Is your Android set to become an iPhone? // Morning Read-up: July 19, 2012

19 Jul

Just when you thought one wasn’t like the other… (courtesy

*Apple has won a major patent victory that could spell the end of rival smart phone technology. All those nifty ways that you can navigate through your phone using finger gestures? Well Apple came up with that first, sayeth the judge.

So will Apple turn around and start charging a licensing fee from all their rivals?

**A look at DVR usage by ThinkProgress’ Alyssa Rosenberg tell us that as more and more American TV viewers have added DVRs to their home entertainment setup, the rate of viewers skipping commercials is going down.

It seems pretty obvious to me that the early adopters of equipment like TiVo did so because they wanted to avoid commercials. Those who are adding them now? You would have to guess that they are doing so because either a. they got a really good deal or b. because they are happy enough being able to record stuff again (are they just old-time VCR users?).

Slate’s June Thomas has a different theory, though: she thinks its all down to how advertisers are presenting their commercials. Thomas admits that it’s mostly anecdotal what she’s relaying, but it’s hard to dismiss her commentary about the style of these new commercials, which seem to blend with the mid-story fade-out of the actual show. TNT, for instance, will drop in interstitials that feature a product and a character from the actual show, effectively a mini-commercial before the ‘real’ commercials start. It’s easy to see how that might throw the viewer for a loop.

*** Also from Slate: Washington State has teamed with Microsoft to create a voter registration app on Facebook. Will it really connect with young people? Or is it still something that ignores the real problem – voter apathy? It may be easy enough to register, but will registrants feel motivated enough to get down to the polling station and vote?

The state has also tied its app in to Rock the Vote’s page, and will be sharing data with the youth voter organization.

**** Get ready for a sharp increase in the cost of living: corn prices in the US are going through the roof. But that’s the US, not Canada, you say? Corn goes into three-quarters of the food sold in American groceries, and you might be surprised to learn just how many of those same products end up on our northern shelves.


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