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Comment Re:Nothing to do with software patents (Score 3, Insightful) 42

To be fair, there's no conflict of interest here. His interests are very clear. Patent attorneys make their money from patent disputes. The Unitary Patent is fantastic news for such people. It gives them larger clients willing to pay higher prices for pan-EU monopolies.

Comment Re:Translations should still be required (Score 3, Insightful) 42

The whole point of the patent system is to tax the market.

It's that simple. All the rest is smoke and mirrors. We filed our appeal in Belgium because we know, in Flanders, how language can be used as a political tool. Here, the use of French, English, and German, suppresses dissent and appeal. It is already extraordinarily expensive to defend against a patent suit. The larger the court, the more it costs. I showed in 2007 using the EPO's own figures that specialized courts cost 4x more than courts that deal in all matters including patents.

This adds to an extraordinary burden on those trying to make products, and a downhill fight for patent owners. You think the Microsoft tax on Android is exceptional or unique? No, it's the Future According the the Patent System. The cost of production falls to zero, and the cost of licensing fills the gap, and the price to the market remains flat.

Language is a weapon, in this case.

Comment Re:Nothing to do with software patents (Score 4, Informative) 42

Yes, it's what people are afraid of, since the patent industry has been very clearly fighting for this for decades now. Their apologists will deny it, as usual. The EPO however is not so shy: lists software patents above biotech in their topics of interest with respect to the Unitary Patent.

Anyone who claims the Unitary Patent is about reducing costs and somehow "protecting innovation" is a troll, a liar, extraordinarily ignorant, and/or a paid lobbyist. This isn't magic. We've been watching this for more than a decade. I personally spent two years doing nothing else than studying the patent system and learning its motives.

The patent system is sociopathic, corrupt, and built on lies and the capture of politics by vested interests.

Submission + - Unitary Software Patent challenged at the Belgian Constitutional Court (

zoobab writes: The Unitary Patent for Europe is being challenged at the Belgian Constitutional Court. One of the plaintiffs, Benjamin Henrion, is a fifteen-year campaigner against software patents in Europe. He says: "The Unitary Patent is the third major attempt to legalize software patents in Europe. The captive European Patent Court will become the Eastern District of Texas when it comes to software patent disputes in Europe. As happened in America, the concentration of power will force up legal costs, punish small European companies, and benefit large patent holders."

Comment Define the rules clearly... (Score 3, Insightful) 255

The C4.1 contribution protocol I eventually wrote for ZeroMQ solved this problem. You have to develop rules that catch bad actors (yet not learners) and then educate project managers on how to fire people when needed.

Our rules for instance ask that you solve one problem with one patch, that you never break existing stable APIs, that you respect style guidelines, and so on. When people break these rules we give them several chances to improve their behavior. If they persist in doing it wrong, we remove them.

Turns out, when the rules are very explicit and teach people how to make good patches, then it's very rare we have to fire people.

The rules are at

Comment Re:1860 (Score 1) 240

The Economist was, ironically, founded as a "free market" newspaper, in a period when that meant specifically, the fight against the patent system. I.e. that was its first purpose, to argue against the re-establishment of the patent system in Britain.

Comment Tizen was just a strategic threat (Score 3, Interesting) 112

Samsung never intended to release a Tizen phone. They were the ones who leaked the design and photos. The whole point of Tizen was to get a stick against Google, after they bought Motorola. Samsung are/were paranoid that Google would give Motorola preferential treatment, and that Android was becoming a toxic platform for them. Tizen was their insurance. Google got the message and Samsung killed most of their Tizen team and went back to focusing on Android.

Comment Re:Well, it worked for so many others (Score 1) 397

Incidentally, it's trivial to know which players to keep. You hire freely, openly. You allow people to self-organize around problems. You reduce the latency of all communications from business through the whole company to development and back. And then you rank people simply by their ability to solve relevant problems, to gain users internally. In a software business, you allow anyone to start a project and you rank people on their value in the supply chain.

I've written loads about this. would be an example. Build asynchronous lock-free self-organizing structures, and you can add and remove people trivially.

Comment Well, it worked for so many others (Score 5, Insightful) 397

Netflix isn't the first business to put all the weight on the players while ignoring the game. It doesn't matter how many A players you hire if your organization has deep structural problems. Microsoft would be a prime example.

In contrast, you can build extremely effective organizations out of ordinary people, if you allow them to organize freely around problems, compete honestly, delegate at will, and so on.

Comment Re:Anonymos IS the Government (Score 1) 156

No way, it's impossible that sociopathic power-hungry politicians, bankers, military men, and intelligence officers who treat human lives as disposable would stoop to such things. That would be unAmerican. And beside, CNN and MSBNC would tell us if it happened, right? "Controlled opposition"... laughable! Next you're going to tell me the FBI infiltrated Anonymous chat channels and encouraged young guys to hack into their own systems!

Comment Re:Huh, that's surprising (Score 3, Insightful) 156

There's a dark irony in so-called skeptics pushing their own conspiracy theories (mysterious gangs hate our way of life) to muffle out the obvious truth that it's (always) all about the money.

It's not only probable, it's by far the simplest explanation, that the military-security complex needs to create threats to justify its existence, so a handsome slice of its budget consistently goes back into black operations against the very people it's meant to be protecting. If you argue that only crooks would do this, then my question is, what evidence do you have that the FBI, CIA, NSA, GCHQ et al are not run by simple crooks?

As for being pessimistic, it's a normal feeling but not useful. Read my book (free, see below) for a background into how this state of affairs came to be, and how to fix things.

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