Friday, April 09, 2004

False advertising words?

Selling OnlineIs Google entitled to sell search terms that happen to be trademarked? A fascinating lawsuit brought by Pets Warehouse contends that the major search engines (Google, Overture and Kanoodle) have no right to sell trademarked "ad words".

A trademark infringement lawsuit against Overture, Google, and Kanoodle will move forward, after a judge rejected motions to dismiss the suit...

...The suit alleges the defendants infringed on Pets Warehouse's (PW) trademarks by selling its name as a keyword to their paid placement advertisers. It also accuses them of unfair competition, trademark dilution, deceptive practices, and interference with prospective business advantage.

"Not withstanding PW's exclusive right to control the use of its famous Pets Warehouse mark, Kanoodle, Google and Overture actively assists [sic] competitors of PW in what is best described as a 'bait and switch' of PW's actual and potential customers,"
(Ed: fascinating and -- at face value -- accurate description of how 'ad words'-style programs operate)the suit says... consumers clicking on results on the sites might end up buying from competitors, perhaps without even realizing they aren't on the PW Web site...

Suit Against Google, Overture, Kanoodle Moves Forward

Putting a stake in the heart of 'strcpy'

C Programming Language (2nd Edition)It's about time. Microsoft finally whacked strcpy and his friends. I used to have all sorts of cheesy tricks to force myself and other developers working with me to avoid this class of unsafe function. I wasn't worried (at the time) about buffer overflows causing cracks in my security foundation. I was simply concerned about stability. I had one goal for the software I wrote: never crash and never leak (tough goal in ANSI C, I know!). So I used to #undef strcpy and attempt other cheesy tricks. But using sprintf, strncpy and other alternatives to formatting C's ASCIIZ string buffers has always been flat-out risky.

Every once in a while, we all need to do some serious spring-cleaning, whether it's around the house or in our code. And invariably, when we do start the clean-up effort, we wonder where some of the moldy old crud came from, and why we never noticed it in the past. Some things we keep, and some things we toss out. And if you're anything like me, you replace some of things you throw away with shinier, newer versions.

Let's face it, the C Runtime library is in dire need of a good scrub, and I don't mean a tidy-up, I mean getting in there with steel wool and bleach!

Saying goodbye to an old friend

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