ignore people; I just prefer reasoned and reasonable debate that isn't personal. Personal attacks are just not necessary, imo.
02-04-2006, 08:33 AM
Well, I don't think that particular application is really that ridiculous. It is talking about "multipoint sensing devices". Meaning two (or theoretically more) inputs on screen at the same time.
I guess it's relatively similar to what Apple has on the touch pad:s on some of the Powerbooks. Like two fingers to the same direction is panning, and one finger static and other circling is rotating etc.
I haven't actually seen that anywhere before. Remote User, can you point us towards some prior art touch screen devices that have this feature?
02-04-2006, 10:15 AM
"multipoint sensing devices". Meaning two (or theoretically more) inputs on screen at the same time. I haven't actually seen that anywhere before. Remote User, can you point us towards some prior art touch screen devices that have this feature?For decades the engineers who write the mathematical components of the algorithms which generate digital X and Y coordinates from the disturbances your finger creates in the analog baseline sine waves have routinely assumed that two simultaneous touches should be averaged and outputted as a single touch point. The idea of outputting two distinct X and Y coordinate results was simply dismissed, undoubtedly, as something that that nobody was asking for in the final product. Multipoint sensing has been going on for a very long time, and it is not something that has just been 'invented'. Apple wants to claim that touching the screen with two fingers to manipulate the interface isn't obvious, that it's new and that it's worthy of government protection for the next 20 years. Oh, and they want to be paid every time somebody uses two fingers instead of one, not just on their imaginary device but on any real device that enters the market. How can it be new and not obvious (i.e., the unique insight of the patent applicant) if it's been going on for 35 years?
In the larger context, I detest the idea of patent abuse and there's no serious argument that patent abuse is a cancer in all things Tech today. One area where patents should not even be accepted is the area of user interfaces. When I first started writing software and developing GUI paradigms, patents on such work were rejected out of hand by the patent office. The political and economic power of many large corporations has changed this policy and patents are issued on just about anything these days, including how you make a sandwich, how you swing and how you touch something. There is a patent on how you use software to order a meal in a restaurant; it was granted to someone else, not me, 22 years after I first wrote it and 15 years after I first put such software in the market. All the patent holder had to do was describe how my software works. I have ignored the patent and the patent holder has ignored me. There's also a patent on how you select a table in a restaurant for opening a guest check on a touchscreen. My software was marketed 7 years prior to that patent application. The holder once threatened me, I threatened back and he chose to not attempt to enforce his patent. I have many more examples of such crap.
(scuse me for the interruption, I had to heave)
I have made contributions to touchscreen interfaces that have been adopted worldwide without ever applying for any patents, or royalties, even, and I am absolutely confident that if the patent system had been abused as badly 20 & 30 years ago as it is being abused now, that you would not see the incredibly vibrant and competitive touchscreen point of sale industry that exists worldwide today. I mention point of sale because it's the visible part of what I do and it's the number one use for touchscreens today. Yes, there is a relationship between these.
Patenting how machines react to how we touch them and how we control them is a detestable activity. "If you touch it like that you have to pay me!" "You can't let people touch your machine like that because I 'own' touching any machine at all like that." A patent system out of control, enforced by a government bought and paid for by corporations, in an area of GUIs, is oppressive, predatory and wrong. As health professionals take the oath to do no harm, tech professionals, lawyers and anybody who files a patent application should take an oath to not try to exploit the fact that people have to look at and touch machines and tools to be able to use them at all.
There are lawyers who look at what is going on in tech and do nothing but file patents based on simple user interface ideas which they see entering the market, things like touchscreen number keypads on cellphones. They count on the fact that most companies will simply pay such lawyers instead of defend themselves, especially if they are not US companies, because unless they do so they can't enter the US market. Extend that abuse worldwide, of course. If I had time I'd write a book.
Here's a link for two patents granted for the same thing.
02-04-2006, 11:34 AM
Remember when there was a vague threat from Amazon to some other company (maybe Barnes and Noble) because Amazon had patented the "one click shopping" web interface? I recall that Amazon never formally threatened a law suit and Barnes and Noble went on to use a "two click" shopping interface. And now look at them.
For those who are interested, the Jazz Mutant Lemur is a multitouch screen for music/video applications. It's distributed by Cycling '74, if you want to look it up.
02-06-2006, 02:58 PM
I just wanted to applaud you Remote User...good statement.
02-24-2006, 02:43 AM
The patent system in the US has been abused since its inception. Some of the most ridiculous patents were filed in the 19th century. Lots of quack formulas for drugs that didn't work, and in some cases were dangerous. The copyright system is even more screwed up.
As for the Apple tablet, I'd consider it. There are rumors of an Apple iBook, possibly in tablet form that's to be released at the end of the month. Since I'm in the market to replace my recently stolen Powerbook, it's on my list of machines to check out if it is released. If it does urn out to be real, imagine the possibilities if it were combined with Adobe Illustrator.
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.