Wednesday, 01 June 2011

Pirated Software Used in India Smart Card Project, Says Microsoft

Software giant Microsoft has alleged that the smart card project introduced in the Karnataka state of India 2 years ago has been using pirated software for issuing driving licence and registration certificate of vehicles through regional transport offices (RTOs) across the state.

To this effect, Microsoft has recently lodged a complaint to the Yeddyurappa-led Government in Karnataka. A high-level inquiry has been ordered to ascertain whether pirated software has been actually used to generate the smart cards. The Regional Transport Offices have issued nearly 30.00000 smart cards.

The problem began in June 2009, when the transport department came out with a proposal to issue smart cards fitted with microprocessor chips containing data of driving licence holders or vehicle owners. A New Delhi-based private firm, Rosmerta Technologies Limited, was given the job of creating infrastructure for the project that would enable RTO offices across the state to manufacture smart cards for the next 15 years.

License and Settlement Agreement with Elpida Relating to Qimonda's Patent Portfolio

Dr. Michael Jaffe, the insolvency administrator over the estate of Qimonda AG, reached a settlement and license agreement with the Japanese memory chip manufacturer Elpida Memory, Inc., Tokyo.

Insolvency proceedings over the estate of Qimonda AG were opened on April 1, 2009 at the Munich District Court and Dr. Michael Jaffe was appointed insolvency administrator. Qimonda AG markets one of the largest semiconductor IP portfolios in the world including some 4,500 patent families.

The settlement and license agreement allows Elpida to use Qimonda's patents world wide. Elpida will withdraw from litigation pending in the U.S. between Qimonda's administrator and several semiconductor and information-technology manufacturers.

This settlement is the first resolution of claims brought by licensees of Qimonda AG's patent portfolio. After a U.S. Bankruptcy Court recognised Qimonda AG's German insolvency proceedings as a foreign main proceeding under Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code, a group of licensees, including Elpida, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Intel Corp., Infineon Technologies AG, Micron Technology Inc., Hynix Semiconductor Inc., IBM Corp. and Nanya Technology Corp., asserted that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court should order that licenses shall continue with respect to Qimonda's U.S. patents under U.S. law, despite the insolvency administrator's election of non-performance under German law. That proceeding - from which Elpida will now withdraw as an objector - is still pending.

OTI Receives New $6 Million Order

On Track Innovations Ltd., announce that it has received a new $6 million order, and advanced payment for such order, in support of the next stage expansion of a national ID program. The company expects revenues from the order to be recognised this year.

The new order is in support of an existing ID project announced last year, which is part of the country's effort to modernise and improve the security of its electronic ID cards. Last year, OTI successfully supplied its end-to-end turnkey solution based on its proprietary state-of-the-art, field-proven eID Magna platform in support of the nationwide infrastructure setup. The system includes both stationary and mobile stations for data enrolment and card issuance, the creation of a central national registry database, as well as the provision of contactless, highly-secured smart ID cards and a Biometric Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), to detect and prevent double registration attempts by the same ID applicant.

"We are proud to be the technology and implementation partner of our governmental client's national ID system," said Oded Bashan, chairman and CEO of OTI. "The level of professionalism and execution capabilities demonstrated by the government has been second to none. Together, we were able to meet the strict implementation timeline, allowing for the continuation of the project."

Oberthur Technologies Announces the Appointment of James Hussey

Oberthur Technologies announces that James Hussey has accepted a multi-year consultancy with the Company. Mr Hussey has spent over twenty-five years at the leading edge of the banknote and security printing industry and will act as Advisor to the Chairman of the Board.

Mr Hussey will take up his appointment today, June 1 2011

Commenting on the appointment, Chairman Jean Pierre Savare said, "We are absolutely delighted to welcome someone of James's ability and depth of experience to work with us. His detailed understanding of the market and long-standing relationships across the industry will be invaluable to Oberthur as we seek to continue to grow our banknote and security printing business.

Furthermore, following press and analysts' speculations, we want to clarify, without any reservation, that we have no intention of making an offer for De La Rue plc."

Merchant Payments over Cell Phones Pilot Program in India

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announced it will be launching a pilot project in 3 months' time for making merchant payments possible through mobile phones. Six banks, including ICICI, UBI, Kotak Mahindra Bank and the country's largest bank State Bank of India will be participating in this pilot project.

On May 3, The Reserve Bank of India had allowed banks to allow its customers to make merchant payments through their mobile phones using the recently launched Mobile Payment Service (IMPS) run by NPCI. On May 3, The Reserve Bank had allowed banks to let its customers make merchant payments through their mobile phones using the recently launched Mobile Payment Service (IMPS) run by NPCI.

NPCI's Managing Director and Chief Executive, A P Hota said, "Through this service, account holders will be able to make many payments over their cell phones, including insurance payments, making donations to trusts, etc. Presently, with the IMPS, only individual to individual payments are allowed. The RBI has set transaction limits of Rs. 5,000 for a SMS- based payment and Rs. 50,000 for the more secure application based payments".

After launching the merchant payments through mobile phones, NPCI will work towards launching the channel integration project which will lead to transfers between various modes like from an automated teller machine (ATMs) to mobile phone and vice-versa.

Apple to Offer SIM-Free iPhone 4S

According to Japanese Mac focused blog MacOtakara, Apple may shortly announce its new and innovative offering - a SIM-free iPhone 4S. The smartphone is supposed to have a SIM-less design and 8 megapixel camera.

Although an Apple India spokesperson refused to comment on the report, the person hinted "to look out at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference 2011" that commences on June 6.

Earlier this year, the CEO of France Telecom, Stephane Richard said in an interview that "Apple had been working on a SIM-less device". The project was code named the e-SIM Project and that Apple has been considering reducing the size of its SIM module. Perhaps this is the reason why Apple developed the microSIM.

Apple is also said to be working on the next iPhone with Qualcomm-made dual-mode chip that allows the same mobile phone to be used on GSM or CDMA networks.

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