tech - Page 4

  • why the public cloud is losing its fanciness with bigger enterprises

    But in May, about two years after MemSQL was founded, Frenkiel and company came down from the Amazon cloud, moving most of their operation onto a fleet of good old fashioned computers they could actually put their hands on. They had reached the point where physical machines were cheaper — much, much cheaper — than the virtual machines available from Amazon. “I’m not a big believer in the public cloud,” Frenkiel says. “It’s just not effective in the long run.”

    when you are small and you don't have the money to buy real hardware than the virtual space online is maybe the best you can get

    but after a while you will need to reconfigure the machine so that they work the best they can for you - without impacting all the other users on the same servers and if you want to do that you need independent users of your own

    ps have a look at leasing hardware (it makes it possible to have morre or less constant ITbudgets while changing your hardware each time new processors come out

  • why icann should not make internal extensions like .corp and .home public domainextensions

    if a network is well protected its internal pc's will have the IP address of the firewall which means that for example 10.000 pc's or 5 will use or have the same IP address

    the reason is that none of these internal pc's could be contacted individually or set connections to the internet without any security controls and protections

    ICANN is now revising a list of 1000 new extensions that could be accepted to sell domainnames to the same firms (defend your trademark everywhere anytime)

    it wanted to know if there were extensions that were already in use and that were already very popular

    they are ( the millions of connections during the specified time)

    Interisle Consulting analysed the log files of one of the internet root-servers.


    "The review of the logs revealed that a surprisingly large amount of requests is for domain names under extensions that actually do not yet exist, but that might be created in the future. Most requests where for .com en .net, but in third place there already is the first non-existing extension: .local. This even received over twice as much requests as .org. Problems with .local were however already foreseen as that extension has been blocked from being requested.


    But already in 5′th place of all requests to the root-servers is the next non-existing extension; this time one that has been requested to be actually activated within the coming months/years: .home. Interisle reviewed a total of 96 hours of log files and during that period over 1 billion requests where received for .home. Other such examples are .corp (almost 150 million requests), .global (12 million requests) and .med (10 million requests). For all these TLD’s a request is pending to activate them, while clearly some systems currently expect them not to work.

    the most important thing is that the article is totally wrong. They say that these extensions don't exist. They do exist and they have already a very popular use in internal networks and the internet of things (home automation for example)

    If Icann has already decided that .local would not be used as a public domainextension because it is so widespread on internal networks it should take the same decision for other typical internal and embedded domainextensions like .internal, .corp and .home (and probably I forget a few).

    It may be that these domainextensions have at first sight the capacity of bringing in much money and could have some very convincing arguments at first sight, when you think of it, making them public domainextensions is just asking for disaster on a worldwide scale and of consesquences that no one can calculate (in money, in manhours and in practical disruptions).

    there is a real security issue

    However, as Versign points out, some of these internal networks received digital certificates for their internal TLDs. (An example of a digital certificate is the little lock, or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), that appears at the bottom of a webpage to indicate that it is safe to complete a financial transaction from that site.) In the example of .home, a disgruntled employee with access to one of the network-specific SSLs on .home could spoof a credential for a website such as Nike.HOME or HSBC.HOME.   In the reverse scenario, an employee of a company with an Intranet that uses a soon to be “real” Internet TLD could be vulnerable to an attack if they attempt to access their Intranet version of “.home” while outside of the network.

    there is a real judicial issue

    who will pay for all the changes and all the mistakes made because of them and the disruptions of business and transactions while the networks that have used a few (of the thousand) generic domainextensions for internal use (i think .med will be used by doctors and hospitals) long before anyone talked about liberating the domainextensions nearly totally (withoiut ever researching which extensions were already in broad use and should have been excluded from the process alltogether the beginning)

    and who will be responsable if incidents between private and public networks with the same domainextension happen and there will always be incidents, in IT you can count on that

    and what about those who have spent all that money on preparing their case for these domainextensions. Sorry but if you really had researched your case as professionally as you say you are to jump into the domainextension registry business, you should have known. If you were that professional and you know how much money is really involved you should have researched the risks and you should have known that the there would be a big risk that it would be rejected, that a huge part of the internetcommunity would be against it and that there were enormous possbilities of mayhem, lawsuites and mess-ups at the same time.

    there are already enough other problems and issues to solve and updates to do every few months to not be forced to change all your internal networksnames and links to be sure that there would be no confusion with a new public domainextension even if that is only in 2015

  • the strange declaration from numericable and why it doesn't matter for our privacy

    the problem is in the details of this carefully crafted PR statement that probably had to pass some judicial review to prevent it from outright lying

    "the hackers had no access to actual customers"

    ok let's go back to the structure of the server with the databases that was accessed

    there are test databases and a few others that may be old

    it wouldn't be the first time that Rex Mundi finds information on a server and tries to blackmail the firm who afterwards only declares that it is old data and that they were losers because they didn't have the newer data (which they always say is protected and safe

    in fact this is the problem with many systems, they don't destroy fast enough older data and when they keep it (for reasons which I don't understand) they keep it most of the time on the same systems or on systems they don't sufficiently protect (because that costs some money)

    but this doesn't mean that this isn't personal information and this doesn't mean that it doesn't have to be protected just as any other personal data from me or you  DATA IS DATA (even if 10 or 50% of it is not correct or relevant anymore, the other information is still relevant and should have been protected as if it was new personal data and by the way how will you know if that 'old personal data' is old without checking it and by doing so making it active again ?)

    if the data is not relevant anymore, why don't you just destroy it (and put that in your standards). Imagaine how much saver the world would be if all the yahoos and googles and microsofts destroyed all our old data after a few months or years of non-action or if we could say to facebook (destroy all my data that is older than for example a year)

    it also means that the privacycommission will still have to start an independent investigation if only to find out what the leaked or breached data is about and happened. This is why the privacycommission should receive the right in these cases to send independent investigators at the cost of the 'victim'. The other advantage is that the 'public interest' they represent is assured that the incident is handled with respect to all the norms and standards that should have been implemented and with the independent appraisal from independent investigators whose only business value is that they tell the truth as it is 'in the public interest' (and I have no business interests in this proposal it is just logical sense and a copy from the Vincoitte controls before you can connect your own renewed electricity network to the public one)


    secondly it is strange to read in the same declaration that the hackers didn't breach any information or that they didn't access any systems that were important but that they will take all necessary measures to prevent this from happening again

    if you are used to (and bored by) marketing and PR stuff than you see that this doesn't make any sense

    or the systems were not breached and the information is fake and nothing happened because your security is in order or it isn't. You can't have it both ways

    this is not the kind of declaration that will inspire confidence and it is not on that kind of declaration that the privacycommission should decide what it will do. It should base its opinion only and solely on the facts and the facts are that some data has been leaked and that in the words of the numericable itself it is some kind of their data but not actual userdata.

    just as when a fire investigators after the fire comes around to investigate

    even if this sample of data seems on the first sight to be dummy data created to test or make a database, the test server was on the same server as the production databases and so the problem stays and if this data is from the test database they should have said so from the beginning and (depending on the data that seem to be released in a few hours (except if they or someone else for them pays (and doesn't forget to ask for a non-disclosure as part of the agreement by which you pay in two parts, one now and one much later except if the data was published something byway forgot to ask)

    nobody is going to shoot you down because you gave a detailed and explicit account of what happened it is what should have been done from in the beginning but nobody is going to believe you (anymore) witht such stupid declarations (especially if the forthcoming dataleak will proof otherwise)

    the PR people are a problem in incident management because they think they have to hide things and they think that by hiding or fuzzing things it will look better. No, on the contratry, it makes it look much worse.

    And this is another reason why during such incidents you call in the independent investigators and you communicate that independent investigators are on the scene and that you wil communicate more details as "they come out and are proven to be exact (and not a possibility)" It doesn't mean that you have to publish technical information that will make it easier to attack your network but the impactanalysis has to be 100% correct and not fuzzed up by marketing and PR people.

    this is what we expect from professionals who have to protect our data

  • why you at home shouldn't upgrade to office 2013 and buy quickly office 2010 if you haven't already

    Those Office 2010 FFP SKUs (stock keeping units) remain interesting to some buyers because they come with rights to install the suite on multiple Windows PCs. The FFP of Home & Student, for example, can be installed on up to three systems in a household, while Home & Business and Professional allow up to two installations on a user's PCs, a desktop and a notebook, for example.

    CDW, for instance, charges $140 for Home & Student 2010, a 7% discount, $248 for Home & Business 2010 (11% off list) and $489 for Professional 2010 (2% below list price).


    That's different than Office 2013, which Microsoft launched in late January. All three of the comparable retail SKUs of Office 2013 allow only one installation each.


    Microsoft dropped multi-license packs to make the "perpetual" licenses -- the traditional kind that are paid for once and can be used as long as the customer wants -- of Office 2013 less attractive when compared to the new Office 365 software-by-subscription plans the company is aggressively marketing.


    To replicate the three licenses of Home & Student 2010, potential purchasers of Office 2013 would have to spend $420 on three separate copies of Home & Student 2013, or subscribe to Office 365 Home Premium, a $100 per year plan that lets customers run the suite only as long as they continue to make annual payments.

  • Googlereader is dead, long live (and is netvibes)

    Well netvibes is a great tool and Googlereader was very great but Google is losing it, so they are dumping stuff they don't really understand - because if they did they would understand that Googlereader was an essential but not promoted piece of their Google alert service (which would make people use more their search which is their prime business) but as Google is losing its way and the different pieces are not part anymore of a big picture (the total is more than the sum of all parts) it is dumping things that they don't really understand and only see as a cost instead of an essential part of their search services

    to my biggest astonishment the old bloglines that was pushed out of the market by Googlereader is having a comeback but they have thrown their old interface out and have taken the one from netvibes

    when I look at many other alternatives I see that they are too much based upon pics and more for people who have very few feeds to read

    I see I have about 1200 in all kinds of categories

    not that I read all of them :)

    but they are handy of having close by

    so when you subscribe to netvibes you have to remember the following things that are important to organize your stuff

    * you can make 1 public page and as many private pages as you want (I have three different private pages)

    * you can make as many tabs (different screenpages) as you want so this means if you organize your tabs around themes - for example making a private page search with tabs for all the different search functions etc.... and one for your rss feeds and one with other private stuff (weather, dropbox, transport, mail etc...)

    * you can change the look of each page, so for your rss page (use an opml file to import) you can change to a list page (and you can change the order of you boxes at your left by drag and drop)

  • why telework or homework (even with video) won't work for high speed firms

    when there is nothing to change or nothing to think about and each day is more or less the same and you don't need to brainstorm to see immediately some key people to take decisions together based on a collective thought process and that need to be put into motion immediately so they will be effective a few days or weeks later, you can't have telework and mail and video won''t change this

    if a firm or administration stops or interrupts telework it is because they are changing from a day-to-day operation slowly moving enterprise to a start-up mentality where things change before your eyes and you will never know what will happen the next day because everything is being rebuilt, rethought and redone before your very eyes and that is when it is important that you can pull in meetings whenever needed

    the message from Yahoo is - we are in Restart mood and nothing will be as before - adapt or leave

    "Another ex-Yahoo, former ad tech executive Michael Katz, told us banning working from home was something Mayer "absolutely" had to do."Working from home may be convenient for some but it represents a huge opportunity cost to the team, especially a team that's trying to turn things around.""The value in human interaction is greater collective wisdom as a result of improved communication & collaboration.""It's really all about improving the likelihood that meaningful interaction will translate to meaningful (shareholder) value."

  • upgrading your television with a kit ..... example samsung smart tv

    Samsung's Evolution Kit, which was introduced at CES 2012, is a plugin that can transform Samsung Smart TVs from its 2012 range into models with the latest features from this year's line. The firm says that each kit can be plugged into the back of an older television, and includes hardware enhancements including improvements to CPU and GPU which will give users faster speeds when surfing the web or using apps.

    The Evolution Kit will also bring improvements to the Smart Interaction features, including voice control and motion control.


    maybe now they will think about a blackbox that would monitor what we are doing online or with our tv or send messages to us by tv (changing the news for example) or am I watching too much big brother

  • why the pressure not to use Office at belgian schools will increase

    although I have now the opinion that Microsoft Office is the best and most stable setup for business and organisations - and the bigger the easier

    I didn't want to buy a Microsoft Office for at home ? Why

    to write a letter once in a while ?

    but the only reason I did was because my children needed it because at school it was not only all Microsoft Office on the computers - it was also Microsoft Office (and only Office) in the IT-courses when they became older (which may be practical for students who in a few years will go on to work as secretaries)

    and so I had to fork out a bit more than 100 Euro's for that licence

    now I hear that Microsoft has shot themselves another time in the foot - and big time this time

    "If you buy a perpetual retail license for Office 2013, it will be locked to the computer you first install it on, forever. Buy a new PC and you won't be allowed to install your existing copy of Office on it, even if you wipe the disk of the old PC. You'll have to splurge for a new one.


    This is a change in policy from Office 2010. Office 2010 permitted a single transition from one PC to a new one. It's not, however, an entirely new policy: OEM pre-installed versions of Office (and Windows) are similarly tied to their (OEM) hardware and can't migrate.

    how stupid can you be

    how can you be so much in the tunnel vision that you only see the small cash you win the first time before it will begin to crack and crumble because

    if the parents don't want to spend 100 euro's a year at Office at home - whatever you call it - and tell their teachers so - who will tell their inspectors - who will tell the minister - who will afraid about the impact loosen the interpretation of what officepackage children should learn or what compentency they should learn (how to make a table with calculations and not in which program - how to write a business letter and not in a specific program) than the social basis of your business monopoly will crumble faster than you could ever imagine

    it is a crisis over here and 100bucks a year makes 500 bucks over the lifetime of a computer or the price of a simple laptop ......

    by the way in windows7 I had a free version with ads and before I used works - which was fine by me

    if microsoft has to learn one good thing from Apple is that you have to become the social and the culture and the spontaneous (social to connect to others, culture to discover and make the spontaneous that you don't think when you chose Microsoft, it is logical and natural)

    and if you really want some more money, pre-install familyversions of Office on the personal computers and add 50 bucks or something like that but give it a max 5 year license - as long as you use it on the same computer - re-installed, upgraded or not

    and 5 years later, the new computer will also take the upgrade with the 5 year Office licence

    oh and last but not least, if you undermine the popularity of Office, you are undermining sharepoint (and that is big cash cow that you even haven't started to milk but for 10% of its capabilities)

    I am sure at Google and a whole series of other products that were in fact more or less giving up, they aren't believing what they are reading and are going singing back to work - 'a new day has begun'..... thank you MS

  • the old Microsoft is coming back to its SURFACE (and why surface and 8 won't sell like this)

    Some in Microsoft may have been a bit too jealous about the imperialistic attitutes at Apple and how they not only got away with it (presenting themselves as an underdog while they should be treated by EC and the US as a dominant player on some markets) but also got that fabuluous praise for it by the press (who is totally paranoid about Microsoft but have forgotten any critical tendency when it comes to Apple).

    So they decided that they too, they will push their users in subscriptions and services and back in a walled garden like compuserve used to be. Maybe some people like that because they may feel safe like that, but maybe they are already with Apple. They look much cooler like technological advanced prisoners with Apple than with Microsoft.

    Microsoft - Windows OS was always about choice. The freedom of choice, the abondance of choice, the possibilities to invent new choices or to make eliminate bad choices.

    Windows8 and even more SurfaceRT are trying to limit that choice. That will fail. It is not the reason we have chosen to take Microsoft windows over Apple (oh and for the linux geeks, linux is another choice but I chose not to be busy with programming or tweeking systems, I just want to turn it on and that it works and that if I don't like it anymore there are hundreds of other possibilities to chose from)

    I already had the impression in my new windows8 that the harassment for that Microsoft service or email that I don't hae and don't need was a bit strange and annoying (I already answered no, so leave me alone)

    now it seems that the users of Surface - which would have been a hit if they made it more userfreedomfriendly - has gone a bit further (which is nice for enterprises which want you only to use their mailserver and not another but not for simple users)

    "That huge hole is the inability of the Surface RT to work with Internet mail sites using POP 3 (post office protocol) for email. In other words, if you use an Internet service provider that delivers email using POP, you won’t be able to get your email that way.

    This fact alone may explain the low sales of the Surface RT tablet, but it is an even more likely explanation for the reports of very high return volumes on the Surface RT. The fact is, when a customer shells out six hundred bucks for a slick new tablet, only to find out that they can’t use it for email, there’s a very high likelihood that they’ll pack it back into the box, head for the Microsoft store and ask for their money back. The customer’s next stop could very well be to the Apple store to use it to buy an iPad, which does work with POP Internet email. I can’t say that Microsoft is keeping this inability to work with the single most common email delivery system a secret, because it’s not. If you happen to check on the Microsoft Website you’ll find out that the Surface and Windows 8 do not support POP. There’s even a list of workarounds you can use.

    correction in SP1 (together with safe boot for starters)

  • The old dialup versus the new content service internetfirms

    Lastly, an updated version of one of my favorites. It’s hard to find two companies that better represent the old and new Internet eras than AOL and Netflix. Both are primarily subscription-based companies, both looking for about $10-20 per month from you. And as you can see, their popularity is almost exactly the opposite of each other.

    oh and AOL makes its profilt nearly exlcusively from the premium services - even with only 2 million general subscribers

    AOL Netflix Chart

  • problems with exchange servers after Apple IOS upgrade (Vodafone for example)

    Vodafone has urged iPhone 4S owners to not upgrade to iOS 6.1, the latest available, because it believes the software jams 3G and phone connections.

    Vodafone claimed that the bug is Apple's fault and that it affects Voda's rivals as well as its own UK network, although it only named Three Austria* as another impacted telco. The warning comes amid reports that iOS 6.1 overwhelms Microsoft Exchange servers and is apparently crippling some corporate networks.

    In emails and texts to customers, and a forum post here, Vodafone told iPhone 4S fanbois to skip version 6.1 of Apple's mobile operating system until the Cupertino giant fixes the connectivity performance bug.

  • welcome to belgium if businesses are fleeing the UK uncertainty about Europe

    well just as some french fortunes are coming to Belgium to pay less taxes

    we will be welcoming soon British based industries and services who will need an office in the Eurozone and the European Community in case the UK in 4 years from here (but what is that for a business) pulls or gets out of the EC or is considered as practically not part of it or not relevant anymore (and so has no power on the decisionprocess). And you know as a business that to have power you need to have investments in the countries that can influence the decisionprocess. And as the UK will have less it becomes less interesting....

    so you will now see the first plans getting made to set up first small offices on the EC mainland or to move production or further development to the mainland - beginning with financial services

    shooting yourself in the foot either way you interpret this speech by Cameron

    well, it will make the decisionprocess inside Europe much more simple and maybe now we will be able to move forward from the onlyfreemarketmodel (that nearly killed it) to a functional fully democratic union with the normal democratic oversight and elections for every level (this includes the Commission)

    have a cup of tea and enjoy brussels, heart of Europe

  • java needs to fix a long list of securityleaks

    Lately it seems that for every fix released for client-side Java, a couple of new vulnerabilities are introduced. H.D. Moore of Metasploit/Rapid7 recently said that Oracle has a 2-year backlog of Java issues to straighten out, so it’s probably safe to say that the question is not if there will be more vulnerabilities but rather when.

    this means that there are no ten solutions because just as with acrobat pdf now every malware writer knows that if he is looking hard enough he will find a vulnerability to exploit

    for the users it means just stopping to use it and to consider all risks when activating it

    If Oracle doesn't want java to become its biggest debacle it will have to take drastic measures like

    * halting all the development of new versions and functions untill all the issues are resolved

    * changing the way code is written and testen

    * making a monthly patchprocess a normal process with a bigger follow-up on new leaks and issues

    Oracle has to do something now that Microsoft did (and saved it from becoming the most unsafe software around)

    because in the long end

    Java is capable of much but it is not replacable

  • before you start writing an online application in java - think browsers... and users

    first there is what Mega has written about and that is the availability of java in browsers


    Google Chrome: The leading browser, by far. It implements the proposed HTML5 FileSystem API, allowing for fancy features such as recursive folder uploads and efficient downloads. Caveats: Requires user permission to batch-write files after a few unattended completed downloads (for security reasons, and only once per session). Slightly anaemic text rendering.

    Internet Explorer 10: A solid, modern browser with blazing JavaScript performance (even exceeding Chrome's). However, until Microsoft fixes a memory leak in the Blob saving functionality, you have to close and reopen the MEGA tab every couple of hundred megabytes of inbound file transfer. And, until Microsoft implements disk-based Blobs or Chrome's FileWriter API, memory usage for a file download peaks at twice the file's size - hardly efficient.

    Mozilla Firefox 18: Carefully avoids providing any API that would allow writing files from JavaScript.

    Safari 6: No JavaScript file writing, either.

    Internet Explorer 9: Lacks all essential features required for MEGA: File I/O, Web Workers, ArrayBuffers, and binary cross-domain HTTP access. Nice text rendering, though.

    Opera: No JavaScript file writing and exceedingly slow JavaScript crypto operations.

    the other thing is that java is more and more disabled - ok javascript is something different - but in some browsers it is also disabled and you have to give your permission for everything scriptbased

  • new word : phablets : making a small tablet out of a phone

    As trends go, it’s been hard to miss this one: Smartphones are getting bigger. Much bigger. Samsung has been championing huge phones for well over a year, introducing its original 5.3-inch whopper — the Galaxy Note — in 2011, and firing out a 5.5-inch successor last year, going on to ship more than 5 million Galaxy Note IIs in the first two months. More recently CES was awash with whoppers – from Sony’s 5-incher to Huawei’s 6.1-inch beast (incidentally, screen size inflation also struck in the tablet space: witness this 20-incher). Even Apple hasn’t been able to stand firm against the ever-expanding waistlines of its rivals, adding half an inch to the iPhone 5’s pane last year, pushing it up from 3.5 to 4 inches.


    But unlike many a flash-in-the-pan craze, the so-called phablet (phone-cum-tablet) phenomenon is, I would argue, here to stay — and I say this as a person with small hands who still uses a phone with a 3.5-inch screen because it’s the perfect size to fit into my palm. But this no longer feels normal, or, increasingly, entirely functional. The thing is, phones are getting bigger for a reason: what we use them for is changing. This is technology evolution in action.

    just do not worry they are safe even if there is no security on them :)

    makes me think of windows NT

    and it took 10 years of hard work to change the security in the advantage of the users

  • The Sandy Crisismaps by Google maps 2.0

    making it easy to index and collect information

    you see if gas is available (see the problems even today)

    where there is shelter, help and so on

    and images from the disaster (insurance)

  • What is the Open Wireless Movement

    Last year, we wrote a post titled "Why We Need An Open Wireless Movement." Today, EFF is proud to announce the launch of the Open Wireless Movement—located at—a coalition effort put forth in conjunction with nine other organizations: Fight for the Future, Free Press, Internet Archive, NYCwireless, the Open Garden Foundation, OpenITP, the Open Spectrum Alliance, the Open Technology Institute, and the Personal Telco Project.


    Aimed at residences, businesses, Internet service providers (ISPs), and developers, the Open Wireless Movement helps foster a world where the dozens of wireless networks that criss-cross any urban area are now open for us and our devices to use.



    The Open Wireless Movement envisions a world where people readily have access to open wireless Internet connections—a world where sharing one's network in a way that ensures security yet preserves quality is the norm. Much of this vision is attainable now. In fact, many people have routers that already feature "guest networking" capabilities. To make this even easier, we are working with a coalition of volunteer engineers to build technologies that would make it simple for Internet subscribers to portion off their wireless networks for guests and the public while maintaining security, protecting privacy, and preserving quality of access. And we're working with advocates to help change the way people and businesses think about Internet service.

  • Cheap 3D printing and how to keep it cheap (and not locked in)

    Julie Samuels EFF


    Thanks to the open hardware community, you can now have a 3D printer in your home for just a few hundred dollars, with dozens of printer models to choose from and build upon. Community-designed printers already outclass proprietary printers costing 30 times as much. This incredible innovation is possible because the core patents covering 3D printing technologies started expiring several years ago, allowing projects such asRepRap to prove what we already knew—that openness often outperforms the patent system at spurring innovation.


    Open hardware printers have been used for rapid prototyping of new inventions, to print replacement parts for household objects and appliances, by DIY scientists to turn a power drill into a centrifuge, for a game in which you can engineer your own pieces, and for thousands of other purposes by makers of all stripes. Projects like MakerBot and Solidoodle have made 3D printers accessible on a plug-and-play basis, so you don’t even need a soldering iron to start manufacturing objects you designed or downloaded from the Internet. As additional patents expire, the open hardware community will be able to unleash its creative spirit on new technologies, technologies that have already been used to design custom prosthetics, guitars, shoes, and more. The possibilities are limitless.


    The Problem 


    While many core patents restricting 3D printing have expired or will soon expire, there is a risk that “creative” patent drafting will continue to lock up ideas beyond the 20-year terms of those initial patents or that patents will restrict further advances made by the open hardware community. The incremental nature of innovation in 3D printing makes it particularly unsuitable for patenting, as history has shown.


    The Project 


    We’ve said before that the America Invents Act failed to address many of the patent system’s worst problems. Despite that, it does include at least one provision we think could be helpful: the newly implemented Preissuance Submission procedure. That procedure allows third parties to participate in the patent application process by creating a vehicle to provide patent examiners with prior art. We’re glad to see the Patent Office open up the process to those who might not be filing patents themselves, but who are affected by the patent system everyday. We’re also glad that this new process may help stem the tide of improvidently-granted patents.


    EFF and the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society are working together to use this new process to challenge patent applications that particularly threaten growing 3D printing technologies. As a first step, we are evaluating 3D printing patent applications currently pending before the Patent Office to identify potential target applications. We need your help! If you know of any applications covering 3D printing technology that you think should be challenged, please let us know by emailing (and also point us to any relevant prior art you might know about).


    To get involved with the search, go to the USPTO’s application search toolPAIR, and/or Google Patents. Each of these sources contains valuable details about the applications currently pending before the USPTO.


    Here’s the thing: under the current rules, a patent application may only be challenged by a Preissuance Submission within six months of its publication (or before the date of the first rejection, if that comes later).
    This means the clock is already ticking on the current crop of patent applications.


    Once target applications are identified, we will seek out relevant prior art. We’ll be asking for your help again then, so please watch this space.


    Any document that was publicly available before an application was filed is considered prior art; this can include emails to public lists, websites, and even doctoral theses. Because of the time limit, once we identify the target applications, we must complete the prior art search quickly.


    We’re glad there’s a new way to to challenge dangerous patent applications before they become dangerous patents. But the America Invents Act and the search capabilities of the Patent Office’s website won’t make this job easy. We need your help to get this done, so please do what you can to help protect the 3D printing community from overbroad patents that can threaten exciting innovation.