Oct 062010

It’s not like Logitech didn’t have the benefit of seeing Apple’s media event, where the latest version of its AppleTV was announced for $99. So one wonders what features their new Google TV appliance, the Revue, can offer to justify its $200 premium over the AppleTV.

The ability to do an internet search on your TV? Not really, but integrating current TV listings into your search results does have some appeal. How will this be done? The Logitech site videos depicting the Revue “in use” is a little vague. You can see what appear to be TV shows in the search results, but they’re generic, reflecting neither network nor show affiliation (unless “In Regina’s Kitchen” on station KLON is a new hit Food Network show I’m not aware of). I get the DISH Network implementation – they already have a tuner with which to integrate. And on that topic, who will want to buy into DISH’s offering if they can have the same thing without being married to DISH?

So for $299, you get the Revue box and a keyboard (no, not a remote) to help you watch TV. I don’t know anyone who can resist hitting the couch or recliner with a full size keyboard in tow. There is a trackpad integrated into the keyboard, so I guess you don’t have to bring the mouse too. If you want the HD camera or the mini-keyboard, Logitech offers them as options.

Bottom line: the Revue costs 3 times more than an Apple product in the same space and as much as a dedicated HTPC, which has more flexibility and the same requirement for peripherals. Unless this thing does something it’s not advertising, Google’s first foray into the living room is going to be a laugher.

Oct 062010

There’s always a patent infringement lawsuit floating in the stagnant backwaters of tech. Most of them involve someone who described how something could work, got the retarded USPTO to agree that such a description deserved to be protected as intellectual property, and then sprung their “claim” on a company who actually made something resembling the description into something that existed in the real world. Keeping with the backwater theme, the Eastern District of Texas Federal Court is one of the most prolific hearer of such claims. Rumor has it that jury screening consists of knowing the difference between CAT5 and baling wire. Or maybe just consists of having an interest in perpetuating the economic benefits that come from bringing mega-rich corporate attorneys to your double-wide shithole. Or something.

The folks over at the Guardian have documented the landscape of legal wrangling in tech. As a general rule, the more arrows you have originating from your name, the more likely you are to be a tech corpse (Kodak) or one that’s choking on its own vomit (Nokia). Lawsuits come and go, but there’s no substitute for actually innovating.

Update: a cool infographic of the Guardian’s exhibit from Design Language News here.

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