As Microsoft has already laid claim to everything that users ever use, it is now looking at owning the users themselves, it seems. With US patent number 6,754,472, the company is laying claim to any system of power and/or data transmission that uses the electrically-conductive human body (or indeed a dog's body) to carry signals from one device to another. So it seems that the Redmond giant is no longer content with trying to get the shirt off Sneak's back, it now want's Sneak's back itself as well. Meanwhile, Redmond may yet run into trouble with another controversial patent, number 6,727,830, otherwise known as the double-click patent. Free software advocates have been calling for prior art to show that Microsoft was not original in conceiving of a resource-constrained device in which a single control can gain multiple functions through differently-timed interactions. While some dissenters have pointed out that digital watches have adopted this mode of control for decades, Sneak feels that an even older, more basic and very, very widely used device has for a long time offered the ability to select between two different functions with a single control: a short pull or press for the number 1 function, and a longer one for number 2s...
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