EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.08.10

Microsoft’s KINect is the next KIN-Like Disaster (and Why Kinect Patents Are All That’s Left)

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft, Patents at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Zune logo in black

Summary: From the upcoming product tactlessly named “Kinect” (formerly “Natal”) come some patents but a terrible demo and little promise

E

ARLIER today we had a discussion that also touched on KINect, which another new survey claims to be overly expensive. It is an overpriced (and over-marketed) piece of of junk which is disliked by many in the media before it’s even launched. The headline from Geek.com says “Kinect played by half-naked Asian babes still looks rubbish” and it concludes as follows: “Is Kinect a disaster waiting to happen? All the evidence points to this being a complete dodo for Microsoft.” We saw some other rants about it last week.

“Kinect demo leaves Microsoft red-faced,” says another report and there is “Kinect Demo Goes Horribly Wrong” — an article which states:

Events like these don’t inspire much confidence in Microsoft’s new motion control device. As you can see in the video above, the company believed it wise to hire a couple attractive models to showcase how playing with Kinect would somehow inspire attractive models to come to your house and jog in place. Or something… To be honest, I’m not really sure why the pretty ladies were asked to demo the peripheral, but it likely has something to do with the fact that boobs = attention so the more you can have showcasing your hardware the more attention you’ll get. Turns out, what actually happens is a hot mess.

[...]

Videos like these do very little to instill confidence in Kinect, and it makes us wonder just how much the carefully staged E3 demos will differ from the actual Kinect experience. The E3 Dance Central demos were conducted in a special area with all the sensors and dancers facing just so. Furthermore, all of Microsoft’s first-party demos were in hermetically sealed chambers to make sure nothing went wrong.

Truth be told, the mangers of such projects have left the company. They named “Kinect” (or “Natal”) as something that might actually succeed, but it doesn’t look like it. “Microsoft Kinect demo grinds to a halt in Hong Kong,” says another report:

Microsoft’s upcoming motion-controlled gaming peripheral, Kinect, has bombed at a Hong Kong animation festival, freezing mid game as two models attempted to demonstrate the much hyped accessory.

The Microsoft boosters don’t pay attention to the facts, so they dare dream that it will become a “$1 billion dollar business” (a controller? Really?). The only thing which surely comes out of this piece of hardware is patents, one of which got some press coverage, including:

As we saw earlier today, Microsoft uses patents aggressively. Its only possible excuse is that it too sometimes gets attacked by the likes of Uniloc [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], which in turn attacks Microsoft rivals (having received money from Microsoft). The Australian press has some more news coverage about it:

Ric Richardson, the “man in a van” battling Microsoft in a patent suit worth hundreds of millions of dollars, is now taking the fight to tech giants including Sony and McAfee.

The Australian inventor whose company, Uniloc, was awarded $US388 million in a patent infringement case against Microsoft, only to have the jury decision overturned by a judge, says his patent has withstood legal scrutiny and now the rest of the tech industry must pay up.

Several days ago his PR ‘front end’ tried contacting us to arrange an interview/chat with the manager. They probably mass-mailed it to many people, so in the interests of showing how this patent parasite operates, here is the mail

Good afternoon. I saw your article on Techrights entitled “Apple’s and Microsoft’s Robbery of Knowledge Using Patents, i4i Case Might Reach SCOTUS” and found it extremely interesting. As you know, Sony Corporation, McAfee, Activision, Quark and two other companies have been sued by Uniloc USA for patent infringement. The suits stem from a massive case against Microsoft (in which Uniloc initially won $388 million in damages – the 5th largest award for Software infringement ever) and the suit is remarkable because of its potential reach: the technology in question became so popular as to be virtually ubiquitous today. The case against Microsoft is currently on appeal.

The lawsuit mentioned below follows closely on the heels of a wave of other suits by small businesses against goliaths (including two filed last month – Ebay was sued for $3.8 billion by XPRT and Apple, Google, Microsoft and others were sued by NTP, as you know, over patented smartphone technology), indicating small businesses are becoming more aggressive in fighting for their intellectual property rights.

By way of background, in 1992 software companies were losing billions to casual software copying. Uniloc was the first to combine the concept of product key and Hardware ID, and using both they created an airtight registration system (before this invention, most software relied on just a product key that Tom, Dick and Harry could take to college, give to their girlfriends and before you know it – millions of dollars in lost sales). For the first time, Uniloc’s invention locked software to a specific computer, making this casual copying next to impossible.

After patenting the invention in the early 90s, Uniloc commercialized the product through a licensing deal with IBM, and then began talks with Microsoft. Microsoft signed a non-disclosure agreement to not reverse engineer the product. But, as Microsoft’s own internal documents show – that’s exactly what they did, then used the software in Windows XP. Microsoft is a bellwether for significant trends in the software publishing industry, many other companies – including the ones named in the lawsuit – observed their success and took the information that Microsoft had made public to pursue or develop their own software activation systems.

Please let me know if you would like to speak with Brad Davis, CEO of Uniloc USA; I’d be happy to coordinate a conversation.

Thank you for your consideration.

Uniloc does not want it to be known that it’s just a parasite, so it is trying to control the message. Techrights does not sympathise with Uniloc at all. In fact, the flood of abusers in this system is only ever helpful when calls are made to reform the system and get rid of the likes of Uniloc (a symptom of a disease). Check out this new article:

Law360 Calls Lawyer-Owned Shell Company a “Public Interest Group”

Our competitors are never afraid to call a spade… a public interest group.

Law360 seems to have a pretty flexible definition of that term. Last month, it included Americans for Fair Patent Use. Who is so concerned about such fairness? That would be F&B LLP, the Texas law firm that owns Americans for Fair Patent Use, which is a limited liability company set up to prosecute a false marking lawsuit filed in East Texas on July 14. The suit, against Apple, Sprint, Samsung, and Verizon, alleges that various smartphones made by those companies have false patent marks.

What a dysfunctional system. And what a bunch of unethical players.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  2. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  3. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  4. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  5. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  6. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  7. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  8. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  9. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  10. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  11. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  12. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  13. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  14. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  15. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  16. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  17. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  18. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  19. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  20. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  21. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  22. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  24. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  25. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  26. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  27. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day



  28. Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

    Links for the day



  29. Links 8/10/2014: A Lot of Linux+AMD News, New ROSA Desktop Is Out

    Links for the day



  30. Lawyers' Propaganda About Software Patents and a New AstroTurf Entity Called Innovation Alliance

    Patent propaganda and deception from patent lawyers (among other parasites such as patent trolls) continues to flood the Web, intersecting with reports that prove them totally wrong


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts