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General Chat Thread, Microsoft Patents The Sudo Command in General; Microsoft Patents The Sudo Command Nothing much to add really except that I am amazed. Source: Gizmo.Com...
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    Microsoft Patents The Sudo Command

    Microsoft Patents The Sudo Command

    Nothing much to add really except that I am amazed.

    Source: Gizmo.Com

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    R0M
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    Damn! Surely this has to be some kind of joke like some one got April fools day and black Friday mixed up… How can you patent a command? And if you can I'm “ls” and “dir” then I will charge 0.001c every time some one uses them and become a millionaire over night (sarcasm)

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    I don't think it's quite true to say that they've patented "sudo". The patent (United States Patent: 7617530) specifically talks about a GUI interface to a sudo type action (so when you try and run "setup" in Windows XP it pops up a dialogue offering a choice of users)

    I don't like software patents, not least because the wording is so vague that you could prevent all sorts of things. I can't see the command line sudo being affected at all but the system used in a Linux GUI when you try and install software could be blocked from further development. (Linux will only let you elevate if your account has rights to elevate; Windows lets you use a different user's credentials which is more flexible)

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    Im waiting for tomorrows headline "Microsoft sues the makers of sudo for patent infringement and all the distro makers for distributing ilegal software"

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    If Microsoft try to sue, the distros will claim the patent is invalid, years of legal rubbish will follow, lawyers will get rich and we in the UK won't care because you cannot patent software in this country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    I don't think it's quite true to say that they've patented "sudo". The patent (United States Patent: 7617530) specifically talks about a GUI interface to a sudo type action (so when you try and run "setup" in Windows XP it pops up a dialogue offering a choice of users)

    I don't like software patents, not least because the wording is so vague that you could prevent all sorts of things. I can't see the command line sudo being affected at all but the system used in a Linux GUI when you try and install software could be blocked from further development. (Linux will only let you elevate if your account has rights to elevate; Windows lets you use a different user's credentials which is more flexible)
    Not true. Kdesudo and kdesu have existed for quite some time. And I'm pretty sure Gnome had its own version too. I'm also sure they pre-date XP's version.

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    Also, this patent seems to actually cover UAC, not a sudo based system. Which, considering OS X had it *way* before and MS software, I would suggest they forgot to do some research.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Not true. Kdesudo and kdesu have existed for quite some time. And I'm pretty sure Gnome had its own version too. I'm also sure they pre-date XP's version.
    It's more a process of patenting elevation rather than a single command, and this as Microsoft has said has been in use by them for many many years, pre Windows XP infact.

    Sudo itself is therefore a elevation of rights mechanism and therefore falls under this, however only GUI versions like UAC, Kdesudo and the likes.

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    Further Information About SUDO [History]

    Microsoft claimed SUDO [Updated information on patent number 7,617,530]

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    Didn't RunAs do the same? Didn't that exist in Windows 2000? The MS "patent" was filed in 2005 - nothing new?

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    This patent is quite simple - it is not a patent of Sudo, or RunAs. It is a patent of the mechanism to graphically, with or without a username and password box, elevate priviliges to a higher level than normally accessible to the user. It is the mechanism that *knows* what needs higher privileges that is the issue. Linux only calls sudo/gtksudo etc... when directed to by a user (be that via a shortcut created with gtksudo at the front, or manually).

    This is a pretty specific patent when you read all of it. It is very specific to the way UAC works.

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    Now: "Microsoft Makes Patent Claim For Sparklines"

    Until tonight I had never heard of Sparklines for Excel. The guy writing in this blog:

    Sparklines for Excel

    seems none too happy about the development:

    Not that I am especially interested in bloodsuckers, but you might have a look at what Microsoft just patented today under a United States Patent Application 20090282325
    Google search result for Sparklines definition: Spark lines is this really cool way to visualize information. They are small high resolution line charts that show you where things are heading. Note that they don't show any detailed data, but only the general trend.

    Blog entry: Microsoft Makes Patent Claim For Sparklines

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    A reading of the comments and the application itself reveals that the Sparklines patent application (which has not yet been granted) is for the specific implementation of Sparklines that is used in Office 2010, not for the whole concept of Sparklines as the blog author implies. MS themselves acknowledge the prior art in the Microsoft Excel Blog earlier this year; there's no way they'd be dumb enough to file a patent for something they've publicly acknowledged wasn't their invention.

    In summary, the Sparklines blog post you linked to suffers the exact same fault as the Sudo uproar this thread began with: it's an ignorant oversimplification of what the patent application covers.



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