Settling patent infringments or is it extortion

Microsoft has settled a patent dispute related to Android as well as the Chrome OS with Motorola Solutions [this is not Motorola Mobility which was bought by Google for its patents and then sold to Lenovo recently].

As usual, Microsoft has not disclosed any payments or what was the issue with the infringement although some think it is related to the use of FAT32 technology in removable media cards and the like.

This is one of over twenty companies that have settled with Microsoft over the past number of years regarding [I will assume to be] the same infringement. Other settled include Amazon, Dell, HTC, and Samsung.

Now it is funny that when I read the various blogs you have some who call this extortion or similar.

Here’s a scenario I always the “extortionist” camp: You are the owner [or CEO] of a major Fortune 500 company. You spent $100 million on developing this new technology that will revolutionize the basket weaving business. Are you about to give the technology away for free? I don’t think so [and if you do, you are probably an idiot who shouldn't be running the company].

If you are settling with Microsoft [in this case], it means that you know you have done something [that is potentially] illegally.

Some still think Microsoft is this huge company with clout. Microsoft has lost some of its clout. Now it is either Apple or Google. I wonder how many of those who suggested extortion would be saying the same comments if it was either Google or Apple.

The fact that 20+ companies have signed deals with Microsoft shows that they are right. Can 20+ companies were extorted by Microsoft? If so, their shareholders would not like it.

How to download the Windows 8/8.1 Pro ISO

Are you in need of the ISO for Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro? Sometimes you do need it for backup purposes. Here is how to get it.

For Windows 8, click here.

For Windows 8.1, click here.

You must download the ISO corresponding to your edition. So if you have a Windows 8 serial number, download the Windows 8 ISO and not the Windows 8.1 ISO.

  1. Run the EXE file.
  2. Enter your valid serial number.
  3. The application verifies the serial number goes with what you want to download.
  4. The download begins. Note that it is not installing – just downloading.
  5. You then have a choice to install, save to the desktop or create media [ISO file or USB key]. If using a USB key, make sure it is 8GB or greater.

Untested, but that little option to make the ISO work for all versions, could work here.

Note: Unsure if the download for Windows 8.1 includes Update 1.

Fixes for Windows 8.1 Update 1 failures

There has been a few issues with Windows 8, Update 1.

Before I begin, this update is mandatory. Without this update, you will not receive future updates as of this month.

If you receive error 0x80071a91, download the update KB2939087 which will fix the problem. Then try again.

If you receive any of the errors 0×80070020, 0x800f081f, or 0×8007312 then this is a problem within Windows 8.1 [i.e. the problem was there before trying to install the update]. You will need to follow this procedure:

sfc /scannow

  • Remove KB2919355 package:

dism /online /remove-package /packagename:Package_for_KB2919355~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.3.1.14

  • Clean up the WinSxS folder:

dism /online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup /resetbase

  • Clean up disk with system files remove:

cleanmgr.exe

  • Restart computer.
  • Run offline installer:

Windows8.1-KB2919355-x64.msu

You may be able to trim the fixing time by just doing both dism commands and then re-run the update but I’d go for all steps to be safe.

See here for reference.

How to check for the Heartbleed vulnerability

If you are looking to see if your favorite web sites may have the Heartbleed vulnerability, try this web page.

Note: You don’t have to test web sites where you don’t log into [such as http://www.google.com unless you are using Gmail, Google+, etc.]. Almost all Microsoft sites such as the main web site, Hotmail/Outlook.com and Skype and unaffected as they are using Windows servers. Windows servers do not use OpenSSL.

Be warned that scams have started already concerning the Heartbleed vulnerability.

First, there is no update for any version of Windows because Windows doesn’t have the problem by default [as previously mentioned].  You would need to be running a web site – and even then.

Already, any Apple iOS device with AnyConnect could have an issue. Same for Juniper Pulse (for business remote access).

If you receive an unexpected Email addressed to you by Email addess only and not by your name, be weary of the message. When in doubt, contact the place/company directly and not by any information in the Email.  And of course, don’t click on any link.

Only once when the site has been fixed should you change your password – not before!

Goodbye Windows XP

Well, today is the end of Windows XP [some originally gave it a nickname of Windows 2002].

I won’t go over again what I said before about what will happen because I have mentioned the implications before.

What I will say is that it was at one point the best-selling as well as most widely used operating systems over.

It was a huge leap compared to its predecessor, Windows 2000 [although Windows 2000 wasn’t so bad on its own].

I had actually waited a half a year to install Windows XP even though I had a promo copy lying around [don’t remember how I got it – must have been some seminar].

At work, we were using Windows 2000. So there was no rush to switch to Windows XP. [The company at the time was just finally migrating to Windows 2000 from Windows NT 4.0. Good riddance on the latter.]

But when I switched, I was a happy camper. Initially I used the “classic” Start menu [i.e. what you saw in Windows 2000 and the Windows 9x versions prior] and only switched to the Windows XP menu maybe a year later.

I was a regular Windows XP user for maybe 6-7 years. I had then jumped to Windows Vista [ya, I know] in 2009 but dual booting with Windows XP for 9 months.

After the 9 months I had dual booted between Windows 7 and Windows XP on a new system. About 3 months ago, when I built my current system, Windows XP was dropped, except in a virtual machine.

Through the four years of dual booting Windows 7 and Windows XP, I spent more time updating the system once a month than anything else. No point in continuing to have it, especially when the end is near.

Anyways, Windows XP, it was nice knowing you. Have a good time in retirement in Florida where you can retire in the sun and talk about the old days with Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0 and the others – and even Windows Me.

The return of the Start menu and free Windows coming soon

At Microsoft’s annual Build 2014 conference – a conference primarily for developers – Microsoft made a few important announcements.

One of the two big announcements is that the beloved Start menu will return to Windows, according to Terry Myerson, the Executive Vice President of the operating system group.

The problem is that his when he said the update would be in “the next iteration of Windows” it is unsure if he meant that it would return in Windows 9 [more likely] or a possible “Update 2″ to Windows 8.1 [less likely]. “Update 1″ was released in April.

The second big announcement is that Windows across all platforms will be free if installed on a device of 9 inches or less as well as on “Internet of Things” devices. Some are wondering on how they will be able to verify the size screen and whether or not end-users can install the OS for free.

I am guessing like offering the OS at a cheap price to OEMs announced recently [if the device is under $250], the same will hold for the free version. You obviously don’t want the end user to get a copy of Windows for free and then install it on their Core i7 desktop that definitely doesn’t have a screen size of less than 9 inches. [Can a version of Windows detect your screen size?]

Myerson also told Build attendees that Microsoft plans to allow developers to build “Universal Apps” that will work across Windows Phone, Windows and Xbox devices.

Watch out from Conduit software

A word of warning. If you use DivX to view videos [as well as some other free software], it installs Conduit search software.

Conduit takes over your search engine and default home page in your web browser(s).

In Programs and Features it may be listed as “Conduit Search Protect” or “Search Protect by Conduit”. If you see it, uninstall and then use some antic-malware software to remove remnants.

Malwarebyte’s Anti-Malware software considers it as [a form of] malware. Additionally, if you use your favourite search engine, do a search on the keywords “is conduit malware”.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 60 other followers