All posts filed under “Patents

Digital control round-up

Digital control round-up

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 […]

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Another charging opportunity?

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 […]

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Speed control designed to help the user

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 […]

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Transcranial magnetic stimulation

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 […]

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The Privacy Ceiling

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 […]

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Friend or foe: Battery-authentication ICs?

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 […]

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