A sad week on planet earth.
This week was a sad week in the world. We have lost a lot of things that will never be given to us. My generation can be proud not to have seen the third world war yet or anything really bad in our short lifespan but we have seen history changing moments that will define what most of our future society will be like.
In 2007, Apple introduced the first iPhone. A device that would change how we interact with each other and change the mobile landscape forever. Such an accomplishment comes with certain perks and issues altogether. Apple quickly became the most successful and most valued company of all time. Their brand is instantly recognizable and most of their products are one of a kind. Following the launch of the iPhone, other manufacturers got into the touchscreen and better user experience design. Being the first ones on the market, they patented most of their initial ideas making their product the “original” mood for the future devices.
For most of you, the word patent is a broad description of a term defining a product. I’ll make it simple by saying a patent is , and pardon me my lawyer in the making friends, a legal term defining an object or an idea giving the creator rights to the original idea or object. Some may argue that this is the base of creativity and stimulates newer and better invention by avoiding to copy other products. Apple having patented the iPhone as a trade-dress patent gives the company leverage over any other company trying to copy the look and general feel of the product.
This being said, other companies slowly entered the market with new and innovative products but some couldn’t resist copying the iPhone seeing as it had a better user experience and design. Although I’m not an expert in the field, I can assure you that user experience is what makes people buy.
You don’t want a product because it has the best camera in the world. You want that exact same product because the phone, which happens to be the have the best camera on it, has a simple and intuitive user design and experience.You do not want to have to set it up for 15 minutes before snapping a picture.
Samsung was brought to court by Apple in a case that would define the future of the mobile industry in my opinion. Long story short, Samsung lost in court and now owes Apple about $1.04b because it infringed quite a few patents. Apple proved to the jury, composed of nine randoms, that Samsung had taken 3 months to copy a products Apple spent years developing and that their products were lessening Apples brand image and making them lose sales. This is called “diluting” in patent terms, making this decision a game changer for the whole industry. If nine randoms got to the conclusion that Samsung had wilfully copied the iPhone, it is fear that this case may change the way Samsung does business as will other manufacturers. It gives apple leverage on the Android platform since Google has long told its third parties to stay away from Apple patent related features.
I think this decision is not the one that should have been given. As an Apple fanboy, I can assure you, I despise the Android platform but I do have to say this; Patenting a rectangle with round corners is not reinventing the wheel. Yes they may have spent years developing this product but that does not give them the power to make sure no one will enter the market since no one in their right minds would create a round phone or a completely square phone. Nature has made rounded surfaces better fitted in our hands hence, why should Apple be awarded the patent for a curved surface with a rectangle on top with round corners? I, for one, think this is a blatant turning point for innovation. I will buy the next iPhone or, the New iPhone as I think it will be named, but only because I think that it has a better UX design and not because it’s a completely superior product than all the other phones on the market.
I would never buy an Android device, but who is Apple to say they cannot continue to innovate through their patent portfolio without copying and Apple suing. As Joshua Topolsky tweeted: "If you’re thinking of borrowing anything from Apple right now, you’re not looking that way". Then again, Samsung could have also licences all of Apple patents as Microsoft has done for all of it’s products. After all, Excel was first developed for the Mac before appearing on Windows…
We have not just lost technologically, we have also lost a hero.
Lance Armstrong was stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles this week after being found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs. I’m in favour of stripping his 7 titles and banning him from cycling for life. I do not endorse this type of behaviour and never will.
I do however see the deception in a lot of young hopefuls looking up to him as a hero. He has, with or without drugs struggled to win those seven titles and most of all, struggled through cancer to come back and win even more races. I think at least two generations of kids may have looked up to him as one of the greatest athletes in the world and now have nothing to look forward too.
Our idols are being shot one by one and soon, we will have none to praise anymore. I feel sorry for them not having someone to look up to. I am not a fan of cycling and never was a big fan of Lance Armstrong but I can imagine how one would feel if your hero was brought down to ruins.
One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
Neil Armstrong passed away this week after complications from blocked coronary arteries. I once wished to be an astronaut before my dreams were killed by a teacher who will remain unnamed. I repeatedly watched the video for his walk on the moon and told myself I would someday do something like that. The first man to ever walk on the moon has left us leaving a hole in space exploration.
We can look forward to more information about Mars as curiosity gives un more information on the planet while preparing our first walk on Mars.
Armstrong can rest in peace knowing no one will ever say he wasn’t the first man to ever walk on the moon.
That is why this week has been a sad week in tech, sports and science.