The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has tied up with Google to make bulk trademark and patent data accessible online. The latter has agreed to host roughly 10 terabytes of data free of cost for two years, by when the USPTO hopes to enter into a proper arrangement “with a contractor to retrieve and distribute USPTO patent and trademark bulk public data.” In fact, this is the first time that USPTO's public data in bulk form is being provided free of cost.
“The USPTO is committed to providing increased transparency as called for by the President’s Open Government Initiative. An important element of that transparency is making valuable public patent and trademark information more widely available in a bulk form so companies and researchers can download it for analysis and research,” said Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos.
The data that can be accessed online at the moment includes patent grants and published applications, trademark applications, and patent and trademark assignments etc.
Google's innovative Google Voice service is still invite only, but under a new program students can get priority access. In a blog post, the Big G noted many of Google Voice's features are of particular use to students. Apparently, college students are particularly appreciative of the ability to access their voicemail via email, and get free text messages. Though, who isn't?
Google Voice allows users to choose a new phone number that can be forwarded to multiple lines. It offers features like voicemail transcription, call screening, and do not disturb mode just to name a few. Android phones have seamless integration with Google Voice, and there is an official app for Blackberry phones as well.
The new program is technically available to anyone with an email address that ends in .edu. Those signing up at the special student website should expect their invite to show up within 24 hours. So for students, there's no longer any reason to scrounge around online looking for an invite. You can get it right from the source.
Hello there, non-existent reader! Yes, that’s right: you don’t exist. After all, you can’t. You’re reading this site, which means your rig’s probably a feral monster – more beast than machine – but this article caught your eye, which implies you don’t own Portal yet. To say that someone of that description exists – why, that’s just silly.
Let’s say, though, that hypothetically you’re a real flesh-and-blood human being. And you don’t own Portal because – we don’t know – you just came out of a coma or something. And you’ve spent every waking second reconnecting with your family or whatever. We guess that’s a valid excuse. If that’s the case, click here, and then give the big red button a press.
And presto! Now you own Portal, and you didn’t have to spend a dime. Wasn’t that easy? Almost as easy as changing the television channel or closing your Internet browser so you can—hey, wait!
Alright, Adobe Creative Suite 5, here's the deal: I really, really want to put my hands on all the neat features and general awesomeness you offer. That's not an admission of a fanboy, it's a gentle acknowledgment that this is the industry-leading suite of software for those that dabble with multimedia across a variety of formats.
That said, not all of us have a stock portfolio to dump off in an effort to raise the funds to purchase said Creative Suite. And this is the weekly Freeware Files column after all. Which leads us to a grand proposition: Can one recreate the best of Adobe's CS5 with freeware and open-source applications?
In January 2009 Vodafone made what seemed like a good investment buying mapping software maker Wayfinder for about $30 million. A year later it’s looking like a pretty awful deal in the wake of free navigation solutions from both Google and Nokia. Facing the inevitable, Vodafone is closing Wayfinder saying, “We could not charge for something that others gave away for free.”
Vodafone has also invested several million additional dollars in Wayfinder, so it can’t be easy to walk away. It’s unlikely they’d do so without being sure they could not compete with Nokia’s Ovi Maps. This really isn’t much of a surprise, especially considering Nokia’s huge presence in Europe. Google Navigation isn’t even available yet in Europe, but clearly Vodafone wasn’t going to sit around and wait for two free solutions to start eating their lunch.
This may be the eventual fate of all the carrier branded navigation apps. Considering the poor quality of many of them, that might not be a bad thing. Would access to a free navigation app from Google or Nokia sway you in your next phone purchase?
Or, if you’re feeling particularly selfish, sign yourself up. See, here’s how it works: if you sign up to receive PopCap’s Passport newsletter, you can then gift a free copy of Peggle Nights "to a friend or relative."
But let’s be honest, here. If your friends are cool, they read Maximum PC. So, of course, they’re thinking, “Hey, I should take advantage of this great deal and use it to show my undying appreciation for my most memorable of pals, [INSERT FRIEND HERE].” Next thing you know, you and your friend who probably owns a cutting-edge PC which he/she put together him/herself using one of many helpful guides are exchanging gifts, only to discover that you’re both gunning for brownie points with the same gift. Awkward!
We don’t want you to have to suffer through 15 excruciating seconds of awkward silence, so -- getting to the point of this whole spiel -– we’re going to diffuse this ticking time bomb by suggesting that you simply send a copy of the game to another one of your own email accounts. Phew. Close one.
Think about it for a second. Do you care if your programs are open-source? Do you care if companies whose services you frequent are built around open-source technology or not? Do you care whether their developers, in turn, support other open-source movements or not?
If you're not a decision-maker at a company when it comes to IT requirements or business operations, then no, open-source doesn't matter. If you're not a developer who has the knowledge--but more importantly, the time--to invest as much into an open-source project as you receive back from its functionality, then no, open-source doesn't matter either. If you're a typical computer user who wants programs that offer more than what you'd otherwise find in a vanilla Windows installation, then the concept of open-source really has no bearing on you.
Open-source matters as a concept. In its execution, however, a vast majority of enthusiasts, average folk, and neophytes could honestly care less. But why is that? Why aren't we all raising the flag with Linus Torvalds' head on it and parading through the aisles of our local electronics stores in support of the open-source movement?
The Independent Games Festival just went down, and as usual, the Student Showcase is knocking everyone’s socks off. The Student Showcase has a history of producing some amazing stuff. In fact, Valve’s uber-successful Portal was a product of the Student Showcase in 2006. Several more recent entries are about to be released on WiiWare and the Xbox Live Arcade.
The ten winners are certainly upholding the tradition of excellence in the Student Showcase. If only you could sit down and experience them now... good news, you can. Only one of the ten is not yet available for public play, but even it should be out soon.
There’s something for every taste here. For the casual gamer there’s “Paper Cakes, where the player must sketch a path for their avatar to reach the goal. Paper Cakes is especially great if you have a Wacom tablet. If you fancy yourself the artsy type, try “Dreamside Maroon” and grow a vine to the moon. Want something fast paced? Download “Igneous” and stay ahead of the lava. Just check here for the full list complete with download links. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have some games to play.
There's an untold bounty of awesome available on the Internet, and it's all free, free, FREE! From applications and games to movie tickets and mattresses, we'll show you what's safe and steer you away from the unsavory.
As inhabitants of the Internet, we’ve become so inured to the hyperbolic advertising and questionable offers that we miss the incredible values that are ripe for the taking. If you know where to look, you can find all sorts of awesome stuff available for the low, low cost of $0. Whether you’re looking for a great image management app, free AAA games, or the proverbial free lunch, we can tell you where to find it. But wait, there’s more! We’ll also show you three things that seem free, but really aren’t.
You know, when you think about it, Conan the Barbarian is kind of like Santa Claus. He’s offering free gifts to everyone from mid-to-late December and… er, actually, we’ve got nothing. Well, aside from some “sleigh” and “slay” puns, but no one wants to hear those. Anyway, the blood-spattered MMO is offering an “unlimited” free trial, but – despite what the dictionary says about the word “unlimited” – there are a couple of strings attached.
“This trial allows you to play all of the content on Tortage Island - for as long as you want at no cost whatsoever. Please note that a trial account has some limitations to avoid 'spam' and 'gold farmers': you cannot trade with others, use in-game mail, public chat channels and you cannot post on the forums,” says the game’s website.
In addition, sign-ups are out as soon as 2010 is in, so it’s a limited time offer. So hop to it right now, unless you hate copious amounts of gore, scantily clad women, and everything else that America stands for.