Archive | March, 2013

Microsoft Launches Website Listing Patents

29 Mar

Transparency campaign aimed at thwarting patent trolls

-Website lists about 40,000 Microsoft patents world-wide

-Not all technology companies agree transparency needed

Microsoft Corp. ( MSFT ) on Thursday launched a website listing all the patents it holds in the U.S. and abroad, in a campaign for more patent transparency aimed at limiting patent warfare among tech companies.

The Redmond, Wash., software company unveiled a website called Patent Tracker that lists all Microsoft patents in a database available online or for download. More than 40,000 patents are listed on the website that are searchable by patent number, title, country of filing and whether the patent is held by Microsoft or one of its subsidiaries.

Microsoft pledged last month during an industry conference in Washington to make its patent catalog public. The move comes as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has considered drafting so-called “real party of interest” rules. The rules could make it more difficult for patent holders to conceal ownership and shuttle intellectual property between shell companies.

The ploy is often used by companies that buy patents with the intent of using them to sue manufacturers in the future. Microsoft is engaged in about 60 patent lawsuits with such secondary owners, say attorneys familiar with the company’s legal dealings.

Transparency will “help prevent gamesmanship by companies that seek to lie in wait and “hold up” companies rather than enable a well-functioning secondary market,” said Brad Smith, general counsel for Microsoft, in a blog post announcing the website. He concluded the post asking other companies to “join us in making available information about which patents they own.”

Clouding ownership of a patent makes it difficult for technology companies to identify competing technology and seek a license. Obscuring ownership also makes it easier for companies to spring a patent suit on an unsuspecting manufacturer, a practice that has earned the name “patent trolls” for companies that use the tactic.

Microsoft’s announcement to publish its patent catalogue is an attempt to lead its technology peers toward greater transparency, but not all agree.

“I can see where identifying ownership can be helpful–not the biggest issue we are facing in patent reform,” said Washington patent attorney David Long.

Representatives of several tech companies said patents are published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and available on commercial search services.

A spokesman for Inc. (CRM) said the company wasn’t considering publishing its list of patents. A spokesman for Oracle Corp. (ORCL) said the same. Several other software and technology companies didn’t respond to requests for comment.

In January, David Kappos, U.S. undersecretary of commerce for IP, in remarks said more transparency was needed to get patents into the hands of companies that can invest in new products and create jobs.

Microsoft’s Patent Tracker is available at


For more thorough appear into your very little

29 Mar

A pirated duplicate of Windows “Blue” has leaked, and from what I have witnessed in screenshots, it really is brilliant.Suitable, I am aware absolutely everyone else is trash-talking the 20 screenshots that exhibit practically nothing really and provides us no solid indication on what we are considering. Critically people, we’ve got larger versatility with all the coloration schemes for our Start out display and new tile selections. Good stuff, love it — but let’s get back again to operate.

windows 7 activation key

From what I’m looking at, that won’t happening in “Blue,” so we’d in addition concentration around the a single running system that may be all set and readily available to save us within the looming close of XP guidance: Windows seven!

For additional specific seem in the minimal we in fact find out about Windows “Blue,” you may browse Woody Leonhard’s “Windows ‘Blue’: We waited for this?” Personally, I don’t are aware that everyone is basically ready for it. It is just the next tweak of Home windows eight. What do people genuinely need to see? A Begin orb! Or more precisely, a choice to reenable a Start off orb with no needing to install third-party Start off menu purposes.

I have been utilizing Windows 8 on both equally an Acer touchscreen all-in-one Laptop and also a Dell Alienware Aurora with a common nontouchscreen keep track of. It truly is challenging possibly way, although a lot more hard with no touchscreen due to the fact the OS was designed for finger swipes. That means the standard organization will have to either swap all its components with touchscreen gadgets and change all staff with 15-year-olds who are much more relaxed with touch than mouse, or we could go together with Windows 7, get 90 % from the advantages of Windows 8 with regards to stability enhancements and so forth about XP, and wait.

Wait for what? Effectively, not “Blue,” evidently. Possibly for additional turnover in hardware and also a workforce more at ease with gesture-based computing as Baby Boomers retire and Gens X, Y, and Z consider around the workforce with their mad finger techniques.

New Silicon Valley in the Andes: Promise and paradox

27 Mar

Editor’s note: This is part 2 of an exclusive four-part Crave series on Ecuador’s plans to transform itself into a new hub of science, technology, and innovation. Read part 1, “Plotting the next Silicon Valley — you’ll never guess where.”

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, Ecuador–There’s a small group of solar panels set up next to a giant tortoise hatchery that’s currently under renovation here. It wasn’t many decades ago that these remarkable gentle giants — which never stop growing and can live to be 150 and the size of a kitchen table — didn’t need help from humans to survive in their native habitat.

Ironically, it is the other species humans brought with them to this remote volcanic Pacific archipelago that have endangered these tortoises. Dogs, pigs, goats, rats, and even ants all prey on young tortoises here, making it virtually impossible for them to survive their first few years in the wild. Instead, they’re raised in facilities like this one near the Charles Darwin Research Station.

There’s plenty more paradox to be found on the Ecuadorian mainland.

The great strides made in the last five years toward modernizing this country after decades of instability have largely been financed by Ecuador’s significant oil resources. Yet, as the country’s socialist president, Rafael Correa, begins his third term in office pushing forward on perhaps its most ambitious project — a planned city of science and innovation dubbed “Yachay” that aims to be part Silicon Valley, part Dubai, and part Shenzhen, China — his administration has opted to lock up one of his country’s richest oil deposits.

Rather than extract the hundreds of millions of barrels of crude beneath Yasuni National Park, one of the world’s most biologically diverse rain forests, Ecuador has instead asked the world to pay it to not drill there. The scheme falls somewhere between crowdfunding and ecological blackmail, but demonstrates a certain amount of audaciousness from a government that also defaulted on a huge chunk of its global bonds after declaring the international debt to be illegitimate.

This is the kind of comfort with paradox that is required of a government hoping to force a small and, until recently, backwards developing nation into a leadership position in the world of science and innovation. But after hearing the pitch and seeing the progress, it’s clear some important people outside Ecuador are ready to file this Yachay thing under “so crazy, it just might work.”

In addition to support from South Korea and CalTech, the Murdoch Developmental Center in North Carolina’s research triangle area has expressed interest in a partnership, as have a few European institutions, according to Rene Ramirez, Ecuador’s minister of higher education, science, technology, and innovation.

Cynicism and broken promises

Then again, like many other developing nations, Ecuador is no stranger to cynicism and broken promises. Editorials in Ecuador’s media have accused Correa of being wasteful with public funds; the daily newspaper La Hora called Yachay a “farce.” In response to the first part of this series, Martin Pallares, a former Knight fellow at Stanford University and a journalist for Quito’s El Comercio newspaper tweeted this about the project: “Hope it’ll happen but I’m afraid no (Silicon) Valley will pop up in a country run by a President who has banished checks/balances.”

Correa has had a thorny relationship with the press, bringing defamation suits against muckracking journalists who have criticized the president, including allegations of corruption. A handful of journalists were convicted and received harsh prison sentences, only to be pardoned by Correa. The confrontations between the government and the press landed Ecuador on the Committee to Protect Journalists’ most recent “risk list” alongside Syria, Pakistan, and Iran (nearby Brazil also made the list).

And, of course, there’s also the aforementioned cold shoulder given to international investors, giving the wider, capitalist world plenty of reason to smirk at such an ambitious project from such a small and relatively isolated nation.

Yet the team behind Yachay seems willing to put in the work to sell their vision to the world, convinced they’ve got something to offer.

“It is a City of Knowledge in order to build a country of knowledge,” Ramirez tells me on a visit to his ministry’s office in the capitol of Quito. “Yachay is linked to the areas of knowledge and the strategic industries that we are hoping to develop in Ecuador.”

When the team behind Yachay talks about the project, the paradoxes that make up today’s Ecuador combine into a more holistic vision in which the contradictions cancel each other out and disappear as if part of an algebra problem. For example, the work done at Yachay will center around a handful of areas, including renewable energy that could (in theory) reduce the temptation to drill the rain forest, preserving its biological treasures to assist in research into another of Yachay’s focus areas — pharmaceuticals.

The idea would be “not only to produce [generic drugs], but mainly to link it to an area where we have a competitive advantage in Ecuador,” Ramirez explains. “We have nearby numerous ecosystems which make this country the most megadiverse in the world.”

Of course, the mega-biodiversity Ramirez speaks of is of less value if it’s spoiled by pollution and other environmental impacts of oil extraction, so he talks not only of developing more clean energy tech at Yachay — he claims that only 40 percent of Ecuador’s energy demand is met by fossil fuels, a number he says will drop to 6 percent by 2020 — but also of making improvements when it comes to exploiting all those liquefied dinosaurs and other hydrocarbons.

The naming difficulty was now acute

27 Mar

The subsequent Home windows eight update, leaked this 7 days, is code-named Blue, and this may even turn into its promoting identify. We already have Home windows Azure, the cloud computing company, and Azure would both operate and hook up to Blue, potentially adopted by Home windows Indigo and Windows Extremely Violet.

Or perhaps Microsoft could launch Blue as Windows eight SP1, or Home windows That really can be puzzling as the variation identify ?a as distinct from your promoting name ?a is Home windows 6.3.

The something we all know for sure is that it is going to carry on Microsoft’s history of finding puzzling names for its NT line of functioning techniques. Occasionally intentionally.

Traditionally, Windows NT was created by Dave Cutler, former star programmer with Electronic Equipment Company and developer of its VAX VMS minicomputer running technique. In truth, wags duly pointed out that incrementing VMS by just one letter resulted in WNT.

The NT staff also switched to this point numbering and grabbed Home windows 2000. This remaining the DOS/Windows workforce by using a quandary that it solved by releasing Windows ME or Me. Happily, this was the tip with the line. Smart companies had been currently migrating to NT4 and/or Windows 2000, and the rest were not dim-witted more than enough to stick with DOS-based Home windows forever.

Microsoft now required to make Home windows 2000 glance a tad jollier plus more like a little something individuals would buy, but Home windows 2001 was a tad also shut to Windows 2000. Windows 2000 adopted NT four.0, so it had been really NT 5.0, and Home windows XP grew to become edition 5.1 to mirror its new UI.

windows 7 product keys

Home windows XP united the industry, replacing both equally Home windows 2000 and Me. On the other hand, it absolutely was commonly derided in the push and proved absurdly vulnerable to waves of malware, so it was pretty much as good as useless by 2003. Or perhaps not. Microsoft patched it up with Services Pack 2 in 2004, and sensible organizations caught with it until 2009-10.

The naming difficulty was now acute. Fill during the upcoming time period in this particular series: Home windows NT4, Windows 2000, Windows XP. Without any logic to stick to apart from inconsistency, an individual picked Vista. This was unveiled as NT six.0, reflecting the fact that Microsoft had redone the inner plumbing.

Enter Steve Sinofsky. He experienced operate the Microsoft Office environment crew, which had stuck with calendar year names. He determined to return to easy version numbering, and since he was producing the variation of Home windows following edition six (Vista), he identified as it Home windows seven. Just don’t take a look at the version quantity, simply because it can be actually variation

Home windows 7 was a tremendous success, hence the future variation experienced to get named Windows 8. The introduction of a new touch-oriented interface, programming technique, new software distribution procedure, etcetera, would’ve justified a new edition selection, so Home windows eight could have been version seven.

Google Inc (GOOG) Takes On Apple Inc. (AAPL) In Smart Watches

24 Mar

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is reportedly working on a smart watch — just like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung. It was announced earlier this week that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) was likely going to take on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the quest to create a smart watch, so it certainly seems natural that Google would want to join the party as well.

The Financial Times cites a source who said Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android unit is working on a smart watch. That comes out in stark difference to the company’s other wearable computing projects. The search giant has been working on its Glass project for a long time, and it is currently being developed in their XLab. The XLab handles projects that are more experimental. Earlier this month, they unveiled a pair of talking shoes, which were actually a more marketing product as opposed to something that to be sold to the public.

Quite a few tiles are live that means that they update

24 Mar

Let us start is using the new Modern-day UI. There?ˉs no doubt this might be among the boldest moves that Microsoft has produced with Home windows, and every new Home windows system on sale proudly displays the colorful and dynamic style and design.

windows 7 ultimate upgrade key

We can see why the beginning display screen (correctly a substitution for the aged Start Menu) is definitely an fascinating setting. Big packing containers kind a multi-coloured grid that sits on top of a customisable history. Quite a few tiles are live, that means that they update frequently to reveal the most recent sports information, search developments on Bing, weather conditions as part of your location, or news headlines, plus the desktop app tile displays the present wallpaper which you use about the traditional Home windows desktop.

The addition of images that accompany the frequently switching information tends to make the full Start off display working experience look alive and interesting, even for the position of it basically staying distracting. Leaving this Start display open when reading via a document with a next screen is usually a hazardous affair as your eye is invariably drawn to the flashing and flickering of transfer rumours or perhaps the startling news that Dolphins are one of several most searched-for conditions on-line today.

To the more organised person, there is the option to group the icons jointly in columns just by dragging them into a new grid after which you can working with the pinch gesture (or mouse wheel) to zoom out, clicking within the column and then naming it.

Picking out considered one of reported icons also displays that Microsoft?ˉs designers use a sprint of aptitude. The tile animation expands, flipping over mainly because it does so, right before launching the application. It?ˉs a small element but adds allure.

This also introduces one of several other substantial improvements to your Windows expertise, that from the full-screen app. When making use of the traditional desktop, you’ve the selection of resizing home windows to fit your desire and screen real-estate, but while in the Modern UI full-screen applications are get of your working day.

The a single concession is ??Snap?ˉ a function that enables you to definitely display screen an app on a lot of the display, with another squeezed into a quarter strip on either the left or suitable. For Twitter feeds or other list-based applications this could certainly function very properly, however, if you want to run anything at all more sophisticated side-by-side then you?ˉll must make investments in a very 2nd keep track of or produce a deep kinship while using the Windows Tab shortcut.

This is certainly in which the tablet-like nature with the new design and style starts to rear its head, and may induce individuals that have grown up applying Windows a bit confusion. Several from the Fashionable UI apps even have simplified layouts both equally visually and functionally, but we?ˉll address that in more depth down below. Even the symbols for loading or processing are tweaked, with customers now seeing 5 small balls orbit around an invisible sun, or maybe a coloured line stretching across the best from the display screen until the job is concluded.

All this seems, since the name aptly conveys, similar to a fashionable OS. In reality if you believe from the clear traces and expanses of white vacant house frequently observed over the display screen, it appears oddly similar in tone to Google?ˉs most recent model of Android, mixed with all the traditional minimalism of Apple.

Very a departure in the regular desktop, which you will even now utilize a lot to run the apps you use each individual day, this kind of as Office, Photoshop plus your web browser. That may be, obviously, until finally Fashionable UI variations seem which greatest the traditional versions. Which is unlikely to occur any time before long, we’d wager.

Within the desktop you are able to run your Home windows 7/Vista/XP software program and usually find your way about in the regular method, however it does require changing numerous default software configurations (which we’ll point out later) to prevent the typical scenario in which you click something from the Desktop app, say a picture file, only to discover your self transported back again on the Modern day UI as the Shots application launches. Lots of people might not thoughts this switching about, even though other folks will discover it grating.

These are all set-and-forget fixes, but during the primary couple hours within the Windows 8 environment it may be easy to sense a tad shed, specially if you?ˉre not assured when it comes to taking part in along with your options.

Arguably probably the most irritating factor is always that Contemporary UI apps don?ˉt have buttons to minimise or near the window, instead they count over a less-than-obvious gesture in which you drag your finger (or mouse cursor) down within the best to exit, or swipe in in the still left facet to modify among apps.

In case you don?ˉt have a touchscreen then Window Tab will navigate amongst open Modern day UI apps, and Alt Tab will cycle as a result of anything. Those people preferring to implement their mouse for all the things will uncover the brand new ‘hot’ corners which display the listing of running apps (and charms bar) whenever you set your cursor in the remaining or right-hand corners respectively.

Twitter ‘worth $11bn, likely to float in 2014’

22 Mar

 The social network, which allows people to share messages 140-characters long, has long been tipped for an initial public offering, but was thought to have gone cold on the idea after the disastrous market debuts of some of its Silicon Valley peers.

However, Max Wolff at Greencrest said the company had started firming up its management team and was likely to start preparations for the hotly-anticipated IPO towards the end of this year.

The micro-blogging network is worth around $11bn based on trading of unofficial shares in the company on the secondary markets, he added.

Twitter was valued at $8bn at its last funding round in 2011 but saw the growth in its valuation slow after the dismal flotations of Facebook and games company Zynga dented confidence in technology businesses.

Facebook has lost more than a quarter of its value since its IPO last May, while Zynga’s shares have plummeted by three quarters.