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Submission + - Challenging an overly broad US patent from India (google.com) 1

flagboy writes: I got this in my mailbox today (in my capacity as representative of FFII UK), from an Indian developer wanting to challenge a US patent with his self-developed prior art

I am writing to seek advice with regard to a new patent issued to Google Inc (USPTO# 8429103 B1, URL in link). This patent essentially confers upon them the exclusive right to deploy implementations of Machine Learning algorithm on phones.

I believe that this patent is extremely broad, based on poorly defined terms ("Machine Learning services") and totally lacking innovation — Machine Learning is commonly taught in University classrooms, and phones running general purpose OS are commonplace — so the patent-holders are essentially claiming that the spark of genius lies in implementing ML on phones!

However, I have a phone app, Intelliphone (published before the patent was applied) (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=in.lipik.ai_dial), that would serve as prior art disproving claims of innovation in this patent. In fact, my app is pretty much an implementation of the first claim in the patent, which most of the other claims rest on. And based on the very broad language used, I can think of other apps that could also argue that they were doing classification, clustering and predictions on the phone before this patent was applied for.

I suppose what I find insidious about this patent is that future developers would have to depend on Google's continued benevolence to make ML-based apps on all other mobile platforms. And they are taking credit where none is due. Indeed, before I saw this patent, I never considered what I was doing to be worthy of a patent.

I am wondering if there are any avenues through which I could claim to be an interested party in respect of this patent, and try to dispute its validity? I am not a resident or citizen of the United States, so I don't know if I would have a legal standing to mount a challenge. Also, I am lone/hobbyist developer, so am not really in a position to hire a team of attorneys in the US. I am well annoyed by this though!


Heroic Engineer Crashes Own Vehicle To Save a Life 486

scottbomb sends in this feel-good story of an engineer-hero, calling it "one of the coolest stories I've read in a long time." "A manager of Boeing's F22 fighter-jet program, Innes dodged the truck, then looked back to see that the driver was slumped over the wheel. He knew a busy intersection was just ahead, and he had to act fast. Without consulting the passengers in his minivan — 'there was no time to take a vote' — Innes kicked into engineer mode. 'Basic physics: If I could get in front of him and let him hit me, the delta difference in speed would just be a few miles an hour, and we could slow down together,' Innes explained."

Terry Pratchett's Self-Made Meteorite Sword 188

jamie writes "Fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett says he was so excited after being knighted by the Queen that he decided to make his own sword to equip himself for his new status... the author dug up 81kg of ore and smelted it in the grounds of his house, using a makeshift kiln built from clay and hay and fueled with damp sheep manure."

High Fructose Corn Syrup To Get a Makeover 646

An anonymous reader writes "With its sweetener linked to obesity, some cancers and diabetes, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) doesn't want you to think 'fructose' when you see high fructose corn syrup in your soda, ketchup or pickles. Instead, the AP reports, the CRA submitted an application to the FDA, hoping to change the name of their top-selling product to 'corn sugar.'"

Comment No 'complex script' rendering yet (Score 1) 305

I was hoping this version would finally get support to render non-Latin based scripts, to make the platform interesting beyond Europe & US.
But it does not appear to have made it into this release (though users do get the ability to switch input locales, but only as long as the script is Latin based).
Apart from the obvious 'are we still in the 70s?' kwetch, this feature would make the platform so interesting for bespoke app development...


Nokia Releases Qt SDK For Mobile Development 76

An anonymous reader writes "Nokia has released its unified Qt-based SDK for cross-platform development for Symbian and MeeGo (plus Maemo) devices. The blurb reads: 'Today sees the release of the Nokia Qt SDK, a single easy-to-use software development kit (SDK) for Symbian and Meego application development. Developers can now develop, test, and deploy native applications for Nokia smartphones and mobile computers. The beta version of the SDK is available for download from today, ready for developers to kick off development for new devices, including the just-announced Nokia N8.'"

Comment Re:personally (Score 1) 1721

I think you you should credit the committee with at least a little wisdom - of course the prize is political (and always has been) and they have made wrong calls in the past.

But in this particular instance, given the timing of the announcement, my reading is that the intention is to pin down the US administration at Copenhagen - i.e. take away the convenient excuse that US has to be a jerk on climate issues because the administration does not have the political capital at home to implement meaningful reforms. The Scandinavians are essentially saying, "We have helped you the best we could - literally". Now stop waving your dick in the air.

Isn't the European climate delegation headed by a Danish minister (with one of the sexiest English accents of any politician, imo)?

The Internet

Submission + - Predictive text input using AJAX and AI (lipik.in)

ohell writes: lipik.in is a new website combining stochastic language modelling with an AJAX-enabled front-end to show a virtual keyboard that attempts to anticipate what the user wants to type. It appears to be targeted at users unfamiliar with keyboard layouts in a language, or who find keyboards hard to use. The service can be used to compose documents using only the mouse (IME with predictive suggestions) or like a normal keyboard (useful if you don't have access to your usual keyboard layout).

Apart from serving as accessibility aid, this concept has the potential to make computers accessible for people whose languages are just too hard to type (e.g. Chinese, Arabic etc.) Sadly, there is no facility to email the created text, but there is a very basic content management system and the blurb claims that the predictions adapt to the users over time. In any case, it is a step towards internationalization of the web. There is a link to a demonstration once you get past the welcome page, which lets the concept be tried out without having to create an account.
The interaction appears to be very bandwidth intensive: it would be interesting to see how all the funky AJAX copes with the slashdot effect...

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