Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Microsoft Barred From Selling Word, but Not From Making Great Fake Web Videos

microsoft-viral-adPlanning on buying a new copy of Microsoft Word? You may want to hurry up: Redmond will be barred from selling the software in the next two months–if the company isn’t able to overturn a Texas judge’s ruling.

Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ordered a permanent injunction yesterday that will ostensibly prohibit Microsoft (MSFT) from selling Word within 60 days. It’s the result of a lawsuit filed by Toronto-based i4i, which claims that Microsoft violated a patent it owns regarding XML files. Microsoft is also supposed to hand over $290 million in damages.

There are more details from SeattlePi.com (still extant!) and TechDirt. But the most salient point here is that this is a ruling on a patent lawsuit filed in eastern Texas, which generally exists in its own orbit when it comes to patent lawsuits. So odds that this one will stick are awfully low.

Other equally important news: This footage of a guy in a wetsuit zipping down a giant water slide, up a wooden ramp and flying hundreds of feet through the air before landing in a kiddie pool is not real. It’s just a viral ad for Microsoft Germany.

But it’s pretty cool.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik