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Linux Support for the HoloPro (Video)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Kernel, Videos at 6:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Very advanced hardware already supports Linux, on which it is demonstrated

Direct link

For background: HoloPro

Patents Roundup: IBM Patents Patent Harvesting, Bilski Still in IBM’s David Kappos Hands to Decide

Posted in IBM, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 5:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

High Court in Bangalore

Summary: IBM continues to be part of the problem (choosing patent pools over abolishment) as the Bilski case takes another step towards clarification

EARLIER THIS year we wrote about IBM’s role in the Bilski test, lobbying for software patents, and direct impact on the USPTO which it uses to defend a cash cow that’s a patent portfolio (tax on IBM’s competition). IBM makes billions from patents alone, so it is not surprising that IBM’s Irving Wladawsky-Berger, for example, seemingly defends software patents inside an advisory body for the government.

According to this, IBM continues to be part of the problem, not the solution. It wants an intellectual monopoly on the management of intellectual monopolies.

theodp writes “Before leaving a long IBM career last summer to head the USPTO, David Kappos managed Big Blue’s patent and trademark portfolios. Last Tuesday, the USPTO awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,630,915 to IBM for its inventive method of Managing an Intellectual Property Portfolio.”

That almost sounds like a business method. Et tu, IBM?

From the Bilski case we finally learn this:

US Patent Office tightens the screws on software patents

A decision from a key panel at the Patent Office builds on last year’s Bilski decision to place new limits on software patents. Just running some algorithm on a PC and claiming that you’ve built a patentable “machine” may not work any more.

The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI), a key panel within the Patent Office, has tightened the rules for American software patents. The recently-released decision builds on last year’s landmark ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the case of In Re Bilski. In that case, the Federal Circuit focused on business method patents and had left key questions about the patentability of software-related inventions unanswered.

The new ruling will give thousands of American patent examiners guidance about how to apply the holdings of Bilski in software patent cases.

But software patents should just be abolished; IBM will of course not allow this and neither will Microsoft. It’s the monopolies/conglomerates that stand to gain from patents.

As Glyn Moody puts it:

As long-suffering readers of this blog will know, one of the reasons I regard software patents as dangerous is because software consists of algorithms, and algorithms are simply maths. So allowing software patents is essentially allowing patents on pure knowledge.

Here is yet more scientific/academic proof that patents reduce innovation. [via Glyn Moody]

We recognize that patents have two effects (ignoring “invent around” and “revealing secrets” both of which are of at best minuscule significance): increasing innovation by increasing incentives to innovate, and decreasing innovation by making it more costly to innovate. This paper gives us a pretty clean measure of the latter effect: the benefit of being able to access existing ideas without negotiation or licensing raises innovation by around 20%.

There are reasons for optimism when it comes to elimination of business method patents, but less certainty on the subject of software patents.

Score Two Wins Against Software Patents


I am an optimist. And I am optimistic that progress will be made against software patents and for a Startup Visa in 2010.

Many laws are simply created to please the very same big businesses that fund and essentially run the government. This ought to change.

Miguel de Icaza: “We Have Removed All of the GPL Code” (MonoDevelop)

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Moonlight “promise” full of legal holes and Novell’s Visual Studio surrogate removes GPL code

YESTERDAY we showed that Microsoft's “promise” to Moonlight has at least 10 holes in it and an ongoing discussion at LWN finds even more holes which are inferred from the original text of the “promise” (the FSF found the Mono “promise” to be unacceptable).

For the curious, Microsoft has posted the new “covenant not to sue” covering Moonlight 3 and 4. It is still quite narrow. “Microsoft, on behalf of itself and its Subsidiaries, hereby covenants not to sue End Users for infringement under Necessary Claims of Microsoft and its Subsidiaries on account of such End Users’ use of Moonlight Implementations to the extent originally provided by Novell during the Term and, if applicable, the Extension or Post-Extension Period, but only to the extent such Moonlight Implementations are used as Conforming Runtimes.” Microsoft can also discontinue it at any time.

They actually issued a press release just to promote this “promise”. It is apparently more important to Novell than promoting actual products, but then again, the news also had something to do with version 2 coming out [1, 2, 3].

One person has pointed out that Novell is in the process of removing GPL code as though it is not acceptable. From Miguel de Icaza’s blog:

* MonoDevelop code is now LGPLv2 and MIT X11 licensed. We have removed all of the GPL code, allowing addins to use Apache, MS-PL code as well as allowing proprietary add-ins to be used with MonoDevelop (like RemObject’s Oxygene).

So Novell has removed what Steve Ballmer called “cancer”, which is the same licence that Novell and Microsoft conspired to hack. Novell’s Banshee too is licensed under the MIT X11 (not just the Windows booster known as MonoDevelop). Is Novell still allergic to the GPL?

Microsoft Domains Host Pharmaceutical SPAM, Australian Government Suffocates the Internet

Posted in Australia, Google, Microsoft at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Internet abuse stories from throughout the week

GIVEN how close Microsoft is to pharmaceutical companies, this news was rather amusing:

Cybercrime affiliates of unlicensed pharmaceutical websites have begun moving on from attacks purely designed to poison Google search engine results, and are now targetting Microsoft’s web properties.

According to this, there are other new sources of threat to Windows:

From serving malicious ads to poisoning search engine results for recently deceased actress Brittany Murphy, rogue antivirus operations have been going strong all year long.

The authorities have begun censoring the Internet in Australia, just like the neighbours up north. Someone has created a Web site to protest, only to be censored using the same malicious mechanism that this Web site was meant to denounce. Here is the latest update on this:

On Fri 18-12-2009 auDA issued a notice giving us 3 hours to provide evidence of our eligibility to hold stephenconroy.com.au and related domain names. We asked for reasonable time to prepare and make representations on our eligibility but auDA refused to grant this, insisting we reply within the 3 hour window.

Kate Lundy, a government representative from Australia, confirms that they are still treating adults like children, but she does not seem to have a problem with that. They are censoring the hell out of the Internet (in a secretive fashion) under the pretext of "saving the children".

Lundy writes:

To satisfy the policy objective of a mandatory filter for children, active acknowledgement that the subscriber is aware the government strongly recommends a filtered option for homes where children use the internet could be a part of this active (mandatory) choice.

If it’s “mandatory”, then it is no longer a “choice”. They pretend to be polite when they gag the public. How sad.

“What really worries me is that the courts might choose a muddled half-measure—by approving an interpretation of “indecent” that permits the doctor program or a statement of the decency rules, but prohibits some of the books that any child can browse through in the public library. Over the years, as the Internet replaces the public library, some of our freedom of speech will be lost.”

Richard Stallman, 1996

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