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.
On Sales Tax Free Saturday, Red Mass. Group provides a good roundup on growing opposition to the new tax on software services - under which everybody from giant corporations to individual Web designers are now supposed to collect a tax every time they install or customize software for a client (including the cost of customizing open-source software).
State Sen. William Browsnberger wrote one constituent:
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld the validity of evidence obtained through tapped cell-phone convesations and text messages obtained under the state wiretapping law, written in 1968, before the advent of cell phones or widespread text messaging.
Two alleged coke dealers in Berkshire County had sued to bar the conversations as evidence against them, arguing that because state law doesn't refer to these newfangled ways of communicating, police would have needed to win warrants in federal court, where a federal law updated in 1986 to cover such things, applies.
Boston University yesterday sued two more companies for allegedly violating a 1997 patent it holds on a technique for building LEDs.
TechTarget of Newton says three former executives stole its proprietary information to build a competing business and filed suit yesterday to get them to knock it off. The executives, who now run a company called Prelytix, countered with their own suit, saying TechTarget is not all that, that they've built a new business based entirely on software they bought from another company and that a judge should order TechTarget to leave them alone.
WCVB this week sued Aereo, which recently began a service to let people watch Boston TV stations, charging the company is ripping off the station's valuable local programming.
In its suit, filed in US District Court, WCVB says other companies that rebroadcast its programs do so only after paying a fee.
The Dorchester Reporter reports a local company is looking at the possibility of setting up a mass-transit system on Columbia Point that would use tiny pods on a monorail-like structure to whisk people along Mt. Vernon Street.
On the one hand, the Globe of the Midwest runs a sweet story about how Chicagoans and Bostonians are really more family members than people who have an innate hatred for each other - we're both have guys in tuxedos starting our hockey games, we both have waterfronts, we both have lots of rich people who give money to charity (really). The story features quotes from Bostonians living in Chicago and a professor who teaches classes at both BU and the University of Chicago.