The Philips FWP3200D 300W Mini Hi-Fi System, often simply referred to as the “Party Machine”, is essentially a set of rotatable iPhone docks (made to look like turntables) atop a 300W speaker system that includes two speakers boxes and packs a 2-inch tweeter and a 5.25-inch woofer. The turntables do little more than allow you to rotate the docked iPhones to either side of the system, providing a traditional DJ setup from behind the speakers or a more casual setup when docked in front. As for the controller itself, the majority of your DJing will be done from the iPhone’s touchscreen via the supported Djay iOS app. While it is not as feature-filled as your typical DJ controller, it does provide physical controls with a 13-key remote for fast reverse/fast forward, play/pause, repeat, etc., and a number of other features you will not find in your average docking station…
Reports from last week noted that Samsung’s attempt to lift Apple’s preliminary injunction placed on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the United States was rejected by District Judge Lucy Koh. Today, in Apple’s ongoing patent cases with Samsung in the United Kingdom, Bloomberg reported Judge Colin Birss ruled against Apple, claiming Sammy’s Galaxy Tabs “are not as cool.” It is hard to imagine Apple losing in any more of a complimentary way, as Judge Birss claimed his decision was based partly on the fact Galaxy tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity” as iPad.
The Galaxy tablet doesn’t infringe Apple’s registered design, Judge Colin Birss said in a ruling today in London. He said that consumers weren’t likely to get the two tablet computers mixed up.
The Galaxy tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” Birss said. “They are not as cool.”
The company provided a full email statement regarding today’s decision (via Pocket-lint). Samsung explained the court referred to roughly 50 pieces of prior art when dismissing Apple’s case:
Apple announced its plan last year to spend roughly $900 million opening 40 new retail locations in 2012. In March, we told you new stores were coming to Germany, Spain, Australia, and France‘s Burgundy wine region, and several reports this week confirmed a handful of new locations for the United Kingdom, France, and Canada. Ten of the 40 stores Apple planned for 2012 will début in the U.S., and recent reports indicated two of those U.S. stores will be located in California and Salt Lake City… Read more
Yesterday, we reported that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission wants Apple to lose the “4G” marketing for the third-generation iPad, alleging it misleads consumers into thinking the device is capable of accessing 4G networks in Australia. Reports from ABC news quickly followed and claimed Apple would give refunds to customers and publish clarification regarding incompatibility with the Telstra network. Apple’s AU website now has “Ultrafast wireless” instead of “Ultrafast 4G” on the main features page, despite still advertising 4G as a highlight of the device through its international sales pages.
Now, authorities in other countries where the new iPad is not compatible with local 4G networks are investigating the issue. Authorities in at least the United Kingdom and Sweden confirmed they are considering investigations…
We reported last night that Apple officially appointed CEO of Dixons John Browett as its senior vice president of Retail following Ron Johnson’s departure in October of last year. Browett is leaving his position at Dixons Retail, which operates various United Kingdom-based retail stores including Currys, Currys.digital, and PC World. Dixons is one of the largest electronics chains in Europe, and PC World, the last on that list, is one of the largest computer/consumer electronic retailers in the U.K. It also has a reputation of being a big-box consumer electronic store that consumers describe as “the worst of Best Buy and Radio Shack combined.”
While U.K. product-testing and consumer advocacy group Which? consistently ranked both Currys Digital and PC World at the bottom of its research regarding the Top 100 retail chains, a report from Financial Times explained “Apple has mystery shopped and been impressed.” Specifically, the report mentioned “a system of decision trees to match customers with products” that Browett has implemented while at Dixons.
The calculation of Mr Cook may be that if Mr Browett is good at selling people products that bore them, he will do even better selling them i-gadgets that they lust after.
According to reports in November from BBC, Browett recently renovated more than 250 stores, implemented new service, and customer support strategies. However, the company reported first-half losses of just over £25 million (slightly lower than expected, but higher than losses of £6.9 million the year prior). In 2009, Retail Week (via GigaOm) profiled Browett, calling him “affable and intellectual” and describing his “schoolboy enthusiasm” for technology during a trip to PC World. Here is an excerpt:
We have seen Siri clones in the Android Market trying to pass themselves off as the real thing, and some Siri alternatives making their way to the Windows Phone Marketplace. Evi, on the other hand, might actually be the first true Siri competitor/alternative for Android and non-iPhone 4S iOS users.
Available on the App Store for 99 cents and free to Android users on the Android Market, Evi is the work of True Knowledge and its “core semantic search technology” better known as The True Knowledge Answer Engine. The 99-cent price tag on iOS is apparently to cover the cost of using Nuance voice recognition (the same voice recognition tech as Siri), which is not used in the Android version.
The app’s iTunes page explained Evi is capable of returning local data for the United Kingdom (along with the United States), which has been a complaint from U.K. Siri users since the iPhone 4S launch. According to TechCrunch, the app uses “an ontology of tens of thousands of classes into which” every possible user command can be recognized. True Knowledge said the app contains “almost a billion ‘facts’ (machine understandable bits of knowledge)” with the ability to infer trillions if necessary. It also reportedly uses all the expected sources, such as local results from Yelp, third-party websites, traditional web searches, and APIs.
While as of yet Evi is incapable of integrating with Calendar and Reminders like Siri, TechCrunch pointed out it sometimes provides more accurate and useful results for certain types of questions. Siri requests to search the web for an answer when users ask certain questions, such as “How do I make apple pie?” Evi, however, would provide a list of recipes with relevant links to that specific question. TechCrunch highlighted another example where Evi excels: