Mac as a giant dongle At Coding Horror, Jeff Atwood makes an interesting point about Apple’s lock-in business model: It’s almost first party only– about as close as you can get to a console platform and still call yourself a computer… when you buy a […]
All posts filed under “Patents”
Another charging opportunity?
Last month, an Apple patent application was published describing a method of “Protecting electronic devices from extended unauthorized use” – effectively a ‘charging rights management’ system. New Scientist and OhGizmo have stories explaining the system; while the stated intention is to make stolen devices less […]
Review: We Know What You Want by Martin Howard
A couple of weeks ago, Martin Howard sent me details of his blog, How They Change Your Mind and book, We Know What You Want: How They Change Your Mind, published last year by Disinformation. You can review the blog for yourselves – it has […]
Speed control designed to help the user
Something with an interesting ‘forcing function’ story has been right in front of me all this time: the QWERTY keyboard, developed by Christopher Sholes and then Remington, with the intention of controlling the user’s behaviour. Until typists became proficient with the QWERTY system, the non-alphabetical […]
Transcranial magnetic stimulation
An image from Hendricus Loos’s 2001 US patent, ‘Remote Magnetic Manipulation of Nervous Systems’ In my review of Adam Greenfield‘s Everyware a couple of months ago, I mentioned – briefly – the work of Hendricus Loos, whose series of patents cover subjects including “Manipulation of […]
The Privacy Ceiling
Scott Craver of the University of Binghamton has a very interesting post summarising the concept of a ‘privacy ceiling’: “This is an economic limit on privacy violation by companies, owing to the liability of having too much information about (or control over) users.” It’s the […]
Ed Felten: DRM Wars, and ‘Property Rights Management’
At Freedom to Tinker, Ed Felten has posted a summary of a talk he gave at the Usenix Security Symposium, called “DRM Wars: The Next Generation”. The two installments so far (Part 1, Part 2) trace a possible trend in the (stated) intentions of DRM’s […]
Freedom to Tinker – The Freedom to Tinker with Freedom?
At Freedom to Tinker, David Robinson asks whether, in a world where DRM is presented to so many customers as a benefit (e.g. Microsoft’s Zune service), the public as a whole will be quite happy to trade away its freedom to tinker, whether the law […]
Friend or foe: Battery-authentication ICs?
Via MAKE, an article from Electrical Design News looking at lithium battery authentication chips in products such as phones and laptops, designed to prevent users fitting ‘non-genuine’ batteries. Now, the immediate response of most of us is probably “razor blade model!” or even “stifling democratic […]