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Microsoft, Apple and Others Launch Huge Patent Strike at Android 476

New submitter GODISNOWHERE writes "Nortel went bankrupt in 2009. In 2011, it held an auction for its massive patent portfolio. The winners of the auction were Apple, Microsoft, Sony, RIM, and others, who bought the patents for $4.5 billion as a consortium named Rockstar Bidco. At the time, many people speculated those patents would be used against Google, who bid separately but lost. It turns out they were right. Rockstar has filed eight lawsuits in federal court targeting Google and Android device manufacturers. 'The complaint (PDF) against Google involves six patents, all from the same patent "family." They're all titled "associative search engine," and list Richard Skillen and Prescott Livermore as inventors. The patents describe "an advertisement machine which provides advertisements to a user searching for desired information within a data network. The oldest patent in the case is US Patent No. 6,098,065, with a filing date of 1997, one year before Google was founded. The newest patent in the suit was filed in 2007 and granted in 2011. The complaint tries to use the fact that Google bid for the patents as an extra point against the search giant.'"

Submission + - How amateurs destroyed the professional music business (

David Gerard writes: Here in the future, musicians and record companies complain they can't make a living any more. The problem isn’t piracy — it’s competition. There is too much music and too many musicians, and the amateurs are often good enough for the public. This is healthy for culture, not so much for aesthetics, and terrible for musicians.

Comment Google chat users affected (Score 5, Informative) 109

As part of the big roll out of these changes, a lot of google chat users have discovered their most frequently used contacts have been automatically "Blocked on Google+", despite not themselves not having Google+ accounts. People have been left with no option other than to sign up to Google+ to access their "Blocked" circle to see what contacts have been blocked, and unblock them.

Comment Re:It's awesome (Score 1) 327

The key word is "even". "even to me". Implying (but obviously too subtely for some) that my opinion of the sound quality is in agreement with the opinions of others. In this case, several dozen others. Unanimously.

Furthermore, I never said how shitty my hearing was. My version of shitty is having a hard time discerning between 160kbps and 192kbps mp3s, which several of my more keenly perceptive friends are able to do.

Comment It's awesome (Score 5, Interesting) 327

About 9 months ago, I implemented Opus in our VoIP products, replacing G722 and Speex. It kicks a whole lot of ass. Compared to speex, It's far better coded, uses far fewer CPU cycles, and sounds vastly better (even to me, and I have shitty hearing). Similarly, we replaced all our old audio DSP pipeline, based on the Speex library (thanks, etc) with the low-level components from WebRTC (thanks Google!) and things have never sounded better.

"Help Mr. Wizard!" -- Tennessee Tuxedo