Thanksgiving may be over, but more holidays are just ahead. Between now and then, we’ve got all the business tech news you need to know. Listed in no particular order, the key summaries are below.
1. The Supreme Court has announced they’ll hear a case concerning the viability of software patents. While it might not sound like an exciting issue, the legal precedents surrounding when software can be patented have caused numerous issues for lower courts and technology companies alike. The case stems from a 2007 lawsuit between CLS Bank International and Alice Corp, makers of international trade software.
2. Apple deployed their iBeacon monitoring systems in their US stores yesterday, marking the first widespread use of the technology. The system will track users inside of Apple stores, and will send them push-notifications to purchase products, or info about their phone’s upgrade eligibility. The system does require users to opt-in, which should ease some consumer’s privacy concerns.
3. TechCrunch takes a look at the rampant (some might say absurd) proliferation of group-messaging apps. With the rise of Snapchat and other messaging services such as WhatsApps, Kik, and Viber, countless companies are hoping to cash in on the new fad.
4. The US House of Representatives passed anti patent-troll measures this week. The legislation, formally known as the Innovation Act, is designed to make it harder for companies to issue mass patent infringement lawsuits. The bill was supported by a majority of both party’s representatives, and will now move on to the Senate.
5. According to the latest IDC reports, somewhere between 25% and 30% of all servers shipped in 2014 will be bought by cloud service providers. By 2017, it may be as high as 45%. The report further shows companies growing familiarity and reliance on SaaS.
6. Did we mention it’s almost Christmas time? This piece offered without comment: The North American Air Defense Command has come under criticism this year for their Santa Tracker website. While previous years have simply shown Santa and his reindeer, this year NORAD will show him being escorted by fighter jets while flying through North American airspace. The WSJ quotes a senior defense official as saying that the escorts are appropriate because of “the proliferation of air defense identification zones.”