Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Microsoft's complaint reads like a sincere and plaintive cry for help against the Google Overlord. Microsoft lists no less than six damning reasons why Google's behavior is anti-competitive -- from Windows Phone 7's incompatibility with YouTube, to its nefarious handling of Google Books -- and finishes with a wide-eyed plea to the European Commission to please find Google guilty.
For those of you that have been following Microsoft's own antitrust troubles over the last decade, don't worry: MS is quick to point out the irony in the situation. "There of course will be some who will point out the irony in today's filing. Having spent more than a decade wearing the shoe on the other foot with the European Commission, the filing of a formal antitrust complaint is not something we take lightly. This is the first time Microsoft Corporation has ever taken this step. More so than most, we recognize the importance of ensuring that competition laws remain balanced and that technology innovation moves forward."
It sounds like Microsoft, having well and truly gone through the wringer, wants Google to be held similarly accountable. That's fair enough, right?
Heads up, audiophiles! Here's a little gem we spotted at the Hong Kong High-End Audio Visual Show over the weekend. Dubbed the Ultrasone IQ, these turn out to be the German company's first ever in-ear headphones, and luckily they're more than just ordinary buds. You see, packed within each aluminum alloy capsule is a combo of a traditional dynamic driver and a balanced armature driver, with the former taking care of the bass plus lower-mids, and the latter covering the rest -- specific frequency response to be confirmed at a later date. The technology isn't new, of course, but it's all about the fine-tuning to match the price tag -- we've been told to expect around HK$6,000, which is about US$770. This author was fortunate enough to try the pictured prototype at the event and was left impressed by its definition, but the final product will apparently perform even better when it hits the market in late September. Just to seal the deal for hardcore users, these buds feature MMCX connectors, meaning you can swap the original cables with the bundled headset kit (for iPhone and major Android devices) or other third-party wires.
Launched alongside the IQ were the Signature DJ and two new additions to the Edition 8 line: Romeo and Juliet, which seem like a nice idea for audiophilic couples. Alas, details are light here in terms of prices and availability, but at least Romeo and Juliet will perform identically as the original Edition 8. The new DJ cups, on the other hand, await official specifications. For now, hit the gallery to take a look at all of Ultrasone's new offerings.
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A big drawback at this point is that it doesn't integrate with Web browsers to help you analyze how you spend your time on the Web. Still, if your work doesn't require constant Web app use, knowing how long you've used a browser overall might be enough to help you manage your time.
We got our not-so-mysterious invite earlier this month, and now Samsung's "Meet the new way" event is just a day away. Will we see the much-anticipated Galaxy Note 10.1? Given that Sammy already pulled the curtain on the global model, all signs point to yes. As always, we'll be on hand to serve up the details as they unfold tomorrow from Jazz at Lincoln Center (might we expect a full-blown orchestra a la the Galaxy S III launch, we wonder?).
Our liveblog goes down at 11 AM tomorrow, and you'll want to park your browser here for the full play-by-play.
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The site lets you select one of five dictionaries - Scrabble International/US, Lexulous International/US, and Words With Friends. Some people might say this constitutes cheating -- I think if the other side knows you're doing it, it's definitely not cheating. And it doesn't take the challenge out of the game, because implementing Scrabble Helper's suggestions and deciding which words you'd like to connect with still takes a fair bit of thought.
Very handy, though perhaps not one for the Scrabble puritans in the crowd.