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The Buzz Report
Kindle 2 and patent furyThis week, Molly's got a problem with the U.S. Patent Office, and it ain't pretty.
>> Now, from the number one on-air and online information source for the digital age. ^M00:00:06 [ Music ] ^M00:00:12 >> Molly: Hi, I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the Buzz Report the show about the tech news that everyone is talking about, let's get started with the gadget of the week. We received word this week of an Amazon press conference at which, we hope, the Kindle II might be announced, well, I hope at least, I want that thing. Word is that the Kindle II may be a slightly more attractive version that fixes some of the design problems of the older model such as the problem where if you try to hold it you turn the page, oops. No word yet on what new features it might include but the Amazon press conference is scheduled for February 9th, fingers crossed people who still like to read. And now let's find out what's in the headlines. ^M00:00:49 [ Music ] ^M00:00:53 >> Molly: The U.S. Senate has voted to delay the big digital TV transition from February 17th to June 12th but the House voted not to delay it, none of this is helping. A New Zealand man bought a used MP3 player in Okalahoma and found the names, phone numbers, and social security numbers of American soldiers plus troop and equipment lists and private personnel information. The troops responded, "An MP3 player, really, not a super secret self-destructing hard drive or even like a computer," respect. And Microsoft put out Internet Explorer 8 release candidate one this week so close to the final version that no one should use. I don't care if they say it's more secure they always say that. Alright, and now for the big buzz of the week after almost a year of careful deliberation the U.S. Patent Office awarded Apple a patent on the multi-touch user interface. The patent covers almost every facet of the touch-screen interface like detecting one or more finger contacts on the display using one or more fingers for scrolling, swiping from side to side, the pinch and zoom picture thing, and so on. Now, as you might imagine I have a problem with this. ^M00:02:08 [ Music ] ^M00:02:12 >> Molly: Here's my problem, it's not that Apple filed this incredibly broad patent that could apply to everything from the Pro Pre to the Microsoft Surface Table to an ATM, they're allowed at least try. My problem is this, patent office you are killing me there is prior art on multi-touch technology dating back to 1982. A paper published in 1991 discussed the use of multi-finger and pinching motions on touch-screens; this is on Wikipedia you could look this up I did and the patent process is supposed to take into account whether an idea is non-obvious. Don't you think that Apple's 2008 patent filing on the idea of a finger pressing a touch-screen surface seems a little bit obvious? Why does Apple even get this patent? Is it because intellectual property lawsuits are such a fun sport? Is the patent office working with Fox on a new reality show called "You stole my idea sucka?" How is this okay? Anyway, look for Apple to file a lawsuit against Palm and day now over the Pre, jury's out on whether they'll sue Microsoft over Surface or Windows 7, ATM's for just being ATM's or suit for Dell over their multi-touch laptops. Maybe they'll just stick to crushing the innovations of Palm and all the unborn multi-touch technologies that we'll never get to see. Good job patent office multi thumbs up on this one. And that's pretty much all the time we've got for today plus I'm exhausted. I'm Molly Wood and this has been the Buzz Report, thanks for watching. ^M00:03:39 [ Music ]