Techdirt is reporting that Jon Dudas, head of the US Patent Office, is lamenting the continuing quality drop in patent submissions. Unfortunately, while this problem is finally getting the attention it deserves, the changes being implemented don't seem to be offering the correct solution. "When you set up a system that rewards people for not actually innovating in the market (but just speculating on paper), then of course, you're going to get more of that activity. When you set up a system that rewards those people to massive levels, well out of proportion with their contribution to any product, then of course you're going to get more of that activity. When you set up a system that gives people a full monopoly right that can be used to set up a toll booth on the natural path of innovation, then of course you're going to get more of that activity. When the cost of getting a patent is so much smaller than the potential payoff of suing others with it, then of course you're going to get more of that activity. The fact that Dudas is just noticing this now, while still pushing for changes that will make the problem worse, is a real problem. Patents were only supposed to be used in special cases. The fact that they've become the norm, rather than the exception, is a problem, and it doesn't seem like anyone is seriously looking into fixing that."
MojoKid was one of a number of people to submit about WDs new 10k RPM SATA Drive. He says "Western Digital's Raptor line of Hard Drives has been very popular with performance enthusiasts, as a desktop drive with enterprise-class performance. Today WD has launched a new line of high-performance desktop drives dubbed the VelociRaptor, and the product finally scales in capacity as well. The new SATA-based VelociRaptor weighs in at 300GB with the same 10K RPM spindle speed, but with one other major difference — it's based on 2.5" technology. Its smaller two-platter, four-head design affords the VelociRaptor random access and data transfer rates significantly faster than competing desktop SATA offerings. Areal density per platter has increased significantly as well, which contributes to solid performance gains versus the legacy WD Raptor series."
Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have a bright idea — at least at first sight. They want to create a sustainable transportation system by using hydrogen-powered cars. They would like to create an infrastructure where people could use a liquid fuel for driving while the carbon emission in their vehicles is trapped for later processing at a fueling station. 'The carbon would then be shuttled back to a processing plant where it could be transformed into liquid fuel.' Where will all this liquid carbon be stored? The researchers don't know. They suggest that it could be stored in geological formations or under the oceans."
AmIAnAi writes "Just when you thought it was all over, the SCO story takes a new twist. SCO has received $100 million financing from Stephen Norris Capital Partners to get them out of Chapter 11 and go private 'The move gives Stephen Norris, whose namesake founder was a co-founder of private equity giant The Carlyle Group, a controlling interest in SCO, which now has a platform to continue its court battle with Novell Inc. over royalties from the Unix server operating system, SCO's main business ... According to a statement from the company, SNCP already has a business plan for SCO that includes pursuing its legal claims.'"