I remember when eBay was first accused by MercExchange founder Tom Woolsten of patent infringement because of eBay's "Buy it Now" feature. I completely forgot about it.
Between the Lines
Larry Dignan and other IT industry experts, blogging at the intersection of business and technology, deliver daily news and analysis on vital enterprise trends.
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic.
Rachel King is a staff writer for ZDNet based in San Francisco.
Heatwave-wise, yesterday was probably the most uncomfortable day I can recall since moving to Massachusetts in 1991. The temperature inside my house reached 99 degrees.
Britain's plans for a universal ID card have suffered at the hands of of a London School of Economics report (PDF) that called into question the scheme's implementation. Now, an organization called the Pledge Bank has started a campaign to build a legal defense fund for people who publicly declare that they'll refuse to register for the new ID card.
I've routinely used ZDNet as a bully pulpit directed at both the sellers and buyers of technologies who look to establish or adopt certain standards that have patents connected to them. When a proprietary (often patented) technology earns the status of de facto standard (aka: practically unchallenged market dominance), the licensor of that technology (usually the patent holder) is basically afforded a legal monopoly and an unprecedented amount of market control.
The blogosphere and the tech news sites were all abuzz this week after Motorola and Microsoft officially announced the Moto Q -- a razor thin smartphone based on Windows Mobile 5.0.
According to Windows head Jim Allchin, the first beta of Vista is not suitable for mere mortals. "Beta 1 is not what I would call deeply interesting, unless you are a real bithead.
Gilles Caprari of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne has developed a matchbook-size robot named Insbot. Insbot can secrete reassuring chemicals and has successfully insinuated itself into colonies of cockroaches.
Next year, Japan plans to begin development of what it hopes will be the fastest of all supercomputers--73 times faster (10 petaflops: 1 petaflop is one thousand trillion floating point operations per second) than IBM's top-ranked Blue Gene, according to an Japan Times story. It may take up to $1 billion and five years to get there.
Research by a piracy-prevention consultancy, reports Silicon.com's Sylvia Carr, shows that software ranks second among the most popular categories of counterfeited goods, and that Microsoft is the top IT brand to be pirated.
Advertisers spend $200 million annually to place ads in video games--and that figure is supposedly (by what magic do they come up with projections like these?) set to grow five-fold by 2008.