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01.12.13

16,000 Posts in Techrights

Posted in Site News at 12:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Another milestone for this Web site

THE previous post, a tribute to Aaron Swartz, was our 16000th blog post. We are still going strong.

Techrights Thanks Aaron Swartz

Posted in Site News at 12:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Aaron Swartz

Summary: Aaron Swartz, a man of ethics, is no longer with us

MR. Aaron Swartz, a man of ethics, is no longer with us. What a tragic loss for the world. Here is Wikipedia‘s summary of Aaron’s contributions, which themeselves make a massive — arguably lifetime-worth — contributions worthy of high praises and a special tribute.

“Swartz’s father worked in the computer industry, and from a young age Aaron was interested in computing, frequently studying computers, the Internet and Internet culture. At the age of 14 Swartz co-authored RSS 1.0 Specification. He later attended Stanford University, however he left after one year of studying, stating “I didn’t find it a very intellectual atmosphere, since most of the other kids seemed profoundly unconcerned with their studies.” Instead he founded the software company Infogami, a startup that was funded by Y Combinator’s first Summer Founders Program.

“Through the Y Combinator program, Swartz found himself working on the Reddit website. Initially finding it difficult to make money from the project, the site later gained in popularity, with millions of users visiting it each month. In late 2006, after months of negotiations, Reddit was sold to CondéNet, owners of Wired magazine.[3] Swartz moved with his company to San Francisco to work on Wired, but grew unhappy with the set-up[3] and in January, 2007, he was asked to resign from his position. Swartz described himself as being ill and suffering from a constant depressed mood throughout 2007. In September, 2007, Swartz joined with Simon Carstensen and launched Jottit. In 2010–2011 he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

“Swartz was also the creator of the web.py web application framework, and co-founded Demand Progress, a progressive advocacy group that organizes people via email and other media for “contacting Congress and other leaders, funding pressure tactics, and spreading the word” about targeted issues”

Vista 8 a Downfall for Microsoft in Linux/Android Era, Microsoft Downgraded

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 8, Windows at 12:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Everything is under control!

Ballmer sweats

Summary: Shifting trends in the industry are seen, with even Microsoft employees no longer using Microsoft software

WITH INCREASED demand for tablets, Android/Linux and hypePads gain traction, largely at the expense of Microsoft when it comes to new-generation tablets (with strong processors, a lot of RAM, high-resolution displays, etc.), so this news is quite telling:

Robert X. Cringely wrote about Vista 8 this weekend. It seems like Microsoft is not part of the future; so we need to focus on Apple too. Microsoft is the next Novell.

Reports About Novell Board Getting Sued

Posted in Novell at 12:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Press reports on why Novell’s board is being sued

TThe other day we saw some blogs writing about what used to be Novell. Novell’s board got sued for selling irrationally, based on press reports about it. To quote a report from The Inquirer (UK):

Attachmate’s purchase of Novell included a clause that resulted in CPTN Holdings buying hundreds of patents for $450m. CPTN Holdings is a secretive consortium led by Microsoft, the firm that many Linux watchers believe was behind SCO’s ill-fated war on Linux.

Delaware Court of Chancery Judge John Noble dismissed a request by Novell’s board for an early dismissal of the lawsuit, meaning that the case can now proceed to trial. Novell’s board can now present evidence to defend itself against the claims, although there is still time for the parties to settle.

Here is what Reuters wrote:

Novell Inc directors who approved the information technology company’s 2010 sale for $2.2 billion must defend a lawsuit that alleges they unfairly favored Attachmate Corp over other bidders.

To Novell’s board (with Microsoft influence that we demostrated in previous years), giving approximately 1,000 patents to Microsoft, a Linux arch rival, seemed rational enough. They deserved to be sued for the millions they stole received in undeserved bonuses as well. Novell was a company withoutn a moral compass, with zero ethics, and a dishonest PR department that felt comfortable insulting critics.

Patent System Errors of Scope

Posted in Patents at 11:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

USPTOSummary: The USPTO is subjected to more criticism for defending not innovation but largely maligned practices

US Congress is being slammed by a rather progressive lawyer for a flawed patent 'reform' (one of several bogus ‘reforms’ that we covered). To quote his words that he cross-posted in his good blog:

Congress passed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) (S.23), commonly referred to as “patent reform,” in September 2011. The AIA is widely acknowledged as the most important change to U.S. patent law since 1952. The AIA took years of legislative wrangling to pass, and it went through many, many iterations. The resulting law is a voluminous 59 PDF pages with 37 sections.
As it turns out, not only was this bill quite important, but for its length, it was quite buggy. With so many words and moving parts in the enacted law, it’s not surprising that some errors crept into the final version.

Kappos, in the mean time, is being sued as USPTO head:

Prior to KSR v. Teleflex, the Federal Circuit granted significant deference to the PTO on obviousness determinations; following KSR, that deference has only increased. Zumbiel v. Kappos represents possibly one of the more extreme examples of that deference. This appeal is unusual, however, in that it involves. substantial deference to the BPAI/PTAB’s finding that a claim is nonobvious, deference that is (in the dissent’s view) contrary to other aspects of the Court’s holding in KSR.

One patents-centric site says: “Reading through the tea leaves, the USPTO appears quite interested in exploring means-plus-function claiming with the software community.”

“More people need to speak about the USPTO itself.”This is not quite true, as we explained before. The bottom line is, a lot of pressure and a lot of unwanted attention hits the USPTO these days. It might not be long before outside intervention, such as the recent intervention from the US DOJ, will discredit and subsequently reform the USPTO, even forcibly.

It may sound strongly-worded, but the USPTO is our enemy, and those which exploit the USPTO (it is corruptible and generally just open to business) are not the best place to hit; misplaced criticism just doesn’t eradicate the problem at its root. More people need to speak about the USPTO itself. It’s where patents (arms) come from and addressing one company at a time (like hydra heads) just isn’t too effective.

Android-backing Ericsson Feeds Patent Aggressor Openwave

Posted in Patents at 11:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Thousands of patents passed from Ericsson to a now-notorious patent aggressor, Openwave

SONY Ericsson is not much as a friend of Android, despite using Android/Linux in its devices. Samsung was sued by Sony (over patents) after Sony had failed to gain the lead in the Android market. Samsung will do fine, but we cannot support it because it pays Microsoft for Linux.

“In one of the most dramatic, controversial and written about court cases, judge Koh has denied Apple’s motion for an injunction against Samsung devices,” we learn from Muktware, also in light of its recent realisation of Android armament (deterrence against Apple). Sadly, however, some Android arms seem to be heading into the hands of patent aggressors. To quote a new report:

Unwired Planet, formerly Openwave Systems, said in a regulatory filing today that it has received more than 1,900 patents, including 753 US patents, from Swedish telecom company Ericsson.

This is reminiscent of what Microsoft does with Nokia’s patent portfolio. It distributes patents to Linux and Android foes (MOSAID is the most notable example among several). We already covered the patent relationships of Microsoft, Apple, and Sony (some are members of the same patent cartels).

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