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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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16yo Schoolboy cracks age-old maths problem | 200 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
AARD Code references in PDFs?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, May 27 2012 @ 05:35 PM EDT
Are there any?

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

16yo Schoolboy cracks age-old maths problem
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, May 27 2012 @ 08:18 PM EDT
Shouryya Ray, who moved to Germany from India with his family at the age of 12, has baffled scientists and mathematicians by solving two fundamental particle dynamics problems posed by Sir Isaac Newton over 350 years ago, Die Welt newspaper reported on Monday.

Ray’s solutions make it possible to now calculate not only the flight path of a ball, but also predict how it will hit and bounce off a wall.

The Local


Reddit comments

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Flame: Massive cyber-attack discovered
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 28 2012 @ 04:56 PM EDT
Kaspersky's first recorded instance of Flame is in August 2010, although it said it is highly likely to have been operating earlier.

Prof Alan Woodward, from the Department of Computing at the University of Surrey said the attack is very significant.

"This is basically an industrial vacuum cleaner for sensitive information," he told the BBC.

He explained that unlike Stuxnet, which was designed with one specific task in mind, Flame was much more sophisticated.

"Whereas Stuxnet just had one purpose in life, Flame is a toolkit, so they can go after just about everything they can get their hands on."

Once the initial Flame malware has infected a machine, additional modules can be added to perform specific tasks - almost in the same manner as adding apps to a smartphone.

Dave Lee, BBC


Technical Report by Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security (CrySyS Lab) .PDF / 62 pages

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Network diagrams simplified
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 28 2012 @ 05:53 PM EDT

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

no patent trolls
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 28 2012 @ 08:48 PM EDT
Does anyone else think that a simple way to stop a vast pile of patent
problems is simply to make it illegal to buy patents if you are a non
practising entity? Between that and stopping companies from buying
patents completely unrelated to their field unless they can show true
cause to need them would more than cut patent cases in half.

Wouldn't stop all of it, but would make a huge dent.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

7000 e-Voting Machines Now Deemed Worthless By Irish Government ... and Liquipel
Authored by: tiger99 on Tuesday, May 29 2012 @ 08:13 AM EDT
I don't normally go to Slashdot, but I was Googling for information on Liquipel, which someone at work has only just heard of, and spotted the link.

Voting machines being useless will not be a new concept to any regular Groklaw readers. Apologies if this has been mentioned before, it is now fairly old news.

As for Liquipel, we are wondering whether it is merely Parylene, used for about 20 years for similar purposes, of which I have direct personal experience. No doubt Liquipel will be patented as being novel, as in the US it seems that if you have enough prior art it makes you eligible for a patent....


As for Liquipel, I see lots of hype and even more disclaimers of liability if your phone does get wet. Seems to me like a complete waste of money.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Apple's Crystal Prison and the Future of Open Platforms
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 29 2012 @ 08:57 AM EDT

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Dead on arrival? Dutch Parliament kills ACTA before EU vote
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 29 2012 @ 06:52 PM EDT
Lawmakers in Holland have voted to strike down the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), slammed by many as a free speech and information access choker. Dutch MPs have also ruled the government will never sign any such agreement.


The US, most of the EU, Australia, Canada, Japan and several other countries have signed the ACTA treaty, but none of these signatories' parliaments have yet ratified it. This last step would make the agreement viable. As soon as ACTA is ratified by any six nations, the convention will come into force.


[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Patent Wars boost patent lawyers
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 29 2012 @ 07:10 PM EDT

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Latest IDC mobile market survey
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 29 2012 @ 09:38 PM EDT

A press release from IDC on numbers in the mobile market.


[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Request: PoIR reformat posts.
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 29 2012 @ 10:02 PM EDT
There is one readability problem with PoIR's posts:

Software Is Mathematics—The Need for Due Diligence

A Simpler Explanation of Why Software is Mathematics

1+1 (pat. pending) — Mathematics, Software and Free Speech

Why Software Is Abstract

An Open Response to the USPTO — Physical Aspects of Mathematics

An Explanation of Computation Theory for Lawyers

Correcting Microsoft's Bilski Amicus Brief -- How Do Computers Really Work?

The problem is that the posts use a fixed line length that is too long. Not only does this line length too long for easy readability, it is in some cases, to long to fit in a browser window at many common screen resolutions.

Therefore I propose that permission be obtained from PoIR to modify these posts, and that the posts be reformated to use browser word wraping at display time. The browser "knows", (excuse the anthropomorphism), the size of its display window at browsing time.

This would make PoIR's posts easier to read and therefore more influential.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Judge Bites Apple
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 29 2012 @ 11:13 PM EDT

Re the A pple to DOJ: Bite me News Pick the other day --

The judge didn't buy the Apple arguments.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Mono (Silverlight clone) Officially Dead
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 30 2012 @ 12:29 AM EDT

InfoQ has published an interview with Miguel deIcaza in which deIcaza has stated that the Silverlight clone Moonlight is now officially dead (as opposed to the "just pining for the fjords" it has been doing for some time).

Miguel de Icaza on ASP.NET MVC, Moonlight, and the Android Lawsuit

Miguel: We have abandoned Moonlight. (...)

Silverlight has not gained much adoption on the web, so it did not become the must-have technology that I thought would have to become.

And Microsoft added artificial restrictions to Silverlight that made it useless for desktop programming.

These days we no longer believe that Silverlight is a suitable platform for write-once-run-anywhere technology, there are just too many limitations for it to be useful.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Creativity & Cookies
Authored by: sproggit on Wednesday, May 30 2012 @ 02:53 AM EDT
Warning: this post is the Groklaw equivalent of a 2-second-old idea. It may not
look so good in the cold, harsh light of day...

In the UK this past weekend, the European Cookie Directive came into force. This
requires any web sites that use cookies to track user activity to notify
browsers and to offer an opt-out capability. Also in the UK, news channels such
as the BBC are reporting a widespread flouting of this law, despite more than a
year of advanced warning. Some companies appear to take it seriously, but
presently these seem to be in a minority.

So I was thinking about web activity [ and the information maps that the
Collusion plug-in for Firefox produces ] and considering it in terms of
creativity. Where does the balance lie, in terms of "ownership" of
surfing activity?

Or, put another way, do companies that track our activity across the web have
any right or title to that data, *if* we argue that thanks to it's implicitly
creative nature, that activity trail is our intellectual property?

Come with me on a thought experiment.

Let's suppose that I set up a "closed" extranet of web sites, with say
20 sites that are all connected via conventional hyperlinks, and which offer a
range of products and/or services. You and I are then given the same start page
and invited to explore this extranet. Our exploration can include making
purchases if we so desire. I think you'll agree that there is a greater
probability that we would follow a different "route" through these 20
sites than one in which we make exactly the same sequence of clicks and

So on that basis I shall propose to you that our individual surfing habits are
an exercise in unique creativity, non-obvious and entirely our own property.
That sequence of surfing is unique to us.

With me so far?

Now I would like to factor in copyright. I appreciate that copyright isn't the
same as patents, but let's see if we can get there.

Let's imagine that you and I are both musicians and we both play accoustic
guitars. You are self-taught, can't read sheet music, and you play entirely by
memory and by ear. I am trained to read and write music. One day I hear you
playing and I sit down and write out the music that you play. I now have a
transcript of your songs. I rush to a publisher and a recording studio and
produce CDs of the work which I sell. Can I claim right or title to the work?

The above scenario was very carefully chosen because I wanted to use an example
that parallels the activity of a web surfing session. The actual exploration of
a series of web sites by a click-and-follow approach is analogous to strumming
the guitar. It is the activity, guided and driven by a person's mind, which
occurs as a result of conscious thought on the part of a unique, specific
individual. The *transcription* and *recording* of that activity, whilst it
might be a definable and repeatable process in technology terms, is actually
nothing short of a rip-off of that surfing activity...


If you're willing to read on I might have something. Let's see if we can link
this back to patents.

Let's go back to our restricted extranet with 20 sites on it, but this time
let's agree that each site is actually a single HTML page with nothing more than
links to each of the 19 other sites on it. All we can do is navigate from page
to page, and now the only unique bit is going to be the sequence of sites. Let's
imagine that if either of us review the information on all 20 home pages, then
we will have achieved some useful output. I start with site No. 20 and work down
to site No. 1, you perform the reverse. After 20 steps, we both finish, and the
totality of our activity is the same, and produce the same result.

However, I finish 20 seconds before you, and I file a patent on my activity,
defining a system and method for surveying a series of web sites and aggregating
a single block of data for later processing. You protest, stating that what I
did was trivial and obvious. I retort, "Maybe, but I did it first..."
How does this activity stand in terms of being of patentable quality?

This scenario is relevant in terms of software patents because, as the Oracle vs
Google case shows, in software there are potentially a near-infinite number of
ways of performing a computation that produces the same end result. Moreover,
with software patents being written in deliberately abstract and generic terms
[lacking specificity], the chances of these 'collisions' is becoming even

I will have to go away and dig up a concrete example, but one personal
observation having read a few software patent claims is that the claims
themselves may occasionally take something that is already established practice
in the mechanical, material world, and try to patent it just because it has now
been represented in software. The innovation happened elsewhere; now an attempt
to re-claim that innovation is being made in the digital realm.

Let's go back to our musician argument for a second and consider that. It would
be like you getting copyright on a song if it was released as a vinyl album,
then me taking the same recording, and producing CDs, and filing for a new
copyright, even though we both used the same underlying source material. When we
discuss it in copyright terms using this analogy it sounds completely, utterly
ridiculous. Yet when patent lawyers get arguing about it, they seem to think
their perspective is implicitly correct.

Do Groklawrians have a view on this? Where should the balance of idea ownership
lie? Should common ideas that are re-expressed in new paradigms be patentable?

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Microsoft EULA disables Class Actions :)
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 30 2012 @ 05:38 AM EDT
"When a customer in the United States has a dispute about a Microsoft product .. our new user agreement[s] will require that .. the customer [will not] bring the claim .. as part of a class action lawsuit" link

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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