Forgot your password?

Comment: Re: This is not a new or unique problem (Score 1) 124

If they can't be limited then I'll settle for the PTO admitting that software is math (which it clearly is) and banning all software patents.

In my opinion patents in software and electronics have perverted from promoting the arts and sciences to destroying them. Pretty sure the founding fathers didn't intent for 300,000 patents a year to be issued. It was 50 years before the PTO broke 500/yr.

Comment: Re: This is not a new or unique problem (Score 1) 124

The bar for patents need to be raised much higher. One way of raising that bar is to simply limit the number being granted. Only grant a patent for something that truly is a significant invention. I don't believe anywhere close to 300,000 significant inventions are made each year.

Imagine if we only granted 50 patents a year in each field allowing patents. 50 patents is a small enough number that humans working in these fields could be expected to know what is patented and to then respect those patents. (50 * 20 yrs = 1,000 patents). In this model the granting of a patent would be an event in the field, get press coverage and everyone would read the patent to learn about the new discovery. Everyone would know about these 50 patents, infringement would be rare and the value of the patents would be high.

Instead we get 500 new patents a day in software and electronics. Nobody reads them and they just function as landmines when someone accidentally reinvents.

Think of a patent as a mini-Nobel prize instead of cannon fodder for lawyers.

Comment: Re: This is not a new or unique problem (Score 1) 124

Shifting it to the courts is a very effective filter. Most of the rejected applications will not get appealed since they aren't worth the burden of the cost of the appeal. But the PTO may make mistakes and this would allow them to remedy those mistakes.

An alternative would be to allow for reapplication with the same priority date but require the inclusion of more evidence of why the patent should be granted. Of course if the PTO still doesn't believe it makes the cut into the 10K a month it will get rejected again.

The trade off for granting a patent is disclosure. Something valuable - a government monopoly - is granted in exchange for this disclosure. So why doesn't anyone read patents to learn from this disclosure? A few may get read but most patents do not contain anything interesting to someone practicing in the field. I would say this demonstrates that the value in many patents is the ability to cause legal problems not the actual technology being disclosed.

Comment: Re:This is not a new or unique problem (Score 1) 124

Keep a pool of about two months worth of patents that might meet the bar of being granted. Then reject the rest. The value of a patent is inversely correlated to how many patents are being granted. When there are fewer patents on better ideas, those patents will be respected and fulfill the original purpose that inspired the creation of patents.

Software patents are just totally broken. It is far, far too easy for a good software engineer to infringe dozens of patents through independent invention. And no one is going to go read through 100,000 patents and become aware of what has already been patented. So no one knows that they have "infringed" until they get a demand letter in the mail. Then of course they gag on licensing demands over something they have also spent resources on developing.

Comment: Re:This is not a new or unique problem (Score 3, Insightful) 124

The problem is that the patent office is a papermill and the number of patents being granted has be growing at around 5% a year compounded for the last 25 years. I'm pretty certain that the number of patentable inventions found each year is not growing at 5%. Instead the definition of what is patentable keeps expanding into areas where it doesn't belong. The growth mainly benefits patent lawyers and patent office employees. We've gone from granting 100,000 patents a year 20 years ago to 300,000 a year now.

Do a little projecting out - if that same growth is maintained in 20 years they'll be granting 900,000 patents a year. And we'll have a pool of 12 million active patents to deal with. To support all that you'll need 25,000 or more examiners. Of course patent infringement lawsuits will be totally out of control - no human can be expected to know the contents of 12M patents and not infringe on them. Heck, I can only read three or four before my head explodes.

The simple fix is to limit the patent office to granting a fixed number of patents each month. And I'd set that limit at 10,000 or less per month. Doing that stabilizes the number of employees at the patent office. And do you really believe there are 10,000 inventions made each month worthy of patent protection? I sure don't believe that there are that many. I'd set the limit even lower - 5,000 or less. Setting the limit lower simply gets rid of the junk and makes the ones that do get granted more valuable.

Comment: Re:Punitive Damages? (Score 5, Interesting) 200

You have to wonder how much the employees were really hurt by this. It was a 'no poaching' agreement. That meant that recruiters from those companies weren't going to call down the entire Rolodex of the competing firms and try to recruit. But.... there are nothing stopping external recruiters from doing that. And there was nothing stopping individuals from switching on their own.

There's some logic to an agreement like that. Each of these firm's recruiters could waste huge amounts of employee time in their competitors by making thousand of recruiting calls.

+ - War of the one cubic inch Linux computers

Submitted by jonsmirl
jonsmirl (114798) writes "The battle for smallest Linux COM may not be won yet. Recently Vocore was announced, but it is attracting competition. AsiaRF is offering a one cubic inch Linux computer with wifi and Ethernet on Indiegogo. What sets this project out is it's low risk. The module already has FCC. It is already supported in OpenWRT. And it ships next month, no need to wait."

Comment: Re:US (Score 1) 224

by jonsmirl (#47135951) Attached to: Thousands of Europeans Petition For Their 'Right To Be Forgotten'

You are aiming at the wrong target. Google blindly indexes what it finds on the web. The right solution was for the EU to require the sites hosting the source articles to include a "do not index" meta tag which Google would then respect. Put this burden where it belongs - on the author of the stories, not the search engine.

Comment: Re:Every... (Score 0) 224

by jonsmirl (#47135917) Attached to: Thousands of Europeans Petition For Their 'Right To Be Forgotten'

There is a difference between forgiven and forgotten. Until we invent time machines undoing history is impossible. You can pass all of the laws you want but you will never be able to erase the event.

Trying to get Google to stop indexing is just going to result in a giant game of whack a mole like we have with DMCA take down notices. No matter how many million take downs they file the mole can never be erased.

Comment: Re: Insanity (Score 2) 224

by jonsmirl (#47135877) Attached to: Thousands of Europeans Petition For Their 'Right To Be Forgotten'

Heck, I can even see source sites generating automated ways to combat this. Continuously keep poking Google to reindex your site. When you see the Google crawler insert meaningless random tidbits into the URLs. Now the other side of the robot war will keep issuing takedowns on these randomized URLs but since there is a cycle time of a week or so you will always have a set of working URLs in the Google index.

Comment: Re: Insanity (Score 1) 224

by jonsmirl (#47135853) Attached to: Thousands of Europeans Petition For Their 'Right To Be Forgotten'

The ruling is insane. If the EU really wants to implement this insanity the best way would be for the sites hosting the article to include a 'do not index' meta tag which Google would then respect. Doing it that way places the burden where it belongs - on the author of the stories, not on the search engine.

Going after the URLs directly at Google is a total exercise in a whack a mole since the links are always changing. You're just going to end up with another pile of automated systems generating millions of takedown requests. When the source sites disappear they will change their URLs and then the cycle will endlessly repeat.

Comment: Re:all of it? (Score 1) 76

by jonsmirl (#47135139) Attached to: Tiniest Linux COM Yet?

The AsiaRF one includes the small PCB antenna in the photo. The PCB antenna has twice the range of those tiny chip antennas. Since there is a jack there you can use larger antenna if you want. Another advantage to the PCB antenna is that you can move it around and aim the signal where you need it.

In Vocore's blog he says that his external antennas did not perform as well as the chip one. I suspect that is because he doesn't own the expensive test equipment needed to adjust his RF path to match the external one he picked. In general, bigger is better with antennas. He's also wrong about needing two antennas for 802.11N support on the RT5350.

I don't believe the RT5350 has a security unit on it so it shouldn't be possible to lock the boot loader.

Comment: Re:all of it? (Score 1) 76

by jonsmirl (#47133437) Attached to: Tiniest Linux COM Yet?

The $20 Vocore is for the module only. If you want the Ethernet, USB and power connectors you need to order the $40 Vocore+Dock choice. instead I'd recommend getting the $38 choice form the AsiaRF campaign.
AsiaRF is going to ship three months earlier and support for it is already checked into OpenWRT.

These unit aren't really the same thing as a RaspPi. RaspPi is oriented towards having a GUI and screen. These units are oriented towards networking and embedded control. The unit are also tiny - about one cubic inch. Many times smaller than a RaspPi.

Comment: Re:Internet of Things isn't (Score 1) 76

by jonsmirl (#47133363) Attached to: Tiniest Linux COM Yet?

There is another similar project simultaneously up on Indiegogo from AsiaRF
It was put up about a week later so its funding is not as far along. There are still a few Early Birds left.

It based on the same chip and around the same price. The main difference is that the AsiaRF module has already gone through CE/FCC testing and it is already in production. So there is very little risk of the project not shipping. Support for the AsiaRF unit is already checked into OpenWRT.

I find it interesting that they are offering to design and build 10 custom boards with wifi/Ethernet to your spec for $5000. Similar design work in the US/EU would be $30,000 or more.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982