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Samsung asks judge to halt Apple damages retrial

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Samsung on Wednesday asked a judge to halt the Apple damages retrial, currently under jury deliberation, after the US Patent and Trademark Office said an Apple patent might not be valid.

According to court documents, the Patent Office questioned whether Apple patent No. 7,844,915, also known as "pinch to zoom," is a valid patent. The '915 patent covers technology that can distinguish whether a user is scrolling with one finger versus using several touch points at once for a pinch-to-zoom action.

The Patent Office has been re-examining the claims of the '915 … Read more

Apple 'pinch-to-zoom' patent on shaky ground, report says

Apple's embattled "pinch-to-zoom" patent has apparently been tossed out by federal patent authorities, if a new report is correct.

Samsung Electronics on Sunday filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, requesting that all alleged infringement against Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent -- Patent No. 7,844,915 -- be tossed out, according to Macworld, which obtained a copy of the documents. Samsung cited a recent decision on the part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to reject all 21 claims in the patent through … Read more

Apple wins 39 new patents on Smart Cover, pinch-to-zoom

Apple has won dozens of new patents across a wide array of technologies, including how pinch-to-zoom works in software and its iPad Smart Cover's attachment features.

Perhaps the most important patent is one that relates to how a touch screen reacts to a person's thumb and index finger during a pinch-to-zoom gesture. Sensors within the touch display change in size and shape based on the gestured detected by those fingers. If a thumb and forefinger start to move together, the sensory panels change around that. When they move apart, the sensors once again adapt. Other sensors around the … Read more

How to enable pinch-to-zoom in Gmail on your Android device

Last week when Google rolled out Gmail 4.2.1 to all Android users, swipe-to-delete wasn't the only feature added to the app. Google also added pinch-to-zoom, but it's not called pinch-to-zoom in the settings. Wait, what? Yeah, it's a bit confusing. So here's what you'll need to do to enable pinch-to-zoom in Gmail on your Android device.

Download the latest version of Gmail from the Google Play Store. It should be version 4.2.1. After you're up to date, launch the Gmail app and navigate to Settings > General Settings. Check the … Read more

New tech lets users 'Pinch' their way to multiscreen bliss

A new display technology being tested in Japan could eventually allow mobile users to stack up smartphones and tablets to create one, big display.

Dubbed "Pinch," the software is being developed at the Tokyo University of Technology. According to Diginfo, which was first to report on the news, users can place smartphones or tablets next to each other in any way they wish, and by using a simple "pinch" motion, link the two displays to create one larger screen.

The pinch motion is achieved by placing one finger on one display and another finger on the … Read more

How to disable the pinch-zoom gesture on Windows laptops

I may have saved my mother's sanity with this tip. She was enjoying her new Dell laptop except for the fact that it would suddenly zoom in and out when she was browsing the Web or using Outlook, sometimes deleting a half-penned e-mail in the process. (Not helping matters was the fact that my dad was not experiencing such mousing behaviors.) During my last visit, I discovered the problem: pinch zoom.

One of the many multitouch gestures on today's laptops is the ability to pinch two fingers to zoom in and out in a window. When viewing images … Read more

Icon resizing controls in Lion

In OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Apple introduced an option to control icon sizes by simply using the pinch-zoom gesture on Macs with multi-touch trackpads. If you pulled your fingers together then the icon sizes in the current window would get smaller, and if you spread your fingers then the icons would get larger.

This feature has been removed in OS X Lion, which has frustrated a number of people who have come to rely on its convenience. While the Finder's preferences file may have an option called "EnableZoomPinch" for some users, this option is likely … Read more

Grip with a pinch

Oven mitts make me feel clumsy: they may protect my hands, but I have a hard time feeling what I'm trying to hold on through the thick fabric. The Silicone Pinch Grips provide a safe hold on hot pans, pots, lids, oven racks, and anything else I need to move around in my kitchen without burning my hands. While the grips are smaller than a traditional pot holder, each one has ridges on the inner surface that will let you hold on to even the most slippery items. While the outside of the grips don't have quite as … Read more

Apple developers mark a year of iPhone apps

Apple's success with iPhone applications wasn't preordained, but the company had a huge leg up on the competition with a hit device, a mature software platform, and the one of the biggest online stores on the planet.

"They had all three sitting there, and that's very difficult to create in this industry," said Travis Boatman, vice president of worldwide studios for EA Mobile, creator of iPhone games such as Spore and Sim City.

But for all the work Apple has done to make the iPhone a success over the past year, its future lies in … Read more

Most iPhone applications gathering dust

iPhone users have very short attention spans.

Just 30 percent of people who buy an iPhone application actually use it the day after it was purchased, according to Pinch Media, which analyzed over 30 million downloads from Apple's App Store. And the numbers plunge from there: after 20 days, less than 5 percent of those who downloaded an application are actively using it. The drop-off is worse for free applications.

Those are amazing numbers. It's not a new pattern--GigaOm and TechCrunch noticed this last August--but back then, with the App Store just a month old, it was … Read more