B12 Solipsism

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Archive for the ‘patents’ tag

links for 2011-08-16

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  • Here’s the biggie: in order for a specific device to get a license for the apps, it must pass the Android Compatibility Test Suite and meet the Android Compatibility Definition. How Google exactly determines what passes the test is really the core issue in this case — Skyhook claims Google uses the threat of incompatibility to act anti-competitively.Interestingly, the license allows Google to change the applicable Compatibility Test Suite and Android Compatibility Definition at will up until the time a device is certified for launch… by passing the CTS. So basically there’s nothing keeping Google from changing the CTS or ACD any way it wants in order to keep a particular device off the market.
  • Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and their former editor Andy Coulson all face embarrassing new allegations of dishonesty and cover-up after the publication of an explosive letter written by the News of the World’s disgraced royal correspondent, Clive Goodman. In the letter, which was written four years ago but published only on Tuesday, Goodman claims that phone hacking was “widely discussed” at editorial meetings at the paper until Coulson himself banned further references to it; that Coulson offered to let him keep his job if he agreed not to implicate the paper in hacking when he came to court; and that his own hacking was carried out with “the full knowledge and support” of other senior journalists, whom he named.
  • I saw a Bloomberg report on the reverse break-up fee Google and Motorola Mobility (MMI) agreed upon: it’s a whopping, mindboggling $2.5 billion that Google has to pay to MMI if the deal falls through. I’m still researching this but it seems that this is, in relative terms, the highest-ever break-up fee agreed upon in this industry. “On an equity value basis, Google’s fee amounts to 20 percent, compared with the 4.2 percent median since last year”, reports Bloomberg. The same source that told Bloomberg the $2.5 billion figure claims that MMI “would pay a $375 million breakup fee if it decides not to sell to Google”.
  • How stupid and reckless is the Tea Party? In addition to shrugging off a default threat – or perhaps welcoming one – they believe austerity is the correct medicine for a weak economy!! Where did they study economics, in a cornfield outhouse?? It defies belief that Tea Party members actually think spending cuts will create jobs. No – spending cuts will eliminate jobs. The Know-Nothings don’t understand that, but hey — it’s good for my bonds !!
  • While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors. These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.
  • But a simple step that may lower the risk, especially in warm weather, is to stay properly hydrated. Dehydration causes blood volume to drop, researchers say, resulting in less blood and oxygen flow to the brain and dilated blood vessels. Some experts suspect that a loss of electrolytes causes nerves in the brain to produce pain signals. Anyone who has ever woken up dehydrated after a night of heavy drinking knows this feeling as a hangover. But migraine sufferers may be more sensitive to the effects of dehydration.
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  • Look, I can understand if you get frustrated with Barack Obama. Like all politicians, he’s imperfect. He has taken some positions that are completely wrong (his education policy leaps to mind; his foreign policy has been at best a mixed bag), and he certainly hasn’t done a good job of articulating the counterargument to the nihilism that defines current Republican policy. I believe that he’s better in many ways than his liberal detractors think, but that doesn’t mean he’s perfect, it doesn’t mean he never deserves criticism, and it doesn’t mean you can’t state that frustration and still be a supporter of liberalism. Indeed, sometimes being a supporter of liberalism requires it. But when you take the next step, and declare that you’d rather vote for Michele Bachmann than support Barack Obama for president, you have completely lost the thread.
  • Now, I personallly have little patience for people trying to prove how hard they are generally speaking, and especially when said people are highly privileged liberals preening like they’re tough because they’ll “punish” the Democrats with their precious, precious votes—didn’t you know their votes count five times as much as yours? Well, they should anyway. The belief that the choice is to do things 100% your way or to give up altogether is what drives the Tea Party, which is why Rhodes has functionally become a Tea Partier, who will give the resentment vote to whatever asshole the GOP runs. I’m not going to argue the relative merits of Obama over fucking Bachmann, or Perry, or Romney. That just creates more opportunity for idiots and assholes to preen about how they’re lefter-than-thou, so left that they’re willing to destroy this country in order to make a point about how superior they are to everyone else.

Written by swanksalot

August 16th, 2011 at 7:01 am

Posted in Links

Tagged with , , ,

Google: Rivals Are Ganging Up and Taking Our Lunch Money

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Alternative Google
Biggus Google

Poor, poor lil’ Google. They are a billion dollar company, and yet they whine like this:

Google Inc. accused rivals Oracle Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. of waging an “organized, hostile campaign” against the Internet search giant’s Android mobile phone software, using questionable patents.

“They want to make it harder for manufacturers to sell Android devices,” Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond wrote on a company website. “Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation.”

The campaign against Android is being waged “through bogus patents,” Mr. Drummond wrote, adding that “Microsoft and Apple have always been at each other’s throats, so when they get into bed together you have to start wondering what’s going on.”

(click here to continue reading Google: Rivals Are Ganging Up – WSJ.com.)

I’m too lazy to write up responses to Google’s questionable, ridiculous arguments, but luckily, smarter folk have already done so. Like John Gruber:

So if Google had acquired the rights to these patents, that would have been OK. But when others acquired them, it’s a “hostile, organized campaign”. It’s OK for Google to undermine Microsoft’s for-pay OS licensing business by giving Android away for free, but it’s not OK for Microsoft to undermine Google’s attempts to give away for free an OS that violates patents belonging to Microsoft?

Or Brad Smith of Microsoft:

Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.

Ride Smarter
Ride Smarter

Google whines some more:

A consortium that included Microsoft and Apple recently paid $4.5 billion for patents auctioned by Nortel, an amount that Google notes was “five times larger than the pre-auction estimate of $1 billion.”

Take Action With Your Money
Take Action With Your Money

Daring Fireball again:

First, the “estimate” of $1 billion was partially set by Google itself.

Then when the auction actually started, it’s OK for Google to bid over $3.14 billion, but when Apple and Microsoft bid $4.5 billion, that’s “way beyond what they’re really worth”. And if these patents are “bogus”, why was Google willing to pay anything for them, let alone pi billion dollars?

No one other than Nathan Myhrvold and his cronies sees the U.S. patent system as functioning properly, but Google’s hypocrisy here is absurd. Google isn’t arguing against a handful of never-should-have-been-issued software patents. They’re not arguing against patent trolls like Myhrvold and his shell companies like Lodsys — companies that have no products of their own, no actual inventions, just patents for ideas for products. They’re effectively arguing against the idea of the patent system itself, simply because Android violates a bunch of patents held by Google’s competitors. It’s not “patents” that are attacking Android. It’s competing companies whose patents Google has violated — and whose business Android undermines — who are attacking Android.

John Paczkowski adds:

Clearly, the company is taking a new tack here, framing the issue in its own way and, presumably, putting whatever lobbying and legal muscle it has into throwing out roadblocks. To wit, these few lines, also taken from Drummond’s post:

We’re encouraged that the Department of Justice forced the group I mentioned earlier to license the former Novell patents on fair terms, and that it’s looking into whether Microsoft and Apple acquired the Nortel patents for anti-competitive means.

I bet you are. Particularly since you’re facing antitrust inquiries into your own core businesses. And in the end, that may be another purpose of this post: To show regulators that Google isn’t always the unstoppable juggernaut it is portrayed to be. Sometimes it’s the victim, or it would like to be viewed that way, especially by the FTC and the tough-talking judge presiding over its patent infringement showdown with Oracle. One last point: If the patents to which Google refers are “bogus,” why bother decrying them at all? Or, for that matter, trying to purchase them in the first place?

(click here to continue reading Google Rails Against Anti-Android Patent Purchases – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsD.)

CB's Broken Balloons
CB’s Broken Balloons

TechCrunch wonders why Google is so interested in patents now…

As you’ve undoubtedly seen by now, Google decided to go on the offensive today with regard to patents. No, they didn’t go after any company for violating their patents. Nor did they spend billions acquiring new ones. Instead, David Drummond, Google’s SVP and Chief Legal Officer, took to the Google Blog to lash out at Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, and others for using “bogus patents” to attack their Android mobile platform.

But why now? In the past, Google has remained fairly mum on the topic. And they certainly weren’t calling out rivals by name. They’ve talked generally about the broken patent system, and even did a post explaining why they were willing to spend big money on the Nortel patents — for defensive purposes. But those approaches haven’t worked. Google is now arguably more vulnerable than they’ve ever been. And the stakes are about to go even higher.

When Google lost the Nortel bidding, they’re believed to have bid north of $4 billion before dropping out. Apple, backing Rockstar Bidco, eventually won with a bid of $4.5 billion. Now a battle for an even bigger treasure of patents looms.

(click here to continue reading Why Did Google Blog About Patents Today? Because The Nortel Loss Was Just The Beginning. | TechCrunch.)

Written by Seth Anderson

August 4th, 2011 at 7:38 am

Posted in Apple,Business

Tagged with , ,

Judge Invalidates Human Gene Patent

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Good! Stupid that genes have ever been patented. Science may have discovered specific genes, but they didn’t create them from scratch. Why should evolutionary processes be privatized by large companies?

DNA Bricks

A federal judge on Monday struck down patents on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The decision, if upheld, could throw into doubt the patents covering thousands of human genes and reshape the law of intellectual property
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The American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York joined with individual patients and medical organizations to challenge the patents last May: they argued that genes, products of nature, fall outside of the realm of things that can be patented. The patents, they argued, stifle research and innovation and limit testing options.

Myriad Genetics, the company that holds the patents with the University of Utah Research Foundation, asked the court to dismiss the case, claiming that the work of isolating the DNA from the body transforms it and makes it patentable. Such patents, it said, have been granted for decades; the Supreme Court upheld patents on living organisms in 1980. In fact, many in the patent field had predicted the courts would throw out the suit.

Judge Sweet, however, ruled that the patents were “improperly granted” because they involved a “law of nature.” He said that many critics of gene patents considered the idea that isolating a gene made it patentable “a ‘lawyer’s trick’ that circumvents the prohibition on the direct patenting of the DNA in our bodies but which, in practice, reaches the same result.”

The case could have far-reaching implications. About 20 percent of human genes have been patented, and multibillion-dollar industries have been built atop the intellectual property rights that the patents grant.

[Click to continue reading Judge Invalidates Human Gene Patent - NYTimes.com]

Patents are well and good, in some instances, but not every step that science makes should be controlled by corporations, and exploited for profit.

Written by Seth Anderson

March 31st, 2010 at 8:25 am