Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:patented keyboard technology? (Score 1) 205

I think we need to cover what makes patents bad. One of the things that make software patents bad (only one of them) is the fact you can't be certain whether you infringe them, even when you have the patent right in front of you. This is due to ambiguities in the patent. You simply cannot know which way claim construction is going to go.

If you aim is not to infringe a patent, you must avoid the most broad interpretation the patent has, since you never know how that is going to be interpreted.

Back to our design patent. The bezel is clearly marked with a dotted line. To the best of my understanding, that means it is not a part of the patent. The same goes for the earphones jack location and the charging socket. Moving any of those around not will cause you to not infringe the patent. Probably. I think. To the best of my limited understanding.

Basilbrush is trying to claim that the aspect ratio, clearly part of the solid lines, is part of the patent. Just as clearly, however, Apple did not think so. That means that whether he (she?) is right or wrong is irrelevant. When you are trying to avoid infringement, you had !@$#%!@# better assume a different aspect ratio will not save you.

Which brings us back to the bezel. At trial, Apple has a clear interest to show the patent as being as narrow as possible, while still including whatever it is Samsung has done. Make the patent seem too broad, and the jury might think it is invalid. So it is entirely possible that Apple bringing up the bezel was a strategic move.

Of course, they are safe to bring it up as, at the point, they already knew what Samsung did and did not do. It is entirely possible^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hlikely that, given other circumstances, Apple would have claimed that the bezel means nothing at all, but the color has to be different, or that the bezel and the color are both irrelevant, but having a logo would have changed everything. Apple's strategy during the trial is dictated by Samsung already past actions.

Discussing what a patent covers, however, pertains to future actions and future litigation. Combining all the different, often conflicting, ways to read this patent yields just one strategy to avoid infringement: don't use rounded corners.

So whether Basilbrush is right or not, the patent covers "hand held device with rounded corners" (the hand is marked with solid lines, so I think it is safe to say it is mandatory). Anything else is a risk.


Comment Re:patented keyboard technology? (Score 1) 205

Then why did Apple think they had a chance to win? Why did the German judge, when confronted with Apple changing Samsung's tablet aspect ratio, not think they were falsifying evidence? Why didn't Samsung defense center around the aspect ratio?

It seems to me that a lot of people who know a lot more about the field than me (you haven't stated what your qualifications are, if any) do not agree with you.


Comment Re:patented keyboard technology? (Score 1) 205

And I answer again:

I ask again, in what way do the design patent drawings not cover a specific aspect ratio?

In the most practical way. If you issue a device that has a different aspect ratio, you might still get sued (as Samsung has).

More generally, you need to be a patent lawyer in order to answer, in general, whether things like aspect ratio are part of the specific claims of a design patent. I am not a lawyer. Obviously, Apple's lawyers thought it is not.

If you know differently (maybe you are a patent lawyer), please do speak up. If not, please avoid re-asking the same question merely because you do not like the answer.


Comment Re:patented keyboard technology? (Score 1) 205

In what way do the design patent drawings not cover the aspect ratio?

In the practical way. Samsung were sued for violating this patent despite having a different aspect ratio. Obviously, Apple doesn't think the aspect ratio in any way limits the applicability of this patent.

The aspect ratio was so different that Apple felt the need to photoshop evidence to make the devices look more alike.


Comment Re:patented keyboard technology? (Score 4, Informative) 205

Let me see.....

GP linked to the patent. The patent covers everything shown in the diagram that isn't excluded by means of being drawn in a dotted line. If you check the diagram, the only thing not dotted are the rounded corners and the curve on the back (which just means the "rounded corners" are 3D).

So, no. This design patent is solely about rounded corners.


Comment Re:Why are they posting old source code? (Score 0) 224

Windows, including the most up to date one, still have a 16 bit personality able to run DOS programs. This means there is something there that is able to catch int 21 and process it, as well as allow programs to direct interrupts.

While it is true that cmd.exe (as well as the black screen dumb terminal that it usually runs in) are not DOS, DOS is certainly still in there, somewhere.

Which is not to say that I think the "vulnerability" angle has any merit. Just that your statement isn't entirely true.


Comment Re:You know what they call alternative medicine... (Score 1) 517

Not necessarily.

In a study, patents were given placebo, and told what it was. They got specific instructions that these are just sugar pills, and that it doesn't really matter whether they take it or not. The pills were still as effective as placebo.

I am wondering why that research did not make more waves than it did, as it clearly solves placebo's greatest problem as treatment.


Comment Re:Thank goodness that we know ... (Score 1) 190

No, that is not what everyone on slashdot are saying.

What we are saying is:

  • Terrorism is extremely rare.
  • People who brings a water bottle on board because they want to drink it are extremely common

So, to falsify the common slashdot knowledge, you'd have to show all of the following:

  1. The plane was downed by a terrorist attack
  2. The terrorists were not the passengers boarding with false passport (else traditional airport security was supposed to locate them),
  3. and..

  4. The terrorist were using some sophisticated water based bomb assembled on board, or smuggled stuff in their underwear.

Assuming 1 is true and the rest is false, pre-9/11 airport security was all it was supposed to take to prevent this plane from going down.


Comment Re:Revolution in a year (Score 1) 191

Do you have any citation for the taste claim? From what I heard, taste was actually pretty good.

Here's what I have (from wikipedia):

There is really a bite to it, there is quite some flavour with the browning. I know there is no fat in it so I didn't really know how juicy it would be, but there is quite some intense taste; it's close to meat, it's not that juicy, but the consistency is perfect. This is meat to me... It's really something to bite on and I think the look is quite similar.


Slashdot Top Deals

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."