by CIO Staff

Google, the BlackBerry and Microsoft: blog

Feb 01, 20064 mins

patent stamp rubber stamp patented idea pencil paper clip
Credit: Getty Images

By Constantine von Hoffman

Am I the only one in in the country who hasn’t filed a patent infringement lawsuit over a BlackBerry-like technology? Is it too late to patent the typewriter? How about cuneiform?

However, the lawsuits over this are going to be as nothing compared to what should happen if Cingular prevails in its attempt to get a patent for the email smiley face, aka emoticon. Quoth Cellular News:

The USA based mobile operator, Cingular Wireless has managed to get a patent on the concept of using emoticon on mobile phones. While the aim of the patent is to enable the displaying of MSN style graphics on handsets, they also managed to patent the delivery of text based emoticon – so presumably sending 🙂 via an SMS – if selected via a dedicated or softkey, would be a breach of the patent in future.

Over at Slashdot they’re pointing out that AT&T and more than a dozen others have filed patents on some aspect of the damn things. FWIW, I’m going to file a patent on text message abbreviations. LOL. 🙁

I’ve been told by a good friend and blackberry user that I will know immediately when/if BlackBerry ceases operations: The earth will get increasingly hot as it starts spinning towards the sun. Just FYI (patent pending).

Google Cashes and EarnsThe fallout from Google’s decision to get in bed with the Chinese government continues to have no effect on the company’s financial well being. Disappointing earnings are said to be the reason that Google’s stock dropped 12 percent yesterday. Live by the expectations, die by the expecations. The stock dropped even though Not including traffic acquisition costs–fees paid to partners–the company’s revenue was $1.92 billion or up more than 85 percent a year ago.

Quote from the AP story on the topic: “Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have always insisted they will run their 7-year-old company the way they want, even if it means ignoring stock market pressures to hit a widely watched earnings target.”

And yet they cited business reasons for going along with Beijing’s various dictates. Hmmm, wouldn’t that mean Page and Brin are personally culpable for the decision and can’t blame it on fiduciary responsibility? I guess so.

And speaking of pearls before swine fried rice … or perhaps just swine before trichinosis: Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Cisco have all declined to send a representative to an upcoming a Congressional meeting/PR stunt on human rights, China and the Internet. Shocking.

Moving from barnyard animals to rodents … Microsoft is crafting some weasel rules that will explain how it will deal with government complaints about Web sites and blogs. Following its 15 minutes of shame over the decision to pull the blog of a critic of the Chinese government, Microsoft said that in the future it will only block access to diaries on its MSN Internet portal when is presented with a court order or other legally binding decision.

“That was one of the things that made us sit and think. (Now) it will be transparent what is happening and why,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief counsel managed to say with a straight face.

Ah yes, the great independent Chinese judiciary is going to stand up for the little guy. I expect the similar shows of jurisprudential wisdom from Burma, North Korea, Iran, Malaysia, etc., etc., etc. This, folks, is how to make a fig leaf out of paper.

DDR or DDR? Can anyone explain to me why the cost of a round of Dance Dance Revolution is of such importance to CIOs? Am I missing something here?

To paraphrase Elvis Costello: I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused … no, wait, still disgusted. For those of you seeking even more allegedly humorous fare, allow me to direct you to my other blog, Collateral Damage, which makes fun of marketing. Also, I am told by people in the know, that the comments section below still works. I do indeed read and respond to all and also award genuine useless CIO swag for the best comments. Comment now while the bar for that is still set really, really low.