Posts Tagged ‘software’

Unfixable Hack

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

These are words you don’t necessarily like to hear together if you work in the software industry.  But some clever hackers at the Hack in the Box Security Conference in Dubai just demonstrated a 3K file that is a permanent, unfixable hack to Windows 7.


Granted, you need physical access to the machine — it can’t be executed remotely.  So while it’s useful for an inside job, it wouldn’t be so useful if someone wanted to, say, crack into a computer at Credite Suisse from their couch.

Still, it’s bad.  Un-fixable, and totally untraceable.

Check it out: Security team shows unfixable Windows 7 hack at Electronista

Google Patents Invalidated??

Friday, July 25th, 2008

I really wish I understood patent law better, I must say.  But I just read this article and it seems unbelievable to me.  If I gleaned this correctly, a shifting of the Patent Office’s position on what technically qualifies for patents basically invalidates software patents.

Now that I look around, it seems like this has actually been up for debate for quite some time.  Even Wikipedia seems pretty opinionated about the matter.  And I guess there is definitely some debate as to whether software should be protected by patents or by copyright.

Still.  Seems pretty aggressive on the part of the patent office to go after Google.

And this after the nonsense yesterday where one guy (he’s got a company called Anascape, but it’s basically one guy working out of Carson City, Nevada — the sketchiest place on earth) is suing Nintendo over patent infringement on his highly specific patents such as

  • Patent 6,208,271 “Remote Controller with Analog Button”
  • Patent 6,344,791 “Variable Sensor with Tactile Feedback”

… which seem like they could be applied to pretty much anything!  I mean, a mouse is a remote controller with an analog button! And the guy already won $21 million from Nintendo in ‘damages’.

Long ago I should’ve patented ‘Flat Surface with Texture’ and sued the entire world.

All of that said, I’m all for open source culture.  I think it’s a step in the right direction.  But when it’s the patent office and the courts that are making the decisions, I find they are generally completely ignorant about most things technical.

I’m all for making Google fight harder for their bread.  But only if the Patent Office actually knows what they’re doing.