Patent trolls, more formally known as Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), are entities that acquire patents for the sole purpose of suing companies in order to monetize them. They also happen to make a habit of piling on a tremendous amount of added work, expense, and stress onto legitimate operating companies. Preparing for possible litigation has become a standard “cost of doing business” over the years. As the General Counsel of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE USA, Inc.), I’ve spent the last few years engaging in battles with patent trolls, at a cost to my company and colleagues. Meanwhile, the PAEs themselves faced few ramifications. Recently, my company joined patent protection network LOT and the Open Innovation Network (OIN) to better protect itself from future threats from trolls. And I want to share my experience with the wider community. If you think your business is too big or too small or too off the radar to fall prey to a patent troll, think again. Your … [Read more...] about What it’s really like to be sued by a patent troll — and how to stop it
Stop nuisance phone calls
You've heard the stories, and you might have secretly cheered. Like when actor Laurence Fishburne stopped during a Broadway performance last year to chew out a cell phone user whose obnoxious chime interrupted the performance. Now Fishburne's castigation - "Will you turn off that (expletive) phone, please?" - might become legislation around the world as several countries consider tools to jam cell phone signals in public places. But it's a technology-imposed etiquette that doesn't ring true with the mobile phone industry. Technology that blocks mobile phone signals is not new - so-called jamming devices, which cost around $1,000 and can block signals in rooms the size of a movie theater, have been in commercial circulation since 1998. But outside of Japan, they are illegal in most developed countries, including the United States. Now sentiment might be changing. Last month, Hong Kong's Office of Telecommunications announced it would consider allowing the installation of jamming … [Read more...] about Jamming could be the answer to mobile phone traffic
EarthLink has claimed victory in a lawsuit it filed against two people alleged to have run a massive spam e-mail operation. The Internet service provider said Tuesday that the defendants, Damon DeCrescenzo and David Burstyn, have agreed to comply with a court order forbidding them from sending further unsolicited e-mail. The settlement also requires the men, known as the "Alabama Spammers," to pay an undisclosed cash settlement to EarthLink. "Filing lawsuits against alleged spammers and seeking court orders that put them out of business is an important way that EarthLink helps preserve the integrity of the Internet for all users," Larry Slovensky, assistant general counsel for EarthLink, said in a statement. Over the past several years, Atlanta-based EarthLink has become an aggressive player in the fight against spammers, which constitute a considerable nuisance for ISPs by clogging up bandwidth and angering customers. The Internet company said it will continue to seek litigation … [Read more...] about EarthLink puts stop to ‘Alabama spammers’
Spam callers are an unending source of frustration for many of us and a waste of our time. But the problem is growing and growing according to new data published this week. Marchex Inc. is a mobile advertising technology company from Seattle WA. It aggregated data from nearly 40 million phone calls blocked to US small businesses using its Clean Call technology during 2013. The findings show: Although the federal government's national Do Not Call Registry may offer consumers some relief from spam, it leaves businesses exempt and unprotected. The volume of detected and blocked calls jumped 162 percent from January 2013 to January 2014 and is on track to keep rising with the mass adoption of mobile phones. Technology has made it cheaper and easier for spammers to blast out up to tens of thousands of phone calls in a matter of minutes. The average spam call lasts two minutes. That is due in part to spammers using more deceptive practices to keep businesses on the phone … [Read more...] about Spam phone calls cost US small businesses half a billion dollars in lost productivity
Good news for enemies of spam callers. On Tuesday, AT&T, America’s second-largest wireless carrier, announced a new network-level feature — AT&T Call Protect — that it said would help to block unwanted spam calls.AT&T Call Protect, which can be activated for free on AT&T postpaid plans that have support for HD Voice, automatically blocks calls from numbers flagged as “fraudulent.” Customers can manually specific block numbers for a period of 30 days, and when spam calls do get through, recipients are notified with an in-call popup from which they can accept or deny the call.“Nuisance calls are an industrywide problem that unfortunately affect many people,” Jeff Bradley, AT&T’s senior vice president of device and network services marketing, said in a press release. “We’ve listened to our customers and know they want a network that provides tools to proactively assist in blocking … [Read more...] about AT&T introduces Call Protect feature to automatically block fraud, spam calls
There’s nothing more annoying than unsolicited phone calls from companies, nonprofits, and folks you’ve never heard of. But thanks to the ubiquity of robocalling, or tech that dials numbers automatically, they’re an increasingly common occurrence. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission received 5.2 million complaints about robocalls in 2016, a 30 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. But Little Rock, Arkansas-based First Orion, an enterprise company that provides data and phone call solutions to mobile carriers, has a fix for this growing problem: First Orion Network Enterprise Solutions (FONES).That’s a mouthful, but FONES, at its core, makes it easier for carriers to protect subscribers from malicious callers. On the consumer side of the equation, it lets the subscribers of those carriers block any number from any device.FONES filters numbers intelligently by tapping technologies like anonymous aggregation and network … [Read more...] about Stop phone scammers in their tracks with FONES, an anti-robocalling solution
Unwanted calls and texts are a serious problem. There were almost 30 billion robocalls in the U.S. last year according to YouMail research. Thankfully, the Federal Communications Commission is acting to try and protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls and text messages, and manufacturers and service providers are offering various options to help you block nuisance callers on your smartphone, but it’s not always enough.We’ve looked at how to block calls on an iPhone and how to block a number in Android before, but in this article, we’re going to highlight the best call and text blocker apps for Android and iOS. These apps are easy to use, they draw on large databases of spam numbers, and they’ll help you rid yourself of spam callers once and for all.Should I Answer?Relying on a community-generated and fully evaluated database of problem numbers, Should I Answer provides you with the information you need to decide whether to take an incoming call or … [Read more...] about Stop spam calls with the best call- and text-blocker apps
When you’re tapping away at the computer it’s quite a nuisance to stop what you’re doing for the buzzing, ringing nag of a smartphone that’s on your desk. Each vibration or bing usually means another text message, email, sports score, or gaming update that distracts from what’re doing.It may not be that way for long. After teasing that Android notifications would come to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer, the feature is already available if you’re on a Windows Insider build—and you’re willing to share some data with Cortana and put up with the usual bugs that come with unfinished software.It’s very much a beta, with lots of limitations as to how deeply the notifications interact with the apps they’re coming from. But if you like to live somewhat dangerously, it’s a worthwhile exercise to see what Microsoft is up to, and could prove to be a compelling reason for Android users to align themselves with Windows … [Read more...] about How to enable Android notifications on the Windows 10 preview
Thinner, lighter and more powerful than last year's model, the iPad Air 2 is a tablet that's hard to beat. It's the sleekest tablet on the market, and its 9.7-inch display is beautiful to behold. Plus, the addition of Apple's Touch ID fingerprint scanner gives it a big security boost. But as a work device, Apple's flagship iPad still has some noteworthy shortcomings — especially with so many great Windows-powered slates to choose from. That bottom line is that the iPad Air 2 is a very good productivity device, but it's far from perfect. Design How thin can tablets get? The iPad Air 2 sets a new bar for tablet slimness, with a thickness of just 0.24 inches (6.1 mm), down from original iPad Air's 0.29 inches (7.37 mm). It's a slight difference, but I immediately noticed that the device felt noticeably thinner, without losing any of the sturdiness of last year's model. Samsung's Galaxy Tab S 10.1 is a bit thicker at 0.26 inches (6.6 mm), but it also packs a slightly larger … [Read more...] about iPad Air 2 Full Review: Is It Good for Business?
A durable work phone is a dependable work phone, and you can't get much more durable than the Motorola Droid Turbo 2. This Android smartphone sports five layers of protection over the display and a rigid aluminum core, making the device practically impervious to drops and dings. It also offers long battery life and fast performance, two features that business users will adore. On the other hand, the Droid Turbo 2 — which starts at $624, or $26 per month — is a bit on the bulky side, and it lacks the security features you'd expect from such a pricey smartphone. [For more information on how we test mobile devices, visit our testing methodology page.] A cracked screen on your personal smartphone can be a real nuisance. But those same cracks on your work phone are a much bigger issue, since they can actually keep you from doing your job. Motorola claims that the Droid Turbo 2's sports a "shatterproof" display that will make cracked screens a thing of the past — … [Read more...] about Motorola Droid Turbo 2 Review: Is It Good for Business?