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Microsoft has once again been stymied in its long-running patent infringement battle with tiny Toronto-based i4i, a struggle that may cost the software giant nearly $300 million.
The case has long since ceased to have any potential impact on Microsoft customers. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) removed the infringing code last year via patches issued to its customers.
The latest blow to Microsoft came from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which ruled that i4i’s patent on Custom XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is valid after Microsoft had requested the patent be declared invalid. The smaller firm filed its suit for infringement in March 2007 after attempts to negotiate a settlement failed.
Microsoft was found to be culpable of “willfully” infringing i4i’s patent, which dates back to 1994, by a U.S. District Court jury last spring. In August, the court levied penalties, fines, and interest of some $290 million.
Additionally, Microsoft was enjoined from selling any copies of Word or Office, which contains Word, that included its own Custom XML editor. That meant Word 2003 and 2007. Microsoft pulled the offending packages from the market and, in the cases of Word 2007 and Office 2007, replaced them with versions that do not contain the patented code.
Office 2010, which is being formally launched on Wednesday, does not contain the infringing code.
That leaves Microsoft with few options — none of which will impact the IT world soon beyond the changes that have already been ordered by the courts. However, the case could ultimately affect how patent cases are handled and could help to jump start software patent reform long term.
“We are disappointed, but there still remain important matters of patent law at stake, and we are considering our options to get them addressed, including a petition to the Supreme Court,” Kevin Kutz, Microsoft director of public affairs, said in an e-mailed statement. Of course, Microsoft could decide to drop its appeals, but that doesn’t seem likely at this point.
In the meantime, i4i is savoring another victory in its battle with Microsoft.
“The patent office did a very exhaustive review … [and] clearly this is a welcome decision,” Loudon Owen, chairman of i4i told chúng tôi The USPTO sent i4i a Notice of Intent to Issue [an] Ex Parte Reexamination Certificate on April 28, and a Reexamination Certificate is pending, Owen said.
After the initial loss in district court, Microsoft filed an appeal, which it lost. It then asked the entire appeals court to hear its appeal “en banc” — meaning by all the judges in that appeals court circuit instead of just the original panel of three judges.
The appeals court denied Microsoft’s petitionfor an en banc rehearing in early April.
Now, Microsoft’s flanking move to try to have the patent itself declared invalid has also been stymied.
That leaves the possibilities of settlement negotiations or a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. Currently, the latter appears to be more likely than the former.
Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at chúng tôi the news service of chúng tôi the network for technology professionals.
You're reading Microsoft Strikes Out With The Patent Office
Although Microsoft Office is unarguably the best office suite for any computer, people look for other free or paid alternatives for two main reasons. Microsoft adopted a subscription model and high-price of Office 2023. In addition to the price point, common users, who want to perform basic tasks, like to use free software packages like Google Docs to create, edit, and share documents. No matter where you stand in this situation, you can always check some of the best Microsoft Office alternatives for Mac.
1. Google Suite
For the last 13 years, G Suite has been providing business solutions in cloud computing, productivity, and collaboration. Since this package includes Google Drives, Mac users can easily create, store, and share their documents from anywhere.
When your team is spread across the length and breadth of the world, this cloud-based software is one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Office for Mac. Apart from PDF and DOC files, you can share your iWork files with others.
Since G Suite boasts minimalist features, it is popular among enterprises. However, some features are deeply rooted in menus; for this reason, G Suite requires some time to explore its full features. If you are familiar with Chrome or Chrome OS, you won’t face any challenge in using this package.
LibreOffice can easily fill the vacuum left by Windows and macOS. And one of the first thing it does is to support nearly all document formats. The best thing about LibreOffice is its Office-like interface.
Unlike Windows Microsoft Office, this does not ask you for frequent updates. A notable feature of this suite is you can export files into PDF format.
Users, however, complained about the change in fonts and formatting when they export documents from LibreOffice to MS Office. With a smaller download size of 228MB, it is quick to install and use on your Mac. The software is a reliable productivity tool if you are looking for a free alternative to Microsoft Office for Mac.
3. iWork Suite
iWork mainly involves Pages, Numbers, and Keynote – these three will quickly remind you of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint of Microsoft Office. However, Apple’s ecosystem makes the three accessible to all devices that bear this tech giant’s name. Thus, you can work in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote on Mac, iPad, and iPhone.
On iPad, you can use Apple Pencil to add illustrations and notations to your documents. iWork is lighter than MS Office, and this is one of the reasons why Mac users avoid using MS Office.
Pages is amazing, in so many words. Especially when I create sensational-looking documents and access the same on non-Apple computers. Yes, Apple lets you use Pages, Numbers, and Keynote on Windows computer using iCloud.
4. Open Office
Apache Open Office boasts six impressive tools to set up your office in your Mac. This software suite comprises Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, and Math.
While Writer, Calc, and Impress are lookalikes of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, the other three have successfully diverged from MS Office. Draw helps you create from simple diagrams to dynamic 3D illustrations.
With Base, you can create and edit tables, forms, queries, and reports. And Math allows you to create mathematical calculations with a graphic user interface.
It is your open source software package, and therefore, you can fix bugs and send your suggestions for improvement. Moreover, it has an active online community, which can help you if you are in a fix.
5. WPS Office
Moreover, it’s customizable, so you can pick the menu style you like most. Pretty neat! I also appreciate that it supports tabbed document editing, similar to a web browser. Further, you get an integrated cloud with 1 GB of storage!
That’s all folks!
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Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.
I pre-ordered the 32Gb Wi-Fi model of the Apple iPad, and I have been immersing myself in what it can, and can’t do, for the past couple days since it arrived. I am still trying to test the boundaries of what the iPad can do as a mobile business tool and determine its limitations as a notebook replacement.
But, the question before me is whether or not the iPad has what it takes for me to leave the notebook at home and rely on the tablet device for business productivity functions as well. One of the weaknesses of the iPad is the limited storage capacity. Its not expandable, so whatever you bought is what you’re stuck with–on the device itself at least.
The iPad does have access to the cloud, though. And, the cloud, unlike the iPad, has virtually limitless storage capacity. Many small and medium businesses are already leveraging cloud-based apps for office productivity with Google Docs–a natural fit for the iPad.
With my Wi-Fi only iPad, though, I can’t count on always being connected to the cloud. Thankfully, Memeo has an app to solve that problem sort of. Memeo Connect Reader syncs your documents from Google Docs so they are available on the iPad even when its offline. You can view the docs no matter where you are–connected or not–in native formats for Microsoft Office, Apple iWorks, PDF files and more.
Problem solved–assuming you use Google Docs and that you don’t want to create or edit any docs while offline. Memeo Connect Reader just views, otherwise it would probably be called Memeo Connect Editor.
You can also use the iWork for iPad apps to edit docs you have synced up with the iPad using iTunes when you have it connected to your desktop or notebook. However, if you’re out and about and suddenly need to edit a doc that you didn’t have the foresight to sync to the iPad, you’re more or less out of luck.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any way–at least no simple or intuitive way–to grab a file from cloud-based storage and open or edit it with the iWork apps. If you don’t have iTunes to import the file and sync it with iWork, then you won’t be able to edit it on the go.
However, my trials and tribulations trying to work with simple business productivity files has demonstrated some of the reasons that the HP Slate tablet could be a much better business tool than the iPad. However, the functionality has to be balanced with the weight and battery life of the device, two areas that the iPad excels in.
Another option, though, could be to use remote desktop solutions like Array Networks or Core Plus to simply stream your desktop or netbook to your iPad. Then, as long as you have a Wi-Fi (or 3G) connection, you can simply use the software you are used to using, and have access to all of your files and data no matter where you might be.
Tony Bradley is co-author of Unified Communications for Dummies . He tweets as @Tony_BradleyPCW . You can follow him on his Facebook page .
It’s been a few weeks since the release of Office 2013 and the response is somewhat mixed because Microsoft is trying something new, that is, a subscription-based model with Office 365 to get access to one of the most popular office suite of applications in the world, instead of continue licensing the software with the same benefits like in previous versions.
Now, if you’re not in favor of paying a yearly subscription ($99) or you simply feel that $219.99 is a steep price for the standalone version of Office Home & Business 2013, you still have a choice. LibreOffice is a great free alternative to Office 2013, is fast and well-documented open source project based on the good old OpenOffice.What it offers
With LibreOffice you get: Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, Math and Draw. You pretty much can figure out that LibreOffice Writer is the equivalent to Microsoft Word, LibreOffice Calc is the equivalent to Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice Impress is the equivalent to PowerPoint, and so on…Microsoft Office support
Another great feature is that it has support for Office documents file formats (*.doc, *.docx, *.xls, *.xlsx and many others). This way, you don’t have to worry when a friend or co-worker sends you a new file to work with or if you need to display a presentation using a PowerPoint document.Free for all
The key feature of this suite is that it’s absolutely free, you don’t have to pay for a standalone product key, you don’t have to pay a yearly subscription, you get free updates and it upgrades as they come available, and you can install LibreOffice on as many computers as you want, because you aren’t limited to only five devices or one PC if you buy Office 2013.
LibreOffice is based on LGPL public license, meaning that you can do anything you want with it. If you had the skills, you could modify and customize it to suit all of your needs.Support
Also there is free support, not exactly the same dedicated support you’ll get when you purchase Microsoft Office, but it’s a good support. LibreOffice has a Get Help page, there you’ll find documentation on how to get started and how to install the software — It’s worth noting that there is a portable version of LibreOffice as well –. There is online help for each applications, mailing list, Wiki community driven in the works, and even you can use the IRC channels to get help.About the applications
Writer: is the word processor, powerful enough to get the work done. From writing a quick message to develop your next big novel with graphics, tables of content, diagrams and bibliographies. It also offers auto-formatting, spell checker and smart auto-completion to get things done quickly.
Impress: is the office and school presentation application and as PowerPoint, you can create great animations and special effects to make your presentation stand out and make them look professional.
Draw: is an application to help you build diagrams and sketches (very similar to Microsoft Visio). If you are involved in a special project, you can use Draw to create boxes, lines and arrows to illustrate procedures that will get the project done.
Base: is the database application. You can easily integrate import database structures into the other applications within LibreOffice, or you can create a standalone database. It supports links and queries from MySQL, PostgreSQL or Microsoft Access and various others.
Math: is the equation editor for LibreOffice. It allows you correctly display mathematical, chemical, scientific and electrical equations easily in standard written notation.
Finally a very useful tool integrated in with LibreOffice is the PDF file creator, this way you can create a document and export or save as PDF file.What you don’t get
LibreOffice 4.0 doesn’t have all the same features found in Microsoft Office, for starters those users who now are very familiar with the ribbon menu, unique to Office since the 2007 version as part of the “Fluent User Interface”, is not part of this open source suite. But it still share many similarities to the traditional version of Office, that most of us are accustomed anyway. This means that there isn’t much training to start using these applications.
Although LibreOffice is an excellent alternative worth considering instead of paying for a Microsoft Office 365 subscription or buying one copy for one PC of the standalone version of Office 2013, it is still not a great option. There are certain other things you won’t get. For example, we are living in fast paced world and having cloud storage and web version of the applications, that enables you to edit documents on the fly using a smartphone, is getting really important. LibreOffice is a standalone office suite that you can only install on Windows PCs, Macs, or Linux and do not have cloud or mobile solution.
However, you can always complement LibreOffice with SkyDrive and the free version of Office Web Apps or Google Drive with Google Docs.
Also there isn’t an email client like Outlook that you often find in Office. But there is the Mail app for Windows 8 or the free Mozilla Thunderbird email client as other alternatives.Wrapping up
Considering that LibreOffice is free, this software is very well packed with many features, more than enough to get your work or school homework done. It supports Microsoft file formats, so you know that if you receive an Office document from someone else, you know you’ll be able to open and edit. And it has a familiar user interface that makes super easy to start using any application without previous training.
Besides, thanks to its cross-platform support, you can install the suite on many machines as you want because there is not a licensing or subscription fees — It’s totally free!
FIX: Microsoft Office Picture Manager not printing
Users often complain that their Microsoft picture manager is not printing due to errors.
We strongly recommend using third-party photo manager software to solve the issue.
Try changing your default printer with our method below to quickly get rid of the problem.
One other thing you could do is updating your printer drivers by following our solution.
All the photo viewer apps offer printing functionality. However, some users have reported Microsoft Office Picture Manager not printing issues on their computers.
One user reported in the Microsoft Community explaining a similar issue:
Three days ago Office Picture Manager stopped printing pictures (HP laptop/HP C4450 Photosmart printer/Windows7). I can still download and edit the pictures. I CAN print the pictures in Picasa.
This error can occur due to incorrect printer setting configuration or outdated printer drivers. Some users have also searched for the following error message:
Print pictures error windows can’t find this picture
In this article, we discuss a couple of troubleshooting tips to help you resolve the Microsoft Office Picture Manager is not printing error in Windows 10.How can I fix Microsoft Office Picture Manager? 1. Use photo editing software
There’s no doubt that you usually see Microsoft Office Picture Manager as a flexible way to manage your pictures. However, there are better tools out there that may handle all your picture printing tasks with ease.
Adobe Photoshop is a great example. You can do so much more than you’re used to from Picture Manager with any of them.
Besides directly printing photos, do note that those easy-to-use tools available in Photoshop are suitable for web and mobile too.
As for the intuitive Adobe Sensei machine learning, it always recognizes people and themes, so that creating an organized album is a matter of mere minutes.2. Change the default printer
Windows can’t automatically find and download new drivers? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right guide for you.4. Check your antivirus program
If you have a third-party antivirus installed, check if it has the Application and Device Control option enabled.
If enabled, the antivirus program can block and disable the functionalities of your printer and other devices.
Open your antivirus program and check the Device Control logs.
If any file is blocked by the application, a file like dllhost.exe, remove it from the list.
Open Microsoft Office Picture Manager and check if you can print now.
Depending on the antivirus you are using, the settings to access the Application and Device Control option may vary.
As the feature can block certain apps from running in a certain location, disabling the feature or removing the file from the blocked app list can help.5. Use a Restore Point
If System Restore isn’t working, don’t panic. Check this useful guide and set things right once again.
This option is particularly helpful if the Picture Manager stopped printing after a power outrage or completing the installation of a new program.
Note that, while the Restore Point does not affect your personal files and data, it will remove any programs installed after the restore point was created.
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CFA Alum Strikes Deep Chord with First Four Notes Book looks at world through Beethoven’s Fifth
In his book The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri (CFA’97) explores the far-reaching significance of the famous opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Photo by Michael Lionstar
In the two centuries since Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his Fifth Symphony, the piece’s iconic opening has etched itself into the human imagination. Those first four notes have become a kind of Rorschach test for a never-ending parade of musicologists, historians, and biographers speculating on Beethoven’s intentions.
In his book The First Four Notes: Beethoven’s Fifth and the Human Imagination (Knopf, 2012), Matthew Guerrieri takes readers on a wild, whimsical 277-page ride as he ponders the famous notes by pulling in far-flung references, from Steve McQueen to Napoleon Bonaparte to A Clockwork Orange to Unitarians. Although he plunges deep into the social, political, and musical world of the Romantic period, Guerrieri (CFA’97) doesn’t shy away from contemporary pop culture. Somehow, it works.
The book has earned widespread critical acclaim and landed Guerrieri, the Boston Globe’s classical music critic, an appearance on the The Colbert Report. In Leon Botstein’s Wall Street Journal review, he writes: “With a quick mind and wit, he traverses two centuries of musical culture, literature, and politics with uncommon authority.” Publisher’s Weekly notes that Guerrieri “clothes his erudition in lucid, breezy prose…the result is a fresh, stimulating interpretation that shows how provocative the familiar classic can be.”
BU Today spoke with Guerrieri recently about the power of those four notes, the enduring mystique of the Fifth, and why no words written on the subject will be the last.BU Today: An NPR piece on your book refers to the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony as “the most well-known notes in classical music.” Do you agree?
Guerrieri: I do. What makes them so particular is they’re probably the four notes of classical music that most people who aren’t even part of classical music would know. They have some sense of who Beethoven was and why the piece is famous. The piece has acquired a fame that’s transcended even the experience of the piece itself in a way.You write a lot about how the symphony begins “literally, with silence,” an eighth rest that translates into a beat given by conductors. But when Beethoven wrote the symphony, there were no conductors. What was he up to?
There were no conductors, but somebody would have gotten it started, usually the concertmaster. The rest is there almost for housekeeping. It’s there because you have to fill out the bar. Beethoven could have started it as just a three-note pickup. But he decided to put the rest in for whatever reason, and probably didn’t think nearly as hard about it as I did. There’s this thing that happens right before the notes that’s in the score, that you don’t actually hear, just a sort of a little intellectual takeoff. It was too much fun to resist. But it is there to indicate this downbeat. And there’s this tradition with Beethoven’s Fifth that you’re supposed to get it started giving one beat, which happens to follow exactly where that rest is, so even the rest has become more important probably than Beethoven intended.Did the idea for the book hit you like a bolt of lightning or did it germinate for a long time?
Actually, it wasn’t my idea. It was an editor’s idea, a man named Marty Asher, who at the time was working at Knopf. And he had this idea that there was a small book there. I ended up delivering a lot more book than he expected, and even that amount of material was really pretty much only scratching the surface of Beethoven and the history of the reception of this piece. I mean, it was a better idea than even he had thought. I was attracted to the idea just because of the sheer variety of angles you could come at it from. Everybody seemingly who’s ever listened to the Fifth Symphony has felt compelled to write something down about it. And the fact that from generation to generation, everybody has felt the need to take stock of it in terms of their own era also just makes it this wonderful timeline.In what ways was Beethoven a pioneer?
Musically, he was an incremental innovator. It’s very easy to trace what he’s drawing from the previous generation, from Mozart, who he loved, and from Haydn, who he actually studied with for a time, although they didn’t really get along. The reviewers talk about the fact that with Beethoven, there’s so many more notes, or, there’s so much more going on. The ideas are coming just a little bit faster or a little bit more abruptly than they’re accustomed to. But still, there’s this idea that he’s very much drawing on the previous generation. I think what makes him such an innovator is that he just never settled. He said, you know, I’m finally there. Because even just tracing his own career, the Fifth Symphony is so different from the music he wrote as a young man. In turn, the music he wrote late in his life is so different from even the Fifth Symphony. He never really stopped.You also paint him as a self-promoter. Did you come to like Beethoven as a person?
Well, parts of him. There are very attractive parts of his personality. There are very unattractive parts of his personality, partially because of who he was and partially because of his reputation and his fame. Those tendencies on both sides tend to be somewhat amplified. You read stories going around of him spurning royalty and even insulting royalty in a way that sort of promoted the equality of men. And that’s somewhat overstated. His own family life was terrible. He seems to have been able to lose friends with great skill. Reading Beethoven’s biography, in a lot of ways, is just watching him having one falling out after another with all manner of people. He certainly seems to have been an incredibly irascible person and a very stubborn person. So it’s hard to say. Would I have liked him as a person? Probably. Would he have liked me? That’s another story.The book, by necessity, sort of dances around the truth, doesn’t it?
One of the things that fueled the Fifth Symphony’s fame was the fact that there are so many stories about it, so many anecdotes about it, so many things that Beethoven supposedly said about it, and the stories themselves are really squishy in terms of what we would think of as historical veracity. The most famous one is this idea that Beethoven called the opening four notes the sound of fate knocking at the door, which is a very suspicious story, because it comes from Anton Schindler, who was a very suspicious, and the only, source for that story, which didn’t come out until about 10 years after Beethoven died. And yet immediately people adopted it, because it’s such a good story. I mean, if Schindler made it up, you’ve got to give him credit.Tell us how you researched the book.
I actually didn’t do very much traveling for it. I am lucky enough to live in an era when the digitalization of a lot of these stories and sources is proceeding apace. But also, a lot of it I was just able to look at on microfilm. So it was thanks to a previous, less glamorous information revolution, which involved this massive microfilming of everything in every library all over the place over the past 50 years. So the fact is that I can go to a library in Boston and be looking at a microfilm of the original manuscript of the Fifth Symphony; it was a little bit of armchair traveling, which was a bit surreal.Much has been written about when Beethoven became deaf. Is that really a big deal in your mind?
I don’t think it’s that big a deal. It’s an interesting story, because of the persistence of the idea that he went suddenly, immediately, and profoundly deaf, that he was struck deaf, which is in some ways more dramatic and in some ways less dramatic than the actual story. The actual story is that his deafness was progressive. And he first noticed it when he was quite young, and it deteriorated over a period of many years, which from a biographical standpoint is much more interesting. Because if you follow Beethoven through his life, you can see him gradually coming to terms with the fact that he’s going deaf, even before he finally reaches that point of being completely deaf.A critic has written that your book restores a sense of beauty, wonderment, and profundity to classical music. Was that your intention?
I don’t think there’s any getting around the fact that we live in an era when the primary way that most people interact with music is passive. We’re passive listeners. There’s a lot of music in the culture that’s specifically designed to be listened to in a more or less passive way, which is not to say that that music can’t yield a lot of really beautiful things when you listen to it in a more active way. I don’t know if the book does this at all. But I would be very happy if it did in some small way encourage people to listen to music, listen to this piece, listen to any piece in a really active way, in a really engaged way, knowing not only that there is this wealth of ideas and history behind any piece of music, classical, pop, or whatever, but also that their own life of ideas and their own life of the mind can also be brought into that experience and can enrich that experience.What’s it like for you now listening to the Fifth Symphony?
You know, the nice thing for me was, I don’t remember when I first heard it. There are a lot of pieces that I remember the first time I heard them, but the Fifth Symphony has always just kind of been there, which meant probably I came to it the way that most people, musicians or nonmusicians, come to it. It’s just always been part of the culture. Immediately after writing the book, I said, okay, I’m not listening to it for six months at least. But now I hear it, and even before the piece starts, I can sort of cycle through all the collected conventional wisdom of the piece and review it all, reject it all, and then try and come to the piece fresh.
It’s a great piece of music. And you know, in a good performance, no matter how familiar you are with it, it still has an effect. I think it also helps that I tend to have a poor memory, which is kind of bad for a pianist. It’s actually one of the reasons I spent a lot of my time playing for singers, because you didn’t have to memorize the music, which I was always very bad at. But it’s sort of like, every time I hear a piece, even a piece this familiar, there will always be something about the piece I’ve forgotten.
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