Does anybody know if such cross-licensing agreements survive a bankruptcy and a patent portfolio sale? (I suspect not, since they're contracts with a bankrupt corp.)
Existing contracts made before bankruptcy (and that are not fraudulent attempts to avoid creditors in anticipation of bankruptcy) survive bankruptcy. Now you might not get any money you are owed under the contract, but a company can't simply void contract deals in bankruptcy. If you're licensed to a patent, you will be licensed even after the patent ownership changes hands.
Better way to do it would be to make damages for infringement determined off of either lost profits (if you make a product) or a reasonable market-price based licensing fee. So, a troll who has never gotten anyone to pay for a license might only get a few dollars, while a university can point to their licensing contracts and get similar terms.
Do this too. What are damages based on now?
The crazy thing about this suggestion is that it is exactly how patent damages law is written right now. I quote thus:
Upon finding for the claimant the court shall award the claimant damages adequate to compensate for the infringement but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for the use made of the invention by the infringer, together with interest and costs as fixed by the court. 35 U.S.C. section 284
Lost profits or a reasonable, market-based licensing fee is exactly what the standard is now. The problem is that no one can "prove" what a reasonable, market-based license fee should be and it just gets thrown to a jury that has no idea what the reasonable award should be (jury awards $98 for every copy of MS Word due to infringement of patent on custom XML).
I think for most users the novelty of Facebook has worn off. I noticed this myself as well. When you first join, you start getting friended by all kinds of folks you used to know. Your curiosity is very high, and it's entertaining for a while. Then the months pass. Eventually you are rarely friended by anyone new. Most friends that will join and find you already have. And you've already reached out to most you know. Then it's just an endless stream to the same old friends posting about the same old things.
Still can be useful, but the novelty has worn off.
I think Facebook's greatest flaw (and Twitter's greatest strength) is that once you hit the roof on your friend list, there are few surprises. Whereas Twitter allows serendipitous exchanges precisely because it is public. Privacy is good - but it won't challenge you as much as openness. And that may get boring.
I recommend you read arstechnica's rebuttal of Steve Jobs's claims.
I want my five minutes back. This editorial is terrible. Jobs made a distinction between proprietary standards for content on the web and proprietary tools to access that content. This editorial completely glosses over that distinction and argues that all proprietary software is bad. Seriously? I'm all for touting the benefits of open source and free software but there's a place for proprietary software as well. If you don't like the iphone's proprietary software, buy another phone. It's not like there aren't plenty of options.
I can't even come close to replicating these photographs myself, but there are even more incredible examples of amateurs doing amazing space photography with relatively simple equipment. There are a couple of these geniuses in the SF Bay Area. One I'm familiar with is Rogelio Bernal Andreo. He is a fixture at astro sites around the Bay, and his photographs are simply jaw dropping. I believe most of his magic happens on the back end in the digital processing. His set up easily packs into his car.
Check some of these out: http://blog.deepskycolors.com/nebulas.html
Lend money to a bad debtor and he will hate you.