The Standard-Essential Edition Monday, May 8, 2017

What's Reasonable To Qualcomm Isn't To Apple, by Joe Nocera, Bloomberg

Although the idea behind designating a patent “standard-essential” is to ensure that every company has access to the technology -- at a “reasonable” price -- its critics charge that Qualcomm has turned the idea on its head. When it develops a new technology, it works hard to get the engineering institute to label it standard-essential, and then it charges fees that, in the view of Apple and many other companies, are exorbitant. (A Qualcomm spokesman declined to comment for this column.) Because Qualcomm had the right to go to court to seek an injunction against companies that refused to pay its fees, most companies tended to pay up, however grudgingly.

In February 2015, however, the institute made several critical policy changes that seemed to give the smartphone makers the upper hand. It ruled that patent fees should no longer be paid as a percentage of the entire price of the phone, but rather as a percentage of the component that used the technology. That would radically lower the fees the Apples of the world paid to Qualcomm. And it also took away a key piece of Qualcomm’s leverage by saying that licensing companies should not seek an injunction when there was a dispute. (The U.S. Supreme Court has also made it much more difficult to get an injunction to halt sales due to a patent dispute.)

Apple Agrees To Open Flagship Store At Carnegie Library, by Karen Goff, Washington Business Journal

The District's convention and sports authority has reached an agreement with tech giant Apple to open a global flagship store at the historic Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square.

Apple, which has been in discussions with Events D.C. for several months, will renovate the 113-year-old building across the street from the Washington Convention Center. The Events D.C. board is expected to approve a letter of intent at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday.

Apple Offering Free Smart Keyboard Repairs Under New 3-Year Policy, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple has determined that some Smart Keyboards may experience "functional issues" during use, such as the Smart Connector not working or certain keys sticking, repeating, or not responding, according to an internal memo distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers last week.

Apple says it will service any qualifying Smart Keyboard free of charge within three years of the date it was originally purchased.

Apple Clarifies That Affiliate Program Changes Affect In-App Purchases Only, by John Voorhees, MacStories

"We’d like to clarify some changes being made to the Affiliate Program. Commissions for all iOS in-app purchases will be reduced from 7% to 2.5% globally, and all other content types (including music, movies, books, paid iOS apps and TV) will remain at the current 7%."


How Photos Can Be Used To Analyze Your Health—for Better Or Worse, by Christina Bonnington, Daily Dot

Just launched earlier this week on iPad, the BVI Pro app uses two photos—a head-on shot and shot of your profile—to estimate your body volume. This should give you a more complete picture of your internal health. Select Research, the company behind the app, also eventually hopes to gather enough data to prove to leading governmental and global health bodies that BVI is a more accurate indicator of health than the current standard, BMI.

Cellphone App Used To Set Drivers' Auto Insurance Rates, by Linda Martz, Mansfield News Journal

The app then uses a cellphone's GPS and accelerometer to capture how often a driver slams on the brakes or accelerates hard, and how they take corners. “These sensors capture a lot of information," Manges said.

A driver might have good reason for braking suddenly, such as stopping to miss a deer. “But if you’re using your phone while driving, or texting while driving, or playing Candy Crush or something, you’re not going to be paying attention to the car in front of you, you might look up and need to come to a really hard stop," he said.


The Falklands Penguins That Would Not Explode, by Matthew Teller, BBC

"We would rather have left the minefields as they were. They are all clearly marked, clearly fenced. No civilian has ever been injured. We said to the British government, 'Don't spend the money here, go to some other country where they have a much greater need to free up farming land.'"

"Unfortunately," Elsby adds, "the British government have signed up to the Ottawa convention, which puts a duty on them to do this."