1/22/2006

Mistakes Found in 98% of US Patents

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Almost every US patent contains at least one mistake, according to new research. The vast majority are trivial errors, most of them the fault of the USPTO; but two per cent of the patents examined were found to contain serious mistakes that weakened the core claims.

The findings come from Intellevate, a firm that offers support services to intellectual property lawyers, such as prior art searching and patent proofreading, from facilities in Minneapolis and India.

Source: The Register

ZoneAlarm phones home

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

It seems that ZoneAlarm Security Suite has been phoning home, even when told not to. Last fall, InfoWorld Senior Contributing Editor James Borck discovered ZA 6.0 was surreptitiously sending encrypted data back to four different servers, despite disabling all of the suite鈥檚 communications options. Zone Labs denied the flaw for nearly two months, then eventually chalked it up to a 鈥渂ug鈥? in the software — even though instructions to contact the servers were set out in the program鈥檚 XML code. A company spokesmodel says a fix for the flaw will be coming soon and worried users can get around the bug by modifying their Host file settings. However, there鈥檚 no truth to the rumor that the NSA used ZoneAlarm to spy on U.S. citizens.

Source: http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/01/13/73792_03OPcringley_1.html

Google tops Apple in 2005 brand poll

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Internet search engine Google has retaken first place in the 2005 global poll of the world’s most influential brands, while the eBay-owned web phone service Skype makes its debut at No. 3.

The annual survey compiled by online branding magazine brandchannel.com often throws up controversial results, such as in 2004, when Arabic TV station Al Jazeera was voted the world’s fifth most influential brand (down to 25th place this year).

But this year, the 2,528 branding professionals and students who voted came up with more conventional and — perhaps unsurprisingly for an online poll — tech-heavy answers when asked “Which brand had the most impact on our lives in 2005?”.

Source: reuters

Microsoft’s Data Collection Troubles Some Users

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft routinely and remotely monitors the security health of PCs running its OneCare Live security service by collecting a wide range of information from users’ computers, including a machine-specific identifier.

It’s a policy the software giant does not attempt to hide, but it is a practice that is nonetheless unsettling to some users. It’s also a more extensive data collection system than that practiced by Microsoft’s rival in the managed security space.

According to an entry posted this week to the OneCare team’s blog, the service has “noticed a slight increase in the number of people turning off their firewall, with a corresponding decrease in the number of green machines.” (OneCare, a collection of anti-virus, firewall, tune-up, and backup tools, displays the overall security status as with ‘green’ for good or ‘red’ for bad.)

“Through a combination of surveys, emails and customer communication, we maintain a close watch on the ‘health’ status indicators, such as, percent of users with anti-virus out of date, or the ratio of customers that are regularly backing up files,” wrote the unnamed blogger.

“If you subscribe to the Windows OneCare service and install the Windows OneCare software, certain information about your machine and use of the service will automatically be transmitted to Microsoft in order to permit us to provide the service and help keep your machine operating in a trouble-free manner,” states the privacy policy.

Microsoft collects such things as the frequency of backups, changes to the firewall, viruses encountered, and the overall ‘health’ of the system, as well as a computer-specific identifier that’s generated by OneCare.

Source: informationweek

Disney Buys Pixar

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Pixar is set to meet tomorrow to approve the company’s $7bn (拢3.9bn) takeover by Disney. The all-share deal will make Steve Jobs, the chief executive of Apple, around $3.5bn and the single largest shareholder in Disney. Jobs created Pixar in 1986 when he paid $10m for the computer animations division of Lucasfilm, owned by Stars Wars creator George Lucas.

Source: slashdot

IBM Proposes Open-Source AJAX Project to Eclipse

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

IBM has proposed a new open-source project to the Eclipse Foundation that uses the AJAX style of development.

IBM Thursday proposed a new project, the ATF (AJAX Toolkit Framework) Project.

The AJAX Toolkit Framework will provide extensible frameworks and exemplary tools for building IDEs (integrated development environments) for the many different AJAX runtime offerings, such as Dojo, Zimbra, etc. in the market, according to the project proposal.

These frameworks will contain features for developing, deploying, debugging and testing AJAX applications, the proposal said.

Moreover, the proposal said tools built upon these frameworks will initially include: enhanced JavaScript editing features such as edit-time syntax checking; an embedded Mozilla web browser; an embedded DOM (Document Object Model) browser; and an embedded JavaScript debugger.

Source: eWeek

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