A Peabody company that takes old stuff off the hands of tech companies and then resells it says the troubled Canadian phone maker accepted its bid for old memory units - then tried to extort more money after the company had already committed to sell the memory to its own customers.
The Boston Business Journal reports on an effort by mechanical-engineering students at Northeastern to create a sort of sensor web around a bicyclist that would alert the rider to any cars getting too close:
Laser lights are also added to the bicycle to project a bike lane onto the street, so that the cyclist knows where the bike's safe zone is. If a vehicle gets too close to the zone, the lasers - which can be seen during the day - will blink. Vibration technology on the bike will also cause the handlebars to vibrate if cyclists speed up as they approach an intersection.
BU Today reports the 25 tech companies sued by Boston University - including Apple and Amazon - have agreed to pay licensing fees for the way their blue LEDs are manufactured.
BU had filed a series of lawsuits against the companies, alleging they were making or using LEDs that used a particular manufacturing method patented by one of its professors.
Joe Kinsella posts a diary of his first day wearing Google Glass:
Before heading into Boston I stopped at a gas station. While pumping gas, one of my contact lenses bothered me, and I instinctively winked several times. Since wink detection was enabled, a few seconds later, I was the proud owner of several photographs of the gas station and the pump. ;)
I am not sure if wearing Google Glass is legal in Massachusetts. I can say the distraction was nominal though, since the directions were voiced into my earpiece, and the map only appeared on the heads up display shortly before the next turn.
AcBel Polytech, which makes power-supply units for large EMC data-storage units, is suing Fairchild Semiconductor over voltage regulators that failed "at an epidemic rate" in late 2010.
AcBel charges that Fairchild replaced perfectly fine components with poorly designed ones that shorted out due to humidity and that it then compounded the problem by not telling anybody it had made the change - or then changed back to the old design when the problems surfaced, in a suit filed this week in US District Court in Boston.
VentureFizz explains why Boston next month will have a free event for young entrepreneurs to pitch their startups to venture capitalists:
A few weeks ago, a little online skirmish started on meetup message boards and Twitter involving a very suspect and questionable group that organizes events to take advantage of inexperienced young startups and unwitting entrepreneurs. (We don't want to give them any more press than they deserve, so we won't even mention the name of the organization.)
The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA., apparently has lots of hours of video of BCS "general meetings" - the big ones where leaders of the nascent PC industry, like Steve Jobs, would introduce "a new product or technology to the world's largest personal computer user organization." They're looking for financial help to digitize the recordings.
EMC this week sued a Silicon Valley startup on charges it illegally hired away EMC workers to gain access to EMC trade secrets.
A Lawrence company that sells a gizmo for tuning drums says a guy who sells a smartphone app for tuning drums is violating its patent.
UPDATE: Service came back on shortly after 4 p.m.
Matt Robbins reports:
Verizon data conduit damaged last night at 800 Boylston. Major outage for downtown Boston
800 Boylston is the Prudential Center. One frustrated network administrator says the outage is going on 15+ hours:
Affecting hundreds of companies in Boston and Cambridge. Worst outage I've seen in 7 years of working in Kendall.
Good thing I still have 10,000 hours on AOL!
The Huntington News reports that among Northeastern's class offerings this year is "Health Innovation with Google Glass." Students are encouraged to wear the computerized glasses as a way to help come up with innovative apps related to healthcare.
Boston-based Scvngr, which sells a system that lets smartphone users pay for purchases, is suing an Illinois company before it can sue Svngr for patent infringement.
Scvngr, maker of the LevelUp payment system, accused eCharge Licensing, LLC of being nothing more than a patent troll trying to extort money from true innovators based on patents that should have been laid to rest years ago, in a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston.
PXT Payments, an Andover company that sells a mobile payment system called LoopedIn, is suing LinkedIn for the right to be left alone.
Over the past few months, Boston University has taken a somewhat leisurely approach to filing lawsuits over its patent on making a component of LEDs, suing Apple here, lobbing a lawsuit at Amazon there.
Yesterday, though, BU opened the floodgates, filing nine separate lawsuits in US District Court against Acer, BlackBerry, Canon, Dell, Fujifilm and some companies few people have heard of.
BU is trying to cash in on the 1997 patent, which lays out a process for making thin films of the sort used in LEDs, before it runs out.
The suits ask for an immediate halt of the allegedly offending products, all the profits from them, damages, penalities and, of course, lawyers' fees.
A particularly grumpy citizen complains about the people waiting outside the Apple Store this morning to buy the newest iPhone:
There is an encampment of over-privileged, unwashed, hipster morons sleeping outside 815 Boylston Street. Don't these people need a permit or something? Please evacuate these turds from our streets. Their pretentiousness is wafting all through the neighborhood.
Wicked Local Brookline alerts us of the latest menace to befall the paramecium-shaped town: An online room-reservation system called Airbnb that one North Brookline homeowner used to rent out a bunch of rooms in her $1.6-million house - without getting the required lodging-house license. Which nearby residents probably would have fought, because as one resident quoted by Wicked Local said:
The State House News Service reports Gov. Patrick has heard software types about how bad Massachusetts looks with a tax on such basic services as setting up Web sites. Now to see if he can get the legislature to repeal the tax - and make up the $161 million he says it would raise.
Ed. conflict of interest note: I recently submitted my first invoice to a client for building a Web site that included the 6.25% tax, so obviously I'm not completely unbiased in the matter.