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Comment: Managing Good and Evil (Score 1) 61

Tor can be used for both obvious good (e.g., subverting oppressive regimes), obvious bad (e.g., murder for hire, child porn), and a semi-bads (purchasing contraband, hate speech). Despite all of the good that Tor does, how does Tor morally justify itself in light of all the bad that occurs on its networks? Is there some way of weighing the good and bad (i.e., if it got bad enough, would you shut it down)? Or does it decide to not justify itself (i.e., it's just a tool, people will use it how they wish)?

Comment: Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (Score 1) 353

by speedplane (#48229243) Attached to: Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'
I'm all for free software, but this reasoning sounds insane. When people buy a PC, it says "comes with windows", you know what you're getting, and to require manufacturers to return half of it seems nuts. It's like ordering a cheeseburger, and then demanding a refund for the cheese. Why didn't you just order a hamburger?

+ - Did Obama Already Solve the Patent Troll Problem?->

Submitted by speedplane
speedplane (552872) writes "A relatively new patent-only court celebrates its second birthday this month, and may be sounding the death-knell for the biggest abusers of the patent system:

After a slow six month ramp-up, the number of petitions challenging patents under the new system has grown significantly, reaching nearly 200 new filings a month. It takes 18 months for a patent challenge to make its way through the PTAB, and we are now finally seeing the effects of the influx. Now, with 75% of all trials resulting in every challenged patent claim being invalidated, it’s clear that the PTAB will have a very broad reach in patent litigation.

Some observers have seen this development coming. A (now retired) Judge at the Federal Circuit, commented that the PTAB is a patent "death squad"."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Double-edged sword (Score 1) 118

by speedplane (#47894679) Attached to: Software Patents Are Crumbling, Thanks To the Supreme Court

The intellectually hard work of software isn't the idea. It's almost entirely within the coding.

Good ideas usually come in a flash, so they appear to be "cheap." However, they are also usually the result of trial and error over and over again and being deeply entrenched in the field.

+ - Tim Wu, Founder of Net Neutrality, is Running for Lieutenant Governor of NY->

Submitted by speedplane
speedplane (552872) writes "Tim Wu, the popular Columbia Law Professor, author of The Master Switch, and the guy who coined the term Net Neutrality, is running for Lieutenant Governor of the great state of New York. He "has waged a shoestring anti-establishment campaign," that is well underway, and has even begun receiving attacks from the incumbent:

It has not always been smooth for Mr. Wu .... Surrogates for Mr. Cuomo have pounced on his admitted lack of "message discipline" for comments he made comparing net neutrality to the suffragist movement (which he says were taken out of context) and sympathizing with Airbnb (which he says is "fair game" because he has a "wait-and-see approach" to regulating start-ups).

"

Link to Original Source

+ - SpaceX Jumps into Patent Dispute with Blue Origin Over Rocket Sea Landing Tech. 2

Submitted by speedplane
speedplane (552872) writes "Last week, Elon Musk's SpaceX fired two challenges (PDFs) at Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin over U.S. Patent 8,678,321, entitled Sea landing of space launch vehicles and associated systems and methods.

The patent appears to cover a method of landing a rocket on a floating platform at sea. In their papers, SpaceX says that "by 2009, the earliest possibly priority date listed on the face of the patent, the basic concepts of 'rocket science' were well known and widely understood. The “rocket science” claimed in the ‘321 patent was, at best, 'old hat[.]'" Blue Origin has approximately three months to file a preliminary response to the challenge.

You can review the litigation documents here and here.

Disclosure: I run the website hosting several of the above documents."

Comment: Re:Why not patent compression algorithm? (Score 1) 263

by speedplane (#47295993) Attached to: The Supreme Court Doesn't Understand Software
So then running software is not a concrete implementation of anything? That seems a bit silly. Software is complex with lots of moving parts. There are abstract ideas for particular components within software, but as a whole it is not abstract the way an equation or observational relationship is.

Comment: Re:Software Patents Are Just Wrong (Score 1) 43

IBM has more patents than any company in the world. Indeed, they patented just about everything they thought up. And now they receive an untold amount of licensing fees from just about every other major computing company, and life goes on. Take a look at the following report below, listing all of the major patent holders. #2 is Samsung, #3 Canon, #4 Sony, #5 LG. http://www.ipo.org/wp-content/...

Comment: Re:Patent the invention (Score 1) 43

I entirely agree that something that is otherwise not eligible for patent protection should not become patentable because someone adds "on a computer". However, the reason that it should not be patentable is because it would be obvious to do just about anything on a computer. If we are being honest with ourselves, adding "on a computer" to some otherwise abstract concept does indeed make the concept much less abstract.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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