Nest not only takes inspiration from Apple, they take lawyers

Nest not only takes inspiration from Apple, they take lawyers:

Nest describes Honeywell’s patents as “hopelessly invalid” “retreads already invented by others years before,” and as The Verge reports in their story, Nest CEO Tony Fadell describes Honeywell as “worse than a patent troll”:

Nest’s full answer to Honeywell’s lawsuit reveals the same arguments in greater detail. (It also contains amazing legal zingers like “Nest denies that Honeywell is an innovator in the area of thermostat technology.”) According to the filing, “Honeywell has a track record of responding to innovation with lawsuits and overextended claims of intellectual property violations,” and the patents in question should all be invalidated by prior art — even, in some cases, by previous Honeywell patents Nest claims the company hid from the Patent Office.

Man, I’d never have thought thermostats could get so interesting.

[Me either. Plus I’m hoping that some combination of success and desire cause them or others to create similar improvements for other household controls. Goodness knows they need it.]

Source: Coyote Tracks

Photo check deposits

Photo check deposits:

It’s much faster and simpler than a photo deposit. (I can also get cash while I’m there. Can’t do that with the iPhone app.)

And then it’s done. The check is out of sight and out of mind. I know that if anything goes wrong, the bank will mail me something about it, although I’ve never had an ATM-deposited check get rejected by the bank later.

Sometimes, new technology is not progress.

[I hope the folks at Simple are listening. (Hey, where’s my invite anyway? :) The thing is, simply using cool technology is never enough. It has to provide a better experience. If it doesn’t it’s a failure. Certainly you don’t want a process that’s worse than old way, or less flexible.]


(Part of) Why Instapaper and Similar Are So Useful

(Part of) Why Instapaper and Similar Are So Useful:

ReadWriteWeb, Jon Mitchell: Websites Have to Get Better:

Read-later apps are competition for noisy, ad-ridden websites. They represent a simple fact: Users hate our sites.

Sure do.

Dave Winer suggests:

Generate a community of template designers who create readable templates that we can use in content management systems… Make it easy for people to make readable sites. And beautiful and have advertising. Help solve the problem.

[It’s like the golden age of designers. I don’t think the impact of design has ever been given more play. And the same open source tools that work for developers probably work well fr designers (I’m thinking Github here). I wonder if there is a too much ‘individuality’ still bred into the designer space.]


eBooks as Tools

eBooks as Tools:

Books May Be Better Objects, but E-Books Are Better Tools: I have some significant concerns about Amazon’s increasing dominance over the publishing world, and the company may not keep my loyalty forever; but the transferability they have enabled is a huge boon to me in my work. Years ago, when I was a young book collector, I decided that I had to spend my money on books for use rather than display — I didn’t have the resources to be a collector and a scholar. Similar thoughts have prompted my recent move towards electronic texts. Like Nick Carr, I love the fixities of the book as a designed object; but the resources offered by digital versions of texts make my life as a scholar far easier than it has ever been. I can’t resist that. 

Jacobs makes a very important point that ebooks are often far better tools for daily use. When Apple introduced Multi-touch books in iBooks 2, they made a big point about the ease of fast navigation in the textbook – something that is crushingly awful on a hardware Kindle.

At the same time, iBooks doesn’t have a “back” button so navigating around a book via hyperlinks is fraught with the danger of losing your place.

[I wish I had tie to dig into the process of creating something via iBook Author. I thin I’d learn a lot about how my son will be reading in a few years.]

Source: Fraser Speirs

Project Glass

Project Glass:

Google’s transition into the new Microsoft is now complete: fancy-pants sci-fi concept video to promote stunningly awkward augmented reality glasses.

[This one is understated. So you want Google wants to hear all your ideas about how this is going to work? Cool Let’s start with “Google will not collect any information based on my theoretical use of this theoretical device… one day.]

Source: Daring Fireball