That's not completely true, at least as the system works. If there is something sufficiently innovative that it is "not immediately obvious to someone trained in the field", then it essentially qualifies as an invention. Inventions can be small and limited in scope as well as large. The real problem is in determining what is innovative enough that it would not almost immediately occur to most people trained in the field as an obvious solution to the problem. It is a subjective test, and IMHO, too many patents are given for things that really shouldn't pass that test. Patents can always be contested, but, it is a long and expensive process, so bad patents have a way of sticking around.
True, and lets not forget to add:
a 10x increase in speed of the basic engine (which will be needed for non-destructive editing)
A macro recorder to easily record repetitive operations.
photo-shop like history operations
A single window mode is not the most important thing GIMP needs to compete with Photoshop
Typing has definitely reduced my ability to hand write quickly and legibly, but not my ability to spell. I think spelling has been affected more by the fact that I write much less now than a long time ago.
I agree. This obviously isn't the ultimate alternative fuel vehicle, but this process has to start somewhere. Yes, it's expensive, yes it's hard to justify on pure economics at the current gas price of $3/gallon here in the US. But $3 gasoline isn't going to last forever. Last summer, before the economy crashed, we had $4.50 gas, and once the economy cycles back and demand for oil goes back up in the face of flat or declining world oil production, prices will likely climb even higher than that and the economic balance point will change. This car may be coming out a little before its time, but someone has to take the first step in this direction; it just happens to be GM, who everyone loves to hate right now.
Of course GM could totally botch things up like they did with the EV1, only time will tell if they learned anything from that and their current bankruptcy.
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