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BayStar & Acacia, and A Ruling on Digital Evidence, & Today's YouTube: Xerox's Alto
Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 12:14 PM EDT

Guess who has Acacia Research, the parent of IP Innovation, now suing Red Hat and Novell over alleged patent infringement, in their portfolio, or at least demonstrably did in 2006? Baystar [PDF]. What a small world. Who'd think that the very same Baystar, whose Lawrence Goldfarb told the court in the SCO v. IBM litigation that it was Microsoft that induced it to invest in SCO would also be an investor in the company now attacking Red Hat and Novell? Here's Acacia Research's most recent 10K, by the way, in case you'd like to learn all about its patents and infringement lawsuits. It mentions something about competition in the patent troll business:
The Acacia Technologies group expects to encounter competition in the area of patent acquisition and enforcement as the number of companies entering this market is increasing. This includes competitors seeking to acquire the same or similar patents and technologies that we may seek to acquire. Companies such as British Technology Group, Rembrandt Management Group, and Intellectual Ventures LLC are already in the business of acquiring the rights to patents for the purpose of enforcement, and we expect more companies to enter the market. As new technological advances occur, many of our patented technologies may become obsolete before they are completely monetized. If we are unable to replace obsolete technologies with more technologically advanced patented technologies, then this obsolescence could have a negative effect on our ability to generate future revenues.

Sounds good to me, to just out-innovate their patents and leave them in the dust. BayStar lists what seems to be the biotechnology part of Acacia, but as the 10K explains, it's all one in the end. You know Intellectual Ventures, of course, two of whose founders came from Microsoft. Microsoft denied the Goldfarb claim, as it also denies being behind the IP Innovation/Acacia litigation, which IP Innovation confirms. Yet another remarkable coincidence, then.

I can't resist sharing with you what I just found on YouTube. What a fantastic resource it is, YouTube. It's a video that shows the 1973 Xerox Alto, arguably the first personal computer with a mouse-driven GUI and networking via Ethernet. Of course, we've been talking a lot about the Alto, because of looking for prior art on the IP Innovation/Acacia patent. The YouTube video also shows a snip of a Xerox promotional video of the day, showing a guy using the Alto, and a look at a demo that Xerox showed to Apple's Steve Jobs and his posse. Appearances also by Bob Metcalfe, Larry Tesler, Steve Jobs (who ran away with the GUI concept after Xerox top management failed to grasp what they had), Adele Goldberg (who gave him the demo, over her protests to Xerox management), Bill Atkinson, John Warnock and the basement of the Xerox Parc Research Center, where you see an Alto in the flesh. Digibarn's Computer Museum has pictures of an Alto II XM. While Xerox didn't commercialize the original Alto, mainly because they didn't grok it at all, they did later sell the Xerox Star 8010 "Dandelion", modeled after the experimental Alto and first introduced in 1981. It's just fun to see all this. Two of the references in the '421 patent are papers that explain how Star worked, "Designing the Star User Interface" and "The Star User interface - An Overview".

And I thought you might be interested in a recent ruling about digital records being introduced as evidence. How do you know if emails and other digital records introduced as evidence are authentic? It's an issue that is coming into play more and more in the RIAA litigations too. I've told you how courts make progress, not necessarily quickly, to catch up with tech. And here's an example of it doing so, Admitting Computer Record Evidence after In Re Vinhnee: A Stricter Standard for the Future?.

The abstract explains:

In re Vinhnee, a Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel decision, employed Edward Imwinkelried’s eleven-step foundation process for authenticating computer records. In employing the eleven-step process, the Vinhnee court articulated a stricter standard than has previously been used by most courts for admitting computer records into evidence. This Article will first consider the various foundation standards that courts have applied to computer records. Next, the Article will analyze the Vinhnee standard, consider its elements, and compare it to the previous standards and commentary. Finally, the Article will conclude that the Vinhnee approach reflects common concerns by courts and commentators, and may influence other jurisdictions.

It was, as you see, a bankruptcy case, where a credit card company wanted a portion of the debt to be exempted from discharge. The court refused to accept the company's digital records. Here's the standard that courts used to hold to, as the article sets it forth:

In 2005, the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Ninth Circuit issued In re Vinhnee, a decision that adopted a newer, stricter standard for the authentication of computer records. The court adopted an eleven-step foundation process, advocated for by Professor Edward J. Imwinkelried, and refused to admit computer records in a bankruptcy proceeding. In light of Imwinkelried’s process, the court stated that the witness’ knowledge of the hardware and software used by the company was insufficient to prove that the computer records were reliable. The opinion marked a serious departure from the previous foundation standard employed by courts for the authentication of computer records....

Today’s lawyers rely on Federal Rule of Evidence 803(6), commonly referred to as the “business records exception” to the hearsay rule, as a way to admit business records, including those kept on computers, into evidence....Business records have been considered generally reliable because of the day-to-day reliance that businesses place on the records....

Rule 901(a) is the general authentication requirement under the FRE.19 Rule 901(b) offers, “by way of illustration only”, examples of authentication or identification that conform with the requirements of Rule 901.20 Rule 901(b)(9) states that “[e]vidence describing a process or system used to produce a result and showing that the process or system produces an accurate result” is required to authenticate evidence.21 The FRE Advisory Committee’s note explains that this rule can be properly applied to computer records.22 However, many courts have not required specific authentication procedures under 901(b)(9) for business records that have simply been kept on a computer....

When the FRE were enacted, Rule 803(6) codified the shop-book rule as the hearsay exception for “Records of Regularly Conducted Activity.”25 The rule permits the admission of records made by a person with knowledge and kept in the regular course of a generally conducted business activity unless the source of information or method of preparation indicates a lack of trustworthiness....

After initially adopting the FRE, courts largely treated computer records as presumptively trustworthy and did not require any special foundation to be laid for the authenticity of the records.

That was then. This is now: courts are beginning to realize that digital records can be changed and that thanks to malware, they may not be reliable to begin with. I call that progress. So what is happening now is a shift. The burden traditionally has been on the defendant to prove that the records are *not* accurate; that is shifting to a burden on the one wishing to introduce such evidence to demonstrate that they are. In this particular case, the court decided to adopt these eleven steps:

Some commentators and scholars have long advocated for a more detailed foundation process for computer records. Edward J. Imwinkelried’s Evidentiary Foundations provided an eleven-step foundation process for the authentication of computer records when it was first published in 1980. In subsequent editions, Imwinkelried references scholarship on computer record authentication, including the Manual, explaining that many courts have “been lax in applying the authentication requirement to computer records” and have simply applied the traditional 803(6) foundation. Imwinkelried’s process requires the proponent to show that:
(1) The business uses a computer.

(2) The computer is reliable.

(3) The business has developed a procedure for inserting data into the computer.

(4) The procedure has built-in safeguards to ensure accuracy and identify errors.

(5) The business keeps the computer in a good state of repair.

(6) The witness had the computer readout certain data.

(7) The witness used the proper procedures to obtain the readout.

(8) The computer was in working order at the time the witness obtained the readout.

(9) The witness recognizes the exhibit as the readout.

(10) The witness explains how he or she recognizes the readout.

(11) If the readout contains strange symbols or terms, the witness explains the meaning of the symbols or terms for the trier of fact.

Imagine proving that a Microsoft computer is "reliable", "in working order", "in a good state of repair", and that the business using it has "built-in safeguards to ensure accuracy and identify errors". Malware of all kinds and spoofing and root kits and invasive changes to records by those unauthorized to do so would all have to be addressed. That is a higher bar, but in this day and age, who can say that it's not set at the right level? Remember the school teacher whose computer was compromised? It happens to a lot of people and businesses too. How then do you know when digital records are authentic? A court of law needs to know, so here's what happened in this Vinhnee case:

In re Vee Vinhnee began as a bankruptcy proceeding when Vee Vinhnee filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Mr. Vinhnee owed a large amount of money to American Express based on two credit cards. American Express filed an adversary proceeding seeking to have over $41,000 of the debt excepted from discharge. While Vinhnee himself did not actually appear for trial, the court nonetheless conducted the trial and required American Express to present evidence. American Express called a witness who identified himself as the custodian of records for the monthly statements and laid the foundation for the records under the traditional 803(6) method. The court was not satisfied with the witness’ knowledge of the hardware and software used to produce and store the information, and refused to admit the records into evidence, even after American Express was afforded the opportunity to make a post-trial supplementary submission.

The United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Ninth Circuit upheld the exclusion of the records and further articulated the necessity of laying a careful and detailed foundation for computer records: “The paperless electronic record involves a difference in the format of the record that presents more complicated variations on the authentication problem than for paper records.” The court cited Imwinkelried’s eleven-step foundation process as “the prism” through which to view the computer records. The court specifically noted that the complexity of “ever-developing computer technology” requires careful attention to ensure that the document offered in court is the same record that was originally created on the computer. Technological processes such as those that allow one to alter the text of documents, the court explained, necessitate the need for a new, more in-depth foundation. Vinhnee also cited The Manual for Complex Litigation as well as other contemporary commentators who have highlighted the need to protect, and inquire into, the integrity of electronic documents.

The professor who developed the eleven steps did so back in 1980. It wasn't until 2007 that a court of appeals decided he was right. Yes, slow. But the courts do eventually get there, and by setting forth those steps and making it known that there were special issues in digital records, he contributed to the knowledge that courts had to work with so as to reach a more accurate ruling. So putting technical knowledge out there has value, even if it takes a while for it to be absorbed, as the article explains:

The Appellate Panel gave credence to the lower court’s ruling, but more importantly, it supported the decision with references to commentators, trends in the law, and Imwinkelried’s eleven-step process. By essentially adopting Imwinkelried’s eleven-step process, the court gave basis and precedent to the lower court’s disapproval of the custodian’s lack of familiarity with the hardware and software.

Update November 2011: Here's a panel discussion on Steve Job's legacy, which includes information regarding Jobs' visit to Xerox Parc and seeing SmallTalk.


BayStar & Acacia, and A Ruling on Digital Evidence, & Today's YouTube: Xerox's Alto | 257 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Off Topic
Authored by: Thalaska on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 12:32 PM EDT
Off Topic subjects Here

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks
Authored by: Thalaska on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 12:37 PM EDT
Comments on the News Picks Go Here

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections thread needs 'corrections' in title
Authored by: nsomos on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 12:47 PM EDT
Please place any corrections (if needed) here,
so that they may be easily found. It is helpful
if the title of the correction was a one-line summary.

For some reason thalaska's thread starter does not
show up in nested or threaded views, but only in flat.

That may be something in need of correction itself I suppose.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Prior art mentioned in patent
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 01:03 PM EDT
I didn't realize that the patent applications cited the Alto as prior art --
that's bad news, because anything cited by the applicant is assumed to have been
researched by the patent office and found not to conflict with the claims in the
patent -- at least that was the briefing I got from our lawyers as we were
fighting patents.

Thad Beier

[ Reply to This | # ]

Proving Reliability of your System
Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 01:35 PM EDT

Yes, I can imagine the problems of trying to prove the reliability of a
Microsoft system. Hoo boy can I ever!

Thanks PJ - this was an interesting read.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Patent trolling is now a market?
Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 01:36 PM EDT
No, you can't really call it that when all you have to sell is extortion fees (aka, licensing) for bogus software patents, and you have paid enforcers (aka, their lawyers).

Plus, a market really has actual buyers looking for the product, normal sane people do not go out looking to get extorted.

For a patent troll to call it a market really reflects distorted thinking.


You are being MICROattacked, from various angles, in a SOFT manner.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 01:42 PM EDT
Don't you just hate that word ? I know it makes me cringe every time I read

[ Reply to This | # ]

BayStar & Acacia, and A Ruling on Digital Evidence, & Today's YouTube: Xerox's Alto
Authored by: MrCharon on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 02:11 PM EDT
I wonder how long before patent trolls start suing patent trolls.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Our broken legal system
Authored by: DannyB on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 03:10 PM EDT
I respect our system while at the same time I have little confidence in it.

While the courts may eventually get it right, the fact that it takes nearly 30
years to figure out something so basic is all the demonstration necessary to
show that you can't get justice. And even from 1980 to 2007, all we have to
show is that the burden of proof is beginning to shift.

Why should it take a person's entire career before justice can happen? Will
Microsoft be reigned in before the end of my career? If so, it probably won't
be by the courts. If by courts, it won't be US ones.

I may be misguided, but I assign equal blame (or more) to the legislators (eg,
state and congress) as to the courts.

The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Xerox Alto - a Real Workhorse
Authored by: Bill The Cat on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 03:13 PM EDT
Ah the Alto. A totally TTL (Transistor-Transistor Logic and 7400 series chips)
machine built around four 74181 bit slice processessors. A truely wonderful
machine. The video says the Alto was programmed in SmallTalk but, the primary
language of the early Alto was BCPL, a predecessor to C. Later, Mesa was the
primary language. SmallTalk, Interlisp and other "Environments" could
run on the Alto too. Microcode made the magic happen.

The disc was a 3-MB 'Diablo 32' pack. An Alto was generally configured with 1
but Dual Disc Altos were also common. This 3 MB disc could hold an entire
office suite, graphics software, network tools (FTP, Email, News, etc.), CAD
tools, all your files and fonts... While most users had racks full of disc
packs, an entire work environment easily fit on one. We even designed complete
custom VLSI chips using this box. It was years ahead of its time and, in some
ways is still better than what is available today.

Today's PCs can't cram this much functionality into as small a space as the Alto
could. More power per kbyte than anything running today. Try and put any of
today's Operating Systems, windowing environment, compilers, Office Suite of
tools, error handler and debugger, graphics software and your files into 3
MBytes today!

CRAM (control RAM) and RAM were the memory components. 2Kbyte CRAM and 256K RAM
were all that was needed! Not gigabytes or even megabytes and the systems were

Take a disk pack. Open it up and scratch the platter with a nail from the
center to the outside edge. Hard Crash today. Not with the Alto. You could
buff the scratch smooth so it wouldn't hurt the heads, Scavenge the disc to a
second disc and volla! A completely recovered disc. Do that today with any
floppy, removable or hard disc. Never happen.

Servers were also made from the Alto. File servers (IFS and mail), print
servers, (PS), Network ports (routers, gateways, etc.) and a host of other
configurations were possible. Multiple Trident T-300 drives could be connected
to the Alto too.

Over the years, it also supported Color with an external color monitor, the
Jasmine document scanner, card readers and more.

There is an interesting book still found here and there... "Fumbling the
Future" how Xerox created the world's first personal computer and didn't do
anything with it. Fascinating reading.

And, one of the best games of the '80s ran on the Alto. A multi-person,
real-time networked program of Star Trek. "Trek" was played by
Xeroids all over the world. There were other games and fun things that ran on
the box.

The Alto was the foundation that the Dandelion (8010 or Star), Dog Zero
(D0/D-Zero), and the Dorado (ECL version of the D0) and other workstations
developed by Xerox. Too bad the company didn't have a clue what they had

Bill The Cat

[ Reply to This | # ]

Only applicable the 9th cirucit and lame at that
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 03:14 PM EDT
The records decision is limited to the 9th ciruit, so I wouldn't read too much
into it. Further, for the amount of money involved, I suspect American Express
decided to drop further appeals and be satisfied with making money from the
masses via higher interest rates.

But from what we can tell with the provided information, the decision was
probably pretty lame. If you receive a statement then you have the right to
contest it. The fact that it doesn't say it was contested by the original party
suggests the charges were valid. What we don't know is why American Express
thought it should be excluded from the discharged debt. The fact a court used a
record keeping excuse to not pay a debt seems a "convenient" excuse to
get to an end it desired.

If a few readers want to try this approach by failing to pay their bills since
the billing systems are questionable - go for it. Please keep us appraised of
your progress, if nothing else for entertainment purposes.

[ Reply to This | # ]

BayStar & Acacia, and A Ruling on Digital Evidence, & Today's YouTube: Xerox's Alto
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 03:45 PM EDT
grep for 'microsoft' in that 10K

[ Reply to This | # ]

Following some links
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 04:07 PM EDT
In the documents (references) talks about software patents on blt/blt stuff.
"Quarterdeck Office Systems Inc., Santa Monica, Calif., received a patent
for a multiple windowing system in its Desq system software, introduced in

[ Reply to This | # ]

There have been standards on this for some while
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 04:12 PM EDT
For example, BSI DISC PD0008 "Legal Admissibility and Evidential Weight of
Information Stored Electronically" which dates from 1999. It's a good deal
more detailed than the "11 steps". Follow it - and it's not easy - and
you have a good chance that your electronic records will be admissible, in the
UK at least.

Also important is ISO 27001 "Information Security Management" - you
pretty much have to meet this to be able to follow PD0008.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Emails as evidence, and using MS Exchange/Outlook...
Authored by: electron on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 04:51 PM EDT
> The professor who developed the eleven steps did so back
> in 1980. It wasn't until 2007 that a court of appeals
> decided he was right.

Those users who use MS Outlook with MS Exchange as the central email server can
edit an email - even radically change the contents of the email from what they
originally received, and can then simply save it back onto the exchange server.
And the next time they go to view that email it will be the modified form of
that email.

If the email was modified on the same day it was received then any backed up
version will be the modified version, and not the one as originally received.

I am not aware of any method of tracking these sorts of modifications which are
extremely easy, trivial even, to do; and I am not convinced that emails should
be relied upon as a primary source of evidence.


"A life? Sounds great! Do you know where I could download one?"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some Varying Thoughts
Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 05:02 PM EDT
Hey, PJ!

You don't have to apologize for the courts taking a while to catch up with us
geeks as far as understanding what can go wrong with technology. To get
philosophical, the court doesn't deal with this stuff every day, they only
encounter it when someone first approaches them with a problem. Then again,
considering my thoughts that the SCO lawsuit was trying to take advantage of the
court's unfamiliarity with operating system development ("Our evidence is
that it looks like Unix! How clear do we have to make it?!?"), I'm sure my
perspective isn't a surprise to you.

My impression of this, my idea of the man behind the curtain, is that this is M$
creating a Judas goat. With all the shifts in patent law, especially with the
Supreme Court dropping the hammer, they need to know if their patent threats
still hold water. So, find a company that can have a claim against a couple of
Linux companies analogous to what M$ would do, tell them how it should work, and
watch them try it out. Any fallout stays with them, M$ is relatively in the
clear. It's a test of the myth that this kind of lawsuit can still yield
results, and Acacia is playing the role of Buster. Now, they just have to wait
and find out confirmed, plausible, or busted.

To continue with the Discovery Channel metaphors, let's look at Shark Week.
Does anyone else wonder when these patent companies are going to acquire so many
attractive patents that they are going to start devouring each other?

With regards to the lawsuit against Red Hat and Novell, let me just say, the
silence if deafening. Red Hat doesn't seem to be worried in the least. Ever
see a poker player who is just leaning back in his chair, looking cool, then you
find out he had been dealt a natural royal flush? That's their behavior.
Novell, I'm imagining, is keeping quiet to keep the egg off their faces. After
all the hubbub of, We're clear with M$, and then this pops up. But you know
they are gathering the same evidence Red Hat is.

Acacia is already showing they aren't as dumb as SCO. Notice they've filed
their charges but are keeping relatively quiet. None of this, "I have
snipers watching out for me," nonsense. SCO has created a cultural shift,
and acting like a pro wrestler defending his belt is going to get you in more
trouble than getting out.

I wonder if we should have some sympathy for Xerox. We've seen two instances
where they let something huge slip away. First was the photocopier, which
according to some posters here, IBM basically copied the designs they rejected
to create their own photocopiers in the legal clear. I knew Xerox created the
first GUI, but it looks like they just didn't know what they had. Then again,
considering all the patent troubles when there is only one basket to keep the
eggs in, maybe it's a good thing. Just wondering if I should feel sympathy is

Dobre utka,
The Blue Sky Ranger

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • More like - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 10:24 PM EDT
Memories ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 05:07 PM EDT
Ah yes, I remember visiting PARC way back about 1976 and seeing the Alto, which by then was ubiquitous in offices of the research crowd there. The Bravo editor and Mesa language environment were already running in the Alto's windowed environment, and the Dover laser printer (size of an elephant) was down the hall.

Anyway, great find, PJ. Here's an interesting site with screenshots of the Alto in action. From our point of view the most interesting one is the last one in the sequence, showing the Smalltalk windowed environment on the Alto screen complete with Clock application, file manager, etc. There is also a set of much more convincing shots from the Xerox Star on the same site, with screen shots of the complete 1981 desktop environment that meet the definitions in the patent claim.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Slow Courts / Mumia
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 05:10 PM EDT
"Yes, slow. But the courts do eventually get there".

You think Mumia Abu-Jamal is going to get justice eventually?

I can't share this trust in the judicial system.

[ Reply to This | # ]

27 years late...
Authored by: treed on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 05:59 PM EDT
"getting there" is NOT sufficient! What about all of the injustices
done in the meantime? I don't think computer records should bear any more weight
than a human beings sworn testimony. And it should be the system administrator
of the system in question who swears that what the computer says is accurate.
And if he is wrong or the computer was inaccurate afterall it is purgery for
him. Computers themselves cannot be held accountable for the truth. Only people.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • I think.... - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 06:38 AM EDT
Validating Computer Records: They Asked the Wrong Questions
Authored by: Superbiskit on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 06:17 PM EDT
The eleven-step test advocated by Imwinkelried seems to be looking in the wrong place. First, the appropriate witness(es) to the state-of-repair of the computer system and the procedures used to assure accuracy is probably in the IT department. The one on the stand is more likely to be from Accounting or Collections or whatever. Of course, she might not know about those things, but others certainly should. The proponent's attorneys could have been more thorough.

That said, the test focusses on whether the computer system might have made an error. It happens, but rarely. The danger in computer records is that they are so easily, and so undetectably "massaged". If I keep two sets of books, a forensic accountant could probably detect the situation. On the other hand, if I alter my e-mail archive to show that I sent you something I never sent, or that you made statements in your e-mail that you never made, how is that going to be detected?

Maybe e-mail isn't the best example; it passes through many places and I can't control all the records. Business accounting data, however, is completely under my physical control. The fact that computers rarely make arithmatic errors, and do massive amounts of computation quickly, gives me a very capable tool for creating false records that balance in every respect. And the only "fingerprints" left behind are themselves computer records.

This sort of thing has been done, if not in civil cases. And a civil court isn't likely to turn my computer over to the NSA.

After the Microsoft Anti-Trust case, would anyone care to bet that Microsoft's e-mail archive is clean as a whistle? And would anyone seriously claim that this shows they've "gone straight"?

Cetero censeo Collegium SCO esse delendam.

[ Reply to This | # ]

digital evidence
Authored by: rsmith on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 06:25 PM EDT
Yes, slow. But the courts do eventually get there

I guess they had to remove the references to punched cards, paper tape and baudot code. :-)

On a more serious note, it is troubling to see the courts so behind the curve.

Intellectual Property is an oxymoron.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • digital evidence - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 10:21 AM EDT
New Rules and the RIAA....
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 09:42 PM EDT
So would these 11 steps also apply to the digital information the the RIAA is
gathering on file sharing? How would it apply to this situation?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Michael Hiltzik - Dealers of Lightning
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 09:49 PM EDT
Check it out - published in 1999. Tells early history of PARC and the Alto with
references to where the OS came from. I listened to the abridged version a
couple of weeks ago. As I recall there was a fair amount of info on prior art
and the politics of the folks championing the windowing system. If I had hard
copy I would dig but it's significantly more difficult with audio books.

[ Reply to This | # ]

My God, I've Used The Prior Art In This Case!
Authored by: OmniGeek on Sunday, October 21 2007 @ 10:10 PM EDT
Waay back in 1987, when I was a co-op student at Xerox Webster Research Center
in upstate New York, I whiled away several pleasantly unproductive lunch hours
playing MazeWar, a networked, multi-player 3D graphic adventure game on the Alto
(actually, on multiple networked Altos) in which the various players appeared to
one another as monochrome images of floating eyeballs in a 3D perspective
line-drawing of a maze. (Naturally, we could zap one another!)

Now, it seems to me at first glance that this application matches several of the
key features of one of the patents being asserted against RedHat: the different
users all see a a common data structure (the maze and its denizens) in different
views (each player sees the universe from the perspective of that player's POV).
A closer examination may show disqualifying divergences from the claims, but it
DO make one wonder!

My strength is as the strength of ten men, for I am wired to the eyeballs on

[ Reply to This | # ]

Eleven steps
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 12:43 AM EDT
Having been involved in a case where old computer records were required as evidence, let me point out another good way to validate them. In the case in question, the evidence was thought to be in records on backup tapes. The only people allowed to access backup tapes directly were the tech administration staff of the facility, who were bonded and obviously in a position of trust. The lead tech administrator of the facility was asked to look for, fetch and accurately reproduce certain documents from the old backups if they could be found.

He determined that such documents existed in the backups, verified that the chain-of-custody of the backups did not include any unauthorized persons, validated the date of modifications to the files recovered, and signed printed copies of the results as geniuine. I think that's about as solid as evidence of any kind gets.


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It's a video 1973 - Oh Oh Apple Geeks Will Be Unhappy
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 02:48 AM EDT
Oh no .... the Apple Geeks will be unhappy about the video. They hate when
people explain that Jobs stole the GUi from Xerox.

Well here's Jobs admitting it. I like his comment about not being concerned
about being right. I am assuming he means "legally right"!

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Prior Art!!! Ask Steve Jobs
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 03:22 AM EDT
Want to know about Prior Art ... well someone go and ask Steve Jobs. If anyone
knows the whole story - it's Jobs. Is there anything Jobs didn't "check
out" ("lift") in the good old days?

If there ever was a Pirate of the Bits and Bytes Seas - its Jobs. Likely has it
all squirreled away in his vault. Or buried in a big chest somewhere. ;)

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At What Point Is The Attempt Of Producing A Monopoly Criminal
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 03:28 AM EDT
At what point is the attempt of producing a monopoly become criminal - enough
evidence - that is charges are laid?

You know ...... if it walks like a duck ...... and so on!

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  • Monopolies - Authored by: cricketjeff on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 05:01 AM EDT
    • Monopolies - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 08:44 AM EDT
      • Monopolies - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 10:46 AM EDT
        • Monopolies - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 11:52 AM EDT
      • AutoCAD - Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 03:46 PM EDT
        • AutoCAD - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 23 2007 @ 02:31 PM EDT
BayStar & Acacia, and A Ruling on Digital Evidence, & Today's YouTube: Xerox's Alto
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 10:39 AM EDT
Man this is literally - FOLLOW THE MONEY - isn't it. all yellow bricks roads
lead back the land of redmond.

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BayStar & Acacia, and A Ruling on Digital Evidence, & Today's YouTube: Xerox's Alto
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 22 2007 @ 08:55 PM EDT
Kay's short history of interactive computing</>

Nothing in this patent predate the work done by the real pioneers.

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