This is in the UK, though, and the US Patent Office might not be aware that we exist.
Everyone knows England is just a conspiracy of cartographers.
Alright, here. I AM a lawyer (though not your lawyer, and nothing I post here should be construed as legal advice) and you might be interested to know that Microsoft is already backing off a bit in the suit with Barnes & Noble. So yes: "at least 6 multi-billion dollar corporations, some of which are much larger than Microsoft, have signed patent deals worth hundreds of millions over completely flimsy ridiculous patents that could easy be overturned by any court."
The nice way of saying it is that those companies have agreed to "play ball" and probably anticipate improved relations with Microsoft as a result. In the sense that it takes money to make money, these companies probably see the payoff as an investment in something else (even if that "something else" is just avoiding a protracted legal battle). Barnes & Noble is no stranger to the game of David & Goliath, though they are usually the Goliath! But they are refusing to be bullied while several of the companies who have capitulated are not treating it so much as being bullied as cutting deals.
If Microsoft hadn't insisted on an NDA ("you're violating our patents but we won't tell you which ones unless you sign an agreement with us") they might have some minimal leg to stand on. As it is, though, what they're doing looks an awful lot like bad-faith extortion. Especially if it was a natural person doing it; but of course, large companies these days get away with much worse.
Ten inches is too big to be truly portable, too small to justify using as a replacement if you own an actual computer (especially if you own a laptop). I think for many non-tech types, tablets are replacing the PC--after all, they only bought a PC so they could surf the web and maybe play simple games.
But that's not me. I don't carry a cell phone (my wife uses her iPhone constantly) but I'm interested in the 7" tablets... may pick one up this Christmas, though now that the Tegra 3 is out I guess I'm waffling again. Combined with a bluetooth headset, I would definitely use a 7" tablet often.
I tried out Mosaic via a NovaNET connection out in rural Arizona--in 1994, when I was 14. It was another year before I bothered with the web again (once we moved somewhere with local dial-up access), though by the time I graduated high school I was using it every day.
I left IT behind in 2006 and am an attorney now, but honestly the HTML (and Photoshop) I learned running an "underground" newspaper website on Geocities has been more useful to me than most anything else I learned in high school. As usual, Randall got it right.
I've had the same experience. I've been summoned four times in the last 12 years. Twice I was out of state at school, so obviously I couldn't go. Twice I was in-state and reported happily. The first time I was down the list a ways and they selected a complete jury before getting to me. The second time I had just graduated from law school so the attorneys on the case bounced me, which was disappointing. While sometimes it doesn't work that way, most of the time if you are a lawyer or even a paralegal, you will not be selected. Which disappoints me because it means I will probably never get to serve on a jury now.
Anyway, in the same time period, my wife has never been summoned at all. Just the nature of random (here on
I'm curious as to whether these results have been revisited--or replicated--since the 1950s. This article seems to indicate that people have been talking about the experiment without really revisiting the science for more than half a century.
Biology is not my area of expertise, but I have to wonder why we haven't managed to "create life" yet (or have we?). It seems like such an experiment could yield a lot of results that would be important for everything from medicine (understanding where we came from may give us better insight into where we are now) to space travel (isn't one of the variables in the Drake equation the likelihood of life appearing? Wouldn't we need to know what it takes for life to emerge in order to calculate that?).
Are the experiments just not economically promising enough? More complicated than they sound? I'd be very interested to know more about this area of research from someone with actual background in the field.
Psh, I've been using buckets of lava to power my furnace for months!
(Seriously, though, is this a "new source" of geothermal energy? Isn't it more like a "new approach to utilizing" geothermal energy?)
The vagaries inherent in selecting best-sellers do not really stem from problems of accuracy.
At present, there are only two entities that track overall sales of a book: the publisher, which tracks books shipped and/or returned, and Bookscan, which kind of sort of tracks books sold at the register.
The publisher's numbers are as accurate as reasonably possible for the very simple reason that they have to pay the author based on this number and are subject to audits at the author's request. However this does not track copies sold to readers--just to the indies, the chains, and other retailers. This number is occasionally made available to industry press (for example, Publisher's Weekly).
Bookscan numbers track copies sold to readers, however depending on the genre Bookscan may report 90% of sales or it may catch 50% of sales, because not all booksellers report to Bookscan. Bookscan subscriptions are not cheap to get (publishers and some agents are their primary customers) but Amazon recently made authors' personal numbers available via author accounts.
The best-seller lists rely on a combination of publisher input, Bookscan numbers, non-bookscan numbers, and their own statistical projections. My wife, a New York Times bestselling children's author, has spent some time examining the lists and the numbers with some of her author friends. Most of the time, Bookscan numbers line up more or less with the rankings on the list, particularly at the top. But (especially toward the bottom half of the list) there are recurring and sometimes wild variations. And some books are not "listed" because the publisher apparently does not submit them for consideration in a given week; Lois Lowry's "The Giver," for example, puts up strong enough numbers every single week that it would likely bounce on and off the Children's Hardcover list several times each year. Because the list is a powerful marketing tool, however, and "The Giver" presumably is in no need of marketing, this does not occur. Furthermore, the NYT has shown that it frowns on books clogging the list for too long (the Children's lists were made in direct response to Harry Potter's dominance, for example).
With specific regard to e-books, we're a little baffled as to why the NYT would create an eBook list and a "combined" list at once. I don't know if eBook sales previously counted at all toward a book's listing status; I do think they should! I can see why a separate eBook list might be of interest but I'm not sure THREE lists is warranted. As a general rule, expect to see the top slots of all three lists basically repeat themselves. But don't expect "improved accuracy." While accuracy is definitely among the lists' aspirations, the ability to track eBook sales only slightly improves the information already available to the Times.
Reading comprehension fail.
I am not arguing against childhood vaccination! At all! I'm not interested in defending Wakefield.
What I'm asking is for some empirical evidence of the claim that Wakefield has killed thousands of children. Not anecdotal evidence that some people have suffered. Not scientific evidence that measles is bad. Not restatements of why that childhood vaccination is a good thing. All these things I accept. What I don't accept is using invented numbers in an attempt to strengthen the case against Wakefield because inventing numbers is what got us into this mess in the first place.
My original comment has now been modded flamebait and overrated (and one insightful) because I have asked for data (rather than anecdotes) on Gates' claims. The dogma has officially overrun my karma. Way to be scientific, slashdot community.