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ISO Could Withdraw JPEG Standard

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the thanks-forgent-have-a-nice-day dept.

Patents 457

McSpew writes "According to The Register, the ISO is prepared to withdraw JPEG as a standard if Forgent Networks continues to assert its patent claims over JPEG's compression algorithm." I'm sure the JPEG committee would still be happy to hear of prior art.

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fpbot is coming! (-1, Troll)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938836)

Natalie Portman's panties in the moonlight
Smooth, silky panties
Panties oh so tight
Natalie Portman's furburger
Is oh so right!

Peas out...

Re:fpbot is coming! (-1, Offtopic)

YHVH (592888) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938842)

I am the Lord of Posts. You shall have no other posts before Me.

But in your case, I'll make an exception.

CarrieBot is coming! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938851)

Carrie Fisher's panties in the moonlight Smooth, silky, embroidered panties A perfect fit, and perfectly tight Carrie Fisher's furburger Is very, very much right

Pink page of death!! by poopbot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938841)

Happy Troll Tuesday!

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- posted by poopbot: who doesn't like scat?

TYx46jGZwI Post #491

text of the article (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938844)

No more JPEGs - ISO to withdraw image standard
By Andrew Orlowski in London
Posted: 07/23/2002 at 11:38 EST

The ISO standards body will take the unprecedented step of withdrawing the JPEG image format as a formal standard if Forgent Networks, a small Texan company, continues to demand royalties on a seventeen-year old patent.

The Register has spoken to representatives of both the JPEG committee and Forgent Networks this week.

According to Richard Clark, JPEG committee member and webmaster, Forgent's royalty grab - coming after two decades of royalty-free use - means that ISO is obliged to withdraw the specification.

"Under ISO terms, formally you can only have a standard you can implement on free or RAND terms. "Reasonable and non discriminatory (RAND) terms are typically published, and the same for everyone. It's clear that Forgent's claims are not RAND. $15 million doesn't sound like free to me, and Forgent is not publishing the terms of their licensing.

"ISO will withdraw the standard: JPEG will be no more," he told us. However, ISO itself cannot formally take a stance on the patent, he added.

"JPEG have traditionally tried to make it available for free; there is no JPEG LA, like the MPEG LA," he pointed out.

"Our current assumption is that the patent is not valid," said Clark. However Clark says that since the patent becomes invalid in 2004 (under the old rules, seventeen years after filing, rather than twenty years after a grant) there is little incentive for manufacturers to bow to Forgent's terms.

A spokesperson for Forgent declined to rule out litigating against manufacturers who decline to pay Forgent royalties on the claim.

License grabbers
Clark blamed the collapse of the "new economy" for unleashing speculative claims such as Forgent's on long-established free standards. Forgent acquired the patent in 1997.

"Typically cross-licensing has kept things in check - the holder was a manufacturer and not just a license grabber. But with the demise of the dot coms the only things left in the locker are bits of paper. And people are pursuing it fairly vigorously," he said.

Forgent's PR manager Hedy Baker told The Register that the company was in talks with a number of manufacturers. She declined to name the company which paid $15 million for rights to use "patent 672".

"It covers a specific method that's used in part of the process in a JPEG," she said.

"This is a licensing program: we have a legitimate patent," she told us.

But it's a very widely established standard and no one has tried to collect royalties from the transmission of JPEGs before?

"They only started delving into it a year and half ago when the new management team came in. We're speaking with device manufacturers."

But it also includes web browsers?

"Yes, it could right."

And everyone who's writing client side software that receives a JPEG?

"It applies to anyone who uses a specific algorithm. We are contacting device manufacturers," she said.

Would you litigate against companies who refuse to license JPEG?

"I really don't have information on that."

Was Forgent confident it could handle claims of prior art which invalidate the claim?

"We have the rights to this specific technology. There's nothing I can tell you about the licensing program beyond what I've stated.

But the patent expires pretty soon - in, 2004 in fact - so there's very little incentive for a manufacturer to enter into an agreement when two or three years down the line it's going to become invalid, isn't it?

Ms Baker declined to provide more detail.

No safe haven

Clark says he hopes the furore will help restrain European agencies from aping US patent law.

"It's becoming impossible to set standards in multimedia; huge numbers of patents are granted. In Japan there are 4,000 patents on image and wavelet technology alone. It's followed the US model, where for many, many years, the US has allowed patents on very small changes to very detailed technical terms and where the benefits are few," said Clark.

He advocates shifting the burden of proof onto the patent holder.

"Originally patents were a bargain to protect a little man with a brilliant invention. Now they're held by big corporates, and often extended beyond the lifetime of the product. He would like to see what clauses of a standard a claim applies to within six months of the standard being published; and for patent claimants to publish details of their licensing.

He would also like to see international agreement: "...but that would mean running it through ISO, WIPO and national governments, and I can't see it happening with any kind of finite timescale.

And there aren't any safe havens, he warns.

"You can't create a standard that doesn't infringe patents - PNG or Ogg Vorbis could equally be challenged. So it's no good saying something is patent free." ®

Grrr. (2, Insightful)

Retarded Penguin (591498) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938909)

Jpeg is a STANDARD, doesnt matter about the patents it has. It has been STANDARDIZED through the test of time, I will grow to despise the new legislature. My digital camera can take either Jpeg or TIFF (tiffs too big) so i really dont have THAT Much of a choice. Image conversion is a pain in the ass.

Re:text of the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939044)

So what if it is withdrawn as a standard? It will simply be a "defacto standard", and Forgent will continue with it's licensing.

Since this is the Register, after all..... (3, Funny)

JohnTheFisherman (225485) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939093)

Does anyone else have any other links to confirm or (more likely) deny this?
They're kinda like the Weekly World News [] of technology. You know, the people who brought us BatBoy?

Oh NO!!!! (3, Funny)

rgsmith (473418) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938846)

Just think of all the Pr0N I'll have to pay royalties on!

Fight the system! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938885)

OFF the MAN!

Re:Fight the system! (1)

grokk (227023) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939027)

OFF the MAN!


The deeper in crisis the capitalist economy gets, the more idiotic its property laws reveal themselves to be; but I don't expect libertarians to grasp this essential truth for some time to come yet...

Selling feature (2, Funny)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938899)

It'll be a new way for webmasters of the sex trade to make money:

"Our women are 100% patent-free!"


WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938848)




Oh, please... (2)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938849)

Am I the only one who thinks the ISO should stand up and fight the good fight?

Maybe this would be a way to stop this patent / Intellectual Property nightmare once and for all.

What about patents not applying if the implementation is open source and not-for-profit?

Well, I guess I can keep on dreaming... =(

Re:Oh, please... (4, Interesting)

Tayto (4193) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938894)

Fight what good fight? Forgent broke no laws. Ethically they may be far from clean, but there is no case to be fought here in the courts. Perhaps it can be used to highlight the futility of patents in the public mind, and to other governments around the world - but as it stands, patents are too entrenched in the US for anything to remove them.

The only thing that could improve the situation is that the MPAA find that patents are beginning to eat into their profits, and get their pet senators into action ;-)

ISO shouldn't fight fights (2, Insightful)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938928)

ISO is a standardization body, it does nobody any good for them to get in the middle of a stupid dispute like this.

Wrong approach (2)

drew_kime (303965) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938980)

Am I the only one who thinks the ISO should stand up and fight the good fight?

The problem is the whole patent system. You don't fight that by overturning a single patent claim: You do it by rigorously applying the existing scheme. If that leads to unacceptable results, that will demonstrate the problem.

PNG (0, Offtopic)

brsmith4 (567390) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938853)

So? I could care less about JPEG anyway. PNG is a lot better. Better compression and better image quality. If JPEG wants to get itself into legal shit then it's its' own business. My wallpapers and my website images are all PNG and thats the way it will stay.

Re:PNG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938891)

why dont they just stall them for a year1/2 til the silly thing runs out sometime in 2004

Re:PNG (1)

eXtro (258933) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938901)

How is this insightful? PNG does have better image quality. Due to this better image quality its compression sucks in comparision. JPEG uses lossy compression, so some image quality is sacrificed for tremendous savings in disk space. PNG uses lossless compression, so its image quality is much higher but it also produces huge images compared to JPEG.

Re:PNG (2, Redundant)

Mitchell Mebane (594797) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938933)

Maybe, but PNG and JPEG are two entirely different paradigms.

JPEG is a lossy algorithm, which gets rid of "unnoticeable" parts of the image, in order to lower the file size.

PNG, on the other hand, is a lossless algorithm, which, when decompressed, gives you byte-for-byte the original image.

If we lose PNG, we can come up with something else. Good lossless algorithms abound. But, AFAIK, there aren't that many GOOD replacements for JPEG.

Re:PNG (0)

maddjn (471355) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938943)

so what about your digital camera? port png to the flash card?
or what about pictures with many colors that png doesn't handle too well?
i like png, too, but it won't work with everything. and monocultures have never been a good thing...


Re:PNG (1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939017)

Just thought I'd chime in and re-iterate that you're retarded. PNG is a good replacement for GIF, not for JPEG.

Nevermind the fact that you, like most other Linux hippies, are in denial of widespread adaption of proprietary formats. MP3? No! Ogg! Flash? No! SVG (or whatever it is)! GIF? No! PNG!

Sure in an ideal world we'd have open specs for everything, but since, despite popular opinion, you open source dorks usually just follow the lead of companies, in many cases the open standards come out after the lonely hippies steal the ideas of the commercial versions.

Re:PNG (-1, Flamebait)

bafreer (592306) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939111)

Could someone politely mod this flamebait? thanks in advance

Re:PNG (3, Interesting)

RobLS (595342) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939033)

Are you sure about that?

What if PNG is challenged - will your viewpoint stand?

Over the last few years thousands of patents have been granted, the bulk of which probably shouldn't have - especially in software that has such a massive worldwide explosion in new "inventions" which the orignal authors have not patented - then 10 or 20 years later someone patents it.

The patent office (who make their money from granting patents) don't have the time or the inclination to do a full search - especially when most of the source is hidden from view - it's not just book publishing or visible inventions that need to be searched. But of course, that is an impossible task (and probably breaking a few license agreements plus the DCMA to boot).

So what will this do? Well, the file formats will be published by big corporations who have a large portfolio to challenge other companies. Other people will not be able to risk publishing their formats or their source code. So the world loses - and that includes corporations who are just too blind to see it yet.

Is this really the intention of IP laws? I don't think so.

Rob Probin

got tr011ax0r? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938864)

w00t - go tr011ax0r!

There goes the show kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938865)

If they bow, it lends credence to this silly claim... I say silly because they sat on the patent (knowingly it seems) and only tried to assert it during the zero hour. I doubt it holds up in court, but ISO is known not to reverse itself so JPeG will die. Damn shame... PNG sucks, GIF is obviously not a good substitute.

This just sucks...

.jpg will not die (2, Insightful)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938975)

Ludicrous claim, yes. There's no way it'll kill off the JPeG format. The files are too well entrenched into everything we do and litigation against companies with embedded decoders would go way past the 2 years left on their patent.

Though by all means I'd love to see someone try to sue Microsoft because of Internet Explorer. Just like smokers trying to sue the tobacco industry: wait the plaintiff out until he/she pases on from the cause of the lawsuit. 15 million is way more than the 2-3mil corporate lawyers would make off the case.


Re:There goes the show kids... (2)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939031)

As if the fact that ISO would no longer recognize JPEG as a standard would affectthe WIDE spread user base already in place.

Do you think ISO not recognizing it is gonna cause millions of web masters to take them down, or stop millions of browsers from seeing them ? This is silly hot air and rhetoric by the ISO. It is like saying they are gonna revoke the standard on the wheel and expect everyone to stop using it....

Let's just find some prior art already... (0)

C.U.T.M. (595268) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938868)

Then we can finally make this a non-issue.

Re:Let's just find some prior art already... (1)

shades66 (571498) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939103)

Sorry this maybe a stupid question but I keep hearing about this 'prior art' and have no idea what it means?

Could someone possibly explain?


This is really no problem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938876)

I'm not trolling here; but PNG is superior in every way. Forgent Networks can cry and whine all they want, it's not going to have any adverse affect on anything enar me.. as it's all PNG :).

Re:This is really no problem (1, Insightful)

C.U.T.M. (595268) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938893)

I'd check JPEG vs PNG file sizes again before I'd say 'in every way'.

Re:This is really no problem (1)

psi-kat (584526) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938936)

yeah, I just wish more browsers knew how to support PNG's alpha-channel (making images partially transparent). Until that happens, it's just another image format in the mix...

Finally... (2, Insightful)

Critical_ (25211) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938877)

Its about time that a precedent be set in the patent-crap(tm) going on these days. If a company is going to assert its patents and charge people for it after so long, it is more than justified to play hardball and in essence say "we'll pull your patent-laden bullsh*t off the list of standards". Okay sure, the alternatives are there but disk-space/image-quality/browser support must be there before anything will work. Before anyone says that PNG works as a replacement, I would have to say that the size increase alone prohibits their use especially on high-traffic sites where bandwidth counts.

Re:Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939125)

PNG and JPEG are two different animals. They can't possibly satisfy the same needs--perhaps on the web, but only on the web.

PNG == non-lossy
JPEG == lossy

Yes, we know about your p0rn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938887)

how many more times are we going to hear about everyone's p0rn rolayties surpassing the federal deficit?

I have to... (1)

nburtner (536565) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938906)

Applaud ISO if they're prepared to take this kind of step. It shows that they're willing to say 'ok, stop' if people are going to abuse their patents on standardized things...though, to tell you the truth, I personally prefer PNG. ...Just wish that something like this had been done with GIF...

Just my $0.02

My proposition (4, Funny)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938907)

Since every image format known to man seems to be under the control of some kind of patent, I propose that the ONLY supported graphic format for all our web applications should be ASCII art, that way we should avoid all the patent mess, also ASCII art is probably the most widely available format and already has a module for gimp [] .

Re:My proposition (1)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938990)

Heh at one point RCA had a patent on 'drawing an alphanumeric character on the screen'. All TV manufacturers had to pay a license for drawing the channel # on the screen. I think it expired tho.

Anybody remember that? My details are fuzzy.

Re:My proposition (1)

CoreDump (1715) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939004)

Hmmm, I just filed US Patent 6,783,251 describing a "Method for displaying graphical images using ASCII characters".

You can license this technology from me for the equitable and extremly fair fee of 1 meeeelion dollars. Muahahahahahahahahaha! It's cheaper than JPEG!

Re:My proposition (2)

DrVxD (184537) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939072)

What makes you think "ASCII art" is unpatentable?

FU*K you Forgent, FU*K you! n/t (0, Troll)

paradesign (561561) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938911)

no text, just a big ol' finger to the forgent.

This is a Good Thing(tm) (5, Insightful)

smashr (307484) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938913)

As strange as it sounds, this is actually a good move. We do NOT want jpeg on the list of standards if an entity can maintain patented control over it. Granted we will all still use jpeg, however ISO is definatly trying to make a point here - "you cant exclusively own it, and have it be an open standard" we should be happy that ISO is standing up for this!

So what? (3, Insightful)

dlek (324832) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938918)

So far as I can tell, this is what the ISO certainly should do, according to the letter and spirit of their policies. But I doubt it will have any effect on the situation except as a feel-good measure for those against the patent claim. I can't see how it will put any pressure on the dicks trying to claim patent rights; even if the ISO withdraws official standing, it will remain a de facto standard.

ridiculous (0, Insightful)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938920)

The ISO exists to promote formats and protocols as standards. It is basically a cheerleading group, which has its purpose, but not here. There is no way you can enforce true standardization. Nor can you pass a resolution that takes away a format's status as a standard.

HTML 4.0 only became a true standard when Microsoft supported it in Internet Explorer. Likewise, GIFs are still standard, despite the huge campaign for PNGs. And SMB is a standard for filesharing, while DOC is a standard for word processing.

JPEG is a standard because every graphics program and web browser supports it, not because of some gold star from the ISO. If the ISO wants to remain relevant, it needs to stop making these self-righteous and ineffectual proclaimations and start working on something that matters.

Re:ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939055)

Thanks, now can you ask Bill to remove his hand from your ass so we can hear something other than what you are programmed to say?

Microsoft has set ZERO standards. nothing microsoft does is a standard and GIF is by no means a standard in anything but lamer sites or lame programmers (such as those hire by microsoft)

DOC is not a standard and only a complete IDIOT would say so.

Re:ridiculous (2)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939105)

ISO is doing this to make a statement, not because they are under any delusion that there will will be any real world effect of removing the JPEG standard. I applaud them for doing this. ISO is a well respected organization with global visibility, and I hope this will be a wake-up call to countries considering following the US' path into software patent foolishness.

Damage (1, Insightful)

Quantum Singularity (594841) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938921)

If anything like this happens, it would obviously wreak havoc on the internet. We'd be forced to use clunky, bloated, Microsoft bitmaps. So, would owning your JPEGs now be akin to downloading Metallica MP3s, or cracking a program? This is worse than trying to copyright nothingness, or pop-unders, as X10 tried. -"Hey, you guys wanna buy some JPEGs?" --"If you get caught using that..." -"I know, I know, I made the original myself." I'm not really worried, mostly because of the last lines in the article, but in America, we do have stricter laws. But I've never seen anythink like this before.

yeah you heard it on RegDot first! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938923)

slack fuckers

Um... (1)

ShishCoBob (516335) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938930)

The fact that they got the patent anyway is bad enough. How could it be that those who came up with the standard don't have the patent? All they need to do it stand-up and show some little evidence of prior use that would not be that hard to find.

It's not just about your personal preference (5, Insightful)

theRhinoceros (201323) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938932)

It's also about every device that captures JPEG (digicams) and renders JPEG (web browsers) that is big enough for Forgent to demand money from. Personal decisions to move to PNG are fine and dandy and probably will win you some personal satisfaction, but in the greater scheme of things, JPEG is more entrenched in computing than a simple "OK, let's just whip up a script to batch everything over to PNG."

premature? (2, Interesting)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938935)

does any one else think that this may be a bit premature? after all, they have merely said that they may have patants on parts of the algorithm. As far as we know -- an obviously we dont know everything -- they have not proved it yet.
In addition, what is the point of doing it now? AFIK there were legal limits on enforcing your patent after you let people adopt it.
Personally, i have nothing against patents but this does seem rather silly.

Next, Microsoft with CIFS (SMB) (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938940)

Well now... if they are successful in doing this (with so little to really gain considering if the patent ends in 2004, that leaves them 2 years to try to clean up) then what is to stop Microsoft from trying to do the same thing with CIFS (SMB)?
I mean, they are already trying to put limitations and restrictions on the use of the CIFS protocol even as it's being reviewed by the standards boards.

libjpeg? Linux distros? (3, Interesting)

shoppa (464619) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938941)

How does this affect libjpeg, which comes as part of nearly (OK, not in my favorite, Linux From Scratch [] ) every Linux distribution?

It's clear that Forgent is going after companies that develop browsers, sell image editing tools, etc., but on your typical Unix/Linux platform these tools often are "just" linked to libjpeg where the real encoding and decoding is done. In this case might they try to go after anyone whose name appears in the libjpeg sources? Ack!

Re:libjpeg? Linux distros? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939035)

But they can only seek royalties or a set percentage of the profit's obtained by the use of libjpeg. So if you dont charge for the library or any product which uses said library, their cut of $0.00 would be, hmm $0.00

Re:libjpeg? Linux distros? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939128)

Do you have absolutely any clue about what you're saying?

This could just mean... (2)

secondsun (195377) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938948)

...that it is time for jpeg2000.

Too bad this patent covers the whole spectrum of compressing images by removing redundant data.

In other news... (3, Funny)

Real World Stuff (561780) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938953)

Microsoft to enforce ".exe" patent. Bill Gates quoted, "All your program are belong to us."


Re:In other news... (0, Offtopic)

pythas (75383) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939109)

Listen. This AYB shit may have been funny years ago, but it's not any more.

It's time to stop.

Too late. (5, Interesting) (142825) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938955)

Even if the ISO turns JPG into a non-standard, it is in too much use to make a difference. The idea of a standard is to establish the common use and give people safety in having a known way to implement/work with this "standard." This is already done. Forgent has already stole this benefit!

I want this patent invalidated, then the companies that paid money to go after them for fraud.

Not too late. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939143)

It's quite a good idea, actually. If JPEG is no longer a standard, then a NEW standard will be created to replace it.

Unlike the GIF/PNG fiasco, this one will carry weight simply because of the "official seal of approval" from a standards group.

It's just a real damn pity that Sony caved in and gave legitimacy to this idiotic patent. I'll remember that the next time I go shopping.

My camera uses .jpgs... am I personally liable? (3, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938958)

I own a cute little Canon Digital Elph that happens to save images in the formerly-standard JPEG format.

Exactly what happens if the patent is upheld? Am I personally liable? In theory, could Forgent come after me for royalties?

What happens if you buy and use a product that later on turns out to infringe on someone's patent?

Offhand I don't recall any language in any fine print anywhere that says I'm held harmless, it's all the vendor's fault.

Re:My camera uses .jpgs... am I personally liable? (2)

zangdesign (462534) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938998)

Well, that's where reality sets in - there is no way to track ALL the purchasers of hardware and software that uses the JPEG patent. However, Forgent will go after the manufacturers, most of whom will cave in to their demands.

This whole debacle makes me ashamed to be from Texas. We're supposed to be above this sort of horseshit.

Re:My camera uses .jpgs... am I personally liable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939120)

The camera which you own right now would not be affected, but whomever implemeted the algorithm to compress the jpeg image would be financially responsible for the patent licensing debacle.

So they charge the companies that use their software more, and the companies that use their software charge more for their products, and on down the line.. that is you the consumer will end up paying for this...

Isn't it going to expire soon? (2)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938959)

If it was patented in, what, 1987, won't it expire shortly anyway, like the RSA patent, in, what, 17 years? 2004?

Re:Isn't it going to expire soon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938972)

Patents are for 20 years. Or at least, that's what the Patent Office says on their website. Maybe it used to be 17 years and they raised it?

What is it with you PNG fanatics? (5, Insightful)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938964)

You people are all saying "Just switch to PNG" as if it can be done seamlessly and immediately. This is ridiculous. Many images on the Internet are in JPG format. Even assuming people could immediately switch to PNG, this wouldn't solve the problem because JPEG is actually a format where the amount of compression applied to pictures can be varied on a scale of 0 to 100. The amount of compression cannot be fine tuned as well with a PNG image.

Anyway, the issue at stake here is not just about whether or not JPGs can or cannot be used; if Forgent gets away with this, the door is open for all other companies to get away with submerging their patents and then springing royalties onto us. GIFs have been taken from us, and now it looks as if JPGs will be taken from us as well, and I don't think that it's a good idea to rely on just one picture format. I'd rather have choice, thanks very much.

Prior Art For What? (5, Interesting)

StevenMaurer (115071) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938971)

Again, speaking as an expert, Forgent Networks patent has NOTHING to do with JPEG [] . It is quite hard to find prior art for a patent claim that doesn't apply.

One would hope they'd just fight this nusance lawsuit in court.

What about MP3? (1)

Kevin Burtch (13372) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938976)

Shouldn't the MP3 standard get the same treatment for the same reasons?

Re:What about MP3? (1)

Mitchell Mebane (594797) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939013)

Well, now that Ogg Vorbis 1.0 is out, I wouldn't really mind.

Unfortunately, people don't like change...

IMPORTANT (-1, Offtopic)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938987)

Let me just state for the record that I'm not proud of what I did. On the surface, I'm sure it looks real bad, but I justify it with a little concept I like to call "preventative self-defense." That old guy down the street has been trying to kill me for years. I had no choice but to go on the offensive. How was I to know what he had in those "grocery" bags yesterday? I could only assume they were full of implements which would allow him to carry out his ultimate plot for my demise. And how else could I have stopped this plot than by grabbing the bags out of the back of his van and throwing them in the street? And really, after that, what other options did I have? I had no choice but to try to stuff the "groceries" into the drainage sewer. And when the old guy started swinging a rake at me, I was pretty much obligated to throw that jar of "pickles" at his groin.

Some say it's all just a misunderstanding. But after I foiled his death-plot, the old guy said something to me that made his intentions all too clear. "Get off my property! And put some fuckin' clothes on!" he said. Chilling words. A cryptic phrase that will not tell me where, how, or when he will try to kill me...just that he will try. Well played, old timer, well played.

Re:IMPORTANT (0, Offtopic)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939122)

This should [] solve your problem with the ol' guy.

Re:IMPORTANT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939127)

You know, I have lived in this neighborhood for 45 years. I raised a family here. Heck, I got married at the corner church and burried my wife two years ago in it's graveyard. But I have never seen anything like this kid.

Let me tell you, he is something. He lives a few doors down... moved in a few years back as I recall. Seemed quiet at first.

My wife and I would go on walks around the block in the evenings and you could see this kid in the front window of his home sitting at one of them damn fangled computing boxes, the glow lighting up his pale face as he tippy tapped away at that plastic contraption with all the letters on it. He rarely came out during the day and his lights were on all night it seemed.

After my wife passed, I began to notice things more. Nothing like being lonely to get you alert and worried. I joined the neighborhood watch and everything, mostly out of paranoia, but also out of real concern since all these little firebrand punks run around in their funny clothes and with their funny hair making fun of us old timers, threatening to do us no good if we tell em to stop.

That's when I noticed how truely weird this kid down the street really was. His neighbors, my good friends Art and Louise, kept telling me they saw him playing with him self in ungodly ways in the windows of his house while he peeked across the way at them watching the television. They had seen him out in his yard a few times, squating naked in the back like he was going to the bathroom as well.

Well, let me tell you, once I began patrolling with the watch, I saw these things too, and more. I would stroll past his house and I could swear he was naked, sitting at his computer, with naked women on his computer tele screen. He would jump out of site everytime he saw me, but I am sure there were penquins and horses and ugly women from bad movies on that screen of his.

After a while, he started to come out of the house, naked as a jaybird, screaming that I was a luckless Redmond flunkie who had been sent by the Borg themselves to castrate his computer freedom, what ever the hell that meant.

Last month, the crazy free started to roam the neighborhood at night, naked as usual. I never actually caught him doing it, and neither did the police, but he was doing it for sure. He would peep in windows, scribling furiously on some new fangled plastic notebook that glowed and beeped, spying on everyone. I know I saw him running away once in the dark.

Well, yesterday this punk accosted me on the street. First time I had ever seen him in daylight. He was pale as heck, skinny with a potbelly and no willie to mention. The only thing he had on was a dirty black baseball hat with a yellow and white penquin on it.

This little bastard tackled me! Me! I am four times his years! No respect.

He was wailing like a little faggot, screaming about how I was out to kill him and supress something called the Linux Movement, what ever the hell that is. He dumped my groceries in the sewer drain and then hit me with a big jar of kosher dills when I grabbed the rake to defend myself. Only thing I could do was tell him to get off my property while I rolled around on the ground in agony from the sack shot that little pervert put on me.

So yes officer, I want this crazy lunatic arrested.

His name?

The mailbox says Torvalds... he speaks with a funny accent officer, but I am sure that's the name on the mailbox. I want to press charges against this punk, you betcha.

Unisys should be hunting these guys down (1)

eaddict (148006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3938994)

Anyone look at the source of Forgent [] ?? There are an awful lot of:

img src="images/front_page/logo_ForgentNetworks.gif"

Hmmm.... Wonder why they aren't using thier own technology?

Remember your heros! []

Revenge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3938995)

OK, it's pretty childish, but if they say they own the rights to JPEG, why don't we send them all the JPEGs we can find? How many copies of can their mail server handle?

Two decades!? (3, Redundant)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939014)

According to this document [] utility patents last 20 years and design patents last 15. If as the article indicates this letigation is after two decades of usage in JPEG, then either JPEG existed before the patent or the patent is about to expire, if it hasn't yet done so.

Any patent lawyers out there? (2)

DotComVictim (454236) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939016)

Can you answer this?

If a patent doesn't specifically mention a process in the list of claims, but the process is described in the patent, does the patent cover that process?

The "JPEG patent" doesn't list the JPEG method, nor does it list a technical description of the method in the list of claims. It does describe the JPEG algorithm in the body of the patent. Does the patent cover the JPEG algorithm?

Re:Any patent lawyers out there? (2, Informative)

nuzoo (588862) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939088)

They could get additional claims covering any patentable material in the "body" (specification) section of the patent, through a "continuation" application, but the 17-years-from-issuance expiration term applies -- counting from the issuance of the initial patent.

Linux Conspiracy by poopbot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939020)

Happy Troll Tuesday!

It has come to my attention that the entire Linux community is a hotbed of so called 'alternative sexuality,' which includes anything from hedonistic orgies to homosexuality to pedophilia.

What better way of demonstrating this than by looking at the hidden messages contained within the names of some of Linux's most outspoken advocates:
  • Linus Torvalds [] is an anagram of slit anus or VD 'L,' clearly referring to himself by the first initial.
  • Richard M. Stallman [] , spokespervert for the Gaysex's Not Unusual 'movement' is an anagram of mans cram thrill ad.
  • Alan Cox [] is barely an anagram of anal cox which is just so filthy and unchristian it unnerves me.

I'm sure that Eric S. Raymond, composer of the satanic homosexual [] propaganda diatribe The Cathedral and the Bizarre, is probably an anagram of something queer, but we don't need to look that far as we know he's always shoving a gun up some poor little boy's rectum. Update: Eric S. Raymond is actually an anagram for secondary rim and cord in my arse. It just goes to show you that he is indeed queer.

Update the Second: It is also documented that Evil Sicko Gaymond is responsible for a nauseating piece of code called Fetchmail [] , which is obviously sinister sodomite slang for 'Felch Male' -- a disgusting practise. For those not in the know, 'felching' is the act performed by two perverts wherein one sucks their own post-coital ejaculate out of the other's rectum. In fact, it appears that the dirty Linux faggots set out to undermine the good Republican institution of e-mail, turning it into 'e-male.'

As far as Richard 'Master' Stallman goes, that filthy fudge-packer was actually quoted [] on leftist commie propaganda site as saying the following: 'I've been resistant to the pressure to conform in any circumstance,' he says. 'It's about being able to question conventional wisdom,' he asserts. 'I believe in love, but not monogamy,' he says plainly.

And this isn't a made up troll bullshit either! He actually stated this tripe, which makes it obvious that he is trying to politely say that he's a flaming homo [] slut [] !

Speaking about 'flaming,' who better to point out as a filthy chutney ferret than Slashdot's very own self-confessed pederast Jon Katz. Although an obvious deviant anagram cannot be found from his name, he has already confessed, nay boasted of the homosexual [] perversion of corrupting the innocence of young children [] . To quote from the article linked:

'I've got a rare kidney disease,' I told her. 'I have to go to the bathroom a lot. You can come with me if you want, but it takes a while. Is that okay with you? Do you want a note from my doctor?'

Is this why you were touching your penis [] in the cinema, Jon? And letting the other boys touch it too?

We should also point out that Jon Katz refers to himself as 'Slashdot's resident Gasbag.' Is there any more doubt? For those fortunate few who aren't aware of the list of homosexual [] terminology found inside the Linux 'Sauce Code,' a 'Gasbag' is a pervert who gains sexual gratification from having a thin straw inserted into his urethra (or to use the common parlance, 'piss-pipe'), then his homosexual [] lover blows firmly down the straw to inflate his scrotum. This is, of course, when he's not busy violating the dignity and copyright of posters to Slashdot by gathering together their postings and publishing them en masse to further his twisted and manipulative journalistic agenda.

Sick, disgusting antichristian perverts, the lot of them.

In addition, many of the Linux distributions (a 'distribution' is the most common way to spread the faggots' wares) are run by faggot groups. The Slackware [] distro is named after the 'Slack-wear' fags wear to allow easy access to the anus for sexual purposes. Furthermore, Slackware is a close anagram of claw arse, a reference to the homosexual [] practise of anal fisting. The Mandrake [] product is run by a group of French faggot satanists, and is named after the faggot nickname for the vibrator. It was also chosen because it is an anagram for dark amen and ram naked, which is what they do.

Another 'distro,' (abbrieviated as such because it sounds a bit like 'Disco,' which is where homosexuals [] preyed on young boys in the 1970s), is Debian, [] an anagram of in a bed, which could be considered innocent enough (after all, a bed is both where we sleep and pray), until we realise what other names Debian uses to describe their foul wares. 'Woody' is obvious enough, being a term for the erect male penis [] , glistening with pre-cum. But far sicker is the phrase 'Frozen Potato' that they use. This filthy term, again found in the secret homosexual [] 'Sauce Code,' refers to the solo homosexual [] practice of defecating into a clear polythene bag, shaping the turd into a crude approximation of the male phallus, then leaving it in the freezer overnight until it becomes solid. The practitioner then proceeds to push the frozen 'potato' up his own rectum, squeezing it in and out until his tight young balls erupt in a screaming orgasm.

And Red Hat [] is secret homo [] slang for the tip of a penis [] that is soaked in blood from a freshly violated underage ringpiece.

The fags have even invented special tools to aid their faggotry! For example, the 'supermount' tool was devised to allow deeper penetration, which is good for fags because it gives more pressure on the prostate gland. 'Automount' is used, on the other hand, because Linux users are all fat and gay, and need to mount each other [] automatically.

The depths of their depravity can be seen in their use of 'mount points.' These are, plainly speaking, the different points of penetration. The main one is obviously /anus, but there are others. Militant fags even say 'there is no /opt mount point' because for these dirty perverts faggotry is not optional but a way of life.

More evidence is in the fact that Linux users say how much they love `man`, even going so far as to say that all new Linux users (who are in fact just innocent heterosexuals indoctrinated by the gay propaganda) should try out `man`. In no other system do users boast of their frequent recourse to a man.

Other areas of the system also show Linux's inherit gayness. For example, people are often told of the 'FAQ,' but how many innocent heterosexual Windows [] users know what this actually means. The answer is shocking: Faggot Anal Quest: the voyage of discovery for newly converted fags!

Even the title 'Slashdot [] ' originally referred to a homosexual [] practice. Slashdot [] of course refers to the popular gay practice of blood-letting. The Slashbots, of course are those super-zealous homosexuals [] who take this perversion to its extreme by ripping open their anuses, as seen on the site most popular with Slashdot users, the depraved work of Satan, [] .

The editors of Slashdot [] also have homosexual [] names: 'Hemos' is obvious in itself, being one vowel away from 'Homos.' But even more sickening is 'Commander Taco' which sounds a bit like 'Commode in Taco,' filthy gay slang for a pair of spreadeagled buttocks that are caked with excrement [] . (The best form of lubrication, they insist.) Sometimes, these 'Taco Commodes' have special 'Salsa Sauce' (blood from a ruptured rectum) and 'Cheese' (rancid flakes of penis [] discharge) toppings. And to make it even worse, Slashdot [] runs on Apache!

The Apache [] server, whose use among fags is as prevalent as AIDS, is named after homosexual [] activity -- as everyone knows, popular faggot band, the Village People, featured an Apache Indian, and it is for him that this gay program is named.

And that's not forgetting the use of patches in the Linux fag world -- patches are used to make the anus accessible for repeated anal sex even after its rupture by a session of fisting.

To summarise: Linux is gay. 'Slash -- Dot' is the graphical description of the space between a young boy's scrotum and anus. And BeOS [] is for hermaphrodites and disabled 'stumpers.'

What worries me is how much you know about what gay people do. I'm scared I actually read this whole thing. I think this post is a good example of the negative effects of Internet usage on people. This person obviously has no social life anymore and had to result to writing something as stupid as this. And actually take the time to do it too. Although... I think it was satire.. blah.. it's early. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Well, the only reason I know all about this is because I had the misfortune to read the Linux 'Sauce code' once. Although publicised as the computer code needed to get Linux up and running on a computer (and haven't you always been worried about the phrase 'Monolithic Kernel'?), this foul document is actually a detailed and graphic description of every conceivable degrading perversion known to the human race, as well as a few of the major animal species. It has shocked and disturbed me, to the point of needing to shock and disturb the common man to warn them of the impending homo [] -calypse which threatens to engulf our planet.
You must work for the government. Trying to post the most obscene stuff in hopes that slashdot won't be able to continue or something, due to legal woes. If i ever see your ugly face, i'm going to stick my fireplace poker up your ass, after it's nice and hot, to weld shut that nasty gaping hole of yours. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Doesn't it give you a hard-on to imagine your thick strong poker ramming it's way up my most sacred of sphincters? You're beyond help, my friend, as the only thing you can imagine is the foul penetrative violation of another man. Are you sure you're not Eric Raymond? The government, being populated by limp-wristed liberals, could never stem the sickening tide of homosexual [] child molesting Linux advocacy. Hell, they've given NAMBLA free reign for years!
you really should post this logged in. i wish i could remember jebus's password, cuz i'd give it to you. -- mighty jebus [] , Slashdot

Thank you for your kind words of support. However, this document shall only ever be posted anonymously. This is because the 'Open Sauce' movement is a sham, proposing homoerotic cults of hero worshipping in the name of freedom. I speak for the common man. For any man who prefers the warm, enveloping velvet folds of a woman's vagina [] to the tight puckered ringpiece of a child. These men, being common, decent folk, don't have a say in the political hypocrisy that is Slashdot culture. I am the unknown liberator [] .
ROLF LAMO i hate linux FAGGOTS -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

We shouldn't hate them, we should pity them for the misguided fools they are... Fanatical Linux zeal-outs need to be herded into camps for re-education and subsequent rehabilitation into normal heterosexual society. This re-education shall be achieved by forcing them to watch repeats of Baywatch until the very mention of Pamela Anderson [] causes them to fill their pants with healthy heterosexual jism [] .
Actually, that's not at all how scrotal inflation works. I understand it involves injecting sterile saline solution into the scrotum. I've never tried this, but you can read how to do it safely in case you're interested. (Before you moderate this down, ask yourself honestly -- who are the real crazies -- people who do scrotal inflation, or people who pay $1000+ for a game console?) -- double_h [] , Slashdot

Well, it just goes to show that even the holy Linux 'sauce code' is riddled with bugs that need fixing. (The irony of Jon Katz not even being able to inflate his scrotum correctly has not been lost on me.) The Linux pervert elite already acknowledge this, with their queer slogan: 'Given enough arms, all rectums are shallow.' And anyway, the PS2 [] sucks major cock and isn't worth the money. Intellivision forever!
dude did u used to post on msnbc's nt bulletin board now that u are doing anti-gay posts u also need to start in with anti-black stuff too c u in church -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

For one thing, whilst Linux is a cavalcade of queer propaganda masquerading as the future of computing, NT [] is used by people who think nothing better of encasing their genitals in quick setting plaster then going to see a really dirty porno film, enjoying the restriction enforced onto them. Remember, a wasted arousal is a sin in the eyes of the Catholic church [] . Clearly, the only god-fearing Christian operating system in existence is CP/M -- The Christian Program Monitor. All computer users should immediately ask their local pastor to install this fine OS onto their systems. It is the only route to salvation.

Secondly, this message is for every man. Computers know no colour. Not only that, but one of the finest websites in the world is maintained by a Black Man [] . Now fuck off you racist donkey felcher.
And don't forget that slashdot was written in Perl, which is just too close to 'Pearl Necklace' for comfort.... oh wait; that's something all you heterosexuals do.... I can't help but wonder how much faster the trolls could do First-Posts on this site if it were redone in PHP... I could hand-type dynamic HTML pages faster than Perl can do them. -- phee [] , Slashdot

Although there is nothing unholy about the fine heterosexual act of ejaculating between a woman's breasts, squirting one's load up towards her neck and chin area, it should be noted that Perl [] (standing for Pansies Entering Rectums Locally) is also close to 'Pearl Monocle,' 'Pearl Nosering,' and the ubiquitous 'Pearl Enema.'

One scary thing about Perl [] is that it contains hidden homosexual [] messages. Take the following code: LWP::Simple -- It looks innocuous enough, doesn't it? But look at the line closely: There are two colons next to each other! As Larry 'Balls to the' Wall would openly admit in the Perl Documentation, Perl was designed from the ground up to indoctrinate it's programmers into performing unnatural sexual acts -- having two colons so closely together is clearly a reference to the perverse sickening act of 'colon kissing,' whereby two homosexual [] queers spread their buttocks wide, pressing their filthy torn sphincters together. They then share small round objects like marbles or golfballs by passing them from one rectum to another using muscle contraction alone. This is also referred to in programming 'circles' as 'Parameter Passing.'

And PHP [] stands for Perverted Homosexual Penetration. Didn't you know?
Thank you for your valuable input on this. I am sure you will be never forgotten. BTW: Did I mention that this could be useful in terraforming Mars? Mars rulaa. -- Eimernase [] , Slashdot

Well, I don't know about terraforming Mars, but I do know that homosexual [] Linux Advocates have been probing Uranus for years.
That's inspiring. Keep up the good work, AC. May God in his wisdom grant you the strength to bring the plain honest truth to this community, and make it pure again. Yours, Cerberus. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

*sniff* That brings a tear to my eye. Thank you once more for your kind support. I have taken faith in the knowledge that I am doing the Good Lord [] 's work, but it is encouraging to know that I am helping out the common man here.

However, I should be cautious about revealing your name 'Cerberus' on such a filthy den of depravity as Slashdot. It is a well known fact that the 'Kerberos' documentation from Microsoft is a detailed manual describing, in intimate, exacting detail, how to sexually penetrate a variety of unwilling canine animals; be they domesticated, wild, or mythical. Slashdot posters have taken great pleasure in illegally spreading this documentation far and wide, treating it as an 'extension' to the Linux 'Sauce Code,' for the sake of 'interoperability.' (The slang term they use for nonconsensual intercourse -- their favourite kind.)

In fact, sick twisted Linux deviants are known to have LAN parties, (Love of Anal Naughtiness, needless to say.), wherein they entice a stray dog, known as the 'Samba Mount,' into their homes. Up to four of these filth-sodden blasphemers against nature take turns to plunge their erect, throbbing, uncircumcised members, conkers-deep, into the rectum, mouth, and other fleshy orifices of the poor animal. Eventually, the 'Samba Mount' collapses due to 'overload,' and needs to be 'rebooted.' (i.e., kicked out into the street, and left to fend for itself.) Many Linux users boast about their 'uptime' in such situations.
Inspiring stuff! If only all trolls were this quality! -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

If only indeed. You can help our brave cause by moderating this message up as often as possible. I recommend '+1, Underrated,' as that will protect your precious Karma in Metamoderation [] . Only then can we break through the glass ceiling of Homosexual Slashdot Culture. Is it any wonder that the new version of Slashcode has been christened 'Bender'???

If we can get just one of these postings up to at least '+1,' then it will be archived forever! Others will learn of our struggle, and join with us in our battle for freedom!
It's pathetic you've spent so much time writing this. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

I am compelled to document the foulness and carnal depravity [] that is Linux, in order that we may prepare ourselves for the great holy war that is to follow. It is my solemn duty to peel back the foreskin of ignorance and apply the wire brush of enlightenment.
As with any great open-source project, you need someone asking this question, so I'll do it. When the hell is version 2.0 going to be ready?!?! -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

I could make an arrogant, childish comment along the lines of 'Every time someone asks for 2.0, I won't release it for another 24 hours,' but the truth of the matter is that I'm quite nervous of releasing a 'number two,' as I can guarantee some filthy shit-slurping Linux pervert would want to suck it straight out of my anus before I've even had chance to wipe.
I desperately want to suck your monolithic kernel, you sexy hunk, you. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

I sincerely hope you're Natalie Portman [] .
Dude, nothing on slashdot larger than 3 paragraphs is worth reading. Try to distill the message, whatever it was, and maybe I'll read it. As it is, I have to much open source software to write to waste even 10 seconds of precious time. 10 seconds is all its gonna take M$ to whoop Linux's ass. Vigilence is the price of Free (as in libre -- from the fine, frou frou French language) Software. Hack on fellow geeks, and remember: Friday is Bouillabaisse day except for heathens who do not believe that Jesus died for their sins. Those godless, oil drench, bearded sexist clowns can pull grits from their pantaloons (another fine, fine French word) and eat that. Anyway, try to keep your message focused and concise. For concision is the soul of derision. Way. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

What the fuck?
I've read your gay conspiracy post version 1.3.0 and I must say I'm impressed. In particular, I appreciate how you have managed to squeeze in a healthy dose of the latent homosexuality you gay-bashing homos [] tend to be full of. Thank you again. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Well bugger me!
ooooh honey. how insecure are you!!! wann a little massage from deare bruci. love you -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Fuck right off!

IMPORTANT: This message needs to be heard (Not HURD [] , which is an acronym for 'Huge Unclean Rectal Dilator') across the whole community, so it has been released into the Public Domain [] . You know, that licence that we all had before those homoerotic crypto-fascists came out with the GPL [] (Gay Penetration License) that is no more than an excuse to see who's got the biggest feces-encrusted [] cock. I would have put this up on Freshmeat [] , but that name is known to be a euphemism for the tight rump of a young boy.

Come to think of it, the whole concept of 'Source Control' unnerves me, because it sounds a bit like 'Sauce Control,' which is a description of the homosexual [] practice of holding the base of the cock shaft tightly upon the point of ejaculation, thus causing a build up of semenal fluid that is only released upon entry into an incision made into the base of the receiver's scrotum. And 'Open Sauce' is the act of ejaculating into another mans face or perhaps a biscuit to be shared later. Obviously, 'Closed Sauce' is the only Christian thing to do, as evidenced by the fact that it is what Cathedrals are all about.

Contributors: (although not to the eternal game of 'soggy biscuit' that open 'sauce' development has become) Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, phee, Anonymous Coward, mighty jebus, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, double_h, Anonymous Coward, Eimernase, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward. Further contributions are welcome.

Current changes: This version sent to FreeWIPO [] by 'Bring BackATV' as plain text. Reformatted everything, added all links back in (that we could match from the previous version), many new ones (Slashbot bait links). Even more spelling fixed. Who wrote this thing, CmdrTaco himself?

Previous changes: Yet more changes added. Spelling fixed. Feedback added. Explanation of 'distro' system. 'Mount Point' syntax described. More filth regarding `man` and Slashdot. Yet more fucking spelling fixed. 'Fetchmail' uncovered further. More Slashbot baiting. Apache exposed. Distribution licence at foot of document.

- posted by poopbot: who doesn't like scat?

jZ41Zsl1Ib Post #497

Emulating National Lampoon? (2)

Eric Seppanen (79060) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939034)

Reminds me of the infamous National Lampoon cover:

(photo of revolver up against dog's head) If You Don't Buy This Magazine, We'll Kill This Dog!

ISO irrelevant? (2, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939041)

what if ISO threw a party and nobody came?

For line-art, vectors, and indexed-color graphics, png, gif [bleh], or svg should already be used, but JPEG is in wide use, and there isn't a replacement for lossy compression.

Slashdot poll time: Will people(companies) 1) pay attention to ISO 2) develop a new format 3) be a conscientous objector 4) move with CowbowNeal to a country without software patents?

Ironically, our saving grace may come from Microsoft, as they have the employees and the browser to implement any standard they want. They could develop a royalty-free lossy compression format, submit it to ISO/ECMA for certification, and put it in the next IE patch/upgrade within half a year.

Lawyers at ten paces, high noon! (1)

eaeolian (560708) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939046)

I really think it would be in the best interest of all involved if ISO would hold off on this until the patent is proved. Otherwise, it's just another case of using legal threats to make your point in a money grab.

My question is: How exactly do they expect to get this enforced? If this is the "Patentsharking" move I think it might be, than the ISO only supports the case by pulling the standard.

JPEG has been "known" to be open for years - why shouldn't the ISO continue with business as usual, and place the burden of proof on the claimant, in this case? Could they be held liable, in the event of an unfavorable decision? IANAL, but I don't see how, as they're not USING the technology, they're just recommending it.

Or does the stupidity of archaic U.S. patent law cover that, too?

ha (1)

imta11 (129979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939050)

If they are really worried about it, why don't they get the pr0n industry to help with the fight. They have the cash, and most likely the most to loose.

Try to tell the fiends that they will have to go back to long image downloads after years of speedy downloads. I bet more people will get off their ass for this than an election.

There ought to be a statute of limitations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939059)

Will somebody in their area please go blow up Forgent? Sheesh!

Does this mean we have to switch to PNG? (2)

fialar (1545) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939070)

I hope the WindowMaker wmsetbg PNG bug [] gets resolved soon!


Solution. (1)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939075)

Did someone say an image format covered by the GPL?

I appreciate the patent uproar...but...? (2)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939076)

Is there really anything that is out there as an alternative? PNG is lossless compression so images are going to be huge.

I've got thousands of digital camera images on my server. What am I going to convert them into? (the ones that aren't in the RAW format of my camera)

I'm trying to see something else to use, but JPG is so prolific it's rather hard to find anything that won't cost me somewhere else.

Any suggestions would be helpful

Fuck em (2)

dh003i (203189) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939077)

Just fuck em.

They're claims are worthless, due to the fact that: (1) they had nothing what-so-ever to do with JPEG; (2) There is prior art.

Aside from that, litigation takes a while. In 2004, these patents expire. Odds are, there's no way in hell they are going to be able to go after a significant number of entities in this 2-year period and win cases. Cases alone can take 2-years.

This is just a desperate money-grabbing attempt. Besides, what court is going to grant them a patent on JPEG? That'd mean that the entire US government -- including the judicial branch -- would have been infringing on this JPEG patents and would owe billions of dollars to this shitless company.

like it or not, JPG support is important (5, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939083)

Many posters seem to be missing the point. No matter what your religious view of other formats like PNG or GIF, the fact remains that there are plenty of devices out there right now, like digital cameras, (and so obviously will be for the next six months or so tas well) that produce JPG files. Personally I would like to see JPG replaced with a lossless format, or a least an option to select a format without loss and visual artifacts, but for quite a while there is going to be a need for software tools that manipulate JPG files. If this bogus claim is allowed to stand the effect will be that as software is updated it will often no longet support JPG files (remember how fast GIMP dropped GIF support?) It strikes me as pretty intolerable to have to revert to old software to use a camera or a clipart CD. This issue does matter, even if your personal belief is that there are other and better formats.

How about all the Digital Cameras on the Market. (1)

MrJerryNormandinSir (197432) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939086)

Forgent has no clue. They didn't invent jpeg.
I think this should be settled in court.
JPEG.ORG should win as a prior art and the Royalty
that was filed should be discarded.

Mandrake release (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939087)

A new version of Mandrake Linux was released today, much to the celebration of the unprofessional amateur cocksmokers for whom Linux is an excuse to avoid real work. This distribution includes more of the latest hacked-together, half-functional drivers that are the hallmark of Linux, but luckily enough of the current generation of hardware is unsupported that Linux users still have plenty of excuses not to get any work done. 'At first, I was worried that my new Dell computer would work right of the box,' says Harry Twinkfucher, a longtime Mandrake fan. 'Luckily, my video card and SCSI card were just as broken as GCC 3.1, so it'll be at least another three months before my employer discovers that I am unskilled, unintelligent, and unemployable.'

"Linux, an operating system so backward that just getting it installed is a challenge for many, has been one of the homosexual world's most popular time-wasters ever since Linus Torvalds decided to make an obsolete copy of the popular UNIX system for his 386 PC in 1991. Today, thousands of wannabes are successfully using Linux to hide their inadequacies.

"But what's next for Linux? Many think that Linux's many Windows-ripoff window managers will be the focus of the next wave of uneducated keyboard-banging. Miguel de Icazza, a wetback trained in the art of Visual Basic, is already hard at work on Mono, a revolutionary development framework that is both incompatible with existing Open-Source software and decades behind the .NET framework that its architechture was stolen from. Mono promises to set the Linux community back even further, perhaps even acheiving the Linux goal of creating a truly broken system on which it is impossible to do any real work."

Wow, Linux truly is a bad of rancid shite!

Patent Priveleges (3, Interesting)

Uttles (324447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939098)

I think this is another case that points to the need for (yuck) more legislation. There needs to be a new law, one that takes the concept of public knowledge and applies it to existing patents. IE, this case, where JPEG has become public knowledge, to the extent it has an ISO standard, yet just now someone comes up saying they have the rights to it because of patent X. As I understand it, you can't gain a patent on something if it's already public knowledge. They need to extend that to say if you have a patent and you make it public knowledge, you can't then claim the rights to the resulting use.

Basically, this is like someone patenting a water powered car, then letting everyone build there own because they don't have the money to have a manufacturing facility, and then 5 years later when everyone and their brother is driving a water powered car, you come out and say "ok, now you all owe me 10%". It's ridiculous, and criminal.

jews! (-1)

Shaklee3 (576563) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939104)

what a bunch of cheap jews! holy shit talk about money grubbing ass bastard bitch whores. What a bunch of jews!

LOVELY SNOT! WONDERFUL SNOT! by poopbot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939119)

Happy Troll Tuesday!

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Waitress: or Lobster Thermidor au Crevette with a Mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and snot.

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- posted by poopbot: crapflooding since 7/8/02

U26e7isajB Post #499

Why can't they get the law right? (0)

nuzoo (588862) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939123)

From the article: "Our current assumption is that the patent is not valid," said Clark. However Clark says that since the patent becomes invalid in 2004 (under the old rules, seventeen years after filing, rather than twenty years after a grant) there is little incentive for manufacturers to bow to Forgent's terms.


The old rules were 17 years from the grant. The new rules are 20 years from filing. Why is the press so brain-dead when it comes to understanding the most simple aspects of patent law? You can't effectively fight something that you don't understand.

META Question (0, Offtopic)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939124)

3 of the last 4 articles on Slashdot were lifted directly from The Register. If I want to read The Register (and I do), I'll read The Register, I won't come looking for The Register articles on Slashdot.

Come on guys, how about finding your own news for a change?

(And don't tell me to find my own and submit it - I've submitted about 5 articles in the past to have them rejected, only to see the exact same link in an article the next day. I can take a hint.)

Re:META Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939137)

Then stop reading slashdot. And stop posting. We won't miss you.

A linux user goes back by poopbot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3939139)

Happy Troll Tuesday!

A Linux user goes back.
By Tony âoekNIGitsâ Collins.

In much of today's online news, we hear of how many people are migrating to GNU/Linux. What we don't seem to hear much of, is users going back to their old operating systems. The reason for this article is to say that I've done just that.

Yes, I've gone back. After three and a half years of trying to make GNU/Linux work on the desktop, I've decided that it's simply too hard for the average home user. Before I go into my reasons for going back, let me outline what I believe an 'average' home user is. Mr Joe Average is someone who wants to install their OS, boot it up, and it works. He wants to be able to upgrade his PC , and have the hardware work in a few short minutes. He wants to read email, browse the web, talk to his mates online, and play some games. Feel free to disagree with me, this is merely how I see myself. Note: I'm not referring to Grandma using Linux, or even my mum using it. I'm referring to average users who know a little about their computer.

Three and a half years; that's how long I've been trying to make Linux work on my desktop computer. Right about now, I'm sure that you are now screaming that I didn't try hard enough, or that I'm just plain stupid. Let me assure you that this is not the case. Stupid users don't doggedly stick at something for three and a half years, trying distribution after distribution in the hope of finding the holy grail of Linux desktops. They give up in less than a few hours of trying to (unsuccessfully) install RedHat Linux. Hear now my sad tale of why Linux isn't suitable for my desktop.

Some background...
The year is 1998. I've had my Windows '95 computer for around six months. Frustrated with the constant crashes, I desperately asked an online mate for help. Even though he was a windows user, he calmly suggested that I try something I'd never come across before...

âoeLinux, eh? Never heard of it.â

âoeOh, it's a free OS that you can download. Apparently it doesn't crash much. Just do an online search for it.â

Armed with this meagre knowledge, I set out on my quest for the ultimate stable operating system. I searched online, and found places where you could even buy copies of Linux! So, I left the comfort of my warm study, and returned forty minutes later with my first Linux boxed set â" RedHat Linux 5.2. After initially balking at the very basic installer (and few false starts), I had it up and running on my lovely AMD K6-233. I even got X working in no time at all. Then the system booted up for the first time.... and it was dead ugly. I had a very stable new OS, but I didn't even want to look at it. I was happy that I had several installed interfaces to choose from, but none of them appealed to me whatsoever. Wanting to download a nicer interface led me to my next problem.

I had absolutely no idea how to even get this nice, stable OS onto the internet! After reinstalling windows and RedHat in a dual-boot configuration, I got the help I needed by using Windows and USENET. Strangely enough, I can still remember the name of the long-suffering person who helped me get RedHat online, but that's another story. After looking around online, I discovered KDE. Only up to version one, it was the closest thing I had to a completely useable Linux system. I downloaded all the KDE packages for RedHat 5.2, only to discover another distro called Mandrake, that came with KDE preinstalled and configured. Back to my local distributor, and I was set.

Mandrake with KDE was exactly what I needed at that stage in my Linux using life, and I stuck with it for over a year and a half. Always seeking the 'perfect' desktop OS, I followed releases from version 5.3 all the way through to 7.0. Eventually I became dissatisfied with Mandrake, and briefly tried a number of other distros until I finally settled on Debian. I was impressed by the simple power, configurability, and the ease of upgrade that is apt-get. I felt good about being among the uber-elite Debian user community. Needless to say, I learned a lot about how to configure hardware under Linux during my time with Debian. I learned to sift through the old HOWTOs on Linux Doc until I found something suitable and accurate, I learned to utilize the power of USENET and IRC. Life was good.

Right now you must be wondering; âoeWhere is this leading? This guy seemed quite happy with Linux!â. True, I was. After a while, I decided I didn't want to have fine-grained control. I wanted something simple. I was getting tired of the 'stable' Debian release being so out of date, and the 'unstable' distribution being so... well... unstable. I got tired of having to recompile my kernel every time I got new hardware. I got tired of using command line to talk to my PC. It was time for a change. I had good experiences years ago with Mandrake, so I figured I'd try it again. As good as Mandrake 8.1 was, it wasn't what I was after. SuSE Linux 8.0 Professional (boxed set) was installed onto my PC instead.

I have to stop at this point, and say that SuSE Linux 8.0 (Pro) is the best Linux distribution that I've ever used. It has an easy installer, reasonable hardware support, and comes with the very good KDE 3.0. The box contains seven CDROMS, one DVD and three decent books that would help even the most inexperienced user get up and going. YaST2 is a decent graphical system configuration tool. When (not if) I go back to Linux, I'll definitely try SuSE again. However, there are quite a number of things that have improve (or change completely) before I'll consider going back. Read on for my brief list of things that must must get better before I'll switch back from the Microsoft camp.

Where GNU/Linux needs to improve...

The X Window System is an awesomely powerful, network transparent graphical subsystem. It's perfectly suited to running applications from remote servers. However, this is NOT what a home user needs. My experience with X is that it's too big, bloated, slow and unstable to be any good to the home user. Most crashes that I ever experienced with Linux have been X's fault. My servers don't run X, and they never crash.

What home users need is something small and fast, so they can run local applications efficiently. I would like to see the X Window System dumped in favour of a hardware accelerated framebuffer, running something like directFB or Qtopia. Home users need a small, fast graphical subsystem, with built in 3d support. BeOS seemed to be on the right track before they went under.

Fonts are truly awful under X. Most distributions ship with appalling fonts, and there is no standard way to add additional (nicer) fonts to the system. Even after extra fonts have eventually been added, many applications (eg Abiword, Staroffice) refuse to use the new fonts anyway. Perhaps the framebuffer-based graphical subsystem I suggested could incorporate decent font support, and use a readable naming scheme as well.


While having access to the latest version of the kernel is a good thing for developers, for home users it can be a nightmare. Got RedHat Linux 7.3? Perhaps you run SuSE 7.3 or Debian 2.2. You'll have to download a binary package specific to your distro. (I'm assuming that home users won't change their default kernel, but if they did, that binary package wouldn't even work!) Hardware manufacturers should be able to provide one single driver that works on all minor versions of a major kernel release. This way it would work will all current distros, instead of having to provide multiple binaries or source code. Hardware manufacturers don't want to give out the source, as this often gives away trade secrets about how their hardware is designed.

The solution seems to be to make binary drivers work on a variety of kernel versions. I'm not sure if this is even possible with the way the kernel is designed (I'm no kernel hacker), but it would go a long way toward making Linux more accessible to the home user. Even if the kernel needs to be redesigned to support this, then in my opinion, it should be done. Linux users are always clamouring for drivers... perhaps if the kernel had something like this, it might one day become a reality.

Hardware setup

While SuSE Linux 8.0 gave me some good experiences with hardware detection (such as automatic download of NVIDIA drivers), it also let me down as in this area.

The good: I recently borrowed a digital camera from a mate at work, to take photos of my case mod. Imagine how happy I was when I plugged it into my nearest USB port, and it was automatically configured (as a SCSI device) and mounted! SuSE even added it to my /etc/fstab file so that it always automounted when plugged in. I was very impressed.

The bad: Along came my new IDE CDRW drive. At AU$99, I couldn't pass up the purchase. Plugging it in gave me no joy. I was very disappointed that a device so common couldn't be detected and automatically configured under a modern operating system. The instructions on the SuSE support site said to add lines to lilo.conf and reboot. While this is a perfectly acceptable way to get hardware working for a geek familiar with *NIX, I believe that a home user shouldn't have to do more than plug it in. It's an IDE device, it's not that complicated!

The ugly: Once the hardware was finally working (as a pseudo-scsi drive), the next hurdle was to find decent graphical tools to burn and copy CDs. I finally settled on CDBakeOven, an above average KDE application. It burned CDs from data on the hard drive, but for some reason cdrecord (the command line backend) refused to allow me to copy a cd directly. Yes, it was installed SUID root. CD copying is such a basic function nowadays, why is it so hard to do under GNU/Linux?

Software distribution

I'll put this simply. I'm a home user, not a programmer. Why on earth should I have to compile the software I want to use? I know that having the source available is a good thing, but I'll say it again: I'm no programmer. I just want to install software and run it.

This leads to another point. Although having package databases (such as the rpm and deb systems use) is great, there should definitely be seperation between system packages and additionally installed software. There needs to be a standard installer and database for user-installed applications such as word processors, email clients and games, and it should be seperate from the rpm or deb databases used for system software such as lilo, init and cron. This will make it much easier for home users to know what applications they have installed on their PC, and to easily uninstall them if necessary, without knowing some arcane commands and weird package names.


There is a huge wealth of knowledge among the thousands (millions?) of people that run GNU/Linux around the world. If you have a problem, odds are that someone out there can help you, often for free. This is one of the linux platform's greatest strengths. However, Linux users are also its greatest weakness. This may not apply to most of the community, but there is a very vocal minority that gives Linux a bad name. To every Linux user that has ever helped a newbie, I thank you. I have been helped by many a guru, often when I've been asking the simplest of questions. It's the remainder that are a problem.

I once heard a song by Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie called Every OS Sucks, where Linux users were described as 'elitist nerdy shmucks'. Sadly this is true for much of the 'community'. Too many consider themselves better than the rest of the world because they run Linux. Can you believe that? It's just a computer operating system, but somehow they think that it makes them better than those people who run systems such as Microsoft Windows! Elitism drives people away, as does saying âoeRTFMâ or belittling people who choose a different distro from yourself.

'Nuff said about that.

So what now?
Well, I decided to go back to a Microsoft platform. Initially being paranoid after reading things about DRM and spyware, I bit the bullet and installed Microsoft Windows XP. Like every OS, it has good and bad points; most of which you can learn about from online reviewers. I'll just point out several things that make me want to keep using it instead of GNU/Linux.

Fast graphical subsystem: Windows has lighting quick graphics, both 2d and 3d. There's no denying it. When I move a window, it refreshes so fast that I don't miss X11 at all. While not quite as nice as some other operating systems, font support is outstanding compared to XFree86.

Drivers: Point and click to install (as a superuser, of course). Windows warns you if the driver isn't likely to work properly, and can roll back to working drivers if you deliberately choose to install one that hoses your system.

Hardware setup: My CDRW worked right away, without a hitch. I am able to drag and drop files from the Explorer file manager to the CDRW icon and they get added to the list of things to burn. A quick install of Nero Burning Rom, and I was able to make a backup copy of my game CDs. (I don't like taking originals to LANs where they can get destroyed or stolen).

Software distribution: All windows software comes in binaries, either with an installer or in a zip file. I hope to never compile an application ever again. Software designed for a different version of windows is 99% guaranteed to run, but if not, there is always 'compatibility mode'. One thing to note, however: Applications designed for single user versions of windows usually only run properly as a superuser, and this includes 3d games. I expect this to be rectified as the rest of the Windows world catches up to a multi-user environment.

I can't comment on the Windows using community yet. I've not yet had a problem that a simple point and click couldn't fix. However, I will say that my original concern with Windows '95 has been addressed in Windows XP. The stability is finally there.

Final Notes
In conclusion, I'd just like to make it known that I haven't completely abandoned the Linux community. My home server still runs Mandrake, and IPCop on my gateway/firewall. There is no way I'd ever put any form of Windows on my server, nor would I ever connect a Windows PC directly to the internet without a *NIX gateway in between. Microsoft has a history of poor security, so I protect myself the only way I know how; using Linux. I will continue to advocate the use of GNU/Linux in the server arena. This is where its strength lies at the moment.

Because of their history of spreading virii, I don't use the applications that Microsoft has provided with Windows XP. My wife and I use Mozilla for web browsing and email, for word processing, and Psi (Jabber client) for instant messaging. All of these are true multi-user win32 programs, and are perfectly interoperable with their Linux counterparts.

I expect that the Linux community will have something to say about this article; I welcome comments and constructive criticism. Flames will be automatically sent to the Windows equivalent of /dev/null, once I find where that actually is.

By Tony âoekNIGitsâ Collins

- posted by poopbot: for the crapflooder in all of us

JlXfCF1Fu3 Post #500

Never learn do they (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 12 years ago | (#3939145)

Look at what happened to GIF format.. you would have thought somone would have brought that up before they decided to press the patent and run jpg out of existance.
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