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First place I saw it was distrust (4, Informative)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689117)

best firefox extension ever.

Re:First place I saw it was distrust (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689587)

So the "Clear Private Data" menu option in Firefox is too difficult to use or something?

Re:First place I saw it was distrust (4, Informative)

Scootin159 (557129) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689791)

I believe distrust predated this option. Distrust also allows you to mark specific time periods to remove from your browsing history - allowing you to keep the good, but hide the bad.

Re:First place I saw it was distrust (4, Informative)

robmv (855035) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690229)

Clear Private Data is not as secure as not saving the data on the first place, remember that files are cached, and no matter if you do use that option, someone with the knowledge can find not overwritten data of deleted files. Private browsing is the next step of security after Clear Private Data

Re:First place I saw it was distrust (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24690223)

It would be interesting to see a detailed comparison of the various options.
Rank at the top of the list something like browsing with Firefox under Ubuntu run from a Live CD (not even VM swap on disk then), and down at the bottom options that remove or prevent only visible-in-browser stuff like the history....

It has been a while since I looked, but some time ago I noticed that Safari used with some sites had many JPEG images left in the JAVA cache files even in Private Browsing mode, and a surprising amount of data in the logs.

Private isn't private if a tech savvy housemate can easily see such things directly or with utilities.

legitimization through familiarity (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689129)

we cannot allow this reporting of legitimacy of software patents as if they are par for the course to go unchecked

email the bbc and tell them to obtain a backbone and stand up to m$ (and build chairproof buildings)

i mean, seriously, how is this more than evolutionary?

innovative my rear

Typical .. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689137)

1. Search for useful features already in use by other products
2. Patent the unpatented
3. ???
4. PROFIT $$

Re:Typical .. (4, Interesting)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690147)

Technically:

1. Search for useful features (history, cache, saved entries)
2. Patent the removal of said features
3. ???
4. Profit!

I see the point of removing or disabling histories in a browserâ"it makes senseâ"but these are just added features that some very old or very basic browsers don't have.

How can you patent the removal of features? It's not "making" anything, it's just tearing down something that already exists and only putting some parts back when you build it again. Obviously not everyone wants those parts, hence "privacy-aware" browsers exist, but you can't patent that!

Microsoft: (5, Funny)

Inglix the Mad (576601) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689147)

We didn't make it first, but that won't stop us from trying to patent it!

Re:Microsoft: (5, Funny)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689247)

Mister Ballmer, this is our lawyer. Our Lawyer, this is mister Ballmer. (Nice to meat you). Uhhhhh we have this little piece of paper that shows evidence that we made it first. It is called prior art. Something you are probably familiar with. Uhhhhm... err... it basically come down to this -"Hey can I just like... interrupt for a bit? Heh. Can't we make a settlement?" - sure what's on your mind -"Well we, ofcourse, have a lot of money, so if you can keep this, you know... quiet than we are uhm... sort of 'willing' to give you a, what we like to caaaall, compensation of some sort?" - yeah, sure.

Re:Microsoft: (5, Funny)

Godji (957148) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689389)

Nice to meat you

Given that you're talking about lawyers, I don't think that's a spelling mistake...

Re:Microsoft: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689931)

[Ballmer:] we own all the patents on nicking other peoples work, including lots of prior art. Now get off my lawn!

Re:Microsoft: (1)

AngryLlama (611814) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690113)

Compensation? I hope it is a fresh copy of Windows Vista Ultimate!

Trademarks, not patents! (5, Informative)

LO0G (606364) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689165)

They aren't patent applications, they're trademark applications. Check the source [istartedsomething.com]

BIG difference.

Patents==Bad and subject to prior art.
Trademarks==Good, and not subject to prior art.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (4, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689189)

Mod parent up. MS can have "cleartracks" and "inprivate" as trademarks if they want....

No, they cannot... (4, Informative)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690671)

MS can have "cleartracks" and "inprivate" as trademarks if they want....

There already is a very similar software product called "TracksClear". I would imagine that "ClearTracks" will be sufficently confusing.

Except... There are problems (2, Informative)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690689)

Neither one of those are super-enforceable. Unique names in sound and spelling are worthy of a truly enforceable trademark.

These trademarks are not unique in as much they ram two common words together. I know it's done "all of the time" but that doesn't mean they are perfectly defensible.

Trademarks like this are commonly used to drown your smaller competitors in legal bills by filing infringement claim after infringement claim. Nothing else.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (4, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689297)

while your right, I would hardly consider Trademarks good too, especially when its often used to Trademark very common things like colors, common words, etc, which it is not supposed to be used for, and like Patents very hard to overturn.

A good example would be the non-profit org who where sued by Miracle Grow for using GREEN and YELLOW on their package of fertilizer despite the package it's self looking NOTHING like a Miracle Grow package at all.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (5, Insightful)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689453)

Trademarks can be very valuable, not just to the company, but to the consumer - if I go to BestBuy to buy a television, I can only see the feature list and the picture quality. They tend to frown on me cracking it open and seeing what quality of components were used in the power supply, for instance.
The trademark identifies the manufacturer, and their reputation gives me an indication of the quality of hidden components. If it's a Sony, it'll probably hold up for a while - if it's an apparently-identical Daewoo, it'll probably die the day after the warranty runs out.

Your point about common words and colors is valid, but that just means there needs to be better inspection, auditing, and reexamination procedures - not that trademarks aren't good in general.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689567)

Trademarks are not okay when they are basic vocabulary words. That becomes quite stifling of freedom of speech.

Hows that mention of the phrase the olympics been ....$$#####&AT

LOST CARRIER

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689659)

Trademarks are not okay when they are basic vocabulary words. That becomes quite stifling of freedom of speech.

Yes, but you notice my examples didn't use those. So... your point?

Hows that mention of the phrase the olympics been ....$$#####&AT

LOST CARRIER

And I see you're making a joke here, but it's pretty damn obscure due to your poor grammar. Could you try again?

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (2, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690089)

You haven't heard about the olympic committee going ballistic on anyone who uses the phrases or shows the rings?

It has the same problems as the DMCA: it's easier to stifle someone's freedom/speech [techdirt.com] than it is to fight back such situations.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (3, Informative)

HUADPE (903765) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689851)

Trademarks are limited in their scope, but can be used for common words. E.g. Apple is a trademark in reference to computers, but not in reference to fruit. You cannot trademark a word for it's dictionary definition usage. For example, if I were selling printer ink, I couldn't trademark "Ink" or "Printer Ink," but I could trademark "Bob's Printer Ink."

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (5, Informative)

Tenrosei (1305283) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690307)

HUADPE thank you! People are idiots even if you trademark a word like yellow to a new watch. Your trademark is limited to the product you are calling yellow so someone else can still have a yellow trademark on a new type of telephone, or trademark yellow as a new type of hat.Also, "If a court rules that a trademark has become "generic" through common use (such that the mark no longer performs the essential trademark function and the average consumer no longer considers that exclusive rights attach to it), the corresponding registration may also be ruled invalid." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark [wikipedia.org]

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (1)

PinkPanther (42194) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690677)

someone else can still have a yellow trademark on a new type of telephone

Not they cannot. Certainly a watch can have a phone function. Yellow(tm) would sue the telephone maker into oblivion.

And what if Yellow(tm) decided to come out with a line of hats with a built in watch? Or even just a "hat clip" for their watch?

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689935)

Hows that mention of the phrase the olympics been ....$$#####&AT

What's AT&T got to do with anything?

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24690245)

I agree. Of course there's a benefit to not allowing me to slap a "Coca-Cola" sticker on a can of urine and sell it, but there's a problem if you can trademark basic words you put together, that have probably been put together before.

I would also argue that something is wrong with the trademark system: most of the trademarked names aren't really marks of the trade. Coke is clearly talking about coke (I mean you can judge from context whether it's cocaine or soda), and microsoft is clearly the company, but "cleartracks" is not something that's going to have much recognition.

Microsoft is not going to spend a lot of money advertising "cleartracks," so if I make something and call it "cleartracks," consumers aren't going to buy my thing thinking it's microsoft's.

Trademarks also should only be used in limited contexts. If I'm making a drink and calling it coca-cola, that's a clear problem. If I'm selling a type of tire and call them "apple," no one is going to confuse it with the computer.

Maybe that's not the best example, since people around here would probably argue that apple users are dumb enough to confuse the two, and spend hours trying to boot up their apple tire...

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (1)

hellwig (1325869) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689817)

Oh sure, let them trademark something as common-place as Cleartracks, and next thing you know they'll be trademarking letters of the alphabet.

Seriously though, MS does have a bad habit of trademarking words they find in a See Dick Run story-book, but if they want to trademark crap like Cleartracks and Inprivate, I suppose we can let them have those. Now, if they had tried to trademark Microsoft Browser, that would have been a different story.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690279)

Common on now lets not call Microsoft out on this alone.
When you were learning the alphabet and they had the picture next to the letter. What picture did they use for the first letter A-a (apple). I agree with the original parent grand parents etc. Trademarks aren't bad in my book by and large, granted they do have some problems. It's nice that I can buy a product at the store that claims to be LG and it's actually LG or my AMD chip is actually AMD.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689989)

Trademarks can be very valuable, not just to the company, but to the consumer

Go read up on the nut trademarking "stealth" and tell me whether you think they are so good. He's trying to own the word, performing a DOS on the word itself. Trademarking a company name makes sense. Trademarking every single feature with a different name is a useless practice. It's easy to realize that "word processor" means different things if made by Microsoft vs IBM. If there was a shelf in a store with "Microsoft Word" next to "IBM Word" I do not think that a significant number of people would be confused, yet trademark law protects "word" from being used by anyone else. That's where it loses its usefulness.

The trademark identifies the manufacturer, and their reputation gives me an indication of the quality of hidden components.

And everyone tries to trademark every little feature. I've even seen marketing material with "The only Car/TV/chair/whatever with XXX" when XXX is nothing more than a trademarked name for a feature everyone else had. That's deceptive and works to harm the consumer's choice and knowledge, not add to it. Like copyrights, trademarks are a good idea that manages to fail in implementation. Yet no one seems the least bit interested in fixing it.

Mod Parent Interesting or Informative (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690745)

A very good summary of Trademark abuse.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689479)

Sure, you can argue that some trademarks are stupid. You have to remember that trademarks are context sensitive, though, so even if the trademark is a common word the question is it's use in the context of the product in question. This is how "Linux" can manage to be both a kernel and a laundry detergent.

In this case, the two words "ClearTracks" and "InPrivate" are not obvious common words. In fact, there are only two other live trademarks for "ClearTrack", one applied to golf putter training rails and the other applied to software to track packages in transit. A search on UPSTO for "InPrivate" only brings back the application from Microsoft, so it apparently has never been used before.

I would say that these are good and valid trademark applications. They don't imply invention, they don't attempt to hijack common parlance and they are quite narrow in scope.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (3, Informative)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690393)

In this case, the two words "ClearTracks" and "InPrivate" are not obvious common words.

"InPrivate" is alright, as long as it's limited to the proper scope. "Clear tracks" is a fairly common phrase for people to use in reference to this.

http://clear-tracks.qarchive.org/ [qarchive.org]
http://www.softplatz.com/software/clear-tracks/ [softplatz.com]

I don't speak for the software in the links above, just pointing it out...

Amusingly, it looks like it's also the name of a piece of tracking software. So, you can clear your tracks, or you can leave them clearly.
http://www.claritytech.com/software/clarity/cleartracks/ [claritytech.com]

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689505)

A good example would be the non-profit org who where sued by Miracle Grow for using GREEN and YELLOW on their package of fertilizer despite the package it's self looking NOTHING like a Miracle Grow package at all.

From what I read, it wasn't a non-profit, but rather a small for-profit business. Also, the suit alleged a number of direct and unverifiable claims that TerraCycle made that directly compared their product to Miracle-Gro. I agree that there packages looked nothing alike, aside from some similar color usage, but that is far from the only thing that the lawsuit was about.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (0, Offtopic)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689551)

A good example would be the non-profit org who where sued by Miracle Grow for using GREEN and YELLOW on their package of fertilizer despite the package it's self looking NOTHING like a Miracle Grow package at all.

Well, last time I checked, a bucket of KFC chicken has Colonel Sanders on it, but there's nothing that looks like him in it. There's not even anything thing that looks like it might come from him, although perhaps we should be worried about what they mean by a "variety" bucket...

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (4, Insightful)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689751)

Let's not be so black and white: Patents AND trademarks can be very good; it's just that they've been abused to the point that they've gone way beyond their original purpose.

When an organization can get a patent on a drug it developed that no one else could (and yes this happens a lot), a patent is good.

When an organization can patent a long-known remedy or long-used functionality, that is very, very bad.

When an organization can keep others from selling fake versions of its products as if they were the real thing, that is good.

When that organization uses trademark law to keep ANYONE from making unapproved references to it (like when Ford sues to stop publication of the Black Mustang Club's calendar even if it has a disclaimer saying it's not an official Ford product) that is very, very bad.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (3, Interesting)

jelton (513109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690367)

When an organization can keep others from selling fake versions of its products as if they were the real thing, that is good.

When that organization uses trademark law to keep ANYONE from making unapproved references to it (like when Ford sues to stop publication of the Black Mustang Club's calendar even if it has a disclaimer saying it's not an official Ford product) that is very, very bad.

I agree with this, but will take it one step further.

The origin of federal trademark law is in fair trade law (no use of similar marks to confuse customers). When a trademark is used to protect consumers from harm, it is fulfilling its purpose; when it is used to provide an undue and/or unfair business advantage to the holder, it harms consumers and is operating counter to its intended nature.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (1)

RemyBR (1158435) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690859)

When an organization can get a patent on a drug it developed that no one else could (and yes this happens a lot), a patent is good.

Even if that's a drug that would save thousands of lives, but the manufacturer is selling it for a price that many cannot afford?

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (3, Interesting)

nametaken (610866) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689787)

While there are always cases of people/co's being ridiculous, I think there's a very good argument for trademarks.

I don't want to pick up a Coke and get a Pepsi, an eee PC and find out it's not made by Asus, or buy an iPhone online and find out it's not the Apple iPhone.

Ok... that last one is a bad example. ;)

Another Example (3, Informative)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689799)

The IOC suing businesses on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State for having "Olympic" in their names.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (4, Insightful)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689373)

Yeap. Nothing to see here. Why BBC would translate trademark->patent for no apparent reason is a good question though.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (2, Informative)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689841)

It's a mistake. The blog they cite (istartedsomething.com) has it as trademark too.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (2, Funny)

miserere nobis (1332335) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689955)

Apparently BBC reporters are like us, and don't necessarily feel the need to RTFA before writing and publishing some reporting or opinion about it.

Glad to see the mainstream media is finally getting with it and learning how to properly make use of the Interweb!

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689985)

Not sure myself, but I've sent an email telling them so.

Hopefully it'll get corrected.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689995)

Why BBC would translate trademark->patent for no apparent reason is a good question though.

A single government agency [uspto.gov] handles U.S. patents and U.S. trademarks. Might that have something to do with it?

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (1)

greenpanda (679394) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690239)

Mistakes on news.bbc.co.uk are commonplace now - especially spelling and grammar.

Recently they've started putting up half-stories, unfinished and unpolished, straight away and then amending them later. It annoys me tremendously.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (3, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689771)

If this is just a trademark, then what's the big deal? Everyone will just use another name.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24690723)

Bingo

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (3, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689789)

Patents==Bad and subject to prior art.
Trademarks==Good, and not subject to prior art.

What a wonderfully 2 dimensional view of the world you have.
Both have their good points and both can be misused for bad stuff.
Patents are so the inventor can make money on their invention for a period of time before someone can copy it. While misused to keep competition down at its worse it can be used to improve competition at its best. Eg. Say a guy invents and patents a compression algorithm that is Faster, Lossless, Tighter then all other compression algorithms. So he is making money selling licenses to use the product. Now lets say Microsoft (as most people on slashdot sees them as the bad guy) wants to get in, however they don't want to pay the licensing fee. Without patents they could just copy this guys work (which could have taken years of R&D and costs the guys life savings) and he would be penniless for his invention.

Now for trademarks they are for protecting "idenity" of the company say a Logo or a Name. A company I use to work for has the Hourglass Nebula part of their logo which is trademarked. Although they have never enforced it they could have sued Perljam as they used that Nebula for one of their covers. Or they may have gone against say some small astronomy club who used a picture of it for their logo.

So saying Patents are Bad and Trademarks are Good is a very poor view of the world. Things rairly ever go so neatly into categories. Now a more correct view would be realizing that Patents may have gone past its origional intent and needs some major reform while trademarks less so. But saying it is bad and good is a huge understatement.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (0, Flamebait)

hewest (1332179) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690133)

So where did they get the image of the Hourglass Nebula, NASA. They would have no grounds for going after anyone that used an image of an object in space as part of their logo or CD cover. Maybe if the astronomy club directly took your companies logo and pasted their name on to it they would have a case.

Nice try but think a little harder next time.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (1)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690709)

Now for trademarks they are for protecting "idenity" of the company say a Logo or a Name. A company I use to work for has the Hourglass Nebula part of their logo which is trademarked. Although they have never enforced it they could have sued Perljam as they used that Nebula for one of their covers. Or they may have gone against say some small astronomy club who used a picture of it for their logo.

There are more limits on trademarks than you seem to think. The company would have no case, especially against the astronomy club.

Otherwise you'd have Cisco Networks suing the Cisco Boiler Company, Sun Microsystems suing Frito-Lay over Sun Chips, et cetera.

Re:Trademarks, not patents! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24690739)

Shades of gray are for pansies! Take either a black or white stance - nothing in between!

Patenting the absence of something? (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689175)

The original CERN WWW browser didn't keep cookies, didn't maintain a history, and didn't cache pages. Is that therefore prior art?

Then again, my coffee cup does none of those things either - it doesn't even browse Web pages. Now *that*'s privacy...

How can you patent the absence of a feature (or more accurately, disabling a feature)?

Re:Patenting the absence of something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24690069)

I am very interested in your coffee cup. How much do you want for it?

Re:Patenting the absence of something? (1)

Kadagan AU (638260) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690091)

If you make an engine that has lower emissions.. it's that an absence of something? But it's still something that people would want. My cup of coffee doesn't emit the same fumes as a car engine, but that doesn't mean it's a better car. Does that mean my coffee would be prior art to said engine? Sometimes the lack of a feature is a feature.

Offline coffee cup (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690617)

Then again, my coffee cup does none of those things either - it doesn't even browse Web pages. Now *that*'s privacy...

Your coffee cup is offline? Not even bluetooth? How do your temp and level sensors function? Is it a maintenance issue or is this one of those retro 'china' cups?

And? (0, Redundant)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689179)

a feature already present in Safari, among other browsers.

This is after all, both an MS story, AND a Patent story.

lYou would actually expect them to innovate in a Patent Application, would you?

I mean, that just reeks of giving in to non-corporate expectations.

A word of warning ... (4, Funny)

bwthomas (796211) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689187)

I've got a business process patent that I think Microsoft should be aware of: "A specific process and procedure for patenting pre-existing technology in order to build a patent portfolio which can be leveraged using the court system to gain substantive competitive advantage."

Re:A word of warning ... (3, Funny)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689345)

I've got a business process patent that I think Microsoft should be aware of: "A specific process and procedure for patenting pre-existing technology in order to build a patent portfolio which can be leveraged using the court system to gain substantive competitive advantage."

I already found a way around it: A specific process and procedure for patenting existing technology in order to build a patent portfolio which can be leveraged using the court system to gain substantive competitive advantage.

Ha ha! You have a patent for PRE-existing technology whereas, I have a patent for EXISTING technology. Which means your patent patents mine ..Oh Shit!

Re:A word of warning ... (1)

jelton (513109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690427)

I think there may be prior art...

ignoring the patent isssue (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689197)

putting a private browser mode on IE is like putting a shit filter on your ass. Or a lameness filter oin slashdot.

Re:ignoring the patent isssue (1)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689767)

If that were the case, any patent that Microsoft could take out on this concept would be totally irrelevant. After all, how many vendors would want to create a web browser that cannot make HTTP connections?

(Yes, I read the trademark bit).

I love this feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689199)

I always use it to clear my browser cache when I have been looking for presents for my wife.

Re:I love this feature (1)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689463)

**cough** porn **cough**

Re:I love this feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689731)

Perhaps his wife likes porn?

Re:I love this feature (1)

Keyper7 (1160079) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689743)

Quite liberal wife you got there.

Summary and Article WRONG (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689285)

This is all wrong. Microsoft did not apply for patents, they applied for trademarks for the names they're giving the features, namely "ClearTracks" and "InPrivate". Unless you can find existing use for those names in privacy software you're not likely to find any objections to the trademark applications. Trademarks are not a claim of invention and in no way prevent others from implementing the exact same ideas or algorithms. They're simply a claim to a name in a specific context.

Even the original blogger got it right:

http://www.istartedsomething.com/20080820/microsoft-hints-private-browsing-feature-ie/ [istartedsomething.com]

I don't expect Slashdot to actually fix the summary, though. The word "patent" will generate a lot traffic, whereas everyone will simply yawn over "trademark".

Why haven't the patented... (3, Funny)

rallymatte (707679) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689289)

the web browser already? Is it too late?

Er... have they heard of Stealther? (1, Redundant)

yankeessuck (644423) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689305)

How can they seriously apply for a patent for something that's been around for at least three years [mozilla.org] ? Maybe they actually have a novel implementation of the concept but I kind of doubt that.

Re:Er... have they heard of Stealther? (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690453)

How can they seriously apply for a patent for something that's been around for at least three years?

Let's leave aside the fact that they were not applying for patents. This point is raised a lot around slashdot. The answer would be you assume a news story to have some relationship to the day the patent was filed. There is a 12-24 month period (I think it is more tightly defined, but I don't know) after a patent is filed before it is publicized. This period is to give the company time to refine the legal language, finish providing the patent examiner with relevent prior art, etc. Unless there is a mole inside the company/patent office (which would probably face stiff penalties for doing so) no one will know about the patent. During that time it is entirely possible that other companies will independently invent (or see the patent-pending product and reverse-engineer) a competing product. But that is not prior art, because it comes after the original filing date.

That's one reason why it is not uncommon to hear about patents for things that have been around a while.

For uhm... medical conditions (4, Funny)

mrvan (973822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689353)

FTFA:

Users may wish to turn on the privacy mode if they are planning a surprise party, buying presents or researching a medical condition and do not want others users of the same computer to find out.

Yeah, right...

Re:For uhm... medical conditions (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689441)

or donkey porn. I wouldn't want my wife finding out about the donkey porn!

Re:For uhm... medical conditions (1)

greenpanda (679394) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690297)

or donkey porn. I wouldn't want my wife finding out about the donkey porn!

...especially if it was going to be a present for her.

Re:For uhm... medical conditions (3, Funny)

LinuxIdiot (708662) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689455)

Or you know researching methods to kill someone as recently seen in news reports where forensic computer research showed people researching "undetectable ways to kill someon"

Re:For uhm... medical conditions (1)

Keyper7 (1160079) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689809)

Actually, "researching a medical condition and do not want others users of the same computer to find out" makes a lot of sense for certain people who like to "have fun outside" and often forget certain "security measures".

Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689399)

Users may wish to turn on the privacy mode if they are planning a surprise party, buying presents or researching a medical condition and do not want others users of the same computer to find out.

Uh, yeah. Surprise party. Buying presents. That's what I was doing.

Other name suggestions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689405)

I say we call a shovel a shovel (or whatever).

Let's trademark P0rnModeâ. Then _everyone_ knows what the heck that option does.

Trademark not patent (4, Informative)

zoobab (201383) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689433)

While searching the patent numbers, it appears that this story is not even about patents:

http://www.istartedsomething.com/20080820/microsoft-hints-private-browsing-feature-ie/

"On July 30th, Microsoft filed two trademarks for:"

So please CmdrTaco, update your article.

Best,

Re:Trademark not patent (2, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689637)

What? You expect Slashdot "editors" to "edit"? How much dope do you smoke, pal...

Re:Trademark not patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689893)

Some random blog: "trademarks"

The BBC:

Microsoft watchers have spotted two patent applications [emph. mine] covering ways to manage the amount of information a browser logs.

Hmm - I wonder which one I believe...

Re:Trademark not patent (1)

tOaOMiB (847361) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690669)

Hmmmm...the original source, that has the file numbers and everything? If you are playing a game of telephone, would you rather believe the really reliable friend of yours (who happens to be at the end of the line) to tell you the phrase, or hear it from the second guy in the line who you don't know? I'll take the guy I don't know.

Re:Trademark not patent (1)

MyIS (834233) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690565)

I think it's the Beeb that made the mistake (TFA also uses the word "patent").

I don't see the problem... (1)

kclittle (625128) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689471)

I don't see the problem with Microsoft patenting or trademarking ideas that Apple has already shipped. I mean, they've done it before and gotten away with it...

M$ - Tabbed Browsing Patent (0, Troll)

whtmarker (1060730) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689541)

This is just like their tabbed browsing patent. [slashdot.org]

M$ Business model: find an unpatented feature in an open source browser. Implement it in IE, then patent it. Sue the pants of the people who dared infringe on it.

Re:M$ - Tabbed Browsing Patent (1)

whtmarker (1060730) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689563)

This is just like their tabbed browsing patent. [slashdot.org] M$ Business model: find an unpatented feature in an open source browser. Implement it in IE, then patent it. Sue the pants of the people who dared infringe on it.

whoops i meant here. [internetnews.com]

Re:M$ - Tabbed Browsing Patent (2, Informative)

j79zlr (930600) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690081)

The story you have linked to is about using TAB to switch between links, not tabbed browsing ala Opera or Firefox as I know it. The thought that you can patent something as rudimentary as using tab to switch between fields is very ridiculous though.

Standard post about patenting patents (2, Funny)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689553)

This is the standard post mentioning the apparently humorous idea of patenting the idea of patenting obvious ideas, thus being able to sue companies like Microsoft who do so (a joke that is often described as "ironic," even though it isn't). This joke occurs in each article pertaining to obvious patents that appears in Slashdot's Patents section, though from this point forward I will be taking personal responsibility for including it, freeing others to focus on making more original and insightful criticisms of the USPTO.

Thank you for visiting the Slashdot Patents section.

Re:Standard post about patenting patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24690535)

But what about patenting the process for posting the joke of patenting the idea of patenting obvious ideas?

PROXOMITRON did it first (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689595)

HUmmm .,.. filter browser_supplied info? I've used PROXO since 2001 on my WINME box. What's new?

Re:PROXOMITRON did it first (2, Insightful)

Oxy the moron (770724) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689825)

What's new?

The fact that you're using WinME???

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24689633)

private browsing

You mean Porn browsing, right?

Re:Really? (3, Funny)

greenpanda (679394) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690377)

"PornBrowsing®" is their next feature. It's like private browsing, but "goes deeper".

Patent Reform Act of 2007 (1)

th3rmite (938737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689763)

So, would the Patent Reform Act of 2007 [wikipedia.org] allow companies like MS actually patent stuff like this as long as they were the first to file?

Just a Reminder... (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689891)

That a patent is about HOW to do something, not the end result. So, just because Safari and Firefox have a similar feature doesn't mean that Microsoft is out in left field applying for a patent in the same area.

Re:Just a Reminder... (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690603)

How do you achieve the end result of no cache, cookies/history without disabling said features?

I don't know... (1)

HAL9000_mirror (1029222) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690181)

about you guys, but I always do my browsing in private.

Oh really? (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690345)

Isn't part of the patent process to determine if prior art already exists? If so Microsoft doesn't have a chance of getting a patent on this, particularly since much of the prior art is GPL anyhow.

A day late and a dollar short? (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690433)

And next on news at 11, JC Penney patents the changing room concept.

how private IS private browsing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24690627)

Even if the Browser leaves no traces, who controls its plugins (e.g. Shockwave's flash cookies) or the local DNS caches?

For the latter let's take a look at OSX (10.5.x). Even if you use Safari's private browsing feature, you or any user currently logged in can take a peak at the current DNS cache via DirectoryService, which includes all those pr0n sites you'd like to hide from your significant other. All it takes is a simple terminal command:

dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

It'll depend on your personal paranoia level to define how private private browsing really is. ;-)
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