New $1,500 Spectacles Developed by Google Already Rooted and Hacked

In a recent article posted on the Forbes website entitled: Google Glass Has Already Been Hacked By Jailbreakers, is reported that just some days after its release Google Glass headset has been hacked by a well-known hacker Jay Freeman “Saurik”, who created the widely-used app store for jailbroken iOS devices known as Cydia.

Google Glass is a wearable computer with a head-mounted display (HMD) developed by Google. Google Glass displays information in a hands-free format like a smartphone. It can interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands. Google is considering partnering with sun-glass retailers such as Ray-Ban or Warby Parker, and may also open retail stores to allow customers to try on the device. The Explorer Edition cannot be used by people who wear prescription glasses, but Google has confirmed that Glass will eventually work with frames and lenses that match the wearer’s prescription; the glasses will be modular and therefore possibly attachable to normal prescription glasses.

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More Than 25,000 Americans Want the Death Star Built

 

A Petition entitled Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016 that may have begun as a “lark” by John D of Longmont, CO on November 14, 2012 on Thursday reached the required 25,000-plus signature threshold necessary for the United States Government to provide a formal response.  The petition states:

Those who sign here petition the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.

By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.

The petition demands that the Obamma Administration build a Death Star much like the one that was featured in the 1977 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

What is even more fascinating than reaching the required threshold so quickly is the attention that is being demonstrated around the globe.  I am writing this article from Eastern Europe.  More specifically, Balti in the Republic of Moldova.  The petition was brought to my attention by several Java programmers working inside of the Alec Russo University. Apparently many of the students in the University are familiar with this petition so I can only assume that the Internet is spreading the news like wildfire.

In case you are wondering what the project would cost, a February 21, 2012 Forbes article written by Carol Pinchefsky entitled: How Much Would It Cost to Build the Death Star from Star Wars? had the following to say:

Even if you can imagine quite a bit, Centives, the economics blog of students of Lehigh University, says it would cost “$852,000,000,000,000,000. Or roughly 13,000 times the world’s GDP” to build the Death Star…and that’s just the cost of steel production.

 If only our government could be as organized and work as quickly as the construction in the video below:

 

Are You Concerned About “Patent Trolls”?

According to Wikipedia, definitions for a “patent troll” include one or more of the following:

  • Purchases a patent, often from a bankrupt firm, and then sues another company by claiming that one of its products infringes on the purchased patent;
  • Enforces patents against purported infringers without itself intending to manufacture the patented product or supply the patented service;
  • Enforces patents but has no manufacturing or research base;
  • Focuses its efforts solely on enforcing patent rights;
  • Asserts patent infringement claims against non-copiers or against a large industry that is composed of non-copier.

Patent trolls are to patent law what ambulance chasing lawyers are to personal injury law. While patent enforcement has always been a big business, the recent wars between Apple and Samsung have brought a great deal of attention to this part of the law.

In a recent Forbes article written by Cheryl Milone, the founder and chief executive of Article One Partners, entitled A Powerful New Weapon Against Patent Trolls, relief may finally be on the way.  The America Invents Act patent reform law, which passed last year, contains a little-known feature that will soon give companies a lot more ammunition for shooting down patent troll lawsuits.

A critical determinant for patents is what is known as “prior art”. Prior art means any previous patent, technical paper, or public knowledge or use of an invention that makes it ineligible for a patent. Under the law, a patent may be issued only if an invention is useful, novel (i.e., not previously known or described), and nonobvious—meaning, not an obvious outgrowth of an existing technology. An examination of prior art determines whether an invention is novel and nonobvious.

As a result of the America Invents Act, after March 16, 2013, the following changes become affective which will redefine the application of prior art and have a dramatic impact on existing patents:

  • Unpublished patent applications: For the first time, unpublished patent applications, i.e., applications pending in the USPTO system for less than 18 months, can invalidate a later patent if these contain prior art that anticipates the invention.
  • Foreign patents and applications: For the first time, foreign applications and patents can also invalidate a later U.S. patent, if they contain prior art that anticipates the invention. According to Gene Quinn, of the influential IP Watchdog blog, “Foreign patents and  applications will now make it much easier to challenge issued U.S patents.
  • Public use anywhere in the world: The biggest new source of invalidating prior art involves “on sale” or “public use”—i.e., has an invention been previously used, offered for sale, or publicly disclosed?—which is being expanded from the U.S. to cover the entire globe. This means that even a seminar discussion about some interesting new technology at an engineering conference in Korea or China, presented in the Korean or Mandarin language, will be able to kill a U.S. patent on that technology acquired later.

Cheryl’s article provided some great insight into some of the most significant changes to hit the patent landscape in almost a century.  We will report further on the topic next year after the changes go into affect.  We anticipate a great  deal of creativity from the legal community in this area.

Talking Politics At Work Can Get You Fired

During the presidential elections political disagreements can easily arise in the workplace at any time. Usually such conversations can be heated and it does not matter whether you are on “red” or “blue” side or you consider yourself in the middle. The fact is that many private employers restrict political speech in the workplace.

In other words, sharing your opinion at work can get you fired. Susan Adams noted in Forbes that the Society for Human Resources reported 25% of employers maintained written policies. Some of these policies restrict having conversations about politics at work. Only a handful of states have laws that strictly prohibit private employers from discriminating against employees.

At least 80% of workers believe that they have a “free speech” right to have conversations on politics. They are absolutely wrong. The Fourth Amendment protects employees only from government interference but not employer interference. And maybe it is a high time to take a closer look at your employers’ written policies.

Some people believe if there is not any written policies at their company they can have a possibility to wear political buttons, T-shirts or they can outlaw political posters and instigate a conversation about hot-button issues during the lunch time. The answer to this question is NO.

The good news is that most employers are tolerant. 2/3 of the employers allow their workers to have a political discussion in their workplace as long as it does not interfere with work. And, of course, the employees remain respectful for that.

Do you think employers should be allowed to restrict the political speech of their employees? Please, share your opinion in the comments section below. 

More information can be found here: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/09/12/why-you-shouldnt-talk-politics-at-work/

Bangladeshi Man Tried To Blow Up New York Federal Reserve

In a resent article on Forbes’ website an interesting case has been posted. Fortunately, a 21-year-old Bangladeshi man, tried unsuccessfully to blow up the New York Federal Reserve Bank on Wednesday morning.

It poses too many questions: does anybody pushed him to do that or was that his own initiative?

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis attempted to detonate what he thought was a 1,000 pound bomb in New York’s financial district, but he was arrested by law enforcement as part of a sting and no one was ever in any danger.

To know more info, go to: http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanvardi/2012/10/17/feds-arrest-bangladeshi-man-who-tried-to-blow-up-new-york-federal-reserve/