The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has published a patent filing that is both new and familiar. Initially submitted by Nokia in May of 2010, the patent in question is for a tablet device that bears an extremely strong resemblance to Nokia’s N8 handset. From the drawing we can make out a 3.5mm headphone jack, and several additional ports on the device’s top — we’re assuming at least one of which is a HDMI-out port. The schematic is likely for a MeeGo or Symbian based device the will, in all likelihood, never see the light of day. As with all things Nokia that occurred before February 11, 2011, it is unclear whether or not this project has been shelved. There are a few more drawings of the device after the jump, have a look for yourself. More →
If you own a pair of Apple-friendly Monster headphones that haven’t been very Apple-friendly lately, you’re not alone. A source at Apple recently told BGR that customers are complaining en masse of “erratic behavior” associated with music playback on Apple devices. The problems affect the iPhone, iPad and Apple’s iPod range, and include random pausing, playing and skipping forward or back through songs. Apple has determined internally that these problems are being caused by a variety of Monster headphone models that make improper use of Apple’s Remote and Mic technology despite advertising compatibility with Apple products. Specifically, the problematic models “use conductive flanges, which can result in electrical shorts that cause an iPod or iPhone to pause and play erratically.” According to Apple, these headphones “do not meet Apple’s technical specifications,” and the company is afraid customers might think Apple products are responsible for the associated malfunctions. Offending Monster headphones include the Jamz, Lil Jamz, Turbine Basic, Turbine Pro and Heartbeats product lines.
UPDATE: Monster has issued the following statement to BGR:
Monster was recently made aware by Apple that some of our Jamz™, Turbine™ and Heartbeats™ headphones with ControlTalk™ may experience some irregularities under certain circumstances (it does NOT affect ControlTalk™ Universal). This irregularity potentially affects a very small fraction of our headphones and to this date we have received no customer complaints. However, because the customer experience is our top priority, Monster immediately stopped shipment of all potentially affected products.
With the exception of the black or chrome Heartbeats with ControlTalk™, this issue does not affect any other of the Beats™ by Dr. Dre™ products. If you think you are experiencing a problem with one of the headphones listed below, please contact Monster customer service [http://www.monstercable.com/service] to receive a replacement.
Potentially affected products include ControlTalk versions of Lil Jamz™, Jamz™, Turbine™, Turbine Pro and Heartbeats™.
Hit the jump for another screen shot showing Apple’s full list of problematic Monster headphone models More →
The folks over at iLounge stumbled upon some curious info regarding the new iPod Shuffle that has us scratching our heads. We all know the controls for the new Shuffle are on the headphones, but apparently Cupertino decided to make it even more difficult for headphone makers to get in on some Shuffle action. Control of playback and adjustment of volume will not be permitted unless the headphones used are equipped with an Apple authentication chip. D’oh! To further complicate matters, headphones with this new authentication chip are not yet available. Phooey, you say, I will pair my high-end headphones with a third party remote control device instead. Denied! Third party remotes with this authentication chip are not yet available either. Until these new accessories hit the market, shuffle owners are stuck using the stock headphones for the time being. What is Apple’s reasoning behind the move? We’re not sure, though we imagine it has to do with ensuring Apple can prevent companies from producing Shuffle gear without its blessing. Good job Apple, now it’ll cost less-than-scrupulous manufacturers overseas an extra 7¢ per unit to make compatible headphones. Major fail.