Posts tagged ‘what am i doing’
Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it has set up a new deal to swap patents with LCD TV maker Funai.
Funai, which makes TVs sold in the U.S. under the brands Philips, Magnavox, Sylvania, and Emerson, will gain access to Microsoft’s exFAT file system, an enhanced version of the company’s older FAT (file allocation table) used to store and organize data on a disk.
The exFAT (extended FAT) system supports much higher-capacity drives and devices than can FAT and will quickly save files onto SD cards, USB drives, and other portable gadgets. Microsoft sees it as the ideal option for handling huge chunks of audio and video on digital photo frames, cameras, camcorders, smartphones, and of course TVs.
The cross-licensing agreement lets Funai use exFAT to develop new consumer audio and video products, including LCD TVs, for which the company is compensating Microsoft.
Microsoft was mum about what specific patents it might gain from Funai, only saying in a statement that this “exchange of innovation” would help both companies design new technologies to benefit consumers of audio/video products, including LCD TVs.
“Consumers want TVs to offer experiences that were once available primarily on personal computers. A patent license like this one allows two industry leaders to deliver the type of cutting-edge innovations that today’s consumers demand,” said David Kaefer, general manager of Intellectual Property Licensing at Microsoft, in a statement.
Microsoft initially rolled out exFAT for mobile phones, PDAs, audio and video appliances, and other devices running Windows Embedded edition. The company also added exFAT to its newer operating systems–Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008–hoping that more electronics companies would adopt it to store audio and video files on their consumer devices.
In December, Microsoft set up a new licensing program for exFAT, charging a flat $300,000 fee to manufacturers who want to use the file system in their products. But Microsoft’s license for FAT technology has been the subject of controversy as Redmond has long argued that certain uses of Linux infringe on its patents in this area. The company hasn’t hesitated to go after companies, such as GPS-maker Tom Tom, suing them for alleged patent violation.
Microsoft’s actions prompted Linux defenders, such as the Open Invention Network, to try to overturn the patents in question, an effort that eventually helped the group land several key patents that it said could have been used against Linux.
January 20, 2010 10:23 AM PST
by Lance Whitney
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By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press Writer
The powerful attack that overwhelmed computers at U.S. and South Korean government agencies for days was even broader than initially realized, also targeting the White House, the Pentagon and the New York Stock Exchange.
Other targets of the attack included the National Security Agency, Homeland Security Department, State Department, the Nasdaq stock market and The Washington Post, according to an early analysis of the malicious software used in the attacks. Many of the organizations appeared to successfully blunt the sustained computer assaults.
The Associated Press obtained the target list from security experts analyzing the attacks. It was not immediately clear who might be responsible or what their motives were. South Korean intelligence officials believe the attacks were carried out by North Korea or pro-Pyongyang forces.
The attack was remarkably successful in limiting public access to victim Web sites, but internal e-mail systems are typically unaffected in such attacks. Some government Web sites — such as the Treasury Department, Federal Trade Commission and Secret Service — were still reporting problems days after the attack started during the July 4 holiday. South Korean Internet sites began experiencing problems Tuesday.
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, the nation’s principal spy agency, told a group of South Korean lawmakers Wednesday it believes that North Korea or North Korean sympathizers in the South were behind the attacks, according to an aide to one of the lawmakers briefed on the information.
The aide spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the information. The National Intelligence Service — South Korea’s main spy agency — said it couldn’t immediately confirm the report, but it said it was cooperating with American authorities.
The attacks will be difficult to trace, said Professor Peter Sommer, an expert on cyberterrorism at the London School of Economics. “Even if you are right about the fact of being attacked, initial diagnoses are often wrong,” he said Wednesday.
Amy Kudwa, spokeswoman for the Homeland Security Department, said the agency’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued a notice to federal departments and other partner organizations about the problems and “advised them of steps to take to help mitigate against such attacks.”
New York Stock Exchange spokesman Ray Pellecchia could not confirm the attack, saying the company does not comment on security issues.
Attacks on federal computer networks are common, ranging from nuisance hacking to more serious assaults, sometimes blamed on China. U.S. security officials also worry about cyber attacks from al-Qaida or other terrorists.
This time, two government officials acknowledged that the Treasury and Secret Service sites were brought down, and said the agencies were working with their Internet service provider to resolve the problem. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.
Ben Rushlo, director of Internet technologies at Keynote Systems, said problems with the Transportation Department site began Saturday and continued until Monday, while the FTC site was down Sunday and Monday.
Keynote Systems is a mobile and Web site monitoring company based in San Mateo, Calif. The company publishes data detailing outages on Web sites, including 40 government sites it watches.
According to Rushlo, the Transportation Web site was “100 percent down” for two days, so that no Internet users could get through to it. The FTC site, meanwhile, started to come back online late Sunday, but even on Tuesday Internet users still were unable to get to the site 70 percent of the time.
Web sites of major South Korean government agencies, including the presidential Blue House and the Defense Ministry, and some banking sites were paralyzed Tuesday. An initial investigation found that many personal computers were infected with a virus ordering them to visit major official Web sites in South Korea and the U.S. at the same time, Korea Information Security Agency official Shin Hwa-su said.
Associated Press writers Hyung-Jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea; Andrew Vanacore in New York; and Pan Pylas in London contributed to this report.
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