Jul 30 2013

First Success for Ask Parents

Category: PatentsTeknovis @ 10:09 pm

I previously wrote about Ask Patents in Ask Patents. It appears that it has just had its first victory, and it was against Microsoft! For more details see Victory Lap for Ask Patents.

I wonder if this is a once off victory, or the start of many victories!

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Dec 27 2012

The Rise of Android

Category: Android,Infographic,PatentsTeknovis @ 4:44 pm

I hope everybody is having a merry Christmas! I know I am :)

Anyway, here is a nice infographic by MBA Online charting the rise of Android (click image to see larger version):

Android (Copyright MBA Online)

Android (Copyright MBA Online)

I have heard it before, but it still fascinates me that Microsoft makes more money from Android than from Windows Mobile due to patent royalties!

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Jun 28 2012

on{X}

Category: Android,Software DevelopmentTeknovis @ 9:29 pm

Somebody recently told me about on{X} (part of Microsoft), and its service that enables you to program your Android mobile device without any programming skills. Interesting idea!

For more details see on{X}: The Coolest Thing to Happen to Android. Courtesy of… Microsoft Israel?.

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Apr 09 2012

AOL Sells Patents

Category: Business,PatentsTeknovis @ 7:11 pm

A few weeks ago I read that AOL was going to sell its 800 patents, and that it hoped to raise about $1 billion. The article I read is AOL may sell off some of its 800 patents for cash. At the time I thought that it was very wishful thinking by AOL.

This evening I am eating humble pie :) AOL has sold all of its patents to Microsoft for $1.1 billion according to AOL Sells 800 Patents For $1.1 Billion To Microsoft [Memo To Staff]! This equates to $1,375,000 per patent!

It will be very interesting to see what Microsoft does with these patents next. Is it intending to go an an offensive against a competitor, or is it building up its own defence?

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Jan 18 2012

Smart Futures Ireland

Category: Events,Second Level,Third LevelTeknovis @ 1:11 pm

Smart Futures is an initiative designed to encourage students to pursue careers in technology.

Smart Futures is a national campaign for second-level students in Ireland highlighting career opportunities in information and communications technology (ICT) in association with e-Skills Week 2012. It includes a digital content competition, an online careers fair from 23-27 January 2012, and regular updates on our blog about the sector, career stories and competitions.

It is a really good idea, and I think that it is very necessary! There are some very well known companies behind it, including Cisco, Ericsson, HP, Microsoft, Openet, SAP.

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Nov 27 2011

Windows Protection from Djibouti

Category: Security,SoftwareTeknovis @ 8:40 am

I recently got multiple phone calls on my landline from a support agent working for a “Microsoft Support Company” in Djibouti. The exact phone number used each time was +253 820 308, and the support agent knew my family name (it is available in the telephone directory). The support agent told me that she could see from her system that my computer was infected, and she was going to help me! Great!

Of course this is a scam, and I have heard of it many times. Unfortunately, not everybody knows this, and I know somebody who was conned in this way.

I had never received such a call before, so the mischievous streak in me decided to play along with the support agent :) I must stress that I knew what I was doing, and in general I would not recommend this! I was also curious to know exactly how the scam worked.

I made myself look like the ideal target for the support agent, because I claimed not to know much about how computers work, and I was very eager to pay for the support agent to fix my problem. I was not doing anything that required too much concentration at the time, so I was willing to waste the support agent’s time. In the end our conversations spanned three phone calls, and lasted for about an hour and twenty minutes in total.

The way the scam works is that the support agent firstly tries to get the victim’s confidence. So I was told about the dangers of computer viruses, and how easy it is to become infected. I agreed with this, and we spent several minutes discussing this. I then confirmed that I had been feeling tired and run-down recently, so I suspected that I had indeed got a virus from my computer. This caused another lengthy explanation :D

Next the support agent gets the victim to download some software that allows the support agent to remotely control the victim’s computer. This took more than half an hour to achieve for a variety of reasons. I was given many instructions for trying to start my Internet browser (such as Ctrl + R, Start + All Programs), but none of them appeared to work. The support agent was becoming frustrated at this stage, so I innocently asked her when I should turn on my computer :D

Over the next half hour the support agent got me to download remote access software from the following web sites:

I do not know if these are legitimate sites or not. Regardless, in each I was asked to download an executable file, and then run it. Much to the support agent’s frustration, the files kept producing errors when I tried running them. I offered several times to pay her there and then by credit card (using a test number of course) for her to fix the problem, but she told me that I needed to run the software first. I helpfully suggested that it was probably due to the virus, but the support agent dismissed this idea :o In hindsight, it was probably because I was using Ubuntu :D

At this stage the customer support agent had to consult with a colleague (for the second time). By the time that she phoned me back I was bored of her, so I told her than I had bought a new computer since the last call. The dismay in voice was noticeable!

The moral of the story – if you get one of these calls you are probably best to tell the support agent that you do not have a computer!

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Nov 02 2011

Microsoft Patents

Category: Hardware,Mobile Computing,PatentsTeknovis @ 1:10 pm

Some of Microsoft‘s latest, and more creative, patents are described in Microsoft Patents Manipulation Of 3D Virtual Objects, Throwing Gestures.

I have actually seen very similar ideas presented already, and I am sure these would be invalidating prior art!

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Sep 21 2011

ReactOS

Category: SoftwareTeknovis @ 9:37 pm

I recently read an interesting article about a Windows compatible operating system called ReactOS. (The article is Russian President Medvedev asked to fund Windows clone.) There is also more useful information in ReactOS.

It is an interesting idea, and I can see the benefits to having such an operating system. However, I do not think that Microsoft needs to start worrying yet ;)

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Aug 10 2011

Data Centre Lightning Damage

Category: Cloud ComputingTeknovis @ 9:41 pm

Unbelievable – Dublin lightning strike zaps Amazon, Microsoft data centres! Surely, having and testing a UPS is really basic data centre management!

This says an awful amount about the data centre in question, and it is yet another self-inflicted blow to Cloud Computing.

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Aug 03 2011

Google Patent Woes

Category: Mobile Computing,PatentsTeknovis @ 9:20 pm

Interesting article: Google Rips Into Microsoft, Apple, Oracle For “Bogus Patents” And Trying To “Strangle” Android.

I am not sure that Google would feel so strongly about the anti-competitive practices of Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle if the roles were reversed!

Oh – the patent world is so fascinating!

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