Around the IT Industry 9/3-9/7

by Modis on September 7, 2012

Apple-Samsung Verdict: Patently Stifling Tech Innovation

After a jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages for Samsung’s patent infringements, CIOs are speaking out against the outdated U.S. patent system that they claim stifles technology innovation. The CIO of UL says that functions like slide-to-unlock and  pinch-to-zoom should be standard design concepts, not protected by Apple patents to prevent other tech companies from utilizing the functionality. If Apple succeeds in its efforts to enjoin eight Samsung Android devices and continues on its path of aggressive litigation, that could result in far fewer choices in the smartphone market, pushing more consumers to the iPhone and further stifling innovation.

Qi Allows Users to Charge Wirelessly

The Nokia Lumia 920 is leading the way to a wireless charging future for smartphone users. The phone utilizes built-in Qi technology, which allows users to power up with any compatible charger no matter where they are. In support of this, Nokia is making deals to set up wireless charging stations in airport lounges and to work with companies to produce home wireless charging accessories that would include a dedicated charging dock.

Nokia’s Latest Phone Ditches SD Card Slot

In addition to the Qi standard, Nokia’s Lumia 920 smartphone is making waves by removing the SD card slot. A Nokia executive pointed out that the Lumia 920 has increased its internal storage capacity to 32GB, and that most smartphone users aren’t using all of the storage in their phones anyways. Engineers would have been hard-pressed to include the SD slot, having already needed to fit in the microUSB port and a headphone socket.

Ransomware Becomes Increasingly Problematic

Ransomware is a type of malware that infects computer systems so that the attackers can extort payments from computer users to restore access, and McAfee says that these type of attacks increased 50% to 120,000 between the first and second quarters of 2012. While the loss of data (and money) can be heartbreaking for home users, it can be devastating to enterprise users. AutoRun worms and password-stealing malware also saw an increase.

Security Still an Issue for Windows 8

A senior director from Symantec, which produces Norton antivirus products, told InfoWorld that the upcoming Windows 8 OS won’t be much more secure than previous versions of Windows because it is “backward compatible with both the good code and the bad.” While they are some additional layers of security built in to the platform, the old vulnerabilities still exist. Symantec will be offering anti-virus apps via the Windows Store, but some of their criticisms should be taken with a grain of salt due to the fact that their old business model for providing security software is quickly becoming irrelevant.

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