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Comment Be an examiner & change the system from within (Score 2) 244

The hippies of the 60's didn't get much right, but one they did was "change the system from within."
Included in this bill is a big o' wad of cash so the patent office can hire more patent examiners. These are the people that really make the decisions of what's truly innovative and what's bogus. So... you critics of the system should watch the USPTO's website because they'll soon be hiring a whole lot of new examiners. Get a job there and you can (surreptitiously) reform the system yourselves by simply rejecting bogus patents. No legislation, lobbying, or protesting could make a bigger difference than a diligent and conscientious examiner. Keep your agenda to yourself but once you're in you'll be in the best possible position to change the system from within.

Social Networks

The New Reality of Gaming 122

Hugh Pickens writes "Video games used to be about fighting aliens and rescuing princesses, writes Rohin Dharmakumar in Forbes, but the most popular games today have you tilling your farm, hiring waiting staff and devising menus for your restaurant or taking your pets out for walks while maintaining cordial relations with the neighbors. 'Reality, it would seem, is the new escapism.' Video games of the pre-social network era were mostly played by boys or young men but 'now the core audience of social network games are girls and young women,' says Alok Kejriwal, founder and CEO of games2win, an online gaming company. The tipping point in the US came in 2008 when women outnumbered men on the Internet. Combined with millions of parents and grandparents who're new to the Internet, the traditional face of the gamer is changing from that of a 25-year-old male to a band stretching from 16 to 40 years comprising men and women in almost equal numbers, says Sebastien de Halleux, one of the co-founders of Playfish, who predicts that someone is going to create a social game very shortly that pulls in a billion dollars a year. Gaming for this new set of players is less about breathtaking graphics, pulsating sound or edge-of-the-seat action and more about strengthening existing real world relations through frequent casual gaming. 'Think of these games as a sandbox where everybody has the same tools, yet everyone achieves different results,' says de Halleux."

Australian Visitors Must Declare Illegal Porn To Customs Officers 361

Australian Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor has advised visitors to take a better safe than sorry policy when it comes to their porn stashes, and declare all porn that they think might be illegal with customs officers. From the article: "The government said it changed the wording on passenger arrival cards after becoming aware of confusion among travellers about what pornography to declare. 'People have a right to privacy and while some pornography is legal and does not need to be disclosed, all travellers should be aware that certain types of pornography are illegal and must be declared to customs,' Mr O'Connor said."

The Real 'Stuff White People Like' 286

Here's an interesting and funny look at 526,000 OkCupid users, divided into groups by race and gender and all the the things each groups says it likes or is interested in. While it is far from being definitive, the groupings give a glimpse of what makes each culture unique. According to the results, white men like nothing better than Tom Clancy, Van Halen, and golfing.

Comment We need 'loser pays' laws (Score 1) 221

The US could deal a serious if not fatal blow to patent abusers with 'loser pays' laws (particularly in the eastern district of Texas, a hotspot for patent trolls.) Fighting off a troll can easily cost a cool $million. And since trolls are often either lawyers or engage a lawyer on a contingency-fee basis, they have little to lose by suing anybody. They know you're likely to settle. But if they stood to lose what you stood to lose they'd think twice before filing anything but an ironclad suit. I think this would do wonders to clean up this mess.
Just my 2cents.

Comment Enough with the lawsuits already (Score 1) 422

This makes me nauseous. Firefox is free for crying out loud. To claim damages you have to prove you lost something. You can't lose money on something you give away.
I've been using firefox for years now. But no more. That's not to say I'm going back to IE. At least I hope not.
Now I've got to find a new browser with all the goodies I have in firefox. I wont be a part of this. The taste of sour grapes is turning my stomach.

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.