close this bookVolume 10: No. 15
View the document1) Computists' news
View the document2) Book and journal calls
View the document3) Funding opportunities
View the document4) Crime and punishment
View the document5) Technology news
View the document6) Information retrieval
View the document7) Soft and hard computing
View the document8) Alife
View the document9) AI languages
View the document10) AI resources

MIT AI researchers Patrick Winston and Boris Katz have sued Ask Jeeves, saying that the natural-language search engine interface violates their 1994-95 patents. [SJM, 18Dec99, 1C.]

John Gilmore is starting a Gilmore Patent License (GPL) movement, similar in spirit to the GNU General Public License (also GPL) for "copyleft" open-source software. The terms are still being worked out, but his license would let anyone use his patented inventions for free as long as they are offering all of their own patents (if any) under the same terms. This permits defensive patent use and the possibility of profit (as those wanting money for their own patents must still negotiate and pay licensing fees). Defensive users will be pooling and sharing their patents, but profit-takers can't join if they demand money from non-profit-takers. [Dan Gillmor , SJM, 07Apr00, 1C.]

The US Sentencing Commission has voted to stiffen punishment for copyright violations, beginning 01May00. Even not-for-profit Internet piracy charges can result in 10-16 months in prison. The punishment for electronic theft is related to item value times the number of downloads, but limited to three years for a first offense. Punishments for identity theft and possession of bogus identification will also be increased, starting 01Nov00. [Washington Times, 05Apr00. Edupage.]

The UCB law school is forming a Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic to study and act on intellectual property and Internet privacy issues. [NY Times, 24Apr00. NewsScan.]

A federal appeals court in Ohio has ruled that encryption code is protected speech because it is a means of communication between computer programmers. This is the first appellate decision to give First Amendment protection of software. Cleveland law professor Peter Junger's suit against export licenses for encryption programs will be reconsidered. [WSJ, 05Apr00. NewsScan.]

Intel plans to post advanced Common Data Security Architecture software for free download, by mid-May. [Reuters. SJM, 09Apr00. NewsScan.]

Microsoft says that Windows will incorporate biometric authentication technology from I/O Software Inc. [Reuters. LA Times, 03May00. NewsScan.]

Sony's PlayStation2 is so good at quickly processing high-quality images that Japan's Trade Ministry says it could be used for missile guidance and other military uses. A Military export license will be required. [AP/LA Times, 17Apr00. NewsScan.]

Over 100 security-conscious companies have hired a CRO, or Chief Risk Officer, to watch for technical, economic, or public-relations dangers. [Del Jones, USA Today. SJM, 07May00, 7D.]

----- "Those concerned with the perfectibility of humankind should ponder why there are so many more classified ads labeled LOST than there are labeled FOUND." -- George Spelvin. -----