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MacBytes
Jan 18, 2006, 09:45 AM
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Category: News and Press Releases
Link: Apple releases three new patents (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060118104539)
Description:: Apple has filed three new patents: for a method and apparatus for preventing loops in a full-duplex bus, for the generation and use of masks in MPEG video encoding to indicate non-zeroentries in transformed macroblocks and a keyboard with a lighting system.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by arn

Diatribe
Jan 18, 2006, 10:23 AM
Oooh, backlit desktop keyboards... nice. :)

thejadedmonkey
Jan 18, 2006, 11:30 AM
Oooh, backlit desktop keyboards... nice. :)


Or, better backlit keyboards for the new powerbooks!

Diatribe
Jan 18, 2006, 11:53 AM
Or, better backlit keyboards for the new powerbooks!

What are you referring to? I quite like the backlit keyboards... what's there to improve? :confused:

bigandy
Jan 18, 2006, 12:29 PM
well it's an idea to patent it if they haven't already.... :rolleyes:

rendezvouscp
Jan 18, 2006, 01:37 PM
a method and apparatus for preventing loops in a full-duplex bus

I'm guessing that this is a method to test for a full loop, and if there is a full loop, then for a device to make a connection to it. It's a wonder that they can patent that sort of thing; it's a greater wonder as to what this is actually referring to (unless I'm totally missing the boat).

the generation and use of masks in MPEG video encoding to indicate non-zeroentries in transformed macroblocks

This sounds like a codec improvement, but as far as I'm aware Apple doesn't make the codecs themselves; instead, they follow what the MPEG Group is working on. This might be a contribution to a next-generation codec, unless this is already in a codec such as h.264.

Gotta love patents!
-Chasen

iMeowbot
Jan 18, 2006, 02:27 PM
When these "news" items on patents come out, it's usually best to ignore the reporting and look up the files directly. The keyboard patent is for the PowerBook keyboards Apple have been using for years and has been in the patent system since at least 2002. The bus loop patent is of a similar vintage, and describes part of the FireWire protocol, specifically some FW800 safeguarding.
This sounds like a codec improvement, but as far as I'm aware Apple doesn't make the codecs themselves; instead, they follow what the MPEG Group is working on.
Apple do work directly on them, in fact the MPEG 4 format itself came from QuickTime. The zig-zag stuff is part of H.264.

rendezvouscp
Jan 18, 2006, 02:35 PM
Doh on my part. I should've recognized "IEEE 1394" immediately! :o

I wasn't exactly clear about Apple's involvement in codec production either—I meant to say that they don't (usually) create their own codecs, but contribute to what's going on in the MPEG Consortium (that is what they do, right?).
-Chasen

iMeowbot
Jan 18, 2006, 03:15 PM
I meant to say that they don't (usually) create their own codecs, but contribute to what's going on in the MPEG Consortium (that is what they do, right?).
They do both :) Pixlet is all theirs, for example, and the patent mentioned in the article above describes CAVLC which is the main compression scheme used in H.264. Apple do a huge amount of codec work, but their contributions kind of get made invisible by the committee process.

nagromme
Jan 18, 2006, 05:05 PM
This would look SO cool in aluminum!
http://www.macsimumnews.com/images/uploads/LoopsPatent.gif