Except, of course, for Rock-Paper-Scissors-Spock-Lizard.
Seriously - is it too hard to note that it's only a Patent Application at this point?
Does that make this Beyond Thunderdome?
FYI, the only thing that matters is whether it was novel and non-obvious as of September 13, 2004 (the filing date of the patent).
I tithe to CowboyNeal!
When I heard this one it was a math student giving directions and a business student in the balloon. You get one for every field I guess.
So, once your idea gets into the public domain at all (regardless of any non-compete/non-disclosure agreements, even), that starts the patent-process clock ticking. Show it to a friend, and you have begun...
Not quite. You need to get it where it would be reasonably accessible by a member of the public were they to be interested, so non-disclosure agreements (or even an implicit understanding of limited distribution, but that's a little murkier) prevent it from being prior art.
Of course claiming media only makes it patentable when it meets certain other particular limitations (i.e. excludes signals, operates on a computer (thus excluding mental processes), etc.).
To steal from an old RPG: Lies, damned lies, statistics, and computer modeling.
Writing software is more fun than working.