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.
So, seems landlords have until tomorrow to register their apartments with the city (and pay $25 for each one). The city says, no probs, you can register them online, easy peasey, but the page on which landlords are supposed to do this has this warning:
Philip Greenspun wonders.
Some MIT students (natch) say they've figured out how to build the guts of CharlieCards into stylish rings, which would let anyone, even a superhero in green tights, ride the T without fumbling for their plastic card.
They've set up a Kickstarter to raise funds for mass production of the rings via 3D printing - which they say will let them sell rings in a variety of colors and even with circuitry shaped into particular four-letter words (such as "EMMA" and "YOLO").
In the 1990s, an MIT team experimented with large tubes with the air sucked out as a potential way to speed trains between here, there and everywhere. Last year, the BBC talked to now retired professor Ernst G. Frankel about the proposed "vactrains," which could cut travel from Boston to New York down to 40 minutes:
Xconomy reports on another Boston-based travel startup, this one called Wanderu, which is aiming to build a national system for bus companies to put their scheduled and booking systems online in a single interface. It's currently limited to the northeast, but $2.5 million in venture capital could help it expand nationwide.