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Comment Re:TFA completely left out Datapoint. (Score 1) 74

Not so hot for Datapoint, whose flagship terminal was now facing competition based on their own instruction set and designs.

I went to work for Datapoint in 1978. Was put to work writing software for the 1500 which, ironically, used a Z80 processor. So Datapoint actually used their own design two generations removed. (i.e. 8008 -> 8080 -> Z80)

The 1500 wasn't all that successful because it was tooaffordable. Datapoint salesmen preferred selling the 5500 and 6600 which were much more profitable (commission-wise).

Submission + - What pranks have you pulled on scam callers? 1

flatulus writes: My wife has been getting calls repeatedly from "the Windows IT department" about our computer. She tells them she's not biting and hangs up.

This morning I had the pleasure of answering the call. It went like this:

"Hi, this is the Windows IT department calling about your computer."
"A computer? what's that?"
"I'm calling about your computer."
"Computer? I've never heard of this. What is a computer?"
"What is a computer? OK, buddy — get lost" (hangup)

So, what fun stories do you have about pranking scammers?

Comment Re:The America Invents Act (September 16, 2011) (Score 2) 148

The US switched from First-to-invent to First-to-File starting March 16, 2013.

This website is about 5-10 years too late.

Just replying to try to mod this up a notch (my postings seem to come in at 2, and I don't have moderator points today).

This needs to be emphasized: Prior art doesn't mean what it used to mean as of 2013 as said above. This further tilts in the direction of large companies who can better afford to "carpet bomb" the patent office with filings.

Anyone who thinks the patent system has any resemblence to "fair" should try filing just one patent on their own, without legal representation. If you have a career history of filing patents (for instance, with an employer who wants you to do it, so pays for the process), you might learn enough to succeed individually. But even then I wonder.

Expect each and every one of your claims to be rejected when you file. It's standard practice, regardless of what the claims say. Expect to have to "plead" (respectfully of course) that the patent examiner reconsider these rejections. Expect to need to cite precedence from prior patent proceedings and case law to support your "plea".

Comment Re:Internet != internet (Score 1) 218

I believe it was John Quarterman's 1990 book "The Matrix" (seriously, and you thought the Wachowski brothers, er sisters, er.... made it up huh?) that coined the term "the Internet", emphasizing and classifying the distinction between "an internet" and "the Internet" in precisely this way. Common usage of not capitalizing is a consequence of many millions of people not knowing the distinction.

The distinction is essentially the same as "a man" vs. "the Man", which was a popular distinction in my youth. Perhaps it still is, but for the most part I've checked out of modern culture.

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I consider a new device or technology to have been culturally accepted when it has been used to commit a murder. -- M. Gallaher