Wil Harris, co-founder ChannelFlip, joins Tom to chat about the patent wars heating up, CBS’s Les Moonves threatening to take his channel and go off air, and more!

Daily Tech News Show - Mar

Daily Tech News Show - Mar. 31, 2014


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  • Reuters reports that researchers found another vulnerability insecurity company RSA’s random number generator. Reports in December indicated the NSA paid RSA $10 million and that the NSA had implemented a back door into RSA’s Dual Elliptic Curve random number generator. Now professors from Johns Hopkins, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Illinois and elsewhere have discovered that an extension called “Extended Random” could be exploited as a vulnerability. Extended Random was touted as a way to boost randomness but makes predicting secure numbers easier according to the researchers. RSA continues to maintain it has not intentionally weakened any of its products.
  • The Washington Post reported jury selection began Monday in the latest court battle between Apple and Samsung. Apple accuses Samsung of infringing five patents on newer devices, including tap-from-search that makes things like phone numbers into links as well as slide to unlock. In a counterclaim, Samsung says Apple infringes its wireless technology system that speeds up sending and receiving data on iPhones and iPads.
  • Reuters reportsthe European Parliament will vote on the Net Neutrality recommendations at noon on Thursday. The current proposal, put forward by Socialist and Green party MEPs, says: “(Specialised) services shall only be offered if the network capacity is sufficient to provide them in addition to Internet access services and they are not to the detriment of the availability or quality of Internet access services.” The proposals need approval by the EU’s 28 governments before they can become law. Only the Netherlands and Slovenia have net neutrality legislation already in place.

News From YouEdit

  • spsheridan pointed out the Ars Technica article about the US Supreme Court hearing oral arguments today in the case of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. Four patents at issue describe software that performs trusted financial exchanges. Nobody, except maybe Alice Corp. expects the Supreme Court to rule the patents are valid. The importance of the case revolves around the reasoning the court gives. The Court could rule that software itself doesn’t qualify for patent protection. Companies that favor software patents, like Microsoft, Adobe and IBM, have filed briefs recommending the court invalidate the Alice patents very narrowly without impacting software patents in general. Other companies like LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp, Newegg, Netflix and Rackspace have filed a brief asking the court to make it much harder to get software patents. Unsurprisingly the justices’ line of questioning today indicated they are likely to invalidate the Alice patents but eliminate the legal basis of software patents altogether.
  • Galcyon sent in the Verge article about Google getting a jump on April Fool’s day. Maybe the schedule for this one was left up to Australians. Google has a video up advertising an augmented reality Pokemon game tied in to Google Maps. If you zoom into certain areas around the world on Google Maps today, you’ll see where the creatures are meant to appear. Yay April Fools day where news goes to die!

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