2009-02-13 21:50:49

Compressed air jetpack

I almost hurt myself laughing at this video. Apparently, he went about 80 feet horizontally, and 30 feet vertically. Not to mention the 200mph launch speed!

Tags:   humor     |    Perm Link:   Compressed air jetpack

2008-04-15 21:26:47

Fun with Patents!

Patent reform has become a major topic of discussion in the tech industry within the last 10 years. The majority of consternation has revolved around Software Patents, and Patent Trolls.

Software Patents have been coming under fire as patents are submitted and accepted for approval that cover basic concepts. One of the first that created major concern was the 1-Click patent issued to Amazon.com in 1999. In a nutshell, here’s the concept: You click on a "Buy Now!" button, and your login details are used to pull back database information containing your Credit Card, address, and so forth. That's it.

Patent Trolls have always existed, but in the past 30 years, "Litigation" has replaced "Innovation" as a profitable business model. If you look at a graph of the number of patents issued per year, dating back to 1850, there is a clear, nearly linear (except during the WWII and Vietnam Eras) progression of patents issued for approximately 120 years.

Then, around the 1970s, the patent system starts going insane ... I don't know if it's simply the number of patents being requested went up, and as a consequence, the numbered issued goes up, or if the same number were submitted, but more passed. I'm sure there are records of that somewhere on the USPTO website. One thing is clear, however: The concept of "Profit by Litigation" really begins to take off, and companies form patent portfolios not only for offense, but defense. The next logical step is to form companies that act strictly as "Patent Speculators". They buy up patents or hire inventors and engineers to create patents for their company, and then wait until they can nail a company for infringement. One of the most infamous examples of this behavior is the NTP vs RIM (Blackberry) case. You know, the one where the innovator paid the litigator $612.5 Million dollars.

So, why this long diatribe for Patent Reform? Because companies actually have DESIGN patents and attempt to stifle innovation based on them!

Monster Cables is one of those companies ... earlier this year, they sent a C&D to Blue Jean Cables, a small company that produces good quality hardware, based on reviews. In a nutshell, Monster claims BJC violates 5 separate patents owned by Monster, and must therefore settle. Apparently, what Monster's lawyers did not realize that BJC's president is a graduate of Univ. of Pennsylvania Law school, with 19 years of litigation practice. My favorite quote: "Not only am I unintimidated by litigation; I sometimes rather miss it."

You can find a copy of BJC’s response to Monster at Audioholics. Stop by and have a look; the response is long, but oh, so worth the read!

Tags:   humor     |    Perm Link:   Fun with Patents!

2007-10-07 10:16:22

The GE handshake ...

Bad publicity never really goes away ...

Tags:   humor     |    Perm Link:   The GE handshake ...

2007-09-30 14:02:53


Apparently I was at KillaCon and didn't even know it.

Tags:   personal, humor     |    Perm Link:   KillaCon!

James Conner