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Posts published in “Patents”

Homicide Commits Suicide, HP Says It’s Sorry & More…

Also included: Judge seems to make software patents illegal, Mageia mourns a contributor, Yakkety Yak frozen, KDE’s new release, and getting ready for All Things Open.

FOSS Week in Review

When I wrote last week’s wrap, Hurricane Matthew seemed to be on a direct path for my office. Now it appears that long before it hits my state it’s going to take a sharp turn to the right and head back out to sea. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, in getting to where it is today, this storm has so far killed nearly 1,000 people that we know of so far, and has made thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, homeless. That’s bad news indeed.

This week’s free tech news was a little more fun…

Digital Homicide logoDigital Homicide commits suicide: In a story that’s been brewing for a while now, it seems that game company Digital Homicide was given enough rope to…well, you know. It seems that the publisher had gotten in the habit of suing any Steam user who dared to post a bad review about one of its games, and actually subpoenaed Valve for the identities of 100 anonymous users who had made statements about the company. This, in turn and understandably, pissed a lot of users off, which led to Valve removing all games from Steam.

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

HP Retrofits Ink Cartridge DRM on Printers

You’ve owned your printer for a year or more, and have happily used off-brand ink cartridges during that time. Suddenly the manufacturer says you can’t do that anymore, and suddenly orders the printer you own to not accept the ink cartridges of your choosing.

Have you tried using you HP printer recently? If not, if you use certain models and keep your expenses down by using third party ink cartridges, you might find you have a “damaged” cartridge that needs replacing before the printer will operate. Open up a new cartridge that you’ve been keeping on hand and if it’s branded Office Max, Office Depot or anything other than “genuine HP,” it’ll be “damaged” too.

HP printer logoAs they used to say on the Outer Limits, there is nothing wrong with your ink cartridges. HP has taken control of your printer and trained it to not accept them anymore.

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Just Because It Says ‘Open Source Hardware’ Doesn’t Mean It Really Is

Is it “organic,” or just merely “natural?” Is it really “open source hardware,” or merely hardware with a degree of openess? David Jones explains the problem in identifying which is which and who is whom.

The Video Screening Room

David L. Jones, an electronics design engineer based in Sydney Australia, explains his pragmatic solution to the use of the open source hardware logo — inspired by the varying gradations of the Creative Commons licenses.

For the past 10 years, Phil has been working at a public library in the Washington D.C.-area, helping youth and adults use the 28 public Linux stations the library offers seven days a week. He also writes for MAKE magazine, Opensource.com and TechSoup Libraries. Suggest videos by contacting Phil on Twitter or at pshapiro@his.com.

Open Invention Network Helps Rid FOSS of Patent Lawsuits

Software patent issues aren’t in the news as much now as they were only a few years back, partly due to the Supreme Court’s 2014 Alice v. CLS decision. Another reason is the patent pool the Open Invention Network has amassed to discourage patent trolls.

The FOSS Force Video Interview

The Open Invention Network — OIN, as its friends call it — “is a defensive patent pool and community of patent non-aggression which enables freedom of action in Linux.” That’s what it says (among other things) on the front page of the organization’s website. Basically, if you join OIN (which costs $0) you agree not to sue other members over Linux and Android-related patents, and in return they promise not to sue you. Google, IBM, and NEC are the top three members shown on OIN’s “community” page, which lists over 2,000 members/licensees ranging from Ford to one-person Android app developers.

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

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