Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Wi-Fi (Score 1) 209

here's the earliest wireless camera I found: 6,535,243 filed in '98 by HP

1. A method of managing image information utilizing a hand-held camera comprising the steps of: capturing raw image data representative of a subject of interest utilizing an imaging device of said hand-held camera; transmitting said raw image data to a host computer during a continuous session via a wireless link between said hand-held camera and said host computer; receiving, as an automated response by said host computer to said transmitting step, related image data at said hand-held camera during said continuous session via said wireless link; forming an image from said related image data on a display device of said hand-held camera, wherein enabling a display of said subject of interest on said display device is dependent upon operations at said host computer; and browsing stored image data that is stored in said host computer, where said browsing is controlled by operations at said hand-held camera.

but as you can see, it's very limiting - round trip of camera sending image to computer and computer processing it before sending it back for display on the camera. So an obvious workaround would be to just do half it (camera -> PC) and patent infringement avoided. This patent might have seemed useful back in '98 when processing power on a small device (like a handheld camera) was not thought of the way to go. So HP seemed to miss this important fact and could/should have realized that processors would get smaller, faster, less-power hungry. I have found this subtle but important miscalculation happens all the time. Call it a design flaw in the patent.

Comment Re:Wi-Fi (Score 1) 209

here's one filed by Nikon in 2001 but not issued until March 4, 2008 that is a removable unit: 7,340,275

Here's the only Independent claim:

1. A wireless communication unit, comprising: an interface portion signally connectable to a main device, the interface portion including a connector portion having a shape that mimics a shape of a removable memory-medium-device, the connector portion being receivable by and connectable to a memory-medium-device-receiving-portion of the main device; a recording portion performing non-volatile recording; a wireless communication portion performing wireless communication; and a control portion transmitting information through the wireless communication portion to an external destination and generating a backup of the information in the recording portion, the information being inputted from the main device to the control portion through the interface portion, wherein the control portion automatically deletes the backup from the recording portion after transmission of the information in the wireless communication portion is normally terminated, when the control portion generates the backup of the information in the recording portion, wherein the wireless communication unit is a stand-alone unit.

I believe Nikon came out with wifi camera's before Cannon.

Comment Re:Wi-Fi (Score 1) 209

innovated by realizing the useful potential for combining wireless with cameras first, then second finding the way to make it work. In hindsight this appears obvious, but then you need to ask yourself why didn't everybody start working on this 5-8 years ago. Certainly all the technology was in place. Just like the problems we face today exist because they aren't obvious but in 5-10 years when these are resolved the proper combination will be obvious (after we see it). Partly why demo's help sell a product - before seeing the demo the user doesn't understand how/why it would work but after seeing the demo functioning (even roughly with hardcoded pieces) it quickly becomes "obvious".

Comment Re:Wi-Fi (Score 1, Interesting) 209

Yes very convenient (especially for Professional shops where assistant can be doing photoshop or touchup work immediately and ship them off to the magazines/newspapers). Nikon innovated and got the patents for these a few years back.

Comment Re:RMS (Score 0) 504

he's got limited #minutes so instead of scouting out the articles you want to read & pasting URL into email app, instead scan Inbox for the few dozen stories cultivated that day and read the best ones first until time runs out.

Comment Lame wifi (Score 0) 209

Unlike competitor products from Nikon or Kodak that have their own Wi-Fi functions, the Sony camera works with AT&T hotspots so that external access point software isn't necessary.

Useless outside of U.S. And in the U.S. limited (e.g. connecting to home wifi).

Comment Pull out the guns (Score 0) 504

With such short Internet allotment the guys running the ship are asking for trouble. It will be a war out there - somebody someday will be running Denial of Service (Dos) attacks to knock others off. Do this for a couple of weeks and nobody will want to waste their time signing up for Internet time.

Here be Pirates.

Comment Efficiency is key (Score 0) 504

Limited time would be painful. You will need to maximize efficiency. Leverage your best friends and get them to keep you in touch with only the real important news. Then bring laptop and/or USB keys to pull down your news to take back to your cabin.

For upload, write your emails/replies before hand (in your cabin) and have them ready to send.

Comment Re:RMS (Score 0) 504

kind of painful/slow and with limited time you want to spend it more efficiently. Write an application that pulls in your favourite RSS feeds and emails you (triggered by CRON). You read the stories you have time for each docking. Actually, there's probably already apps that do this.

Comment Re:A Modest Proposal ... (Score 0) 282

I wouldn't be so sure. How do you know that letters weren't sent ahead of time and these larger corporations ignored them? I tend to believe that small company/inventor wants to avoid an infringement suit since they easily cost over $1million.

Yes we all pay due to higher costs, but in many cases this all could have been avoided. I'm assuming the patent is valid and innovative.

Comment Re:Time to rethink patent laws (Score 0) 282

Just follow the EU's software patent battle and you'll see who it is who simply LOVE them, and it's not small inventors or small businesses. It's the big corporations that spend more time patenting the color blue than anything else (even the corporation I work for has a team of patent lawyers that rival some entire business' staff, and the company frequently begs us for "patentable stuff" if we've seen it or made it).

1) Large corporations get patents as a protection racket to throw mud back at. Most of those patents aren't innovative. Show me some that are (...and Google patents don't really count - they innovated and just happen to have grown so fast (actually due to innovating)).

2) Explain to me why the small inventors or businesses dont' see the use in them again?

If a person or small business wants to patent something and then negotiate with a larger company to do the muscle work beyond a prototype, I have no problem with that

ahh but herein lies one of the problems - without patent protection a medium-large corporation will almost always tell the inventor to buzz off, and then depending on the usefulness of the innovation - copy&paste the idea. You'd be surprised. Remember, these are soulless corporations who's sole purpose is to maximize profits for investors - and that means reduce expenses (e.g. technology license fee's).

but I can say that if a person sits on a patent waiting for someone else to come up with it so they can sue in East Texas, that person needs shot in the eye

I believe the problem lies in that the system too heavily favors the bigger guy. To start an infringement suit you need many things - one is due diligence - big time proof that they are infringing. This is intense and can take years to collect the evidence. Remember our law - defendent is innocent. So the larger corporation will make a business decision whether its more cost-effective to negotiate and buy a license or let him drag you through court. An infringement suit is easily over $1million. Now of course, the little guy should recognize this and not be too greedy - but in this case we're talking about innovating AV software here - no trivial innovation and so probably felt it worthwhile to pursue for higher amounts.

Corporatism is to blame for small business' lack of leverage

Interesting, but how so? Corporatism is one of the factors behind Western civilization that isnt going to be easy to get rid of, how is it to blame for small business lack of leverage? Corporations can be small - even one man (owner+employee) and provides certain advantages.

this sort of patent we're discussing here is a poor example of the "little guy" trying to get leverage to bring something to market. (It reeks of troll.)

I disagree. I suspect that what happened in this case was:

  1. guy recognizes a problem in the early 90's (viruses)
  2. guy see's there is no existing solution (contrary to other posters, chmod, VMS, etc... are not prior art)
  3. guy comes up with innovative way to solve problem
  4. guy asks himself - if I go to big company to license this then what's stopping them from stealing my idea? and weighs that against building software himself. The guy figures he's no software developer, doesn't have money to hire software developer, has other things to do (maybe more innovations - this guy has 100+ patents)
  5. guy patents innovation
  6. guy waits until patent issued (back then not so long, nowadays this is often 5-7 years)
  7. guy finally has patent, approaches companies on friendly terms - naively (he's an engineer not cut-throat businessman) thinking "I've got a way to solve this that nobody is doing yet, surely they will be somewhat fair"
  8. company(s) either play him, laugh at his "innovation"
  9. company(s) goes ahead and builds product
  10. guy notices product, examines it, and tries to reason with the company
  11. company ignores
  12. company(s) get cease and desist letter, company ignores
  13. guy decides he doesn't have the time or $money to pursue these huge guys (look at that list)
  14. guy finds another company willing to buy his "asset" for pennies on the dollar
  15. new company starts this suit

all I really want is for it to be equitable, less prone to moronic patents of obvious prior art

On Slashdot we never see proper analysis of the patent claims. Others claimed things like chmod and VMS were prior art - I'm sorry but those aren't antivirus products that stop virus.

Comment Re:Time to rethink patent laws (Score 0) 282

Rather than encourage development of new technologies, patents have become a way to choke the application of novel technologies in industry. So-called "patent holding companies" have become little more than extortion gangs, demanding their share of the money to which they have no right at all.

Or is it due to the fact that the large corporations completely ignore the little guy when he shows up with his innovation (e.g. years ago)?

It is common practice for these large corporations to get letters from the small inventor showing their innovations and asking for a royalty, the corporations patent counsel then thinks it over whether to

  1. R&D/innovate a workaround,
  2. negotiate and buy a license,
  3. ignore him.

#3 has all sorts of nice tricks (like pretend to be interested and stall him, counter-sue, etc...).

In today's world the large companies have big-time advantages (leverage, afford $better lawyers, ...). If the small patent holder would stand a chance we wouldn't have these cases where the original patent owner had to sell his patent to a patent holding company that could make a go of it. Some of these cases are not "patent trolls" but rather just selling off of assets (in this case IP) - the inventor is rarely the best one to negotiate the legal waters and better off to take a smaller cut on what he/she does best - R&D.

Comment Re:Time to rethink patent laws (Score 0) 282

arguments against Software Patents and their detrimental effect on innovation within software

Untrue unless you drink Slashdot koolaid.

Small inventors/businesses come up with a disproportionately large number of innovations. Now assume a world without software patents - large corporations could work most efficiently if they leverage their resources, brand, experience in just scanning their competitors and re-implementing whatever looks most profitable. In other words, why would a large company innovate and not just monitor competitors + copy-paste their code. You see large corporations do not need to innovate - they just leverage their strengths (brand, position, existing customer base, ...). In fact, in software its even worse than that, once a client is hooked on a platform it is very costly to migrate even if better technology exists (look at operating systems, look at office suites, etc...).

When someone comes up with a way to protect small inventors from larger companies that copy-paste the results of their hard work and innovation THEN AND ONLY THEN we can abandon the current patent system. Sorry copyright doesnt cut it - large companies just re-implement.

You are confusing bringing something to market vs recognizing the actual innovation or improvement. The market can be more efficient for smaller companies to do the actual innovation and selling their innovations to the larger corporations. Software folks miss this point (so far). Really the problem is the small inventor or business does not have enough leverage - companies like the 20 in this suit just dismiss them and expect the small guy to disappear or to run them over in court with their lawyers.

Comment Re:Sounds about right (Score 0) 649

Oh, bull. They'd get paid like every other craftsperson: by rendering services for appropriate compensation. "IP Providers" have a artificially-inflated idea of their own self-worth, supported by the artificially-inflated cost added by "intellectual property" laws. Get rid of those laws, let people provide goods or services in a normal market scenario, and then you'll get a proper valuation of what such services are really worth.

hate to burst your bubble but without those "intellectual property laws" you think are worthless/hindering we will be in for drastic changes to our lifestyle. Suddenly China and India will be able to copy-paste our designs and ship them into our country without the minimal opposition that patents provide. Who would pay $200 for an iPod when an _EXACT_ duplicate could be purchased for $50.

We have pushed out most of our manufacturing jobs, services are soon to depart, all we have left is design. Our children will be the 1st generation in a long time to be worse off then their parents.

Slashdot Top Deals

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson