Posts with tag lawsuit

Graphics card failures, angry customers, and a class action lawsuit

I’m part of the #mbp2011 club – MacBook Pro models sold in 2011 are dropping like flies




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If you’re the proud owner of a 15″ or 17″ MacBook Pro, take note; if you purchased your beloved MacBook Pro in 2011, keep an extra careful eye on your precious cargo. We’re over 750 pages into a post on Apple’s own Community Support forums, hundreds of Twitter posts later, and countless cases of defective MacBook Pro logic boards later, it’s become apparent to – well – just about everybody paying attention that there’s something wrong with these machines. Thousands have revealed that their 15″ or 17″ MacBook Pro, purchased in 2011, have suddenly just… stopped working; including my own. The root of the problem apparently lies within these notebook’s graphics cards, which are integrated into the logic board.

The signs vary slightly, but just about every time inevitably lead to a single solution – replacement of the entire logic board. I was working on my three year old notebook like normal yesterday when all of a sudden the screen went white. Thinking it was nothing but a system crash, I held down the power button and turned the machine back on – only to be greeted by the familiar Apple logo distorted, with the entire screen covered in a putrid shade of green. What’s worse, upon booting the operating system my entire notebook crashes nearly every single time; for an entire day now, my only solution has been to run the machine in single user mode… which is hardly a solution at all.

Browsing through Apple’s own support community reveals that others have similar issues ranging in severity. Some notebooks appear to work fine for a couple of minutes, booting up and allowing the user to work without a problem, until the graphics of the machine suddenly gets distorted leading to a lockup. Another common one sees the notebook working when the operating system is forced to only recognize these notebook’s integrated Intel graphics using a tool such as gfxCardStatus, however this solution didn’t work for me. One unlucky MacBook Pro owner has seen four of these 2011 MacBook Pros see logic board failures, suggesting that issues with these models may be more widespread than first believed.IMG_2976

The worst part about all of this isn’t even that Apple sold defective machines to customers for almost an entire year – though, that is pretty bad in and of itself – it’s that the company is now refusing to even acknowledge that there’s an issue. Despite a ton of pressure from customers, the support forum topic, and even an entire event dedicated to raising awareness on social networks by customers bitten by this bad Apple, Apple has remained silent on the issue – refusing to acknowledge a widespread issue nor issuing any sort of recall. Which means that, if you’re like me and the warranty is up on your MacBook Pro, you’re looking at a logic board replacement of around $750 just to get a laptop that, for all you know, could fail in a matter of weeks, months or just a few short years all over again.

In order to force Apple’s hand on the issue, a class action lawsuit has been launched against the company on behalf of owners of the 2011 MacBook Pro models effected, as well as owners of some other Mac models that might suffer similar issues. The lawsuit claims that Apple “had knowledge of the defect, yet willfully and intentionally decided to hide the defect, resulting in continuing damage to the Class.”

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post with any response or information we might receive.


The fallout continues

Microsoft changes policies following Outlook snooping aftermath




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The other day we noted that there appears to be a large amount of fallout following the revelation that Microsoft snooped on a users’ Hotmail account in order to confirm allegations that a company employee leaked confidential trade secrets. While the case itself is undoubtably a win for Microsoft, the thought of Microsoft snooping through their users’ Hotmail accounts on the drop of a hat has raised new questions surrounding what rights we have to privacy online.

Microsoft has finally responded the situation, and it’s done so in a big way. Company representative John Frank, VP and deputy general counsel, admits that “even we should not conduct a search of our own email and other customer services unless the circumstances would justify a court order, if one were available,” and as a result the company will now adhere to strict set of guidelines before invading a user’s privacy and checking their inboxes and data (thank goodness).

A new legal team entirely separate from the internal investigations team will be instituted that will determine whether any case could justify a court order. If the team determines that a court order would be allowed, the company will then be allowed to continue to browse throw the users’ data.

This will also result in a new “bi-annual transparency report” that will detail the number of searches conducted since the last report. Any current investigations have been stopped immediately barring approval from Microsoft’s new legal team to assure that a situation like this doesn’t happen again.

Check after the break to read Microsoft’s full statement on the matter.

Source: The Verge


New Microsoft investigation sparks debate

Should we, and our e-mail inboxes, have a reasonable expectation of privacy?




privacy1You may have heard that earlier this week, a Senior Architect named Alex Kibkalo at Microsoft has just been nailed by Microsoft and law enforcement as the source of numerous Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 leaks provided by an unnamed French blogger, one who likely goes by the name canouna. But the question on everyone’s mind today isn’t whether or not Microsoft had a right to nail this guy as hard as they did, or what it means for internal practices at Microsoft or the beta community. Rather, today what we’re all talking about is what the potential privacy implications of this is. Namely, should we, and our -email inboxes, have a reasonable expectation of privacy?

According to reports, Microsoft managed to catch Mr. Kibkalo after discovering that he uploaded trade secrets, including information, screenshots, and software, onto Microsoft’s own SkyDrive cloud storage service. Mr. Kibkalo also is accused of discussing the sensitive information with the French blogger via Microsoft’s own Hotmail e-mail system. Of course, the only way for Microsoft to really know this is simple and obvious – Microsoft must have secretly snooped through Mr. Kibkalo’s private Hotmail and SkyDrive accounts, an allegation that the tech giant has yet to confirm or deny.

The problem here, of course, should be plainly obvious to anyone accustomed to using any web service available to the general public – to what extent should we have an expectation of privacy over our data? Microsoft may have snooped on a pretty clear-cut-and-dry criminal here, but given that they were actually willing to do that, under what other circumstances will they do it? Then you start to go further down the rabbit hole, and you start to realize, my goodness – does Google spy on us on Gmail? Does Apple on iCloud? What about Dropbox?

We live so much of our lives online, we put so much faith into these companies and services, that it’s nothing if not alarming to think that our private data might actually be all that private. Google was recently accused of snooping through students’ personal Gmail data using automated data-mining software, an issue that is currently being dealt with in American courts. Some may argue that there’s a difference between what Microsoft did and what Google did – that, for some reason, the fact that Google’s searches are automated and Microsoft’s done by humans somehow makes Microsoft’s more invasive – but the fact remain is that somewhere, someone or something is snooping through every piece of email you send and receive – whether it be that piece of junk mail advertising Viagra or the conversation with your Professor about a late homework assignment.

Are you comfortable with that?

Image Source: Syracuse University


Over familiar looking Keyboard

BlackBerry suing Ryan Seacrest’s new startup Typo over iPhone case




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Apparently, all keyboards are not created equal. That’s if you believe Canadian smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry, who has decided to throw caution to the wind and sue the pants off of Ryan Seacrest’s new startup, Typo. Typo is known for their neat new iPhone case which essentially adds a portrait QWERTY keyboard to the iPhone, a la BlackBerry’s bread and butter. BlackBerry is arguing that the case violates their intellectual property rights pertaining to their famous keyboards found on devices such as the BlackBerry Q10.

In a statement made by the company, Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry’s General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, said that the company believes that Typo’s case “is a blatant infringement against BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard, and we will vigorously protect our intellectual property against any company that attempts to copy our unique design.”

Who knew there would be so much hubbub over a simple iPhone keyboard case? Neither Ryan Seacrest nor a representative from Typo has commented on the lawsuit.

Via: TheNextWeb
Source: BlackBerry


A big win for Nokia

UK rules in favor of Nokia, bans the HTC One Mini




HTC One miniA judge in the Nokia/HTC case taking place in the United Kingdom ruled in favor of Nokia today, claiming that HTC violated several of Nokia’s key patents in the miniaturized version of the company’s flagship phone, the HTC One Mini. The bad news doesn’t end there for Nokia – unfortunately, the judge also believes that the handset’s bigger brother, the HTC One, could be in violation but is giving HTC some lee-way as a response to the company’s declining health in the marketplace as well as for some time to collect their thoughts and formally appeal the decision.

Unfortunately, this means that it is now impossible to purchase an HTC One Mini from any even remotely official outlet if you live in the United Kingdom, as the ban will stay into effect until the conclusion of this hypothetical appeal. The HTC One Mini is considered by many to be a more sanely sized version of an excellently executed smartphone from HTC, which has seen significant trouble in the marketplace from competitors Samsung and Apple.

Via: Engadget
Source: Bloomberg


Bad news for Samsung

US courts side with Apple once more, may ban more Samsung smartphones




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Some bad news for Samsung in the courts today, as the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has delivered a ruling siding with Apple in the ongoing court case over Samsung’s use of Apple patents. The ruling, which vacates Judge Lucy Koh’s earlier ruling on the subject, will allow Apple to argue which Samsung products have violated Apple patents. Following Apple’s arguments, the courts will then decide on whether or not banning the products in question have legal standing, and if so, an import ban will be placed.

Things are looking good for Apple in the case, as the courts today determined that Apple no longer has to prove that the patents were the sole reason behind the success of the Samsung products in question, but rather argue that there just exists “some connection between the patented feature and demand for Samsung’s products” – which, lets face it, doesn’t sound too difficult for Apple to argue.

As usual, we’ll keep you updated on the latest in the Apple v. Samsung case.

Source: The Verge


Three Samsung products now banend

Obama declines to veto Samsung import ban, ban now in effect




samsung-galaxy_tab-hand-smBad news strikes again for Samsung today as the International Trade Commission’s ban on Samsung’s ability to sell three Samsung products in the United States has come to pass. Samsung was hopeful that President Obama would veto the International Trade Commission’s ban before it was set to go into effect starting today, but no dice – and as a result, Samsung is no longer allowed to sell the Galaxy S 4G, Fascinate, and Galaxy Tab, all of which the courts agreed infringed on several key Apple patents related to scrolling and headphone recognition.

Fortunately for Samsung, these three products just so happen to be drops in the bucket in the United States. Now, if Samsung was ordered to stop selling the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note line of devices in the United States then I’d say Samsung would have an issue. But as it stands right now, this likely won’t stop the company from making an absolute boat load of cash off their Galaxy line for the foreseeable future.

Still, Samsung is of course not pleased with the decision. When pressed for comment, a company representative told popular tech site The Verge that the company is “disappointed by the US Trade Representative’s decision”, claiming that it would interfere with competition in the United States.

Via: The Verge
Source: Bloomberg


They're about to add to their $900m loss

Microsoft gets sued over Surface RT




microsoftsurfaceA law firm, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, has filed a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft over their Surface RT stating that the company made “materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s financial performance and its tablet computer, the Surface RT.” The article goes on to state specifically that Microsoft lied about the fact that Surface RT is experiencing poor customer demand and having poor sales, that the Surface RT dropped in value during Q1, and that Microsoft lied about their earnings regarding the Surface RT.

Given Microsoft’s unwillingness to share any sort of details about how the Surface RT is doing, this is completely unsurprising. Now the question is, how many more millions of dollars will Microsoft lose over Surface RT?

Source: BusinessWire
Via: ZDNet, NeoWin


White flags from both sides

Amazon and Apple drop silly “App Store” lawsuit




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Good news to everyone who dislikes silly, frivolous, waste of time lawsuits – Apple and Amazon have both agreed to drop a lawsuit over the right to use the “App Store” name, with Amazon retaining the ability to advertise their Android App Store application as such. An Amazon spokesperson told Reuters that “this was a decision by Apple to unilaterally abandon the case.”, while Apple says that the lawsuit was now unnecessary as “With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps.”

The lawsuit began in March of 2011, with Apple initiating the suit in an effort to protect the App Store name, which they claimed they owned rights to. Amazon’s App Store hasn’t really seen the same level of success as iOS’s App Store nor Google’s Google Play app store for that matter, so at the end of the day Apple more than likely just decided it wasn’t worth their time any longer.

Via: The Verge
Source: Reuters


Apple not violating Samsung patents

Samsung loses another lawsuit to Apple, this time in UK courts




Poor Samsung, they just can’t seem to catch a break in their ongoing court battles against Apple these days. Today a British court ruled in favor of Apple, saying that Apple is not in violation of three Samsung patents pertaining to 3G data transmission. A decision against Apple would have halted the sale of iPhone’s in the UK and set a precedent that would have had far reaching affects to other manufacturers far beyond Apple and the iPhone.

Samsung hasn’t yet decided whether or not it will appeal the decision, though given the bitterness between these two companies as of late we would imagine that a decision to appeal really wouldn’t be too far fetched.

Apple may have won this battle, but the war is far from over.

Via: Engadget
Source: Reuters


Patents cover camera, call handling, call rejection on iPhone

US based jury rules that Apple infringing three MobileMedia owned patents




A US based jury in Delaware today determined that Apple has been infringing three patents owned by MobileMedia, a patent holding firm run by some of Apple’s biggest competitors, Sony, Nokia, and MPEG LA. The three patents Apple is determined to be infringing covers the camera found in the iPhone, as the iPhone’s call handling features, and call rejection on the iPhone.

Bloomberg reports that the lawsuit was originally over fourteen patents:

MobileMedia, based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, sued Cupertino, California-based Apple in 2010 contending it infringed 14 patents for electronics. Robinson took the case to trial after the number of patents was whittled to three.

 Apple is currently down 9.31 points in the stock market today upon the announcement of the news.

Source: Bloomberg

Gone is the snarkiness

Apple puts reworded apology to Samsung in UK newspapers




Just days after Apple posted their court mandated “apology” to Samsung on their website, the UK courts that mandated Apple write the apology in the first place insisted that Apple reword the letter, taking out all signs of snark and bad attitude and cut to the chase, admitting that Samsung did not infringe upon their products. The court gave Apple 48 hours to complete a rewritten apology, and Apple responded claiming they needed as little as two weeks to complete the apology, something the courts saw issue with.

And rightly so, for Apple has just published their reworded apology in UK newspapers in size 14 Arial font, large enough and distinguishable enough for it to be easily spotted. The new apology appears in “The Guardian”, and has yet to appear on Apple.com (which is a required part of the court order).

Via: TheNextWeb