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Showing posts from December, 2005

RED HERRING | Google Sued for $5B

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RED HERRING | Google Sued for $5B

This is one of those things that makes me wonder about the legal profession.

These guys are called patent trolls. They buy up obscure patents from various places, then they sue companies for money. Usually, the 'firms' are made up almost entirely of lawyers.

I'm not defending (or condemning) Google here. But I am reasonably sure that Google didn't steal any patents. The nature of our patent system encourages this kind of activity and I can't say it's good.

Big companies like Motorola and IBM often patent the hell out of pretty much any idea they can. They have offsite weeklong patent parties with 20 engineers and a couple of lawyers that do nothing but come up with potential patents once an idea or technology they've been working on takes shape.

They then use these patents to shut down competitors (rarely) and more often, they 'cross' patent with other patent holders when there's a possible dispute. It's ac…

Student Arrested for transporting.... baking flour

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Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/30/2005 | Editorial | Flour, not coke Philly cops didn't rise to the occasion

OK.. this is nuts. Girl in Philly get's arrested and detained for THREE WEEKS because she had 2 condoms, filled with flour (used as a squeeze like stress reliever by she and her dorm buddies during tests) in her suitcase.

Three friggin weeks?? And this was in 2003. She's now suing the City of Brotherly Love for half a mil (WAY low if you ask me).

I love my security and safety.. Really I do. But I love my freedom more, and this is getting truly stupid.

Bush running hundreds (maybe thousands?) of wiretaps that most leading legal scholars say is illegal (regardless of his 'my authority is the US constitution' argument).

The NSA dropping browser cookies into anyone's computer that visits there website that tracks where you go and what you do on the internet (without asking, and with a 20 year expiration date).

A quickly written law (The Patriot Act) that, although d…

A disconnected week

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Whew... well that was interesting.

I took a week and turned off my cell phone and disconnected my email and just lived in the 'natural' world for a change. You know.. cars, restaurants, coffee shops (without a computer), hanging with people that didn't care about computers or web 2.0 or podcasting or much of anything I work on all day

Everyone should do it.

Amazing how we can get totally wrapped up in our worlds and forget about all the other extraordinary things out in the world.


End result? I've decided I'm doing the wrong thing with my life. I was meant to be a Anime/Manga artist (even though I have no idea if I can draw). So, guess I better learn fast. Either that or an erotic portrait photographer. Can't get a good read on which one just yet.... Maybe another week off.... hmmmm

What goes around....

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Weird how things come full circle if you give them long enough.

Here's something from today's Wall Street Journal:

AT&T to 'Reintroduce' Itself
With a Big CampaignBy DIONNE SEARCEY
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
December 29, 2005; Page B4
In a bid to re-energize one of the country's best-known brands, the new AT&T Inc. plans to kick off a massive ad campaign on New Year's Eve.The campaign, which includes television commercials, billboards, airport signs and a theme song by the rock band Oasis, comes a month after SBC Communications Inc. acquired AT&T Corp. and decided to keep the historic phone company's moniker. Executives said the new campaign is bigger than any marketing buys in the history of both SBC and the old AT&T.AT&T won't say how much it is spending on the campaign, which is being handled by Omnicom Group Inc.'s GSD&M and Rodgers Townsend. Advertising experts estimate it will cost $800 million to $1 billion.
Th…

A very personal iPod accessory

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Tell me that your iPod isn't becoming a very personal part of your daily life.

This 'accessory' is available for your iPod now. Plugs in and vibrates/pulsates to the beat of the music.

This is what I call PERSONAL entertainment.

Thanks to the engadget guys for clueing us in on this. More from them at: http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000727071936/

Here's my del.icio.us tag cloud!

http://del.icio.us/scottgconverse?settagsort=alpha

My Del.icio.us tag list. If you're not a del.icio.us user, think about starting. It's a great way to quickly 'tag' things of interest so you can find them later. I use it half a dozen times a day to mark things I don't want to lose track of, and, it ranks them for me over time showing me what my thought process flow is in a semi-graphic highly alpha mannor. Cool stuff.

Too much sex saps male brains

DAMNIT!This just isn't fair.It's official: too much sex saps male brains By Roger Highfield in London
December 8, 2005

MALE animals can produce a lot of sperm or grow big brains but cannot do both, according to a study that may confirm the suspicions of many women.The study of 334 bat species suggests that energy-hungry brains can evolve only at the expense of other tissues.Writing in Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences, Scott Pitnick, of Syracuse University, New York, reported that species with promiscuous females had evolved extra large testicles but smaller brains."The general rule that is emerging is that sperm production can be incredibly costly," said Dr Pitnick, who first found the relationship in insects. Male fruit flies, for example, can make sperm 7.5 centimetres long."This led me to examine bats, as sperm competition is rife, and so testes can be ridiculously large," he said."Brains are metabolically expensive organs to deve…

Podcast is 'word of the year'

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Well, you've gotta love those wordsmiths over at the New Oxford American Dictionary. We here at ClickCaster, being in the podcasting business, say: hat's off! We love the word too.

NEW YORK, Dec. 5/PRNewswire/ -- Only a year ago, podcasting was an arcane activity, the domain of a few techies and self-admited ‘geeks.’Now you can hear everything from NASCAR coverage to NPR’s All Things Considered in downloadable audio files called “podcasts’.Thousands of podcasts are available at the iTunes Music Store, and websites such as iPodder.com and Podcast.net track thousands more. That’s why the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary have selected “podcast” as the Word of the Year for 2005.Podcast, defined as “a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player,” will be added to the next online update of the New Oxford American Dictionary, due in early 2006.

Wikipedia Tightens Submission Rules

Well... that didn't take long:

Wikipedia Tightens Submission Rules By DAN GOODIN, Associated Press WriterMon Dec 5, 6:10 PM ET Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia to which anyone can contribute, is tightening submission rules after a prominent journalist complained that an article falsely implicated him in the Kennedy assassinations.Wikipedia will now require users to register before they can create articles, Jimmy Wales, founder of the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Web site, said Monday. People who modify existing articles will still be able to do so without registering. Full story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051205/ap_on_hi_te/wikipedia_rules&printer=1;_ylt=AujlxiWuF_KWrP7LDqbtFiJk24cA;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-

Graffiti and Wikipedia

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Graffiti. I’ve been thinking about that last post on Wikipedia and the uproar over how anonymous posting there can be troublesome and, in some cases, potentially libelous. It brings me to some personal experiences, both recent and in the past that tells me: anonymous isn’t necessary goodness.

I’m CEO of a podcasting startup called ClickCaster (www.clickcaster.com). We had some debate among the development team on whether to allow anonymous podcasting or not and, after going back and forth, decided that there needed to be some degree of accountability for what you say in your podcast. At the very least, you needed to supply a verifiable email that someone would complain (or send praise) to. You can still browse and listen to podcasts, but if you want to post something, you’ve got to supply a working email.

And this reminded me of a program developed internally at Apple computer back in the late 80’s, early 90’s by a fellow (Harry C) that had a somewhat profound effect on the company…

The New York Times vs. Wikipedia

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Following is a link sent to me by a friend about how a fake posting a person in Wikipedia got by the volunteer editors and slandered someone who's still around with alot of untrue info. This is my response to it. It's interesting in that I think this will become a sort of attack point by old media entities on new media and it's worth both keeping an eye on and making sure it doesn't spiral into something unreal:

"This is interesting in that it's creating alot of focus on the 'unreliability' of things like WIkipedia and blogs.

My initial reaction is 'how accurate are the newspapers?'. I've been quoted, over the years, many times in newspapers and magazines and, about 10 or so years ago, stopped talking to them because they NEVER got it right. Sometimes, they intentionally got it wrong (a quote by me was once used by a Washington Post reporter, totally out of context, about a story on the 'problems' at Apple computer... my quote, which …