Monday, February 01, 2010

On the claim that Apple's iPad is a copy of the Chinese P88

On the claim that Apple's iPad is a copy of the Chinese P88, see Wired.

As to the trademark dimension of the intellectual property involved in the iPad, note the issue with prior rights to the name iPad owned by Fujitsu. Ian Paul at computerworld discusses some of the issues in a post iPad: Just the Latest Apple Trademark Dispute .

Meanwhile, back in Bridgewater, NJ, LBE's MacBook suffered its second major malfunction. On browsing the internet, one finds this second malfunction to be a well known problem among MacBooks-->

I have been using common headphones and have found that the internal speakers no longer switch back on after unplugging the headphones. The start-up chime still plays. The mute, volume controls all work fine but only through the headphones. [exactly LBE's problem] (...) Answer-->

There's a microswitch inside the port that toggles between analog and digital optical output. With nothing in the port, the switch should go back to the default analog state. If you're seeing that red light, the microswitch is stuck in the digital optical state--and the red light itself is, I presume, an internal terminator of the optical cable (though I haven't actually opened the case to try to verify this).

Sometimes the switch can be reset simply by plugging in and then removing some analog headphones. Sometimes the switch can also be reset by inserting and removing a digital optical cable. The point is that the switch is stuck and the only non-invasive way to attempt to unstick it is by "working" the port a bit by slowly and gently inserting and removing a plug a few times, perhaps best one that you don't usually use in the port. The goal isn't, however, to try to see how far into port you can push the plug, as that may be why the switch is stuck in the digital position in the first place; the goal is to activate/deactivate the switch a few times to try to get it working normally again.

Bridgewater, New Jersey has its own Apple Store, and LBE brought the MacBook in. The problem was diagnosed as that described above. The Apple Genius noted a board would have to be replaced, and LBE would get a phone call when the part arrived at the Bridgewater Apple Store. Days went by and no phone call. LBE phoned the Apple Store. First time, an automated message, followed by a hang up. Second time, a person, who started a search of orders for Lawrence Epert. LBE interjected: "No Ebert, like Roger Ebert the movie critic." Silence at the Apple Store. LBE: You know Roger Ebert, right? Answer: "Yes, but I don't know how to spell it." After spelling out Ebert for the Genius, LBE got a later response: no order was made.

It's bad enough that Apple can't make a decent headphone plug for the MacBook. It's worse when they can't do the repair.
At the end of the day, IP issues are secondary to the quality of the product itself.


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