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3 posts from May 2016


Apple Hit with New Lawsuit



VoIP-Pal (VPLM) recently filed a lawsuit against mobile technology giant Apple, stating that Apple has infringed upon its patented innovative call classification and product design technologies. The VPLM case, which was filed in a U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada this month, seeks more than $2.8 billion in damages from the computing and technology leader.

The damages sought in the lawsuit have been calculated at exactly $2,836,710,031, based 1.25 percent of royalties of the estimated profits Apple received throughout the history of its Mac (10%), iPhone (55%), and iPad (35%). 


An Issue with Patent or Pending-Patent Use

VPLM, through its case, that Apple has infringed upon its patents or pending patents with the development and sale of services like iMessage, Wi-Fi Calling, and FaceTime (which are available on various Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices).

It claims that Apple’s use of VPLM’s technology (as well as designs, features, and products) greatly infringes upon the marketing efforts of VPLM, for its own products that are similar and innovative. VPLM states that Apple used the company’s caller attribute classification protocol, as well as its call routing product design, instead of employing its own independent products and designs. This, says VPLM, is in violation of the company’s intellectual property rights. 

The Nevada court filing cites several ways in which VPLM believes Apple has infringed on its patents, including employing various VPLM messaging capabilities in the iMessage app. The VPLM case claims that Apple’s iMessage application directly and/ or indirectly makes use of specific technology included in the VoIP-Pal patent, including “the classification of a user, and, subsequently, how the call should be routed.”


Legal Action After Failed Communications

VoIP-Pal, a Bellevue company, delayed taking legal action until now, because it remained hopeful that it could work out a licensing situation with Apple in regards to the VPLM patent portfolio. VPLM says the company is still wishing for an amicable solution. We are “confident,” says VoIP-Pal CEO, Email Malak, that a favorable outcome can be reached for both parties and that the two sides will continue their current good.

VoIP-Pal describes itself as a “technical leader in the broadband VoIP market.” The company acquired Digifonica, a network operator, in 2013 and it currently does not generate income. However, it has plans to put its VoIP technology to use in creating products that will enhance the mobile marketplace.




Mobile Tech and the Automotive Industry



More an American institution than a mere brand, Ford is joining the mobile revolution with the launch of a new app. What’s interesting about it is that it has nothing to do with operating or securing their product - not directly anyway. 

The 120-year-old company has taken a commendably modern approach to the app, which is not so much about promoting their cars as promoting the whole concept of mobility, whether by public transportation, ride-sharing services, bicycles or car (Ford or otherwise).

The FordPass app claims to offer a ‘marketplace for mobility solutions.’ It’s a bold move. The automotive giant is accepting and taking advantage of changing attitudes to motor travel. Car ownership for every person or family in America was an aspiration largely created and marketed by Ford themselves. But it’s no longer inevitable that each individual will even desire their own vehicle, with many people choosing to forgo it altogether.

Vehicle sharing, whether in the form of companies like Lyft and Uber, or community-based car pool systems, is part of the ecologically-aware zeitgeist, especially among younger people. By embracing this changing culture and reaching out, not just to non-Ford owners but to those with no car at all, the company hopes to own the conversation - or at least part of it - surrounding the ethical, environmental and health ramifications of one car, one person.

Ok, ok, but what does it do? Well, the app has a lot going for it. Like many multi-purpose apps, the best way of getting to grips with it is to download it yourself and have a play around. The central feature, ‘My Vehicles’ allows drivers to upload information about their cars, trucks and motorbikes, such as model details and how many miles are on the clock. 

The loyalty program allows users to accrue points when they buy a Ford vehicle, fill up on gas or schedule a parking space using the app. In addition, the app functions as a key capable of starting the engine and remotely locking and unlocking your car (though perhaps not in that order) - a feature only usable on recent models.

Other features include parking assistance, which allows you to geo-locate your vehicle in large parking lots.


Mobile App Solutions for Travelers



Taking a vacation this year? For some, the stresses incurred by traveling is enough to put them off going away at all. Fortunately there’s an abundance of mobile technology designed to make travel more enjoyable and minimize the stress. Here, we take a look at some of the bast travel-centered apps to hit the market:



Available in 30 cities around the world, Citymapper is designed to help you navigate around unfamiliar places in ways that Google Maps alone can’t. It provides detailed, easy-to-use journey planners, with real time disruption alerts and departure times for public transport. It also integrates Uber, and has a nifty cycle route map, so all your potential travel requirements are covered.


Wolfram Sun Exposure

Enter your skin type and location and this app - available on iOS - will tell you how long you can safely stay in the sun before getting burned. Other data inputs include the time of day and the strength of the sun cream you’ve lathered on. For those with sun-sensitive skin, Wolfram is a real boon when travelling to sunny climes.



With more than 70 million registered members, Duolingo is fast becoming the go-to app for basic language tuition. It’s no substitute for proper language lessons, but if you want enough to get by and show some common courtesy to your host country, this well-designed tool game-ifies the learning process to keep you incentivized. Duolingo covers 21 languages - enough to assist you in the most commonly visited countries around the world; it even offers a course in Esperanto, which is more popular than you might think - 30 users daily have completed the Esperanto course since its launch in 2015.


XE Currency

Your one-stop shop for online currency conversions, this app proves that the simplest ideas are the best. With more than 20 million downloads since launching, XE Currency has added a few useful features recently, including current market rates for precious metals and historic currency charts. But the main attraction remains the user-friendly conversion platform, which handily saves the last updated rates in real time, so that you always have up to date information - even in locations with limited connectivity.



Your own personal travel agent pulls together all those strands of travel info that used to be so complicated to manage. All you have to do is forward your various confirmation emails regarding flights, hotels, rental cars, dinner and event bookings, and Tripit creates a single itinerary for your entire vacation. 


App in the Air

This flight tracking app - one of a few on the market - claims to cover more airlines and airports than any other. Stay in the loop regarding delays, departures and arrivals, and use the integrated version within the aformentioned Tripit app to make life even easier.