The simple explanation is that the Nokia acquisition is not complete yet, and in the interim Nokia legally needs to act like the acquisition may not happen. This is a project that can take fruit if, for some reason the MS acquisition fails. It will be killed off if the takeover goes through, as simple as that.
At long last, Robert Kearns's battles with the world's automotive giants have come to an end. Kearns, who died Feb. 9, devoted decades of his life to fighting Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Corp. and other carmakers in court, trying to gain the credit he thought he deserved as the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper.
From a basement in Detroit, where he devised his invention, to Gaithersburg, where he moved in the 1970s, Kearns carried his lonely fight all the way to the Supreme Court, one man against the might of the industrial world and a patent system he believed had let him down.
Robert Kearns fought for years to be credited as inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper. (The Washington Post)
By the time he died at 77 at Copper Ridge nursing home in Sykesville, Md., of brain cancer complicated by Alzheimer's disease, Kearns had gained some vindication in the form of $30 million in settlements from Ford and Chrysler, but he never got what he had sought from the beginning.
"I need the money, but that's not what this is about," he told Regardie's magazine in 1990. "I've spent a lifetime on this. This case isn't just a trial. It's about the meaning of Bob Kearns's life."
All he wanted, he often said, was the chance to run a factory with his six children and build his wiper motors, along with a later invention for a windshield wiper that was activated automatically by rainfall. In the end, his courtroom battles cost him his job, his marriage and, at times, his mental health.
Kearns, who had a doctorate in engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and had taught engineering for 11 years at Wayne State University in Detroit, was no weekend tinkerer. A native of Gary, Ind., he grew up near the giant Ford plant in River Rouge, Mich., and always thought of the auto company as a place that welcomed someone with ingenuity.
He got his idea on his wedding night in 1953, when a champagne cork struck him in the left eye, which eventually became blind. The blinking of his eye led him to wonder if he could make windshield wipers that worked the same way -- that would move at intervals instead of in a constant back-and-forth motion.
After years of experiments at home and on his cars -- "If it ever rained," his former wife, Phyllis Hall, recalled yesterday, "I had to drop everything and go out with him in the car" -- Kearns believed his invention was ready.
He applied for patents, mounted his wipers on his 1962 Ford Galaxie and drove to Ford's headquarters. Engineers swarmed over his car, at one point sending him out of the workroom, convinced he was activating the wipers with a button in his pocket.
Ford's engineers had been experimenting with vacuum-operated wipers, but Kearns was the first to invent an intermittent wiper with an electric motor. After a while, however, Ford stopped answering his calls, and Kearns was left on his own.
In 1967, he received the first of more than 30 patents for his wipers. In 1969, Ford came out with the first intermittent wiper system in the United States, followed within a few years by the other major manufacturers.
After working as Detroit's commissioner of buildings and safety engineering, Kearns moved to Gaithersburg in 1971 to become principal investigator for highway skid resistance at the old National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
In 1976, Kearns's son bought an electric circuit for a Mercedes-Benz intermittent wiper, which Kearns took apart, only to discover it was almost identical to what he'd invented. He had a nervous breakdown soon after.
He boarded a bus, with delusions of riding to Australia and being commissioned by former President Richard M. Nixon to build an electric car. Police picked him up in Tennessee, and his family checked him into the psychiatric ward at Montgomery General Hospital. When he came out after a few weeks, his red hair had turned white.
Earlier in life, Kearns had been a high school cross-country star, an outstanding violinist and a teenage intelligence officer in World War II. But from 1976, his sole focus in life was to battle the auto giants and reclaim his invention.
Kearns filed suit against Ford for patent infringement in 1978, seeking $141 million in damages (a figure eventually raised to $325 million). In all, he filed lawsuits against 26 car manufacturers and other companies.
Kearns supported himself with disability pay after his breakdown and by trading in foreign currencies.
By the early 1980s, his wife had had enough.
"It had become an obsession," recalled Hall, who lives in Arizona. "I told him, 'I can't stand this life.' He said, 'This is my life.' "
When their divorce was granted in 1989, Kearns was in the midst of his court case against Ford.
After 12 years of litigation, Ford finally offered to pay Kearns millions of dollars to settle the case. His attorney at the time, William Durkee of Houston, estimated Kearns could have received at least $50 million from Ford and comparable amounts from other carmakers.
Kearns refused the offer.
"He wanted to be a manufacturer and supply that system to the automotive industry," said Richard L. Aitken, a Washington patent lawyer who had worked with Kearns since the 1960s. "That was the most important thing to him."
In July 1990, a federal jury ruled that Ford had unintentionally infringed on Kearns's patent and awarded him $10.2 million.
Back in Montgomery County, Kearns was fighting a different kind of court battle, this time with his former wife. On July 25, 1990, he was sentenced to 120 days in jail for nonpayment of $700 in alimony and for refusing to vacate his Gaithersburg house. He served 35 days before paying up and leaving the house -- and agreeing to pay his wife 10 percent of anything he might win from the automakers.
After the Ford settlement, Kearns turned his sights on Chrysler. In December 1991, a federal jury ruled that Chrysler had infringed unfairly on his patent. Firing his law firm a week before the damage phase of the trial, Kearns argued his case and was awarded more than $20 million.
Chrysler appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled that Kearns was entitled to the money but rejected his argument that Chrysler should be prohibited from using his design.
Having gone through five law firms, an exhausted Kearns was unable to manage his multiple lawsuits on his own. When he missed deadlines for filing papers in his cases against General Motors Corp. and German and Japanese auto companies, U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn, who presided over all of Kearns's trials in Detroit, dismissed the remaining cases.
By then, Kearns's patents had expired, having passed the 17-year window of ownership then in effect. He bought a house on the Wye River, near Queenstown on the Eastern Shore, and entered an uneasy retirement. From time to time, he would call his children and his attorney and talk about reclaiming his patents.
Survivors include six children, Dennis Kearns of Keego Harbor, Mich., Timothy Kearns of Oxford, Md., Patrick Kearns of Ypsilanti, Mich., Kathleen Corsetty of Rockville, Maureen Kearns of Detroit and Bob Kearns of Germantown; a brother; and seven grandchildren.
In his final years, he drove around in two aging vehicles: a 1978 Ford pickup and a 1965 Chrysler. Neither had intermittent wipers.
But does it run Linux.
Reading EzInKy's parent comment and his comment again, it still seems like he's implying that Windows 8 is not a general computing device. He never mentions game consoles, iOS, Windows Phone, and Windows RT and ends with "Can't believe Microsoft sold the hardware manufacturers on this shit.". Looks like he's talking about Windows 8 and not Windows RT(which isn't the cause of decline of PC anyway).
That's the funny thing about Slashdot, everyone starts adding their own anectdotes about their personal reasons instead of looking at a comment from a broader perspective.
I still haven't gotten an answer from anyone about why a Windows 8 device is not a general computing device, yet that post is still +4 insightful.
Post any anti-MS garbage and get voted up in the echo chamber. In fact the more BS and misleading it is, the more upvotes it gets.
What general computing are you prevented from doing on a Surface Pro 2?
Computing while someone else in the household is using it. For the same price, I could buy one Surface Pro 2 or two laptops.
That doesn't make any sense and is completely out of context.
If those two laptops come with Windows 8, what general computing are you prevented from doing on them?
Your Windows H8 is coming through
Yeah, it really sucks but that is not solely the cause. It's the lockdown that is the cause of the eminent death of the PC industry. Why buy a general computing device that doesn't let you do general computing? Can't believe Microsoft sold the hardware manufacturers on this shit.
What general computing are you prevented from doing on a Surface Pro 2?
The fact that this comment is +4 insightful is precisely why Slashdot is in decline.
Pasted from one of my earlier comments:
Here are some references about boot malware which UEFI secure boot can prevent.
I recommend reading atleast the first link.
Here's one juicy bit:
TDL4 is the most recent high tech and widely spread member of the TDSS family rootkit, targeting x64 operating systems too such as Windows Vista and Windows 7. One of the most striking features of TDL4 is that it is able to load its kernel-mode driver on systems with an enforced kernel-mode code signing policy (64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows Vista and 7) and perform kernel-mode hooks with kernel-mode patch protection policy enabled.
When the driver is loaded into kernel-mode address space it overwrites the MBR (Master Boot Record) of the disk by sending SRB (SCSI Request Block) packets directly to the miniport device object, then it initializes its hidden file system. The bootkit’s modules are written into the hidden file system from the dropper.
The TDL4 bootkit controls two areas of the hard drive one is the MBR and other is the hidden file system created at the time of malware deployment. When any application reads the MBR, the bootkit changes data and returns the contents of the clean MBR i.e. prior to the infection, and also it takes care of Infected MBR by protecting it from overwriting.
The hidden file system with the malicious components also gets protected by the bootkit. So if any application is making an attempt to read sectors of the hard disk where the hidden file system is stored, It will return zeroed buffer instead of the original data.
The bootkit contains code that performs additional checks to prevent the malware from the cleanup. At every start of the system TDL4 bootkit driver gets loaded and initialized properly by performing tasks as follows: Reads the contents of the boot sector, compares it with the infected image stored in hidden file system, if it finds any difference between these two images it rewrites the infected image to the boot sector. Sets the DriverObject field of the miniport device object to point to the bootkit’s driver object and also hooks the DriverStartIo field of the miniport’s driver object. If kernel debugging is enabled then this TDL4 does not install any of it’s components.
TDL4 Rootkit hooks the ATAPI driver i.e. standard windows miniport drivers like atapi.sys. It keeps Device Object at lowest in the device stack, which makes a lot harder to dump TDL4 files.
All these striking features have made TDL4 most notorious Windows rootkit and it is also very important to mention that the key to its success is the boot sector infection.
The original MBR and driver component are stored in encrypted form using the same encryption. Driver component hooks ATAPI's DriverStartIo routine where it monitors for write operations. In case of write operation targeted at the MBR sector, it is changed to read operation. This way it is trying to bypass repair operation by Security Products.
Have you ever used Stackoverflow.com ? Congrats, you just used IIS/Exchange/Windows. Oh and it scales really well and is used by a lot of popular web sites.
It's funny the way you characterize the removal at Google despite knowing nothing about what exactly happened internally. If this was Microsoft, Slashdot would immediately jump to the worst possible conclusion.
So why was it pulled then? Just because Google wanted it to be gone? Or maybe because CM was trying to get shipped on devices?
Cyanogen Mod Goes Commercial To Make "Available On Everything, To Everyone"
It's ironic that you're posting this on the Internet which was invented by government funding.
Private research is all about low risk and expected short term profit. To do big things like the space program etc. you need a big push while taking big risks of failure.
Microsoft doesn't use the text of the email, they use the subject.
Will it have the Play store and all the Google Apps?
I am guessing no because Google once send a C&D to Cyanogen Mod.