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Essential Shuts Down

Feb 12, 2020, 1:42 PM   by Rich Brome

Essential Products is closing up shop. The company shipped one Android phone and promised more devices, but never gained much traction. Founder Andy Rubin is also one of the chief creators of Android, and before that, Danger. Rubin had a history of sexual harassment claims against him.

Lightsquared Says U.S. Is Investigating Mitigation Plans

Dec 13, 2011, 3:07 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Lightsquared today said that a government agency acknowledged that the recently leaked government report condemning Lightsquared's Long Term Evolution 4G network was incomplete and that the U.S government is still researching the issue. "Our analysis is still under way and we are examining the full range of scenarios," said Moira Vahey, a spokeswoman for the NTIA. "The conclusions to be drawn from the test data will vary depending on factors such as Lightsquared’s power levels and other technical variables." Lightsquared maintains that its mitigation plans will resolve the interference issues that the GPS industry sites as dangerous.

Sprint to Provide Emergency Alerts Via Its Wireless Network

Nov 15, 2011, 10:49 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Nov 15, 2011, 5:53 PM

Sprint today announced that it will be the first wireless network operator in the U.S. to provide Wireless Emergency Alerts. The system allows Sprint to disseminate alerts issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, The National Weather Service, the White House, and local/state governments regarding disasters, warnings, or other crises. Warnings and safety information are sent via text alerts to properly equipped mobile phones, taking into account the device's location with respect to any affected areas. Sprint will be performing a major test of the system in New York City's five boroughs later this year. The test will deliver a series of different geo-targeted wireless alerts to multiple Sprint devices spread across Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. The alerts can be received by a wide number of Sprint's smartphones. The messages, which will be limited to 90 characters and have their own vibrate and ring alerts, are free to receive. The alerts will be sent in three categories: Presidential Alerts, Imminent Threats to Life and Property, and AMBER Alerts. They will and provide information that will let users know if they are in imminent danger. Wireless users can opt out of all message types with the exception of presidential alerts. Sprint will be working with various national and local agencies to make the system available across the country over the course of the next year.

Apple: Andy Rubin Took Android Framework from Apple

Sep 4, 2011, 9:36 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

In its latest filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission concerning its case with HTC, Apple alleges that Andy Rubin, the chief architect behind Google's Android platform, took a discovery made by Apple engineers when he worked at Apple and used it in the base framework for Android. The complaint reads, in part, "Android and Mr. Rubin's relevant background does not start, as HTC would like the Commission to believe, with his work at General Magic or Danger in the mid-1990s. In reality, as the evidence revealed at the hearing, Mr. Rubin began his career at Apple in the early 1990s and worked as a low-level engineer specifically reporting to the inventors of the '263 [realtime API] patent at the exact time their invention was being conceived and developed. It is thus no wonder that the infringing Android platform used the claimed subsystem approach of the '263 patent that allows for flexibility of design and enables the platform to be 'highly customizable and expandable' as HTC touts." Apple goes on to accuse HTC of distorting the truth to cover up this key developmental event. Apple's filing is meant to show that HTC is not being honest with the court, however, it could be used as the basis for a much more damaging legal attack directly against Google. Apple, so far, has only sued Android handset makers and not Google itself for alleged patent infringements.

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