Would you have guessed that it would be Microsoft who stands up and yells, "Enough already!," in response to all the silly patent squabbles, many of which only end up hurting the consumer? Believe it or not, that's what the Redmond software giant did, in a roundabout sort of way. Microsoft is taking a public stand in support for industry standards and vowed it would not seek injunctions against any firm that runs afoul of so-called "standard essential" patents, all for the greater good of mankind.
While Apple's been busy trying to chase Samsung's Galaxy line out of the Milky Way, Android device makers have ganged up on the Cupertino outfit and experienced a spattering of success. The latest setback for Apple comes from a second German patent ruling against the company over its iCloud service that was brought about by Motorola Mobility, which is currently being acquired by Google.
In Britain, ripping music CDs to transfer songs onto portable media players or mobile phones is an act that runs afoul of the law. Lucky for U.K. residents, government officials are open to overhauling copyright law with an emphasis on common sense, two things that don't always go together. Britain's business secretary Vince Cable said new legislation will make it legal to copy CDs for personal use, which is one of 10 recommendations made in the Hargreaves Report, a six-month independent review into Intellectual Property (IP) led by Professor Ian Hargreavees.
The secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a done deal.
Negotiated, written, and even released where hoi polloi like us can read it, on the U.S. Trade Representative’s website. It’s still awful, calling for more parts of the DMCA to be worldwide, but not as awful as it was. Thanks to the efforts of groups like Public Knowledge and EFF, and New Zealand, which has taken the strange position of not criminalizing the normal behavior of its citizens, it was toned down. ACTA is now all packed up with a little bow waiting for legislatures to approve it, but the companies behind it have already left it like last week’s tuna sandwich.
Lantronix’s SecureLinx SpiderDuo KVM switch is a lot like a crappy IMAX movie on opening day: You pay a premium for the ticket, wait in line for hours, acquire a less-than-stellar seat in the second row, for what? A lame piece of cinema with a ton of window-dressing.
The SecureLinx SpiderDuo looks to be a perfect fit for a corporate environment—it’s setup process is certainly not ready for prime time in the consumer market. You connect the device to a business-grade PC using a provided serial-to-Ethernet cable for initial configuration, during which you can tweak all sorts of network settings based on your internal LAN setup.
Many online commenters try and compensate for their lack of insight into the subject at hand by summoning their ability to enliven even the most vapid discussion with a highly stimulating cocktail of profanities. But not everyone can fully relish this amazing ability as not everyone possesses it. The practitioners of this colorful art are often persecuted by the prim archpriests of insipid internet discussions.
But the paper’s director of social media, Kurt Greenbaum, who had posted the concerned article, managed to track down the anonymous poster using the WordPress e-mail alert that accompanies every comment. The alert included the commenter's IP address, which was found to be from a local school.
“About six hours later, I heard from the school’s headmaster. The school’s IT director took a shine to the challenge. Long story short: Using the time-frame of the comments, our website location and the IP addresses in the WordPress e-mail, he tracked it back to a specific computer. The headmaster confronted the employee, who resigned on the spot,” Greenbaum wrote in a blog post on Monday. Was it right on the paper’s part to pursue an anonymous commenter? If yes, then what is the point of allowing anonymous comments? Have your say without the fear of getting fired.
Back in September of this year Google launched their Mobile Search with My Location service, which allowed users of mobile devices to quickly and easily find nearby points of interest. And now, it looks like that very same functionality is making its way to your computer.
Google’s Toolbar will now feature My Location. This addition will allow Google Maps and their own Maps gadget to automatically close in on your location, allowing you to type less into your search box when tracking down the closest pizza place. “You can just do a search like [thai food], and you will receive a list of nearby restaurants and more local Google search results,” wrote Aseem Sood and Susan Ting, members of the Toolbar Product Team at Google. “This feature is similar to IP-based local search results announced earlier this month, except Google Toolbar with My Location can determine a more accurate location by using nearby Wi-Fi access points. This is done without associating location information with a user's Google Account. Google Toolbar with My Location is only available in the U.S.”
Unfortunately, the Google Toolbar will continue to be available only for Internet Explorer (someone should let these guys know that they have their very own browser too!), and there’s no word on an official release date. But, according to the official Google Blog, they “hope to bring you the next batch soon.”
Who doesn’t love a Caribbean island? Imagine yourself on a beach in Antigua with a drink that comes in a hollow coconut. Beautiful women walk by. The sun begins to set, and you’ve just finished importing your DVD collection to a hard drive. It's good to be free from the DMCA.