Samsung chokes on Apple

So it looks like Apple got a ruling that Samsung violated many of its patents, including those involving user interface, such as bounce back scrolling and gestures. These patent violations were found in a large number of Samsung products – some you’re familiar with, like the Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy S; and some you might not have even heard of, like the Mesmerie or the Infuse. Well, at least, I’ve never heard of them.

Of course, this ruling doesn’t spell the end of this tussle. Samsung has said that it would appeal. But in the long run, the repercussions of Samsung choking on Apple are wide ranging and, ultimately, not that beneficial for the garden variety consumer.

As CNET reported Samsung’s official statement:

 “Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple’s claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.”

In the meantime, it isn’t that difficult to imagine Apple’s legal eagles high-fiveing each other with their now golden hands.

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Empire State shootings

What the heck is happening America?

Two dead – the shooter, Jeffrey Johnson, and his victim – and nine bystanders injured, all in front of the Empire State Building in New York.  Apparently, Johnson was downsized about a year ago. Today, he returned and shot a former co-worker dead, opened fire on random people before the cops got to him and took him down.

These are desperate times – biblical, I’m sure some would say. Well, today, the world ended for two people and I’m pretty certain it feels that way too for the people who loved them.

What a damned shame.

Technical Glitch says Pia Cayetano

Remember that plagiarism issue raised by Pinoy Templars? Well, Pia Cayetano’s answer has finally hit mainstream media, and it’s a lousy reply.

“I myself am a writer and a blogger. I believe that everyone is due the proper accreditation and the acknowledgment… nakalagay naman po yun sa ating Intellectual Property Code that from the moment of creation…your literary work is protected,” she said in an interview with reporters.

But she said that it’s difficult to cite all of the sources while the speech is being delivered so she just mentions the major source at the beginning and makes sure to insert footnotes where the speeches are uploaded.
“So sinasabi nila na bawat sentence during my speech dapat i-acknowledge ko? Mahirap naman gawin yun during the speech,” she said.

She has a point, of course. But hang on. Wasn’t she part of the chorus that crucified Tito Sotto? Granted that Sotto’s PR people were stupid enough not to have thought of this defense, still, it’s poor form for Pia to adopt such a crudely obvious dodge. Not to mention the fact that, apparently, the official published versions of at least one of her speeches didn’t seem to have any attribution footnotes at all for the allegedly plagiarized passages.

“My staff has told me in some cases dun sa lumang WordPress file hindi po napapasok ang footnotes. It’s a technical glitch and they have made the appropriate corrections,” she said.
“[So due to the] technical glitch hindi nalagay yung footnotes but I have always acknowledged that proper footnoting should be there,” she added.

Damn! Apparently the MS Word glitch that prevented Supreme Court Justice Castillo’s attribution footnotes from showing up has infected Pia’s “WordPress file.” Double damn! I didn’t even know that WordPress did footnotes. Seriously tho,’ this is probably the lamest excuse ever. Worse for being nothing but an updated version of an old alibi that didn’t even fly the first time.

And while we’re on the subject, what’s up with namedropping WordPress? Was it an error? Did she mean MS Word? Or was she counting on the obscurity – to the general public at least – of the publishing platform as a means of glossing over her error? Did she maybe expect people to go, “ah, wordpress naman pala kasi. okay.”

She likewise clarified that her speech on “The Status of the Philippines in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals” was never delivered on the Senate floor and was just uploaded on her website.
“Unfortunately yung media officer ko akala yung na-deliver kong speech naupload yun again technical glitch hindi nalagay yung footnotes but I have always acknowledged that proper footnoting should be there,” she said.
“Sana naman po may konting nag-abala yung nag-blog…that speech was never delivered on the Senate floor…you would see that in the Senate journal,” she said.

Well now, she’s just gone and torpedoed her first excuse out of the water, hasn’t she? In the first place, she says citing sources while delivering a speech was difficult. But if her speech wasn’t delivered, then – by her own logic – there’d be no problem with attributions, right? So, she waves the magic “technical glitch” wand and puts the smoking wand in her hapless – and conveniently anonymous – media officer’s hand. Real classy. Especially since people have been bitching about ‘command responsibility’ and all that.

In concluding her defense, Pia Cayetano whines that the issue had been blown out of proportion. Maybe so. But when she cheered while shit was being splattered all over your colleague over the exact same issue, perhaps she shouldn’t be so quick to complain when she gets some of that same shit splattered all over her.

Karma, truly is digital.

Legitimate Rape

Asked whether a woman could legally get an abortion in case she got pregnant from a rape, Republican Todd Akin – a Senatorial candidate for Missouri – gave this humdinger of an answer:

From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment. But the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.

The stupidity is mind-boggling. Let’s break that down.

First of all, pregnancy from rape is no rarer than pregnancy from any other kind of unprotected sex, vanilla or the Christian Grey variety. Atkin goes on to explain why it would be rare.

If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

I have no idea where this bizarre notion comes from, although I would not necessarily discount fringe religious beliefs as a possible source. As far as I know – and I believe I’m standing on pretty solid ground here – the body has no means of knowing whether it was raped, much less have the ability to refuse to get pregnant if it determines that it was raped. That whole concept sounds more like a mutant superpower to me, than actual medical science.

But Akin’s logic – while resoundingly moronic – is also quite predictable, given his Conservative leaning. Ultimately, he is saying that the preservation of a human life – the baby’s – is more important than the psychological and physical well-being of the victim.

Sad to say, this is essentially the same position adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. In this predominantly Catholic country, where even the erroneous belief that abortion is supported by a bill can lead to that bill being stonewalled for close to two decades, any proposed policy or law that seeks to give a woman a choice to terminate a pregnancy arising from rape would be killed within days and its proponents, tarred and feathered. Of course, this doesn’t mean that abortion doesn’t exist in the country. It does, and it probably kills as many desperate mothers as it does fetuses.

This fact alone – that unregulated abortions are fatally carried out despite its illegality – should make the issue of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy resulting from a rape serious enough to warrant mature discussion and consideration. Political realities however, will ensure that no such discussions will ever take place. Is it any wonder then, that the Reproductive Health Bill is taking forever to pass? The citizens of Missouri are fortunate that Akin opened his mouth and spouted that drivel. At least now, he’s being pressured to quit the race.

Here, at home, we’re not quite so fortunate. We may not have Todd Akin, but we certainly have more than enough of his ideological twins standing in the way of better healthcare for women.

Pussy Riot

For a band whose name sounds suspiciously like an invitation to an orgy, Pussy Riot has done what many other seasoned political activists have failed to do: exposed the inner rot of the Putin of regime, and laid bare the Church’s meddling in political affairs. Three of the members of Pussy Riot – the band itself is a collective with fluid membership – have been stripped of their bright balaclavas and convicted of hooliganism, a charge that is penalized with imprisonment for up to seven years. This after a performance of Punk Prayer – a song that talks about the close ties between Putin’s government and the Russian Orthodox Church – in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral.

Sound familiar?

We should be thankful, I guess, that the Church here doesn’t quite have that much clout. But while we’re being thankful, we should also be vigilant that things don’t ever come to that. In the meantime, let’s do what we do best: harness the power of social media to let the world know that here, in the Philippines, we won’t let those fearless youths go to jail without raising a ruckus.

FREE PUSSY RIOT!