Poop now at your fingertips with new emoji keyboard

There’s now a faster way to flip the middle finger or display a steaming pile of poop – along with your other favorite emoji. EmojiWorks has introduced what is probably the first portable keyboard with built-in emoji shortcuts. Each letter key displays two or three different emoji, which can be inserted into a message by […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


Smartflash Hits Apple With Second Lawsuit After Winning $533 Million Verdict

Just one day after Apple was ordered to pay a $532.9 million settlement to Smartflash LLC for infringing upon its patented technologies, the Texas-based patent licensing firm has sued the Cupertino-based company a second time over the same patents (via Reuters). The new lawsuit covers Apple products that were introduced after the original case was filed, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2.

„Smartflash filed the complaint to address products that came out too far into the last proceedings to have been included,“ Smartflash’s attorney, Brad Caldwell, told Reuters on Thursday. „Apple cannot claim they don’t know about these patents or understand that they are infringing. A diligent jury has already rejected those arguments.“

The new lawsuit was filed in the same Tyler, Texas district court on Wednesday night, only hours after a federal jury found Apple guilty in the original trial. Apple plans to appeal the decision in the original lawsuit under the belief that the patents are invalid. The patented technologies relate to digital rights management for downloaded songs, videos and games.

“Smartflash makes no products, has no employees, creates no jobs, has no U.S. presence, and is exploiting our patent system to seek royalties for technology Apple invented,” said Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman. “We refused to pay off this company for the ideas our employees spent years innovating and unfortunately we have been left with no choice but to take this fight up through the court system.”

Smartflash LLC fits the definition of a so-called „patent troll,“ which is generally considered to be a company that licenses patents but does not sell any products or services based on the inventions. The small company has also filed similar lawsuits against Samsung Electronics, Google and Amazon in recent months over the same patents. The new lawsuit against Apple was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.




iWatch Rumored to Include UV Light Exposure Sensor

Apple’s long-rumored “iWatch” smartwatch may include a UV light exposure sensor provided by Texas-based Silicon Labs, according to a new research note from Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis (via AppleInsider). The digital ultraviolet sensor, which was announced in February, is described by Silicon Labs as “ideal for activity-tracking wrist and arm bands, smart watches and smartphone handsets.” In addition to tracking UV sun exposure, the sensor is also said to track heart/pulse rate and blood oximetry levels and provide proximity and gesture control.

Traditional watch-style iWatch concept by Gábor Balogh

These chips measure UV exposure to aid those with elevated risk of sunburn or just a general concern about excessive sun exposure, and we believe they may be of appealing to OEMs looking to differentiate in a crowded market. To that end, while these products have seen little public hype thus far, we believe SLAB has a win in Apple’s upcoming iWatch (late 2H14 or early 2015).

Past reports have indicated that Apple is preparing to include the ability to monitor a number of health-related metrics in the iWatch such as heart rate, sleep activity, movement, perspiration levels, and skin temperature. Apple is also said to be developing a “Healthbook” app for iOS 8 which would help the iWatch monitor and track health statistics like weight, heart rate, calories and step counts in conjunction with the iPhone.

Over the past year, Apple has also hired a number of health experts in fields related to heart rate monitoring and fitness tracking, including two executives from pulse-oximetry company Masimo and others from C8 MediSensors, a company that develops non-invasive blood monitoring sensors.

While details on the iWatch have been mostly limited, more information on the product is likely to be revealed as the product’s release grows closer. It is unknown when Apple plans to release the iWatch itself, but a fall release date alongside iOS 8 and the next-generation iPhone is likely.