Friday, August 31, 2012

Apple vs Samsung

In the Apple vs Samsung case, the Californian court's jury verdict has gone in favour of Apple.

It is unclear to me how such important cases are handled by the jury. It is not a murder case or defamation case. The US should change its system of deciding on these copyright or patent infringement cases by jury and instead let this be handled by competent judges.

Charges like "copying" rounded corners for icons is ridiculous. I have seen rounded corner icons on the web for decades. A few other features such as 'bounce-back scrolling' and 'tap-to-zoom' are innovative original ideas, but still to be given a patent for such things is ridiculous. The patent office should never have allowed this. So many features in the computing industry have come about by way of copying and perfecting existing ideas.

Touch computing is a new area and has a long way to go. Only by way of copying and improving will there be progress in this space. As noted by the judges in Europe, Samsung's Android tablets/phones are quite inferior in experience compared to iOS devices. Yet, it is growing fast because of its range, price point and product roll out. Apple's attempts to curb this activity, in making the cheaper devices available to a large number of people, should be resisted. Invoking spurious patents for supposed innovations to block a competitor should be seen as anti-competitive and should not be allowed.

Let everyone copy ideas, reproduce and innovate!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kindle in iPad

I have acquired an iPad recently and have since been using Kindle app on this for reading books. Most of my recent book purchases have been through Kindle. The reading experience is better than what I had expected. It appears that I can read more pages in a given time (compared to reading the paper version).

It is still not convenient when it comes to reading a book lying down on a bed, as the iPad is somewhat heavier.

Kindle application on iPad appears to be quite efficient in power usage.

I do read a fair bit of Tamil books as well; but unfortunately, as of now, PDF is the only solution. As a publisher of Tamil books, I have access to all our books. I recently read Ponniyin Selvan (5 volumes - roughly 3000 pages in Demy 1/8) as PDF files through iBooks on iPad. Again, the reading experience itself was okay (though not as good as re-flown text of Kindle). Here too, I noticed that reading seemed faster than traditional ink on paper.

Ideal for Tamil books will be epub Unicode files, and a good reader that will handle them. Kindle itself may not be able to read Indian languages for quite a while.