Email Questions I have to buy a new computer this year. Should I get a laptop or a desktop? What is the difference in price and performance? I deleted the family vacation photos from my digital camera by mistake. What can I do? Massive Star Explodes – So What? Big Bang 101 and Star Formation Supreme Court Weighs in on Patent Law You Decide. Here are Some Questionable Patents Bicycle Technology Advances West Point Win Cyber Defense Exercise Gartner Recommends Chindia Strategy for IT Companies ICANN Reject XXX Top Level Domain
Two rulings in the last week set new standards for challenges to patents
Many hope to curb "patent trolls" whose existence is based on royalty payments.
Revenues in the United States for patent licenses were about $15 billion in 1990; eight years later they had soared to more than $100 billion.
IBM alone took in well over $1 billion from licensing last year and received a record 2,756 new patents.
In one key ruling, the nine US justices tossed out a patent for an adjustable accelerator pedal for motorists as "obvious."
The case involved a suit by auto parts makers KSR International against Teleflex, which developed a system that combines sensor technology with a mechanism to automatically set the height of vehicle control pedals for drivers of different sizes.
By ruling the patent as "obvious" the justices held that a company cannot hold a valid patent for a device that anyone could have invented, such as a wheel or door.
In a separate case the same day, the high court ruled that AT&T could not collect damages from Microsoft for patented software sold in other countries.
The decision could also benefit Internet telephony firm Vonage Holdings, which risks being shut down in a patent dispute with Verizon Communications.
Legal opinions vary. It depends who payroll you are on.
Some feel the ruling is going too far and is watering down the patent system.
While others feel is has not gone far enough.
Pharmaceuticals are particularly worried.
You Decide. Here are Some Questionable Patents
Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com and their special invention:
The patented One Click® feature was invented by Bezos
U.S. Patent No. 5,960,411, "Method and system for placing a purchase order via a communications network."
He won an injunction forcing his chief competitor, Barnesandnoble.com, to add deliberate complication to its ordering process.
A St. Louis patent broker is suing Yahoo over a "method of effecting commerce in a networked computer environment in a computerized system" — that is, shopping online.
Another company sued eBay based on a patent to the use a computer mouse to click and make an online purchase.
Priceline.com, has patented its Internet version of an ancient auction technique, the name-your-price "reverse" auction, and is suing Microsoft’s Expedia.com travel service.
Microsoft patented a well-known "style sheet" technology just as it was being adopted as standard by the World Wide Web Consortium.
Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the Blackberry, was sued by NTP Inc, a US firm that had accused RIM of violating its patents in its mobile software. RIM eventually settled the case.
A California software company is suing eBay over database technology.
Two professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are suing the Ask Jeeves search site over two patents on handling questions in natural language.
A Boeing software engineer has patented a basic method of correcting the century in dates stored in databases and sent a threatening form letter to 700 of the nation’s largest corporations
Multi-Tech Systems is suing the three leading PC makers, Compaq, Dell and Gateway, over patents on transmitting voice and data.
Sightsound.com is suing at least one music retailer and demanding royalties from others over a patent on selling audio and video recordings online.
A technique for measuring a breast with a tape to determine bra size
U.S. Patent No. 5,965,809: No padding: "Method of bra size determination" (by direct measurement).
Issued: 1999. Inventor: Edward Pechter.
Executing a tennis stroke while wearing a kneepad (U.S. 5,993,366)
Bicycle Technology Advances
Running machine (1817)
Rear wheel drive bicycle (1843)
Pneumatic Tire (1845)
Pedal powered two wheeler (1866)
Chain-driven Safety Bicycle (1879)
Easy to use derailleur (1910)
Steel and Aluminum(1980)
Titanium and Carbon (1990)
Carbon is superior in cost, weight, and strength. Only disadvantage is durability.
Ceramic Ball Bearings (2000)
Rounder, long lasting, expensive ($150 to $250 per wheel)
Aerodynamic wheels (2005)
Carbon deep dish wheels ($1500 to $2000 per two wheel set)
U.S. Military Academy at West Point won the Cyber Defense Exercise for the third time.
They defeated teams from the nation’s four other service academies.
The exercise, held April 16-20, pitted student teams from West Point and the Air Force, Naval, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine academies against attackers from the National Security Agency and the Defense Department.
The exercise is the culmination of information assurance classes for cadets and midshipmen in computer science and electrical engineering departments. It is a learning experience as much as a test.
The exercise gives students a chance to practice what they have been learning during the first half of the year in classes on networking, security and electrical engineering.
Each academy had to build and maintain a virtual network that includes a Web server providing dynamic content from a back-end database, an e-mail server with public-key encryption, chat service, file sharing and a Domain Name System server for name resolution
Computers infected with malware that had to be included on the networks to represent the effects of uninformed users. Students had to clean these machines.
Gartner Recommends Chindia Strategy for IT Companies
To stay competitive in the global economy, it’s imperative that IT organizations implement a “Chindia” strategy
Gartner examined how China and India are altering the future of technology and innovation in the newly released book “IT and The East”, published by Harvard Business School Press.
The “Chindia” framework is offered as a means to examine how these two countries may soon re-assert their collective influence on the international stage.
“Today China and India are producing some of the world’s best-trained computer science and electrical engineering graduates
Far from being simply a source of cheap labor, both countries soon will be able to compete favorably for global business – as India’s IT services firms have done – not on price, but on competence and capability
The bilateral economy of China and India is in its infancy, but new momentum suggests a powerful relationship is building.
China-India – ‘Chindia’ – enterprises will have access to complementary skills and resources and, in turn, will have the potential to lead many global markets.
ICANN Reject XXX Top Level Domain
ICANN once again rejected the establishment of a .xxx top level domain (TLD).
The vote was 8-4 with a single abstention, that of CEO Paul Twomey.
ICANN is Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (www.icann.org)
If approved, porn sites would be www.sitename.xxx
The debate raged largely around the phony issue of whether a .xxx domain would put ICANN in the content regulation business, when rejecting the domain is itself a content regulation decision.
ICANN just concluded its annual meeting in Lisbon, Spain
Other issues discussed were IPV6 addressing, registrar accreditation, operating procedures for accountability