Wi-Fi Patent Victory Earns CSIRO $200 Million
They're NOT patent trolls at all. $200 million isn't much, and CSIRO can make good use of it.
But there is a problem when major industry standards like 802.11 a,g and n can somehow end up patented, after years of work and negotiation by many different companies and individuals, who now have to pay to use their own collective, public work. Whether the problem in this case is carelessness by the companies, or corruption of the U.S. patent system, or both, I don't know.
In any case we do have a problem, and it could bite much worse in the future.
3 of 4 Charges Against Terry Childs Dropped
Clearly Terry Childs does not belong in jail. Maybe what happened is that San Francisco's mismanagement finally realized that having only one person with access to so critical a network was intolerable. But then, instead of discussing a way forward, it began with a secret investigation, as if Childs was a criminal, and the situation escalated from there, with both sides handling it badly.
There are enough cases like this, of sysadmins and security experts charged with hacking for doing their jobs after a dispute with management, that professional education should include a section on how to stay out of trouble. Either that, or add hazardous-duty pay if jail is an unavoidable risk of this work.
English DJ Claims Wi-Fi Allergy
If it is real, then long underwear with fine wire mesh built in could block most of the signal. A cap or other reasonable head gear could also be designed. Maybe fabric could be woven with some of the fibers conducting.
The problem does seem easy to test. And if anyone can reliably feel when a wi-fi signal is on, in a shielded laboratory, then it would be easy to research the problem, starting by changing the frequency. Perhaps a biological mechanism could be discovered.
But there's some systemic issue that makes it hard for people with industry-related illness complaints to be treated with respect. I saw this when our office moved into a new space with strong a strong formaldehyde odor. Two people complained of illness; the boss couldn't take it seriously, and a lawsuit resulted. I don't know the outcome, but such cases often get thrown out, because the judge assumes the complaint is a crock.
Rosetta Stone Sues Google For Trademark Violation
One personal experience on the other side: I was looking for OpenDNS, and thanks to a Google ad found a competitor I'm glad to know about -- since it advertises strength worldwide, maybe useful in future travels.
In the end I stayed with the free Open DNS service. It's been great for improving WiFi reception -- especially at college coffeehouses, where DNS usually seems to be the critical bottleneck. So I'm not jumping the line on anyone else, but probably improving their WiFi connection as well.
In Defense of the Anonymous Commenter
See Attacked from Within, http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2009/3/12/33338/3000, a longish but rewarding essay on how to do online forums.
Can forced-anonymous commenting focus writers' attention on substance and quality, instead of flame wars or other personal one-upsmanship?
Audio Watermarks Could Pinpoint Film Pirates By Seat
Maybe that's why years ago a new Philadelphia movie complex started selling assigned seats for the movies. It was awful; a staffer actually made me move back to a noisy crowd of patrons, when the theater was more than 80% empty. I haven't been back, so don't know if they are still doing it.
Windows 7 Lets You Uninstall IE8
How many users will bother to uninstall IE?
Microsoft will safely keep its corporate monopoly by having IE show up automatically on new systems. Corporate IT policies will do the rest. It's just easier to keep what's already there -- and safer to standardize and not let anyone install anything else on their own.
MS need only sweeten its deals with Dell, etc. -- or end up with an IE-less system that's even less reliable than Windows is already.
Spy Chief Hints At Limits On Satellite Photos
Put child porn on your roof, and then it will be a crime for anyone to possess the image.