Remains of the Day: The war at home

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Apple, Microsoft, and Google’s battle for the home has begun in earnest; elsewhere, Apple’s in a non-patentable pinch, Passbook is passing go, and you could have been reading this in Apple Freedom. The remainders for Thursday, December 20, 2012 are protecting the home front.

Home-Automation Startup R2 Studios in Acquisition Talks (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Blake Krikorian, the man who founded Slingbox maker Sling Media, has a new jam: a home automation company by the name of R2 Studios. More interesting by far are rumors that Microsoft, Google, and Apple are all in talks to acquire the firm. I can already see the Apple marketing campaign: “Turns out we do do windows.” Zing.

Apple ‘pinch-to-zoom’ patent invalidated by USPTO (AppleInsider)

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has apparently issued a preliminary rejection all over Apple’s so-called “pinch to zoom” patents. Though Apple can appeal the decision, the USPTO made its decision based on several cases of prior art, most notably Vincent van Gogh’s classic work “Pinch-to-zoom near a Provence Farm.”

Apple Reminds Developers of App Store Freeze During Holidays (MacRumors)

Yes, iTunes Connect will be closed for the holidays as always, meaning that developers won’t be able to roll out updates next week. That means it’s the perfect time of year to sneak in your Trojan horse app!

Apple’s Passbook Is a Surprise Success for Developers (Wired)

Apparently Passbook is finally catching on, according to folks at American Airlines and Sephora. Which explains why I’ve hardly ever used it.

When I first heard the name “Safari” (Don Melton)

The former lead on Safari and WebKit dishes on how the name for Apple’s Web browser came about, and how the project was almost dubbed “Freedom” by Steve Jobs himself. Because we really needed yet another Apple product that was hard to search for on the Internet.

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