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Comment Re:Patents aren't helping (Score 1) 437

I like the idea of replacing exclusive rights w/ licensing rights.

Require patent filer to assign their own licensing costs at the time of filing the patent (have to exhibit some idea of the value of their invention). Then, require them to pay some multiple of that figure on a monthly/yearly/whatever basis in order to ensure enforcement of the license (so that they can't assign huge value without being able to pay for it themselves). Next, every period X increase the cost to retain the patent by some multiple of inflation or order of magnitude so it keeps getting more expensive to retain the patent (to encourage the invention to be released to public sooner unless it turns out to be hugely profitable). The early period should be cheapest for inventor to retain, and quickly get more expensive... want to keep the patent, then you'd better profit off it.

The more profitable the invention, the more likely folks will pay for licensing rights. The less successful the invention, the more likely the inventor will not renew the patent.

Comment Re:Yawn (Score 1) 145

Blogs with advertising where they can regularly add content, and/or specialized subscription-type content.
Sales of physical copies of their works (people still buy physical books, and probably will for a long time).
Sponsored book signings / speaking engagements / web lectures, etc.
Contract gigs writing material for medium/large corporations that need or could find creative use for skilled writers (think Penny-Arcade's video game manuals).
Participation in and/or collaborative hosting and moderation of web-based communities for discussion of the domain in which they work.
Socialized or private grants for furthering the arts, or research, or social commentary.

It's rare for anyone in any field to make a comfortable middle-class living doing only the thing they most enjoy doing. Sure, it happens, but most folks trudge through quite a lot of work that isn't entirely thrilling in order to get to the point of comfortable middle-class living.

Comment Re:Look (Score 1) 339

Need an app for that... something that notifies you as you move from one location (track by GPS) to another when the laws change. To make it easier, allow it choose a "home" location, and assume you know all the laws for that area already, so you only want to know the diff. Better upgrade the cell network infrastructure...

Comment Re:Do Coffee Shop Owners Love It? (Score 1) 273

Seems that some adaptation by these small business owners might help them in the long run. If you notice someone has been sitting for a while and hasn't bought anything, walk by and ask if they'd like something. Most of the time I'm at a cafe working I hesitate to get up because I don't want to leave all my stuff unattended, but if someone came by I'd probably make a purchase every so often. I certainly don't NEED another mocha, but who am I to resist if I don't even have to get up to get it? Besides that, I think it's reasonable for these shops to require a purchase in order to use the wifi, but my guess is that it's just too much of a pain to be worthwhile to implement. Seems to me if it was easier, more places would do it. Why not have a register system linked to the wifi router that prints an access code on every receipt, valid for 2 hours or something like that. Let guests log in for free for the first half hour, then force them to login by buying something.

Comment Re:In what should be pointing out the obvious (Score 1) 229

"but automated tools (even really freaking complex ones) simply can't replace a web aster finding a product on his.her own that he/she feels visitors will want." I can't tell you how much I agree with this. When a web content creator says "I like this product" it meas so so so so much more to me than seeing a random ad on a random page. I'd rather there be no adds, but just have a little google-style sidebar thing that says "The creators of this website like this stuff for these reasons". Also, any web content creator that isn't getting paid just to put ads on their page is giving their real estate away for free. If the ad isn't effective, that's probably the advertisers fault... the page space is still being cluttered up by it, though, so the content creator should still be getting reimbursed for that.

Comment Maybe it's just me... (Score 1) 341

...but I almost never click ads. I do this because they're ads, and when I'm surfing around I'm generally looking for information, not services. If I'm going to click through to some other page than what I'm looking at right now, it's going to be because there's a link within the content that I'm looking at to some other page with content that I'm interested in, and the content that I'm looking at has to tell me what to expect in the other page. For instance, a blog with a link to information sources. As long as ads continue to look like ads and not like related, verifiable content, I'm going to continue to not click on them. Once advertisers focus on embedded word of mouth marketing rather than sensing what I might be looking for a putting in a bar on the side of the screen or some flashing picture, then I'll start clicking through.

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