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Eye on Patents: Broken System as Shown by New Evidence

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 5:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Additional signs of a dysfunctional system which grants and manages patents too poorly

We lack the time to cover all the patent stories which seem to matter, so here is just a list of links.

Groupon vs. MobGob: Patent Battles Hit The Daily-Deal Business

Groupon filed a patent lawsuit against MobGob in Chicago yesterday. It’s a counter-attack against MobGob, which started the fight when it sued Groupon in California, together with a shell company called CY Technology. They accuse Groupon of infringing a patent they were issued in March called “Method of Community Purchasing Through the Internet.” This, according to the patent, is “a community purchase model where a product can be purchased a particular price only if enough buyers are willing to purchase at that price.” Or, put another way, Groupon’s entire business model.

Sham Reexamination Requests and Federal Preemption

This is an interesting case that is pending before the Federal Circuit. The focus of the appeal is whether a patentee has any cause of action for a third-party’s baseless filing of a reexamination request. The patent laws themselves offer no remedy so Lockwood turned to California State Court – alleging that the Sheppard Mullin law firm should be held liable for Malicious Prosecution, Interference, and Fraud by filing their reexamination request. Lockwood argues that “[Sheppard Mullin lawyers] chose to violate the strict duty of candor required before the USPTO by making deceptive misrepresentations about the nature of purported ‘prior art’ in two Requests for Reexamination. Respondents filed the Requests to gain a tactical advantage during infringement litigation, in furtherance of their stated aim of putting Lockwood ‘out of business,’ and without any reasonable basis in patent law.”

5 Questions With … Brightidea’s Matt Greeley (never noticed Inventors Digest before)

ID: What are some of the elements needed to grease the skids of innovation?

MG: If you want a fluid exchange of ideas, you need a stronger, more efficient intellectual property regime. It’s important to our competitiveness as a nation that we work through this. The state of software patents is a mess. It takes too long. There’s an asymmetry of getting and defending a patent. This could go the way of FedEx. I mean, the U.S. Postal Service wasn’t keeping up and the postal service was privatized. It could come to the point where there’s a privatization of the IP regime.

ID: Wow. Never heard that one before. Might make for an interesting article down the road. What’s your favorite invention?

MG: Paper or pen and paper. It’s a meta invention. It supports more inventions. How many inventions were first conceived on paper? I always look for meta inventions or ask myself, ‘What’s the more important thing I can work on?’

WHAM! — Target of False Patent Marking Suit to Argue Bounty Hunting Scheme Unconstitutional

The National Law Journal reported online yesterday that Wham-O, creator of such iconic toys as the Frisbee® and the Hula-Hoop,® has alerted the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that it will challenge the constitutionality of 35 U.S.C. § 292, the section of the federal patent law which empowers any person to sue any entity which marks their products with a false (i.e. expired) patent number. What is particularly interesting about the challenge is that Wham-O succeeded in getting the bounty hunter’s claim thrown out at the federal trial court on the grounds that the complaint alleged no concrete injury. In the aggressive and innovative spirit of Wham-O’s founders, rather than simply argue that the district court’s reasoning was correct, Wham-O’s lawyer is taking a “best defense is a good offense” approach. Whether the Third Circuit will rule on an argument not addressed by the lower court is uncertain.

China pushes home grown patents of questionable value

In an otherwise interesting article, the Economist ended a story on the Chinese government’s campaign to produce more innovations and resulting patents with this, “If ideas are protected, Chinese people will produce more of them” link here.

Yet the rest of the article doesn’t really support that conclusion. People are obtaining lots of patents, issued only since 1985, but whether they are innovations worthy of a patent remains open to question. It turns out there are two kinds of patent, a sort that requires a determination of novelty and is good for 20 years and the other, a finding of utility and good for only 10 years. The latter are far more numerous.

Patent Office: Part of the growth in the regulatory burden

Can you patent financial innovations? (Felix Salmon is always insightful)

It turns out that RHR is technically an invention of 2009, not 2010, if you look at its patent application. Loan Value Group hasn’t actually been awarded the patent yet—Gandel was a little bit ahead of himself there—but LVG’s Frank Pallotta told me that applying for a patent on the idea “was the first thing we did” after setting up the company, and that the patent application preceded substantially all of the time and effort that LVG put in to building RHR.

Pallotta is an expert in mortgages, not in intellectual property, but he did say that he hadn’t personally ever come across a finance company applying for a patent on its idea before.

What’s more, it’s generally accepted that financial innovations can’t be patented: it’s an argument that Sebastian Mallaby regularly rolls out, for example, to defend and explain the secrecy of hedge funds. If you can’t apply for a patent, then the only way to stop people copying you is to operate in utmost secrecy.

When the government confers monopoly rights to drug companies (Christian Zimmermann links to the story below)

Drug firms accused of exploiting loophole for profit

The BBC reports about a drug that was available cheaply, got tweaked in a minor way and now available only in a much more expensive format. While the story is not about patenting, it is very similar to it as it is about licensing a drug, in this case for use in the UK, and excluding the old, yet still perfectly effective, drug from use. This is exactly what a patent does, and there are countless examples of pharmaceutical companies doing exactly these very marginal improvements to extract major rents from sick people.

Politicians pledge to change gene patenting laws (we covered gene patents before [1, 2])

Politicians from all sides of politics say they want changes to Australia’s gene patenting laws, but it is unclear which major party will act first.

At a Cancer Council breakfast, members of the Government, the Opposition and independents spoke about the need to change the law so gene sequences cannot be patented.

Oncology Professor Ian Olver says currently one company can stop others from conducting tests on a gene that they discover, slowing down cancer research.

There’s also the story about Amazon and business method patents, not just software patents or patents on nature.

Patent trolls do not always get their way as Jagex helps show after a long a tiring lawsuit. Gamasutra was the main source of this story, cited by many others. [via]

A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a patent infringement lawsuit brought against RuneScape developer Jagex, but not before the UK studio spent a purported seven figures defending itself.

Judge David Folsom last week dismissed online chat company Paltalk’s claims that Jagex infringed on Paltalk patents relating to online network communications, according to court documents obtained by Gamasutra.

“After reviewing source code for the RuneScape video game made available by Jagex, Paltalk and Jagex agree that the RuneScape video game does not infringe the patents-in-suit,” wrote the judge. “Accordingly, judgment of non-infringement is entered in this case.”

“If the US doesn’t fix its patent system,” wrote Groklaw’s Pamela Jones about it, “I can foresee a time when companies will choose to avoid a US presence. And companies that choose to settle bogus suits should think about what they are doing to others.” Cory Doctorow wrote about this too:

RuneScape devs refuse to cave in to patent trolls


Jagex, the UK game dev behind RuneScape, refused to be intimidated by patent trolls Paltalk, who claim a broad patent on what amounts to all online multiplayer gaming. Microsoft settled a similar bogus claim last year, giving Paltalk a war-chest and a precedent with which to continue with nuisance suits against other MMO companies, including Sony, Blizzard, Activision, and others.

This is an excellent example of how broken the system is. Spending millions of dollars to prove one’s innocence is simply unacceptable. It’s favourable to patent trolls and rich companies with deep pockets.

La India Enseña a Occidente Cómo Lidiar con los Monopolios Intelectuales

Posted in Asia, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 4:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


(ODF | PDF | English (original))

Resumen: La gente en Occidente debe estar agradecida a la India por hacer lo que la gente ilustrada hace, en lugar de la gente codiciosa para facilitar el progreso y la solidaridad.

A principios de mes que escribió sobre la India lecciones de RAND[http://techrights.org/2010/11/21/india-rand-es/] (también disponible en español[http://techrights.org/2010/11/21/india-rand-es/]). Varios autores lo consideran un ejemplo para Europa a seguir y la FSFE Fundación Europea de Software Libre escribió sobre esto[http://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/?p=420]. Opensource.com de Red Hat tiene un artículo sobre el tema[http://opensource.com/government/10/11/open-standards-policy-india-long-successful-journey?sc_cid=70160000000IDmjAAG] y “cómo él Este ganó” Glyn Moody etiqueto/comentó al respecto:

“La semana pasada, la India se convirtió en otro de los principales países a unirse al creciente movimiento global de normas abiertas. Después de tres años de intenso debate y discusión, el Departamento de TI (Tecnología Informática) de la India finalizó su política en materia de estándares abiertos para el e-Gobierno, uniéndose a las filas de las emergentes economías como Brasil, Sudáfrica y otros. Este es un momento histórico y el Departamento de la India de Tecnología de la Información (DIT) merece felicitaciones por la aprobación de una política que asegura la conservación a largo plazo de los datos de la India del gobierno electrónico.

Una gran victoria para la comunidad de código abierto es que la política ahora dice: “4.1.2 Las solicitudes de patentes necesarias para aplicar la Norma identificada se pondrá a disposición de manera libre de regalías por la vida útil de la norma.”

Esta victoria es muy importante para la comunidad de código abierto porque de código abierto y estándares abiertos tienen una relación simbiótica. Mientras que el código abierto nos dá la libertad de modificar, compartir y redistribuir el código fuente del software, los estándares abiertos se refieren a la libertad de codificar y decodificar datos y protocolos de redes. Una libertad sin la otra es una libertad limitada.”-LEASE: NO ES LIBERTAD-

“Los mandatos de la India abre los estándares de TI Tecnología Informática mientras crecen los temores sobre la política de la UE Unión Europea” fue el titular de PC Semanal (publicación británica)[http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2010/11/19/244014/India-mandates-open-IT-standards-as-fears-grow-over-EU.htm]. Hay muchos grupos de presión de Microsoft y mobbyists presionando por RAND “Razonable y No-Discriminatorias” licencias en Europa y vamos a tener un post acerca de esto.

“El gobierno de la India ha ordenado estándares abiertos para todos sus sistemas de TI Tecnología Informática como los temores de que su equivalente en Europa, Marco Europeo de Interoperabilidad ha sido secuestrado por los titulares de derechos.

La política de India ordena a los titulares de patentes de software a renunciar a cualquier derecho de regalías que tengan sobre las normas de interoperabilidad. Si los titulares de derechos se niegan, sus normas, simplemente no se van a utilizar en los sistemas de gobierno.”

Por otra parte, un blog acerca de monopolios intelectuales en la India escribió acerca de una “victoria de los autores para las Personas con Discapacidad”[http://spicyipindia.blogspot.com/2010/11/special-copyright-victory-for-disabled.html], que ayuda a mostrar otra área donde las políticas de monopolio intelectual de la India están por delante de los que se encuentran en el Oeste (por delante como en la más sana y humana).

Prashant recientemente puso de relieve las principales conclusiones de una comisión permanente del Parlamento constituido para estudiar el proyecto de modificación de los derechos de autor. En particular, el informe se presenta como una gran victoria a dos grupos de interesados, a saber, la industria de películas/artistas de la música, por un lado (compositores y letristas que ahora puede reclamar un canon buena un 50% en todas las explotaciones de su trabajo, sin perjuicio de las asignaciones) y las comunidades con discapacidad o capacidades diferentes, por el otro.

Permítanme centrarme en el sector de la discapacidad en esta nota. Voy a dejar las recomendaciones relativas a los compositores de música y letristas (un aspecto sobre el que había escrito varias veces en el pasado) a un puesto más adelante.

Nuestros mensajes anteriores destacó la insuficiencia grave de la “discapacidad” excepción tratado de ser tallado en el proyecto de ley de derechos de autor. En particular, el hecho de que la excepción propuesta se limitaba a las conversiones de las obras con derechos de autor sólo a los formatos “especiales”.

Vea lo que Stevie Wonder tuvo que decir sobre el tema[http://techrights.org/2010/09/22/fsf-swpats-australia-and-wipo/]. El cártel de los derechos de autor es mucho más fuerte en donde vive. De nuevo, felicitaciones a la India para mostrar la manera correcta de lidiar con patentes de software y dando un ejemplo a Europa y el resto del mundo.

Eduardo Landaveri adds (in English):

India has shown to the world what really RAND should be: ROYALTY FREE and NON-EXCLUSIVE:
“India’s policy orders software patent holders to give up any royalty rights they have over interoperability standards. If rights holders refuse, their standards simply won’t be used in government systems.”[http://opensource.com/government/10/11/open-standards-policy-india-long-successful-journey?sc_cid=70160000000IDmjAAG] -It’s really FRAND because it doesn’t exclude other small && medium size players or even individuals to access FREELY E-Government data.

Here it applies what Armstrong said “It’s a small step for a man but a huge leap to humankind” because it ensures the future generations have really choice and free access to their OWN government and personal data without depending on third multinational companies that would be squeezing them from their money for their OWN right to do it.

India is shaking off the heavy shackles of Colonialism by saying enough is enough. They got tired how big multinationals companies have been appropriating from their riches. Latin America, Africa and not only Europe should learn the lesson and not forget how this multinationals have been robbing them and their children from their rich cultural and intellectual heritage. To show just two samples Colgate misappropriate an Indian millenarian formula to clean up teeth[http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101021/10501311526/colgate-patents-traditional-indian-tooth-cleaning-powder-despite-it-being-used-for-thousands-of-years.shtml]. Another example would be USTPO Patent 6093421 and others that would restrict Peruvian Indigenous people and farmes to export maca extracts of Peruvian origin[http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&sqi=2&ved=0CCEQFjAC&url=http://www.etcgroup.org/upload/publication/194/01/macafinal1.pdf&rct=j&q=Maca being patented&ei=30jxTNfjFJG2sAOUneGmCw&usg=AFQjCNHSG4lIwU9UF52v6c3j4KcBlI-yew&cad=rja].

This is how foreign companies are taking ownership of traditional Third World countries crops like quinoa, maca and others besides the Indian traditional medicines. With India, Brazil, and South Africa as examples, it’s time for us Latino American countries to say enough is enough and reject any treaty that gives preference to pharmaceutical patents and specially software patents. Have we learned for history and four hundred years of domination? First came the Spaniards, then the British Companies and later the American Companies. For how long more we should give up our sovereignty?

If we submit what would be when our children grow up and want to develop new technologies benefiting humankind but have to decline due to software patents. We would tied them off as people used to sell their own children to slavery. We would need to pay to access our own government data because the application which create them was a proprietary one.

Open, royalty free and non-exclusive standards ensure true democracy and openess from part of our governments by allowing their citizens to access any government document freely and democratic without imposing them to buy certain office application to do it, or to pay a multinational company for their right to do it because they “own” the standard.

In the US education system, schools pays between $40 and $50 for each copy of Microsoft Office and the School districts pay without hesitating because they’re “saving” money. Once those indoctrinated children grow up you tell them write a report, they will answer: “I don’t know to use anything but MS Word”. And that ladies and gentlemen is a big business for Microsoft. That’s why a US high school graduate falls way behind others from graduates from other countries. Latin American, African countries do we want the same for our children? Absolutely NOT! So let’s stop software patents by being imposed by Microsoft and its corporate minions. Let us follow India’s example to digital independence.

People of India, hats off to you!

Or in Spanish:

La India ha mostrado al mundo lo que realmente RAND debe ser: libre de regalías y no exclusiva:
“La política de India ordena a los titulares de patentes de software a renunciar a cualquier derecho de regalías que tengan sobre las normas de interoperabilidad. Si los titulares de derechos se niegan, sus normas, simplemente no se van a utilizar en los sistemas de gobierno.”[http://opensource.com/government/10/11/open-standards-policy-india-long-successful-journey?sc_cid=70160000000IDmjAAG]
Son realmente justas, razonables y no discriminatorias, ya que no va a excluir a otros jugadores de tamaño pequeño y medio y ni siquiera las personas a acceder libremente a los datos de E-Gobierno.

Aquí se aplica lo que Armstrong dijo: “Es un pequeño paso para un hombre pero un gran salto para la humanidad”, ya que garantiza a las generaciones futuras tengan libre acceso to acceder a los datos gobierno-electronico de su propio gobierno y los datos personales sin depender de terceras empresas multinacionales que los aprieta por su dinero, por su propio derecho a hacerlo.

India está sacudiendo las cadenas pesadas del Colonialismo diciendo basta. Se cansaron cómo las grandes empresas multinacionales han sido apropiarse de sus riquezas. América Latina, África y Europa no sólo debe aprender la lección y no olvidar cómo las multinacionales han estado robando a ellos ya sus hijos de su rico patrimonio cultural e intelectual. Para mostrar sólo dos muestras, como Colgate se ha apropiado de una India fórmula milenaria para limpiar los dientes [http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101021/10501311526/colgate-patents-traditional-indian-tooth-cleaning-powder-despite-it-being utilizados por]-miles-de-years.shtml. Otro ejemplo sería USTPO patente 6093421 y otros que tienden a limitar pueblos indígenas y agricultores en Perú para exportar extractos de maca peruana http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&sqi=2&ved=0CCEQFjAC&url=http de origen [ : / / www.etcgroup.org/upload/publication/194/01/macafinal1.pdf&rct=j&q=Maca siendo patentado y ei = 30jxTNfjFJG2sAOUneGmCw & usg = AFQjCNHSG4lIwU9UF52v6c3j4KcBlI-tejo y cad = RJA].

Así es como las empresas extranjeras están obteniendo la propiedad de los cultivos tradicionales de países del Tercer Mundo como la quinua, maca y otros, además de las medicinas tradicionales de la India. Con la India, Brasil y Sudáfrica como ejemplo, es el momento para nosotros los países de América Latina a decir basta y rechazar cualquier tratado que da preferencia a las patentes farmacéuticas y en especial las patentes de software. ¿Hemos aprendido de la historia y 400 años de dominación? Primero llegaron los españoles, a continuación, las empresas británicas y más tarde las empresas estadounidenses. ¿Por cuánto tiempo más debemos renunciar a nuestra soberanía?

Si nos sometemos que será cuando nuestros hijos crezcan y quieran desarrollar nuevas tecnologías beneficiar a la humanidad, pero que seran impedido de hacerlo debido a las patentes de software. Nosotros les ataremos las manos como la gente solía vender sus propios hijos a la esclavitud. Tendríamos que pagar para acceder a nuestros datos propio gobierno porque la aplicación que los creo era una aplicación proprientaria.

Los estándares abiertos, libres de regalías garantizan una verdadera democracia y apertura de parte de nuestros gobiernos, al permitir a sus ciudadanos a acceder a cualquier documento del gobierno libre y democráticamente sin imponer a comprar ciertas aplicaciones de oficina para hacerlo, o para pagar a una compañía multinacional por su derecho a hacerlo porque “es dueña” de la norma.

En el sistema educativo de EE.UU., las escuelas pagan entre $ 40 y $ 50 por cada copia de Microsoft Office y los distritos escolares lo hacen sin vacilar, porque estan “ahorrando” dinero. Una vez que los niños adoctrinados crecen les pides escribir un informe, que será la respuesta: “Yo no sé usar nada más que MS Word”. Lo que las señoras y señores es un gran negocio para Microsoft. Es por eso que un graduado de la escuela secundaria EE.UU. cae muy por detrás de otros de los graduados de otros países. América Latina, países Africanos queremos lo mismo para nuestros hijos? Absolutamente NO! Así que rechazemos las patentes de software ser impuestas por Microsoft y sus secuaces corporativos. !Sigamos el ejemplo de la India a la independencia digital!

Pueblo de La India, me saco el sombrero delante de ustedes!

Eduardo’s translations hopefully broaden the reach of this information.

Groklaw: Florian Müller is “Still Pushing Microsoft and Patents.”

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 4:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Windows Phone 7 Series

Summary: The spin machine which tries to poison advocacy against software patents is being highlighted by Groklaw

MICROSOFT mobbyist Florian Müller keeps flaming and defaming Groklaw (calling it “Groklie”), then whining about “censorship” and snitching to so-called ‘journalists’ whom he is schmoozing and/or ‘spamming’. Müller has been using these tactics for a long time to throw mud at just about every single entity which promotes GNU/Linux and Free software (both the moderates and the more principled). The mobbyist, Müller, already spins the sale of Novell in favour of Microsoft and while Groklaw covers Oracle’s Java case against Android the mobbyist advocates .NET/Mono, which is what he also does for a living (when not campaigning for money, i.e. lobbying).

“Müller without an actual request. Müller also sends duplicate (ish) comments to many sites.”“I see Florian is still pushing Microsoft and patents,” wrote Pamela Jones, the editor of Groklaw, in response to a piece from The Guardian. For those who do not know yet, Müller is mass-mailing journalists to ‘inject’ his spin (we explained this in more details before and gave examples), so sometimes it’s possible that one among very many will slide in a quote or a talking point mailed by Müller without an actual request. Müller also sends duplicate (ish) comments to many sites. This guy is a pusher, just like many other lobbyists. More recently he spread rumours about Red Hat's NDA with Acacia, which Bruce Perens criticised them for. Simon Phipps too criticised them for it and it it stuff like this which the mobbyists can take out of context and distort to daemonise Red Hat:

Communities depend on transparency and equality. Anything that causes community members to engage in actions related to the community that are bilateral will likely be a problem. So some examples:

* Implementing a standard that is covered by patents may mean that some community participants are bound by the terms of licenses for those patents. Bruce Perens speculates that this is the case for Red Hat and JBoss, for example. Perens comments:

But it’s important to note that Red Hat, as defendant, would have had to agree to seal this case knowing its legal partners in the development of JBoss, the open-source community, would be forever kept in the dark regarding whether their own licenses were being violated.

Red Hat messed up in this case, but we mustn’t let Microsoft mobbyists turn us against one another. That’s what they hope to achieve.

Microsoft Sellouts Join Microsoft’s Racket Intellectual Ventures and Not OIN

Posted in Deals, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 3:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’d put the Linux phenomenon really as threat No. 1.”

Steve Ballmer, 2001

Summary: Samsung signs a patent deal with the world’s biggest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures (which serves Microsoft’s agenda)

Earlier today we wrote about HTC feeding the vultures of Intellectual Ventures, which is somewhat of a Microsoft spinoff and also the world’s biggest patent troll. It’s rather mysterious and we suspect that HTC did not join voluntarily, so maybe it happened after threat of litigation, even by proxy (Intellectual Ventures always sues through one of its 1,000+ satellites). Both Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures use attack dogs to distance themselves from the negative publicity associated with lawsuits. Why did Microsoft and Gates want Intellectual Ventures created in the first place? The founder too came from Microsoft. Perhaps Microsoft can use such a proxy to repeatedly extort companies and elevate the price of its competition, which is gratis under conditions where software patents are not valid.

According to this new report, Samsung decides to “Partner Up With Intellectual Ventures”:

In a move to help steer clear of any more legal trouble, HTC and Samsung have entered into a partnership with Intellectual Ventures to use over 30,000 software patents in their phones, and in Samsung’s case, a myriad of other devices. This is especially handy for HTC who’s faced nothing but legal trouble since they spearheaded the Android movement back in 2008.

HTC sold out to Microsoft some months ago and then signed an Intellectual Ventures deal; Samsung too follows this path, having surrendered to Microsoft without even a fight (in 2007), deciding to pay Microsoft for Linux. Samsung could possibly join the OIN instead of joining the Microsoft racket, but Microsoft and Samsung have resemblances and a long history together (as partners). As shown in the very recent conversation below (full log to be published later), our contributor gnufreex has some ideas about the purpose of OIN and CPTN, which we will write about tomorrow.

gnufreex (by reading his comments on TR and drawing parallel with “Evangelism is War” document” Nov 27 19:41
gnufreex He says things that are outrageous now. Nov 27 19:41
gnufreex But serve his purpose Nov 27 19:41
gnufreex Then when something happens, he pulls of spin Nov 27 19:41
gnufreex To say “I told you so” Nov 27 19:42
gnufreex And we know MS does things that help evangelism Nov 27 19:42
gnufreex of MSFT Nov 27 19:42
schestowitz patents… Nov 27 19:43
gnufreex Yeah. I am thinking. We know about Red Hat secret deal Nov 27 19:43
gnufreex So now MSFT has CPTN Nov 27 19:43
gnufreex CPTN might sue Red Hat Nov 27 19:43
schestowitz With what? Nov 27 19:44
schestowitz And why? Nov 27 19:44
gnufreex And then it goes: Nov 27 19:44
gnufreex They already signed a deal Nov 27 19:44
gnufreex once Nov 27 19:44
gnufreex under NDA Nov 27 19:44
gnufreex “So they are already dirty” Nov 27 19:44
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[tekk/@tekk] hey, there are some users: !gettsajobs and !gettsascreenerjobs, if you don’t feel like having them here feel free to flag like I did Nov 27 19:44
gnufreex Maybe they wont do that yet… Nov 27 19:45
gnufreex But FM’s attacks on OIN show that MSFT is scared of OIN Nov 27 19:45
gnufreex So they want it out of the way. If they use CPTN, they have OIN out of the way. Nov 27 19:45
gnufreex OIN can’t sue CPTN Nov 27 19:45
gnufreex And OIN can’t sue MSFT for what CPTN do. Nov 27 19:46
schestowitz Microsoft has IV Nov 27 19:46
schestowitz Patent aggregators Nov 27 19:46
gnufreex CPTN It is like Microsoft’s OIN Nov 27 19:46
schestowitz Not sure… Nov 27 19:47
schestowitz But wait, what about the other trolls Nov 27 19:47
gnufreex Except CPTN will be aggressive, of course. Nov 27 19:47
schestowitz CPTN has advantage over IV? Nov 27 19:47
schestowitz IV doesn’t want to be seen as suing directly Nov 27 19:48
gnufreex Yeah. Nov 27 19:48
gnufreex I don’t know why, they are already seen as troll Nov 27 19:48
schestowitz They are Nov 27 19:48
schestowitz In some sense Nov 27 19:49
schestowitz they are connected to Microsoft only Nov 27 19:49
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[robmyers/@robmyers] Err how did I get porn spam on Facebook? I don’t recall opting in to that new feature… Nov 27 19:49
gnufreex It is funny that Bill gates doesn’t get mentioned on IV site. Nov 27 19:50
gnufreex Only Nathan the troll. Nov 27 19:50
gnufreex BG is investor, i think Nov 27 19:50
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[lxoliva/@lxoliva] ♻ @coltem: kernel libre is a necessity for all free people Nov 27 19:51
schestowitz He’s a BBF of Nathan Nov 27 19:52
schestowitz And Gates has his own patent shell too Nov 27 19:52
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[mrdenticator/@mrdenticator] Yesterday top #statustician is reality with 116 dents! Nov 27 19:52
schestowitz He lets Nahan run the bigger racket Nov 27 19:53
schestowitz And Gates Foundation markets Nathan’s patents Nov 27 19:53

Links 27/11/2010: Many New GNU/Linux Releases and Devices

Posted in News Roundup at 3:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux touchscreen computer runs on dual-core Atom

    Philadelphia-area start-up Telikin has started taking orders for a “crash-resistant” computer with an 18.6-inch touchscreen and a custom Linux stack aimed at computer novices. Apparently based on the MSI Wind Top AE1920 all-in-one PC, the $700 Telikin computer incorporates a dual-core 1.8GHz CPU, 2GB of SDRAM, a 320GB hard disk drive, and four USB drives.

  • Server

    • Another step forward for ARM-based servers?
    • 10 Free Server Tools Your Organization Needs

      This list of 10 free, essential tools is an amalgam of tools for all sizes of companies and networks. The range of tools covered here are generally cross-platform (i.e., they run on multiple OSes) but all are extremely useful to the system administrator, network administrator and first-level support personnel. While all of these tools are free to download and use in your network without payment of any kind to their developers or maintainers, not all are open source. The 10 essential tools listed here, in no particular order, are from various sources and represent the very best in tools currently used in large and small enterprises alike.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE’s Marble Team Holds First Contributor Sprint

        The first Developer Conference for the Free Software Virtual Globe Marble ended successfully on November 7. Almost a dozen developers from the Marble community (the “Marbleheads”) met for a weekend sprint at the basysKom office in Nuremberg.

      • KDE and Ovi Hold First Collaborative Sprint

        The weekend before Qt Developer Days 2010 in Munich, Nokia invited thirteen members of the KDE community to get together in their offices in that same city for a developer sprint. The topic was Ovi and KDE, specifically how they can work together to widen adoption for both communities, both from a software development perspective and from a purely collaborative effort perspective. The developers were also invited to the main Qt Developer Days (DevDays) event too.

      • A week of post-beta bug squashing!

        In January the KDE community is set to ship major new versions of the Plasma workspaces, the KDE applications and the KDE development frameworks. As usual, a series of beta versions and release candidates is released in the months leading up to the release day, with the purpose of letting users test the changes in the upcoming versions and help us find and fix bugs and regressions.

      • KDE releases openCloud web-based storage app update

        The KDE project has announced the release of version 1.1 of ownCloud, an open, web-based storage application which runs on a user’s personal server. According to KDE contributor and openCloud founder Frank Karlitschek, thanks to a growing development team, the 1.1 update includes a variety of bug fixes, as well as new features.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Endian 2.4.1
      • pQui 3.1
      • Untangle 8.0 is available!
      • BackTrack 4 R2 Released!
      • Chakra 0.2.4
      • Clonezilla 1.2.6-45
      • Salix Xfce 13.1.2 images are released!

        We are happy to announce the immediate availability of the collection of Salix Xfce 13.1.2 iso images. These include both 32-bit and 64-bit standard installation images, as well as a 32-bit live image, that can be used with an optical disk or a usb drive. Both standard and live images can be used for installing Salix Xfce to your harddrive, using a text-mode or a graphical installer respectively. As with all Salix releases, installation can be performed in one of three different modes, “full”, “basic” and “core”. The live image includes, among others, a persistence wizard, that will let the user keep changes, including extra installed packages, personalization etc, between different live sessions. LiveClone is another tool specific to the live image; using it users will be able to easily roll their own custom version of the Salix Xfce Live, that they will be able to install directly to a usb drive or create a new iso image for burning to a CD. These custom images will have all the features the official live image has, including the ability to install the customized system to a harddrive!

      • [IPFire] Core Update 42

        Today we are going to release Core 42 which is a bugfix release and we strongly recommend to install this as soon as possible.

      • Rocks v5.4 (Maverick) is released for Linux on the i386 and x86_64 CPU architectures

        Rocks v5.4 (Maverick) is released for Linux on the i386 and x86_64 CPU architectures.

      • ZevenOS 3.0 release announcement

        Besides that ZevenOS 3.0 also has a lot of new stuff in the Desktop area.
        Thunar has gained a new contextsensitive entry to convert images.
        The deskbar was updated to have a freedesktop.org compliant dynamic menu which is editable with standard tools just like alacarte. Besides that the deskbar gained a lot of contextual menus which allow you to have access to commonly used actions, like change time & date or mute the volume. The quicklaunch items now also have a context menu which allows you to quickly access files & folder bookmarks, webbrowser bookmarks mediaplayer actions and e-mail creation. The deskbar also gained a speed and ressource improvement.

      • Elastix 2.0.3
      • Macpup 511

        Macpup 511 is the latest and is based on puppylinux 5.1.1,”Lucid Puppy”, An official woof build of puppy Linux that is binary-compatible with Ubuntu Lucid Lynx packages.MP511 contains all the apps from Lucid puppy .Extra apps like Firefox, Opera or Gimp are available for easy download from the Quickpet App on the ibar or the Puppy Package Manager.MP511 also includes the Enlightenment E17 window manager. The EFL libraries version 1.0.0 Beta and E17 version 52995 where compiled and installed from source..Please note that not all the options in the E17 system shutdown menu work with puppy linux.That is why the exit menu was added.This menu will also allow you to change window managers to Jwm or Icewm.

      • Unite17_2010_02

        Few sentences of the changes:

        * Brand-new exterior and interior, because I took the liberty of use the testing repo’s.
        * The E17 at least not alpha, but beta :) . Of course, there are still some annoying bugs, such as that if you want to start an application, which would need administrator rights, something incomprehensible error message we see, that stops the program starts. However, just write in the Sakura (terminal emulator) the smart-root –gui command, and simply launch the package installer or Control Center with the drakconf command, if you have the problem. The Live installer works fine. Of course, this is a non-permanent nature of the error occurs, but often.

      • Announcing Jibbed 5.1

        And again it’s NetBSD time. The long awaited new version of the LiveCD has finally arrived. It is freshly built from the NetBSD 5.1 sources, which is the first feature update of the NetBSD 5.0 branch. It includes many bugfixes and contains the latest packages from pkgsrc. As always, it uses Xorg from base and the xfce4 window manager.

      • VortexBox 1.6 released

        We are pleased to announce the release of VortexBox 1.6. This release has Fedora 14, 4K sector driver support, and support for USB 2 and 192/24 USB DACs. The main goal of this release was to get VortexBox on a more current release of Fedora. This has many benefits including faster boot time, faster files transfers, and better hardware compatibility.

      • Announcing NetBSD 5.1

        The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that version 5.1 of the NetBSD operating system is now available. NetBSD 5.1 is the first feature update of the NetBSD 5.0 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed critical for security or stability reasons, as well as new features and enhancements.

      • NexentaStor Community Edition 3.0.4 released

        NexentaStor Community Edition 3.0.4 is now available. The major change is inclusion of many fixes to OpenSolaris b134 from later releases, and appliance enhancements.

    • Debian Family

      • Goodbye Fedora, welcome back Debian, Part 1

        After Fedora 14 proved a non-starter on this Lenovo, I could have gone straight to Ubuntu 10.04 or 10.10. But I wanted to get back to Debian, a fast, stable (even though Squeeze isn’t technically Stable, capital “S,” it’s plenty stable, small “s.”)

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • 6 Things to Look Forward for in Upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

          The next major Ubuntu release cycle is slowly coming alive. Ubuntu 11.04 codenamed Natty Narwhal is going to feature some of Ubuntu’s most significant changes ever. All in all, Ubuntu 11.04 is going to be *the* most important release ever as far as Canonical is concerned. Now, lets see what makes this upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal release special.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android: Too Much of a Good Thing?

          Dear Vendors, please don’t try to sell more phones by adding proprietary software on top of Android. If you add software, contribute it back to the community. If you want to sell more phones, make better phones than your competition. (Please!)

        • NFC heads for Android and new commerce network

          Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile announced a new “Isis” venture that will roll out a mobile commerce network based on smartphones embedded with near field communications (NFC) networking chips. Isis supporters include Apple and Nokia, as well as Google, which revealed this week that Android 2.3 will add support for short-range NFC wireless communications.

        • Verizon ships faster, global roaming version of Droid 2

          Verizon Wireless has begun selling a new version of the Droid 2 Android slider with a faster 1.2GHz processor and quad-band GSM global roaming. Otherwise identical to the previous Droid 2, the Motorola Droid 2 Global is also said to offer an improved keyboard and lower battery life.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Unlocked Palm Pre 2 available in U.S.

        An unlocked version of Hewlett-Packard’s Palm Pre 2 smartphone is now available in the U.S. via Palm.com and HP’s SMB channels for $449. The upgraded 1GHz Pre 2 runs the new version 2.0 of the Linux-based WebOS operating system.

    • Tablets

      • Acer unveils Android smartphone, two Android tablets

        Acer announced three Android tablets due in April 2011, as well as a “Clear-Fi” media-streaming service and an “Alive” app store. The Android tablets include a Dell Streak-like 4.8-inch, telephony-enabled “smartphone” model with 1024 × 480 resolution, a dual-core, seven-inch, 1280 × 800 tablet, and a 10.1 inch model with 1080p video playback.

      • Acer Puts Its Tablet Cards on the Table

        Acer on Tuesday entered the tablet PC market, announcing that it will launch two Android tablets and a third running Windows 7 in early 2011.

      • Android tablets forecast to grab 15 percent share in 2011

        Tablet computers based on Android will comprise 15 percent of the worldwide market in 2011, nibbling at Apple’s iPad share similar to the way Android smartphones gained on the iPhone. That’s the prediction from IMS Research, which adds that by 2015, Android tablets will have garnered 28 percent of the market.

      • Android-powered color e-reader ships ahead of schedule

        The Android-based Nook Color offers a seven-inch display, 8GB of storage space expandable through a microSD slot, Wi-Fi capability, Web surfing, and the option to share selected passages from e-books via Facebook and Twitter.

      • Android ties iOS in ad impressions

        Android now matches Apple’s iOS in ad impressions, with each mobile operating system garnering 37 percent, says Millennial Media. Meanwhile, fellow mobile analytics firm Chitika estimates that the original Motorola Droid has the highest mobile traffic in the U.S. among Android devices at 19 percent, followed by the HTC Evo 4G and Droid X.

Free Software/Open Source

  • SaaS

    • Observation: Cloud computing is nothing new

      Cloud computing is not only the latest buzz term, it might well be the model of computing that powers the 21st century. However, it’s easy to forget that personal computing, in which each user has a standalone system that can operate without a network, is itself a relatively new approach.

      The first practical computers were enormous behemoths composed of clicking resistors and vacuum tubes. Much of the early development of these multi-ton monsters had been spurred by the allied code-breaking effort during World War II. For the first thirty years of the history of general purpose computers, computer time was the exclusive privilege of large institutions and governments.

  • Healthcare

    • Wendell Potter: “My Apologies to Michael Moore and the Health Insurance Industry”

      APCO Worldwide, the PR firm that operated the front group for insurers during the summer of 2007, was outraged — outraged, I tell you — that I wrote in the book that the raison d’être for Health Care America was to disseminate the insurance industry’s talking points as part of a multi-pronged, fear-mongering campaign against Moore and his movie. An APCO executive told a reporter who had reviewed the book that I was guilty of one of the deceptive PR tactics I condemned: the selective disclosure of information to manipulate public opinion.

  • Programming

    • The Languages of Hacker News

      Two weeks ago, iHackerNews.com made available a Hacker News related dataset via bittorrent. For those of you unfamiliar with Hacker News, it’s a portal for developers to discuss relevant items of interest run by Paul Graham’s Y Combinator. Hacker News may not be considered representative of developers broadly, but it is generally well trafficked by alpha geek types, and thus conclusions drawn from it have predictive value.

      The dataset that was made available included a little better than 1.7M items from Hacker News in a basic XML structure. Believing that this represented collective wisdom of a sort, I collected the set shortly after it was made available, which proved to be shortly before it was taken down.

    • Java 4-Ever Trailer


  • Father says his faith cost his custody

    An Anderson father says that because he professed religious doubt in a custody hearing, a judge took his children from him.

    Craig Scarberry, 29, this month was stripped of joint custody of his three children, Kaelyn, 7; William, 6, and Ayvah, 4, because he changed his religion from Christian to agnostic.

  • Pigford funding passes out of Senate

    On Friday, the Senate passed funding approval for the $1.25 billion Pigford settlement announced last February. The settlement – aimed at putting to bed a class-action brought by black farmers who claim long-time discrimination by the USDA — was brokered following nearly a decade of legal wrangling.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Legal doubts over EU plans to give states choice on whether to grow GM

      Europe’s plans to let countries choose for themselves whether to grow or ban GM crops would be unacceptable under EU and probably international law, says official legal advice offered to member state governments and leaked to the Guardian.

      The advice is highly embarrassing for the European commission (EC) which has long advocated more openness by member states about the technology. The EC appeared to make a major concession in July when it told the 27 member states that they could decide for themselves.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • New Orleans police on trial over killing in chaos following Hurricane Katrina

      There’s not much mystery about how Henry Glover ended up a charred corpse in a burned-out car in the heart of New Orleans. One police officer has admitted to shooting the young black man. Another has confessed to throwing flares into the car where Glover lay covered in blood on the back seat. He then put a couple of shots through the window as the vehicle was consumed by fire. The officer has since called that “a very bad decision”.

    • Security researcher: I keep getting detained by feds

      A security researcher who specializes in online privacy had his laptop and cell phones temporarily seized after returning to the U.S. on an international flight last night.

      Moxie Marlinspike told CNET in an interview today that he had been detained and questioned after an international flight last week and appears to be on a federal “watch list” for domestic flights too but doesn’t know why.

      Asked if he is a volunteer with WikiLeaks, a whistleblower Web site that the U.S. government is seeking to shut down for publishing classified Afghan war files, Marlinspike said: “Definitely not. If anything, I’m slightly critical of WikiLeaks. I question the efficacy of that project.”

    • Israeli army condemns publication of Gaza ‘war criminals’

      Israel’s military today condemned the publication of the names and photographs of 200 Israeli soldiers on a website that labelled them war criminals.

      The site also published the home addresses and ID numbers of many of the Israelis. They included senior commanders and low-ranking soldiers whom the site claimed took part in the three-week offensive in Gaza that began in December 2008. The accuracy of the published details could not be confirmed.

    • Dance Troupe Mistaken for Terrorists

      On November 17th, the Lincoln Tunnel was closed for nearly an hour while police chased a group of people dressed in camouflage who were seen running through the tunnel. Officers of the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force as well as armed Port Authority police sped after the suspects, finally catching them as they neared the Manhattan end of the tunnel and forcing them to their knees at gunpoint.

      Turned out the dramatic operation had protected New York from the onslaught of eight 16-year-old dancers who were trying to make it to a TV appearance.

    • We doctors must protect all victims of torture and malpractice

      In his analysis of the videos revealing the brutal interrogation of Iraqi prisoners by British soldiers, Dr Brian Fine of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture says: “All allegations of torture and other ill-treatment should be fully investigated and anyone found to be responsible brought to justice” (Important step toward the truth, 6 November). But what if those responsible include his professional colleagues and mine?

      The accompanying news article raises precisely this concern, stating that “almost all the former inmates complain that they were severely beaten when arrested … On arrival at a British base, most of the inmates say that they were photographed and examined by a military doctor who would take no interest in their injuries” (Abuse claims lift cloak of secrecy over Britain’s Iraq interrogation base, 6 November).

    • Student protests: school’s out across the UK as children take to the streets

      Tens of thousands of students and school pupils walked out of class, marched, and occupied buildings around the country in the second day of mass action within a fortnight to protest at education cuts and higher tuition fees.

      Amid more than a dozen protests, estimated by some to involve up to 130,000 students, there were isolated incidents of violence and skirmishes with police, mostly in central London.

    • TSA Abuses, Dental X-Rays, Children — and How to Lie About Radiation

      This topic should be of concern to everyone — you should read the article. It’s of special note if you have children, since they are particularly sensitive to radiation.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • UN scientists say emission pledges fall well short of halting climate change

      UN research shows that the pledges and promises made last year by 80 countries to reduce climate change emissions fall well short of what is needed to hold the global temperature rise to 2C and avoid the worst consequences of global warming.

      The findings by 30 leading scientists suggest that if countries do everything they have promised, there will still be a 5bn tonne gap per year between their ambition and what the science says is needed. This gap, said the UN, is the equivalent of the emissions released by all the world’s vehicles in a year. Many countries have committed themselves to holding temperature rises to no more than 2C (3.6F) by 2080 but to achieve this global emissions must be reduced from 56bn tonnes annually today to 44bn tonnes by 2020.

    • World’s first tiger summit ends with £330m pledged amid lingering doubts

      The high-profile conservation conference called by Russian president Vladimir Putin and World Bank chief Robert Zoellick mobilised political, financial and celebrity support behind a goal of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022.

    • Section of Gulf of Mexico closed to shrimpers after tar balls found

      The tar balls are being analysed by the US Coast Guard to determine if they are from the catastrophic BP oil spill.

  • Finance

    • Matt Taibbi: Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners

      Throughout the mounting catastrophe, however, many Americans have been slow to comprehend the true nature of the mortgage disaster. They seemed to have grasped just two things about the crisis: One, a lot of people are getting their houses foreclosed on. Two, some of the banks doing the foreclosing seem to have misplaced their paperwork.

    • Germany aims to take Europe’s reins amid eurozone’s woes

      Autumn, Berlin, 2013 and Angela Merkel is anxiously eyeing a third term as German chancellor. The Germans are fed up with Europe. They’re used to being the paymaster, but there are limits to their largesse.

      The Greeks, the Irish, the Portuguese, maybe even the Spanish, have pushed those limits to breaking point through reckless spending, feckless policy–making and then asking the Germans to write them a large cheque.

    • Demand overwhelms program to prevent homelessness

      In rural communities and urban areas alike, one of the least expensive and most unheralded new initiatives of the stimulus bill is quietly saving hundreds of thousands of Americans from homelessness.

      Now housing advocates want Congress to boost the program’s $1.5 billion funding as the vast need for more assistance becomes evident nationwide.

    • Don’t bail out Ireland, free it

      Britain has just promised £7bn towards a €90bn package aimed at rescuing Ireland’s economy. But the bailout has not worked. Instead, we are sinking billions into a temporary rescue of the euro that will prolong Ireland’s economic misery. So we should change course and prepare to offer a dramatically different solution – help Ireland decouple from the euro and allow the country to default on its debts.

    • Belgium joins financial markets’ hit list

      Hold the moules et frites: Belgium has joined Portugal, Spain and Italy on the hit list of countries that may be heading for financial crisis.

    • Irish austerity plan to save €15bn

      More than 24,000 jobs will be cut, taxes raised and welfare payments reduced in plan announced by Brian Cowen

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Cigarette Giants in Global Fight on Tighter Rules

      As sales to developing nations become ever more important to giant tobacco companies, they are stepping up efforts around the world to fight tough restrictions on the marketing of cigarettes.

      Companies like Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco are contesting limits on ads in Britain, bigger health warnings in South America and higher cigarette taxes in the Philippines and Mexico. They are also spending billions on lobbying and marketing campaigns in Africa and Asia, and in one case provided undisclosed financing for TV commercials in Australia.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Chinese dissident plans empty chair protest for Nobel peace prize ceremony

      A Chinese veteran of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 is acting as a go-between in preparations for next month’s controversial Nobel peace prize award ceremony in Oslo.

      The Chinese government reacted furiously to the choice of the dissident Liu Xiaobo as this year’s recipient of the prize and is pressuring other countries to boycott the event. Liu is serving an 11-year prison sentence for “inciting the subversion of state power” by publishing pro-democracy tracts. However, Yang Jianli, now a Harvard-based campaigner for democracy and a friend of Liu and his wife, Liu Xia – currently under house arrest – believes that his empty chair on 10 December will send a message more powerful than any speech or slogan. Yang was asked by Liu Xia on 15 October to work with the Nobel committee to prepare the ceremony.

    • Pakistani woman facing death for blasphemy may be pardoned
    • Life of woman sentenced to death by stoning could be spared
    • The ‘Fix.’ Top FBI Officials Push Silicon Valley Execs to Embrace Internet Wiretaps

      In a further sign that Barack Obama’s faux “progressive” regime will soon seek broad new Executive Branch power, The New York Times disclosed last week that FBI chief and cover-up specialist extraordinaire, Robert S. Mueller III, “traveled to Silicon Valley on Tuesday to meet with top executives of several technology firms about a proposal to make it easier to wiretap Internet users.”

      Times’ journalist Charlie Savage reported that Mueller and the Bureau’s chief counsel, Valerie Caproni, “were scheduled to meet with senior managers of several major companies, including Google and Facebook, according to several people familiar with the discussions.”

Clip of the Day

Unity Default In Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal [Pre Alpha!]

Credit: TinyOgg

Amazon is Shielding a Monopoly by Subverting Laws

Posted in America, Law, Patents at 10:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Alexander NFLD

Summary: Amazon builds a monopoly around un-wanted gifts

ABC says that “Amazon.com patents Gift Converter software”, which should not surprise those who saw what Amazon did in Canada recently [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

You soon may be able to make sure you never get an un-wanted gift.

Online retailer, amazon.com recently submitted a patent for a “gift converter.” The program would let you set up a wish list and parameters for your gift receiving.

“It’s business as usual” for lawyers’ circles (they just want more monopolies/patents, for their own profit). It’s a reference to business method patents and Patent WatchTroll, who exploits software patents for profit (that’s what patent lawyers generally do, but this one rude person also insults software developers in order to get his way), joins this voice from LawyersWeekly (Canada). It’s truly appalling and just one of several reasons for boycotting Amazon.

Intellectual Ventures and Other Microsoft-affiliated Groups Are Poisoning Linux With Patents

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Ubuntu at 9:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: New examples of patent trolls and patent boosters (possibly even lobbyists) putting a form of patent tax on the de facto universal platform which is free

Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures, which is funded and made with Microsoft’s investments (Myhrvold is Microsoft’s former CTO), is expanding the pyramid scheme by signing a patent deal with HTC. The Register says:

Mobile handset manufacturer and Google pal HTC has announced a licensing deal that gives it access to the more than 30,000 patents owned by Intellectual Ventures (IV), the IP-gathering outfit founded by former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold.

A joint press release from HTC and IV says that HTC will use the portfolio to “defend itself and its subsidiaries from potential litigation.”
Click here to find out more!

Last week, Intellectual Ventures announced a similarly sweeping pact with Samsung.

“[H]ey, please don’t feed the troll,” remarks Glyn Moody, who concentrates on many of these issues. HTC has also signed a patent deal with Microsoft, allegedly after Microsoft was preparing to sue HTC like it sued Motorola (one source suggested that Microsoft was just about to file a lawsuit against HTC).

It is sad to see Microsoft building an extortion scheme like Intellectual Ventures, which extracts even more money from companies that sell Linux-based products. Didn’t everyone see this coming?

According to the president of the FFII, Microsoft may still be lobbying for software patents in South Africa (where it is trying to accumulate such patents despite the law).

Free Market Foundation, another Microsoft o owns what in the Novell deproxy lobbying for software patents in South Africa?

Microsoft has been breaking the law in South Africa and now it is trying to legalise what it did. It is deceiving the public and sending its lobbyists there, e.g. CompTIA [1, 2, 3]. Watch out for all these proxies and front groups. The president of the FFII has also just found this forum from “IPThinkTank”, which may be just another way to push an agenda under the guise of open and frank debate.

According to this, Microsoft boosters are finding their way into Linux even via Ubuntu right now. Christopher Tozzi helps advertise Likewise and Centrify this week, even at the expense of Samba.

Unless you prefer the do-it-yourself approach to AD integration via Winbind and Samba, there are only two major players in this niche: Centrify and Likewise. The two companies offer a suite of similar products, available in both free-to-use and licensed versions, that “automagically” join Unix-based hosts to a Windows domain and share its resources.

For those who do not know yet, Likewise and Centrify [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] are proprietary with software patents (giving in to Microsoft). They should be avoided.

IBM and Tandberg Abuse Software Patents by Using Them to Rip Off Real Innovators

Posted in Free/Libre Software, IBM, Patents at 8:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM Netvista

Summary: Slashdot provides two new examples of why software patents are unjust and ripe for abuse

BIG BLUE (IBM), one of the causes of the software patents problem, is being accused of patenting some other developer’s work. As Slashdot puts it:

“Back in 2001, I coded HeapCheck, a GPL library for Windows (inspired by ElectricFence) that detected invalid read/write accesses on any heap allocations at runtime — thus greatly helping my debugging sessions. I published it on my site, and got a few users who were kind enough to thank me — a Serbian programmer even sent me 250$ as a thank you (I still have his mails). After a few years, Microsoft included very similar technology in the operating system itself, calling it PageHeap. I had more or less forgotten these stuff, since for the last 7 years I’ve been coding for UNIX/Linux, where valgrind superseded Efence/dmalloc/etc. Imagine my surprise, when yesterday, Googling for references to my site, I found out that the technology I implemented, of runtime detection of invalid heap accesses, has been patented in the States, and to add insult to injury, even mentions my site (via a non-working link to an old version of my page) in the patent references! After the necessary ‘WTFs’ and ‘bloody hells’ I thought this merits (a) a Slashdotting, and (b) a set of honest questions: what should I do about this? I am not an American citizen, but the ‘inventors’ of this technology (see their names in the top of the patent) have apparently succeeded in passing this ludicrous patent in the States. If my code doesn’t count as prior art, Bruce Perens’s Efence (which I clearly state my code was inspired from) is at least 12 years prior! Suggestions/cursing patent trolls most welcome.”

There are many comments in there. Glyn Moody asks, “so, IBM, which side are you on?” This is not the first such PR disaster for IBM and they probably deserve it. How long will it take for someone like Bob Sutor to do some damage control?

Our reader gnufreex told us about another Slashdot gem and remarked: “Companies are spying on mailing lists of Free Software projects and filing for patents”

Tandberg Attempts To Patent Open Source Code

“As if the current situation with software patents wasn’t bad enough, it appears a new phenomenon is emerging: companies are watching the commit logs of open source projects for ideas to patent. In this case, Tandberg filed a patent that was step-by-step identical to an algorithm developed by the x264 project — a mere two months after the original commit. The particular algorithm is a useful performance optimization in a wide variety of video encoders, including Theora.”

The Slashdot ‘mob’ has made this a major story and gave Tandberg lots of flak (there is also a big discussion in LWN). This got so serious that the original storyteller (the victim) felt compelled to post this update:

Update: Tandberg claims they came up with the identical algorithm independently: to be fair, I can actually believe this to some extent, as I think the algorithm is way too obvious to be patented. Of course, they also claim that the algorithm isn’t identical, since they don’t want to lose their patent application.

Also, stop harassing the guy whose name is on the patent: he’s just a programmer, not the management or lawyers responsible for filing the patent.

There’s been a lot of very obnoxious misuse of software patents in recent years. This ranges from patent trolls wielding submarine patents to overly-generic patents being used to scare everyone else out of a business. But at least in most of the cases, the patents were an original idea of some sort, even if that idea was far too general to be patented.

Jan Wildeboer from Red Hat wrote about it: “#EvilTrolling: Read Open Source commit logs, patent the commits, wait, PROFIT. How low can you go, Tandberg? http://is.gd/hOlF5 #swpat” (common shorthand for software patents). He later composed this blog post:

So according to the published information we have right now, it seems that Mr. Endresen filed a patent on something he didn’t create nor implemented. This could result in the true inventor being forced to remove his own code from his own software to avoid patent infringement. How weird is that?

This is patent business as usual. Unfortunately. While the politicians all across this planet are discussing stricter regulations on so-called plagiarism, infringement etc (think ACTA) this specific form of taking someone elses work and claiming to be its inventor is perfectly legal.

The Inquirer is more blunt, as usual. “Tandberg rips off an open source project” is the headline and the opening says:

PATENT TROLL Tandberg has ripped off an algorithm developed by the open source X264 project for encoding video streams by registering a patent application for the same code.

Companies that exist for the sole purpose of firing off lawsuits for patent infringement are bad enough, but it looks like Tandberg has gone a step further by pilfering patent claims from an open source project commit log.

Patents turn out to be not just an impediment to Free software development; patents are also being used to rip people off — especially people who are honest enough to share their ideas. Petition for an end of software patents to stop this abusive madness.

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