Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Pinch-to-Zoom and Rounded Rectangles: What the Jury Didn't Say

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the and-the-story-continues dept.

Patents 147

CharlyFoxtrot writes "Steve Wildstrom at Tech.Pinions takes on some of the what he calls folklore surrounding Apple v Samsung, investigating what was and wasn't part of the case and how the media got it wrong: 'There's one serious problem with the first sentence, which was repeated dozens of times in stories in print and on the Web. Apple only has a limited patent on the pinch to shrink, stretch to zoom gesture that is a core element of touch interfaces. And the 826 patent wasn't in dispute in the Samsung case because Apple never asserted it. In fact, this particular patent does not seem to be in dispute in any litigation.'"

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

toothpick in my anus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185327)

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care - Government & Stealth Malware

In Response To Slashdot Article: Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms 87

How many rootkits does the US[2] use officially or unofficially?

How much of the free but proprietary software in the US spies on you?

Which software would that be?

Visit any of the top freeware sites in the US, count the number of thousands or millions of downloads of free but proprietary software, much of it works, again on a proprietary Operating System, with files stored or in transit.

How many free but proprietary programs have you downloaded and scanned entire hard drives, flash drives, and other media? Do you realize you are giving these types of proprietary programs complete access to all of your computer's files on the basis of faith alone?

If you are an atheist, the comparison is that you believe in code you cannot see to detect and contain malware on the basis of faith! So you do believe in something invisible to you, don't you?

I'm now going to touch on a subject most anti-malware, commercial or free, developers will DELETE on most of their forums or mailing lists:

APT malware infecting and remaining in BIOS, on PCI and AGP devices, in firmware, your router (many routers are forced to place backdoors in their firmware for their government) your NIC, and many other devices.

Where are the commercial or free anti-malware organizations and individual's products which hash and compare in the cloud and scan for malware for these vectors? If you post on mailing lists or forums of most anti-malware organizations about this threat, one of the following actions will apply: your post will be deleted and/or moved to a hard to find or 'deleted/junk posts' forum section, someone or a team of individuals will mock you in various forms 'tin foil hat', 'conspiracy nut', and my favorite, 'where is the proof of these infections?' One only needs to search Google for these threats and they will open your malware world view to a much larger arena of malware on devices not scanned/supported by the scanners from these freeware sites. This point assumed you're using the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS. Now, let's move on to Linux.

The rootkit scanners for Linux are few and poor. If you're lucky, you'll know how to use chkrootkit (but you can use strings and other tools for analysis) and show the strings of binaries on your installation, but the results are dependent on your capability of deciphering the output and performing further analysis with various tools or in an environment such as Remnux Linux. None of these free scanners scan the earlier mentioned areas of your PC, either! Nor do they detect many of the hundreds of trojans and rootkits easily available on popular websites and the dark/deep web.

Compromised defenders of Linux will look down their nose at you (unless they are into reverse engineering malware/bad binaries, Google for this and Linux and begin a valuable education!) and respond with a similar tone, if they don't call you a noob or point to verifying/downloading packages in a signed repo/original/secure source or checking hashes, they will jump to conspiracy type labels, ignore you, lock and/or shuffle the thread, or otherwise lead you astray from learning how to examine bad binaries. The world of Linux is funny in this way, and I've been a part of it for many years. The majority of Linux users, like the Windows users, will go out of their way to lead you and say anything other than pointing you to information readily available on detailed binary file analysis.

Don't let them get you down, the information is plenty and out there, some from some well known publishers of Linux/Unix books. Search, learn, and share the information on detecting and picking through bad binaries. But this still will not touch the void of the APT malware described above which will survive any wipe of r/w media. I'm convinced, on both *nix and Windows, these pieces of APT malware are government in origin. Maybe not from the US, but most of the 'curious' malware I've come across in poisoned binaries, were written by someone with a good knowledge in English, some, I found, functioned similar to the now well known Flame malware. From my experience, either many forum/mailing list mods and malware developers/defenders are 'on the take', compromised themselves, and/or working for a government entity.

Search enough, and you'll arrive at some lone individuals who cry out their system is compromised and nothing in their attempts can shake it of some 'strange infection'. These posts receive the same behavior as I said above, but often they are lone posts which receive no answer at all, AT ALL! While other posts are quickly and kindly replied to and the 'strange infection' posts are left to age and end up in a lost pile of old threads.

If you're persistent, the usual challenge is to, "prove it or STFU" and if the thread is not attacked or locked/shuffled and you're lucky to reference some actual data, they will usually attack or ridicule you and further drive the discussion away from actual proof of APT infections.

The market is ripe for an ambitious company or individual to begin demanding companies and organizations who release firmware and design hardware to release signed and hashed packages and pour this information into the cloud, so everyone's BIOS is checked, all firmware on routers, NICs, and other devices are checked, and malware identified and knowledge reported and shared openly.

But even this will do nothing to stop backdoored firmware (often on commercial routers and other networked devices of real importance for government use - which again opens the possibility of hackers discovering these backdoors) people continue to use instead of refusing to buy hardware with proprietary firmware/software.

Many people will say, "the only safe computer is the one disconnected from any network, wireless, wired, LAN, internet, intranet" but I have seen and you can search yourself for and read about satellite, RF, temperature, TEMPEST (is it illegal in your part of the world to SHIELD your system against some of these APT attacks, especially TEMPEST? And no, it's not simply a CRT issue), power line and many other attacks which can and do strike computers which have no active network connection, some which have never had any network connection. Some individuals have complained they receive APT attacks throughout their disconnected systems and they are ridiculed and labeled as a nutter. The information exists, some people have gone so far as to scream from the rooftops online about it, but they are nutters who must have some serious problems and this technology with our systems could not be possible.

I believe most modern computer hardware is more powerful than many of us imagine, and a lot of these systems swept from above via satellite and other attacks. Some exploits take advantage of packet radio and some of your proprietary hardware. Some exploits piggyback and unless you really know what you're doing, and even then... you won't notice it.

Back to the Windows users, a lot of them will dismiss any strange activity to, "that's just Windows!" and ignore it or format again and again only to see the same APT infected activity continue. Using older versions of sysinternals, I've observed very bizarre behavior on a few non networked systems, a mysterious chat program running which doesn't exist on the system, all communication methods monitored (bluetooth, your hard/software modems, and more), disk mirroring software running[1], scans running on different but specific file types, command line versions of popular Windows freeware installed on the system rather than the use of the graphical component, and more.

[1] In one anonymous post on pastebin, claiming to be from an intel org, it blasted the group Anonymous, with a bunch of threats and information, including that their systems are all mirrored in some remote location anyway.

[2] Or other government, US used in this case due to the article source and speculation vs. China. This is not to defend China, which is one messed up hell hole on several levels and we all need to push for human rights and freedom for China's people. For other, freer countries, however, the concentration camps exist but you wouldn't notice them, they originate from media, mostly your TV, and you don't even know it. As George Carlin railed about "Our Owners", "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

[3] []

Try this yourself on a wide variety of internet forums and mailing lists, push for malware scanners to scan more than files, but firmware/BIOS. See what happens, I can guarantee it won't be pleasant, especially with APT cases.

So scan away, or blissfully ignore it, but we need more people like RMS[3] in the world. Such individuals tend to be eccentric but their words ring true and clear about electronics and freedom.

I believe we're mostly pwned, whether we would like to admit it or not, blind and pwned, yet fiercely holding to misinformation, often due to lack of self discovery and education, and "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".


Schneier has covered it before: power line fluctuations (differences on the wire in keys pressed).

There's thermal attacks against cpus and temp, also:

ENF (google it)

A treat (ENF Collector in Java):

sourceforge dot net fwdslash projects fwdslash nfienfcollector

No single antimalware scanner exists which offers the ability to scan (mostly proprietary) firmware on AGP/PCI devices (sound cards, graphics cards, usb novelty devices excluding thumb drives), BIOS/CMOS.

If you boot into ultimate boot cd you can use an archane text interface to dump BIOS/CMOS and examine/checksum.

The real attacks which survive disk formats and wipes target your PCI devices and any firmware which may be altered/overwritten with something special. It is not enough to scan your hard drive(s) and thumb drives, the real dangers with teeth infect your hardware devices.

When is the last time you:

Audited your sound card for malware?
Audited your graphics card for malware?
Audited your network card for malware?

Google for:

* AGP and PCI rootkit(s)
* Network card rootkit(s)
* BIOS/CMOS rootkit(s)

Our modern PC hardware is capable of much more than many can imagine.

Do you:

* Know your router's firmware may easily be replaced on a hacker's whim?
* Shield all cables against leakage and attacks
* Still use an old CRT monitor and beg for TEMPEST attacks?
* Use TEMPEST resistant fonts in all of your applications including your OS?
* Know whether or not your wired keyboard has keypresses encrypted as they pass to your PC from the keyboard?
* Use your PC on the grid and expose yourself to possible keypress attacks?
* Know your network card is VERY exploitable when plugged into the net and attacked by a hard core blackhat or any vicious geek with the know how?
* Search out informative papers on these subjects and educate your friends and family about these attacks?
* Contact antimalware companies and urge them to protect against many or all these attacks?

Do you trust your neighbors? Are they all really stupid when it comes to computing or is there a geek or two without a conscience looking to exploit these areas?

The overlooked threat are the potential civilian rogues stationed around you, especially in large apartment blocks who feed on unsecured wifi to do their dirty work.

With the recent news of Russian spies, whether or not this news was real or a psyop, educate yourself on the present threats which all antimalware scanners fail to protect against and remove any smug mask you may wear, be it Linux or OpenBSD, or the proprietary Windows and Mac OS you feel are properly secured and not vulnerable to any outside attacks because you either don't need an antivirus scanner (all are inept to serious attacks) or use one or several (many being proprietary mystery machines sending data to and from your machine for many reasons, one is to share your information with a group or set database to help aid in threats), the threats often come in mysterious ways.

Maybe the ancients had it right: stone tablets and their own unique language(s) rooted in symbolism.


I'm more concerned about new rootkits which target PCI devices, such as the graphics card and the optical drives, also, BIOS. Where are the malware scanners which scan PCI devices and BIOS for mismatches? All firmware, BIOS and on PCI devices should be checksummed and saved to match with others in the cloud, and archived when the computer is first used, backing up signed firmware.

When do you recall seeing signed router firmware upgrades with any type of checksum to check against? Same for PCI devices and optical drives and BIOS.

Some have begun with BIOS security: []

Some BIOS has write protection in its configuration, a lot of newer computers don't.


"Disconnect your PC from the internet and don't add anything you didn't create yourself. It worked for the NOC list machine in Mission Impossible"

The room/structure was likely heavily shielded, whereas most civvies don't shield their house and computer rooms. There is more than meets the eye to modern hardware.


subversion hack:

network card rootkits and trojans
pci rootkits
packet radio
xmit "fm fingerprinting" software
"specific emitter identification"

how many malware scanners scan bios/cmos and pci/agp cards for malware? zero, even the rootkit scanners. have you checksummed/dumped your bios/cmos and firmware for all your pci/agp devices and usb devices, esp vanity usb devices in and outside the realm of common usb devices (thumbdrives, external hdds, printers),

Unless your computer room is shielded properly, the computers may still be attacked and used, I've personally inspected computers with no network connection running mysterious code in the background which task manager for windows and the eqiv for *nix does not find, and this didn't find it all.

Inspect your windows boot partition in *nix with hexdump and look for proxy packages mentioned along with command line burning programs and other oddities. Computers are more vulnerable than most would expect.

You can bet all of the malware scanners today, unless they are developed by some lone indy coder in a remote country, employ whitelisting of certain malware and none of them scan HARDWARE devices apart from the common usb devices.

Your network cards, sound cards, cd/dvd drives, graphics cards, all are capable of carrying malware to survive disk formatting/wiping.

Boot from a Linux live cd and use hexdump to examine your windows (and *nix) boot sectors to potentially discover interesting modifications by an unknown party.


Re:toothpick in my anus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185359)

"Nobody Seems To Care"

your god damned right, I dont give two shits, now kindly fuck off

ps: ending your post with eof is lame

Re:toothpick in my anus (-1, Troll)

chilvence (1210312) | about 2 years ago | (#41185397)

Dear sir: make your point succinctly or.... DIEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Re:toothpick in my anus (-1, Offtopic)

Arker (91948) | about 2 years ago | (#41186195)

An excellent reminder of several points many people may well be smugly ignoring.

That said, you show a good bit of the old conspiracy-paranoia stuff too.

"Search enough, and you'll arrive at some lone individuals who cry out their system is compromised and nothing in their attempts can shake it of some 'strange infection'. These posts receive the same behavior as I said above, but often they are lone posts which receive no answer at all, AT ALL! While other posts are quickly and kindly replied to and the 'strange infection' posts are left to age and end up in a lost pile of old threads."

Well, doh, what do you expect to happen? You keep implying this is the result of some cover-up or wide-ranged conspiracy, which is no more rational than the smugness you criticize.

When someone posts something like that, there are two possibilities. There is your APT, sure, and there is what we call user error. The odds are pretty heavily in favour of the latter, but either is *possible.* I've heard these tales from customers, not strangers on a message board on the internet but customers whose machines I am being paid to fix, many times over the years. I've investigated. I've found some user error, some hardware failure, some essentially run of the mill malware with some twist or other on occasion, the most interesting one apparently having been planted by an overzealous PI hired by a real mensch of an ex-husband, but the sort of attacks you are talking about? Never seen that. Dont know anyone that has.

Does that mean it doesnt happen? Of course not. We all know those sorts of attacks are now happening, between state level attackers. And I suspect it's been going on longer and much further along than most would imagine. All true.

But think about this, that guy posting? I've been called to fix his machine, or someone apparently much like him, a few times now. He has such a sophisticated piece of malware that there is nothing I can do to even prove it exists, yet it is not sophisticated enough but what he knows it is there. Just think about that one for a second.

I am convinced these people are often under psychiatric care, and need to be. I, myself, am not a psychiatrist.

So I dont need to be part of any conspiracy to skip over that post and use my time to try and help someone I *am* equipped to help.

As if... (1, Flamebait)

relyimah (938927) | about 2 years ago | (#41185343)

As if anyone would actually read up on something before commenting? /. is a great example of this... I read articles months ago with what Apple was actually complaining about (buttons, etc.)... pinch and zoom was never an issue. The media says and the sheep follow....

Re:As if... (1, Interesting)

bob zee (701656) | about 2 years ago | (#41185375)

the media says and the sheep follow... i totally agree. nobody ever thinks about the money. seriously. think about the money. does the 'media' make money if no one listens? does the media make money if the sheep never follow? i hate to say it, but it always boils down to money. more clicks on your webpage equal money. more people watching your tv channel equals money. create a headline that grabs attention and you are effectively grabbing wallets. once you throw the money perspective on everything, these things become clearer. believe me, i am not knocking money. i love money. i want more of it. money CAN buy me love. we just need to be smarter about things. all of us - myself included.

Re:As if... (4, Informative)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41185427)

Why read up, when even the author of the linked article doesn't?

The Apple '915 patent [] , which was at issue, does assert a claim to "pinch/zoom." Claim 8 includes:

responding to at least one gesture call, if issued, by scaling the view associated with the event object based on receiving the two or more input points in the form of the user input.

Re:As if... (4, Informative)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#41185501)

Nilay Patel of the verge, an actual honest-to-god copyright lawyer not just someone who plays an expert on the web, disagrees in his aptly named "The myth of pinch-to-zoom: how a confused media gave Apple something it doesn't own" [] :

"So let's just be extremely clear about this: the jury ruled that 21 of 24 accused Samsung phones infringed claim 8 of Apple patent 7,844,915, which specifically covers a programming interface which detects if one finger on a screen is scrolling or two or more fingers are doing something else. It is one possible step along the road to pinch-to-zoom, but it is definitely not pinch-to-zoom itself. And — crucially — it may not be that hard to design around."

Maybe read up there too ?

Re:As if... (4, Interesting)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41185623)

In exactly what way is "scaling the view associated with the event object based on receiving the two or more input points" not "pinch to zoom?" I'm not defending the patent - there's more than ample obviousness and prior art [] . The link you gave simply describes ways around the claim to "pinch to zoom," it doesn't disagree at all.

The claim very clearly does describe "pinch to zoom." To say that it doesn't is simply disingenuous. That's different than saying it's a valid claim.

Oh, BTW, the link's counter-example, scrolling with two fingers, doesn't work with Google Maps, it causes a change in pitch instead of scrolling (at least it does on my non-Samsung, Android phone, running ICS).

Re:As if... (1)

akamad (1308139) | about 2 years ago | (#41185713)

I think the issue is that the pinch-to-zoom patent that Apple has is more limited than most people think. Here is a write up on the patent: [] So the patent seems to be for pinching and zooming, then letting go and pinching and zooming again as one action. I'm no patent expert, but I'm not sure if that's the same as doing those two things separately as two actions.

Re:As if... (1)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41185921)

No. That's the '826 patent, which is different. Prior art/obviousness for that one is that it is an attempt to duplicate the function of a trackball (acceleration, intertia, multiple strokes, etc.).

Re:As if... (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#41185803)

Ah, but it doesn't mention pinching, what it is is a method to determine an action based on the fact if 1 (resulting scrolling) or 2 fingers (resulting in a gesture) are on the screen. It doesn't define the gesture, whence the workaround mentioned in the article of having 2 finger scrolling so this patent is circumvented because there is no differentiation being done based on the 1 finger -> scroll, 2 fingers -> gesture method. Or so I gather, I am no lawyer.

Re:As if... (2)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41185857)

"Ah, but it doesn't mention pinching"

It doesn't have to. It mentions "scaling," which covers both pinch and spread. Additionally, the other counter-example in the link you provide draws a distinction which may not even exist - between "scroll" and "pan." Where's the definitive, legal, definition which say that scrolling can only be vertical or horizontal? Why can't I scroll diagonally?

Re:As if... (4, Informative)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#41185945)

No, "scaling" is what the interface does as the result of a gesture, pinching is what the fingers do which again is not defined in the document. There's a reason the patent is called "Application programming interfaces for scrolling operations": it focusses on scrolling and how that operation is distinguished from a gesture. And a gesture is just defined as having 2 ore more input points without further elaborating on the state of those input points.

Scrolling is defined in the full patent text [] as :

"Scrolling is the act of sliding a directional (e.g., horizontal or vertical) presentation of content, such as text, drawings, or images, across a screen or display window. In a typical graphical user interface, scrolling is done with the help of a scrollbar or using keyboard shortcuts often the arrow keys. Gesturing is a type of user input with two or more input points. Animating operations include changing content within a given time period."

So, they only mention the 2 axis.

Re:As if... (0)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41186045)

You don't know what exempli gratia means, do you?

Re:As if... (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#41186109)

Well aren't you fancy with all your latin :). It means "for example" of course, I also know that in a legal text if you don't define something exactly lawyers will find a way around it. You brought it up, I don't think the directionality of the scrolling matters only the difference between the scroll action and the resultant end-of-screen bounce (what this patent is really all about) and how that's different from a not further defined gesture action resulting in scaling.

Re:As if... (2)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#41186153)

For those following along at home, this is what happens when a lawyer does describe a pinch to zoom gesture [] :

"1. A method, comprising: detecting at least two first contacts on a display surface of a multi-touch-sensitive display device; detecting a first motion associated with the at least two first contacts, wherein the first motion corresponds to a multi-touch gesture; adjusting a parameter of a graphical object in accordance with the first motion; detecting a breaking of the at least two first contacts; after detecting the breaking of the at least two first contacts, detecting at least two second contacts on the display surface; detecting a second motion associated with the at least two second contacts, wherein the second motion corresponds to the multi-touch gesture and the at least two second contacts are detected within a pre-determined time interval after the breaking of the at least two first contacts is detected; and continuing to adjust the parameter of the graphical object in accordance with the second motion.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein adjusting the parameter is a non-linear function of a displacement of the first contacts during the multi-touch gesture.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the parameter comprises a magnification of the graphical object.

Simple, right ?!

Re:As if... (2)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#41186325)

Maybe I'm just more literate than the average reader, but this clearly doesn't cover "pinch to zoom." This allows the user to resume a multitouch operation for a period after removing his fingers from the glass to essentially allow him to continue his adjustment further than he otherwise could.

Re:As if... (3, Interesting)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | about 2 years ago | (#41186719)

Sorry, but no. That's what happens when random slashdotter's try to describe a patent that they believe means "pinch to zoom" when in fact it does no such thing. This patent clearly describes a more complicated gesture.

The reason Apple is not defending pinch to zoom is they didn't invent it. It was clearly demonstrated in the original Ted talk that inspired Apple to peruse multi-touch technology. I've been involved in two situations where I found that one of my patent claims was not valid due to prior art. In the first case, the patent examiner had already approved my claims, and he argued with me that my claims were still valid. He restricted my claims in the most minimal possible way to avoid the prior art when I pushed the matter. That's fine... I think he was trying to be good to a rare inventor who was trying to be honest about prior art. In the second case, my customer (I was a contractor for Zvi Orbach) told me after we'd submitted a patent why it was invalid due to prior art at Chip Express. I called the patent office, and was advised that I should not attack claims I'd filed for a previous employer. I had already quit, in part due to this issue, though Zvi had given me many other reasons to stay away from him.

Re:As if... (1, Interesting)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | about 2 years ago | (#41186743)

Er... my point to my rambling comment is that Apple clearly lacked an honest inventor in this case. Their lawyers will naturally try to keep their clearly invalid multi-touch patent on the books, never suing anyone with it, simply because they know it's invalid. It's only the inventor who breaks the law by not bringing prior-art to the patent office, and as I found out, there is zero penalty to inventors who break this law.

Re:As if... (1)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41186465)

"the resultant end-of-screen bounce (what this patent is really all about)"

Try to follow along. The "bounce" patent is '381, not '915.

Re:As if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41188033)

Just imagine two fingers on the display, with constant distance, being rotated like they are turning a knob. Turning the imagined knob to the right enlarges the image, turning it to the left shrinks the image. That is a two-finger-gesture to zoom, but not pinch-to-zoom.

Re:As if... (2)

FrangoAssado (561740) | about 2 years ago | (#41186441)

From what I understand, it's a technicality (which might be another reason to dislike patents, if you will):

  • 1) to infringe that patent, you must infringe every element of claim 8
  • 2) one of the elements of claim 8 describes distinguishing between one touch (to scroll) and two or more touches (the "pinch" gesture)
  • 3) so, you CAN implement "pinch to zoom" without infringing this patent; all you have to do is (for example) make two touches scroll as well as "pinch to zoom"

Re:As if... (1, Flamebait)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41185633)

BTW, I've never met a lawyer who could be called "honest to God." They'll take whichever side they're paid to.

Re:As if... (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#41185949)

They are advocates. That's what they are supposed to do.

If they took your money but not your cause that would be dishonest.

Re:As if... (2, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41186053)

"They are advocates."

You misspelled "whores." HTH! HAND!

Re:As if... (1)

tsotha (720379) | about 2 years ago | (#41186215)

Yep. And sometimes lawyers do refuse to take cases, either because they don't think they can win or because they don't think they can be an effective advocate. Those two things are usually related, of course, but not always.

Re:As if... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41186243)

That's why the system is broken.. They should take the "side" of protecting your rights. Even if you are a murderer, you have rights. They should not be advocates in the sense that they need not believe in your innocence, nor advocate it (except where doing so is done to protect your rights). But they should be advocates for the truth. In fact, currently they theoretically hold a duty to the court above the duty to their client, though in practice, they have a duty to neither.

Re:As if... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186535)

But to advocate truth presupposes everyone knows what the truth is. But if that's the case, why would we even need a trial in the first place? The purpose of the court is to uncover truth, and the mechanism by which that's done in our system is to have a party argue the merits of each side. Perhaps that's not the best system, but by and large lawyers are playing the part they're supposed to in it.

Re:As if... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41187049)

But to advocate truth presupposes everyone knows what the truth is. But if that's the case, why would we even need a trial in the first place? The purpose of the court is to uncover truth, and the mechanism by which that's done in our system is to have a party argue the merits of each side.

I agree with you. You read my post to argue, not to listen. The adversarial system in the US does not try to uncover the truth. It only advocates in an adversarial manner, with a focus on what you can prove, not what is closest to the truth.

Re:As if... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41187019)

BTW, I've never met a lawyer who could be called "honest to God."

I know plenty of lawyers that are honest to God. None of them are honest to anyone else.

Re:As if... (5, Insightful)

pipedwho (1174327) | about 2 years ago | (#41185687)

And more crucially: Is that claim negated by prior art? And should it have been considered obvious to a "person skilled in the art"?

From the comments of the jury foreman, he (they) seemed to misunderstand what prior art actually is. And thus had a conflict of reasoning in applying the patent loosely to the device in question, while requiring prior art to exactly match the device in question. Whereas, the prior art should have been loosely matched to the patent, and not to the infringing device - thus negating the claim in the patent. (Assuming the prior art did actually apply.)

I've noticed that people involved in the patent system (lawyers and inventors) seem to develop an increasingly more stringent view as to how closely prior art must be to invalidate a claim. Reworded, that means that their interpretation of novelty has the bar lowered to the point where the concept of obviousness gets watered down to be meaningless. So any 'invention' that is different in the most minor or pointless way becomes fair game for an IP grab.

Now that would be fine if infringement of the patent was taken as strictly, but that doesn't seem to be the case. If the claims are looked at more broadly when applied to "infringement" than they are when applied to the prior art that would invalidate them; then the patent system becomes a stumbling block rather than a way to 'promote science and the useful arts'.

Google Warned Samsung They Were Infringing (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185897)

From the jury foreman:

"One of the most decisive pieces of evidence was reading the minutes for myself of a meeting that was held at a very high level between Google executives and Samsung executives.

It was for a tablet and Google was concerned that for the sake of their operating system that the look and feel and the methodology that they [Samsung] were using to create their tablet was getting too close to what Apple was doing.

And in the memo themselves - remember this was minutes - they stated that Google demanded that they back away from that design.

And later there was a follow-up memo among themselves, these executives, and in black and white it says: we elect to not pass this information down to the divisions that were actually involved in the design.

So, from the sake of the engineers they went merrily along continuing their design not given any orders to back away.

They knew nothing of that meeting. To me that kind of raised a light bulb in my head that when I got in the jury room I wanted to read the minutes of that meeting myself.

When we went into deliberation in the jury room we not only had all the physical evidence of everything that was presented, but we also had sealed source code in its entirety from both sides, we actually had the memos that were talked about in the trial... and there was a piece of evidence after a piece of evidence that just clearly stacked up. " []

Re:Google Warned Samsung They Were Infringing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41187261)

i would take anything that man says with a grain of salt. The idiot has no idea how prior art works, and wanted to see apple succeed so he could sue tivo. Even if what he says is correct about this i doubt he was as concerned about apples crimes, and he would exaggerate one tablet being the same to all Samsung products infringe. He had made his mind up before he even got in the court room, then he made the rest of the jury's minds up using fallacies.

The foreman changes his statement in every article (2)

jools33 (252092) | about 2 years ago | (#41188017)

Why did the jury foreman consider Google's opinion to be the arbiter of this case? What if Google were just being over-cautious? That was likely the Samsung boards opinion, and why they chose not to pass this onto the engineers. From the BBC article it seems that the Jury's decision was that if Google and Apple says its so - then it must be so.

Every time I read statements from the jury foreman - they seem to be evolving - with the news stories finding holes in his previous statements.

What amazes me is his statement on why they did not consider prior art:

"the software was an entirely different methodology, and the more modern software could not be loaded onto the older example and be run without error."
So because they could not run the software from a device produced in the 2010s on a device produced in the 1990s - it was not considered as prior art... astonishing.

Re:The foreman changes his statement in every arti (2)

BenJury (977929) | about 2 years ago | (#41188145)

"the software was an entirely different methodology, and the more modern software could not be loaded onto the older example and be run without error." So because they could not run the software from a device produced in the 2010s on a device produced in the 1990s - it was not considered as prior art... astonishing.

I've just been reading that article and the whole thing just reads like a train wreck. Although I understand that these sorts of interviews cant then be used in the appeal in the US?

This also sticks out in that interview:

Do you think if you hadn't been on the jury then we might have ended up with a very different verdict?
I think so. But let's not say me specifically.

Let's say if there had not been an individual who had the technical background, and there had not been an individual who had gone through the process, the verdict might have been different - or it might have been the same.

I believe that the jury system in this country stands. The individuals would have ultimately come to a verdict. It might have been a lot longer.

But what definitely would have been required is passing more questions to the judge and having them come back. In our case we didn't have to.

Re:As if... (2)

BillX (307153) | about 2 years ago | (#41186259)

Interestingly, the '826 pinch-to-zoom patent [] could be more correctly called "double pinch to zoom": it covers a more narrow implementation in which the system recognizes a user doing a pinch-to-(activity) gesture followed by a 2nd pinch-to-(activity) within a preset time, maintaining the activity state in between. A naked pinch-to... activity (or any number of them) isn't covered if the system doesn't explicitly connect the repeated pinches together. This is probably why Apple hasn't asserted it. (And between you and me, an oddly-specific qualifier in an independent claim is almost always is a smoking gun pointing to prior art on the claim sans-qualifier.)

Re:As if... (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | about 2 years ago | (#41186335)

I actually went and read that link. I'm assuming that the claims it presented "untangled" (i.e. without all the "the method in claim x" crap). Allow me to excerpt the parts I think are relevant, from the link you provided to The Verge.

- determining whether the event object invokes a scroll or gesture operation by distinguishing between a single input point applied to the touch-sensitive display that is interpreted as the scroll operation and two or more input points applied to the touch-sensitive display that are interpreted as the gesture operation;
- responding to at least one scroll call, if issued, by scrolling a window having a view associated with the event object; and
- responding to at least one gesture call, if issued, by scaling the view associated with the event object based on receiving the two or more input points in the form of the user input.

Ultimately, this boils down to patenting "scroll with one finger or pinch-to-zoom with two". All the other claims are generic stuff required to make any program (e.g. events, storage, etc). Google claims to get around the 915 patent in Jelly Bean by making one finger pan. A pan is two dimensional and therefore designs around the 915 claim.

So while it may technically be true that Apple has not patented "just" pinch-to-zoom, they have patented the combination of "one finger scroll, two finger pinch-to-zoom". Your argument seems to be that it's okay for Apple to patent the combination of these very basic and natural actions and gestures because this isn't that hard to design around?

I'm sorry but when you have to explicitly go out of your way to avoid doing natural things in order to avoid being sued for patent infringement, then patents have jumped the shark in a pretty big way. Like the 163 patent for "double tap to zoom (and resize text)" - another perfectly naturally way that humans interface with clickable objects, now forced to jump through ridiculous hoops covered in patenty fire.

Re:As if... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41186447)

. Your argument seems to be that it's okay for Apple to patent the combination of these very basic and natural actions and gestures because this isn't that hard to design around?

He's saying it isn't a broad patent.

Re:As if... (0)

axlr8or (889713) | about 2 years ago | (#41185691)

Put something in there about Obama or Romney. This is slashdot. If you look at my Karma it's terrible because I told people who believe in politics they are stupid. So, if you wan't someone to read an article on slashdot, make it political.

Re:As if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185839)

But you love all that terrible karma, or you wouldn't post off-topic. You're such a bad girl, nobody understands you.

That's not how it works. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#41186283)

You don't understand how patent claims work. You can't just take one sentence out of a claim and say that the overall patent covers whatever's in that sentence.

Re:That's not how it works. (1)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41186493)

So, according to you, one can exclude individual sentences in claims, and therefore invalidate any/all patents at will.

Re:That's not how it works. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186585)

One can not implement parts of a patent and avoid infringing that way without any changes to the status of that patent.

Re:As if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186993)

So do Mozilla gestures count? Because I've been using mouse gestures for AGES now... Perhaps long enough to predate this patent.....

The whole thing is insipid. (-1, Offtopic)

chilvence (1210312) | about 2 years ago | (#41185371)

It really is insipid. Samsung is being sullied. Apple is being painted as a bully. Why? Because of legal mumbo jumbo. If the laws did not exist, then they would just work it out between themselves and we wouldn't have to hear about it! Ask yourself: were the laws created by someone that actually contributed something to human society?

Re:The whole thing is insipid. (1)

bob zee (701656) | about 2 years ago | (#41185383)

you have been reading the dictionary again!

Re:The whole thing is insipid. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185493)

They didn't have to take it to court. They could have worked out between themselves. But they didn't. We have laws for when people don't work it out themselves. Now I disagree with a lot about patent and copyright laws but if you don't understand how laws contribute to human society you need to study human behavior more. Ask yourself, how is a society even defined without laws? That's what makes society functional. Laws provide a common framework of expectations.

Re:The whole thing is insipid. (5, Insightful)

pipedwho (1174327) | about 2 years ago | (#41185809)

The problem with that reasoning is the assumption that the law in question is reasonable in the first place. "Working it out" may have involved a ridiculous settlement far exceeding any reasonable demand in a world where that law did not exist.

Let's say there was no patent system. If that were the case, there would be no dispute in the first place.

Now, let's say the patent system did exist, but had a much higher expectation of "inventiveness" and "non-obviousness" than it currently does. Again, the dispute would be easily resolved as it would be clear where copying had taken place.

However, the current system is comprised of ambiguous laws and patents that have so little (if any) inventiveness that they are almost entirely comprised of prior art (and anything left is obvious to anyone 'skilled in the art'). Now the courts are forced to sort everything out and verdicts become pot-luck.

With laws that bring entitlement where entitlement should otherwise not exist, there will always be a conflict that cannot be resolved anywhere but in the courts. Samsung had no way out, but to either pay Apple money, or go to court and take the chance of either paying or not paying. Apple held all the cards and had no reason to back down.

Re:The whole thing is insipid. (1)

GPierce (123599) | about 2 years ago | (#41186159)

Without laws, society is defined by who has the biggest club - kid of like our current legal system.

Re:The whole thing is insipid. (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#41186581)

But at least the clubs used in our current legal system are metaphorical. I much prefer them over the very real clubs that would bludgeon me to death because some other tribe is mad that I picked berries on their side of the river.

Re:The whole thing is insipid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41187327)

Without a law, people are forced to work things out between themselves. Sometimes that's bad, when a victim's family takes revenge on a murderer. Sometimes that's good, when someone takes offence to a mixed-race couple in public, but has to tolerate them because there aren't any anti-miscegenation laws to charge them with.

This court case, and user interface patents in general, are a shining example of patent law being a Bad Thing. There are other cases, certainly, in which patent law is a Good Thing. Whether patent law's net effect is Good or Bad is up for debate.

Re:The whole thing is insipid. (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 years ago | (#41185733)

Yes, but the lawyers for both sides are getting richer. That's what's important.

Re:The whole thing is insipid. (1)

mhsobhani (2688177) | about 2 years ago | (#41185877)

Yes, but the lawyers for both sides are getting richer. That's what's important.

No. That is just the side effect.

Re:The whole thing is insipid. (2)

Skapare (16644) | about 2 years ago | (#41186083)

But it is the same group of bastards that make the damned laws in the first place. It's all a scheme to shake everyone down for more money.

Re:The whole thing is insipid. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41186267)

No, that's the intended effect. Why do you think so many politicians are lawyers? So they can write laws that earn trillions for their fellow sharks. Same reason I'll never be out of a job in IT, the people that make electronics will never make it so that the average person can do anything interesting with it.

Re:The whole thing is insipid. (2)

Arker (91948) | about 2 years ago | (#41185965)

If the laws did not exist there would be nothing to work out. This isnt a case where any sort of attack or theft has occured after all. It's a dispute over a statutory monopoly privilege - it's a problem invented and created by lawyers many of whom profit from it.

As The Bezel Turns... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185403)

On This hour of As The Bezel Turns will Steve Jobs really come back from the dead? Will we finally know if Tim Cook switched the paternity result test disowning his own sons Larry Page and Sergey Brin? Will the wedding of Melissa Meyer and Jerry Yang be stopped at the eleventh hour by her bitter rival Carly Fiorina? Did Samsung CEO Kun Hee Lee recover from his sudden bout of amnesia?

Oh, nevermind, it's just another rehash of the fucking patent trial. Please make it stop.

How many article submissions on this topic?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185405)

This is like the 5th or 6th article related to the trial aftermath that has been accepted by Slashdot editors. What gives?? Does this have such a resounding life-or-death import on the tech industry to warrant such attention? Or are we really stooping to feeding the iHaters to this degree?

Re:How many article submissions on this topic?? (4, Informative)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#41185469)

I submitted this article because firstly this has been such a huge story in the mainstream press that it's good opportunity to investigate how reliable the information coming from them about tech matters is and secondly because there is a lot of confusion even among geeks about what was at stake in this trial resulting in a low signal to noise ratio in the discussions. Personally I do also believe we are at a defining moment in the modern computing industry so even if this lawsuit may end up being of little to no importance the close attention is warranted.

Re:How many article submissions on this topic?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185503)

I can absolutely guarantee you that there will be no post for this article shedding a new insight or angle that hasn't already been posted twice before. The mainstream press has reported the story wrong but they report every technology story wrong, so nothing new there. And how can this possibly be a "defining moment"?? There have been thousands of patent cases won and lost in the past, and there will be thousands more in the future, and the result of this case seems to not be unusual or trendsetting in any way at all.

Re:How many article submissions on this topic?? (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#41185571)

Meh, maybe someone will actually read the article and take away a new insight or learn something they didn't before, I know I did. I'd call that a win. The comments here will be ... well like they always are, good or bad that's Slashdot.
I don't think this court case is a defining moment, but the rise of smartphones and tablets is and at te very least all these court actions expose what the main players are thinking, where they come from and where they want to go. At the same time there's the entire discussion that keeps raging about patents and what should and shouldn't be patentable. I think it's definitely interesting and worth following closely. Also: huge arguments about tiny details, it's what geeks do best.

Re:How many article submissions on this topic?? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#41185789)

Personally I do also believe we are at a defining moment in the modern computing industry

There have been many "defining" moments in modern computer history.
What's so defining about this particular moment with its clone army of touchscreen phones?

so even if this lawsuit may end up being of little to no importance the close attention is warranted.

This lawsuit is important becase two 800 lb gorillas went nuclear with injunctions instead of settling with the usual cross licensing agreement.
Which is to say, why they are fighting is less important than the fact that they are fighting.
Apple injunction hearing against Samsung phones set for Dec. 6 []

Hopefully we don't have any more articles about the case until then.

Re:How many article submissions on this topic?? (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#41185895)

There have been many "defining" moments in modern computer history.
What's so defining about this particular moment with its clone army of touchscreen phones?

Look around on trains and subways or coffee shops: personal computers are going mainstream in a way they haven't before, crucially even among those we would consider to be tech-illiterate. Like the Mac (or Lisa) decades ago(*), we're defining a new way of interacting with our computers that'll probably be with us for a good long time and it'll impact more people than ever before.

(*) Because I know someone will bring this up, yes there was Xerox but the Mac, with all the changes it made to the Xerox model, was the one who went out into the world, got copied by everyone and became the archetypal GUI.

Re:How many article submissions on this topic?? (5, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#41185563)

Does this have such a resounding life-or-death import on the tech industry to warrant such attention?

Yes, yes it does. The current patent system is choking the life out of the tech industry. At first, everyone said they were just building up patent war chests for "defensive purposes". Patent trolls destroyed many of the little guys, but the big companies were largely untouched. Now Apple has unloaded it's patents against Samsung - both major companies, both with large swathes of patents, and Samsung at least has its fingers in many, many tech pies. It's not little companies getting shaken down for lunch money any more, it's superpowers taking swings at each other. And with things like the pre-emptive ban of Samsung's products, it's not a tidy little gentlemanly fight in the courts, either. The patent war just went hot.

Now, that's all a little dramatic, but it's essentially true. This case could quite possibly be the tipping point for the patent system - one way or the other - and people in technical fields are (or should be) extremely interested in the outcome.

Re:How many article submissions on this topic?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185653)

This case isn't even close to being as "impactful" as RIM vs NTP, or IBM vs SCO. It just generates more clicks because it involves Apple. Plenty of other industries have waged patent wars against each other (like automotive, pharmaceutical, etc) and they have all come out more or less ok.

Re:How many article submissions on this topic?? (1)

achlorophyl (2205676) | about 2 years ago | (#41185961)

I think there's a "third ideal form" in the Apple vs. Samsung case -- the Platonic Idea of a generic smartphone.. In other words, what any object/ device needs to exemplify in order to _be_ a phone or tablet in the modern world. In my scheme, the iPhone would be an approximation of this Ideal, even if the Samsung phones resemble them both. It should not be a crime to imitate a generic idea. No one should have a monopoly on an idea.

Re:How many article submissions on this topic?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186537)

The current patent system is just fine. Get over the fact someone not only thought of something first but was the first to patent it, even others also thought of it. Get used to licensing patents to develop your new software or device.

Strawman Argument (0)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#41185451)

I’m not sure where the idea that pinch and stretch was at stake originated.

Simple. It originated among people disingenuously insinuating that this trial was all about pinch-to-zoom and rounded corners. In fact, these are simply rhetorical shorthand for the obviousness and prior art that should have undermined Apples claims.

OTOH, I get writer is saying about the sorry state of writing. He knocked that one out of the park.

Re:Strawman Argument (3, Insightful)

jmerlin (1010641) | about 2 years ago | (#41185537)

I'd like to point out that it seems to me that patent infringement and considerations of the prior art and obviousness are being inverted lately. Prior art should be a very wide concept, because of obviousness. As I understand the patent legislation that I've read, if it's obvious to any expert given the current state of the art (later deemed the prior art), it doesn't meet patentability criteria. Instead, with modern patent trolls and people like the foreman in this case, everyone seems to be making arguments that would dramatically shrink what defines prior art and obviousness by requiring an identical and exact copy of an existing thing (which could, however, be a claim for a copyright infringement), rather than allowing for obviousness to any expert. Simultaneously, when considering infringement, which should be that of an identical and exact copy in part or whole of a patented thing, it seems like people are trying to apply obviousness by claiming "well, it's obvious if you changed our patent in these ways that they would be infringing, so you see, they're infringing". I'm pretty sure it's supposed to work the other way around.

Re:Strawman Argument - what the jury did say (5, Informative)

mickwd (196449) | about 2 years ago | (#41187105)

Very interesting interview [] with the jury foreman on the BBC.

Especially his statements like:

"The jurors wanted to send a message to the industry at large..."

"And in example after example, when we put it to the test, the older prior art was just that. Not that there's anything [wrong] with older prior art - but the key was that the hardware was different, the software was an entirely different methodology, and the more modern software could not be loaded onto the older example and be run without error."

"And so consequently, when we looked at the source code - I was able to read source code - I showed the jurors that the two methods in software were not the same, nor could they be interchangeable because the hardware that was involved between the old processor and the new processor - you couldn't load the new software methodology in the old system and expect that it was going to work. And the converse of that was true."

I hope Samsung's lawyers are watching.

Re:Strawman Argument - what the jury did say (1)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | about 2 years ago | (#41187337)

perhaps samsung should give him a free SGIII for his trouble, he seemed to have "knocked that out of the park" so to speak.

Re:Strawman Argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185551)

people disingenuously insinuating that this trial was all about pinch-to-zoom and rounded corners

Well of course not - instead, it was about

''bounceback behavior of screen objects when you try to scroll beyond the edge of the display''

that's way better than rectangles with rounded corners or pinch-to-zoom.

The guy does definitely have a point wrt to tech writers not investigating - that would take time, time in which your readers will happily jump ship to another site, such as The Verge (which does tend to hold to better quality as well, for now).

Re:Strawman Argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186199)

Wow, The Verge - looks like a cross between Mashable, Fast Company, and The Daily Beast.

RE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185555)

Shanghai Shunky Machinery Co.,ltd is a famous manufacturer of crushing and screening equipments in China. We provide our customers complete crushing plant, including cone crusher, jaw crusher, impact crusher, VSI sand making machine, mobile crusher and vibrating screen. What we provide is not just the high value-added products, but also the first class service team and problems solution suggestions. Our crushers are widely used in the fundamental construction projects. The complete crushing plants are exported to Russia, Mongolia, middle Asia, Africa and other regions around the world.

Ironic note at end of article (1, Troll)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#41185625)

From TFA:

How did so many get this so wrong? I fear it betrays something ugly about the way tech reporting worksâ"and doesnâ(TM)t workâ"these days. Depth, expertise, and reflection are all lacking. So is serious research

The note at the end:

Note: The original version of this post said the jury had rejected all claims regarding the rounded-corner design. The jury in fact rejected all claims only regarding willful infringement. On the simple question of infringement, the jury rejected a majority of claims, but did accept five regarding the iPhone. The corrected version appears above.

In an article complaining about how the press were so wrong, the author made a factual error. Perhaps he should have spent more time in "Depth", "reflection" and "serious research" that other authors are apparently lacking!

Re:Ironic note at end of article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186145)

OK, this is the author of the article. I made the error because I picked up the wrong table from the verdict form. A coo enter pointed it out almost as soon as Te post went up AMD I posted a corrected version as quickly as I could get the correct screen grabs prepared. The mistake dodn't really change anything substantive, but I shouldn't have made it. But after all that has been written, I'm still seeing people post nonsense about rounded rectangles.

Re:Ironic note at end of article (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 2 years ago | (#41186389)

did somebody patent your spell checker? :)

Re:Ironic note at end of article (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#41188251)

Maybe I'm missing something but if you complain that a lot of focus was on one patent, claiming it wasn't brought up, when it was...

Leaving aside the irony for a moment, consider what it means.

Yes, you may still be right about "Pinch to zoom", but I'll be honest, virtually all the snarks, jokes, criticism, etc, that didn't go into heavy detail, have been on rounded rectangles. You may have come across other comments on pinch-to-zoom, but they're hardly the majority. And if they're not the majority, then an article sliming the majority of the commentariat for getting the trial issues wrong is no longer relevent or appropriate.

And, BTW, you even managed to attack Samsung's comments on rounded rectangles. Might you, possibly, have paused a moment before writing that wondering, perhaps, if Samsung knew just a little more about the trial and the patents raised in it, than most? That if they make a comment implying something was a part of the trial that, well, perhaps the information you got suggesting it wasn't should be looked at again.


whisper_jeff (680366) | about 2 years ago | (#41185627)

Wait, so the "news" got the facts wrong and didn't bother doing even a little bit of research for their stories before "reporting" their "news"? I'm *SHOCKED*. Shocked, I tell ya!

Re:*SHOCKED* (2)

jader3rd (2222716) | about 2 years ago | (#41186169)

I'm *SHOCKED*. Shocked, I tell ya!

Well gambling has been going on in the establishment.

Groklaw also did a shameful job (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185801)

Ridiculously biased reporting from Groklaw also contributed to the tech confusion about the verdict. PJ's litany [] of [] lies [] was a daily feature on the front page of Slashdot for weeks, bringing out of context quotes to the useful idiots here who seemed to really enjoy them.

Re:Groklaw also did a shameful job (1)

genkernel (1761338) | about 2 years ago | (#41186405)

Hrm, that "litany of lies" seems rather informative to me...

#irc.troll( (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41185843)

persp3ctiVe, the []

Please understand (4, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | about 2 years ago | (#41186163)

Please understand. Nobody cares WHICH patents were used to squash competition like a bug. On the one side, Apple and their partisans only care that competition was squashed. They don't care how.

And on the other hand, actual thinking people only care that not just the patent system as it is presently tortured, but the very IDEA of patents is an evil, stinking, obscene insult to humanity. It is corporate welfare. It is a denial of nature and evolution. It strangles competition. It does not further the advance of useful arts in ANY WAY. It stifles the advance. While accelerating transfer of wealth to the wealthy, It hurts the economy. It props up the cancer of bloodsucking lawyers - not the lawyers who participate usefully in addressing criminal acts and REAL civil transgressions. It gives the finger to small business already reeling under the assault of the System. It even uselessly damages very large corporations like Samsung who employ many people. And Samsung will quickly move to pass the cost along to the consumer if this decision stands.

Only idiots believe that patents encourage innovation. Patents strangle innovation. In the absence of patents, innovation would flourish because it confers advantage. The real advantage comes not in planting your boot on the other guy's neck to get a competitive edge at the expense of everybody else. The real advantage comes from making a superior product at a superior price, for its OWN sake.

N.B. - most people, if they interviewed me skilfully, would conclude that I am to the right of Ghengis Khan. In actuality I deny the whole right/left fraud. If I have one message, it is: don't filter every single issue through the prism of some presumed regimented Rule Of Everything imposed from outside your own conscience.

Re:Please understand (1)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about 2 years ago | (#41186541)

So you're telling me that, if this was a "little guy" vs. Microsoft (or Apple), and the little guy won this judgement, that you'd be singing the same tune?

I don't believe that for 1 second.

Re:Please understand (1)

Derekloffin (741455) | about 2 years ago | (#41186563)

I think the point is, it isn't the "little guy" because the "little guy" doesn't have a massive team of lawyers and effectively endless resources to pursue the case. Once upon a time patents as they were conceived may have been a good idea. However, like a very old SQL server being now riddled with security holes, companies have found all the loop holes, all the exploits for the patent system and now abuse them to the extreme. At the very least it need complete re-thinking.

Re:Please understand (2)

Sabriel (134364) | about 2 years ago | (#41186597)

A "little guy" winning this kind of war against Microsoft/Apple/Samsung (take your pick)? I see what you're trying to do, but for your question to have a valid answer, it would first need a valid premise.

It's kind of like asking, "if the moon was made of cheese..." or "if communism worked at a national scale..." - a nice thought exercise but of no practical applicability.

Re:Please understand (1)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | about 2 years ago | (#41187343)

well, in his world, there wouldn't BE a little guy.

Re:Please understand (1)

Howitzer86 (964585) | about 2 years ago | (#41186831)

The concept of patents aren't even the real problem here, the system by which we grant the patents is what brought us to this point. It's really easy to make a claim on fundamental concepts with software because our system is seriously flawed. It's gotten so bad now that the problem is affecting hardware and design concepts. People think that patents are meant to protect and lock down ideas, which isn't what they're supposed to do. Lawyers capitalize on this ignorance and patent clerks enable it. THAT is the problem.

So this is justice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186205)

The question is not about patent violations, the real question is can I use my huge patent portofolio to squash comptetion?. Now we will see a fury of patent demands about the x on the top right side of the screen or the double-click--> minimize window functionality available in all Operating Systems or the scroll bar in browsers. What about the minimize all windows and put them on the background, when will that happen. Its not a genuine idea, it just happens that Apple patented it first.

"tap to zoom" existed in mandelbrot explorers (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#41186377)

I recall fairly vividly playing around with a mandelbrot set exploration program which used a single left click to zoom in on the area centered on the click. This would have been in the 1990's.

Re:"tap to zoom" existed in mandelbrot explorers (5, Informative)

dzfoo (772245) | about 2 years ago | (#41187663)

Read the patent. No, really, it's enlightening and a propos to any discussion on the subject.

It does not claim the "tap-to-zoom" gesture as novel. It claims a specific mechanism that describes how to determine which parts to zoom, when to zoom in or out, and on which part to focus and center; all using various methods and heuristics to determine user intent.

Have you noticed that in say, Mobile Safari, when you double-tap to zoom it doesn't just "zoom in"; it tries to determine which is the relevant content block that the user is selecting and magnifies that, often at the exclusion of the surrounding content. The mechanisms to determine what to do and how to do that is what is claimed in the patent.

The prior art on "tap-to-zoom" is precisely a non-contextual and non-discriminating magnification at the point of contact; which is different.

Yes, reading, it's a dangerous thing.


wrong wrong wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186381)

Amusing that the FA writer himself got it wrong and added in a terse correction, without going back and changing the rest of the article that in part depended on what he got wrong.

Steve Jobs lived too long (-1, Flamebait)

renegadesx (977007) | about 2 years ago | (#41186763)

You know sometimes think the cancer killing Steve Jobs in 2011 was a travesty. Shoulda happened in 2005

Re:Steve Jobs lived too long (1)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | about 2 years ago | (#41187349)

I think right after creating the iphone would have been the most optimal point, by that time it would have already created it's shockwave, but none of the after effects would have been created by android following it....

Tech journalism is indeed shallow (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41186865)

I fear it betrays something ugly about the way tech reporting works–and doesn’t work–these days. Depth, expertise, and reflection are all lacking. So is serious research.

And the serious research in TFA is the author asking a guy on Twitter...

Re:Tech journalism is indeed shallow (1)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | about 2 years ago | (#41187353)

and the picture of that guy SURELY LOOKS like a respectable lawyer too...

Self Contradictory (2)

zuperduperman (1206922) | about 2 years ago | (#41187503)

He spends half the article complaining about supposed misreporting of "rounded corners" as an issue and then admits that in fact the jury did decide in favor of Apple's design patent on the rounded corners (qualified by equally dumb things like a "flat surface", and a "grid of icons", but that hardly makes the reporting of it sensationalist).

Apple even copied ipad name from ipaq (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41187515)

apple wasn't even able to get an original name for their ipad

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>