You might have heard by new that Time named the Apple iPhone the "Invention of the Year." I'm not going to dissect the magazine's reasons for choosing the iPhone--News.com's Tom Krazit already did that--rather, I'm more confused as to whether the iPhone should even count as an invention. As some CNET readers have contended, Apple didn't invent the cell phone, it just built its own version. And even if everyone agrees that Apple improved on the concept, should that count as an invention? What do you think?
And lo, it was foretold in the fall of 2007, that a mobile telephone would lead humanity out of the New Dark Ages and into a better future free from roaming charges and buttons.
Time, which likes to anoint things, has named Apple's iPhone the "Invention of the Year," following such recent IotYs like YouTube and SpaceShipOne. The number one reason why the iPhone is Time's Invention of the Year? "It's pretty." Further: "An example: look at what happens when you put the iPhone into 'airplane' mode (i.e., no cell service, … Read more
I spent some time last week talking with Dean Drako, CEO of Barracuda Networks. I'd wanted to talk with Dean for some time, as I've been an admirer of the company for many years. Barracuda recognized the strength of open source, and capitalized on it, well before most people were willing to even give open source a chance.
The conversation was particularly interesting because of Barracuda's announced intention to join the Open Invention Network, as well as some research it had done on perceived customer value for open source.
I started by asking Dean, Why do you care about open source?… Read more
IBM today pledged open access to key innovations covered by 500 IBM software patents to individuals and groups working on open source software. IBM believes this is the largest pledge ever of patents of any kind and represents a major shift in the way IBM manages and deploys its intellectual property (IP) portfolio....
The pledge is applicable to any individual, community, or company working on or using software that meets the Open Source Initiative (OSI) definition of open source software now or in the future.… Read more
Nathan Ball, a graduate student at MIT, has invented a motorized pulley that will let paramedics and firefighters zip up the side of buildings like Spider-Man.
Ball's Atlas Powered Rope Ascender can pull a firefighter loaded down with 80 to 100 pounds of equipment up a 30-story building in 30 seconds. Trudging up the stairs weighed down with equipment can take six to eight minutes.
As kids, some people (none of us here at Crave, of course) licked batteries to experience a little jolt. Turns out that old pastime could now have a practical application--producing battery power. A Japanese inventor is developing a battery, made mainly of carbon-based compounds, that's activated by a single drop of water. Susumu Suzuki describes his device in a video interview with Reuters.
This eco-friendly energy source--which has an electric current as powerful as that of a standard manganese dioxide battery, its creator says--would be cheap to produce and could be recycled several times. Most notably, it could potentially … Read more