Patent Suggests that Apple is Considering a Flexible Screen Component

According to Mashable, Apple submitted a patent application revealing a possible integration of flexible OLEDs (organic light emitting diode) that could bend with the existing Apple Smart Cover.

The Ultra-Cool Concept

The patent sketches serve up possibilities that make Microsoft’s Surface Tablet seem dull. The Apple Smart cover is a flexible cover that protects the iPad screen. It is also supposed to fold to support the tablet, though the product has fallen short in that regard.

A flexible screen attachment, according to the sketches, would not be completely connected to the Apple Smart Cover, but would be its own element. This means that the Smart Cover could be used to stabilize the iPad, while the OLED could be spread flat as a keyboard. (Take that Surface Tablet!) This feature would appeal to the iPad’s existing fan base of college students and could possibly spur tablet technology to overtake laptops as the choice for mobile devices.

The OLED screen could also be used as a drawing surface, message board or a second screen. The flexibility of the screen could also allow it to be folded into a stabilizer for easier media viewing. Although it’s just a patented idea, not a full-fledged commitment, the concept definitely gives us something to think about in terms of the future of screen technology.

Unfolding a Vision of the Future

I first saw the flexible screen display during the Las Vegas Tech Convention earlier this year, but Samsung announced in 2011 that it would begin shipping flexible screens in 2012, saying that it had already amassed large orders. (I have yet to see it in the U.S.)

Samsung and Apple have worked together in the past for screen technology, and this patent definitely hints at future collaboration. Though Nokia announced a phone prototype with a bendable screen last year, it seems that the tablet will be the starting point for this trend to unfold. (Unless the iPhone 5 comes with a big surprise! A flexible screen would solve the phone’s durability problems.)

Flexible screens could have a variety of uses, melding paper and computer uses such as displaying information of a hospital patient’s armband. Bendable wrist computers for military use are also in development. In the next era of technology, any surface can be a computer – even the sides of buildings.

Although flexible screens seem to be the next big wave of the future, there is still plenty of time before the market adjusts to these new concepts. We may be waiting another 3 years before any product actually hits the mass market, but I’m keeping my eyes and ears open.

Katheryn Rivas is a regular contributor to Online University. Like the name suggests, the online universities blog focuses on higher education and trends. She welcomes your comments at katherynrivas87@gmail.com.

2.8GB of Scientology Emails Leaked by Anonymous Australia

TAnonymous Leaked Scientology Emails Guy Fawkes Maskhe Australian branch of the amorphous hacktavist group Anonymous leaked more than 2.8 GB of emails today. The pludered data is a pretty complete catalogue of all the external and internal communications of members of the Church of Scientology in Australia. The contents of the leaked emails is seedy at best, as there are some communications between ‘higher ranked’ officials from the church discussing sensitive matters.

The information has been separated into 5 files ranging from 299MB to 1.5GB. They have been uploaded to multiple file lockers and can be downloaded by anyone. The adresses to the download links can be found on the original Pastebin publication from Anonymous Australia. You can also read a sample of the communications in two lists on PWNY.biz here and here.

From the few that we’ve read, many are in German so get ready ready for alot of Google translator copy-pasting. Several are PGP encrypted communications so they will probably never be publicly legible. Otherwise there is lots of incredibly poorly written English emails with plenty of jargon and of little interest. We’ll keep digging and let you know if we can come up with anything cool. If you find anything interesting, please let us know in the comments!

Megaupload Megavideo Down January 19 2011 | FBI takes down Megaupload.com

megaupload downNotorious file locker Megaupload has been taken down today as of 2:15PM, the day after SOPA was shelved. Seven individuals and two corporations- Megaupload Limited and Vestor Limited – have been charged by the FBI for piracy related crimes in the United States and New Zealand and forced to shut down Megaupload.com. This marks the largest criminal copyright cases ever in the history of the United States as the site generated $175 million in criminal proceeds and allegedly caused more than $500 million in damages to copyright holders.

In response to the closure, Anonymous has launched a distributed denial service attack on several web properties owned by those complicit in the Megaupload bust. You can check out our list of alternatives to Megaupload to help you find a new file sharing resource.

Mega-Sites Gone for Good

Along with Megaupload, Megavideo.com, the company’s sister streaming flash video site has also been taken offline. It looks like the all of the sites in the Mega ‘network’ have been taken down as a result of the Federal investigation. This has come as a bit of a surprise to many:

  • On the surface, the site seemed to have complied with DMCA regulations, and removed material when asked.
  • The site did not directly promote piracy.
  • The listed employees are nearly all non US citizens, so this required international cooperation.

The swift and relatively unannounced takedown has created a huge stir in the internet-technology sector and, more acutely, in the thriving tech startup industry. It sets an ambiguous precedent that services used to share files, where the possibility of abuse (ie sharing copyrighted material unbeknownst to the company’s administration) may be grounds for indictment. For instance Dropbox, the personal file sharing service, may have to become increase intervention and filtering to duck a similar raid in the future. The scare of this materializing was what lead to the internet wide protest against the SOPA bill yesterday.

Still it’s almost impossible to deny that Megavideo and Megaupload were rife with pirated material and that they at best took their time in complying the DMCA takedown requests. From the department of justice press release:

As alleged in the indictment, the conspirators failed to terminate accounts of users with known copyright infringement, selectively complied with their obligations to remove copyrighted materials from their servers and deliberately misrepresented to copyright holders that they had removed infringing content. For example, when notified by a rights holder that a file contained infringing content, the indictment alleges that the conspirators would disable only a single link to the file, deliberately and deceptively leaving the infringing content in place to make it seamlessly available to millions of users to access through any one of the many duplicate links available for that file.

This was often the case anecdotally, as Alex Muir put it:

Megaupload never complied with DMCA requests – I made several as part of some research and never received any response. The site charged for access to, and provided advertising around, pirated content. The site paid people (users/staff – it’s a fine line) to provide popular content.
It went to extraordinary lengths to hide the identity of its operators.

The entire 72 page long edictment is available from here.

Bring on the Fakes

There are rumours flying around twitter about new iterations of Megaupload and Megavideo. Alas, these are so far all fakes. The most popular New Megaupload is http://megavideo.bz/. The site allegedly hosts a a recent backup of the downed Megaupload but with a non functioning sketchy layout, consistant server outages. The UUID UA-6383685-1 points to number of other megaupload ripoff sites that exist only to display advertising when someone miss types the url. Here is a screenshot of the site:

the new megaupload

Thunderbolt Peripherals | November 2011

thunderbolt peripherals logoThis page attempts to maintain an up-to-date list of Thunderbolt peripherals. As of November 2011 there is quite a small selection of thunderbolt devices on the market. Basically you’ve got the thunderbolt Apple Display and the Lacie Thunderbolt Hard Drive Enclosure. Now that Apple has been putting the thunderbolt port into their Macs for close to year, we can expect to start seeing this list of peripherals grow dramatically.

  1. The Apple Thunderbolt Display is the first Thunderbolt screen that has been brought to market. It’s $999 price tag is a little steepfor a 27″ Monitor, but the quality of Apple’s Cinema displays has always made them worth the price.thunderbolt display peripheral
  2. The Lacie Thunderbolt Harddrive Enclosure was the second peripheral released for the thunderbolt interface. The device gives users the lightning fast speeds we’ve achieved through solid state hard drives, delivered through a Thunderbolt cable. Along with the incredible speeds, you also get that daisy-chaining goodness made possible by the Thunderbolt interface. There are 2 configurations of the device sold on the apple site
    thunderbolt hard drive peripheral
  3. Promise – Pegasus Raid Storage Array Read more about the Pegasus and a few other Thunderbolt storage devices that Promise has released over the past year on their site here

Checkout out a few of these thunderbolt peripherals together in action in the video below:

Tornado Watch for Waterloo 2011 August 24

tornado watch waterloo
I can’t remember anything like this ever happening before in Kitchener Waterloo! Tornado watch not warning!

The watch was issued at 11am for a large chunk of Onatrio. Full list:

  • Waterloo
  • Windsor
  • Essex
  • Chatham
  • Kent
  • Sarnia
  • Lambton
  • Elgin
  • London
  • Middlesex
  • Huron
  • Perth
  • Wellington
  • Dufferin
  • Innisfil
  • Grey- Bruce
  • Barrie
  • Orillia
  • Midland
  • Parry Sound
  • Muskoka

If you are in any of these areas, stay indoors and be mindful of the weather.

Earthquake in Markham Toronto Virginia GTA August 23 2011 1:54 pm

august-23-earthquake

There was an earthquake felt in Toronto today.

Got it bad in Virginia, the epicentre of the earthquake. The shaking lasted for about 30 to 40 seconds in the United States and about 15-20 seconds in Toronto. Waterloo felt the shake too but it only lasted for a few seconds and with a small fraction of the force exhibited further South West. There were plenty of buildings damaged and evacuation in the United States (including the Pentagon and the White House) but no deaths or bodily injuries reported.

This one seemed way stronger than the earthquake we had about a year ago.

Did you feel it?