Software Patents: An Industry at Risk

Anyone who works in Open Source realizes the craziness existing related to the ownership of ideas.

Patenting some software is a little like being able to patent the fact that pencil lead gets transferred to piece of paper to produce words, and all subsequent businesses that write things down with a pencil have to pay the patent owner a percentage of their gross sales.

This example is in no way an exaggeration.

There’s a pretty decent submission to the Patent and Trademark Office authored by the League for Programming Freedom on this subject.

Read the submission

Of course, some software can be patented. But some of the more fundamental stuff – well, it just makes little sense to – and has far-reaching detrimental potential.

Diebold to Settle with California

Looks like we’re beginning to see problems surface with electronic voting systems.

Questions of their reliability and security have been a cause for concern since thier conception.

Apparently, Diebold, who manufactures machines used in California has just settled a $2.6 million lawsuit related to their machines.

Article on

The Horror Channel – It’s gonna be a MONSTER!!!

The Horror ChannelI was just looking around on and ran across a post that mentioned a new cable channel – The Horror Channel

It looks like it actually may start broadcasting soon! They have some proof of concept to do, apparently. Between that, and the SCI-FI channel, I’ll have all my frivolity watching covered! 😉

Looks like you can contact your local cable provider and request that they start airing it, too. They have a little link set up for you to contact them, which I’ll pass along here:

The Fans Let ‘Em Hear it! :: The Horror Channel :: It’s gonna be a MONSTER!!!

Historical Informational Evolutions

Kevin Rose posted an link to a very interesting presentation on the potential gathering, structuring and consumption of information in the future. It is a simple flash presentation, very well done, that demonstrates a scenerio of events in the “information industry” beginning in our recent past and carrying on into our near future.

The perspective originates from a museum documenting the informational revolution that transformed much of our society.

It is both inspiring, and chilling.

You can view it at

When Your Vote Doesn’t Count

A Seattle Time article reports that the King County Council Chairman, Larry Phillips, voted by absentee ballot and later found his name on a list of ballot rejections.

It seems that people are not notified when their votes are rejected. They are just silently thrown away, and nothing is done to correct the problem.

This councilman could check on his, though.

When he contacted the King County Elections Director, Dean Logan, he was told that his signature was not on file. This was an error.

The Washington State Republican Chairman Chris Vance says that if we have to check on these kinds of mistakes it will break our election process.

However, it seems to me that when people’s votes are not counted for whatever reason, the election process is already broken.