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Comment: Try and try again. (Score 3, Informative) 268

It is actually kind of sad if you know their history.

Back in the day they were competing with Palm, and had Windows CE and Pocket PC 2000. When PocketPC 2002 came out my employer switched over from Palm and I got to rewrite a bunch of tools. They did pretty good for a while with Mobile 2003, and Windows Mobile 5. It knocked Palm down several notches in the mobile market, with Palm losing value and getting bought out in 2005.

The fun thing about that era is that there were phones with PDAs in them, you can go back to "Pocket PC Phone Edition" for that. Each version of Windows Mobile supported running in phones, but they never took off.

The iPod was getting some power and some apps, but I loved that with a single CF card I could have my entire music library on my device; the Axim x51v used the same audio chipset as the iPod of the era coupled with better playback software where you could mix and such. It also offered all kinds of apps making the device useful for the other common tasks of the time like calendar, email, and web over both wifi and bluetooth.

Again you could get phones running WM5 and WM6 with all their apps, and in late 2006 they had 51% of the market. Blackberry had 37%, Palm was 9%, and Symbian at 9%.

Then came the iPhone. At the time I didn't really see the reason for the hype, when it came to processor power, memory, and even 3D graphics the iPhone was less powerful than my Windows 6 phone.

As the numbers came back, iOS rose and WM feel by the same percent; the other companies were flat in market share. By early 2007 Windows Mobile drooped to 42% and iOS was at 11%. By 2008, WM had 29% and iOS 19% and Android had entered at 2%. By 2010 Windows Mobile devices had dropped to 7% market share, Blackberry had dropped to 25%, Palm to 3%, and Symbian at 2%.

Phones running Windows Mobile continued to exist, but that's about it. Three more versions of Windows Mobile, the three editions as Windows Phone, they have never been able to get their market share back anywhere near 2006 levels.

+ - Are Google and Wikipedia in a mutually-destructive relationship?->

Submitted by metasonix
metasonix (650947) writes "Who benefits from Google's increasing of Wikipedia data to support its search results? Mark Devlin, CEO of Newslines, a new crowdsourced news search engine, says the increasing co-dependency between the multi-billion dollar search corporation and its built-for-free partner hurts users experience, devalues web results and has turned unwitting Wikipedia editors into Google's slaves." And he offers evidence, unlike most WMF press releases.

Previously by Devlin: Stop Giving Wikipedia Money"

Link to Original Source

+ - FTC targets group that made billions of robocalls->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "Given the amount of time the FTC and others have put into curing the robocall problem, it is disheartening to hear that a group of companies for almost a year have been making billions of illegal robocalls. The Federal Trade Commission and 10 state attorneys general today said they have settled charges against a Florida-based cruise line company and seven other companies that averaged 12 million to 15 million illegal sales calls a day between October 2011 through July 2012, according to the joint complaint filed by the FTC and the states"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Necissary, not sufficient. (Score 1) 92

by pavon (#49181093) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

I think you're misguided. The criteria for patentability has never been bad, and has actually gotten worse since the recent change to "first to file".

Yes it has been, and your following paragraphs demonstrate clearly why this is so

The problem is it's impossible for anyone to know what can or cannot be patented without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars hiring an entire team of lawyers to search through the back catalogue of patents and inventions and court precedents.
The patent office does not have enough staff to do proper research while a patent is being filed. If they did proper research, they would only be able to approve a handful of patents per year with the number of employees currently working at the PTO.

The problem with the current system is that the PTO has taken the approach of only rejecting patents if they can find documented evidence that someone has done the exact same thing before. If there is a single independent claim for which they can't find exact prior art in a timely manner, then they approve the patent, regardless of how similar it is to other prior art. They deliberately ignore the obviousness of the patent because they don't want to have to defend subjective decisions against appeal.

The recent Supreme Court rulings have forcefully asserted that this is not acceptable. The law clearly states that obviousness is one of the criteria for patentability and therefore the USPTO and courts must take that into consideration when deciding patentability. Furthermore, they have stated that if the improvement that an invention makes on prior art is not patentable by itself, then the invention is not patentable. This is a huge decision because it rules out a ton of "on a computer" and business model patents that combined things that weren't patentable on their own into something that was patentable in aggregate. This second issue is likely to have an even bigger impact as it can be applied more objectively than the first which increases the chances that the USPTO will embrace it. Furthermore, if anything these changes decrease the amount of research the PTO has to perform for an average application.

It simply isn't possible for a small company to defend themselves at all, their only viable option is to settle out of court which inevitably means nobody actually knows whether or not the patent is valid. After years of watching this issue closely I have never seen a small company defend themselves in court. Some have tried, but every single one gives up and settles out of court half way through the process.

Agreed which is why we need these reforms. They proposed two important changes. First is to strictly limit how much information the plaintiff can subpoena during discover. This prevents fishing expeditions and prevents discovery from turning into a war of attrition, which will make defending oneself against patent claims faster and less expensive. Secondly it allows defendant to challenge the validity of the patent before discovery has taken place, potentially avoiding the vast majority of the expense of defending oneself, if the patent is determined to be invalid by the new post-Alice standards.

Personally I don't see how any reform could possibly fix the problem. There are certainly ways to improve the situation but I don't think anything can truly fix it. I've never seen anybody suggest a viable solution.

I have no disillusions that these changes will magically make the patent system perfect. In fact I expect the USPTO and the lower courts to continue to be slow to adopt them, but they address the two biggest issues with the patent system today - the low standards for patents and the cost of defending against them - which is more than I can say about any other proposed changes to the patent system in the last 50 years.

+ - Technology's Legacy: The 'Loser Edit' Awaits Us All->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The NY Times Magazine has an insightful article putting into words how I've felt about information-age culture for a while now. It's about a phenomenon dubbed the "loser edit." The term itself was borne out of reality TV — once an outcome had been decided, the show's producers would comb back through the footage and selectively paste together everything that seemed to foreshadow the loser's fall.

But as the information age has overtaken us, this is something that can happen to anyone. Any time a celebrity gets into trouble, we can immediately search through two decades of interviews and offhand comments to see if there were hints of their impending fall. It usually becomes a self-reinforcing chain of evidence. The loser edit happens for non-celebrities too, using their social media posts, public records, leaked private records, and anything else available through search.

The worst part is, there's no central place to blame. The news media does it, the entertainment industry does it, and we do it to ourselves. Any time the internet gets outraged about something, there are a few people who happily dig up everything they can about the person they now feel justified in hating — and thus, the loser edit begins."

Link to Original Source

+ - Either everyone is cyber-secure or no one is

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Bruce Schneier on The Democratization of Cyberattack

When I was working with the Guardian on the Snowden documents, the one top-secret program the NSA desperately did not want us to expose was QUANTUM. This is the NSA's program for what is called packet injection--basically, a technology that allows the agency to hack into computers.

Turns out, though, that the NSA was not alone in its use of this technology. The Chinese government uses packet injection to attack computers. The cyberweapons manufacturer Hacking Team sells packet injection technology to any government willing to pay for it. Criminals use it. And there are hacker tools that give the capability to individuals as well.

All of these existed before I wrote about QUANTUM. By using its knowledge to attack others rather than to build up the internet's defenses, the NSA has worked to ensure that anyone can use packet injection to hack into computers.

"

Comment: Necissary, not sufficient. (Score 4, Interesting) 92

by pavon (#49177913) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

Granted, the biggest problem with the patent system has been that the criteria for patentability has been so loose, and the recent Supreme Court rulings will certainly do more to fix that root cause than the recent patent reform bills. Hopefully going forward these new rulings will improve the quality of patents approved and upheld in court, which is by far the single most important reform needed in the long run.

But in the meanwhile there are more than 20 years of bad patents that have been granted, and the costs of defending against a patent lawsuit is still far greater than the cost of settling. We need to make it less expensive to challenge existing patents if we don't want them to continue to be a burden for the next 20+ years. That is exactly what the reform bills were about. They were designed to be complementary to the Supreme Court rulings, addressing a different parts of the problem.

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