John Aldridge's Techdirt Profile

John Aldridge

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  • Jul Fri, 2010 @ 08:43am

    Just Who Do They Repersent?

    I can't imagine any citizen or consumer groups pursuing this.

    ... almost certain proof that corporations have more influence on the Government than anyone else.

    And, I would never suggest that corporations represent the free market or the people (other than investors).

  • Jul Fri, 2010 @ 09:29am


    Somebody had to say it.

  • Jul Fri, 2010 @ 09:27am

    No Big Trick

    Um, it's no big trick to put fingerprints of files into a hash table (Perl, Python, Ruby, etc.) and save that to a file (YAML, etc.) or a database; it happens all the time. Aside from the usual discussion of prior art and non-obviousness, it's only a Patent violation if someone attempts to sell a product that uses that functionality.

    Getting huffy about someone who educates others is a sure way to prove that patents stifle education as well as innovation. Seriously, how can you be sure you're not violating a patent if you don't learn about the patent before you go to sell your product. That's why patents aren't violated until the patent appears for sale in an unlicensed product.

    This is just more of the confusion over the differences between patents and copyrights.

  • Jun Thu, 2010 @ 05:37am

    Not pure sugar, as that would be better for your teeth. The Ce De Smarties are almost as tart as SweeTarts, which means that they have gobs of enamel eating acid. My teeth ache just thinking of their lip puckering tartness, and yet I crave them still. And, I like the non-Ce De Smarties as well, but not at the same time.

  • Mar Wed, 2010 @ 09:45am

    Real Innovation Doesn't Advance That Quickly

    All this rapid growth is really the product of ideas feeding off each other, so it isn't real innovation--it's just throwing existing technologies together.

    Real innovation requires much more effort then what we see today. Unfortunately, the patent office is too swamped to take the time to reflect on what constitutes real innovation.

  • Mar Tue, 2010 @ 08:08am

    Whatever Happened To Choice? Executive Summaries?

    I realize that this isn't the point of this article, but I don't like the feeds that provide full articles. I get the point that truncated feeds, particularly the severe ones, are not an effective tool. However, I actually do not like feeds that provide full articles; and when given a choice, I will select the feed with the executive summary, if well done (and thank you very much to those who do provide such a choice). But, that brings up a another pet peeve of mine: good summaries are rare. And, while I understand that it takes a fair amount of skill to provide useful summaries, I still find it surprising that those who are capable of producing lengthy, well-written articles rarely bother with a decent executive summary. Well, that's one of my favorite gripes, not that this will change anytime soon. I would just be happier if I could choose a summary RSS feed over full articles.

  • Jan Fri, 2010 @ 10:15am

    The Roads Should Be Public (No Matter Who Owns Them)

    Who owns the free market?

    If the roads were all private property, what kinds of things would we see? Would the number of lanes between areas be affected? Would there be tolls between shopping centers?

    Of course, I don't want this to go to an extreme where all ISP's would be owned by the government. But, I want my ISP to be just an ISP and not in competition with content owned by others. And yet, we are not proposing laws that would forbid ISP's from offering any content. We just don't want them secretly pinching the hose when they get jealous of that competing content.

    And, (how many times do we have to say this), we don't want an ISP bill that looks like a cell-phone bill (diseased and perverted as they are).

    So, I don't see how we can avoid having some manner of Net Neutrality regulation. We can only hope that the rules are, not just fair, but clear and concise. But then, is there any hope that the laws, which ever way this goes, will not be a jumble influences from lobbyists and special interests, like that of the DMCA?

  • Jan Fri, 2010 @ 09:55am

    Tear Down The Walls

    And, what about the silly complaints from those who do like social networks?

    I have successfully avoided any contact with Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. My excuse is that with so many people, these environments must be overly mainstream. But, I don't really know this because I haven't been there.

    And, I don't see any reason to add to what is a fairly busy and fulfilling life outside of those walls. Do I really need to be corralled into a controlled environment? Do I really need to be part of some carrot-on-a-stick social game?

    Most of the intelligent arguments (as opposed to the silly ones) about these social environments tells me that I really don't need to waste my time with such things.

  • Oct Fri, 2009 @ 09:35am

    ... as lobbied by capitalists = traitors

  • Oct Fri, 2009 @ 09:34am

    A ISP Music Tax Assumes All ISP Users Are Pirates

    Would our entire tax system work differently if we assumed that everyone was a criminal and all taxes were just the anticipation of a fine?

  • Oct Fri, 2009 @ 09:26am

    Re: Tax for the inept

    Actually, it mike make sense to fund education with stupidity taxes. The dumber the music gets, the more money spent on education.

  • Oct Fri, 2009 @ 09:19am

    Re: Re: It will be used to force ads on people

    Just like they expect people to buy all new equipment for Selectable Output Control?

    Yes, they will be dumb enough. That's how they work. They are not interested in maximizing revenue or profits, let alone any cultural value or enhancement of the free market. They are interested only in maximizing control.

    They WILL do everything they can to gain every bit of control that can be engineered and codified, and this will be no exception. The only question is how soon will they start on this one. Perhaps it will take no longer than it did for them to go from the Broadcast Flag to Selectable Output Control.

  • Sep Mon, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Additional Parameters Required

    While interesting, this anticipated relationship between vertical and horizontal may also be dependent upon other factors.

    Back before software patents, these concepts seemed relatively intuitive, particularly for mechanical patents. Back then, a patent would typically be discussed in terms of a particular product design, with implementations available for purchase. Back then it was easy to see how a particular feature of a product was worthy of a patent. However, the patents we see for software never seem to be taken in this light. Software patents always seem to lack a solution to a problem and seem to lack any unique innovation. This is how we have come to say that the bar for software patents is set way too low.

    And, how can software patents be innovative when they are so common that they are traded as a bulk commodity.

    So, what I'm suggesting is that this theory would be much more meaningful in combination with some measure of how low the bar has been set for the issuing of patents. More specifically, there should be a measure of how specific a patent is to a particular working solution to a problem, as opposed to being so general that it is little more than an approach to a problem.

    We may very well find that patents do a much better job of encouraging innovation, as this theory of horizontal and vertical suggest, when the bar is set high--rather than so low that patents become bulk commodities.

  • Sep Wed, 2009 @ 07:06am

    Commodification of Patents, Copyrights, Ideas, Thoughts...

    Clearly there must be a limit or boundary on what can become property.

    In one recent article, it was made clear that patents are actively traded like stocks and commodities.

    This is the primary resource for patent trolls.

    Note that our current economic strife was caused in part by the commodification of debt, specifically, sub-prime mortgages.

    What if there were no limits on what could be traded. Any contract or business arrangement/relationship could become transferable.

    And, if that's the direction that everything going, despite the lesson of the current economic crisis, then...

    Ah, I've repeated this rant too many times... We, will end up with DRM regulated brains where we will have micro payments for every little thought that involved some word that wasn't in the dictionary a hundred years ago--because even words will be commodities.

    Again, there has to be some limit.

  • Sep Wed, 2009 @ 10:44am

    The Property Inside Your Head

    I get it, but I don't like it.

    Transmutation of information into information that behaves like physical objects is somehow counter-rational. They want to take something abstract/artificial and use an artificial means to impose abstract rules that mimic a natural/physical behavior. That's like two wrongs attempting to make a right. Umm, the double entendre was totally un-intentional, but might as well let it stand.

    Whatever rights may ultimately come out of this, and other schemes along this line, will remain with us into the times when brains are enhanced by artificial circuitry. And, I very much want to make a distinction between data and human memory. That is, I do not want someone claiming that my memories and experiences of someone's content to be considered the physical property of someone else. Your content may be yours, but my memories are not to be messed with.

    So, I don't want to have experiences residing in a Kindle enhanced brain erased at the whim of someone else, and I'm really not interested in what may one day end up being digital Alzheimer's.

  • Sep Fri, 2009 @ 11:15am

    of "champerty" and "barratry"

    Isn't it enough that they've brought about the commodification of patents.

  • Sep Fri, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Light of Day

    ...the "problem" is that the White House can't figure out where to place this role...
    We should wonder about the relationship with the Copyright Royalty Board.

  • Sep Thu, 2009 @ 06:37am

    Light of Day

    Thanks for following this topic so closely.

    There is too much that is hidden about the flow of money in this process.

    I'm starting to think in terms of a letter writing campaign, and I would love to see what ideas you guys have on how that should be approached.


    IP = Informational Plutocracy

  • Sep Tue, 2009 @ 07:11pm

    TW Burger has the right idea.

    Don't forget the Copyright Royalty Board. In my quest to understand how this "collection agency" works and just exactly how that money flows, I had just this past weekend opened the topic for investigation at Daddy, where does all the money go?.