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Nikon Buckles To Microsoft, Will Pay "Android Tax" For Smart Cameras

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the by-all-means dept.

Microsoft 272

walterbyrd writes with news that Nikon is the latest company to agree to pay Microsoft for the privilege of using Android on its devices — as you might expect from Nikon, the devices in this case are cameras. (Microsoft's press release.)

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Hey buddy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990415)

You settin' up shop on my street? Nobody, I sez *nobody*... sets up shop on my street without talkin' to me foyst. OK, listen pal. Here's what I'm gonna a do for you. You just pay me a little bidda money on everything you sellz, and I'z a gonna look dee otha way, capiche?

You callin' this "extortion"? That's a big word, my friend. 'Round here we just call it biz niss.

Re:Hey buddy (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990473)

You settin' up shop on my street? Nobody, I sez *nobody*... sets up shop on my street without talkin' to me foyst. OK, listen pal. Here's what I'm gonna a do for you. You just pay me a little bidda money on everything you sellz, and I'z a gonna look dee otha way, capiche?

You callin' this "extortion"? That's a big word, my friend. 'Round here we just call it biz niss.

It's basically an approved bribe. All legal and written out. Serves the same function, serves the same people. Might even be tax deductible.

Re:Hey buddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990693)

Its just for the per tection of da biz niss. Bad thinks heppen to da biz niss wit out per tection. Biz niss can catch fire, windows get broke, all kinds of truble. Just a taste, just to wet the beak, little brown envelope, once a weak. The only technology that they might have a case over is the fat file system for flash storage (and depending on exactly which version of that file system is in use, because the patents on their older systems have expired). Since Android is mostly non-microsoft software, they also can't charge an overly large amount (no more so than other people using that technology). Once the patent expires (and lets make no mistake, these are patents, not copyrights, and they *do* have a shelf life which is *not* measured in lifetimes but rather in half-generations), microsoft gets nothing. That day is approaching soon.

Re:Hey buddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990731)

sounds better than apple who would just show up and burn your shop down

Re:Hey buddy (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990815)

And this is different to what Apple, Motorola (now owned by Google who didn't stop the suits when they bought Motorola thus making them trolls by proxy in my book) and every other big tech company this decade has done?

If you want to fix this kind of shit you have to get to the root of the problem which is the patent system is broken and until you fix it this kind of shit will continue. This is like blaming companies who take advantage of the fact that offshoring not only incurs them no monetary penalty but they can often get tax breaks for doing so....the problem is the SYSTEM is broken and encouraging bad behavior therefor the SYSTEM needs to be fixed.

We need to push like hell for a law ending software patents, if you want protections for software copyrights and NOT patents are the logical choice and since you copyright specific works and NOT vague concepts like these shitty software "patents" you could nip this bullshit in the bud. I also personally think we need a law that says concepts required for interoperability (such as file systems and formats) should have to be published under RAND terms so that the user will always have a way to get their stuff on and off a device, but that may be just a personal beef, but no matter how you slice it these kinds of bullshit trolls and lawsuits didn't become a problem until software patents were hoisted on us and THAT is what must be fixed. You stop MSFT and they'll be a dozen more pulling the same shit waiting for their shot.

Oh and on a final note, lets get something clear: Linux and Android by extension DOES infringe on MSFT patents, how do I know? Have you seen how many patents have been filed on software since the shitty ruling that allowed software patents? EVERYBODY is infringing! Hell the whole history of computers has been standing on the shoulders of giants so frankly with as vague as these patents are you can't build shit to do with a computer that doesn't infringe! Hell I wouldn't be surprised if every possible way to build a file system or make an audio/video format isn't covered by some vague as hell "method to store files on things" style patent, the whole thing is so broken you are tap dancing in a minefield.

Is what MSFT doing shitty? yep, no doubt, but if we focus on that instead of the conditions that have ALLOWED them to behave shitty all we will be doing is playing whack a mole until the end of time. To use the famed /. car analogy if your front end is shot and eating tires you can change tire brands a billion times, the tires are still gonna keep getting eaten until you get off your ass and fix the front end. Until we fix the patents system this kind of shit is only gonna get worse.

Re:Hey buddy (2, Insightful)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990965)

The patent system is broken, I'll agree with you there, but this is different from what any other company does regarding the patent system. This isn't exploiting a broken system, it's extortion.

Grow up, kid. (4, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990873)

You callin' this "extortion"? That's a big word, my friend. 'Round here we just call it biz niss.

Nikon is a big boy now and can take care of itself.

Founded in 1917 and a core component of the Japanese industrial cartel Mitsubishi.

You do know Mitsubishi? Employs 350,000 people? Rakes in about $350 Billion in revenues each year?

In a mature industry, all Android-related patents would be pooled, managed and cross-licensed to stabilize the business and the product.

No need to build your own customized portfolio. That hasn't happened yet and the geek won't like it when it does ---- any more than he likes the dominance of the MPEG LA pools in video compression.

Re:Grow up, kid. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990957)

People here will never get it. They want to cling to their juvenile nerd fantasies that industrial giants like Samsung are Luke Skywalkers fighting evil empires by "using the source". They want to believe Android is some hairy hippie free-love software when it's actually the product of an 'alliance' of gigantic corporations.

Everything will be cross-licensed, all the stupid calendar and scrolling and FAT patents, all of it will go into the pool. The lawsuits are just the negotiation phase. Eventually everyone will pay.

Re:Grow up, kid. (4, Insightful)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991001)

Most of the people here get it. They get that Software Patents are inherently evil and wrong and should be abolished... and the patent trolls of the world need to all die in a fire. Reforming the Patent system to prevent patent trolls would go a long way towards making the Patent system what it was intended for...

Until then, we'll see extortion like this from Microsoft (and everyone else).... I rather like the "hippie free-love software"... but then again I don't play in Apple's or Microsoft's sandbox.

The rest of them can suck my balls.

Re:Grow up, kid. (4, Insightful)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991009)

Extortion doesn't necessarily have to be a big player threatening a small player. How does the age or size of Nikon change the fact that this is extortion? It doesn't change a thing, scale is irrelevant.

Time for Microsoft to be sued out of existence (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990419)

They are a leach on modern businesses, their operating systems are found lacking, their office products are crap, their hardware is of the scaliest, slimiest design. In other words, they are dinosaurs in modern society.

MPAA - On warning for extinction.
RIAA - On warning for extinction.
Microsoft - On warning for extinction.

Time to open up the hunting licenses, and finish them all off.

Re:Time for Microsoft to be sued out of existence (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990537)

Awwwww poor widdle microsoft wubers crying cuz someone states the truth??

Microsoft hasn't innovated anything in 20 years, which is only slightly better than Apple....

Re:Time for Microsoft to be sued out of existence (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990809)

Awwwww poor widdle microsoft wubers crying cuz someone states the truth??

No, your post was most likely deemed "flamebait" because it was laughable Internet Tough Guy [imageshack.us] drivel that wasn't even pretending to offer a realistic solution to the problem. Ooh, you're putting them "on warning" for extinction and going to "finish them all off"?! Please.

Anyway, one may as well extend MS' lack of innovation to well over 30 years, since even the original MS-DOS circa 1981 was at best a workalike knockoff of CP/M that they bought in from someone else. In fact, while Gates may have written the first microcomputer implementation of BASIC in the mid-70s, he wasn't even the original creator of the language. MS were never, ever really innovators.

Kinect is one of the few original things they've created recently, and it's a wonder *that* managed to escape from the black hole of Microsoft Research, which- despite being well-funded and having lots of apparently talented people working there- never seems to actually translate into anything in practice. In fact, I'd guess that Kinect only escaped because- being an XBox peripheral- it wasn't as big a threat to existing vested interests and departmental politics in the Windows division.

Turnabout is fair play: DR-DOS (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990981)

even the original MS-DOS circa 1981 was at best a workalike knockoff of CP/M that they bought in from someone else

If Oracle beats Google on appeal, then DRDOS Inc. has a case against Microsoft. The maker of CP/M reworked CP/M-86 into DR-DOS.

Re:Turnabout is fair play: DR-DOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42991143)

If Oracle beats Google on appeal, then DRDOS Inc. has a case against Microsoft. The maker of CP/M reworked CP/M-86 into DR-DOS.

Even if Oracle won and the principle was upheld that APIs could be copyrighted (or was it a patent issue, I forget), wouldn't there be some sort of statue of limitations that stopped companies being sued over something that happened 32(!) years ago?

Re:Time for Microsoft to be sued out of existence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42991211)

diff ac here. while i don't think death is warranted, "David Kaefer, general manager of Intellectual Property (IP) Licensing at Microsoft" does deserve to be given a healthy dose of reality. maybe a free ride to his local hospital would encourage him to get honest work?

Re:Time for Microsoft to be sued out of existence (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991439)

> Microsoft hasn't innovated anything in 20 years

Scroll wheels on mice aren't 20 years old, and to the best of my knowledge, they came straight from Microsoft. Once in a great while, Microsoft *does* get *something* right.

Songwriters' trade group (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990953)

RIAA - On warning for extinction.

Even if the trade group representing sellers of recordings of music is on warning for extinction, I don't see how the trade groups representing publishers of the underlying compositions are. These are the groups that get paid when you play songs on FM, XM, or Internet radio (BMI and ASCAP), and the groups that get paid when you record a cover version of a song (Harry Fox Agency). And these are the groups whose members can sue you for accidental plagiarism* should a song you write happen to be too similar to an existing song (see Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music).

* By plagiarism I mean uncredited infringement.

Re:Time for Microsoft to be sued out of existence (1, Redundant)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991245)

The real bad guys are the US Chamber of Commerce. The take money from Big companies, like Microsoft, and funnel it to organizations that bribe and Elect Judges to rule in the Company's favor and The CoC funnels that money to Ads that mostly push Propaganda lies to elect Corrupt Officials. Why do you think there are caps on jury payouts to victims?. So Big Business can make more money and give you less if you are injured at their fault.

Now it's Arbitrary Agreements, they will not stop until they can get away with Murder and wipe their ass with your Bill of Rights and Constitution. And YOU are the one giving them the money to do these things by buying their products. You contribute to your own demise, with a smile on your face and Ear buds in your Ear and Gasoline in your ride.

Stop paying people to take away your rights. If you look, with Software Patents and such, they are fighting each other now; you all better pray that they destroy each other. Better them, than us, we can rebuild.

Re:Time for Microsoft to be sued out of existence (0)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991323)

I dont like microsoft, but I don't know of another decent office product. Libre/OO are awful, and wordperfect is terrible. Maybe thats another part of you being voted down?

Goodbye Nikon (3, Interesting)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990421)

One less brand to ever appear on my shopping list.

Re:Goodbye Nikon (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990451)

Looks like your going to be using a pretty short list. Since you don't want to step on anyone else's intellectual toes, I'd suggest starting with this camera manufacturer [holgacamera.com] ,.

Re:Goodbye Nikon (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991387)

Those all appear to be film cameras. No pesky software patents.

However, Holga isn't known for quality glass. I don't think they're known for glass, period.

Re:Goodbye Nikon (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990457)

One less brand to ever appear on my shopping list.

Dido

Re:Goodbye Nikon (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990471)

Why? Did she enter a licensing agreement with Microsoft?

Re:Goodbye Nikon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42991113)

One less brand to ever appear on my shopping list.

Dido

I agree, he's a Dildo.

Re:Goodbye Nikon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990505)

Wow! Using your income as a tool for protest. You're so fucking cool! As if anyone gives a shit what you buy with your meager salary.

Re:Goodbye Nikon (2)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990559)

Wow! Using your income as a tool for protest. You're so fucking cool! As if anyone gives a shit what you buy with your meager salary.

Enjoy some good reading here: Adbusters [adbusters.org] , and then think about how you can throw off the yoke for yourself.

Re:Goodbye Nikon (4, Interesting)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991051)

Wow! Using your income as a tool for protest. You're so fucking cool! As if anyone gives a shit what you buy with your meager salary.

Wow! You're so fucking cool! Using /. posts to mock those who take a moral stand! As if anyone gives a shit about your apathy and lack of concern for matters of right and wrong.

People don't use their income as a tool for protest because they think they're going to change things. They do so because financially supporting unethical actions is unethical itself, whether the effect is great or small. Go back under your bridge.

Re:Goodbye Nikon (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991109)

So why is this guy fussing about Nikon's software licensing arrangements when vastly larger swaths of the economy are hip deep involved with the company he so hates? He's going to have to stop buying vegetables from thousands of farmers, fuel from thousands of gas stations, anti-biotics from pretty much everybody who makes them ... in fact there are millions of people in this country he has to stop interacting with, now. How exhausting.

Nikon doesn't have to play this game. But then, they do want to interact with billions of people around the world who choose to use MS-based products. They could decide that it's not important to them to work with this one software publisher. But they'd be idiots.

Re:Goodbye Nikon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990737)

Meh. I'd avoid android shit anyway. It's not that great to begin with.

Re:Goodbye Nikon (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990839)

Best avoid Android, then.

More like Nikon is the victim. (4, Insightful)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990945)

One less brand to ever appear on my shopping list.

Help me understand - you are mad at the victim? Do you stop talking to friends because they paid for Windows? Don't buy anything with a Samsung-made component?

I'm sure Nikon looked at the cost of fighting and decided it made business sense to pay them. Consider the volume of Android devices Nikon sells vs. Samsung and other cell phone companies. If it doesn't make sense for the cell phone vendors, it is unlikely to make sense for Nikon to fight in court.

Frankly, your anger toward Microsoft might be better directed at Microsoft. And Google. Why hasn't Google challenged this?

Re:More like Nikon is the victim. (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991037)

Google hasn't challenged this as they haven't directly been sued, for good reason I would guess. Barnes & Noble did stand up to them, and published the jokes being used for this extortion. What Microsoft are doing should be considered criminal. I'm guessing that these companies look at the legal fees and decide that paying the extortion is significantly less expensive than paying the extortion, especially when the danger of dealing with an American company in the American legal system is taken into account.

Re:More like Nikon is the victim. (5, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991041)

>Help me understand - you are mad at the victim?

The problem with danegeld is that you never get rid of the Dane.

Paying off Microsoft is the absolutely wrong "solution" to this and only emboldens Microsoft. Microsoft can point at all these people paying danegeld and say "hey, you have to pay too."

It's why we all got mad at people who paid SCO for their extortion.

Fuck Microsoft, but also fuck Nikon for financing their extortion.

--
BMO

Re:More like Nikon is the victim. (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991155)

Do you stop talking to friends because they paid for Windows?

I would if they walked into BestBuy, approached the cashier and said "Please send this $100 for a windows license to Microsoft. Oh, no, I don't need a copy, thanks."

Re:More like Nikon is the victim. (1)

capt.Hij (318203) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991279)

Help me understand - you are mad at the victim? Do you stop talking to friends because they paid for Windows? Don't buy anything with a Samsung-made component?

I'm sure Nikon looked at the cost of fighting and decided it made business sense to pay them. Consider the volume of Android devices Nikon sells vs. Samsung and other cell phone companies. If it doesn't make sense for the cell phone vendors, it is unlikely to make sense for Nikon to fight in court.

Frankly, your anger toward Microsoft might be better directed at Microsoft. And Google. Why hasn't Google challenged this?

I will not be purchasing Nikon products because I want other companies to understand the full price of caving in to patent trolls. I will pay a little more to support a company with a spine and a long term outlook on the situation. Unfortunately it is getting harder and harder to find such companies.

Re:Goodbye Nikon (-1, Redundant)

westlake (615356) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991055)

One less brand to ever appear on my shopping list.

Don't make promises you can't keep.

Nikon currently designs and manufactures precision equipment for use in semiconductor and liquid crystal display (LCD) fabrication, inspection, and measurement. Nikon also designs and manufactures visual imaging products including cameras; instruments such as microscopes; and other products such as chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) systems, binoculars, surveying instruments, eyewear, sport optics, and optical measuring and inspection equipment.

Nikon [wikipedia.org]

Nikon is a core component of the Mitsubishi industrial cartel.

Try taking them off your shopping list.

Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990437)

Then maybe Nikon will stop hobbling their cameras that piece of shit android.

Oy Vey (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990481)

They also license patents from Apple, IBM and god knows who else, but it's not a big story then.

Why try and spin it as some sort of evil "Microsoft tax", when we could actually have a discussion on the patent system, instead of some retarded online version of two minutes hate.

This site has become completely worthless as a place to discuss technology.

Except we do. (4, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990819)

They also license patents from Apple, IBM and god knows who else, but it's not a big story then.

Except we do in the case of Apple *endlessly* Its not just been big news here, but in every damn newspaper worldwide. In fact very little is said of Evil Microsoft(sic) shady deals which are in the main back room affairs "While the contents of the agreement will not be disclosed" , with it being spin as a joyful agreement "Microsoft and Nikon have a long history of collaboration".

Perhaps if your not happy you could register and submit stories you feel more worthwhile, rather than attack a community.

Re:Except we do. (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991043)

Microsoft are also trying to hide the 'patents' they are using as threats.

Re:Oy Vey (3, Interesting)

ilguido (1704434) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990831)

That's because while some don't like the patent system at large, many, I'd say the majority, find the software patent system despicable. This article is about the latter.

Moreover this is a friendly reminder for all those who think that the Xbox/Xbox 360 makes money: the royalties from mobile system patents are collected by the EDD, those, and not the Xbox, counterbalance the losses of Windows Phone.

Re:Oy Vey (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42991095)

Great, more shills like you in slashdot getting modded up by other shills, that's what turns this and other sites worthless. When you can't even tell the truth without people getting offended because the commercial interests of Microsoft are not getting "fairly treated".

Microsoft threatens patents regarding the code itself, on Linux itself, trying to legitimize making a free to distribute and install thing non free. Among many other effects this makes the free nature of Linux not free so they can compete even with a relative expense of Windows licenses. What's worse is each time this happens you're losing options to not support Microsoft.

Apple and IBM and god knows who else might be involved in hardware patent bs but whatever they're doing is as far as I know outside of coder's direct concerns.

Re:Oy Vey (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42991111)

Do Apple, IBM and god knows who else claim they have patents that cover the Linux kernel? Not that I know and they certainly don't collect rent for using it, unlike Micro$oft. That's what this piece of news is about.

Software patents suck generally but this BS sucks especially.

I see you don't know jack shit about M$ and their business practices. Do your homework. http://wayback.archive.org/web/20120116153542/http://www.msversus.org/ [archive.org]

And that older collection of abuses doesn't contain the never gems ooxml and "secure boot". M$ is one disgusting company.

Re:Oy Vey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42991127)

Why try and spin it as some sort of evil "Microsoft tax", when we could actually have a discussion on the patent system, instead of some retarded online version of two minutes hate.

Simple it is a Microsoft tax. This extortion is all about being able to read and write to storage and unfortunately the monopoly created by the need for fat and ntfs on chips. The rest of the obvious bullshit patents like "a button method to record to an operating system" are not even the problem as I am sure they would be tossed in the trash where they belong. As far as Nikon paying royalties to IBM, Apple etc that is complete and absolute bullshit. They do pay some royalties to Kodak as does every other company that uses digital imaging technology. Camera raw is not the issue here and neither are any of the other software solutions for digital imaging as I am sure Nikon pays for some things.

The Microsoft extortion is attached to an NDA for a very good reason, they know that after a long and costly court battle over their bullshit patents they would for ONE; come out looking like a bully in the public eye, TWO; most likely have most of their patent portfolio tossed out in court, THREE; create such ire with manufactures that they would finally band together to divest themselves of any and all attachments to Microsoft's software once and for all.

Why else would the manufactures be using only variations upon the Linux kernel and OSS with these devices? Could it be that the inflexibility and cost of closed source embedded software from Redmond is financially not possible except for a few chosen "hardware partners" like the Ford motor company and Toyota?

Confusing press release without context (5, Informative)

dmomo (256005) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990485)

Here's some info on the patents that Microsoft claims android is in violation of:

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/070611-microsoft-android.html [networkworld.com]

Re:Confusing press release without context (4, Insightful)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990563)

So what happens if MS loses the patent claims to Google? Does the "Microsoft tax" get paid to Google instead? Or just gets them invalidated for being obvious?

Seriously, "a record button on a computer system"... what the hell, US patent system. What the hell?

Re:Confusing press release without context (1)

Technician (215283) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990851)

WIth the publicity on this, to inforce the tax on others, I could see this taking an Ernic Ball approach.

http://news.cnet.com/2008-1082_3-5065859.html [cnet.com]
And they haven't given in..
http://myitforum.com/myitforumwp/2012/11/12/ernie-ball-inc-still-rockin-11-years-without-microsoft/ [myitforum.com]

Re:Confusing press release without context (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990879)

Well, it's not really the fault of the USPTO. They can't know the state of the art in every industry, so they act more as a stamping house. "Yes, you did in fact apply on this date for a patent on something we don't seem to already have a patent for." Then if someone else wants to contest the patent, you take them to court to invalidate it. The problem then is that the side with the most money tends to win court cases.

Re:Confusing press release without context (3, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990681)

Why isn't Google sticking up for Android?

Mod parent up. (-1, Redundant)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990743)

Mod parent up.

Re:Confusing press release without context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990797)

Android is not really an operating system in the sense of MS Windows or Ubuntu. Google just throws source code onto a FTP server somewhere. It's someone else's problem to "productize" it.

Re:Confusing press release without context (1)

BanHammor (2587175) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990959)

They also make the Nexus line. Would you consider Gentoo not to be a real OS just because it's a user's problem to compile it from scratch?

Re:Confusing press release without context (1)

candeoastrum (1262256) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991057)

They also make the Nexus line. Would you consider Gentoo not to be a real OS just because it's a user's problem to compile it from scratch?

Yeah but they don't manufacture the phones. I am thinking Microsoft is going after the phone manufacturers themselves. Google is almost using them as pawns by always avoiding the line of fire, never directly stating their opinion on said patent but at the same time benefiting from selling their product. Smart business; ethical, evil eh? Its business.

Re:Confusing press release without context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990711)

And as a follow-up to that article from 1.5 years ago, be it noted that when B&N hung tough, and was willing to go to court, MS "settled" by investing $300M in a joint venture, and they became good buddies who were not going to have such silly squabbles any more.

Interesting that they have not gone after Apple's iOS on a lot of those same "patents" - have they?

YMMV

Re:Confusing press release without context (5, Informative)

inode_buddha (576844) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991267)

Re-posting this as a non-AC so that everyone sees it:

"And as a follow-up to that article from 1.5 years ago, be it noted that when B&N hung tough, and was willing to go to court, MS "settled" by investing $300M in a joint venture, and they became good buddies who were not going to have such silly squabbles any more.

Interesting that they have not gone after Apple's iOS on a lot of those same "patents" - have they?

YMMV"

MS *really* doesn't want to go to court over these patents, nor do they want anybody knowing exactly what they are about... As for the FAT patents? Those were unenforcable long ago. http://www.geek.com/articles/law/microsoft-fat-patent-shot-down-2004101 [geek.com]

Re:Confusing press release without context (3, Informative)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990767)

Yes, because we've always felt these were valid here on Slashdot:

Patents 5,579,517 and 5,758,352, issued in 1996, "relate to implementing both long and short file names in the same file system,"

Re:Confusing press release without context (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42991129)

As if Slashdot ever thought a software patent was valid.

However, those were "inventions". The FAT filesystem was around for years and nobody else figured out how to do it. (Other systems used hidden files and stuff to fake it.) There was some technical trickery involved. Seems more legit than the silly UI patents which are being thrown around.

Sounds like they're about to expire anyway.

Re:Confusing press release without context (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990781)

At least the FAT patent expires in 2014.

Re:Confusing press release without context (4, Informative)

netol (2849227) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990877)

Yes but say hello to exFAT (and its new patents), specially if you care about 4+ GB

Re:Confusing press release without context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42991173)

Why not just say goodbye to FAT altogether? Why aren't companies using an alternative, open format?

Re:Confusing press release without context (4, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991237)

Because Windows doesn't support anything else besides FAT and NTFS out of the box.

Re:Confusing press release without context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990805)

Well, umsdos implemented short and long file name in a file system well before that. I don't know when the pattent was filled, but umsdos became available in linux kernel officially in july 24 1994. It was available as a patch well before. Development started in 1992.

Re:Confusing press release without context (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990883)

the '97 and fat patents are possibly valid.

the others sound like bullshit because most certainly MS shouldn't be having patents on them...

Re:Confusing press release without context (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991085)

And maybe if the guys here actually read that they will see that YES Android and pretty much anything else having to do with computers infringes so the more relevant question SHOULD BE "Why are we letting such basic concepts be patented in the first place?"

And THAT is the problem in a nutshell, software patents has made the system so broken companies can make more money spamming the USPTO with vague concepts and then suing when a few of these stick than in actually building products.

These articles are like complaining "I'm tired of getting hit by punks with bats!" while ignoring there is a guy on the corner handing free bats out to the punks. Stop THAT guy and the punks won't have the bats to hit you upside the head with.

But Android is still open? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990487)

Right?

Lets redefine Open Again? Open mean no cost!? (3, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990769)

Right?

No wrong. I am tired of closed being the new open , and well closed being the new open [Thank you Ars]. Android is an a modular OS where various parts are under different licenses GPL2 (Linux the Kernel) most of the userland (Apache which is why Honeycomb never got released) and proprietary (most first party Applications) with various stuff happening in the cloud (maps; various storage; mail)...and nothing has changed.

Android does not protect you from patent trolls like Microsoft, but then it never did or claimed to...your choices have always been, work around the patents; pay them off; fight them in courts.

In short though this topic has nothing to do with being open...and unless your a Tizen fanboi your just trolling [lets face it iOS and Bada the only serious contenders are closed], with an off-topic comment, now if you has said "But Android is still free [beer]?" you would have least been on topic...still a troll...but on topic.

Wut? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990521)

So...Microsoft has a patent on attaching a camera to a portable computer with an operating system?

Re:Wut? (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991063)

You should've seen the protoype. Bill Gates couldn't even lift it to take a picture.

I am not a crook (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990567)

Nikon resigns [baltimoresun.com] ...

Re:I am not a crook (0)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990667)

Was that supposed to be funny?

Re:I am not a crook (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990955)

Was it worth your time to type that?

Re:I am not a crook (0)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991187)

I'm just asking, because I'm not sure.

Re:I am not a crook (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991303)

Then flip a coin... Let fate decide

Canon here I come (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990627)

I am going to have replace my camera kit in the next year. MS has shown that it is never happy with just part of the pie, or letting other people have a pie without the approval of MS. Once the claws get in, they never let go.

So even though I have been a Nikon fan for many years, I am afraid my next camera will a Canon.

Re:Canon here I come (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990833)

I am going to have replace my camera kit in the next year. MS has shown that it is never happy with just part of the pie, or letting other people have a pie without the approval of MS. Once the claws get in, they never let go.

So even though I have been a Nikon fan for many years, I am afraid my next camera will a Canon.

Given that the value of a good camera kit is more in the glass than anything, that's a hell of an investment you will have to be replacing (*). And what will you do when Canon decides that it is going to jump onto the Android bandwagon in order to feature comparable with the Nikon cameras? Will you do what someone suggested above and move to a Holga?

* A friend once told me a long time ago - never sell a lens that you like.

Re:Canon here I come (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990999)

I don't really know anything about (semi-)professional photography, but I always assumed objectives from different manufacturers were compatible. Can't you use your old glass with the new, different camera?

Re:Canon here I come (3, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991067)

I don't really know anything about (semi-)professional photography, but I always assumed objectives from different manufacturers were compatible. Can't you use your old glass with the new, different camera?

Camera manufacturers lock you in with proprietary hardware interfaces, so in general you can't mix and match between different companies. They also try and keep backwards compatibility within their own brand and Nikon supposedly has one of the best backward compatibility with its lenses of the major 35mm camera manufacturers.

Re:Canon here I come (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991099)

Calling it a lock-is a bit strong. Cameras from different manufacturers gave different dimensions and specs. Something sized for one will not fit another. But the specs are well documented and widely used. For example, many professional video cameras from many manufacturers are compatible with Canon lenses.

Re:Canon here I come (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991163)

Calling it a lock-is a bit strong.

I disagree. Yes the specs are well documented, and third party manufacturers produce compatible lenses, but you have choose - Nikon system, Canon system etc and you can not cross *that* boundary.

Re:Canon here I come (3, Informative)

Omestes (471991) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991327)

Pentax is hugely backwards compatible. I have glass sitting around that is over 30 years old that works flawlessly on my modern SLR. The only problem is some of the newer lenses, made for crop sensors, aren't really usable on film bodies without severe vignetting (though not always, some labeled for ASP-C are actually have a 35mm image circle). Also, all however many years of class all have stabilization, thanks to in body IS (why is also why I picked Olympus for my mirrorless).

Back in the film days there were several companies making class for other big brands. Also most screw mount lenses were pretty universal (m39 for pretty much all rangefinder/Leica type cameras, and m42 for pretty much everything else. Bayonet mounts is where things went downhill for compatibility. Now the only real "open" platform out there is Micro 4/3s, but even that isn't terribly open since its only Olympus and Panasonic.

I wouldn't call it lock in, though, since there are actual physical limitations, such as flange distance, and contacts (what features do you want to ship to the lens, or keep in body?). Some of it is obviously lock in, but thats putting it a bit strong.

Re:Canon here I come (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991409)

It is lockin. One way to minimize is to buy used kit.

Re:Canon here I come (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991165)

I don't really know anything about (semi-)professional photography, but I always assumed objectives from different manufacturers were compatible. Can't you use your old glass with the new, different camera?

Only in some circumstances. Most systems have different physical mounts, are built to sit at different distances from the sensor/film, have different electrical contacts for aperture control solenoids and auto-focus motor power/control. Etc.

Good lenses can usually be sold without much loss. But when you have a full collection built around a given system, it makes more sense to stick with that system, body-wise. It might mean being a little less pious about open source software ... but then, the people swearing they're not going to use Canon products are 1) Lying anyway (they probably also said they'd leave the country if Bush got re-elected), 2) Pretending they don't know that Canon as a business has thousands and thousands of employees and no doubt many thousands of devices and servers running the MS stack. If they jump ship over this story, it's for completely absurd, situational-outrage, non-reasons.

Re:Canon here I come (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42991025)

I would say that a lot of people are looking for any reason to say they are going to dump Nikon, even if it is irrational. They have had a string of QCs issues recently that have really pissed people off (see D800 left focusing problem, D600 oil problem) that they have taken months to admit to, let alone fix.

That being said, I love my Nikon kit, I just need to stop buying more.

Re:Canon here I come (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991081)

I would say that a lot of people are looking for any reason to say they are going to dump Nikon, even if it is irrational.

You can have my F100 when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers - but I'm taking my 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-S to the grave with me :D.

Though I am thinking its getting time to upgrade my D70.

Real target is not Android (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990629)

The real target of all this bullshit from Microsoft is the use of firmware with software other than what comes from Redmond, period. Face it Microsoft has been squeezed out of the embedded market largely because of the flexibility of OSS and the Linux kernel.

The best and only solution is for manufactures to turn on the bastards and stop using fat and ntfs period or charge more for devices that do.

This could easily be accomplished by providing a software tool with the cheaper devices to read write to Windows without the use of fat or ntfs. If Samsung, Nikon, Sony, Toshiba, Canon and all the other manufacturers got together and created a formatting tool for storage that they shared this could easily be accomplished.

Having one company dictate the format in which all portable storage devices read and write is the problem and the bastards in Redmond need to be held to task and given a full financial enema for a change.

Re:Real target is not Android (3, Interesting)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990705)

There are a couple of problems. One is that using a different file system is quite inconvenient, since it requires installation of additional software. It also probably wouldn't solve the problem, since MS has a ton of bullshit patents. The real solution is to drop the Antitrust hammer down, probably in Europe.

Re:Real target is not Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990867)

There are a couple of problems. One is that using a different file system is quite inconvenient, since it requires installation of additional software.

No problem. They can use ext2, which is freely available and has a windows driver too. Sure, you must install that driver. But any camera comes with a CD with "drivers" and other software anyway. (Raw converter, possibly some demo version of photoshop . . .)

Re:Real target is not Android (2)

citizenr (871508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990829)

The best and only solution is for manufactures to turn on the bastards and stop using fat and ntfs period or charge more for devices that do.

too late, that battle is lost already
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh8gLKrGeBE [youtube.com]

You mean SDXC cards using exFAT (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991065)

too late, that battle is lost already
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh8gLKrGeBE [youtube.com]

Sorry couldn't you summarize the hour long video especially when you have a valid point. Which as I see it is the https://www.sdcard.org/ [sdcard.org] SD Association and includes [Canon Inc., Cardwave Services Limited, Giesecke & Devrient, Hewlett Packard, Kingston Technology, Lexar, Motorola Mobility, Panasonic, Phison, Samsung Electronics, SanDisk Corporation, Silicon Motion, Inc. and Toshiba...yeah] everybody who makes a SD Cards , as a successor to SDHC cards SDXC have chosen to use exFAT as replacement for FAT...and anyone who used those cards has to pay Microsoft royalties.

Re:Real target is not Android (1, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991147)

Won't work because as long as 90%+ of the PCs out there (which is what folks are gonna want to get those pics on to for editing and sharing) run Windows getting rid of support for MSFT file systems would be slitting your own throat.

Now as for WHY does MSFT and Apple own 90% and 10% respectively and every other OS not even owns above the margin for error? I will get hate but truth is truth, nobody has offered a compelling product with the ease of use of OSX and Windows. Even Win 8 and Vista, as shitty as they are/were is a better OS than Linux because of the devs breaking shit with itch scratching (Yeah just throw out KDE 3 and gnome 2 when shit FINALLY gets good and stable, oh and crap all over audio by replacing ALSA with Pulse, that's the ticket!) and its obvious that Google isn't any "nicer" than Apple and MSFT and by refusing to make ChromeOS anything more than a glorified thin client has made it clear they don't give a shit about the PC market.

So until you come out with a product that is truly better and easier to use than Windows you can give it up Chuck, any camera manufacturer that charged more or refused to support NTFS and FAT would get slaughtered by those like Nikon who will just write this off as a cost of doing business and keep right on selling their cameras.

Re:Real target is not Android (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991257)

mod parent up

I read over all of their 'patents' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990845)

It used to be that a patent was for something innovative. Something new. Something that is different from everything else. Something that no one ever thought of before. It wasn't 'patent for windows in car to see outside' where houses had windows for thousands of years to see outside. Likewise 'patent for window in aircraft to see outside'. How the grand majority of these were not prior art is not just whimsical, but absurd. There is no innovation here. This is merely "we are calling a phone a brand new kind of thing, and applying a computer to it, but because we called the phone a new thing, all the patents are new inventions, even though everything was created on 'non-phone computers' decades before." If a wrist watch 'computer' came along tomorrow, I would file all of the 'obvious' patents that apply to computers on it tomorrow, and reap billions for all of my 'innovation' the day after. Its how the 'modern but stupid' US patent/legal system works.

May not be what it seems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42990903)

Until Nikon shows us all the agreements, my money is on Nikon pays MS a bit for all the android phones, and MS pays Nikon more money for licensing Nikon's patents. Part of the agreement is that Nikon signs an NDA and MS is allowed to tell the world Nikon is paying an Android tax.

It's pretty easy to get a company to pay you for your patents if you offer to pay them even more.

Karma Bites Nikon (3, Interesting)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42990997)

I can't help but think this is just a bit of karma comeback for Nikon. A few years ago, they decided to change their RAW file format to NEF (Nikon Encrypted Format), which could be read by nothing but their own software. They graciously allowed MS, Adobe and all to purchase licenses, so that Photoshop and such could read and work with the new .nef files. To be fair, Pentax, Canon and everyone seems to be doing this now.

Which patents?? (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991005)

The only specific one I recall them mentioning was FAT filesystem, but they've claimed to have many more that Linux/Android supposedly infringes on.

Re:Which patents?? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991231)

That's the thing: Microsoft has been making these claims for a VERY long time. No one has produced a list. Many such claims would be worked around if they were identified while others would likely become invalidated for various other causes under re-examination. Software patents, as it turns out, are usually quite weak.

Isn't it time to trim FAT? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991219)

According to some things I have read, it seems the patent(s) in question involve the FAT file system which is used on so many consumer devices.

Linus Torlvalds described long filenames long before Microsoft did it. That is prior art. But worse, FAT is a software patent and one which is decidedly used to prevent compatibility... or in this case, "tax" compatibility. I'd like to see Microsoft attempt to extract injunctive relief so that this matter can get the attention it needs.

Re:Isn't it time to trim FAT? (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42991365)

I assume you are suggesting we make a new filesystem that is reasonably light for for embedded devices like cameras and toasters, but can still be used from ordinary user interface devices like phones, tablets, netbooks, laptops, desktops and servers. Good idea. But will it work with Windows? If you are expecting to add software to Windows to support this, I suggest calling it a "plugin" as people seem to be willing to just install those any time anyone says to.

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