thx ▪ March 31

Continuing its high-level executive hiring spree, Apple has recruited Dolby Executive Vice President Mike Rockwell to become an executive in its hardware division, 9to5Mac has learned. According to a source, Rockwell has likely been hired to bolster the audio and display performance of future Apple products, which could include anything from next-generation Apple monitors to professional audio/video editing tools to speakers. Rockwell’s LinkedIn profile confirms he joined Apple in February but does not specify his role.

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thx ▪ March 22, 2013

Mailbox: After a bit of a controversy with its reservation system, followed by getting acquired by Dropbox for a reported $50 – $100 million, developers of the highly successful Mailbox app announced it has filled its 1 millionth reservation just 6 weeks after launching. The free Mailbox app also gets an update to version 1.1.0 with UI enhancements, performance optimizations, and a new “Shake to undo” feature.

Plex version 3.1: The iOS app for the popular Plex media server was updated today with a ton of new features and fixes. Some of the big new features include a Mobile Media Server mode to play synced content and view photo albums from any other Plex client, push notifications for recommendations, a new experimental universal transcoder. Also included is a new dark theme, redesigned photo viewer, and much, much more.

Pinterest-update

Pinterest version 2.3: Pinterest announced that it is adding some new features to its mobile apps today that include some of the recent updates to its web version. You’ll now be able to view a “people who pinned this also pinned” feature, edit your profile from the app, and get a close-up view of pins on the iPad.

Speedtest.net 3.0: Mobile speedtest.net app from developers Ookla gets an update today with a new UI and full iPhone 5 support, the ability to permanently remove ads, easier sharing, and more.

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thx ▪ March 16, 2013

Images from Patent no. 7433483

Apple has found itself on the wrong side of another patent lawsuit. Lucasfilm-owned THX sued Apple yesterday over a claimed infringed patent relating to the speaker designs found on the new iMacs, iPhones, and iPads.

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Patent no. 7433483, filed in 2008 by THX, protects “narrow profile sound systems” that shoot sound out a “narrow sound duct.” The exact patent description reads as follows:

A narrow profile speaker unit comprises at least one speaker outputting sound towards an internal surface and through a duct with an output terminus, such as a slot, having a narrow dimension, effectively changing the cross-section of the speaker’s audio output wave. A pair of speakers may face one another, outputting sound towards a common output slot. Multiple pairs of speakers may be used to form an inline speaker unit for increased sound output. A slotted speaker unit may include multiple speakers facing the same direction, towards a groundplane or reflecting surface, and having parallel apertures for allowing sound radiation. The speaker units may be integral with or attached to electronic appliances such as desktop computers or flatscreen devices, or may be used in automobiles or other contexts.

THX was founded in 1983 as a division of Lucasfilm and was re-booted in 2001 as an independent company. Apple and THX have never had friction in the past, and, just two months ago, THX released ‘THX tune-up’. It’s an app that allows you to adjust your “TV, projector and speakers” all from your iPhone or iPad.

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