Dodgy Patents Rile Tech Industry

This is a good overview of the whole patent mess. I'm not sure how I'd go about fixing it, but I think that reforming the way patents are challanged would be a good start.

Under the current system, when a patent holder confronts a company about a possible patent violation, the defendant usually has three options: It can try to prove that it's not violating the patent; it can negotiate with the patent holder to license the technology for a fee; or it can try to prove that the patent was wrongly awarded. To a defendant that thinks it has done nothing wrong, none of the options seems just.

A patent for a type of browser cookie? This and other dubious patents have led the software industry to declare that the U.S. patent system is broken and needs to be repaired. But no quick fix is in sight. By Amit Asaravala.

(link) [Wired News]

00:00 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link

How To Catch A Scammer/Spammer

This tale has been showing up all over the place: Slashdot, Politech, etc. Kinda technical, but a great read, and a great job by a vigilant sysadmin!

An interesting story got posted on the Irish Linux Users group. It involves the arrest of a scammer/spammer working in an internet cafe. It even includes the attempt to eat a usb pen drive, several cops and a 10 minute struggle to subdue the man.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Bush urges free trade, tech changes

I've come up with a catchy name for the Bush Adminstration's program on offshoring and outsourcing: Send American Work Oversea For Forever (SAW-OFF), because that'll be it's net effect.

"Six years ago, the largest export of this state was tobacco," Bush said in a speech in Charlotte, N.C. "And now, it's computer equipment. That's an amazing transformation of an economy."

I predict that, if Mr. Bush is re-elected, in six years North Carolina's major export will be ditch-diggers and waitresses...

President Bush warns against erecting barriers to trade with other nations.

(link) [CNET]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Indian call centres 'pose security risk'

Another "hidden cost" of offshoring. Wages in India are typically 10-20% of US wages, so a call center worker there might make a dollar an hour. If you assume a 40 hour week (which is a big assumption) that makes a years wages about $2000 US. Which would be a pittance to get ahold of Bill Gates credit card numbers...

Criminals are believed to be trying to bribe Indian call centre workers to get access to customer credit card details. Call centre workers have been offered up to a year's wages for credit card numbers, according to the Evening Standard.

A year's wages for customer details...

(link) [The Register]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Beware of Blogger


This is an outrage. I can guarantee that I will never suggest to anyone that they use Blogger for anything, as the service is obviously completely untrustworthy and out of control. Here's the comment I left to Blogger:

You're Screwing Around with Identity Theft

Dear Sirs:

A friend formerly had a blog at She removed the blog from your service late last year. She has not posted anything to it since - it's not her account anymore.

It's back up - with her name directly above some porno links, giving the impression that the blog is hers.

This was obviously done to associate the links with her good name in the search engines, and drive traffic/links.

I can understand how the name ("hestia") was made available for reuse after her departure, and would have expected to see another blog at that site at some time. But to allow such an obvious subturfuge to continue is just despicable. You should at least force the current owner to remove the name of the former owner.

As a blogger myself, who's recommended your services to several friends who wished to get into the scene without an investment in service space, I must tell you that such reccommendations will cease immediately. Furthermore, although IANAL, I'm going to advise Kathryn to call one. I think this is a clear case of negligence on your part.

Thank you,
Daithi M Haxton

So, beware of so-called "free" services - you may end up with a lot more than you paid for ...


Apparently enough of us made a such a stink with Blogger that they resolved the situation, by determining that the new blog violated their terms of service.

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link