Patent trolls’ days of effortlessly rolling into court and collecting licensing fees for products they don’t produce may be coming to an end. The Washington Post reports that courts have been increasingly citing the landmark 1978 Supreme Court case Parker v. Flook, which is the strongest ruling that the court has ever made against patents for abstract ideas such as algorithms. Given that courts are applying the Parker v. Flook precedent more often in software patent cases, it seems that courts are starting to reassert control over what can and cannot be patented. The Post acknowledges that “not every citation of Flook means that a patent was invalidated” but says that “it’s at least a sign that the courts are
There are some concerns about gaming on the next-generation Xbox One. The system doesn’t allow independent developers to self-publish games on Xbox Live Arcade and Microsoft’s used game policy is still unclear. The company did confirm that it has big plans for its in-house gaming studio, however. Phil Harrison, a corporate vice president at Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, revealed in an interview with VentureBeat that Microsoft is investing heavily in the gaming experience for the Xbox One. The executive noted that the company is planning to invest more than $1 billion for new content, including 15 internally developed titles in the coming year, eight of which will be brand new. The Xbox One is expected to help breath new life
Quick update on NASA's amazing plan to lasso an asteroid: they're making progress on the ion propulsion engine they'll need for the mission, one month after president Obama proposed giving NASA $100 mission to get this thing going.
Amazon on Thursday announced expanded availability of its Kindle Fire HD tablet lineup. Both the 7-inch and 8.9-inch models are now available for preorder in more than 170 countries worldwide. The Kindle Fire HD is equipped with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution display and a 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP4460 processor, while the 8.9-inch model features a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution display and a 1.5GHz dual-core OMAP4470 processor. The Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9 are available for $199 and $269, respectively, and will ship to new countries beginning June 13th. Amazon also announced that it has expanded access to its Android Appstore, which can now be used by customers in nearly 200 countries worldwide.
(Reuters) - Google Inc is considering buying Israeli mobile satellite navigation start-up Waze Inc, which may lead to a bidding war with Facebook Inc, Bloomberg news reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Waze is seeking more than $1 billion and is fielding expressions of interest from multiple parties, said Bloomberg, citing a source. Other media have reported that Facebook Inc has held talks to buy Waze for as much as $1 billion. ...
With all the emphasis that Microsoft is giving to its redesigned Kinect sensor as a key feature of the Xbox One, it’s not surprising that the company wants to bring it to its Windows operating system as well. And sure enough, Microsoft on Thursday announced that it will “deliver a new generation Kinect for Windows sensor next year” that will deliver several improvements to the previous version of Kinect, including a higher resolution camera capable of more accurately tracking and identifying objects, an expanded field of view and improved skeletal tracking. Microsoft says it will share more details about the next-generation Kinect for Windows at its BUILD 2013 conference in June and also says that the new sensor will likely
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators are in the early stages of an antitrust probe into whether Google Inc, the top player in Web display advertising, breaks antitrust law in how it handles some advertising sales, a source told Reuters on Thursday. The source said that it was unlikely that the Federal Trade Commission had sent out civil investigative demands in relation to the probe, which would be the sign of a formal and more serious investigation. ...
Google announced Thursday that they've taken their Street View cameras on a hiking trip around the Galapagos islands — above ground, and under water. This is great news for many nature-loving chair jockeys, especially for those of us already hopelessly addicted to GeoGuessr.
A new report suggests that Nokia is preparing to launch its 41-megapixel Lumia smartphone, codenamed EOS, this coming summer. According to MobileGeeks, the handset will launch during the second week of July, on or around July 9th. The most recent rumors claim the Lumia EOS would be similar to the Lumia 920, with a polycarbonate case and a 4.5-inch 720p display. The biggest differentiator will reportedly be the smartphone’s 41-megapixel rear camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and Nokia’s new “Pro Camera” application. Earlier reports suggested the Lumia EOS would arrive on AT&T in the United States sometime this summer.
By Ronald Grover LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former News Corp president Peter Chernin and private equity fund Guggenheim Digital Media have placed bids for Hulu, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, triggering a tug-of-war for the online video service. Satellite operator DirecTV and cable operator Time Warner Cable Inc also put in bids, one of the people told Reuters. ...