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Wellness Warriors

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Matthew Rivera
Matthew Rivera

Windows Vista Did Not Steal Ideas From Mac OS X! (Or Did They )

Yes, what if one company was making highly integrated products with its own hardware and software platform technology. And what if it had already proven, over the course of a decade, that nobody could compete with the iPod. And then, over the next five years, proved that nobody could rival the iPhone unless they were rampantly stealing every bit of its design, right down to the marketing and box. And then what if Apple kept ruling the iPad market through year after year of failed Android and Windows tablets.

Windows Vista did not steal ideas from Mac OS X! (Or did they )

Start attaching dollar signs to the facts in the consumer technology sector, and they all begin pointing to Apple running the show, not some version of Android from 2010 or some distro of Linux from 1998.

When Intel embraced RISC principles or ARM's 64-bit architecture in its x86 chips, or when Microsoft copied the Mac's graphical desktop, NeXT's object orientation and then the entire architecture VMS, not only were there no allegations that the WinTel partners were visionless copycats that had to steal ideas to remain relevant, but it also did nothing but increase their grasp on the industry. And it was celebrated, not demonized by the mainstream tech media.

Another curious point: when webOS appeared in early 2009, nobody felt the need to point out that it looked just like Apple's iOS 2.0. What they did focus on was the new stuff it did: it switched between apps just like Apple's Cover Flow from 2006, depicted apps as "cards and stacks' just like Apple's HyperCard from 1987, and delivered incoming notifications just like the Mac's Growl. It was even praised for trying to sync to iTunes just like an iPhone. Unfortunately, it didn't sell like the iPhone, in part because most of its hardware and software features were immediately eclipsed by the next iPhone.

One chief media proponent of WP8, Farhad Manjoo of Slate, immediately complained just hours after it was released, "iOS 7 borrows many ideas from other companies’ touchscreen designs, especially Microsoft." I scoured his piece looking for examples of this but there weren't exactly "many."

However, if you do a patent search, you'll find Apple was documenting its own multitasking user interface ideas depicting a stack of app windows in 2004; Microsoft's own 2008 patents on the subject were related to Windows Vista's app preview popups on the Start bar, not a Cover Flow carousel of app thumbnails like webOS, WP8 or iOS 7.

And lest anyone wonder where Palm got its engineers who put together the webOS task switching cards interface: they came from Apple's iPhone team, and were led by Jon Rubinstein, Apple's former iPod executive. While Rubinstein reportedly never saw the iPhone in development at Apple, he was certainly aware of all the multitasking, Cover Flow and Exposà UI work Apple was doing on OS X, as was the rest of the industry.

Rather than being a case of slavish copying by a company devoid of original ideas, Manjoo's singular example of how Apple iOS 7’s "is a straight rip-off of things that have come before" is simply a misunderstanding of how Apple manages its platform and supports its users. Apple chose not to abandon its entire installed base of recent customers when the time came to revamp its operating system's user interface, a strategy it clearly did not copy from Microsoft or Palm.

More puzzling than the accusations that Apple's iOS 7 steals back its own patented concepts from WP8 via webOS are the charges that iOS 7 lifts its new overall appearance directly from Android, an open source project that exists entirely to lift the iPhone's overall appearance and style of functionality.

This is not a case of infringing patents or stealing original, novel features or their presentation from a company that built said features into differentiating, hallmark characteristics of its product. If fact, if you look at the series of features that Google itself says identify Android as being distinct from iOS, none of them are borrowed in iOS 7.

And of course, Apple actually licensed the Helvetica font family, too. It's a pity that so many in the "unbiased world of objective journalism" are desperately trying to subvert reality with a fiction that Apple doesn't really ever do anything new and steals everything from smarter, more creative people.

Steve Jobs once said that Microsoft stole Windows from Apple, but there has been plenty of idea snatching on both sides over the years. Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard each contain features that originated in the other OS. Some features were stolen so long ago that they've become part of the computing landscape, and it's difficult to remember who invented what. Here we give credit to Microsoft where credit is due.

Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, 35 F.3d 1435 (9th Cir. 1994),[1] was a copyright infringement lawsuit in which Apple Computer, Inc. (now Apple Inc.) sought to prevent Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard from using visual graphical user interface (GUI) elements that were similar to those in Apples Lisa and Macintosh operating systems.[2] The court ruled that, "Apple cannot get patent-like protection for the idea of a graphical user interface, or the idea of a desktop metaphor [under copyright law]...".[1] In the midst of the Apple v. Microsoft lawsuit, Xerox also sued Apple alleging that Mac's GUI was heavily based on Xerox's.[3] The district court dismissed Xerox's claims without addressing whether Apple's GUI infringed Xerox's.[4] Apple lost all claims in the Microsoft suit except for the ruling that the trash can icon and folder icons from Hewlett-Packard's NewWave windows application were infringing. The lawsuit was filed in 1988 and lasted four years; the decision was affirmed on appeal in 1994,[1] and Apple's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied.

After the district court ruled in favor of Microsoft, Apple appealed the decision arguing that the district court only considered infringements on the individual elements of Apple's GUI, rather than the interface as a whole. The appeals court almost entirely affirmed the ruling of the district court, establishing that, "almost all the similarities spring either from the license or from basic ideas and their obvious expression... illicit copying could occur only if the works as a whole are virtually identical."[1] However, the circuit court did reverse the district court's decision not to award attorney's fees to Microsoft, clarifying and sending the case back to the district court to resolve the issue.

Citing Brown Bag Software v. Symantec Corp., the circuit court dissected the GUI to separate expression from ideas (as expression, but not ideas, are covered by copyright law).[1][10] The court outlined five ideas that it identified as basic to a GUI desktop: windows, icon images of office items, manipulations of icons, menus, and the opening and closing of objects.[1] The court established that Apple could not make copyright claims based on these ideas and could only make claims on the precise expression of them.

(Apple's products are frequently perceived as outrageously overpriced. Gates says they are so expensive that one can't afford a doctor if they buy Apple gear. On top of this, if an Apple product becomes broken, you would have to buy another just to replace it, whereas a PC can just be fixed and function correctly. Furthermore, continuing from the previous line, viruses would be like diseases to computers, and since a consumer would spend their money on an Apple product to prevent getting a virus, it is less likely for them to be able to pay for real medical services when they need it. It also plays on a proverb, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away.")

(Another one of its quotes from 2001: A Space Odyssey. This could refer to HAL 9000's role in the movie: flying the Discovery One spaceship. In fact, most disaster countermeasures are computer controlled, so no one would be able to fire a missile at HAL because they're computer guided and therefore under its control. It references that the US Armed Forces briefly used Linux instead of Windows, since Windows was full of security issues.)

(These two lyrics are what developed into the lyrics, "Well, Steve, you steal all the credit for work that other people do! Did your fat beard Wozniak write these raps for you, too?" "Fat prince" is used to replace "fat beard" in this scrapped line, likely meaning that Jobs should be treating Wozniak as if he were royal due to his success coming from Wozniak being a major contributor to Apple, or it may imply Jobs had a homosexual relationship with him.)

Today, July 19th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the CIA contractor Raytheon Blackbird Technologies for the "UMBRAGE Component Library" (UCL) project. The documents were submitted to the CIA between November 21st, 2014 (just two weeks after Raytheon acquired Blackbird Technologies to build a Cyber Powerhouse) and September 11th, 2015. They mostly contain Proof-of-Concept ideas and assessments for malware attack vectors - partly based on public documents from security researchers and private enterprises in the computer security field.

One of the persistence mechanisms used by the CIA here is 'Stolen Goods' - whose "components were taken from malware known as Carberp, a suspected Russian organized crime rootkit." confirming the recycling of malware found on the Internet by the CIA. "The source of Carberp was published online, and has allowed AED/RDB to easily steal components as needed from the malware.". While the CIA claims that "[most] of Carberp was not used in Stolen Goods" they do acknowledge that "[the] persistence method, and parts of the installer, were taken and modified to fit our needs", providing a further example of reuse of portions of publicly available malware by the CIA, as observed in their analysis of leaked material from the italian company "HackingTeam". 350c69d7ab


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