Thurrott Daily: December 6

Posted on December 6, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Groove Music, iOS, Mobile, Music + Videos, Windows 10 with 21 Comments

Thurrott Daily: December 6

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Tech tidbits from around the web.

12/6/2016 4:34:22 PM

Support for music video comes to Groove in the Windows 10 Insider Preview

First they added this support to Groove on Xbox One, and now it is coming to Windows 10 for PCs and phone. Neowin reports:

[The ability to play music videos] was never available on Windows 10 PCs or phones – until today, as the app was updated for Fast ring Insiders.

You’ll need to be on the Fast ring of the Windows Insider Preview to get version 10.16112.1015, or you can just wait for it to arrive in the Production ring (non-Insiders), which will likely only be a couple of weeks.

I could have sworn this was previously available on PCs too. Maybe it was Xbox only.

Supreme Court rules for Samsung in smartphone fight with Apple

Yikes, I didn’t see this one coming. Reuters reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with Samsung in its big-money smartphone patent fight with Apple, throwing out an appeals court ruling that the South Korean company had to pay a $399 million penalty to its American rival for copying key iPhone designs.

The 8-0 ruling, written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, held that a patent violator does not always have to fork over its entire profits from the sales of products using stolen designs, if the designs covered only certain components and not the whole thing.

The justices sent the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington to determine how much Samsung must pay. But they did not provide a road map to juries and lower courts on how to navigate similar disputes in the future.

At this rate, Apple will end up paying damages to Samsung. But I kid.

Sonos 7 comes out of beta

And if you don’t remember what that means, it means the start of not having to use the pretty terrible Sonos app to control the pretty wonderful Sonos speakers. Starting with Spotify, as Sonos explains:

Play music from Spotify straight to Sonos.

You can now use the Spotify app to:

-Send whatever you’re playing on Spotify to any Sonos speaker.
-Group all your rooms together, house party style.
-Crank up the volume in every room at once.
-Transfer a song from your headphones to a Sonos speaker.
-Share your Sonos system with friends who have the Spotify app and are on your WiFi network.

Apple Watch sales: It depends on whom you ask

IDC reported this week that Apple Watch sales are in a nosedive.

Apple’s decision to launch its second-generation watches in mid-September, towards the end of the quarter, did contribute to its year-over-year decline in 3Q16. However, the primary reasons for the downturn were an aging lineup and an unintuitive user interface. Though both issues have been addressed with the latest generation watches, Apple’s success will likely be muted as the smartwatch category continues to be challenged.

But Apple CEO Tim Cook says he’s seeing its best Apple Watch sales ever.

“Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year,” Cook wrote [via email].

“Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch,” he said.

So who’s right? Frankly, both sources have had trouble with reality. But I think this line says it all:

Cook did not respond to a request for specific sales figures for the gadget.

Bingo.

Samsung’s exploding Galaxy Note 7, explained?

This report may finally explain what happened to Samsung’s ill-fated Galaxy Note 7.

The Note 7’s lithium-polymer battery is a flattened “jelly-roll” consisting of a positive layer made of lithium cobalt oxide, a negative layer made of graphite, and two electrolyte-soaked separator layers made of polymer. The separator layers allow ions (and energy) to flow between the positive and negative layers, without allowing those layers to touch. If the positive and negative layers ever do touch, the energy flowing goes directly into the electrolyte, heating it, which causes more energy to flow and more heat — it typically results in an explosion.

Samsung stated that these separator layers may have been thin to start with due to aggressive manufacturing parameters. Add some pressure due to normal mechanical swell from the battery or accumulated stress through the back cover (e.g. from being sat on in a back pocket), and that pressure could be enough to squeeze the thin polymer separator to a point where the positive and negative layers can touch, causing the battery to explode.

Looking at the design, Samsung engineers were clearly trying to balance the risk of a super-aggressive manufacturing process to maximize capacity, while attempting to protect it internally.

Yep. They failed.

 

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