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NTP Sues Six Major Tech Companies Over Wireless Email Patents 197

rgraham writes "NTP, the same company that sued and eventually settled with RIM for $612.5 million over an IP dispute, has now sued Apple, Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft and Motorola for infringement of wireless email patents. In the press release, NTP co-founder Donald Stout said, 'Use of NTP's intellectual property without a license is just plain unfair to NTP and its licensees. Unfortunately, litigation is our only means of ensuring the inventor of the fundamental technology on which wireless email is based, Tom Campana, and NTP shareholders are recognized, and are fairly and reasonably compensated for their innovative work and investment. We took the necessary action to protect our intellectual property.'"

North Korea's Own OS, Red Star 316

klaasb writes "North Korea's self-developed computer operating system, named 'Red Star,' was brought to light for the first time by a Russian satellite broadcaster yesterday. North Korea's top IT experts began developing the Red Star in 2006, but its composition and operation mechanisms were unknown until the internet version of the Russia Today TV program featured the system, citing the blog of a Russian student who goes to the Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang."

SCO Zombie McBride's New Plan For World Litigation 193

eldavojohn writes "Years after you thought it was all over, Groklaw is reporting that Darl McBride (ex-CEO of SCO) has formed a new company that is buying SCO's mobile business for peanuts — but he's also going to get 'certain Intellectual Property' with the deal. You may recall that McBride was the brains behind the Linux lawsuits that SCO launched and it appears he may be orchestrating an exit route where he escapes with some IP intact, in order to wreak havoc once again. Hopefully this is the part at the end of the movie where the zombie comes back to life one last time only to have the hero deliver the final final blow. When this news broke upon the investment world, SCO's stock skyrocketed a blistering 11%, bringing it up seven cents to a full seventy cents — a level which it has not achieved since 2007."

Bach Launches Updated MP3 Format 279

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that Bach Technology has rolled out an updated MP3 file format in a bid to combat music piracy. Dubbed "MusicDNA," the new format offers embedded "updatable premium content" like lyrics, videos, news updates, and album artwork. "Using the new technology, music labels and bands will be able to send updates to the music files – with tour dates, interviews or updates to social networking pages – while illegally-downloaded files remain static. ... No major labels have signed up to use MusicDNA so far, but British record company Beggars Group and US label Tommy Boy are both on board. However, the files are likely to be more expensive than MP3 files – according to the BBC – and will have to compete with Apple's iTunes LP, which already provides additional content such as bonus tracks, lyrics and video interviews."

GPS-Based System For Driving Tax Being Field Tested 891

An anonymous reader writes "Apparently, since gas consumption is going down and fuel efficient cars are becoming more popular, the government is looking into a new form of taxation to create revenue for transportation projects. This new system is a 'by-the-mile tax,' requiring GPS in cars so it can track the mileage. Once a month, the data gets uploaded to a billing center and you are conveniently charged for how much you drove. 'A federal commission, after a two-year study, concluded earlier this year that the road tax was the "best path forward" to keep revenues flowing to highway and transportation projects, and could be an important new tool to help manage traffic and relieve congestion. ... The commission pegged 2020 as the year for the federal fuel tax, currently 18.5 cents a gallon, to be phased out and replaced by a road tax. One estimate of a road tax that would cover the current federal and state fuel taxes is 1 to 2 cents per mile for cars and light trucks.'"
The Internet

Sony CEO Proposes "Guardrails For the Internet" 708

testadicazzo writes "Micheal Lynton, the guy who said 'I'm a guy who doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet. Period.' has posted an editorial at the Huffington Post titled Guardrails for the Internet, in which he defends his comment, and suggests that just as the interstate system needs guardrails, so too does the information superhighway. The following is pretty indicative of the article: 'Internet users have become used to getting things when they want it and how they want it, and those of us in the entertainment business want to meet that kind of demand as efficiently and effectively as possible. But what has happened online is that if it is 'beyond store hours' and the shop is closed, a lot of people just smash the window and steal what they want. Freedom without restraint is chaos, and if we don't figure out some way to prevent online chaos, the quantity, quality and availability of the kinds of entertainment, literature, art and scholarship we need to have a healthy, vibrant culture will suffer.'"

Russian Manned Space Vehicle May Land With Rockets 197

The Narrative Fallacy writes "Russia's next-generation manned space vehicle may be equipped with thrusters to perform a precision landing on its return to Earth. Previous manned missions have landed on Earth using a parachute or, in the case of space shuttles, a pair of wings. Combined with retractable landing legs and a re-usable thermal protection system, the new system promises to enable not only a safe return to Earth, but also the possibility of performing multiple space missions with the same crew capsule. The spacecraft will fire its engines at an altitude of just 600-800m, as the capsule is streaking toward Earth after re-entering the atmosphere at the end of its mission. After a vertical descent, the precision landing would be initiated at the altitude of 30m above the surface. Last July, Korolev-based RKK Energia released the first drawings of a multi-purpose transport ship, known as the Advanced Crew Transportation System (ACTS), which, at the time, Russia had hoped to develop in co-operation with Europe. 'It was explained to us how it was supposed to work and, I think, from the technical point of view, there is no doubt that this concept would work,' says Christian Bank, the leading designer of manned space systems at EADS-Astrium in Bremen, Germany. However, the design of the spacecraft's crew capsule had raised eyebrows in some quarters, as it lacked a parachute — instead sporting a cluster of 12 soft-landing rockets, burning solid propellant. Inside Russia, the idea apparently has many detractors. During the formal defense of the project, one high-ranking official skeptical of the rocket-cushioned approach to landing reportedly used an unprintable expletive to describe what was going to happen to crew members unlucky enough to encounter a rocket engine failure a few seconds before touchdown."
The Almighty Buck

Russian Hopes To Cash In On Emoticons 213

drewmoney writes "According to a BBC article, Entrepreneur Oleg Teterin said the trademark for the ';-)' emoticon was granted to him by Russia's federal patent agency. 'Legal use will be possible after buying an annual licence from us,' he was quoted by the newspaper Kommersant as saying. 'It won't cost that much — tens of thousands of dollars,' added the businessman, who is president of Superfone, a company that sells advertising on mobile phones. The president of Russian social networking site, Nikita Sherman said: 'You're not likely to find any retards in Russia who'll pay Superfone for the use of emoticons.'" Teterin may have gotten the idea by catching up on some old news about Despair, Inc., which in May 2000 was awarded a US trademark on the "frowny" emoticon (Slashdot story).

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken