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This is not the normal tech news, it is sort of an off the wall story that I found funny.
In Texas a judge has banned Microsoft from Selling, Demonstrating or otherwise advertising Word. This is a permanent injunction put in over a patent dispute between MS and I4I.
I4I claims that MS ran off with their code and has been using this in Word 2003 and 2007. The code they are talking about has to do with XML and the way that Word uses it.
I am not going to go into major technical details, but it is sort of funny to hear that MS cannot even demo the products, this means that they are in violation of the order if they send updates, show it on their office.com website.
Now what makes this funny is that apparently other applications use this functionality. It is just MS that is in the hot seat. Apparently there is no money in going after Sun, or Apple. The injunction "prohibits Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML,"
This is on top of a $200 Million fine from May, an additional $40 Million and just for good measure $37 Mill in interest.
Microsoft says they will appeal
Yesterday we covered a tale of Apple and the Dictionary. This is a harrowing tale of an intrepid developer against the mongering troll.
Nah not really, it is a story about a developer getting the shaft from Apple and after the internet press got a hold the story Apple back peddling.
The complete story is very long and can be found at Daring Fireball as can the follow on part of this particular drama.
After the press splashed this all over the internet Phil Schiller from Apple has written to explain that this was all a misunderstanding.
Apparently Apple did not ask Ninjawords to censor the dictionary because of the words F&(k and S^&t but because there are even MORE vulgar urban slang terms that can be found through Ninjawords.
Ninjawords could not be submitted to the App store as it was at the time since there were not parental controls at all. The developers of Ninjawords chose to edit the dictionary and resubmit. This is when all the fun started; it ended with someone thinking that Apple was requiring both the censorship AND a 17+ Rating.
I am not sure what is the truth in this one, both stories sound a little odd to be perfectly honest with you. For example in one of the actual letters about the rejection they specifically mention F*(k and Sh*& but you can find them in "Dictionary!" which is free on the iTunes store and has a rating of 4+.
Wow I am not sure what Apple is doing at this point with their recent rash of rejections. Either they want to see how far they can push people or they truly are clueless.
According to reports around the web Apple has rejected a dictionary called Ninjawords for containing "objectionable words". Some of the words they found to be too horrible for iPhone/iPod users eyes were Screw and Snatch. Wow, I wonder if they have a certain movie in their iTunes Store . Guess what? They do.
But the app was not completely rejected. They were allowed to submit the application after removing a few additional horrible words in common usage. They were then slapped with a 17+ rating even after all the words had been removed.
These words can be found in other dictionary applications in the App Store. But I guess they cannot be in this one, this is arbitrary to the last syllable. Maybe they removed that word from their own dictionaries so they do not know what that means.
You know, maybe they are going for an insanity defense with the FTC and FCC. After all what they are doing is rather crazy.
Well the big news this morning is that Google's Eric Schmidt is resigning from the Board of Directors for Apple.
This is not a very big surprise, although it comes at an interesting time. The issue at hand is section 8 of the Clayton Anti Trust act that covers shared directors between companies with competing products.
Google and Apple compete on a number of products, they each have a browser, they each have a smart phone OS, and soon they will each have both a Desktop OS and a cloud based document application.
The resignation will probably cause the current investigation to be withdrawn but that is not always the case. This is especially true with the FCC looking into the issue over Google Voice.
There is nothing like someone accidentally putting sensitive information into a folder that is linked to your P2P share. But this is what happens again and again and again.
This time is was motorcade routes, the Presidential Family safe house and some nice documents covering details of every nuclear facility on the US.
So we have a couple of issues here, the first is simple user ignorance. It is beyond me how and why anyone would have a P2P file sharing application on any work related computer system but on top of that how can they not know that the folder the P2P apps use for sharing are pretty much open to everyone. Anything dropped in there is available on the P2P network you are using.
The next is how the supposedly tech savvy White House staff can allow something like this to happen.
You know, I see why P2P is bad, it is not because of the possibility of illegal file sharing, it is because once again, we see ignorance on the part of individual users and the companies and organizations they work for.
Microsoft and Yahoo! have reached and accord. This accord will benefit both in some interesting ways. Yahoo will use Microsoft servers for their search functions and Yahoo! will handle the display ads.
This combination should have some excellent benefits for both of these companies as they try to catch up with Google.
Originally the idea was for Yahoo to be purchased by Microsoft. However, due to some bad management decisions by the CEO at the time the acquisition never took place. Instead there is just the agreement to work closely together.
Of course, there is always the possibility that someone will try to claim that MS and Yahoo are anti-competitive after all; it is only Apple and Google that are allowed to behave like that.
GlobalFoundries has announced it first customer that is not AMD. Although the news had leaked out that they had a new customer earlier in the week no one was quite sure who the new customer was.
There was talk that it might be nVidia, Samsung, one of the other ARM manufacturers etc. In the end it turns out to be STMicroelectronics.
Right now GF is being asked to make 40nm low power chips, but the exact type has not been disclosed. If GF can make this one work it could open the door to many other customers. This is especially true in the 40nm space where TSMC, GlobalFoundries' largest competitor, is having yield issues with their 40nm process.
All eyes will be on this new relationship to see if the relatively new GF can meet the demands of multiple customers.
Foxconn is trying very hard to dig itself out of a hole. The hole is not a financial hole; it is not a manufacturing hole. No this hole is a potential disaster for the large OEM manufacturer.
The problem started when a 25 year old technician committed suicide over the report of a missing fourth generation iPhone prototype.
According to the time line that is generally accepted on July 9th 16 fourth generation iPhone prototypes were delivered to Young Sun Dan. Young was responsible for packaging, sealing and shipping these to Apple.
There are differing reports about whether Young reported the missing phone before or after Apple received them but either way Foxconn began an investigation.
On July 16th Young jumped from a 12th floor window and fell to his death.
In between the 9th and the 16th there are reports of physical interrogation, unlawful searches, solitary confinement and worse. Foxconn began by denying the accusations but saying the event was sad. Apple followed suit.
The hole began when the suspended the director for Central Security, the turned him over to local police. Then released a statement that Young had a history of losing items (you would think after the first he would not be handling them again). Then they paid the family $44,000 and gave them a Mac PowerBook laptop.
Now they are increasing the payment amount to the family and including a yearly payment. Over in the US that would be called something like "hush money" but in the US the amounts are usually significantly larger.
Either way Foxconn is now, more than ever, under the microscope as all eyes turn to them to see how they handle or fail to handle the situation.
The outcome could affect their relationship with Apple, as Apple will continue to try and distance themselves from the event.
There are rumors of another AIB (add-in-board) maker getting out of the video card business.
This time we hear the GeCube is swearing off making video cards for life. They are moving in another direction and will concentrate on a non-graphics card related business in the future.
The rumor mentions that GeCude has a new partner but not who this is. It also claims that Gigabyte has released its 61.5% stake in GeCube officially signaling the toll of the final bell.
We contacted Gigabyte for confirmation but have not received a reply at the time of writing.
Once again the news of Vision Tek's demise was greatly over rated.
According to an article at Bright Side of News Vision Tek has recently secured some serious capital funding from a "Major International Bank" additionally they have invested in a distribution center in Chicago in the US.
It looks like the original rumor may have been one of those things that happen when one company loses out at the expense of another and on a slow news day like today it is something to write about.
In the end Vision Tek admits being hit hard by the same economic problems that hit everyone else in the computer industry. But they had a plan and were already looking for funding to expand while others were cutting back.
Read more here