Published every weekday, the Switchboard is your morning helping of handpicked stories from the Switch team.
The patent office is rejecting a lot more software patents.Vox's Timothy B. Lee looks at the fallout of June Supreme Court Alice v. CLS Bank -- which he reports has led to lower court decisions invalidating software patents and may be linked to a September decline in patent lawsuits. "The decision appears to be having another effect that could be even more important in the long run," Lee writes. "It's causing the patent office to reject a lot more patents on 'business methods,' a category of software patent that is notorious for its high litigation rate."
Grow lights and drones: How California’s drought is driving farmers into high-tech. California's drought has taken half a million acres of farmland out of action, the Switch's Brian Fung reports. And that's making farmers explore more high tech agricultural techniques -- including grow lights and drones.
Kmart and Dairy Queen report data breach. Kmart and Dairy Queen are the latest in the string of businesses acknowledging cybersecurity compromises involving customers' credit and debit card information, reports Nicole Perloth at the New York Times.
Cloud computing is forcing a reconsideration of intellectual property."We’ve used ideas to sculpt the globe since the Industrial Revolution, thanks largely to the way we handle intellectual property," writes Quentin Hardy at the New York Times. "When machines, and machines to make identical machines, mass-produced reliably identical goods, it was because people understood the same set of instructions." But cloud computing and its constant reproduction of digital goods may be upending traditional ways of thinking about IP, he argues.
Fueled by stoke, GoPro helps turn rookie selfie snappers into film directors. While the video camcorder industry imploded with the rise of the smartphone, the GoPro exploded, reports the Switch's Hayley Tsukayama. "GoPro roared to success with a $427 million initial public offering in June, valuing the company at $3 billion."