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


Links 4/1/2013: Bodhi 2.2.0, Semplice Linux 3.0

Posted in News Roundup at 9:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


Quantity Over Quality, or Why the US Permits Software Patenting

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


Summary: Amid loss of edge in the innovative industries, a turn to patents is seen for PR and protectionism

The patent war is bound to get interesting now that the US loses its lead. The Economist says: “China’s patent office received more applications than any other country’s in 2011, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a UN body which follows 125 patent offices.”

Suffice to say, those numbers don’t means much, but they are used for vanity purposes. The US will try to pass off more ideas as patentable. The USPTO is trying to manufacture consent for software patents right now:

There is a notice in the Federal Register that the USPTO would like to form a partership with the software community to figure out how to “enhance” the quality of software patents.

The more patents the USPTO approves, the more “innovation” it will claim. Here is the government’s bad stance and a new case study against software patents:

Why Software Patents Should Be Banned: A Case Study

Joe Mullin provides us with the latest in the patent troll wars. Last year, a guy named Steven Vicinanza, the founder of BlueWave Computing, got a letter from Project Paperless LLC telling him that he needed to pay $1,000 per employee because he uses networked scanners in his business:

That was Mother Jones.

Over at Bloomberg (plutocrats), the lawyers, or the 1% who are parasitical, have their say. To quote: “Clearly I didn’t ask enough patent attorneys for impressions of what’s going on in their corner of the cyberlaw world. There is a lot going on there. Complaints about how the patent system is impeding innovation, complaints about the complainers about the patent system, a new unified patent system in the European Union and a new court to keep things unified (that’s a lot of uniformity!), a new way of evaluating patents on business methods ushered in by the America Invents Act, and another big case in Federal Circuit involving a the patentability of computer software.”

Don’t ask patent lawyers. Ask real stake holders, people who actually produce something.

Patent Extortion and Litigation Become a Proxies Maze

Posted in Patents at 4:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Analysis of ongoing cases against Android and other rivals of Apple and Microsoft

RECENTLY some aggression against Android came from BT [1, 2], a company which many like to hate for legitimate reasons. In a patent lawyers’ blog we found this article that names many proxy trolls:

It turns out that BT has decided that it does not want to get its hands dirty directly, so like countless others before it (including IV) it has turned to a third party to do the heavy lifting. That is what the privateer model is all about. It is being used, in one way or another, increasingly frequently by operating companies in the US, which for whatever reason decide they would prefer not to become involved in patent monetisation programmes that may involve aggressive assertion. NPEs that I can think of off the top of my head which have had close relationships with operating companies at some time or another include: Rockstar, RoundRock, Acacia, MOSAID, Intellectual Ventures, Sisvel and IPCom. No doubt readers of this blog can think of many more. From where I sit it is a perfectly legitimate activity, aimed as it is at maximising the value of key corporate assets – which is exactly what companies are supposed to do. At least some, however, are a little coy about their arrangements; while it is becoming increasingly clear that US antitrust authorities, and perhaps those in Europe too, are going to take a much closer look at the whole privateer model.

Nokia too has become a proxy troll for Microsoft (now against RIM). “Microsoft and Nokia use MOSAID,” Pamels Jones wrote. “Apple is in Rockstar with Microsoft. And both are attacking Google. Blech and more blech. Do you really believe they are not coordinating?”

This is a revolting status quo. Here is a new press assessment of the cost to society:

Patent trolls drain businesses of billions of dollars a year. And if you have a website–any website–you are a potential target. Here’s what you need to know if they come after your business.

The world’s biggest troll, Intellectual Ventures, is tied to Microsoft and Bill Gates, a huge patents booster. Here is how ridiculous they are:

We’ve obviously been highly critical of Intellectual Ventures over the years, as the company is doing tremendous harm to the innovation world by effectively setting up tollbooths and legal threats that take money away from actual innovation and funnel it into inefficient uses. Recently, we wrote about how another firm, IP Checkups, was planning to unveil Intellectual Ventures’ infamous web of shell companies, which it uses to shuffle patents around, to hide who the real beneficial holders of the patents are. In response to this, the Spicy IP blog did interesting interviews with both IP Checkups and with Intellectual Ventures. Intellectual Ventures was represented by Nicholas Gibson, International Marketing Director at the firm. You can read the two interviews, but I just wanted to focus on one of the more ridiculous, and blatantly intellectually dishonest statements of Gibson’s. IV management is somewhat infamous for these kinds of things, but they really ought to be called out on their bullshit more frequently. Spicy IP points out that IV claims to hold 40,000 patents and growing… and wonders how any technology company could figure out if they’re infringing and how they should go about getting a license. Gibson responds by pretending this is easy.

Joe the patent trolls expert says that scanners are under patent attack right now and Will Hill thinks he knows who is behind it:

Insane patent trolling in the US against anyone who uses a scanner on a network. Comes complete with six IV type shell companies.

http://www.plainsite.org/articles/article.html?id=2 oh look, http://www.plainsite.org/flashlight/case.html?id=1777204

I’m looking to see if they are an IV shell company but plainsite is slow if not DDoS broken.

IV is Intellectual Ventures, which tops the pyramid scheme — a drain in the economy for sure.

US Media Bias in Android Patent Cases

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google at 4:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Coat of arms of South Korea

Summary: An overview of recent news about Android cases and a reminder of the anti-Korea bias in north American press

Android is developed by an American (US) company, but the lion’s share of Android devices come from east Asia. By creating factories in the US, Apple and Samsung compete over the perception of being “more American” (made or assembled in USA). The corporate press, channels like CNN for example, does an Apple for dummies type of routine when it covers anti-Android lawsuits. It does not focus on trial misconduct [1, 2] for example. Forbes describes Apple as a victim:

Apple is perhaps the most talked about company in the world, online. Now, thanks to Apple’s litigation strategy, Samsung is the second most talked about. Here is a small thread of evidence.

The US is, as one might expect, hostile towards Korean companies if their rivals are largely US-based brands. Pamela Jones is the exception and she writes:

Judge Lucy Koh, the presiding judge in the Apple v. Samsung litigations, warned [PDF] the parties that she would ignore any arguments in their attachments to their post-trial motions that were new and therefore a backdoor way of bypassing the page limits she set for them, writing that “Any argument that is not explicitly articulated within the briefing page limits will be disregarded. Any supporting documentation shall be for corroboration purposes solely and shall not be used as a vehicle for circumventing the Court’s page limits.”

It would not be racist to say that Koh’s ethnicity may make her less likely to be Korea-hostile (as many US judges are). Recall what Europe too does to the Korean giant along with the ITC. Here is the ITC in action. The private US press — that which billionaires literally own — covered it a lot to make Apple, a common advertiser and ally, look good. Smaller news sites mention Apple setbacks; contrariwise, bad news for Samsung is what they fancy covering at CBS. To quote: “Samsung has dropped its bid to have Apple products that relate to its ongoing court cases against the company withdrawn from sale in Europe.”

And what about Apple? Remember who started it all and repeatedly sought bans. Watch this pro-Apple site whining about Apple not getting a trademark on “launchpad” (like Canonical):

On December 13, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a notice sent to Apple that basically denies them the rights to “Launchpad.” This is Apple’s second attempt at convincing the government agency of approving this trademark.

Canonical has had Launchpad for years. This just shows an ugly side of Apple, that’s all. The company also sought patents on shapes — a territory which in an article by Dennis Crouch he describes as follows: “laws of design patents; design patent application preparation and prosecution; design patent enforcement; tests of design patent validity; and design patent remedies.”

These patents are vague enough to augment copyright and they are very controversial, too. Remember the rounded rectangle monopoly of Apple? Apple’s cases are just very weak.

Recently we wrote about Apple and MPEG-LA. Watch this new article and remember that Apple and Microsoft are patent allies.

Motorola and Microsoft Debate the Scope of Google’s MPEG-LA License (Seattle) ~pj

The last time we looked in on the Microsoft v. Motorola litigation in Seattle, the judge, the Honorable James L. Robart, had just ruled that Motorola would have no right to injunctive relief in the US and Germany for its H.264 and 802.11 standard essential patent portfolios, at least not in the current set of facts, although he allowed that facts could change in the future.

The judge has asked [PDF] the parties to give him more information about Google’s license agreement with the MPEG-LA patent pool, and he set a hearing for oral argument for January 28 at 1:30 PM in Seattle on that issue and on a Microsoft motion for summary judgment on invalidity. If any of you can attend, that’d be wonderful.

We now can have a much clearer picture of the parties’ positions, now that we have both parties’ post-trial briefs on the subject of Google’s license agreement with MPEG-LA regarding H.264/AVC patent pool.

The crux of the debate is how to interpret one clause in the agreement, Section 8.3. Does it require Google to grant Microsoft a license to Motorola’s H.264-essential patents? Microsoft says it does, and Google says it does not. Google says it chose a license whereby it would have to list all affiliates it wished to be covered by the agreement, and to date it has not listed Motorola. It didn’t close on the Motorola deal until after it entered the license agreement with MPEG-LA anyway. And Motorola never on its own put any of its relevant patents into the MPEG-LA patent pool. So either way, Microsoft has no rights to a license via the MPEG-LA patent pool, Google argues, only by negotiated agreement under normal RAND terms, obviously at a higher rate.

The MPEG cartel has been used by the duopoly against free platforms, but Apple got hit recently, as covered here:

A federal jury in Delaware has found Apple’s iPhone infringes on three patents held by MobileMedia Ideas, a patent-holding company formed by Sony, Nokia and MPEG LA.

Here is more:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) lost an infringement case brought by patent-licensing firm MobileMedia Ideas LLC when a federal jury decided the maker of the iPhone misappropriated protected technology for the handheld devices.

Jurors in Wilmington, Delaware, deliberated about four hours after a weeklong trial before also concluding today that the three patents aren’t invalid.

Those trolls are connected to the MPEG cartel, unlike this entity:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) and LG Electronics Inc. (066570) didn’t infringe an Alcatel-Lucent SA (ALU) unit’s patents for electronic devices including phones and computers, a jury said.

The verdict today came after a trial that began Nov. 27 in federal court in San Diego over a 2010 lawsuit by the Paris- based company’s Multimedia Patent Trust accusing Apple and LG Electronics of copying video-compression technology that allows data to be sent more efficiently over communications media, including the Internet and satellites, or stored on DVDs and Blu-Ray disks.

This comes from Bloomberg. Plutocrats’ press likes to cover pro-Apple stories.

Free Software Foundation (FSF) Seeks Funds to Help Those Who Cannot Use GNU and Linux on New PCs Due to UEFI

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux at 3:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

William John Sullivan

Summary: Microsoft’s latest abuses continue to show their effectiveness at preventing people from embracing free operating systems; FSF spearheads action against it

WITH Vista 8 came UEFI, which is probably its best ‘feature’ in Microsoft’s eyes; it helps discourage and deter against Linux booting. One blogger provides us with this story which shows UEFI in action (preventing ‘malware’ like Linux from booting):

During the last weeks, I spent several nights playing with UEFI and its extension called UEFI SecureBoot. I must admit that I have mixed feelings about UEFI in general; on one hand, you have a nice and modern “BIOS replacement” that can boot .efi files with no need for a bootloader like GRUB, on the other hand, some hardware, not even the most exotic one, is not yet glitch-free. But that’s what happens with new stuff in general. I cannot go much into detail without drifting away from the main topic, but surely enough, a simple google search about UEFI and Linux will point you to the problems I just mentioned above.

So far, not much has been done about it. The FSF ran an online petition which it plans to use quite soon based on articles like this one.

The Free Software Foundation is an organisation for which I have the utmost respect. Without it, the whole phenomenon of free and open source sofware would never have come to be.

The FSF has also been at the forefront of efforts to preserve freedom in computing and has stuck to its guns in the face of much criticism.

But on secure boot, it is lagging behind. I am surprised that it has not updated its campaign against secure boot, launched in October 2011, to include relevant facts. A great deal of material in the petition is now outdated and factually incorrect.

Here in this Web site we collected a lot of information on the subject and we also confronted key UEFI people. Christopher Tozzi talks about the FSF’s action as follows:

Still, the Free Software Foundation, one of the open-source channel’s most influential organizations in moral (if not financial) terms, is aggressively combating Secure Boot with a multi-channel campaign. The group plans to educate the public on avoiding Secure Boot-enabled hardware, pressure device manufacturers to avoid measures that will prevent consumers from installing the software they wish and combat Microsoft’s proposal for implementing a similar feature on ARM-powered smartphones and tablets.

To advance its efforts, the FSF has created a petition, signed so far by more than 40,000 individuals and 50 organizations. The signatories pledge not to purchase hardware that fails to “provide a sure-fire way for them to install and run a free software operating system of their choice.” The FSF also invites users to donate $50, although it’s not clear whether that money will be used to combat Secure Boot specifically, or support the FSF’s operations more generally.

What’s needed is regulatory action. It was needed all along, but Microsoft apologists helped legitmise what Microsoft had perpetrated. What we have now is a mess and no federal investigation. Mikkel Munch Mortensen writes today:

I paid for a genuine copy of Windows 8.
I tried installing it on a seperate disk next to Ubuntu on my desktop computer. When rebooting after install, it says there’s a problem with my OS that can’t be fixed. The error code is something like 00000001. I guess that’s a kinda fundamental error. Reinstall didn’t work.

I tried installing to my laptop, on a seperate disk that used to have another copy of #Windows8 on it, which I wiped, kinda just 4 the lulz. Even before I get to install anything, even before I get to enter my serial key, it says that the serial key I entered doesn’t match what is (whatever that “what” refers to, it’s a wiped disk) on the device (or something like that).

I spent 5 hours on this yesterday. I spend several hours about a month ago.

To me, it seems like #Microsoft tried so hard to avoid something like dualbooting/pirated copies/installation on secondary disks that it’s completely impossible to install their OS that I already deemed crappy, but really need for a few applications that is not (yet) available for Ubuntu or other Linuxes.

Or, maybe, it’s just Microsofts way of giving me the middle finger for ditching their OS as my primary OS years ago in favor of #Ubuntu.

Here is another story published earlier today to demonstrate UEFI abuses. The victim writes:

I really appreciate the helpful Windows 8 tips I’ve been getting from you. But there’s one issue I am struggling with: Linux, and specifically installing it on my Windows 8 computer.

I haven’t been able to get Linux to install properly, and I really don’t know why. One of my techie friends told me it has to do with a new Secure Boot feature in Windows 8.

Mission accomplished by Microsoft. Under the guise of ‘security’ it now sees its dream come true. This impedes GNU and Linux growth at a crucial time when Windows puts people off.

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts