Eleven “Steve Jobs schools” to open w/ iPad-based curriculum next month in the Netherlands

Back in March, educators in the Netherlands were proposing “Steve Jobs schools” that would augment the traditional classroom environment by moving to an iPad-based education system. Today Speigel.de provides us with a little bit more information noting that eleven schools are scheduled to open next month with over 1,000 children aged 4 to 12.

It’s not clear if the “Steve Jobs school” moniker will stick as the official name of the facilities, but the report explains a little bit more about exactly how the program will work: Read more

Analyst: Apple could purchase partner TomTom to accelerate improvements to Maps app

TomTom iOS 6TomTom, one of Apple’s main partners providing data in its new Maps app, could be acquired by Apple, according to report from Netherlands-based Rabobank analyst Hans Slob. Bloomberg covered the analyst’s research report released early today, noting that Slob said there is a 30 percent chance Apple seeks to takeover TomTom in trying to make quicker improvements to its controversial new Maps app:

TomTom NV (TOM2), the Dutch supplier of navigation applications for Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone 5, rose the most in almost eight weeks after an analyst at Rabobank International said the U.S. company may make a takeover bid.

“TomTom needs the cash from Apple, and Apple needs the know-how of TomTom,” said Slob, who estimated Apple would pay a price of as much as 10 euros per share for the supplier. A takeover is also a “royal way out” for the Dutch company’s founders, said Slob, who has a buy recommendation on TomTom and raised his share-price estimate by 38 percent to 5 euros.

TomTom climbed 7.2-percent, an eight-week high, to 4.12 euros today, and it currently sits at a value of approximately 906 million euros ($1.18 billion USD).  Read more

Apple Store coming to Amsterdam [VIDEO]

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Here is one more reason to visit Amsterdam—the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands: Apple is busy putting the finishing touches on a new retail store. According to Dutch-language website iPhoneclub.nl, the rumored Leidseplein store is now a reality as the company raised huge orange storefront stickers adorned with three Apple logos – a subtle hint at the three crosses on top of each other from the Coat of Arms of Amsterdam. The customary stickers read:

Apple Store, Amsterdam. Opening soon.

While employees speculate the store could open this coming Saturday, Feb. 18, that may not be feasible due to scaffoldings and plastic sheets inside (additional snaps at the source link). Moreover, a recent job ad in the Metro newspaper indicates Apple has only recently begun hiring store staff, so Feb. 18 could be the date when employee training starts (as the website noted itself, employees have a mandatory day off on Saturday)…

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For many, issues watching YouTube on Apple TV

Owners of the Apple TV set-top box around the world took to Twitter to complain about an unknown issue affecting the device’s ability to stream YouTube clips through the Internet section of the main menu. According to reports, attempting to play any YouTube clip produces this error message:

No content was found. There is a problem communicating with YouTube. Try again later.

It would appear that some sort of backend issue is to blame, but it is inconclusive. The problem persisted since the past couple days; with a bunch of posts over at the Apple Support Communities indicating it is widespread. One poster claimed an Apple representative advised him to contact Google because this is “a YouTube issue.”

It seems to be particularly bad in Japan, Australia, Canada and various European countries, including the United Kingdom, Scotland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, Denmark, Romania, Argentina and Croatia.

Not all users in the United States seem to be experiencing this issue, although some do. Resetting a router or the device will not help. Likewise, performing a factory restore to the latest 4.4.4 firmware did not do the trick for another poster. Some users are only able to see the videos in their History. Are you having same issues with your Apple TV? We would love to hear from you in the comments.


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Did Motorola just win an injunction barring Apple from selling mobile products in Germany?

Florian Mueller isn’t a patent attorney but he plays one on his blog FOSSPatents.  For better or worse, he’s often quoted in the ongoing mobile technology patent battles where the winner is often Apple.  He’s also German so he probably understands this new, disturbing ruling a lot better than us (Our German is “rostig”)

Apple knows what it’s like to win injunctions against rivals. It won four of them against Samsung (two in Germany, one in the Netherlands and most recently one in Australia; all of them preliminary). Now it seems that Apple has just come out on the losing end of a patent infringement lawsuit. I have received a copy of what purports to be a default judgment by the Mannheim Regional Court barring Apple from selling in Germany — the single largest market in Europe – any mobile devices infringing on two Motorola Mobility patents and determining that Apple owes Motorola Mobility damages for past infringement since April 19, 2003.

If true, this would be a Hindenburg-sized backfire for Apple’s legal efforts in Europe.

The two patents and their US equivalents, Statements from Apple and Motorola and an update from Mueller below: Read more

Samsung claims Apple doctored Galaxy phone images in Netherlands court

According to a report from Dutch publication Webwereld (via Computerworld)Apple has once again submitted doctored evidence related to their claims of design patent-related infringement by Samsung, this time to a court in Netherlands. This further supports claims by Bas Berghuis of Simmons and Simmons (Samsung’s lawyer) that Apple has been “manipulating visual evidence, making Samsung’s devices appear more similar to Apple’s.”

“It surprises me that for the second time incorrect presentations of a Samsung product emerge in photographic evidence filed in litigation,” said Mark Krul, lawyer and IP law specialist at Dutch firm WiseMen. “This is not appropriate and undermines Apple’s credibility both inside and outside the court room.”

If you aren’t up to speed with the legal disputes between Apple and Samsung in Europe… a court in Germany already granted a preliminary injunction halting sales of Samsung’s Galaxy tab 10.1 tablet in the EU (which has been since lifted pending an appeal). We already heard about Apple manipulating images in that case related to the iPad and Galaxy tab. This time, however, the report claims Apple doctored images of the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone in comparison to the iPhone 3G.

Apparently the changes made the Galaxy S appear smaller than it actually is to closer resemble the dimensions of the 3G, which is odd given the fact Computerworld reports Apple has confirmed the Galaxy S does include “some non-identical elements, such as the slightly larger dimensions.” This supports the idea that Apple isn’t trying to secretly submit this evidence to the courts. Many have noted a German court’s decision to grant Apple with the original preliminary injunction on the Galaxy tab didn’t take the doctored images into account. In fact, patent expert Florian Mueller noted “the court’s decision was based on both Apple’s motion and Samsung’s pre-emptive opposition pleading” and also stated “Samsung is in a legally weak position against Apple. If Samsung wants to inspire confidence, it has to understand that half the truth is sometimes tantamount to a whole lie.”
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