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Submission + - Microsoft Gains Ground In Motorola Patent Lawsuit (seattlepi.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In its Android-related patent suit against Motorola, Microsoft has just netted a
'major win' according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Microsoft blog. RedmondMag.com also says Microsoft is 'scoring points'. Both articles refer to a recently published claim construction order by the ITC judge investigating Microsoft's complaint, which could result in an import ban against Android-based Motorola smartphones. Claim construction is an intermediate step and important milestone: depending on how the language of the asserted patents is interpreted, a defendant may or may not be found liable for infringement. Motorola's proposed interpretations were adopted by the judge in only 5 of 22 cases. Motorola was the first Android device maker to be sued by Microsoft. HTC is reportedly paying Microsoft $5 per Android device, but prices have gone up, says the same analyst. More recently, Microsoft also sued Barnes and Noble (and its manufacturers FoxConn and Inventec) over the Nook and Nook Color e-book readers. That's why Microsoft's patent litigation with Motorola is of concern to a number of companies.


Submission + - RMS: Apple Is More Evil And Restrictive Than MS (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents translated a quote from an interview Richard Stallman (RMS) recently gave to Spanish newspaper El Mundo: "Apple is more evil and much more restrictive than Microsoft because it even limits our right to run applications." That says something, considering that RMS said in the same interview that Microsoft should not exist either. Florian's article explains why he believes Microsoft's use of patents isn't a threat to open source projects and companies. So far at least.

Submission + - Salesforce Seems to Pay Patent Royalties for Linux

FlorianMueller writes: The Register reports on a "strangely worded statement" according to which Microsoft and Salesforce.com have settled their patent dispute, with the net effect that Salesforce pays Microsoft an undisclosed amount of royalties for patents "in the areas of operating systems, cloud services and customer relationship management software." The reference to "operating systems" suggests very strongly that Salesforce joins Amazon.com, HTC, TomTom, Samsung and who-knows-how-many-others in paying royalties to Microsoft for using Linux. The Open Invention Network (created by IBM, Red Hat and others five years ago) claims that it shields Linux from patent claims. But where is the OIN when it's actually needed? Apparently large companies like Amazon and Salesforce determined that the OIN couldn't help them and decided to pay. One can only wonder what the OIN's agenda actually is.

Submission + - IBM, Google, Oracle, Red Hat called hypocrites (techeye.net)

An anonymous reader writes: TechEye reports "IBM, Oracle, Red Hat and Google are being accused of double standards in lobbying over the European Interoperability Framework (EIF)." The sweeping-scathing attack comes from Florian Muller, known for his previous efforts in the NoSoftwarePatents campaign, who says he's been watching the four companies lobbying. He referred to a New York Times article on a lobbying war that's going on in the EU over guidelines for interoperability between governments. Open standards are the big issue. Florian's FOSSpatents blog presents a list of allegations of non-openness against the four: IBM's patent threat letter to TurboHercules is an attack on interoperability, Oracle charges $90 for an ODF plug-in for Microsoft Office that Sun gave away for free, Google keeps search a secret and fights the privacy-friendly Scroogle frontend. Red Hat, finally, is called a "hanger-on" that follows IBM anywhere, including the allegedly unfair OIN patent project.

Submission + - Intel working on a 10-core Xeon (hardwarecentral.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Every year, the Hot Chips conference at Stanford gives semiconductor researchers a chance to talk about their new projects, some of which will not be seen for years. Engineers are required to submit their proposed topic of discussion a few months in advance. Well, it seems a few Intel engineers screwed up and gave away in the conference guide that Intel is working on a 10-core, 20-thread Xeon processor that looks like a Westmere edition of the Xeon 7500, a.k.a. Nehalem-EX. That will probably get them a lecture from their bosses.

Submission + - German high court declares all software patentable (blogspot.com)

FlorianMueller writes: Long gone are the times when Europe was that bastion of resistance against software patents and patents on such things as file systems were ruled invalid. In a decision published today, the Federal Court of Justice of Germany upheld a patent on the automatic generation of structured documents (such as XML/HTML) in a client-server setting. The ruling lays out general principles that go beyond the patent at stake: they tear down all barriers to software patentability in the largest EU member state even though a European patent treaty once intended to exclude software from the scope of patentable subject matter. EU patent examiners recently warned against a drift toward software patents. Software patent critics in Europe fear this will spark more litigation on their continent and increasingly call for defensive measures.

Submission + - FTC to investigate photocopier security risks (tgdaily.com)

Arvisp writes: According to the FTC, which is looking into the issue, the majority of photocopiers store all scanned images, forever. The technology could potentially enable thieves to view Social Security numbers, private medical and bank records and other sensitive documents when old photocopiers are thrown away or leased ones are returned.

"Many of these machines do not just copy sensitive documents; they store them as well, providing a treasure trove for identity thieves. In short, these machines are not merely document copiers, they are document keepers," says Representative Edward J Markey (D-Mass), who first raised the issue with the FTC.

Social Networks

Submission + - SPAM: Facebook fixing embarrassing privacy bug

alphadogg writes: Facebook is fixing a Web programming bug that could have allowed hackers to alter profile pages or make restricted information public.

The flaw was discovered last week and reported to Facebook by M.J. Keith, a senior security analyst with security firm Alert Logic. The bug has to do with the way that Facebook checked to make sure that browsers connecting with the site were the ones they claimed to be. Facebook's servers use code called a "post_form_id" token to check that the browser trying to do something — liking a group, for example — was actually the browser that had logged into the account. Facebook's servers check this token before making any changes to the user's page, but Keith discovered that when he simply deleted the token from messages, he could change many settings on any Facebook account. Keith could make users' private information public, change or read profile information, even add new contact e-mail addresses, he said. "It's pretty bad; you can do a lot of damage with it," he said.

Facebook worked with Alert Logic to fix the bug, known as a cross-site request forgery.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Microsoft warns of Windows 7 graphics flaw (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: A flaw with the graphics driver in Windows 7 could compromise the stability and security of PCs, Microsoft has warned. The vulnerability lies in the Windows Canonical Display Driver (cdd.dll) for the 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft claims that the flaw could lead to machines rebooting or even allow a hacker to remotely execute code, although it claims either eventuality is improbable. Concerned users are being advised to disable Windows Aero until Microsoft can issue a fix.

Submission + - Starcraft 2 Beta Phase 1 Ending May 31st (battle.net)

cyay918 writes: Posted on the Starcraft forums by a Blizzard Rep (Nethaera) -

"We'd like to let all of our StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty beta test participants know that the first phase of the beta test will be coming to an end in all regions on Monday, May 31. The beta test will be unavailable for several weeks while we make some hardware and software configuration changes in preparation for the final phase of the beta test and the release of the game. We plan to bring the beta test back online for a couple of weeks prior to the game's launch to complete our testing. We'll have more details to share about when this final beta-testing phase will begin at a later date.

We'd like to thank all of our beta-test participants for your enthusiasm, dedication, and valuable feedback during the beta test, and we look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the StarCraft II beta test as the game's July 27 launch approaches. "


Submission + - Germany Demands Google Forfeit Citizen's Wifi Data (nytimes.com)

eldavojohn writes: Germany has ordered Google to give up hard disk drives used to store German 600GB of data collected during their Street View collection in Germany. This follows Google admitting last week (after prodding from the Germans) that it had collected the data from unsecured wireless area networks from around the entire world as its roving cars collected the photo archive for Street View. Google says they've offered to just destroy the data but the German government wants to know what's they've collected and do not think that destroying the drives suffices for compliance with the laws. Officials went so far as to say of the situation, "It is not acceptable that a company operating in the E.U. does not respect E.U. rules." Germany has certainly been keeping their eye on the search monster.

Submission + - Political Party act as new ISP for The Pirate Bay (google.se)

An anonymous reader writes: After the recent verdict by a German judge vs. the old ISP of the famous torrent site The Pirate Bay, TPB now has a new host: The Swedish Pirate Party

Apple vs. Nokia vs. Google vs. HTC 159

Lanxon writes "Wired has published a lengthy investigation into the litigation underway among some of the world's biggest cell phone manufacturers, and what it means for the industry of patent lawsuits and patent squatting. 'According to a 2009 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, from 1995 to 2008 non-practising entities [patent trolls] have been awarded damages that are, on average, more than double those for practising entities. Consider Research In Motion's 2006 payout of over $612 million to Virginia-based patent-holding company NTP, to avoid its BlackBerry network being shut down in the US. As part of the settlement, NTP granted RIM a licence to use its patented technology; it has subsequently filed lawsuits against AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, and Verizon.'"

EU Patent Examiners Warn Parliament Will Have "No Power" 99

zoobab writes "The Staff Union of the European Patent Organisation sent a letter to the President of the European Parliament, warning that after the EU accedes to the European Patent Convention, there is a risk that the European Parliament would be 'circumvented' as a legislator. The European Patent Organisation is in no way a model of democracy: national patent offices are in power, there is no parliament involved in the decision-making process, and diplomatic conferences are held behind closed doors. There are plans to create a central patent court in Europe, which would operate in a democratic vacuum, not counterbalanced by any legislative assembly, in particular not the European Parliament. Such a central patent court could also validate software patents via caselaw (as the German Supreme Court recently did with the Microsoft FAT patent). And Microsoft, IBM, and SAP are lobbying in Brussels not to reopen consideration of the software patent directive."

Submission + - "No Power for the Parliament" warns EPO examiners 2

zoobab writes: The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) sent a letter to the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, warning of risks for the European Parliament to be "circumvented" as a legislator when the EU will accede to the European Patent Convention (EPC). The European Patent Organisation is everything except a model of democracy: national patent offices are in power, there is no parliament involved in the decision making process, and diplomatic conferences are held behind closed doors. There are plans to create a central patent court in Europe, which would operate in a democratic vacuum, as it would not be counterbalanced by any legislative assembly, let alone the European Parliament. Such central patent court could also validate software patents via caselaw (as it was recently done with the Microsoft FAT patent by the German Supreme Court), and Microsoft, IBM or SAP are lobbying in Brussels not to reopen the software patent directive.

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