News of the Week
Don Scansen posted on August 27, 2012 | 4045 views

I think I picked a good week to start a weekly news round-up. At least it will be short since the big news of the week was the jury decision in the Apple suit against Samsung. As everyone is painfully aware given the number of posts repeating the information, the jury awarded just a bit (I'd like to have that bit but it seems splitting hairs to list the exact number) over a billion dollars judging that Samsung had indeed used significant portions of Apple's design.

The news of the jury verdict against Samsung actually came very late in the work week as reporters and bloggers were forced to work late (out East at least) waiting for the jury. The decision came relatively quickly considering the amount of instructions received pertaining to relevant law that was to be considered. Hopefully, many of my colleagues were able to file from their favorite watering holes, perhaps thanks to their Apple or Samsung smart phones.

But if the big news kept journalists and bloggers delaying the start of their weekends, I'm sure they are all happy for the bonanza the judgment has created for new articles discussing the merits of the decision and even whether it will stick. Much of the follow-on falls to discussing whether the case could have done a better job of protecting consumers by ensuring Apple's competitors were free to sell competitive products. I sincerely hope that law courts never begin to take that approach. Judgments need to be based on law and fact - not on manipulating the retail marketplace. We don't like it when referees take too active a role is sports. We certainly shouldn't want that in the legal system.

In an announcement after the decision, Samsung appeared to be playing the consumer advocate card:

"It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products."

There were also firmer rumors regarding launch dates for new Apple products. There is a lot of consensus for a new iPhone announcement on September 12. Although it seems to have few peers in this department, common sense suggests that Apple would announce the new smaller iPad in a separate event. If you want heavyweight opinion to back this up, check out John Gruber at Daring Fireball or All Things D. Neither source cites any details or specific source, but I agree that the iPad announcement might come in October.

And as the Apple news dragged out the work week, sadness took over the blogosphere with the passing of Neil Armstrong on Saturday. Much has been written over the last day or two, so I will add only that it would be worthwhile reading George Leopold's piece in EE Times about Armstrong.

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