Archive for June, 2003
someday i will rule this earth and bring order and enlightenment to the masses, as well as a balanced budget, decent and sensible health care, and mandatory classes in common sense. i will force everyone to take driver’s ed, revive courtesy towards others, scowl at male chauvenism, scoff at rich people compaining they have to pay equal taxes, and change copyright law forever. yes, it will be chaotic for many, but in the end the world will be a better place, don’t you think? so remember, when i run for president (a stepping stone to world domination) to vote for me, doug.
in other news, i have a new DV camera and hopefully in the coming months will be able to post nifty little videos of crap i’ve shot either alone or with others. sean and i already shot interviews with dongle and son of dongle. somehow i must edit them so they make sense. this could be difficult as they make little sense to begin with.
it’s almost july 1st. do you know where your children are?Comments Off on 2003.06.30 | Catergorized: film political
nhk made an interesting point when i was talking to him today…
why is it all the truly mentally fscked up people work in the mental health field?Comments Off on 2003.06.21 | Catergorized: thoughts
there is a strange disease out there afflicting the greedy folk (and turning a few normal people into greedy folk). it deals with intellectual property. i’ve talked about copyright before, but i don’t think i’ve dealt with patents. sfgate recently had an article about it. the article tries to remain neutral on the subject, but i was disgusted.
the problem is that any whacko can patent anything, or at least try to patent it. often these are items like a device that will automatically peel potatoes (quite a boon for GIs at bootcamp) or for a gadget that alerts you when your water is boiling so you can put your pasta in it. these are often innocuous and innocent, and sometimes profitable for the person who invents the thing.
however, these days you can patent anything. there are companies that hold patents for ways to conduct business, which is bullshit because people have been doing business for thousands of years. yet these people have been granted patents for their ideas and therefore if you conduct a business transaction in the manner their patent describes they can charge you, sue you, or stop you.
there is a whole movement, according to the article, of businesses and lawyers who do nothing but look at what competitors may or may not try to do, or what the competitor may or may not need to continue with their current process of research and development. these lawyers then patent the idea before the competitor in order to stymy or shut down their development and/or make a lot of money.
there is a whole movement, according to the article, of businesses and lawyers who try to predict what another business will need in order to continue their research and development and patent that thing first. the motives for doing this are varied, from eliminating (or at least making it difficult) for a competitor to continue developing a technology, to forcing the competitor to license your patent, to simply being greedy and wanting their money.
what gets me is these patents do not even have to be real or potentially real. you can think up a technology that will convert lead to gold, draw a diagram, and attempt to patent it. likely, if someone hasn’t already acquired that patent, you will then hold the patent to turning lead into gold. this seems ridiculous to a rational person. you do not have to actually change lead into gold, or (if a device of some sort) build the thing and prove it works. all you need is a piece of paper with a drawing and a description.
imagine someone trying to patent the way you think. laugh if you will, but biotech companies are already patenting DNA, present in every life form on the planet (that i’m aware of)… why not thought processes, too? i should try to patent this: “the process of thought that when anything sexual is sensed (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, etc) by an individual, along with an individuals resonse to said sensory input (the result of which may or may not be sexual arousal).” i’ll submit an application to the patent office with some vague drawing of this process along with the fee. within a certain amount of time i am certain i’ll be awarded the patent.
woohoo! now i can go after everyone and demand that they pay me for having sexual thoughts *if* there is something sexual that stimulates that thought (or even if they don’t have a sexual thought). i can walk up to anybody on the street, show them a picture of two people having sex and that person would have to pay me. the only way out of paying me is to sense nothing sexual in the world at all which we all know is impossible.
i know you’re laughing at my idea, but it really isn’t so far fetched. things we take for granted everyday are being patented by some bozo somewhere who will eventually decide to get rich by enforcing their ridiculous rights.
hyperlinks (those things on webpages that you click to get to another web page or another site on the internet) are patented. i suppose everytime i click on a link a penny should fall into the coffers of the patent holder… actually, the patent was thrown out of court when british telecom tried to sue prodigy (an ISP) and get them to pay some amount of money. read the whole history here.
ever wonder why we don’t see pizza shaped like an icecream cone? probably because this guy owns the patent. that would explain why innovation in the pizza industry is crawling at a snail’s pace; someone is patenting all the great ideas for pizza!
do you like to swing on… swings? be careful, you might have to pay up.
the us patent office says applications for patent must be new, cannot be obvious, and that there cannot be evidence of “prior art” (meaning there can’t be any examples of this thing or method already in existence). it seems to me that i should patent this, then:
“a system by which patents are issued fairly; with regard to common sense; with regard to novelty, prior art; with regard to due process, with a means of checks and balances. items to be patented must be built or demonstratable at the time of application. exclusive rights to patents will be for 10 years for physical items, and 5 years for non-physical (process based or methods) patent. after the exclusivity period the patent falls into the public domain.”
the day i am granted that patent will be the day the universe ends.
for further quick reading if you are interested, i also found the origin of patents:
1 Comment | Catergorized: rights technology
When Henry VI founded Eton college in the fifteenth century he also introduced something that doesnâ€™t find its way into the history books quite so often: the patent. This particular patent was granted to John of Utynam in 1449 who was making stained glass for the windows using a method heâ€™d brought with him from the continent. Henryâ€™s august family continued with this new -fangled idea, giving rise to the worldâ€™s longest-running patent system. By the reign of Elizabeth I some fifty patents were granted each year.
i’ve been working a bit on the world building project. i’ve created a new race, tentatively called the lekthis. they are an arborial people, long and thin and very reclusive. i was inspired by a picture i saw online somewhere. i’d post it but i don’t know who to give the credit to, so i won’t. it’s fun to work on their manners and culture and peculiarities… and it reminds me that i should also stop looking at the world i’m developing in the large scope all the time and get to focusing on one particular time period so i can develop some stories i can actually work on.
i also came to the realization that my elves, though they may evolve in what i call the valley (a very large "dent" in some mountains), there is no way they would develop a sophisticated culture there because the area is too small for them to diversify ideas, technology and culture. it would probably remain in a state similar to many of the pacific island cultures; fairly primitive. (disclaimer: this is not to say they are simple -some have very complex social cultures- but they would never develop global thermonuclear war games, or even conceive the possibility).
so at some point in their prehistory there has to be an exodus. as the nearest and greatest expanse of land for them is to the north and east, i need to start focusing on developing that area more for the earlier advanced cultures (the equivilent of babylonia, assyria, et al). it’s not something i had *wanted* to do, but it is something that i will *have* to do. nechci, ale budu musit (to use very base czech… i’m so rusty!).Comments Off on 2003.06.09 | Catergorized: worldbuilding
at long last i finally hear from dear old bill, the inspiration of and for the band not bill, because, well, we’re not bill (he is). anyways, he sent a cool picture that might just become a CD cover at some point in the future:
nothing too complex. the watercolor effect isn’t so obvious at first (i had to rez this down from the original).
meanwhile i’m concerned at news that dear micro$oft is going to stop making internet explorer a stand alone application in favor of intigrating it into the operating system (link). they will also possibly dump the macintosh version (link). could someone please remind me; isn’t the fact that the browser was tied into the operating system one of the many aspects of the antitrust trial against M$? isn’t this a slap in the face of the incompetent prosecution?Comments Off on 2003.06.04 | Catergorized: media technology