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Comment: Re:Probably the wrong way to fight it anyway (Score 1) 52

Combining A+B and C may not be easy, but it is obvious. This is actually the main problem I see with software patents: idea C is "with a computer", and A+B is some existing invention. Newspapers - on a computer! Alarm clocks - on a computer! Bank transactions - on a computer! Sure it was hard to program them. It's still obvious. But if securing the bank transactions requires new innovations in security technology to glue the pieces together, those innovations could merit patent D. Does not and should not prevent anybody else from making their own secure bank transactions with a different security method because somebody got an A+B+C patent covering the obvious part.

Definitely, and that should be the answer to those:
"Alarm clock, on a computer!"
"That's obvious. Alarm clocks and computers both exist."

"But this was difficult because [intricate problem that's different with computer clocks] and we had to do [intricate solution]."
"Then put that in the patent claims."

Good patent examiners currently do that, but there's a bunch of terrible stuff out there.

Really not understanding your point about pharmaceuticals. How is the benzene ring different from "including a library or function in a program [which] should have an absolutely predictable result"?

Combine a program and a library and even before hitting compile, you should be able to tell exactly what the result is. Combine a benzene ring and a hydroxide compound and even if you done it at one position, move it someplace else and it could have the opposite effect. It's unpredictable.

I do agree though that pharmaceuticals are a bit different than other patent issues, but for a different reason: selling a drug requires round after round of expensive clinical trials because of the FDA. Without exclusivity, there may not be enough incentive for drug companies to pay for those trials if a generic manufacturer can reverse engineer the same drug and sell it on the cheap without paying for the trials. Maybe the FDA should have its own special exclusivity granting system so we can peel off one of the complications of patent law.

True. Pharmaceuticals don't really seem to mesh with patent law anyway - right now, a company will defend their patent application as I did above, saying that the result of any compound is absolutely unpredictable, so therefore, nothing is ever obvious in drugs... and then when they get the patent and some competitors makes a biosimilar drug, that first company will leap up and say it's just an obvious variation on the patent and is covered under the doctrine of equivalents.

Comment: Re:Not a surprise, but is it just one ingredient? (Score 1) 420

by Theaetetus (#48203335) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

In short-- dont let me stop you if you want to look into steak and beer as potential causes of telomere shortening-- but unless theres substantive results there, Im not going to start panicking yet.

Or, as I suggested, we could actually do science and do a whole bunch of tests changing or removing one variable at a time: try cola and then try clear cola, rather than your suggested "try cola, try steak, gosh, different effects."

Comment: Re:I never ever commented on the SCO issue in any (Score 1) 187

We knew what was going on when you ran your anti-IBM campaign, sometimes even positioning yourself as arguing on behalf of our community. It was a way to lend credence to IBM and MS arguments during the SCO issue. To state otherwise is deceptive, perhaps even self-deceptive.

Florian, you would not be devoting all of this text to explaining yourself if you didn't feel the need to paint your actions in a positive light. That comes from guilt, whether you admit it to yourself or not.

Go write your app, and if you actually get to make any money with it you can give thanks, because it will happen despite what you worked for previously. Keep a low profile otherwise because your credibility is well and truly blown and you can only make things worse. And maybe someday you can really move past this part of your life. But I am not holding out much hope.

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 371

by kannibal_klown (#48194853) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

There HAVE been news reports of SOME communities putzing with stuff... or having them fail "accidentally"

However, over the last 10 years I only remember reading or watching 2 such stories. I *think* one involved the timer set incorrectly so it would take pictures of people "running the red" before the light was red.

So either it's a much more rare occurrence than people assume, or it just isn't reported often.

To your overall question though -- I do not recall the actual sources / citations. Though a Google search might bring some back.

Comment: Re:Probably the wrong way to fight it anyway (Score 1) 52

So, if the invention claims "A+B+C" and one piece of art teaches A+B and the the other teaches C, then A+B+C is obvious. That's not very subjective at all.

I disagree here. Sometimes the non-obvious part is that C can be combined with A+B in a useful manner in the first place.

That's actually the counter-argument: reference 1 teaches A+B, reference 2 teaches C, so they're obvious? No, because combining them is a biatch and raises additional problems, or combining them is unforeseeable because they're so widely different that they result in an unpredictable result, etc., etc. :)

That argument generally works better on the pharmaceutical side, where some benzene ring with a hydroxil component may be beneficial if it hangs off the first carbon, really beneficial if it hangs off the second, and absolutely toxic if hangs off the third. Doesn't work as well on the high tech/software side, where including a library or function in a program should have an absolutely predictable result. So, instead, it's better to argue that neither reference actually teaches "B" or something.

Comment: Re:Bruce, I know why u r disappointed. Let me expl (Score 1) 187

So, I see this as rationalization.

The fact is, you took a leadership position, and later turned your coat for reasons that perhaps made sense to you. But they don't really make sense to anyone else. So, yes, everyone who supported you then is going to feel burned.

You also made yourself a paid voice that was often hostile to Free Software, all the way back to the SCO issue. Anyone could have told you that was bound to be a losing side and you would be forever tarred with their brush.

So nobody is going to believe you had any reason but cash, whatever rationalization you cook up after the fact. So, the bottom line is that you joined a list of people who we're never going to be able to trust or put the slightest amount of credibility in.

And ultimately it was for nothing. I've consistently tried to take the high road and it's led to a pretty good income, I would hazard a guess better than yours, not just being able to feel good about myself.

"We are on the verge: Today our program proved Fermat's next-to-last theorem." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982