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Thursday, April 19, 2007

New legislation would overhaul U.S. patent system

According to InfoWorld new legislation would overhaul U.S. patent system.

One of the details states

It would award patents to people who first file for the patents instead of those first to invent, 

Does this make sense? I assume that this is intended to head off the litigation about "prior art" (i.e. who invented it first lawsuits) but this is ridiculous. The US patent system does need changes in the face of current technology but that is not one of them.

This exchanges one problem for another. This forces extra secrecy around any innovation for fear that others will run out, patent your own idea, and force you to pay royalties for it.

How can any company in the technology sector work that way? They could not share upcoming plans or features for products. They could not even collaborate to create open standards because anyone could go out and patent it.

The one thing that the bill includes which is sorely needed is more funding for the patent office so they can reliable investigate claims.

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Sorry, no more e-bills

Oh yeah, and the whole reason I had to go their website in the first place was because they stopped sending electronic bills to my bank.

In a world where every other business is getting started with electronic billing, they have been doing it for years and then recently decided to stop. They didn't say why, just that I needed to start sending them regular checks again.

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Sorry, you password is too complex

As I'm logging into one of the Big 3's websites in order to make a payment on my car, it asks for a password. This being a financial situation, I want a unique and difficult password to keep the bad guys at bay. I throw in a symbol to make it a little more complex and I get this error while setting up the account.

Password must contain only alphanumeric characters. No special characters, spaces or punctuation marks allowed.

Excuse me? You mean I have to make my password simpler so it works with your website? Yep, only alphabet and numbers allowed here!


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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

No www? No problem! - Not really.

If you have a website, you better well allow people to type in "" instead of just!

Every time I come across some company whose website address doesn't work without the "www", my confidence in their ability to do their real business goes way down.

You have to dot your I's and cross your T's in today's world. Because if you don't, someone else will. All things being equal, I prefer to do business with companies that seem to be on the ball with everything - especially the customer facing portion of their business.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

UN supports Human Rights (unless they don't)

Here's one. I recently came across the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is listed in their archive in the Landmark Documents section. So this is a pretty important document right? Its the basis for their work in promoting basic human rights policy

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations

And it has some pretty good stuff in it. Here are a few nuggets

Article 1 All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights


Article 2 Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person

right on!

Article 4 No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.


Article 5 No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

so far so good!

Article 17 (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

keep going!

Article 29. (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations

uh, what!?!?!

Read that last one again. Its the escape clause for the entire document. "We believe all humans have universal rights which they can have and exercise unless we change our mind"


A new day a new blog

Welcome to the newest soapbox. I may not have a lot to say, but I see and hear things every day that make me do a double take. This really starts to increase around election season and it looks like we are heading into a doozy this time. In that regard, I need some place to rant and point out the illogic of the madness in the world around me so here we go...