Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Microsoft Seeks 1-Click(er) Patent 86

theodp writes "Assuming things go patent reformer Microsoft's way, answering multiple choice, true/false, or yes/no questions in a classroom could soon constitute patent infringement. Microsoft's just-published patent application for its Adaptive Clicker Technique describes how 'multiple different types of clickers' can be used by students to answer questions posed by teachers. The interaction provided by its 'invention', explains Microsoft, 'increases attention and enhances learning.' Microsoft's Interactive Classroom Add-In for Office (video) provides polling features that allow students to 'answer and respond through their individual OneNote notebooks, hand-held clickers, or computers, and the results display in the [PowerPoint] presentation.' So, did Bill Gates mention to Oprah that the education revolution will be patented?"

Microsoft Patents "Pg Up" and "Pg Dn" 350

An anonymous reader notes that Microsoft has been granted a patent on "Page Up" and "Page Down" keystrokes. The article links an image of an IBM PC keyboard from 1981 with such keys in evidence. "The software giant applied for the patent in 2005, and was granted it on August 19, 2008. US patent number 7,415,666 describes 'a method and system in a document viewer for scrolling a substantially exact increment in a document, such as one page, regardless of whether the zoom is such that some, all or one page is currently being viewed.'... The company received its 5,000th patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office in March 2006, and is currently approaching the 10,000 mark."

Microsoft Patents 'Proactive' Virus Protection 169

An anonymous reader writes "InfoWeek blogger Alex Wolfe wonders whether Microsoft will go after McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, and Kaspersky for software royalties for proactive virus protection software. The technique enables security software to protect a PC against malware which isn't yet in the antivirus definition file, by comparing whether the new malware is similar to an old virus. Wolfe reports that Microsoft has been awarded U.S. patent 7,376,970 for "System and method for proactive computer virus protection," but that McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, and Kaspersky have all been selling products implementing proactive virus protection for years before Microsoft even filed for the patent. Writes Wolfe: "One often wonders about software patents. I sure wonder about this one. I also wonder whether McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, and Kaspersky are also going to be hearing from their friends in Redmond real soon"."

No problem is so formidable that you can't just walk away from it. -- C. Schulz