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Comment Did they really invent something? (Score 2) 249

In the 1990s, three University of California scientists allegedly developed and patented features that have become integral parts of what we today know as the "Interactive Web" -- including online video, image rotation, and search bar autocomplete. Eolas Technologies (a company owned by one of the scientists) and the University of California are suing several major companies -- including Internet heavies like Adobe, Amazon, GoDaddy, Google, and Yahoo, and retailers like Staples and JC Penney -- that allegedly employ these patented features.

Please show me where these "scientists" actually invented something. Online video? Ever hear of something called TV. Image rotation? Really, isn't that just an application of a matrix transformation. Search bar autocomplete? Isn't that just navigating some kind of tree like data structure and displaying the results. I just can't see the non-trivial innovation in these examples, maybe if I had no clue about math or computers, sure, but there is nothing here remotely outside the norm.

Maybe we need to rethink who we are labeling "scientists" in this day and age. Seems our standards are pretty low.

Submission + - mysql vs. ms-sql dliemma (oinweb.ca) 6

rnmartinez writes: "As the Project Manager for a non-profit looking to implement a tech project, I am running into a few dilemma's and as a casual slashdotter I could really use some help. I'll start with a brief explanation of the project.

We research issues in Canadian Immigrants, and found that there was a lack of recent, unaggregated information. As we dug further, we found that some data was available, but there was no central repository. Therefore, we are building a web based service to collect this data, with the intent of having it display in google maps and then be downloadable as a csv file that is readable in GIS software such as ESRI Arcsoft, so that data may be visualized.

To date, we have relied on a lamp box with drupal as the front end to help provide a more social experience. However, it seems that MS SQL offers more functions with regards to geometry built in then MYSQL, and my devs (good guys, but MS guys at heart) want me to switch to .net NUKE/MsSQL and ditch the open source stuff. As a believer in open source and a non-profit, I am having some moral issues with this (I try and run linux and open source on everything I reasonably can).

So here is my dilemma: do I dump $20K into moving everything to an MS solution that in the short-medium term might make the geometry functions (i.e. show me all the hospitals within a 20km radius of this cluster of immigrants) or do I get him to spend the same amount writing something similar for MYSQL? The only issue there, is that I am not too fond of Oracle having ownership of MYSQL. Should I be directing $20K into replicating these functions into something like MariaDB? Might be a longshot but again, as a non-profit I'd like to see something go back to everyone, not just my group.

Really, I am open to any flexible, creative open and reliable solutions. Sorry if my knowledge is limited or if I am grasping at straws, and if I am being terribly biased, but I trust Oracle with opensource about as much as I trust MS."

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