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06.16.14

Amazon Patent Indicative of Scope at the US Patent System Being a Farce

Posted in Patents at 3:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Further analysis of Amazon’s infamous “Studio Arrangement” patent and some thoughts from Linus Torvalds

A

new article about Amazon explains how it got a patent on one of the most basic things humanly conceivable — something that even a small child can come up with.

The patent examiner sat down at her desk and pulled up the next item on her examination docket. Patent application 13/292,359. “Studio Arrangement.”

Amazon has many outrageous patents and the above is just one of the latest — a patent which we mentioned here before. It is quite noteworthy that Mr. Torvalds, who has been against software patents for as long as we know (although his name is on some patents), says that this is “bullshit”, but the system is hard to change (that’s true). To quote a new article about it:

Torvalds recovered his plucky declamatory nature when asked about patents:

It’s all bullshit, sane people know it’s bullshit, but making real change is difficult. Politically, the US patent system also tends to help US companies, because once you get into a court of law, it’s not about the law any more (and it’s certainly not about the patent, which is crap and which neither the judge, the lawyers, nor the jury will understand anyway), and it’s much easier to sell as an “us vs. them” story.

How do I love patents? Let me count the ways.

The recent Tesla nonsense showed some changing perceptions around patents and we are eager to cover the issue more often in the coming months. The focus will be on scope, not trolls. Large corporations prefer to shift focus to the latter because it suits them better and ensures that no real reform is ever attained.

Links 16/6/2014: First RC of Next Linux, Tizen Spreading

Posted in News Roundup at 7:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • ‘Syngenta methods of silencing GMO opposition are unbelievable’

      A German farmer has revealed shocking GMO company tactics to silence him in an exclusive interview with RT Op-Edge.

      German dairy farmer, Gottfried Glöckner, has told William Engdahl about attempted blackmail, character assassination and, ultimately, wrongful imprisonment he suffered when he refused to back off his charges that the Anglo-Swiss GMO company, Syngenta, had provided him with highly toxic GMO Maize seeds that ruined his prize dairy herd and his land.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Lawmakers fume over lost emails in IRS probe
    • Witness Wednesday Protests Launched In Washington To Highlight Tragedy of Longterm Unemployed

      In the sweltering mid-day Washington, DC heat yesterday, a small group of members of Congress and community leaders gathered outside of the capitol building.

      Solemnly, as if at a funeral, they read a handful of stories written by a few of the more than 3 million Americans who are longterm unemployed (a category defined as being unemployed for six months or more and still looking for work). Since December 2013, when Congress let emergency unemployment compensation, or EUC, expire—a program that offers minimal financial support to the longterm unemployed—they have been without the help they need to get back on their feet.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Why Does the Right Embrace Ignorance as a Virtue?

      Spouting off about stuff you know nothing about is traditionally considered unwise. But as the Republican war on science intensifies, ignorance has started to become not only less of a handicap, but a point of pride. In the face of expertise and facts, being belligerently ignorant—and offended that anyone dare suggest ignorance is less desirable than knowledge—has become the go-to position for many conservative politicians and pundits. Sadly, it’s a strategy that’s working, making it harder every day for liberals to argue the value of evidence and reason over wishful thinking and unblinking prejudice.

  • Civil Rights

    • Activists Pour Concrete Over Spikes Meant to Deter Street Sleeping
    • Amazon Worker Deaths Examined by U.S. Labor Department

      One man was crushed to death after getting caught between a conveyor system in December 2013 while sorting packages, the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said yesterday. OSHA cited five companies for violations at the Amazon facility in Avenel, New Jersey, including the contractor responsible for the sorting operation, and four staffing agencies that hired temporary employees to work at the warehouse. Amazon wasn’t cited by the government for the death.

    • ​Tiananmen Square June 4, 1989: What really happened?

      According to the mainstream Western version of events, thousands of Chinese university students began their sit-in protest demanding democracy and transparency from the Communist government in April and into May 1989 in the huge Tiananmen Square, directly across from the historic Forbidden City edifice in central Beijing. They defiantly faced off against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the People’s Liberation Army. On May 20, 1989, the CCP imposed martial law and ordered truckloads of soldiers to Beijing to take back the square from protesters. The Western account has it that then, on June 3 into June 4, PLA soldiers opened fire and killed “up to 1000 student protesters.”

    • Citing “Intense Public Interest and Concern” Over Mass Surveillance, Judge Orders DOJ to Turn Over Secret Legal Opinions for Court to Review

      A federal judge today ordered the Department of Justice to hand over key opinions by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (also known as the “FISA court”) so the judge can directly review whether information about mass surveillance was improperly withheld from the public.

    • Brazil: Arrests and crackdowns but anti-World Cup activists get their message across

      To be in Brazil for the World Cup should be every football fan’s dream, but as exhilarating as it is, it’s impossible for any sane supporter not to feel the competition has been tainted.

      [...]

      According to Samy, police are using a new law aimed at organised crime to hold and question individuals. “These activists are being accused of being part of a criminal organisation. The law passed last year created special procedures for crimes involving three or more people, and was aimed at organised crime, but it is now being used to criminalise, and eventually punish, protesters.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • WordPress Demands $10,000 For DMCA Takedown Censorship

        WordPress has had it with copyright holders who abuse the DMCA takedown process to censor perfectly legal content. Through a lawsuit they demand $10,000 in compensation to cover the damage they, and one of their users suffered through a false DMCA takedown notice.

      • ‘We Will Never Support Illegal BitTorrent Downloads’: Vuze

        If you’ve ever downloaded something via BitTorrent, odds are you’ve used (or seen) an app called Vuze. It’s one of the internet’s most prolific BitTorrent clients, and it’s used for downloading countless terabytes of copyright-protected material every day. The developers of Vuze have hit back at the online piracy epidemic, condemning copyright theft and promoting legal torrents.

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