Freedom of Speech in Software – Patents

Freedom of Speech in Software
Posted by michael on Saturday August 30, @06:06AM
from the if-only dept.

akpoff writes ” I’ve been struggling with the question ‘what’s wrong with software patents’ but haven’t been able to find the right words. I was over at John Gilmore’s website and found a link to John Salin’s ‘Freedom of Speech in Software’ letter to the USPTO back in 1991! This is one of the best explanations I’ve seen. He reminds us that computer programs are essentially like literature or music — they are expressions of ideas. Just because they run on a computer doesn’t make them uniquely different from other creative mediums. We should think player piano (patentable) vs the music (copyrightable but not patentable) it plays.

Europeans — put this letter into the hands of your MEPs!”

July 2, 2003 Dow Jones WebReprint Service®

Dot-Com Hope: Akamai, Others Discover New Life
By William M. Bulkeley

Cambridge, Mass. — IT IS THE BUSINESS equivalent of a medical miracle.

Less than a year ago, Akamai Technologies Inc. looked destined to become another bit of dot-com road kill. The provider of Internet speedup services was burning through cash, revenue was dropping and its stock was delisted by the Nasdaq Stock Market after it fell below $1.

But now, Akamai seems to be in the midst of a surprising comeback. Big customers such as the Sony Ericsson cellphone venture, the U.S. Army and BMW are buying more of its services, its executives are blithely predicting positive cash flow by year’s end, and its stock is above $4.


[snip start”>
Nearly related to probabilistic stuff is Xapian, a.k.a. Omseek, a.k.a.
Omsee, a.k.a. Open Muscat, an open-source project intended as a
probabilistic search-engine framework. Initially financed by Brightstation,
was some time ago left to its own. Now lives in Sourceforge.

More in the research field, there’s libbow/rainbow by Andrew McCallum et al.
from CMU, including bayesian classifiers, vector-space algorithms, and other
nice artifacts.

Here at gtd, we’re experimenting internally with some new vector-space based
search and classification algorithms. What we have does look quite
promising, but AFAIK it’s not to be open-sourced — by now.

htdig-dev mailing list
[snip end”>

Security Risks: A Look into the Future

By xL
Fri Aug 8th, 2003 at 11:10:28 PM EST

Last month, a crazed call from a customer I was about to reel in with a hosting deal gave me another glance into the woeful state of internet security. A debian machine, acting as a proxy for some of his most important customer websites, had gone haywire. It refused to deliver mail and there was trouble getting in through ftp. A quick look over SSH confirmed a nasty suspicion: The machine had been compromised and run over by a rootkit. Although the break-in and installation of the rootkit had been done clumsily, the potential of deception that the software had, were it installed by an able person instead of a script kiddy, was chilling.

Power from blood could lead to ‘human batteries’

SMH August 04, 2003 A device that produces electricity from blood could be used to turn people into “human batteries”. Researchers in Japan are developing a method of drawing power from blood glucose, mimicking the way the body generates energy from food. The team at electronics giant Panasonic’s Nanotechnology Research Laboratory near Kyoto has so far only managed to produce very low power levels.

Rush – Vapour Trails by Rip Rowan

I’m a big Rush fan.

Yeah, I know. Me and 50 million other drummers.

I’ve been listening to this band since they showed up on my radar in the late 1970s, and have always followed their tours and new albums. I admit that I fall into the camp of wistful fans who yearn for a return to the art-rock glory days of the band (which pretty much makes me an old burnout) but I still like to hear the new stuff and see what these dudes are up to. And, Rush’s return to a more guitar-oriented (and acoustic-drum-oriented) sound has reignited some of my interest in their performances. Rock music is all about the guitar, and few people are as interesting to listen to as Alex Lifeson. And don’t even get me started about Neil Peart.

CD too loud?