Whenever my friends and I get together for a movie party, the toughest part of the evening is collectively deciding what to watch. There’s always one person that shoots a good suggestion down with a curt, “I’m not in the mood for that”. Moviora is an app that aims to make that process a little easier.
It’s a strange thing. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video certainly provide a plethora of video content for our viewing pleasure, but oftentimes the biggest challenge is narrowing down all of those options to just one title.
Netflix offers a list of recommendations by sifting through our viewing history, but it’s far from perfect. I’ve watched a lot of stupid crap, and so have all of my other friends I share my Netflix account with. More often than not, my searching on Netflix will end up in mired in a list of obscure, low-budget B-movie titles that I have no intention of ever watching.
Moviora is an app that attempts to discern what we’re in the mood for watching by essentially playing a game of ten questions. For example, it asks if you’re in the mood for a “drama”, and you narrow the choices down by answering yes or no. Once you’re cycled through these prompts five to six times, you’re provided with a movie recommendation, along with a trailer, some reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, and links to the film on Netflix and iTunes.
When I answered “yes” to drama, “no” to comedy, “yes” to romance, “yes” to action, and “yes” to adventure, it provided me with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which is actually a movie I haven’t watched yet and wouldn’t mind seeing at all.
It doesn’t always provide you with the perfect choice, but there’s an addictive quality to the ten questions aspect and it’s certainly a lot better than aimlessly meandering through Netflix’s movie titles.
See the original post: Moviora Plays Ten Questions To Help You Pick A Flick
The online entertainment streaming space is heating up, and much of the land-grab revolves around exclusive content acquisitions and premieres as companies such as Netflix and Amazon strive to make their respective services as appealing as possible to subscribers.
Indeed, just a month after Netflix nabbed exclusive access to Disney’s first-run films in a multi-year deal, it has announced a deal with Warner Bros. Television Group that will make it the exclusive online home for 2012-13 seasons of dramas such as “Revolution,” a drama produced for NBC; “Political Animals,” made for the USA Network; and “Longmire,” A&E’s Western mystery series.
Also coming to Netflix will be “The Following,” starring Kevin Bacon as a former FBI agent, which premieres initially on FOX this month, while “The West Wing” will also be brought on board.
“This unprecedented agreement brings to Netflix members earlier and more exclusively than ever before complete previous seasons of some of the most prominent and successful shows on network and cable television,” says Ted Sarandos , Netflix Chief Content Officer. “Through deals like this, Netflix is making the production economics right for the continued creation of the kind of compelling serialized dramas and thrillers that our members love.”
The agreement covers a current slate of eight Warner Bros. shows, though this could be extended to future shows. Back in November, we reported that Netflix had partnered with Warner Bros. to broadcast a slew of top US TV shows in the UK and Ireland too.
Image credit – Getty
The USPTO has issued a preliminary notice indicating that the famous ‘Steve Jobs’ patent, which describes basic multitouch technology including scrolling, might be invalid, according to a first Office action uncovered by FOSS Patents. The ruling is very early, however, and Apple still has two months to make an initial response and a number of appeals before the patent in question might finally be rendered invalid. Many news outlets are talking about the effect this may have on ongoing court cases, but looking at the details, it’s much too early to even be thinking about the effect such a decision would have on ongoing court battles between Samsung and others.
The patent is an iconic one, but just one that Apple uses among hundreds of others related to multitouch tech in its legal proceedings, including those against Motorola and Samsung. And aside from the fact that it is still only one among a number of patents that Apple claims have been infringed by other smartphone OEMs, it’s also true that, at this stage, a first Office action like the one issued by the USPTO is far from the final word on things. In fact, once a reassessment of a granted patent is allowed — as it was in this case — this kind of rejection of claims is actually pretty common.
This particular reexamination request was rejected once before in 2010, but once granted, chances were in its favor that some kind of rejection of the patent claims would come back. First Office actions often include a rejection of some or all claims asserted in a patent, and some sources suggest that patent examiners tend to favor an approach that errs on the side of the arguments made initially by the party that filed the complaint, since they aren’t getting the original patent filer’s input during their first pass. This is also an ex parte reexamination, which means that the complaining party won’t be involved in the rest of the reexamination process, while Apple will have the opportunity to defend its original claim.
Apple has previously had another patent, related to the rubberband snapback effect of movable content on touchscreens, declared invalid in a similar preliminary decision by the USPTO. In both cases, there are still plenty of steps left to take before any of the ongoing legal proceedings are affected, and even if Apple does lose the patents in question, don’t expect much of a change to its overall patent strategy in terms of court cases related to its remaining intellectual property arsenal.
How young will the casualties become in the ongoing war against online piracy? You sadly have to wonder, when you learn that a 9-year old girl’s laptop was seized by Finnish police in a raid on her family home, following a complaint by the CIAPC anti-piracy group which had ISPs block The Pirate Bay in Finland. The raid followed a request that the girl’s father pay up around €600 (about US$770) to settle potential piracy charges without prosecution, according to Torrentfreak.
The father in the case ignored the requests, which led to police showing up on his door this past Tuesday morning. His daughter appears to have been the culprit behind some illegal download activity, having browsed first Google and then The Pirate Bay looking for pop star Chisu’s latest album. According to the father, that search didn’t surface any usable files, so the two went to a brick-and-mortar retail store the next day and paid cash for the physical album instead.
If there’s anything more ridiculous than the image of a squad of policemen making a 9-year old girl hand over the laptop, consider also that this particular laptop was adorned with images of Winnie the Pooh and crew. And that in parting, police reportedly suggested that next time, the father just hand over the €600 (which can’t help but sound like protection money in this context).
The EFF in Finland has taken this as a particularly poignant example of how out-of-hand the anti-piracy measures have gotten in Finland. And the artist involved, Chisu, has spoken out against the action, apologizing to her 9-year old fans and directing them to free streaming content from her albums on Spotify.
Obviously, this is a wacky outlier example of what can go wrong when net neutrality goes wrong and ISPs give up information on their users. But the possibility that a young child is able to get copyrighted content via sites like The Pirate Bay shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone these days. These likely aren’t the kinds of scare tactics CIAPC wants to employ, but it might not be able to avoid doing so if things continue to progress the way they have been.
Go here to read the rest: Finnish Police Seize 9-Year Old’s Winnie The Pooh Laptop For Using The Pirate Bay
Apple and HTC today announced jointly a settlement of all ongoing patent litigation between the two, in a licensing agreement with a 10-year term, any further terms of which were not released. The companies both released canned statements from execs expressing their pleasure at the arrangement and both mentioning “innovation” as key goals going forward. Many will be wondering: Might this be a sign that Apple’s hard-line stance with regards to its IP and patent litigation may be experiencing a general softening, and might we then see similar agreements coming soon in the more bitter rivalry between Apple and Samsung?
The answer to that lies in the history of the HTC/Apple legal action, and also in how HTC stacks up to Samsung as one of Apple’s competitors. First, looking at the trail of breadcrumbs detailing the back and forth litigation between Apple and HTC, you see that on the surface, Apple has indeed had some wins, delaying the release of HTC devices in the U.S. and getting phones banned from import to the country thanks to an ITC order.
The two companies were ordered by a Delaware court in May to begin discussing a potential settlement, but as early as September HTC was threatening to have the LTE iPhone and iPads banned for sale in the U.S., based on patents it holds regarding LTE technology. Meanwhile, Apple is said to have spent around $100 million on its efforts to get the import ban on HTC phones put in place, only to have it side-stepped via a relatively minor software change.
Apple also experienced a reversal in the U.K. in July, when that body ruled that HTC had not infringed four of its key patents, related to gesture-based unlocking, multitouch interfaces, multilingual keyboards and bounce-back transition animations. In other words, Apple was not seeing many definitive victories in its ongoing actions against HTC and was reportedly spending a lot on its efforts.
As for HTC, it acquired S3 Graphics specifically to provide itself with ammunition against Apple, thanks to patents S3 owns that related to graphics processing which were used to claim infringement by Macs, the iPhone and iPad. That $300 million acquisition began looking like a waste of money last November, however, when the ITC dismissed S3′s complaint against Apple. It was a costly mistake for a company that’s not exactly seen as being able to afford costly mistakes, given that HTC’s revenue and net profit have fallen for four quarters in a row, viewed against year-ago results.
Apple likely could have kept up its fight against HTC for a very long time, even with a number of reversals and $100 million expenditures on legal actions that bear no fruit. But HTC is a company that’s seen as being in an accelerating tailspin, and that’s no position from which to wage a massive, global legal battle with the wealthiest consumer electronics company in the world. If I had to guess, I’d wager that this isn’t a deal that overly favors HTC in terms of the structure of its terms.
That’s a very different picture than the one you’d paint if you were discussing Apple and Samsung. Apple has scored some significant wins in that battle, and so has Samsung. Samsung is a much more successful and profitable company, with recently quarterly performance that not only sets records but also beats analyst expectations. Apple has offered Samsung terms for settlement in the past, which Samsung found unpalatable, but unlike HTC, Samsung has the resources to avoid accepting any deals that it doesn’t fully agree with.
Apple has simple goals with its patent litigation: Make Android unattractive or untenable as a platform to handset OEMs, and shut down competitors they feel are building success on the back of their own IP. This settlement with HTC is essentially a sign that Apple considers it a competitor neutralized, and that’s far from the case with Samsung. So don’t expect a similar easing of tensions in patent litigation between those two, or between Apple and other companies where Cupertino hasn’t yet achieved one of those two goals mentioned above, statements regarding innovation notwithstanding.
Originally posted here: Does Apple’s HTC Agreement Indicate A Softening Of Its Approach To Patent Litigation?