Apple: Samsung didn’t rip us off (oh, and they suck)

Apple: Samsung didn't rip us off (oh, and they suck)

Apple has complied with a British court’s demand that it publicly admit the Samsung Galaxy Tab doesn’t rip-off the iPad (according to the UK legal system at least.) But the way it’s done is a masterclass of making the best of a bad situation.

As we noted in July, although Apple has had some court victories on the Tab/iPad affair around the world, it failed in a claim in the UK. Samsung then asked for a complete ban on Apple ever saying Samsung had copied its designs.

The judge rejected that, saying it would infringe free speech, and that Apple had the right to say it believed Samsung had copied the designs, as long as this was clearly expressed as opinion rather than fact. However, he did accept a Samsung request that Apple be forced to issue a public statement on its website and in print advertisements that Samsung had not been found to have breached the intellectual property rights.

That order was put on hold pending an appeal on the entire case, which was heard and rejected last week. Apple has now put the statement on its website and the newspaper ads are expected shortly.

However, while the statement opens with a paragraph confirming the judge ruled there was no copyright infringement and linking to the case, Apple doesn’t stop there. It prints a carefully selected extract from the verdict in which the judge appears to be raving about the striking design of Apple products, while dismissing the Galaxy Tabs as not cool and lacking understated simplicity, and calling them “almost insubstantial members” of the same design family as Apple devices.

The statement concludes by noting Apple’s victories in Germany and the US, concluding by saying: “So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple’s far more popular iPad.”

In other words, Apple has complied with the precise letter (if not the spirit) of the judge’s order, but still managed to spin it into something positive and argue that the Tab is a poor imitation of the iPad. And whatever you may think about the rights and wrongs of the various court cases, you have to concede that’s a skillful piece of public relations writing.

Everything Star Trek: TOS

Can’t get enough of Star Trek: The Original Series? Well Dusty Abell couldn’t either – so he made this poster that has at least one thing from every single episode of Star Trek: TOS that ever existed. Now that’s dedication.

Now where’s the edition for TAS, TNG, DSN, Voyager, Enterprise…

For those interested, here is a key to the different pieces of the poster.

[By Dusty Abell | Via Nerd Approved]

Recycled Vinyl Death Star Wall Clock

A vinyl Death Star wall clock by Etsy vendor Lindsay Barrasse, the same lady who made that sexy Star Wars duct tape dress we featured last year. She also has a Rebel Alliance version (pictured below) at her shop.

Recycled and Upcycled Vinyl Death Star Wall Clock Handmade and Hand-cut with a Hot Knife.

The perfect gift for the nerds or geeks in your life!!

It is made 100% by hand and takes about 2 -3 hours to complete each clock from recycled or up-cycled vinyl records.

The clock runs on a AA Battery.

Thanks Brandon!

[Recycled Vinyl Death Star Wall Clock]

LOL: Welcome to Amazon Life [Parody]

An AWESOME new parody by our friends over at Comediva, the sexiest, most amazing, intelligent, witty, and hilarious ladies you can find online.


Amazon Deal of the Day: 53% Off Sirius XM Onyx Dock-and-Play Radio with Car Kit – $37.99 + Free Shipping

Today only, get the Sirius XM Onyx Dock-and-Play Radio with Car Kit for just $37.99 plus free shipping. That’s over 50% off the radio’s usual list price of $79.99.

With the XM onyX, it’s easy to enjoy Satellite Radio in any vehicle. Do-It-Yourself Installation with PowerConnect is quick and effortless: Just plug it into your vehicle’s power adapter socket to enjoy live Satellite Radio directly through your FM radio. The large color display and other advanced features maximize your listening experience. You can even personalize onyX to match your vehicle’s dashboard with selectable display screen colors and trim rings. Add accessories to enjoy onyX in the home, office or anywhere in between.

XM XDNX1V1 Onyx Dock-and-Play Radio with Car Kit$79.99 $37.99 (53% Off)

Gungan Style…or is it?

So…this starts off as a way-too-late Star Wars parody of Gangnam Style and then…well, becomes something that is just a little horrifying from the perspective of a professional blogger. Though, perhaps, rather amusing to everyone else. In a dark way.

*considers doing something more inline with the goals I had when I was seven*

Ooh new shiny geeky thing…

[Funny or Die Via Topless Robot]

RANT: When Geekery Goes Mainstream, Do We Lose?

Image by Denny’s. No, you’re not seeing things.

By Natania Barron
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

There are hobbits at Denny’s. I’m supposed to be excited about this. I’m supposed to be frothing at the mouth, declaring victory for second breakfast and showing up in my own home-made hobbit feet, singing The Road Goes Ever On and On and snapping pictures on my iPhone every step of the way. Preferably with a cool, old-timey Instagram filter. This is, after all, essentially my defining fandom. This is what got me started down this path strewn with meeples and maps and swords and dice. According to market research, I’m the demographic.

I should be thrilled.

But I’m not.

Am I failing at fandom? Or it it something else?

Let me back up a bit. My first atomic-level obsession was the Ninja Turtles. My first fandom was Star Wars. The difference is that with TMNT, I spent the majority of my time holed up with just my sister quoting the entire films verbatim. We were totally insular in our obsession. In high school, I found other kids who loved Star Wars just as much as I did, and I suppose that’s when I officially transitioned to fandom. We’d quote the lines to each other, readied ourselves for the new (and ultimately childhood-crushing) prequel, had lightsaber fights in the halls, bought the copious Taco Bell tie-ins (man, but did I visit Taco Bell a ton the year they had those pogs) and all skipped school for The Phantom Menace senior year. Even though the movies were huge, they were somehow precious. It wasn’t that often your favorite characters showed up at Taco Bell, after all.

Then came The Lord of the Rings which, now that I think of it, combined both obsession and fandom. Maybe that’s why it was so overwhelmingly powerfull. It was the rumor of the Peter Jackson movies that got me on my first MUSH, Elendor (where I met my husband) and ultimately connected me with a far larger network of geeks — those that liked They Might Be Giants, dug literature, watched Samurai Jack. I found my tribe. So all this hobbit breakfast business is pretty apparent on my radar, if you get my drift.

And I frigging hate this idea. (That strangled cry you heard a few days ago was when I read the words “Radagast’s Red Velvet Pancake Puppies” and wanted to defenestrate my phone to punish it for showing the story to me.) I want to find whoever made this decision and just start, I dunno, throwing stale seedcakes at their heads. Real seedcakes, presumably made at home without horrid, fast food equivalent ingredients. I mean, I could deal with the light-up goblets at Burger King. They were kitschy and at least relatively thematic. And like with Taco Bell before them, this was a relatively unusual celebration. Plus I was in college, and it was an awesome uh, beverage vessel. But I wasn’t expected to actually eat their food.

That’s the thing with this food chain celebrating second breakfast. They want me to eat their food!

I’ll be honest. I don’t really like Big Bang Theory and I haven’t managed to get into Doctor Who. In all these cases I feel conflicted–it’s wonderful that finally, geeks are actually a huge factor in what’s being published and brought to the big screen… but I’m also aware that I’m a demographic. I can see through their guises. I’m making someone good advertising revenue! (And so are you.)

But this Denny’s second breakfast stuff… this is something else altogether. It’s one thing to feel like I might not connect with as many fandoms as I used to, and to feel like my preferences are bleeding into the mainstream and being wary of that. In some ways I guess it’s nice that we don’t have to work so hard in the land of obscurity. But in the end, I feel less thrilled and more pandered to, in no way more than this recent second-breakfastmagaddeon. I feel like my fandom has officially been mined. Our very own “Scouring of the Shire” as it were. (And that’s not where it ends. Look at Wreck-It Ralph. When I saw the preview for this during Brave, I turned to my husband and said: “Wow, that looks cool except… but I feel like the exploited demographic. Hello, 80s kids having kids! You are our target marketing demographic, and we’re capitalizing off your ginormous nostalgia factor!” Yes. The world has been rendered in 8-bit, and I’m supposed to be Ms. Pac-Man, gobbling it up.)

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like this is fandom jumping the shark. The geeky and the mainstream are no longer on separate paths. We don’t have to go digging for the obscure, like Mikey and his map to One-Eyed Willy in The Goonies. Comics, hobbits, video games, these things that used to be so rare and personal and geek elite, are everywhere. And I wish I could say it was just this hobbit nonsense. The truth is, it’s been happening for a while. The online world is dominated by fan things, with every tie-in imaginable, and people champing at the bit to get their favorite quote on a t-shirt/mug/bumper sticker/laptop bag/iPhone case/app.

It’s the stuff. It’s everywhere. And it’s one thing to do marketing for super heroes and movies. It’s another to break the core of what hobbits actually stood for which, I assure you, had nothing to do with stuffing oneself with cutely named, and what I assume to be nutritionally void food items, in strip malls.

Maybe you’re not a curmudgeon like me. All I’m saying is that, fandom failure or not, it’s our responsibility as geeks to demand more than stuff and fluff. Sometimes our tendencies to gripe about things can be annoying, but it’s essential; we need it now more than ever (see the most recent attempt and failure to cash in, er, “re-imagine” the Ninja Turtles) as we’re increasingly appropriated. We need to step back from all the stuff that’s piling up around us, take a deep breath, and consider what it all means.

So we’ve proved that yes, we can change the world. But we can’t let the world change us, either. We’ve got to keep getting bigger, faster, stronger, smarter… We can’t settle. It’s more than knowing the right quotes and wearing the right clothes or eating the food they want us to eat. If that’s all it becomes, it’s nothing better than any trend or club. Fandom is about community, it’s about storytelling, it’s about becoming something more than the dose of reality we’ve all been served. And that, most certainly, can’t be found in a box.

Or on a platter at Denny’s.

Now, confusticate and be bother the rest. I’m going to go get some tea and some fresh air.

“But where our hearts truly lie is in peace and quiet and good tilled earth. For all Hobbits share a love of things that grow.” — Bilbo, from Peter Jackson’s Fellowship of the Ring

Delicious Death Star [Pic]

Holy delicious-looking Death Star, Batman!

That’s no moon… it’s a giant maraschino cherries chocolate space station!

[Source: ZeeK Confeitaria]

Holy Robin Compilation, Batman! [Video]

Holy supercut of Robin saying “holy,” Batman!

[Via TDWG]

Perpetual Energy Wasting Machine [Video]

This is probably the most incredibly stupid and awesome machine that was ever invented.

The “Perpetual Energy Wasting Machine” is a rope and pulley mechanism which moves an elevator continuously between the 1st and 2nd floor of a building. The system is powered by the sliding doors of the elevator.


Big Bang Theory Soft Kitty Plush Slippers

First, there was the Soft Kitty blanket with sleeves, then someone decided to make a hoodie from the idea, and now, there’s slippers.

[$29.95 @ The Neatoshop]

British Government Official Says: Use Fake Details Online

A British government official has urged the public to use fake personal details when registering with websites — except of course when dealing with the government.

Andy Smith is a cybersecurity manager at the Cabinet Office. That’s a government department that doesn’t deal with a particular subject (such as energy or transport) but rather looks after the administration and coordination of government as a whole. One of its roles involves the seemingly never-ending attempts to get government technology use under control.

Speaking at a conference attended by politicians, officials and representatives of the tech industry, Smith said it was sensible to give fake info to sites. The BBC reports that he said “When you put information on the internet do not use your real name, your real date of birth… When you are putting information on social networking sites don’t put real combinations of information, because it can be used against you.”

He said this guideline didn’t apply to government websites when filling in officials forms. He later clarified that people had to make a case-by-case assessment of the balance between security and the need to access services. Because of this, he said that with large and trustworthy businesses it could be OK to give real details.

One politician from the leading opposition party described the advice as “totally outrageous” because it encouraged people to hide their identity, making cyber bullying easier.

Another speaker at the conference said he always used a fake date of birth where possible, though somewhat undermined the security benefits by revealing that date as 1 January 1900.

It’s certainly an interesting suggestion, although I have to say that most times I’ve used false details on sites it’s been a case of wanting to get through the registration process as quickly as possible rather than through any security concerns. I’m most likely to use a false date of birth or name in cases where I can’t see any reason the site would need my details in order to provide the service I’m after. I will also admit to using a random date when a site is simply carrying out a farcical “check” that I’m over a particular age.

Still, there is a danger that if people follow Smith’s advice too eagerly, they could wind up in situations where they have to give their date of birth later on as a security check, for example after being locked out of an account, and can’t remember what date they used. No doubt that would lead to some bright sparks offering a service along the lines of LastPass, perhaps “FakeDate.”

[Fake ID pic from]