IoT Corner

Microsoft researchers recently uncovered at least two dozen crucial remote code vulnerabilities in IoT devices that could affect many consumer and medical devices, as well as industrial control systems.

Called BadAlloc, these vulnerabilities are related to the memory functions used in the deployment of connected devices. Though no reports of hackers exploiting the problem have been found, the results may have been severe because there was the potential to upload code to devices to trigger a crash or to run code for hostile ends.

More than half of the affected devices have been updated with software patches to prevent potential issues with others soon to follow.—Jeremy Losaw

What IS That?

The WildWave Stress Relief Human Face Ball is a four-piece set with different types of faces. Its makers say “You can pinch, press, throw, hurl, knock, trample this face ball” but warns against pulling pieces such as the nose or lip too strongly because you could pull them off. Maybe that’s why there are four of them.


Nine-year-old Cooper Dean of Valrico, Florida, was the Best Game Concept winner in the juniors category during the most recent People of Play’s Young Inventor Challenge. Her inspiration was watching chickens make, uh, deposits while she was camping. In her Chicken Poo Bingo game, a windup chicken she got in an Easter basket is filled with miniature candy that it “poops out,” one by one, onto a master bingo board as players try to fill up the squares on their card. The winner gets candy.


The number of patents known to have been issued by the short-lived Confederate Patent Office through 1864 (a few more may have been issued in early 1865). An April 1865 fire while Richmond was burning destroyed virtually all the patents.

What Do You Know?

1 Intellectual property specialist IPwe is partnering with which company’s blockchain group to try to turn patents and other assets into non-fungible tokens (digital assets)?

B) Sony
C) Apple
D) None of the above

2 Which major U.S. presidential candidate applied to trademark the word “telerally” last year—Joe Biden, or Donald Trump?

3 True or false: Patents are valid only within a country.

4 In an “All in the Family” episode, Archie Bunker spent $1,000 to co-invest in a friend’s invention of a:

  1. A) Foldable fishing pole
  2. B) Radar-controlled bowling ball
  3. C) Doorbell remote control
  4. D) Human subway shield

5 True or false: The NFL has trademarked the phrase “The big game.”


  1. A. IPwe announced its intention on April 20. The companies said, “The tokenization of intellectual property will help position patents to be more easily sold, traded, commercialized or otherwise monetized.” 2. Trump. Gerben Intellectual Property reported that the attempt was rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on October 31 because it was not specific enough. 3. True. Patents are not valid worldwide. 4. C. 5. False—but seemingly just about everything else related to it.