Microsoft Frowned at for Smiley Patent

As if patenting the smiley wasn't bad enough, M$ is apparently trying to secure patents on tokenizers. These common routines are at the heart of compilers and interpreters - every programming language has a tokenizer of some sort at it's very core. They hedge their bets with a lot of talk about "natural language", but reading through the abstract seems to imply much broader applications. What unmitigated chutzpah!

ZDNet UK reports on criticism of Microsoft's attempt to patent the creation of custom emoticons. 'I would have expected to see something like this suggested by one of our more immature community members as a joke on Slashdot,' quipped Mark Taylor of the Open Source Consortium. 'We now appear to be living in a world where even the most laughable paranoid fantasies about commercially controlling simple social concepts are being outdone in the real world by well-funded armies of lawyers on behalf of some of the most powerful companies on the planet.'

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link

Email from Copenhagen: Return of the Vikings

Nice to see the Danes allowing folks to return to patronymics, and very nice to see Heathenry getting some recognition in the mainstream media, complete with a link to Forn Siðr. Overall a pretty nice article, despite the authors seeming obsession with horned helmets (which were mostly products of a 19th century Romantic imagination, and not reality).

Starting next April, Danish newborns will no longer be required to share a last name with either of their parents, following the adoption of a new law that allows a return to the Viking tradition of patronymics. Instead of maintaining a single last name across generations, each generation of children, in this system, is given a last name that consists simply of the father’s (or in these gender-egalitarian times, the mother’s) first name with the suffix “son” or “datter” (daughter) added on.

(link) [Time]

00:00 /Asatru | 1 comment | permanent link

Putting the lock on CDs

Hey! Somebody in the MSM actually gets it! And identifies the real reason for Apple's iPod success:

These speed bumps may prove to be a stop sign for one important group: the owners of more than 20 million iPods, which are incompatible with the antipiracy software. Already in love with just buying single songs at iTunes, they'll have one more reason to tune out CDs.

The music biz is doing itself in, and I for one will shed no crocodile tears at their demise.

What could be easier? Pop a CD into any player and out pours the music. But those carefree days may be coming to an end--especially if you're accustomed to making digital copies of those disks for friends and family.

(link) [U.S. News & World Report]

00:00 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link