Points of Interest: January 21, 2005

HP Settles with Intergraph. Hewlett-Packard Co has agreed to pay $141 million to settle patent disputes with Intergraph. HP said the payment will reduce earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2005 by about 3 cents per share. The two companies will immediately dismiss, withdraw or terminate all pending lawsuits but with the right to reinstate them, according to one report. They also struck an agreement under which Hewlett-Packard is granted license to all Intergraph patents while Intergraph has license to all HP patents in fields covered by its current products. Two points on that last part: first the "patent sharing" sounds a bit like the deal between Autodesk and Microsoft noted recently and second, that seems to nullify the "gap closing" patent issue I described this fall, at least for Intergraph.

Writing in the Waves. One of the DigitalGlobe images of the tsunami "in action" has prompted some to see words in the water. In particular, some see the Arabic spelling of the name of the almighty. A comparison is here, in the middle of images collected by GlobalSecurity.org. I read about the connection of the image to the words here.

No Big Brother. The local paper in Ironwood Michigan actually ran an article noting that 911 can only track the location of a cell phone when someone calls 911. The urban legend of constant surveillance had been spreading in the area. The paper quoted Jeff Selesky, communications supervisor for the Michigan State Police Regional Dispatch at Negaunee to help allay fears.

Civil Engineering GIS. Investor's Business Daily reports that the Japanese firm CRC Solutions will join Autodesk's developer program to "to Expand 3D Civil Engineering GIS Market." The expected product, GEORAMA for Civil 3D, an add-on software package which runs on Autodesk Civil 3D, will offer "efficiency in geological formation modeling and geological analysis involved in designing structures in the ground." Is the 3D Civil Engineering GIS Market the same as geoengineering? Or something else entirely?

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Source: Material used herein is often supplied by external sources and used as is.