Sharing Nicely

Month: January, 2006

novelty not required for US patents anymore?

from :”That’s one reason why the proposed Patent Reform Act contains a new definition of prior art. The bill would narrow the definition of prior art to include only inventions that are “reasonably and effectively accessible” to those skilled in the field. The new definition would exclude inventions that are relatively unpublicized and products such as software that are marketed to the public but whose workings are kept hidden from experts in the field because the products cannot readily be disassembled to see how they work.Software companies are worried that their rights would be undercut by the proposed redefinition of prior art. Others are concerned that the definition is so vague that it would spawn a huge amount of litigation.“There would end up being many litigations and many hearings about whether a piece of proposed prior art is reasonably and effectively accessible,” says Kelly Hunsaker, a patent litigator in Redwood City, Calif.”

FOSS case study — Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Peter Quinn, ex CIO commonwealth of Massachusetts, reports on the his state’s decision to use an open standard document format for office productivity documents.90000 employees700m US$ IT spendingChallenges:Budget crisis at the end of 2002. Demographics of state employees 40-60 years old, which means high expected turnover in the next few years.Massive legacy systems.”If someone made one and someone sold one, we bought it”95% of IT employees unionised.

home in cologne (for FLOSSPOLS)

:) We are at the City of Cologne for a FLOSSWORLD workshop, organised by Rishab Gosh, project leader from UNU-MERIT. One of the participants is Peter Quinn ex-CIO of the State of Massachusetts, who recently resigned amidst the controversy (and some personal attacks) around the use of Open Document Format by his state government.

personal privacy day

First I fell victim to a — turns out, not so serious — privacy warning regarding yahoo web beacons and forwarded it to all my yahoo friends (as opposed to my google friends, I don’t seem to have any MSN friends). Then I came across this utterly terrifying surveillance camera style video by chris oakley: It’s a meditation on identity tracking and incredibly frightening, because it completely lacks story or explanation of what is going.

wonderful world wide web part II

Today’s highlights: Lawrence Lessig talks about Fair Use / Google Book Search at an amazing video sharing site called youtube, which reminds me of flickr, but for video. Then a friend sent this link to what must be one of the all-time great music videos (and I rediscovered the funky little animation with the disco ball on the same site).