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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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. InteLeaks – Part XXIX: Harbor Research Did Not Produce a Study But an Elaborate Hoax for Intel, Suggesting Microsoft Partnership and Outsourcing Based on Zero Evidence and No Solid Rationale

    The pseudo-scientific ‘report’ from Harbor Research is more of the same nonsense we’ve grown accustomed to; unethical if not rogue firms are being paid to lie — or to perpetuate falsehoods which someone stands to gain from



  2. Video: The State of Communities Surrounding GNU/Linux Distributions

    A discussion about the state of volunteer efforts going into the development, maintenance (in the 'maintainership' sense) and support/advocacy of GNU/Linux distros



  3. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, January 22, 2021



  4. InteLeaks – Part XXVIII: Intel Served Report From Microsoft Boosters, Who Provide No Actual Evidence and No Science to Back Their Supposed 'Findings'

    Findings and recommendations from Harbor 'Research' aren't based on any scientific methods, just perceived loyalty, branding, and a bunch of unsourced quotes (from unnamed people with ridiculous job titles like a soup of buzzwords)



  5. Erosion of Communities, Ascent of Corporate-Industrial Fake Communities

    Despite the attempts to manipulate/trick developers (and sometimes users) into becoming unpaid workforce of for-profit companies, there's an exodus back to real communities, which aren't subjected to the fury of wealthy shareholders who utterly dislike or simply don't care for software freedom



  6. The Corporate 'Left' and the Open Source Pseudo 'Movement'

    President Biden may not be as bad as his predecessor, but that hardly means very much; software freedom is still threatened, along with many other things



  7. Links 22/1/2021: pfSense Plus, Endless OS Foundation, and Many Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  8. The Linux Foundation is Trying to Obscure Racism Using Microsoft-Inspired Tactics (Vouchers Disguised as Actual Money)

    The Linux Foundation and its PR stunts don’t help combat racism; one might argue that the Foundation is leveraging racism, which prevails in the US, to paint itself as benevolent and caring (offering immaterial things and self-serving press releases)



  9. InteLeaks – Part XXVII: 'Pulling a Nokia' on Intel (Outsourcing to Microsoft)

    The recommendation of an Intel marriage with Microsoft (even in units that deal mostly with Linux) is an insulting slap across the face of developers employed there; we take a look at recommendations made to IoTG (Intel) by a firm with Microsoft orientation



  10. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 21, 2021



  11. InteLeaks – Part XXVI: Harbor Research is Horrible 'Research', Lacking Actual Technical Background

    Having looked at the members of staff of Harbor Research (individually), it seems clearer now why they have an affinity for Microsoft and why they're directing Intel to liaise with Microsoft and become a prisoner of Microsoft (even in areas where Microsoft is increasingly irrelevant)



  12. Links 21/1/2021: Raspberry Pi Pico, Ubuntu 21.04 Picks GNOME 3.38, KDE Plasma 5.21 Beta

    Links for the day



  13. How a Newly Inaugurated President Biden Can Advance Software Freedom (If He Actually Wishes to Do So)

    Techrights has 'Four Suggestions' to President Biden, the 46th 'front end' of American plutocracy



  14. InteLeaks – Part XXV: Intel's Brain Drain Leads to Unusual Measures

    As the company once known as 'chipzilla' loses its relevance and dominance in the market it's reaching out to retired people, trying to get them back onboard



  15. Hey Hi (AI) is Just a Trojan Horse for Illegal Software Patents, According to EPO Management and Litigation Firms It's in Bed With

    The longtime pushers or the lobby of patent profiteers just carry on pushing for software patents, nowadays latching onto the inane and unwarranted media hype around Hey Hi (AI) — a hype wave that was co-opted by EPO management to grant unlawful patents



  16. The Central Staff Representatives (CSC) of the EPO Are Petitioning to End the Assault on EPO Staff

    The EPO, just one month after the staff went on strike, is about to receive a compelling petition to stop the assault on EPO staff



  17. InteLeaks – Part XXIV: Love for Microsoft, Not for Free Software or Whatever Replaces Microsoft

    Intel is basing its big decisions on buzzwords and firms that master buzzwords; it's sad that instead of listening to Intel's own (in-house) engineers it's relying on a bunch of clowns who push 'Clown Computing' and 'apps' and 'UX'...



  18. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 20, 2021



  19. Links 21/1/2021: Google Tightens the Screws on Chromium, VideoLAN VLC 3.0.12

    Links for the day



  20. IBM Panics and Resorts to 'Customer Retention' Tactics With Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

    IBM 'frees' RHEL but with limitations that can restrict growth of small companies (or subject them to financial barriers, originally unforeseen)



  21. Recent Techrights Articles About President Joe Biden

    Instead of writing yet more stuff about the latest US president, let's look back at what we wrote in recent weeks/months



  22. Links 20/1/2021: LibreOffice 7.1 RC2 and the RHEL Contingency

    Links for the day



  23. InteLeaks – Part XXIII: Intel Paying for Bogus 'Research' 'Insights' Which Merely Seek to Justify Outsourcing to Microsoft and Imposing Microsoft's Proprietary Software on Free Software Developers

    Intel's preference for Microsoft monopoly (an imposed/top-down decision) was seemingly certified by so-called 'consultants' and 'analysts' from the outside rather than the inside, basically manufacturing a false perception of consent after managers had already made up their minds



  24. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part V: How FSF Secrecy Ended Up Insulting People, Alienating Trans Developers

    Having just uploaded this introductory video, we delve into the backstory or the real reason the FSF sank into somewhat of a crisis with the trans community almost half a decade ago



  25. InteLeaks – Part XXII: Bubbles and Buzzwords, No Substance at Intel's Internet of Things (IoT) Group (IOTG)

    The video above is continuation of the previous part about a document full of superficial buzzwords (not technical jargon anywhere), in effect recommending to managers that they blindly follow trends and cargo cults (such as Clown Computing) and not what’s most suitable for technical excellence



  26. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 19, 2021



  27. Links 20/1/2021: WireGuard for pfSense and New US President

    Links for the day



  28. Links 19/1/2021: Krita 4.4.2 Released and JingOS Hype

    Links for the day



  29. Team UPC Keeps Pretending That UPCA Can Still be Resurrected (Even Without the UK, Which is Strictly a Requirement)

    The latest distortion of facts regarding the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement (UPCA) as seen from the lens of people who seek to profit from such distortion



  30. 'Ethical Source' is Not Ethical and Not a Movement But a Misguided Self-Serving PR Stunt

    Something which is neither enforceable nor ethical is being promoted by profoundly unethical media in the pockets of large corporations


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

Recent Posts