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Microsoft Seeks Patent On Brain-Based Development 173

Posted by timothy
from the patent-on-defying-parody dept.
theodp writes "With its just-published patent application for Developing Software Components Based on Brain Lateralization, Microsoft provides yet another example of just how broken the patent system is. Microsoft argues that its 'invention' of having a Program Manager act as an arbitrator/communicator between a group of right-brained software users and left-brained software developers mimics 'the way that the brain communicates between its two distinct hemispheres.' One of the 'inventors' is Ray Ozzie's Technical Strategist. If granted, the patent could be used to exclude others from making, using, or selling the 'invention' for 17 years."
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Microsoft Seeks Patent On Brain-Based Development

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  • BOFH (Score:5, Funny)

    by AnotherBrian (319405) on Saturday June 07, 2008 @11:22PM (#23697969) Homepage
    So they just patented the concept of a manager. I really hope Microsoft enforces this one.
  • by JonTurner (178845) on Saturday June 07, 2008 @11:24PM (#23697977) Journal

    If granted, the patent could be used to exclude others from making, using, or selling the 'invention' for 17 years
    Not sure I understand your point of view on this one. I consider any legal device that prohibits selling software like Microsoft's to be worthy of praise.
    • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Saturday June 07, 2008 @11:34PM (#23698019)
      Usually it's not the concept of Microsoft's software that's all that bad, it's the specific implementation. This makes sure that their implementation is always the only one out there.

      Also, patenting something based on the brain is ridiculous. Might as well patent "bi pedal motion", sue everyone in the world and get it over with.
      • by AsmCoder8088 (745645) on Saturday June 07, 2008 @11:39PM (#23698045)

        ...Might as well patent "bi pedal motion", sue everyone in the world and get it over with.

        Except that would only affect people with two legs, not everyone.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by NoobixCube (1133473)
        Won't be the only one out there, since software patents are only enforceable in a few countries. Someone in Europe will distribute a decent implementation of it.
        • by tepples (727027)

          Someone in Europe will distribute a decent implementation of it.
          And then the server logs will get subpoenaed so that Microsoft can sue anyone with a U.S. IP address who downloads the implementation.
      • Usually it's not the concept of Microsoft's software that's all that bad, it's the specific implementation.

        The concept is normally "borrowed" from someone else.

        It's only the implementation that's their own.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        This makes sure that their implementation is always the only one out there.

        This is exactly how the patent system is broken. Patents on physical inventions leave room for competitors to invent their own version of the item, although the new inventor must create their own implementation that is sufficiently different. Patents on ideas and many business processes, especially this patent, are ridiculous. How can you patent a way of coming up with what software to right?

        And how exactly is this different from SOA
  • So are we putting prolific useless patent filers on the B-Ark along with those with their brains stuck somewhere between right and left?
  • by TRAyres (1294206) on Saturday June 07, 2008 @11:34PM (#23698021) Homepage
    Essentially what this does is retard the development of obvious software for 17 years.

    I wonder if I can get a patent on a 'for' loop and then declare all software that uses it to be violating my patent?

    Fucking ridiculous.

    Only in America.

    • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @01:14AM (#23698409)
      Only in America.

      Not hardly. The madness is spreading.
    • The key word here being "retard."
    • by iknowcss (937215) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @01:49AM (#23698509) Homepage
      This is not a troll. Please realize that as you are reading my post.

      It is clear the system is broken, but of all the comments I've ever read on slashdot (as infrequently as that may be) what is the solution? I mean you can't just throw out the thing all together. Having no patenting system would make the whole market far too volatile. If you could start over and rebuild the whole thing, what would you do?

      My first thoughts where along the lines of something like:
      • Company 1 comes up with idea and puts a "patent hold" on it. No one else can find out about it.
      • Company 2 comes up with the same / similar idea and puts its own "patent hold" on it. Again, no one finds out.
      • Company 1 finishes its product and takes it to market. Company 2 is informed.
      • Companies 1 and 2 are given patents on the idea. No more companies may put a "hold" on the patent.
      • Company 1 and 2 battle it out, creating competition, but with some market stability.
      This way, no one company can sit on it. If they want to do something about what they've come up with, they can't just sit on it. They actually have to act on it, and to minimize their competition, they need to develop it as quickly as possible, effectively incentivising progress.
      • First of all we should get rid of software patents. They are ridiculous, like patents on math.
        • by samkass (174571)
          Why do you make such a huge difference between software and physical objects? Any sufficiently non-obvious construct of human invention deserves a patent in exchange for publishing it to the world instead of keeping it secret. I don't see all that huge a difference between software and physical inventions in this respect.

          The goal is to encourage investment and sharing. Both benefit the industry and society immensely. Personally, I think the tech industry has done pretty darn well in the couple decades s
      • by giafly (926567) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @03:36AM (#23698815)
        The patent system only makes any sense for protecting inventions. The problem with IT patents - and I've read a lot - is that 99% of them are bleeding obvious. So there's no problem with others finding out about them. Unless, as in this case, the patent is pseudo-scientific twaddle, in which case who cares?

        If you're serious, how about replacing the current invention standard for new patents by a jury of software programmers who are presented with the problem and asked to design a solution. If any of them gets close to any "invention" in the would-be patent, it's "obvious" and fails.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Inoen (590519)
          Unlike copyright, patents don't exist in order to protect inventors. They exist to encourage inventors to publish their inventions rather than keep them as trade secrets.
          A book (which is what the first copyright systems covered) is not very useful for the author unless it is published.
          Inventions on the other hand can (in many cases) be useful even if kept secret. This is why patents were invented - and why publishing is part of the patenting process.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Znork (31774)
        I mean you can't just throw out the thing all together.

        Yes you can.

        Having no patenting system would make the whole market far too volatile.

        According to...? As demonstrated by...? Which would be bad because...?

        The whole software industry has shown over the last 30 years that patents aren't at all necessary for development; in fact they've rather indicated patents slow down progress. The free software movement is in the middle of demonstrating you don't even need copyright to encourage development.

        It's becomi
      • by Ruie (30480)

        Having no patenting system would make the whole market far too volatile. If you could start over and rebuild the whole thing, what would you do?

        The problem with patent system is that it tries to reward the invention before its worth has been proven and, on top of that, does it with granting specific legal rights (to exclude others) which is not a liquid tradable item.

        A much better system would be to grant the applicant a kickback from increases in government taxes that were made possible by the inventio

      • by Zarf (5735)

        T

        • Company 1 comes up with idea and puts a "patent hold" on it. No one else can find out about it.
        • Company 2 comes up with the same / similar idea and puts its own "patent hold" on it. Again, no one finds out.
        • Company 1 finishes its product and takes it to market. Company 2 is informed.
        • Companies 1 and 2 are given patents on the idea. No more companies may put a "hold" on the patent.
        • Company 1 and 2 battle it out, creating competition, but with some market stability.

        I like it. Sort of a non-blocking "pre-patent" that isn't finalized until a real product is at market. Sort of like saying there can be no standard without a working implementation... nice.

      • Patents were originally about implementations. You had to send a little working model along with your patent application. Now, you can just dream up something and then file for a patent. Requiring actual reduction to practice would get rid of the patent trolls - if you've gone to the work of actually creating your invention, even in software, then you now have something you can sell and you don't need to go looking for people to smack with your patents.

        Actual reduction to practice by requiring inventors
      • by SL Baur (19540)

        My first thoughts where along the lines of something like:

        Company 1 comes up with idea and puts a "patent hold" on it. No one else can find out about it.

        Company 2 comes up with the same / similar idea and puts its own "patent hold" on it. Again, no one finds out.

        Company 1 finishes its product and takes it to market. Company 2 is informed.

        Companies 1 and 2 are given patents on the idea. No more companies may put a "hold" on the patent.

        And if in the meantime, Joe Hacker comes up with the same idea (after step 1) and publishes a program implementing it under the GPL before either steps 3 or 4?

        The whole model we have now is broken, especially with respect to software. But figure this in too - there are more educated people alive today than have ever existed before. Some stuff may deserve to be patentable, but the bar must be very, very, very high.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)
      Actually, Microsoft beat you to something even more fundamental:
      http://www.theonion.com/content/node/29130 [theonion.com]
      (hint for the humor-impaired: consider the source)
    • by Zarf (5735)


      Only in America.

      To quote King George III: "They wrote it down? Don't they know they'll be awash in lawyers?"
  • I thought Microsoft would do this, but I didn't think to patent it first. Crap. Just thinking that I probably owe it money now.
  • Maybe... (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrKaos (858439) on Saturday June 07, 2008 @11:38PM (#23698043) Journal
    The left brain doesn't know what the right brain is doing at Microsoft.
    • Their next patent is: How to manage staff that appear to be brain dead.

      Looking like Microsoft Managers need something like that right now! They certainly appear to need something like that in the legal division. (I shudder when I imagine what a M$ "think tank" might look like.)
      • by ultranova (717540)

        Their next patent is: How to manage staff that appear to be brain dead.

        Have an evil cleric rebuke them until they are commanded ? Microsoft Managers should be able to use half their manager level for that...

  • prior art .... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by taniwha (70410) on Saturday June 07, 2008 @11:44PM (#23698063) Homepage Journal
    it's called the videogame business ....
  • by Eternal Vigilance (573501) on Saturday June 07, 2008 @11:44PM (#23698067)
    How sad that Microsoft considers metric-driven software development that connects users and developers a new invention. :-(

    "At Microsoft, these two halves of the brain come together in the colon."
    • How sad that Microsoft considers metric-driven software development that connects users and developers a new invention. :-(
      You say "metric-driven". Does this make inch-pound-driven software exempt from this patent? ;-)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Well, it certainly confirms their usual methodology is to just pound it out. ;-)

        "I'm nearly two kilometers tall."
    • by zappepcs (820751)
      It's sad that you can't be modded +7, Funny AND Insightful
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by YttriumOxide (837412)

        It's offtopic, but I actually agree fully... I'd love to see Slashdot's moderation system go to much higher numbers, and a few more mod points (but not too many more) be given out. e.g. Go to 15 instead of 5 as a maximum, and give out roughly twice as many mod points as currently. That way, each individual act of moderation has about 1/3 the value that it used to, but more people are given a "voice" in valuing posts.

        It would also allow for finer grained modifiers - I currently have Friends and Fans at +

        • by Zarf (5735) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @12:01PM (#23700613) Journal

          It's offtopic, but I actually agree fully... I'd love to see Slashdot's moderation system go to much higher numbers, and a few more mod points (but not too many more) be given out. e.g. Go to 15 instead of 5 as a maximum, and give out roughly twice as many mod points as currently. That way, each individual act of moderation has about 1/3 the value that it used to, but more people are given a "voice" in valuing posts.

          It would also allow for finer grained modifiers - I currently have Friends and Fans at +1, but under the system I propose here, I'd put fans at +1 and friends at +3.

          How about additional dimensions? +5 funny, +3 insightful, +7 interesting, -1 off topic, 0 overrated, -3 troll

          The result could be plotted on a 3D graph attached to each comment.
          • 3D graph might be going a bit overboard - I prefer the UI to be "clean"... but the idea is basically there - under the system I was thinking, the post you describe would be a +11 in total, and the various moderations could be seen in the usual way when you get the detail of it.

            A further improvement could be that people's modifiers for type (e.g. +1 interesting, -1 funny etc) would only apply to those moderations that actually occurred. So, if a post had the moderations you give, and I down-valued "insight

            • by zappepcs (820751)
              I like that. It would be nice to be able to filter for only posts that are higher than some value, and/or modded in some category. For instance, let me filter for posts that are either > +7 or modded as funny/insightful. I'd like the 'also show post it is responding to' option as well in order to keep the context of the post at hand.

              Then I could read only those posts that I want when I've not got tons of time to read everything.

              Since we did go a bit off topic, I'd also like to see each thread's links. Sa
          • by Repton (60818)

            Yeah --- and then when you create your account here, you define your own projection down to one dimension so you can still sort threads!

            • by Zarf (5735)

              Yeah --- and then when you create your account here, you define your own projection down to one dimension so you can still sort threads!

              See! simple, easy, and to the point. Just make sure it's disruptive and keeps people from having a community experience.
    • The application proves they have no brain, which means they have no proof of concept, which may make the patent invalid.
  • Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Saturday June 07, 2008 @11:45PM (#23698071)
    1) This is only an application. Any dumbass can file an application so long as he pays the fees.
    2) The poster doesn't even know how long patents last, let alone anything relating to what is *actually* wrong with the patent system.
    Just my two eurocents (since they hold their value better).
    • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gm a i l . com> on Sunday June 08, 2008 @12:02AM (#23698147) Homepage Journal

      The poster doesn't even know how long patents last
      A patent is renewable up to a total of twenty years after the day it was filed. The commonly quoted figure of 17 years after issue used to be law, but it is still reasonable because because it takes close to three years for a patent application to get through the patent office.
    • by smaddox (928261)
      Wow... You just insulted our entire economy...

      Harsh.. Just harsh...

      I find it odd that you claim the poster doesn't know how long patents last, yet you give no correction.

      On the topic of what is *actually* wrong with the patent system, I don't think it is the issues people on /. would lead you to believe.

      I believe the problem with the patent system is that their one goal should be to advance the state of the art. The monopoly is simple a means to the end. By offering a monopoly on the technology, you persuad
      • I find it odd that you claim the poster doesn't know how long patents last, yet you give no correction.

        That's because it is incredibly easy to find out (20 years from filing date (or from the priority date if it is a continuation or divisional application) since you apparently don't know yourself).

        On the topic of what is *actually* wrong with the patent system, I don't think it is the issues people on /. would lead you to believe.

        Well, that wins you a promotion to Brigadier General Obvious. You would ge

  • Wrong title (Score:5, Funny)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Saturday June 07, 2008 @11:58PM (#23698121) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft should seek patent on brain-damaged development. At least with that one they will have the monopoly on prior art.
  • Testing the limits? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheNucleon (865817) on Saturday June 07, 2008 @11:58PM (#23698123)
    I read some of the patent application. It's the standard format, but the subject matter is remarkable. I can only think that Microsoft is testing what they can get away with at the USPTO.

    If I had the money, I would patent the placement of pineapple on pizza in adjacent hexagonal cells to reduce juice runoff. I would have diagrams. It is novel, non-obvious, and I doubt there is prior art. Then we'd see if the folks in the USPTO are even reading these things.

    As a (small) stockholder of MSFT, I have to wonder, don't they have better things to do?
    • It's even funnier (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @02:04AM (#23698563) Journal

      I read some of the patent application. It's the standard format, but the subject matter is remarkable. I can only think that Microsoft is testing what they can get away with at the USPTO.

      If I had the money, I would patent the placement of pineapple on pizza in adjacent hexagonal cells to reduce juice runoff. I would have diagrams. It is novel, non-obvious, and I doubt there is prior art. Then we'd see if the folks in the USPTO are even reading these things.


      You seem to assume that if they read it, they'd send you your pizza patent back and tell you to go fly a kite. That's actually incorrect. You'd probably just get the patent anyway. Heck, you could even patent the looks of a pizza.

      A patent attorney actually patented his son's way to swing in an oval shape on a swing. The patent office originally didn't want to let it through. The father argued that although there are a couple of patents on swing designs, none is about how to swing on one. He got the patent.

      IIRC, someone patented a cap with an american football goalpost on top, and a little ball on a spring to bob around between the posts. It's so stupid, it makes even a propeller beanie seem decent by comparison.

      Speaking of american football, there's IIRC a patent on a crochet "replica" of a helmet.

      A quick googling also produced this abomination of a hat [costumecraze.com] that claims to be patented.

      Etc.

      So basically not only you would probably get a patent on that pizza layout, it wouldn't even be the worst you could do with patents. By far. All legal and with them actually reading it.
      • by julesh (229690)
        You seem to assume that if they read it, they'd send you your pizza patent back and tell you to go fly a kite. That's actually incorrect.

        Well, of course it is. The patent office can't advise you to do something that may involve infringing a patent [freepatentsonline.com].
  • Real People (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sugarmotor (621907) on Saturday June 07, 2008 @11:58PM (#23698131) Homepage

    I find it remarkable that real people put their names to stuff like this.

    Anybody here know someone personally with a silly corporate patent like this one? Do they believe in their "work"?

    Stephan
    • by MrMr (219533)
      Well, obviously the people at Microsoft Corporate thought that 'using your brain' was a completely novel and non-obvious idea worth being protected commercially.
      Says it all really.
  • ...which is a significant improvement over our established posterior-based development process.
  • by Genda (560240) <mariet@go[ ]et ['t.n' in gap]> on Sunday June 08, 2008 @12:09AM (#23698165) Journal

    I think anyone who reads the article can plainly see that Microsoft has apparently invented a nearly perfect process for blowing their smoke up someones else's ass... I believe this makes them the proud inventors of the remote smoked ham... Bravo Gentlemen!

  • Will it finally mean you can have a meaningful conversation with a Mac user which does not include chanting the mantra about how easy the Mac is to use because it only has one button on the mouse?
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @12:12AM (#23698183)
    invention ... mimics 'the way that the brain communicates between its two distinct hemispheres'

    Microsoft can pry my Corpus Callosum from my cold, dead brain. I think either God can claim or Darwin can demonstrate some sort of prior art here. Just need to schedule a court appearance for one of them...

    • Microsoft can pry my Corpus Callosum from my cold, dead brain.


      At first I read that as Corpus Cavernosa (saw that an article earlier today was submitted by a user with that nick - must be a dick). Then again, it might be that a typical MS manager has a corpus cavernosa where his/her corpus collosum should be.

  • It was actually posted on April 1, and it simply took this long to be processed and publicly posted.

    The reason why it's listed as having been filed on November 6 is that whomever filed it forgot to turn of the auto-predating feature. (Yeah, I know it's illegal, but we're talking about Microsoft, here).

  • by arctanx (1187415) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @12:49AM (#23698315)

    In part 0016, or in that diagram, it's saying that the designers, engineers, etc. who actually work at Microsoft are all left-brained people, and the customers and people who sell the software are right-brained. Which from a business standpoint puts the "arbitrator" squarely on marketing/sales.

    That makes it the same old problem we've been having for years. The engineers have one idea, the clients have another, and there's a communication problem between them. This has been well documented [dilbert.com].

    And to be honest, if Microsoft can really fix that problem with a brain-like structure, they probably deserve a patent for it.

  • by melted (227442) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @12:50AM (#23698319) Homepage
    The concept of program manager is the single most fucked up aspect of Microsoft culture, IMO. Basically, the assumption is that developers can not, on a fundamental level:

    1. Talk to each other directly
    2. Understand what the customer needs
    3. Deliver software on time

    Anyone with any brain at all sees immediately that all three assumptions are pure bovine excrement, but there's a large layer of well entrenched PM's at Microsoft, up to about 30% of each product team. 95% of these folks do absolutely nothing but (mis)communicate, hold meetings, "manage releases" (whatever the heck that means) and manage up. The remaining 5% are worth their weight in rare earth metals, but they're a tiny minority and they would be better used in a position of authority, like a Project Manager. Program manger has no reports and no authority over either development or test. Oftentimes they have no specialized education and no area expertise. They are randomly assigned to "areas" and told to "spec them out". Most of them even have to design UI, despite not having any usability or UI design experience (I'm sure that explains a lot). So they throw together a primitive spec, and the developer (who is typically an area expert) then spends a lot of time trying to politely explain how big a pile of flaming poo their spec is and why certain things need to be done differently to be even possible.

    The worst part is, PM role is typically considered something of a fast track to management. So you end up with a lot of people who have not a slightest idea what they're talking about making strategic decisions.

    So I say, let them have it. The rest of the world will just assume that their developers and testers have a brain. Seems to be a pretty safe assumption to make, most of the time.
  • This should not be an issue...Kill it before it breeds!
    Anything else is just excuses
    Quit enabling this shit, otherwise it is your own fault.
  • Wait a second... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by catdevnull (531283) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @01:18AM (#23698413)
    I thought the idea of the patent was to protect an invention--the method or design of the apparatus--not an idea. Ideas aren't worth jack; it's the invention that makes the idea come to reality that is the patentable item.

    This is just, excuse the expression, patently absurd.

  • Does this mean that Microsoft owns the rights to my brain now???
  • A idea (Score:3, Funny)

    by ozonearchitect (1290376) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @01:52AM (#23698515)
    They need to patent their OS releases... it mimics the way a human being takes a dump.
  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @02:00AM (#23698551)
    Business Process and Method:

    By creating bolloxed, over-complex software applications, interfaces, frameworks, and modules, the "wrong-minded" "development organization" thus enables an entire business
    eco-system engaged in the production of "for dummies" manuals, malware detection and security services, and IT support, which is needed to arbitrate between the shyte software, and the "right-brained" users.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2008 @03:41AM (#23698827)
    Having a casual interest in what's inside my own head, I've done a little light reading about the left/right brain issue, i.e. lateralization of brain function. Even that small amount of light reading has taught me that the notion of there being "left brained" or "right brained" people is the result of no-brained journalists (redundant?) mischaracterizing the results of early functional brain-mapping research. Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] says it well (emphasis mine):

    Popular psychology tends to make broad and sometimes pseudoscientific generalizations about certain functions (e.g. logic, creativity) being lateral, that is, located in either the right or the left side of the brain. Researchers often criticize popular psychology for this, because the popular lateralizations often are distributed across both hemispheres, [1] although mental processing is divided between them. ... Hines (1987) states that the research on brain lateralization is valid as a research program, though commercial promoters have applied it to promote subjects and products far out of the implications of the research. For example, the implications of the research have no bearing on psychological interventions such as EMDR and neurolinguistic programming (Drenth 2003:53), brain training equipment, or management training. One explanation for why research on lateralization is so prone to exaggeration and false application is that the left-right brain dichotomy is an easy-to-understand notion, which can be oversimplified and misused for promotion in the guise of science.[9] The research on lateralization of brain functioning is ongoing, and its implications are always tightly delineated, whereas the pseudoscientific applications are exaggerated, and applied to an extremely wide range of situations.

    A little more reading will also tell you that functional lateralization is far from exact; for example, while right-handers typically have speech centers located in the left hemisphere, lefties are more likely to have speech control divided between both hemispheres. Are there statistical tendencies in function lateralization? In so far as there are tendencies in function localization, yes. Furthermore, there's nothing wrong with saying that people have certain information-processing preferences. (Oh, and by the way, it's usually much easier to just ask people what their preferences are, rather than using one of those lame MBTI tests. Self-reported preferences don't automatically become "scientific" by assigning them alphanumerical codes.) However, the ideas that you can (1) infer properties of someone's neurological structure based on their job title, and (2) use said properties to devise an optimal communications strategy, are 100% grade-A #1 hogwash. The media's gross unwillingness (or, more likely, inability) to interpret basic research leads to all kinds of farces like this. (For example - the next time someone refers to that old chestnut about how we use only 10% of our brains, consider what the result of using 100% of your brain would be: a skull-fucking seizure. Med students, back me up! Or tell me off; I just want to know...)

    (begin microrant) But the worst exploiters of this pseudo-scientific garbage are educational consultants - you know, the ones who neurotic mothers pay (either directly, at clinics, or indirectly, through shitty-book sales) to have their children diagnosed as misunderstood geniuses. "Oh, my little Johnny! Sure, he gets Cs and Ds in every subject in school, but that's just because he's a special learner! He's a right-brained, visual-spatial prodigy with mild autism and extra cheese, just like Einstein! The teachers just don't know how to deal with him!" Here's a hint, folks: the more stringent the conditions under which someone's genius is supposed to manifest itself, the more likely that said genius is nothing more than neurotic maternal rationaliz

    • The parent post is probably one of the best posts I have ever read on Slashdot. Whoever you are, Mr AC, I tip my hat to you.

      (Note: Hat tipping did actually occur; I wear a black felt fedora, and was impressed enough to tip it in the direction of my computer when reading this post)

  • I have so many fundamental objections to this... but ignoring the technical reasons (ie. it shouldn't be a patent, period)...

    I'm an engineer.

    I'm also a writer (of fiction, no less).

    I'm also an artist.

    I communicate well with others.

    I appreciate music. I have insight. I understand 3d forms.

    If this is how you, Mr. Ozzie, run your org, you can expect me never to consider working there. Ever. Because frankly, the idea of being pigeonholed as a bit-pusher annoys the hell out of me.

    You know what you get if you enc
    • You're right, of course, but remember that this "business method" is clearly the invention of people who like the idea of pigeonholing. The reality is that most good software engineers (actually, most good engineers, period) are well-rounded people with a variety of social and artistic as well as technical skills. But most management-focused types have no technical skills at all, and few if any artistic skills -- social skills are all they've got, and so they have to pretend that they're something special
  • Prior Art (Score:3, Funny)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Sunday June 08, 2008 @08:00AM (#23699599) Homepage Journal
    I am prior art, having served as a Program Manager on various occaisions. I would like to see them sue me over my resume.
  • Sorry, but I patented the brain when I created Adam and Eve. Prior art and all. Guess I'll have to smite them.
  • If you are competing with Microsoft, you better hope they always keep someone between developers and users. That'll make it easier for you to beat them. All you have to do is put your developers together with users and you'll have a competitive advantage.

    This is a patent on a dumb way to develop software. Nothing to see here, move along.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.

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