Apple Lawyer “smoking crack” jibe by Judge

NewsI have to say a judge with a sense of humour, it is rare these days. I have not really been following too closely the Apple vs Samsung legal spat, although I do know the background of the patient “hoohaa” surrounding it.

William Lee had named 22 people he wanted to rebut testimony given by Samsung’s choice of experts.

“Unless you’re smoking crack you know these witnesses aren’t going to be called” said Judge Lucy Koh.

Mr Lee replied: “Your honour, I’m not smoking crack. I can promise you that.”

Just seems to me the Apple lawyer “William Lee” was just pushing the judge too far with the amount of expert witnesses he was going to call in a short time, likely a tactic.

Made me laugh today though!

You can read more on the case HERE at BBC News

File sharers move to VPNs to beat bans on The Pirate Bay in UK

Pirate BayOne of my massive interests in the tech arena is the battle between copyright holders and the warez (illegal software or media) suppliers/search services. Today some news being reported, is the increasing use of VPN (Virtual Private Networks) in sharing illegal material between users.

However VPNs are not a new thing and definitely not a new area that illegal sharers have used, however I do personally feel if the media companies like the RIAA etc. are to try and have ISPs (Internet Service Providers) ban VPNs then they are entering a very grey area as VPNs are used in industry to share secure information.

“Young people are increasingly turning to virtual private networks (VPNs) to anonymise their free sharing of music and movies, a new study has suggested.

Sweden’s Lund University indicated that there had been a 40% rise in the number of 15 to 25-year-olds using such services since 2009.

Many believe a clampdown on piracy is behind their rise in popularity.

The Pirate Bay has advised visitors to make use of VPNs. It would be illegal to do so to download pirated files.”

It will be interesting to see how this information and news pans out over the next few weeks or months and what the media industry decide to do as to be very honest, if they use the courts to force ISPs to block a specific download route, at least two or more routes will pop up, it’s a never ending spiral.

If the media companies put more effort into developing digital services that do not cost a fortune they will reduce the need for some users to resort to illegal downloads (warez).


Read the full article at BBC Technology News HERE

Motorola wins injunction against Microsoft in Germany

Xbox360Motorola have been granted an injunction to stop Microsoft not only as some headlines in the tech press state, banning the selling of the XBox360 in Germany but also Windows 7 and supplying Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player as they all have the disputed H.264 media video codec files.

“Motorola Mobility has scored another patent victory over Microsoft in Germany.

Judge Holger Kircher of the Mannheim Regional Court today awarded Motorola an injunction againstWindows 7, theXbox 360, Internet Explorer, and Windows Media Player after finding them in violation of patents related to “adaptive motion compensation” and “adaptive compression of digital video data.”

According to FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller, who was first to report on the story, the injunction would allow Motorola to ban the distribution of Microsoft’s products, as well as recall and destroy Windows 7 and Xbox 360 units that are currently on German store shelves. However, Mueller says that Motorola is facing some hurdles if it wants to enforce the bans.”

This and similar other patient disputes will rage on and on as there is the FRAND (Reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing) accord between many tech companies and the patients they hold as its in the interest of the end user. If the likes of Motorola, who are being taken over by Google at present, decide to be anal about patients that are in the public interest, companies like Microsoft do hold many many patients that could cripple their companies.

I’m all for protecting patients but you can at times go too far with law suits, so how far do you go before you think, this tech should be for the benefit of all, I would like to here your thoughts on this.


Read the full article at CNet HERE

US House passes the Cispa Cyber-security bill

Cyber SecurityThe US House of Representatives passed the un-welcome Cyber-Security Bill yesterday, I do see that the White House wanted to veto this but didn’t. This topic is a hot one not only in computing circles but in that of privacy advocacy groups also.

“The US House of Representatives has passed a cyber-security bill amid a veto threat from President Barack Obama. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Cispa), would allow the government to access web users’ private data on suspicion of a cyber threat.

It would also allow easier information-sharing between security agencies and private web firms.

Advocacy groups claim that it is aimed at file-sharers rather than hackers.

They also raised concerns about the transparency of the act.”

I agree with the advocacy groups in the above quote in that this is a dangerous president to make as while Law Makers will state that this will only be used for cyber-threats. I personally just don’t believe them 100%. As soon as this is a law, then there is scope for someone to twist the rules and use the key to accessing a persons data when there are no cyber or terrorist threat.

We are in the UK going through the very same at present with The Houses of Parliament and Lords debating a snooping law that would allow the Security Services (Mi5 and SIS) to albeit with due cause to access a persons digital data. It comes to you having to step back a bit once of the creators of the modern internet and fellow Brit, Tim Berners-Lee has also spoken out against the UK Gov going down this route.

Although this debate is not new to the UK as back in 2009 the then in power Labour government debated the same.


Do please let me know your thoughts on this topic.


Read the full article at BBC News HERE

Mozilla to join the smartphone revolution in 2012

Mozilla logoMozilla are about to in late 2012 join the Smartphone melee and try to go head to head with Apple, Google, Microsoft, RIM etc in what is a competitive market, however if Mozilla can put the spin on their mobile phone offering like they have done with the Firefox browser, then they have a good chance to pick up the “geek” market of users.

“Mobile phones running an operating system developed by makers of the Firefox web browser will go on sale in late 2012.

The first handsets running Mozilla’s “Boot to Gecko” (B2G) software will be available in Brazil on Telefonica Vivo’s mobile network.

Brazilian tech blog Ztop broke the news but had no details about which firm will make the handsets.

Announced in July 2011, B2G aims to be an open rival to Google’s Android.”

Read the full article at BBC Technology News HERE

Microsoft Blocks Pirate Bay links

Pirate BayMicrosoft are starting to try and block any links to copyrighted material or links to said copyrighted material through their Windows Live Messenger application.

It is a great start in the war against copyright theft or malware that can come from downloading warez, and gives Microsoft a great head start/pre-empts on any law suit that may come its way from the media companies, so I think a superb way to go.

“Links to The Pirate Bay’s website are being blocked from appearing within Windows Live Messenger.

Microsoft confirmed it was enforcing the ban in its instant messaging program after the move was reported by the Torrentfreak website.

The software firm signalled that it had acted to combat malware.”

Read full story at BBC Technology News HERE

BBC iPlayer comes to Xbox360

Xbox360imgThe XBox360 only just gets better and better in my opinion, with now having the fantastic catch-up service from the BBC in iPlayer it now adds a large and superb range of TV programming to this platform.

“The BBC and Microsoft today announced the launch of the BBC’s popular video-on-demand service, BBC iPlayer, on Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE free platform. BBC iPlayer is now available on every major gaming platform in the UK.

The launch means the BBC is the only UK content provider to make its programmes available for free to all Xbox 360 users in the UK. Users will be able to catch up on all the BBC programmes they know and love in a familiar, easy to use BBC iPlayer experience.

Xbox 360 users with Kinect will benefit from enhanced functionality. For the first time it is possible for BBC iPlayer users to discover and play programmes using hand gestures and voice recognition”.

Read more and view a video from BBC Media Centre HERE

Website Blocking Law to be dumped by UK Government

164ASP21704517Well this is one bit of news that I’m really happy with as for me when you introduce website blocking you are entering the realms of creating a nanny censorship state and the amount of legitimate website that would be blocked by this due to the gatekeepers of this system not knowing what is good from bad.

“Plans to block websites that host copyright infringing material are to be dumped by the government.

Business secretary Vince Cable announced the change following a review of the policy by telecoms regulator Ofcom.

Website blocking was one of the key provision contained in the Digital Economy Act.

Internet Service Providers had objected to the idea that copyright owners could compel them to cut-off some sites”.

I do not condone illegal downloads of music and video, but you do run the risk of  potentially cause disruption or harming to legitimate businesses.

One of the most anticipated areas of this new information from Vince Cable is the Hargreaves Review and the information on Legal Ripping or “Format Shifting” of your media be that Music or Video. This I would non scientifically say that virtually everyone has done this at some point in “shifting” a CD to digital format such as MP3, or for many years copying a TV show or film off TV to a CD/DVD or nowadays HDD, as in theory you have shifted the original format to another format.

“Mr Cable also announced a raft of measures intended to update the UK’s copyright laws.

The changes are based on the Hargreaves Review which was set-up to examine current legislation’s fitness for purpose in the digital age.

One of the most significant recommendations that the government plans to implement is the legalisation of “format shifting” – where users rip content from CDs or DVDs to for their own personal use.

“We are talking about big changes,” said Mr Cable.

“Bringing the laws more up-to- date to have a proper balance which allows consumers and businesses to operate more freely, but at the same time protect genuinely creative artists and penalise pirates.”

The business secretary said the economy would benefit by £8bn over the next few years by updating the legislation.”

Full Article at BBC Technology News HERE

Microsoft Xbox360 Kinect outsells rival Sony PlayStation Move.

The Xbox360 Kinect system with its controller free controls has captured the gaming console gamers in their millions as it looks as if from the figures below that gamers are not taking to still using some sort of controller.

“PlayStation has shipped more than eight million units of its new Move controller since last September, figures show.

That’s at least two million fewer than rival Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect, despite the fact that it’s been on sale two months longer.”

Read full Article HERE at BBC Newsbeat

Firm stops pursuing net pirates

Well this will breathe a sigh of relief to many who have been wrongly accused of internet piracy in downloading illegal music and films etc. I personally feel these legal companies where opportunist in trying to frighten  users into paying a small fee to not go to court.

“MediaCAT, a firm which has sent thousands of letters to alleged illegal file-sharers in the UK, has ceased trading, according to its law firm.

It follows the resignation of Andrew Crossley, who heads the law firm that pursued alleged file-sharers on its behalf.

Mr Crossley resigned during a court hearing, brought against 27 alleged illegal file-sharers.

He confirmed that MediaCAT had “ceased trading”.

It comes days before a judgement is due on the case in a hearing at London’s patent court.

During the case, Judge Birss criticised the methods used by Mr Crossley and the law firm he heads – ACS: Law.

MediaCAT had signed a number of contracts with copyright owners, allowing it to pursue alleged illegal file-sharers on their behalf.”

Read the full article HERE at BBC Technology News