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A German court ruled invalid Apple’s patent for a sliding touchscreen unlocking image, marking another win for allies of Google’s Android mobile operating. In its ruling in favor of the Google-owned Motorola, the country’s Federal Patent Court slammed the iPhone maker’s slide-to-unlock patent as devoid of “technological innovation.” Still, a long-running patent dispute which began in 2011 may still live on as Apple’s legal team prepares for a round of appeals, according to Friday reports…

Software which involves only a swiping gesture across an unlock image “is not patentable in Europe unless it solves a technical problem with technical means,” wrote Judge Vivian Sredl.

Why is this not a big deal?

Because Apple has already asserted that patent numerous times and Android vendors have mostly either introduced workaround solutions or implemented their own ways of device unlocking.

Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent is titled “Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image”. Filed on June 2, 2009 and granted on October 25, 2011, it describes a device with a touch-sensitive display that may be unlocked via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display.

The device is unlocked if contact with the display corresponds to a predefined gesture for unlocking the device. The device displays one or more unlock images with respect to which the predefined gesture is to be performed in order to unlock the device.

The performance of the predefined gesture with respect to the unlock image may include moving the unlock image to a predefined location and/or moving the unlock image along a predefined path. The device may also display visual cues of the predefined gesture on the touch screen to remind a user of the gesture. In addition, there is a need for sensory feedback to the user regarding progress towards satisfaction of a user input condition that is required for the transition to occur.

And here’s Steve Jobs showing off the feature for the first time at the January 2007 iPhone introduction.

Now, the court’s ruling may be most known for its long history, rather than any strategic importance in the battle between Apple’s iOS and Android, observers say.

“This patent isn’t even remotely as strategic as it is famous,” writes patent guru Florian Müeller on his blog, FOSS Patents, adding:

Every user of a smartphone with a touch screen needs to perform this gesture frequently, but the patent does not cover all slide-to-unlock mechanisms but only some, and Apple’s rivals have all deployed workarounds.

Unlike U.S. patent law, which allows “everything under the Sun made by Man” (as long as new and different), European patent law requires something called “technicity.”

This is why the German court stressed Apple’s unlocking patent involved no real technology – simply a hand gesture on an image displayed on a device screen.

Mueller notes that the Swedish mobile phone Neonode N1m was not considered as prior art in the U.S. patent application, but did hold weight in European patent debates. Indeed, a Dutch judge cited the N1m in its 2011 denial of Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction centered on the unlock patent.

A year later, HTC won a judgement in its favor when an England and Wales High Court noted the Swedish patent. Here’s a video of the Neonode N1m handset showing a similar slide-to-unlock feature which existed back in 2004, way before the iPhone was introduced.

Today’s judgement for Motorola follows a Munich court’s ruling in Apple’s favor, ordering a permanent injunction against the Google company’s slide-to-unlock method.

However, both Apple and Motorola could guess the outcome, when in March a Mannheim Regional Court dismissed a lawsuit against Samsung, ruling Apple could prove no infringement. A ruling on a broader infringement claim by Apple was held until the outcome of the Federal ruling.

Potentially pointing to how Apple’s appeal of this latest patent court loss: fourteen amendments by Apple to the slide-to-unlock patent claim viewed as hopefully saving the lawsuit were rejected by the German court today.

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What Happened To The Court Artists?

Introduction

With the expansion and consolidation of the British Empire in India from the eighteenth century, many European artists began to travel to India with traders. These artists brought ideas of western paintings with them.

Their idea of art was mainly based on realism, where the artist was expected to depict everything that looked like real life. And for this, they used oil painting and tried to give three dimensions to their paintings. Gradually Indian artists also adopted this style to depict their pieces of work. Indian artists began to paint Indian mythology and religion with western style, which was later criticized by national groups of artists and accepted the medieval Indian tradition of painting as an authentic version of the national art.

Court Artist Draws the Portraits of Bharata and Shatrughna

National Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Court Artists During the British Rule in India

The expansion of British power in India made changes in the life of Indian artists.

Many artists continued their old painting patterns like miniature and mural paintings. Some rulers like Tipu Sultan wanted to maintain the traditional pattern of painting rather than adopting the British style of painting. Therefore, he provided patronage to many court painters.

On the other hand, a different style was observed in Murshidabad. Since rulers of Murshidabad were considered British puppet rulers, they asked local painters to adopt the British style in their paintings like light, shadow and perspective.

During the colonial era, some local artists even began to lose their influence due to the lack of patronage by local rulers. At this moment, these painters began to paint for the company, portraying pictures of Indian flora and fauna, buildings and festivals etc. Hence. These paintings were called Company paintings.

The New Popular Indian Art

With the development of cities, painters began to migrate from villages to cities in search of patrons and buyers for their work. For instance, local scroll painters known as patuas and potters, known as kumors or kumhars, shifted near the Kalighat temple in Calcutta as the city was expanding with reference to administrative and commercial activities.

Till the eighteenth century, these Kalighat painters used to paint on the themes of mythology and religion. The images made by theme were initially flat, but gradually, they made them three-dimensional by shading and making bold outlines. These paintings were still unrealistic.

From the second half of the nineteenth century, these Kalighat painters began making images based on social and political structures’ themes. These pictures mainly condemned the educated Indians, fascinated by the western culture.

Subsequently, the Kalighat painters began to sell their pictures in large quantities. Initially, they used block prints, but by the end of the nineteenth century, they used printing machines. It reduced the time and manual labour and made the paintings cheaper.

Now some middle-class Indians, who had been trained in the British art school, set up a printing press and began making more realistic paintings by using oil painting, life study and printmaking. One famous studio of that time was Calcutta studio, which printed pictures of famous Bengali personalities and mythology-related photos.

The Search for a National Art

At the end of the nineteenth century, a wave of nationalism arose amongst Indians. It was reflected even in the field of art also. Now painters came up with a modern style and, at the same time, it was Indian.

There were two groups of artists who had different versions of national art −

On the one hand, a group of painters believed in painting pictures of Indian concepts (mythology) with a western style to make them more real.

On the other hand, the second group believed in making Indian paintings with the traditional Indian style to maintain the nation’s cultural heritage rather than imbibing western culture in paintings.

The Art of Raja Ravi Varma

One of the famous painters of the national style was Raja Ravi Varma, belonging to the family of Travancore’s Maharajas. He was well-trained in the western art of oil painting and real-life study. He painted themes from Indian mythology, including scenes of Ramayana and Mahabharata. His paintings became a fervent desire for Indian rulers and art lovers.

Galaxy of Musicians – by Raja Ravi Varma

Eventually, Ravi Varma established a team for Bombay’s picture production and printing press. Now coloured pictures of religious and mythological figures were printed on a large scale and became accessible to the masses, including the poor.

A Different Version of the National Art

A new group of national artists under Abanindranath Tagore criticized Ravi Varma’s national art for replicating the westernized tradition of oil painting and life study.

This group asked to move back to the medieval Indian style of painting consisting of murals and miniature paintings as authentic Indian paintings.

In Abhinandranath’s paintings, the influence of Rajput’s miniature and Japanese paintings can also be observed.

Conclusion

The establishment of British power in India also witnessed a change in art and paintings. This change impacted the lives of local artists as well. During the early nineteenth century, artists were divided into categories: firstly; who continued the traditional style under patronage of local rulers, secondly; ones who partially adopted the British style under puppet rulers and the third category included artists, who were creating company paintings. With this, artists began to move to cities for buying their paintings. Subsequently, a new trend of art emerged, termed as national art with the use of westernized style for portraying Indian mythology (like Ravi Varma’s painting). Thisye was condemned by a new group of artists, who urged a shift to traditional style to medieval painting as authentic national art.

FAQs

Q1. What do you understand by mural paintings?

Ans. A painting which is directly made on the surface of the wall or ceiling.

Q2. Who was the puppet ruler of Murshidabad? Where is Murshidabad now?

Ans. Mir Jafar was considered to be the puppet ruler of the British in Indian history, who had nominal political power. Murshidabad is in the present day West Bengal.

Q3. What was scroll painting?

Ans. Scroll painting was a tradition in East Asia, where painters used to paint on silk, paper or any other fabric in the landscape format with pictures of natural features, people, cities and other surroundings.

Q4. Who was Abinandranath Tagore?

Ans. Abinandranath Tagore was the nephew of Rabindranath Tagore. He was famous for supporting the swadeshi traditions of Indian art. He established the “Indian society of Oriental Art“.

Q5. What is the role of the Tipu Sultan in Indian history?

Ans. Tipu Sultan was Mysore’s ruler, who challenged the British East India Company to expand its political control in the southern part of India by fighting a series of famous Anglo-Mysore wars.

Us Court Renews Permission To Nsa To Collect Phone Metadata

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has renewed permission to the U.S. government for a controversial program to collect telephone metadata in bulk.

The office of the Director of National Intelligence said the government filed an application with the FISC seeking renewal of the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and the court renewed that authority, which expired on Friday.

The information was being disclosed “in light of the significant and continuing public interest in the telephony metadata collection program,” and an earlier decision by DNI James R. Clapper to declassify certain information relating to the program, it said.

The secret court has been set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which requires the government to obtain a judicial warrant for certain kinds of intelligence gathering operations. (

The Guardian newspaper published in June a copy of a secret April 25 order from FISC in Washington, D.C., which required Verizon to produce call records or telephony metadata on an ongoing daily basis until expiry of the authorization on July 19.

The requirement to turn in metadata applied to calls within the U.S., and calls between the U.S. and abroad, and did not cover communications wholly originating or terminating outside the U.S. Metadata was defined to include communications routing information such as session-identifying information, trunk identifier, telephone calling card numbers, and time and duration of calls.

The program does not allow the government to listen in on anyone’s phone calls, and the information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the identity of any subscriber, Clapper said in a statement in June, which also confirmed the authenticity of the order published by the British newspaper.

The authorization required the production of telephony metadata under the “business records” provision of the FISA Act.

In response to the disclosure about the collection of phone data of Verizon customers, American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in June in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, claiming that the “mass call tracking” by the U.S. National Security Agency was in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, giving U.S. residents the rights of free speech and association, and the Fourth Amendment that protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. It asked the court to order an end to the tracking of phone records under the Verizon order or any successor order.

In a letter last week to Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the U.S. Department of Justice said intelligence tools that NSA uses to identify the existence of potential terrorist communications within the data “require collecting and storing large volumes of the metadata to enable later analysis.” If the data is not collected and held by the NSA, the metadata may not continue to be available for the period that it “has deemed necessary for national security purposes” as it need not be retained by telecommunications service providers.

Internet companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have been demanding for greater transparency in the orders of the FISC, after Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor behind the leak of the Verizon order, also disclosed documents that suggested that the NSA has access in real-time to content on their servers. The companies have denied the claims, and want FISC to remove restrictions that prevent them from disclosing requests for customer data under FISA. Yahoo appears to have persuaded FISC to release its secret order and parties’ briefs in a 2008 case. The court ordered the government recently to declassify the documents, as it prepares to publish the court’s opinion in a redacted form.

Apple Vs Fbi: Apple’s Statement To Congress, Apple’s Lawyer & Warren Buffet Weigh In

But we now find ourselves at the center of an extraordinary circumstance. The FBI has asked a Court to order us to give them something we don’t have. To create an operating system that does not exist — because it would be too dangerous. They are asking for a backdoor into the iPhone — specifically to build a software tool that can break the encryption system which protects personal information on every iPhone.

As we have told them — and as we have told the American public — building that software tool would not affect just one iPhone. It would weaken the security for all of them. In fact, just last week Director Comey agreed that the FBI would likely use this precedent in other cases involving other phones. District Attorney Vance has also said he would absolutely plan to use this on over 175 phones. We can all agree this is not about access to just one iPhone.

The FBI is asking Apple to weaken the security of our products. Hackers and cyber criminals could use this to wreak havoc on our privacy and personal safety. It would set a dangerous precedent for government intrusion on the privacy and safety of its citizens.

Hundreds of millions of law-abiding people trust Apple’s products with the most intimate details of their daily lives – photos, private conversations, health data, financial accounts, and information about the user’s location as well as the location of their friends and families. Some of you might have an iPhone in your pocket right now, and if you think about it, there’s probably more information stored on that iPhone than a thief could steal by breaking into your house. The only way we know to protect that data is through strong encryption.

Every day, over a trillion transactions occur safely over the Internet as a result of encrypted communications. These range from online banking and credit card transactions to the exchange of healthcare records, ideas that will change the world for the better, and communications between loved ones. The US government has spent tens of millions of dollars through the Open Technology Fund and other US government programs to fund strong encryption. The Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology, convened by President Obama, urged the US government to fully support and not in any way subvert, undermine, weaken, or make vulnerable generally available commercial software.

Encryption is a good thing, a necessary thing. We have been using it in our products for over a decade. As attacks on our customers’ data become increasingly sophisticated, the tools we use to defend against them must get stronger too. Weakening encryption will only hurt consumers and other well-meaning users who rely on companies like Apple to protect their personal information.

Today’s hearing is titled Balancing Americans’ Security and Privacy. We believe we can, and we must, have both. Protecting our data with encryption and other methods preserves our privacy and it keeps people safe.

The American people deserve an honest conversation around the important questions stemming from the FBI’s current demand:

Do we want to put a limit on the technology that protects our data, and therefore our privacy and our safety, in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks? Should the FBI be allowed to stop Apple, or any company, from offering the American people the safest and most secure product it can make?

Should the FBI have the right to compel a company to produce a product it doesn’t already make, to the FBI’s exact specifications and for the FBI’s use?

We believe that each of these questions deserves a healthy discussion, and any decision should be made after a thoughtful and honest consideration of the facts.

Most importantly, the decisions should be made by you and your colleagues as representatives of the people, rather than through a warrant request based on a 220 year- old-statute.

At Apple, we are ready to have this conversation. The feedback and support we’re hearing indicate to us that the American people are ready, too.

We feel strongly that our customers, their families, their friends and their neighbors will be better protected from thieves and terrorists if we can offer the very best protections for their data. And at the same time, the freedoms and liberties we all cherish will be more secure.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to answering your questions.

Check Out Apple’s Newest Airpods Features

Apple has plenty of new AirPods features ready for your enjoyment, all you need to do is install iOS 15 and other software updates on your Apple devices. Here are all of them in one place.

Let’s check out together all the new capabilities that are available to AirPods owners by updating to Apple’s newest software updates, listed in no particular order.

New AirPods features in iOS 15 and other Apple OS updates

The following new capabilities for AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max are available with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, watchOS 8 and macOS 12 Monterey.

Announce notifications with Siri

Aside from announcing your incoming calls like before, Siri on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 can also announce your incoming notifications. With the feature turned on, the smart assistant automatically announces incoming notifications in your ear. You can elect to have only time-sensitive incoming notifications announced or both regular and time-sensitive ones.

This works on the second-generation AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max in US English.

For those wondering, time-sensitive notifications are a new kind of notification available to developers that can break through system controls such as Notification Summary and Focus. You can turn off the ability for time-sensitive notification interruptions in Settings.

Announce reminders

The Siri smart assistant can now announce your due reminders when you’re wearing any AirPods model or Beats headphones powered by the Apple H1 chip.

Conversation boosting

As a result, this accessibility feature makes it easier for folks with mild hearing issues to follow along in face-to-face conversation. Conversation Boost is accessible to anyone wishing to use it by pressing the volume slider in Control Center.

The original and second-generation AirPods are unsupported by Conversation Boost.

Find your AirPods with iPhone disconnected

The Find My network now supports AirPods Pro and Max, tying them to your Apple ID.

This lets you receive a separation alert when you forget to take your AirPods with you, as well as use the Find My app to find misplaced or stolen earbuds. You’ll first get an approximate location of your missing earbuds, with the Find My app showing you their last known location, until you get closer. This works even when your AirPods are disconnected from their iPhone, which wasn’t possible before. So what kind of dark magic is this?

It’s quite simple, honestly.

Just like AirTags, AirPods ping nearby devices via Bluetooth. If anyone with an iOS device comes within Bluetooth range, their device picks up the signal and reports the refreshed AirPods location to the Find My network. Once you do get within the Bluetooth range of your AirPods, you can play that high-pitched sound like your normally would and locate them.

Because this feature depends on crowdsourcing, it has its limitations. While the Find My network comprises hundreds of millions of Apple devices, you only need one of them to pass by your lost AirPods for this to work. Conversely, you may find the reported location useless or unreliable if you lost the earbuds- somewhere in the woods or a similarly remote location with very slim chances of having other Apple users passing by nearby.

Spatial audio comes to M1 Macs

With macOS Monterey, you can get the multidimensional experience afforded by Apple’s spatial audio feature. Previously limited to iPhone and iPad, this brings a theater-like faux surround sound experience with your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max connected to a Mac.

Spatial audio works on Apple silicon Macs and is unsupported by Intel-based models. The original and second-generation AirPods are also unsupported.

Spatial audio on Apple Music, now with dynamic head tracking

In July 2023, Apple Music launched support for spatial audio and lossless audio.

Spatial audio applies various filters and effects to an Apple Music song encoded using the Dolby Atmos multi-channel codec in order to simulate a 360-degree soundscape, with sounds appearing to come all around you. It works better on some tracks than the others, but one feature was missing from the original announcement: Dynamic head tracking.

Thankfully, the Music app in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 has picked up support for dynamic head tracking. Start playing a Dolby Atmos track and rotate your head or walk around the room to hear the difference for yourself. With dynamic head tracking, the sound field stays mapped to your device. You get to hear the surround sound channels in the right place no matter how you turn your head or move your iPhone.

This feature is only supported on the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

You will also need at least an iPhone 7 or third-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro or 11-inch iPad Pro or third-generation iPad Air or sixth-generation iPad or fifth-generation iPad mini or later.

Why some features don’t work on original AirPods

The reason for this is not planned obsolescence or a similar nefarious scheme on Apple’s part.

Apple generally has a certain chipset in mind when developing features—that’s why capabilities like Live Text only work on devices with the Apple A12 Bionic chip, for example.

For more info, visit the iOS 15 preview page on the Apple website.

What Happened To Apple’s Supply Of Iphones?

When Apple announced sales of 5 million iPhone 5 units this morning for the device’s launch weekend, we noted the number was significantly under the up to 10 million predicted by many analysts. While Apple previously announced pre-orders for iPhone 5 doubled the iPhone 4S with 2 million in 24 hours, sales only grew roughly 25 percent from the 4-million iPhone 4S units sold in its opening weekend. The chart above, courtesy of BusinessInsider, shows Apple’s launch weekend sales experienced a large slow down this year. Sales from iPhone 4 to 4S were up 135 percent compared to the 25 percent growth between the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 launch, despite the new device selling in an additional two countries. However, according to one of the analysts, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, Apple’s numbers did not include up to 1 million units pre-ordered and expected for delivery in October (via BusinessInsider):

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We believe there are two factors that negatively impacted the number. First, our sales expectation assumed that Apple would include all phones pre-ordered online. We believe that this may have been up to 1 million additional units as units pre-ordered after the middle of the first day were projected to be available in October.

The Wall Street Journal reported today on the shortages of iPhone 5s hitting suppliers around the country. The report noted that various retailers, such as BestBuy, were unable to fulfill pre-orders due to a shortage of launch day supply, and the situation is similar at many Target, Sprint, and RadioShack stores. How many iPhones 5s could Apple have sold? Munster noted the launch weekend could have been closer to 8 million units if it was not for retail supply constraints:

Second, we noted 1.25 days of Apple Retail inventory compared to 2.5 days during the 4S launch. Our 8 million estimate assumed full weekend availability and the counting of all online pre-orders. We believe that if supply were not a constraint and Apple included all pre-orders, the launch weekend number would have been closer to 7-8 million, assuming ~1 million October pre-order sales and an additional 1-2 million units at retail.

Simply not being able to make them fast enough might not be Apple’s only problem. An increasing number of iPhone 5 customers have reported their devices arriving with scratches or light scuffs on the coated aluminum back. AllThingsD noticed the issue: “The most easily damaged area appears to be on the chamfered edges of the device, wearing away the anodized surface and creating a ‘shiny’ look, as the uncoated metal peeks out.” Reports indicate the issue is affecting many users worldwide, but it is unclear what this means for supplies going forward or whether Apple plans to address the issue.

Apple might face further troubles in its supply chain with reports this morning from the BBC about a riot that broke out at Foxconn’s Taiyuan plan in northern China involving approximately 2,000 workers. Foxconn said the incident does not appear work related, but production at the plant has apparently stopped as the company investigates. Foxconn told Reuters the plant will remain closed for today, and an employee apparently confirmed to the publication that the plant does indeed “assemble and make parts for Apple’s iPhone 5.” Local reports (via MICGadget) claim up to 10 people were killed in the incident, but Foxconn is denying those reports.

Update Sept. 25: Bloomberg reported today, citing various analysts, that supply shortages of iPhone 5 is likely due to the device’s new in-cell display technology. Suppliers LG Display, Sharp, and LG Display are having difficulties producing enough displays.

With initial supplies of the iPhone 5 sold out, and many pre-orders from prior to the device’s public launch scheduled for delivery in October, Apple confirmed this morning that it still plans to roll out the device to an additional 22 countries on Sept. 28:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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