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Ten States Pass Anti-Patent-Troll Laws, With More To Come 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-under-the-bridge dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With patent reform stalled in the Senate, many states have decided to take up the issue themselves. 'As states kicked off their legislative sessions this winter, lawmakers responded to the threats against small businesses by writing bills that would ban "bad faith patent assertions" as a violation of consumer-protection laws. The bills target a specific type of patent troll: the kind that sends out vaguely worded letters demanding licensing fees. The thousands of letters sent out by the "scanner trolls" at MPHJ Technology are often brought up as a case-in-point. The new laws allow trolls that break rules around letter-writing to be sued in state court, either by private companies they've approached for licensing fees, or by state authorities themselves.'"

+ - Intellectual Ventures LLC wins Lawsuit against Canon; Settles with Xilinx

Submitted by asvravi
asvravi (1236558) writes "Reuters has news of Intellectual Ventures' Lawsuits against Xilinx —

Patent owner Intellectual Ventures has settled a lawsuit against one of its own investors, chipmaker Xilinx, a case that had been closely followed by advocates seeking to change the U.S. patent system. ... Chipmaker Xilinx invested in two Intellectual Ventures funds and licensed a portion of IV's patents, but resisted IV's entreaties to license more patents in 2010, court filings show. Xilinx eventually asked a California federal judge to declare those IV patents invalid, while IV countersued in Delaware, accusing Xilinx of infringement.

More details of the Canon case are over a Image Sensors World — http://image-sensors-world.blo... and http://image-sensors-world.blo...

Intellectual Ventures reports that the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware rendered a verdict finding two Intellectual Ventures’ (IV) image sensor patents valid and infringed by digital camera products of Canon Inc. and Canon USA. adds that "the jury held that Canon’s EOS 1DS Mark III, EOS 5D Mark II and Vixia Camcorders infringe at least one claim of U.S. Patent Number 6,023,081, which Canon failed to invalidate for obviousness."

In one account, Intellectual Ventures has been reported to operate out of 3200 shell accounts to either intimidate or protect industry players making use of a broken US patent system. It has raised about $6 Billion and has amassed a vast portfolio of 70,000 patents and counts many of the biggest consumer industry players among its investors and clientele."

+ - SPAM: Microsoft aims to take on Android with affordable Windows Phone Smartphones

Submitted by nayanP
nayanP (3558129) writes "According to a report produced by Gartner last year, only 3% of Smartphone was powered by Microsoft Windows Phone 8 OS globally while on the global Tablet shipments only 2% market share was accounted by Microsoft’s mobile platform.

Both Android and iOS minding their own business on their turf, MS’s platform didn’t attract neither consumers nor manufacturers. Mostly because, Apple produces their own Smartphone and Google made Android Open source OS, so manufacturers don’t need to pay any license fee to Google for the OS. But MS charged $20 for license fees for each device.

So, Microsoft has taken the initiative to increase the adoption rate of its devices and made the license fee free for newly partnered Indian manufacturers to help them make Smartphones cheap without compromising on features."

Link to Original Source

+ - NASA, French cast doubt on SpaceX reusable rocket project->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "The drive by SpaceX to make the first stage of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle reusable has attracted the attention of both the media and the commercial space world. It recently tested a first stage which “soft landed” successfully in the Atlantic Ocean. However both NASA and the French space agency CNES has cast doubt that this kind of reusability could ever be made practical, according to a Monday story in Aviation Week.

SpaceX is basing its plan on the idea that its Merlin 1D engines have a lifecycle of 40, thus a Falcon 9 first stage could in theory be reused that number of times. The margins built into the rocket allow for the extra weight involved in using landing legs and the extra fuel that will be needed to execute a powered descent. These margins will still allow them to launch substantial payloads to low Earth orbit and a geo transfer orbit.

However, citing their own experience in trying to reuse engines, both NASA and the CNES have suggested that both the technical challenges and the economics mitigate against SpaceX being able to reuse all or part of their rockets. NASA found that it was not worth trying to reuse the space shuttle main engines after every flight without extensive refurbishment. The CNES studied reusing its Ariane 5 solid rocket boosters liquid fueled and reusable but soon scrapped the idea. Safety issues surrounding flyback boosters were also cites as a show stopper"

Link to Original Source

+ - Anti Virus Is Dead (But Still Makes Money) Says Symantec->

Submitted by judgecorp
judgecorp (778838) writes "Symantec says anti virus is dead but the company — the world's largest IT security firm — still makes 40 percent of its revenue there. AV now lets through around 55 percent of attacks, the company's senior vice president of information security told the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, other security firms including FireEye, RedSocks and Imperva are casting doubt on AV, suggesting a focus on data loss prevention might be better."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:DOF (Score 4, Informative) 201

A whole lot of hogwash in here - wrong units, dimensionally inconsistent equations, plain ridiculous or missing assumptions but still the post gets modded as insightful just because it *sounds* insightful.

- Larger pixels improve dynamic range. DR is defined as max signal before pixel saturation, divided by noise. Noise is limited by shot noise and electronics so does not scale with pixel size. Larger pixels have more signal range. So DR is higher.
- You calculate DR as if there is only one electron noise. Try several magnitudes higher noise! I am not sure DR is what you think it is.
- QE for most sensors is between 20% and 50%. 10% is nonsense.
- ISOCELL improves color rendition, it has nothing to do with sensitivity.

Following from Samsung should help -

According to Samsung, the ISOCELL sensor design achieves better image quality than is normally possible from the very small CMOS sensors used in smartphones and tablets. ISOCELL uses a backside-illuminated (BSI) photodiode that is unique compared to past designs thanks to its integrated barriers between the individual pixels. Compared to conventional BSI sensors, this reduces electrical crosstalk by about 30 percent. Crosstalk - the bleeding of photons and photoelectrons between neighboring pixels - has been a disadvantage of traditional BSI sensor design, one that can reduce image sharpness and color accuracy because light intended for one particular pixel spreads to its neighbors.

Existing BSI designs, with their photodiodes near the front of the sensor, lack any inherent structures that prevent light bleeding between pixels (a role fortuitously played by the circuitry in front of the photodiodes in older, frontside-illuminated chips). The barriers in the ISOCELL design prevent this bleeding.

How do you equate 10% QE to 5pLumens/pix "sensitivity"? I am not sure Sensitivity is what you think it is. Sensitivity is defined as voltage output from the sensor for a given light input. What is the voltage output assumed here? How does it compare to the camera noise?

Given this, rest of your statements do not make any sense either. When you say "generous" assumptions, it turns out they are actually ridiculous assumptions - you have removed the entire point of analysis and pixel size and even ignored reality, which is what the OP is commenting about. You disagreed with his points that are based on solid reality, but then ended up giving a half-baked proof derived from supposedly "fundamental" limits that are nowhere close to reality.

+ - Yahoo Stops Honoring 'Do-Not-Track' Settings->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "When web browsers started implementing 'do-not-track' settings, Yahoo got some respect for being the first of the huge tech companies to honor those settings. Unfortunately, that respect has now gone out the door. As of this week, Yahoo will no longer alter their data collection if a user doesn't want to be tracked. They say there are two reasons for this. First, they want to provide a personalized web-browsing experience, which isn't possible using do-not-track. Second, they don't think do-not-track is viable. They say, '[W]e've been at the heart of conversations surrounding how to develop the most user-friendly standard. However, we have yet to see a single standard emerge that is effective, easy to use and has been adopted by the broader tech industry.' It looks like this is another blow to privacy on the web."
Link to Original Source

+ - Lawsuit: Google Deals Made Android Phones More Expensive->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "A class-action lawsuit filed Thursday accuses Google of strong-arming device manufacturers into making its search engine the default on Android devices, driving up the cost of those devices and hurting consumers. The suit does not argue that device manufacturers entered Mobile Application Distribution Agreements involuntarily, but that the market power of Google compels them to. 'Because consumers want access to Google's products, and due to Google's power in the U.S. market for general handheld search, Google has unrivaled market power over smartphone and tablet manufacturers,' says the suit, brought by Gary Feitelson of Louisville, Kentucky, and Daniel McKee of Des Moines, Iowa."
Link to Original Source

Born In the NSA: These Former Spies Are Starting Companies of Their Own 57

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-did-it-our-way dept.
First time accepted submitter ElyKahn (3637855) writes "The diaspora of startups with an NSA pedigree is rapidly growing. These startups, such as Sqrrl, Virtru, and Synack, are typically security-focused and often are commercializing technology projects from the NSA. However, coming from the NSA is a dual-edged sword... the technology is world-class and cutting-edge, but they must also fight the viewpoint of some that the startups are merely a front for the NSA."

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken