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Eolas Sues World + Dog For AJAX Patent 647

Posted by kdawson
from the to-fix-patent-system-replace-judges-in-tyler-texas dept.
helfrich9000 writes "Eolas has filed suit against 23 companies (guess where), including Adobe, Amazon.com, Apple, eBay, Google, Yahoo!, JPMorgan, and Playboy. At issue are a pair of patents (US 7,599,985 and US 5,838,906), one of which (the '906) was successfully used in litigation against Microsoft Corp for a $565 million judgement. Says Dr. Michael D. Doyle, chairman of Eolas, 'We developed these technologies over 15 years ago and demonstrated them widely, years before the marketplace had heard of interactive applications embedded in Web pages tapping into powerful remote resources. Profiting from someone else's innovation without payment is fundamentally unfair. All we want is what's fair.'"
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Eolas Sues World + Dog For AJAX Patent

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  • laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drDugan (219551) * on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:03PM (#30438492) Homepage

    Profiting from someone else's innovation without payment is fundamentally unfair. All we want is what's fair.

    There is ridiculous dishonesty in this assertion.

    Of course profiting off someone else's work is unfair. Nothing about what the litigant or the defendants have done or will do relates in any way with "fair". If the world were "fair" every single human would have as an inalienable right free access to decent food, housing, healthcare, and security and working beyond that would be an optional choice to better their life. Humanity is far, far from this ideal, and everything we do now in the business world is *nothing* about fair, it is about power and capital, and having long chains of other humans working for the profit of those few who have learned how to escape or work the system. Remember more than half of your planet's population still farms their food by hand, and dies in large numbers when there are droughts.

    "Profiting from someone else's innovation" is at the very basic essence of working capitalism. It an the assumption driving nearly all investment. Using capital to buy a stock, and having that stock rise in value, has the effect of making a profit off the wealth creation and innovation in that company. I don't take a position for or against that system it is highly efficient, when it works, at allocating resources and creating significant development.

    But even beyond the nature of business and profit, these folks have gone down into the depths of corporate IP litigation, where the idealistic light of "fair" shines like smelly dirt. Lawsuits rarely have much to do with a high notion of justice; they are what you can pay for, and what you can win. To assert that ones actions are about "fair" when filing a corporate IP litigation lawsuit is patently absurd and frankly laughable.

  • Re:laughable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:07PM (#30438538)

    . If the world were "fair" every single human would have as an inalienable right free access to decent food, housing, healthcare, and security and working beyond that would be an optional choice to better their life.

    Who decided that all those things are what would be "fair" in a perfect world, might I ask?

  • Re:laughable (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:08PM (#30438544)

    If the world were "fair" every single human would have as an inalienable right free access to decent food, housing, healthcare, and security and working beyond that would be an optional choice to better their life.

    Disagreed. This is a socialist utopia. It can't even be called Marxist because Marx postulated working - socialists generally don't.

    So - Free food, housing, healthcare and security, and working for any of this is optional? And any situation which does not fulfil this shitdream is 'unfair'?

    Sadly you'll probably be modded 'insightful', because socialist moral concepts have spread a lot these days. Evil dies slowly and grows quickly if it's not fought.

  • More power to 'em (Score:3, Insightful)

    by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:11PM (#30438580) Homepage Journal
    Given that the defendants are also ridiculously litigious about software patents, I say more power to Eolas. I think the whole idea of software patents is absurd anyway but if there is going to be pain suffered by anyone then it needs to be suffered by all. Adobe, Amazon.com, Apple, eBay, Google, Yahoo!, JPMorgan, and Playboy are all probably really saddened by the fact that they didn't come up with this themselves quicker.
  • Re:laughable (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:18PM (#30438668)

    If the world were "fair" every single human would have as an inalienable right free access to decent food, housing, healthcare, and security and working beyond that would be an optional choice to better their life.

    You and I have very different definitions of "fair." All of those things have to be provided by someone. It's not fair to force the people providing those things to work for below market prices... and it certainly is not fair to tax working people to provide those things to people that are very capable of working, but choose not to.

    Me? I value freedom. As long as I have freedom I know I'll be able to provide for myself and my family. However, if the government wants to force me to provide for others as well, then I am not so sure. I am already forced to pay into a medical system that will go broke in 2017, before I am eligible to receive benefits. I'm also forced to pay into a retirement system that will go broke in 2038, before I am eligible to receive benefits. I'm not sure how much more I can afford to pay for other people.

  • Re:laughable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:19PM (#30438692)

    As opposed to the capitalist moral morass, where "fair" is whatever you pay for.

    Both options are fucked up.

  • by meerling (1487879) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:21PM (#30438714)
    It is not reasonable to allow spurious or unfounded litigations simply because the target does so themselves.
    That would set a very bad precedent.

    Now as to this case, I have no idea if it's a load of b.s. since I can't seem to get the article to load.
    Maybe it got slashdotted. :)

    Personally, I'm sick of the software patent scams, just slap them back to copyrights like it used to be.
    As long as we're wishing for things, eliminate business patents also.
  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gudeldar (705128) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:24PM (#30438742)
    I fail to see what is so evil about socialist/communist ideas. They don't work in practice but that doesn't make them evil.
  • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dissy (172727) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:25PM (#30438752)

    'We developed these technologies over 15 years ago and demonstrated them widely, years before the marketplace had heard of interactive applications embedded in Web pages tapping into powerful remote resources.

    Bullshit

    Show me the web site that you made providing an interactive web app back in 1994, only one year after the web was even invented.

    Don't have one? No one did? Thought as much...

  • Re:laughable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pookemon (909195) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:29PM (#30438790) Homepage
    Of course, you've read the post as "and working is optional" not "working BEYOND THAT is optional". So "fair" is getting a minimum level of comfort in your life - which you may or may not have to work for depending on whether the work is available (heck, everyone has to work, but everyone gets more leave as the work is spread thinner) - and if you want an increased level of comfort you have to work that little bit harder to get it.

    But lets just attack someone who thinks that "fair" is that everyone should be entitled to a minimum level of comfort in their life and rant about the "evils" of there not being exploitation of some people while others get what they don't deserve.

    "Oh but I work hard for what I get" - but others work harder for MUCH less - and don't have the opportunity to spend their "free time" on some worthless rant like your own.
  • Open Source (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tsotha (720379) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:30PM (#30438798)
    From my perspective, one of the key advantages to open source software is it will make busting these kinds of patents a whole lot easier. There's almost certainly prior art somewhere for nearly every software patent on the books, but it's all in unsearchable proprietary code that may or may not have been deleted years ago. As more code gets added to sourceforge and other repositories it's going to get a lot easier to say "Hey, this thing you patented was done twenty years ago in an obscure open source project nobody uses anymore. And I can prove it."
  • by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [esidarap.cram]> on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:31PM (#30438806) Homepage Journal

    Given that the defendants are also ridiculously litigious about software patents,

    Every case like this that is lost by the defendants serves to further legitimize this type of patent. If they win this, any project using Ajax is at risk, including many popular FOSS forum and CMS packages. So you'll pardon me if I'm less than enthusiastic about this, regardless of who is defending.

  • Re:laughable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:33PM (#30438828) Journal

    I fail to see what is so evil about socialist/communist ideas. They don't work in practice but that doesn't make them evil.

    Taking the fruits of your neighbors labor to supply for yourself would be called stealing if it was done directly and without the government as a middle man.

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:35PM (#30438846)

    You should sue east texas as a co-conspirator in your patentented patent trolling violation. After all, without their help, trolling wouldn't be as profitable.

  • Re:laughable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drDugan (219551) * on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:37PM (#30438876) Homepage

    Note that access to information, education and entertainment, relationships, friendships and intimacy and many other basic human needs are not on that list. Travel, personal property, reproduction, and many other norms we accept as given are also not on that list. What I wrote was that basic human needs for safety and survival would be afforded as a right to all people in a "fair" and idealized world, and that people could work for a life more than that.

    I stand by that assertion: such a place would be fair. Would it work? Who knows. European countries offer a reasonable safety net and seem to be doing OK. Compared to some countries, crime there is lower, people are smarter, incarceration is lower, people are happier and healthier, drug use is lower. An idealized world like this probably wouldn't be nearly as free as some people experience today, but it would be fair. Personally, I'd choose freedom over fairness when they conflict, but offering a real safety net for human survival and safety would eliminate the fear that drives many toward the ills we see in the world today, and it would make the world a much nicer place.

    If you want to label it a "socialist utopia", fine, call it hoogamazoola for all I care, it doesn't change the essence of the point: life now, on earth, is not even close to fair in any sense, nor do people even give the idea of "fair" a reasonable hearing in social discourse. Marx was right about one thing in the mid 1800's: his premise was there is enough. It was true then, and still is today.

  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hondo77 (324058) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:38PM (#30438892) Homepage

    Taking the fruits of your neighbors labor to supply for yourself would be called stealing if it was done directly and without the government as a middle man.

    Huh? My bosses do that every day.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:39PM (#30438902) Journal

    As opposed to the capitalist moral morass, where "fair" is whatever you pay for.

    The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessing. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.

  • Re:laughable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by burnin1965 (535071) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:40PM (#30438916) Homepage

    Re:laughable (Score:1, Insightful)
    Marx postulated working - socialists generally don't.

    WTF, somebody actually modded this idiot coward insightful?

    Socialism isn't that far off from Capitalism and it requires that people work, the biggest difference is in the compensation the workers are given for their labor. Socialism isn't necessary in a Capitalist society as long as the workers are compensated enough to meet their needs and be satisfied with their standard of living. When basic needs can't be met but are financially viable based on the economy their labor drives then you will see moves towards Socialism.

    Its fine to disagree about what works and what doesn't but marking the village idiot as insightful because it makes you feel good doesn't make it insightful. It just means you've joined into the circle jerk.

  • Re:laughable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:42PM (#30438940) Journal

    Presumably they pay you?

  • Re:Open Source (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gujo-odori (473191) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:44PM (#30438962)

    Partially correct. That is one point where prior art is useful. This situation is another. If someone sues you for patent violations and you can find clear prior art, then you can attempt a flanking maneuver: file suit to have the patent invalidated. If you can invalidate the patent through prior art, you don't even have to fight the frontal battle of proving that you aren't violating the patent.

  • Re:laughable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Chibi Merrow (226057) <mrmerrowNO@SPAMmonkeyinfinity.net> on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:45PM (#30438974) Homepage Journal

    No, they pay you for your labor as per the entirely voluntary contract of employment you have entered in with them, which is pretty much exactly the opposite.

  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:48PM (#30439006)

    WTF?
    Are you 12?
    All civil society will have some amount of decisions and freedom removed from the individual. We give up that freedom to have a civilization. More or less of that is not evil, it is just a choice.

    Also socialism and communism are not interchangeable.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:49PM (#30439012)

    There are MANY small-scale communist groups that work very well and have been doing so for decades without problem.

    And as long as they don't shoot you for trying to leave, there's not a thing in the world wrong with that.

  • Re:laughable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ClosedSource (238333) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:51PM (#30439030)

    Presumably they pay you with all the fruit. Paying isn't labor.

  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ClosedSource (238333) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:55PM (#30439076)

    There is no "contract of employment". They pay you what they want to pay you and get rid of you at will.

    The only contracts involved are the ones that say you can't work for a competitor or use the knowledge you gained on the job to get a better one.

  • Re:laughable (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:57PM (#30439092) Journal

    Bullshit.

  • Re:laughable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:01PM (#30439124)

    Except, you know, all libertarians are in favor of the rule of law, something that Ethiopa lacks.

    Nice strawman though. Perhaps you can have a debate with Sarah Palin? You can accuse her of wanting to turn the US into Somalia, and she can accuse you of supporting death panels. It might be entertaining for the Fox News/MSNBC crowd.

  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:01PM (#30439132)

    Taking the fruits of your neighbors labor to supply for yourself would be called stealing if it was done directly and without the government as a middle man.

    But if your neighbors are taking the fruits of their neighbors' labor to supply themselves, then the whole system becomes fair again. Sure you have to work out a system of apportioning work allotments so that one person is not being ask to provide a disproportionate of labor, but that is up to the society to figure out.

    Each society might have different ideas of what constitutes work. A hippie commune might deem poetry to be a valid and valued product, whereas some other collective might only rank something that contributes materially to the society. This determination could be done democratically. Democracy and communism are not mutually exclusive.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by H0p313ss (811249) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:04PM (#30439162)

    There are MANY small-scale communist groups that work very well and have been doing so for decades without problem.

    And as long as they don't shoot you for trying to leave, there's not a thing in the world wrong with that.

    Excellent point, socialism and freedom are in no way contradictory.

  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nebaz (453974) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:04PM (#30439174)

    The whole idea is flawed. The reason that Communism fails on a large scale is that given enough people, someone will be selfish enough to game the system for his own advantage, and refuse to play nice. To avoid this, careful group membership selection, or harsh enforcement are required.

  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by agrif (960591) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:07PM (#30439188) Homepage

    Taking someone else's car in exchange for little pieces of green paper would be called stealing if it wasn't backed by the government.

    I agree with the grandparent, here: socialism and communism are not inherently evil ideas, any more than capitalism and federalism.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:18PM (#30439298) Journal

    Yes, there's the obvious answer that I could venture out for myself, and take all the cash for myself. The problem is that this is a) inefficient, and b) not my temperament.

    Whose fault is that?

  • by microbox (704317) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:22PM (#30439330)
    Greed is an inherent part of human nature

    So is intelligence.

    Using intelligence to moderate greed is not the same a communism.

    Lassez-faire is not an ultimate truth. If it were, then we would have private police, unregulated tobacco, and the supermarket could sell you anything that looked like meat without any regulations at all. That is a recipe for a crime and public health disaster.

    The question is not the removal of all regulations, but understanding when regulations are needed. History is *full* of examples of the evils of unregulated markets. Even Alan Greenspan as backed off from that ideology -- and he was the "wizard", and chief high-priest of that position -- and an extraordinarily intelligent man.

    Human beings are more than just selfish greedy individuals. We are capable or more than that -- and that is NOT communism OR socialism.
  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bane2571 (1024309) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:25PM (#30439366)
    Then the obvious question is why didn't you bill yourself out at $200, hell even $100?

    Essentially you were paying your boss $150 to find you work to do.
  • by webdog314 (960286) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:29PM (#30439402)
    ... for the last 15 years and didn't notice that, well, every damn company on the web was violating their patent. You should only be able to claim damages from the time you file a suit. Sorry you waited until now to get off your asses and do something about it.
  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by noidentity (188756) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:29PM (#30439408)
    No, if the world were fair, each person would be held to the same standard, and the standard wouldn't make any references to specific people or groups (i.e. "friends of mine get special treatment"). Fair doesn't mean you get treated well, just that it be by the same standard as everyone else.
  • Re:laughable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bottoms (1548585) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:31PM (#30439416)

    I fail to see what is so evil about socialist/communist ideas. They don't work in practice but that doesn't make them evil.

    Taking the fruits of your neighbors labor to supply for yourself would be called stealing if it was done directly and without the government as a middle man.

    Taking some fruit of your neighbors labor because you are poor and have no fruit of your own even though you work hard cleaning your neighbors toilets is not stealing. I have an issue with people making money off the fruits of my labor without them doing any real labor themselves. I'd rather feed the poor than line the pockets of those fat cat stock market types. Wouldn't you?

  • by smallfries (601545) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:38PM (#30439484) Homepage

    The use of asynchronous communication with the server is one of the sub-claims. The actual "invention" that they filed is a browser that can download programs, and run them in such a way that the program can communicate with the browser for I/O. That is AJAX, but also Javascript in general. It's also any Java applet, Flash applet or in fact, any applet of any kind.

    They claim that they have invented the idea of executable applets, in any language or implementation. And after the Microsoft victory their legal position looks quite strong. I would assume that the only way the targets in this round can beat this is by tying the suits together and trying to get the patents dismissed on the grounds that they are overly broad.

    There was no specific invention in the patent - but they stumbled onto a very general idea that is the basis for the entire internet 15 years later. The argument needs to be along the lines that no one company should be allowed to own a patent on technology that it actually took the entire industry 15 years to develop.

  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:40PM (#30439502) Journal

    Taking someone else's car in exchange for little pieces of green paper would be called stealing if it wasn't backed by the government.

    No, because nobody put a rhetorical gun to the sellers head and told him to sell the car or go to jail.

  • by Zordak (123132) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:41PM (#30439516) Homepage Journal
    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that if there were something as obvious as the patent freakin' expired already or there was an obvious bar date, Microsoft's lawyers probably would have picked up on it. In fact, I'm betting that before Microsoft payed half a billion dollars to settle the suit, they probably scoured the world for invalidating prior art. If there's any good prior art to use against these patents, it's not likely to be something that the Slashdot Army of Armchair Lawyers is going to come up with off the top of their heads. It's more likely to be some thesis published by the University of Zimbabwe with exactly one copy sitting in their library just waiting to be discovered.

    As always, I don't represent you and this post is not legal advice, and does not represent the views or opinions of my firm, or its partners, yadda yadda.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheLink (130905) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:42PM (#30439528) Journal
    > > Profiting from someone else's innovation without payment is fundamentally unfair. All we want is what's fair.

    > There is ridiculous dishonesty in this assertion.

    I bet they didn't pay Tim Berners-Lee anything ;).
  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AnotherUsername (966110) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:43PM (#30439540)
    Presumably you drive on the roads that the government's evil socialist Department of Transportation maintains using your tax dollars. Or use water from the evil socialist city water utility. Or eat food inspected by the evil socialist FDA. Or use the evil socialist Internet developed by the government's evil socialist Department of Defense(which also maintains an evil socialist military fighting force to ensure one's freedom to spout off comments about socialism being bad).

    But I guess that when socialism is only shown as welfare, it is easy to assume that socialism is stealing.
  • Re:laughable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by novium (1680776) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:44PM (#30439544)
    And to be pedantic, 'inalienable rights' carries certain connotations of being inherent and nontransferable. Anything that must be provided by someone else (free food, housing, healthcare) would seem to not apply. Rights, by definition, are something that exist naturally and therefore cannot be provided; they can only be surpressed. Free speech exists in a vacuum. A social net does not.
  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:49PM (#30439598) Journal
    free access to decent food, housing, healthcare, and security

    You're more than welcome to grow your own food, build your own shelter and live healthy. Or is it only "fair" if someone else is forced to provide those things for you?

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shatrat (855151) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:51PM (#30439618)
    I'm not talking about economics. I'm talking about making my own decisions and being my own master.
    You think wrongly.
  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Orion Blastar (457579) <[orionblastar] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:57PM (#30439680) Homepage Journal

    The hidden communist holocaust murdered about 100 million people in less than 100 years. [amazon.com]

    Not only does communism not work, but in an effort to make it work they have to murder off the "imperfect" or "those who don't contribute" or "those who are different" or "those who don't worship the state secular religion called communism" because too many people means social programs cost too much. So if they just off the "surplus population" they can hope to make the economics work even if they don't follow logic or reason or any sense at all.

    George Orwell warned us about communism and socialism via Animal Farm [orwell.ru] where the farmer is capitalism and the animals establish a socialist/communist government. In the end they find out the socialists/communists are just as corrupt as the farmer and many animals lose their rights and freedoms and some end up dead.

    The Black Book of Communism was written in France and is a picture book, it outlines the camps and the murders, the torture, the stealing, the crimes against humanity and other things that socialism/communism has done.

    As an alternative try welfare capitalism or compassionate capitalism where social programs are insurance based, and based on logic, reason, and reality. The person gets out of it what they paid into it via taxes. Which was what FDR and others in the USA used to avoid socialism/communism and the evils that follow them.

    Socialism is diet communism, would you like diet fascism or diet Nazism as a viable form of government? They don't work in practice either and are just as evil. Too much to the right is bad, and too much to the left is just as bad, people should really be in the middle.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:58PM (#30439690) Journal

    I opposed the bailouts. We should have let every one of those outfits fail. Socializing failure is never in the national interest.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Artifakt (700173) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:07PM (#30439748)

    And I (age 52) and you were both 'forced' to allow the government to draw out from that retirement system, and leave it full of IOUs, or there would be a lot more money in it, enough so you would probably see it as well. Hell, enough your hypothetical grandkids probably would. I'm not even sure it will last until I reach 68. But you and I are not what's imposing on each other's freedom. You can resent being 'forced' to provide for me if you want to fall for that line. Maybe I should resent the 13 years I put in in the armed forces, as 13 is not enough to get military retirement and if I see any retirement benefits from it, they will come from paying into social security during my hitches instead. It looks like you, and maybe a lot of other freedom loving people resent having to keep the promises their government made to people such as me.
            So I have to ask, just what's not fair? "It's not fair" that people you had a chance to vote for (or against) drew money out of the Social Security fund, and promised to pay it back with taxes they are now unwilling to raise just to keep their promises? "It's not fair" that you should bear any responsibility to see that the government cuts some other expenditures rather than break its promise to repay what's been borrowed from the SS fund? I don't blame you for not wanting to throw money into a system where it drains out everywhere, but the very people who are spending your taxes on everything but fixing Social Security and Medicare are evidently telling you that the cure is to abandon the lazy parasites such as me. It may not be fair, but a lot of people such as you are going to either be forced to fix what's really wrong, or to to see the money get sucked from your pockets anyway and not even do that. The best, the very best you might see is a lot of your hard work go to actually fix the government. Abandoning those programs as 'socialist' instead won't encourage the government to stop the drain, it's just another 'us' vrs. 'them' trick to let the real leaches keep sucking us both dry.

  • by bpsheen (957313) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:07PM (#30439750)
    This should be a Wake up call to the US patent office and others like it. Patents need to be reviewed by experts in the respective fields to which they belong. (it is obvious that they are not due to these patents). Its another patent that should have NEVER been approved!!! How much money does the US goverment make from this process , any clue, because at the point when 20+ companies are being sued over patents which should have never been issued then in my view the only people actually profiting heavily are the winners of the lawsuits and the lawyers. I am sick of this, I have rather interesting views of what socialism is about (I was born in the UK and lived a dual-culture life (between the US and UK) for many years and at this grand age of my late thrifty I am becoming of the possibly immature view that governments seem to spending more time screwing things up with their wonderful ideas (good examples, the national health system mess in the UK (partially due to Microsoft contractors), The inability for mothers trying to collect child support in the UK (another microsoft contractor cock-up), the absolutely silly and arcane laws which get passed limiting our online freedoms, and finally the stupid patents). Is this where our hard-earned tax dollars are going????? Are people working hard so that Mr. Dumbarse MP or Senator retard can pass dumb laws. Are people working hard on legimate technologies only to be used for things that they never should have to be worried about in the first place. And finally how much is it costing the taxpayer, Its enough to make you want to demand that you get to allocate where your taxes get spent instead of writing your respective government a blank check. Enough is Enough, USPTO, Get a ******* clue! I've had enough myself, its frustrating to read about. In a time of global economic crisis it seems the goverments involved are doing a poor job at not only protecting the everyday citizen but also the larger businesses as well. I am not advocating Anarchy, but something huge needs to change here. How and why I am sure is going to hopefully spawn many comments and insults!
  • Re:laughable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xaositects (786749) <{moc.stcetisoax} {ta} {soax}> on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:19PM (#30439856) Homepage
    You have hit the nail on the head. The problem with implementing any kind of social/economic/political movement on a large scale is that the number of corrupt individuals involved increases proportionally (sometimes exponentially?) with the size of the movement itself. Those individuals do not have the same goals in mind as the founders of said movement, but have learned how to make the it work for them by exploiting the naivety/idealism of those founders. As someone above said, communism as in farming communes works on a small scale, just as anarchy would work on a small scale. The people in that scale need to be able to police their own to eliminate the elements that do not contribute to the movement as a whole though. Without that policing, the undesired elements gain too much power and create their own powerful -- and difficult to dislodge -- structure of corruption.
  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:20PM (#30439866) Homepage

    When you find that outside of the ant colony or Borg collective let me know.

    I never said it was realistic. I'm simply explaining the concept. It's kinda like pure capitalism. A nice idea in theory, but in practice, completely absurd, based upon a foundation of human behaviour that's so idealized it's silly.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:20PM (#30439868)

    Communism and freedom/self-determination are mutually exclusive.

    Why? In my post I envisioned a society where people did use a democratic process to determine how their society was run while still retaining a system of communism. Rather than just make an assertion that this is wrong, back up your ideas.

    Communism can be used as a system of government by an oppressive regime. That doesn't mean that it can only be used by an oppressive regime.

    I think that the problem we have when discussing this sort of thing is that we are conditioned to think in terms of "what's in it for me". Self-interest is a major part of our society, and I don't think that we are aware of how much we are indoctrinated into this way of thought. And I am not making a value judgement when I say "indoctrinated". All children are indoctrinated into a particular mindset, but that mindset varies depending on country and socio-economic background.

  • Re:laughable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:20PM (#30439870)
    Are you out of your mind? How am I supposed to build a comfortable lean-to next to a fairy tale garden full of fresh vegetables in your la-la-land if I can't afford an acre of it, there are no jobs anywhere, nobody else can afford anything I might try to sell, and pollen carrying Monsanto's patented gene keeps blowing around?
  • by Azureflare (645778) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:25PM (#30439904)
    They're trying to patent client/server communications, except over the internet! It's a painfully obvious approach and their patent should (idealistically) not hold water, due to it being completely obvious. You might try submitting your app as evidence in one of the big suits to revoke their patent. We're all interested parties here, and really anything that can be done to eliminate this obvious patent troll would be fighting The Good Fight IMO.

    Who knows, maybe the judges in these cases will see the light and throw Eolas out of court. One can dream.
  • Re:laughable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:38PM (#30439990)

    Is retirement a basic necessity?? Is treatment for quitting smoking?? Is gastro-bypass surgery a basic necessity to fix your over-eating weakness?? Maybe more people might support universal health care if we take a lot of deadbeats off the dole.

    Libertarians believe in the outlandish philosophy that you are responsible for your own success or failure, not the government. These people must be extremists!!!

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:50PM (#30440062) Journal

    Provide me with a house (free), food (free), and transportation anywhere I want (free), and my sex change operation (free).

    Basic (depending on who you ask) is subject to "negotiation" and political whims.

    Here is what society should "Provide" ... Common Defense. Usually against tyrants, including left wing ones who typically live in ivory towers, thinks everyone else is stupid, and the rules they make up for everyone else don't apply to them. You know, like the people meeting in Copenhagen regarding AWG caused by ... carbon emissions, who dumped more carbon in a couple of weeks than 6,000 US citizens use in a year , or 4 million Ethiopians.

    No, Libertarians want a civil society and find taxing and spending on "social" programs not very civil. It isn't civil because of the "Tax" part, because taxes are a necessary evil, not a requirement for "civil" society. And Income re-distribution is as tyrannical as any other tyranny.

    Why do I have to agree to your idea of "civilized"? As long as I leave you and everyone else alone, what business is it of yours to tell me how to live?? I'm sure you don't like it when some Religious person tells you what their version of "civil" is, what makes you any different than them?

    Oh yeah, I forgot, you're smarter than everyone else, you love making the rules for everyone else, and I'm sure you'll be first in line to toss the rules aside when they don't suit you.

    Any government capable of giving you want you want, is capable of taking everything you have, including your life.

  • Re:laughable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:50PM (#30440064)
    Ayn Rand. Everything is fair if it benefits the person judging whats fair. Everything else is totalitarian liberalism.
  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:00AM (#30440146) Homepage Journal

    I've always found it deeply ironic that many "mine mine mine!" capitalists also declare themselves to be Christians and fail to understand sharing one's wealth in the Christian sense at all.

    "If you have two coats and your neighbour has none, give one of them away to him."

    Give, not sell, because you have more than you need, and he has nothing. Whether you earned it or not is irrelevant.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekboy642 (799087) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:05AM (#30440178) Journal

    Libertarians also hold the completely rational belief that people incapable or unwilling to work hard enough--and here only the Libertarian is allowed to define how hard--should die when they meet hardship.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Idiomatick (976696) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:13AM (#30440226)
    "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessing. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of blessing."

    I know you were trying to be cute but my change actually didn't effect the meaning of what you were saying at all. At least be honest.

    In socialism you have a guarantee of a certain level of blessing. In exchange you can't achieve dizzying heights of wealth, less chance of being a bazzillionaire.

    In pure capitalism you have NO guarantee of blessings. But you have a chance of becoming a brazzilionaire.

    Personally, I'm willing to give up my brazilians to have a guaranteed level of living. Also, some level of socialism is needed for society to even function. Rules about rights to education, safe roads, blahblah are all socialist. Because the group is giving up their hard earned cash to provide a guarantee to the masses. Certainly the rich could have their butlers put out fires but as a society we decided that everyone needed this.

    The fear of socialism in the states confuses me, it isn't complicated and it is already partially implemented.

    It all comes down to this. Do you think everyone deserves service-x? Are you willing to slightly lessen your shot at owning a home worth more than a million dollars to provide this?

    An example I like to use is public transit. Something a bit risky since it isn't free in even the most socialist countries. What are buses used for? - 90% of the time it is to go somewhere to spend money, or make money (Believe it or not they aren't exhilarating rides). Both of these things are good for the local economy. The cost is relatively minimal. It would also be lowered by not charging people, no tickets, no machines in buses, less time at stops, less bureaucracy and so on. It also lowers the barrier to move from total poverty up to working class, something very good for the economy. If more people use the system it only becomes more efficient cost wise. It also provides an alternative transport to those considering getting a car which provides environmental bonuses, I don't give a shit if you don't believe in GCC, It reduces city pollution, on which we have solid information on the dangers and number of deaths. The cons are that it disproportionately charges people that don't use the service. But it provides for the people that need it most, the money is much more effectively spent. Setting the cost of a bus ride to a dollar or even 50c seems like a no brainer. Or in the least it shouldn't get the level of fear and hatred that it seems to get in the states. It is a simple idea nothing horrific at all.
  • by ponraul (1233704) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:34AM (#30440356)
    I'd ask Eolas to show their technologies that they demonstrated widely over 15 years ago. If they're trying to sue the pants off of everyone for copying their demo, they should have it handy.
  • Re:laughable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:36AM (#30440362)
    You make an excellent point, even if it comes off a little snarky. :)

    "And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also." (Matt 6:40)

    "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil." (Luke 6:35)

    "And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea though he be a stranger, or a sojourner, that he may live with thee." (Lev. 25:35)

    None of that precludes punishment for success, but it does lay the boundaries for what and how success can be attained, as well as how you view success and treat your fellow man once you are successful. (Rich young ruler, etc... good parables.)
  • by tjstork (137384) <todd@bandrowsky.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @12:53AM (#30440464) Homepage Journal

    AJAX is just client server fancied up a little bit. There's no real difference architecturally between a 1985 FoxPro application and a 2008 AJAX application, except that the AJAX application will be slower but scale to a million users and have prettier fonts and worse reporting.

  • by Nkwe (604125) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:09AM (#30440580)
    Animated GIF? Web page executes in a browser causing the browser to perform additional I/O (the IMG SRC tag) to the server to retrieve an application (the GIF file) and executes it. (Animated GIF files contain a "program" of sorts that specify what images to decompress in what order and how long to display them.) How long has GIF been around?
  • Re:laughable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Smeagel (682550) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:12AM (#30440592)
    As many philosophers have spelled out over time, the only way to fairly consider a social system is to imagine a system where you were randomly reborn tomorrow as anyone inside that system, and the one where you're most likely to live a good life is the fairest system. If you're honest with yourself you'll realize in a completely libertarian system 90% of people will be miserable, as the intelligent people take everything they can out of the system and hold it for their own. In a totally socialist system 99% of people will be miserable because it denies the basics of human motivation and everyone suffers. In a pragmatic system that combines the two (something libertarians fail to grasp), the most people are able to live good lives. The hard part is where to draw that line. Never trust an idealist, they're blinded by their own self-certainty. The hypocrisy of your post is you complain of the idealistic liberals who think they're smarter than you, when your own post stinks of self-certainty and idealism.
  • Re:laughable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iron-kurton (891451) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:13AM (#30440606)
    One word: ENRON
  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CAIMLAS (41445) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:21AM (#30440662) Homepage

    Why would, or should, we be obligated to provide anything to another person? How is that different, than, say, someone being obligated to work in my field (for my profit)? It isn't.

    We, as civilized people, are obligated to listen to our conscience. Part of what makes a conscience a conscience is the discretion to know when conscientious behavior is appropriate - socially, economically, and morally.

    Is it moral to kill? No. Was it moral to kill a maniacal dictator who kills his own people and makes war on others? Yes. In the same vein, it is not a morally appropriate act to "provide necessities" to anyone. They've done nothing demonstrative of such beneficence. However, a moral actor will provide food to those in need, as he sees fit, according to his own means.

    Once you start speaking of moral choices in terms of "requirement", you're no better than the witch burners or slavers of the past: you're forcing your views on others, to their peril.

    If you make it a legal requirement for the many to provide for the needy, you end up with the list of needs growing: food, shelter, sanitation... then electricity, television, computers, the Internet. Eventually (as we do in today's society) we've got people who are on the lam who are living more corpulent lives than honest, hard working families. That seems somewhat more socially repugnant and morally negligent to me.

    Today, I gave a homeless man a sandwich and put a quarter in someone else's parking meter. What "civil", honorable deed did you do?

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arose (644256) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:29AM (#30440726)

    Free speech exists in a vacuum. A social net does not.

    Property you can keep on you exists by virtue of personal self determination (that is you have to be attacked for you to take it away). All other types do not, they require you to attack to take them back, violating the new holders self determination rights.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arose (644256) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:41AM (#30440806)

    No, I don't think anybody deserves any service they aren't willing or able to pay for. I'll await my troll mod now for having the audacity to say that out loud.

    So no roads, school or police? Does it apply to *all* services, or just the ones you decide it does apply to?

  • 15 years (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:41AM (#30440812)

    >>> We developed these technologies over 15 years ago .... Profiting from someone else's innovation without payment is fundamentally unfair... All we want is what's fair.'"

    15 years is too long for a software patent to last. Eolas had more than enough opportunity in that time to capitalise and recover R&D costs on any software technology by making a real product. Eolas didn't ever do anything using this technology so is provably just patent trolling.

    Whats fair is that the patent office should remove patent rights from owners not actively developing or marketing provably available products within a certain time period, otherwise they're just allowing troll companies to hold the whole tech world back from developing.

  • Re:Bullshit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @01:44AM (#30440832) Homepage Journal

    the patent is on a concept

    Then it's invalid. Patents are for inventions or applications.

    demo's don't mean public sites for all to enjoy..

    If it wasn't public then I'm not entirely convinced it ever existed. Like that perpetual motion machine I built one summer. My brother saw it, ask him.

    I'm with the GP on this. I don't believe they developed anything like what they claim because at the time the underlying technology to support it wasn't there. It's a WIBNI if ever there was one.

  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by localman (111171) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @02:36AM (#30441084) Homepage

    I'm so tired of hearing this. Please, please, please: man up and point out to me a stable first-world country that is doing things as you think they should be done. Where has a lack of central regulation yielded anything other than subsistence farming and warlords? Where has a modern national infrastructure been built without government intervention? Where has the vast majority of the populous been made literate without public schools? Where has crime and poverty been kept to minimal levels without any government social programs?

    As far as I know, it hasn't happened. Your ideals are based on a pipe dream just as foolish as communism: that left to their own devices the free market will get people to willingly build the cathedral of society we all take for granted today. If you have an example of this, please point it out and I'll modify my views. If you can't find an example, will you modify yours?

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @03:16AM (#30441254)

    You didn't visit Rissia in the 1980's. The black market, as capitalist as it was, and the poor productivity of centralized bureaucracies that disenfranchise and eliminate incentives for local workers, had emptied store shelves. Hours of wait for basic staples to arrive on the shelves was quite common, even in Moscow, and the prices of even modest luxuries such as blue jeans were ridiculously high because there was nothing else to spend income _on_. I wound up deliberately bring new blue jeans and giving them away as gifts for the hospitality I recieved there from broke but friendly engineers. (They didn't cause the import concerns that calculators did.)

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by baboo_jackal (1021741) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @03:24AM (#30441288)

    Or does 'this' libertarian fall into the convenient category of including property rights into the group of 'natural' rights by twisted logic?

    Just out of curiosity, what do you consider to be 'natural' rights? And could you explain how is the right to property not one of them, since you clearly think it isn't? And what constitutions/rules of governance throughout the world *don't* provide protection for property rights? The US, Canada, the EU, the UK, Australia, and most South American and Asian nations do. I'm hard-pressed to find one that doesn't.

    That's mostly why I'm surprised at your comment - your opinion seems to be in the *vast* minority, and historically, nations that have lacked protection for property rights have generally been third-world nations run by dictators, or else proven to be abject failures and collapsed under their failed economies (i.e., the USSR).

    Was your comment just sophomoric romanticizing of collectivism? Or have you actually thought this through?

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @03:43AM (#30441356)

    Communism implies the subordination of the individual to the state. In a true communist society there is no concept of private ownership. All assets, including human capital are owned by the state. If you don't see how much a system is inherently incompatible with freedom, liberty and individuality then we are probably too far apart to have a meaningful dialog on the issue.

    All assets are owned by the state anyways. Yes, even in the USA. Your problem is that you don't realize it.

    You don't own your house, even if it doesn't have a mortgage against it. Property tax. You rent it from the state. Stop paying your property tax and what do they do? Put a lien on your house. Kick you out. Sell it for the back taxes. Still think you own your home? You don't.

    Eminent domain. They can take your house anyways even if you do pay your taxes. Or a business interest can do it if they persuade (read that as "pay") the local government and make a compelling argument they could bring in more tax revenue with your property than you can.

    Mineral rights. You can lose your home if there is something interesting buried under it.

    Bankruptcy court. If you don't pay your taxes they'll sell your car, your computer, even your shoes. It all comes out in the audit, and if the powers that be decide you owe them money they'll take anything you think you own and sell it in a Sheriff's sale.

    Forfeiture laws. Even if you have a pocket full of bills they can claim you are probably up to something and declare the money itself guilty of a crime and take it. They don't like it when you sidestep banks and have money they can't track, count, and make you pay tax on. They can take your car, your boat, anything you own for any reason at all.

    The only reason you own anything you currently have right now is because the government hasn't said otherwise at the moment. They can change their minds anytime they like and take anything they want. Legally. You don't own jack.

    Subordination of the individual to the state? Hell. The great bulk of humanity has never been free and never will be. Not here, not there, not anywhere.

  • Re:laughable (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @03:59AM (#30441428)

    So just like Capitalism, then?

  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cerium (948827) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @04:03AM (#30441440) Homepage

    Dear Slashdot:
    How do you mod an entire thread off-topic? :(

  • Re:laughable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @04:13AM (#30441486)

    Gaming the system happens in capitalism. In fact, it is often cheered and rewarded!

    See: Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, etc.

  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ahankinson (1249646) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @04:51AM (#30441674)

    Taxing and spending on "social" programs are exactly how our modern society has been built. At least in Canada, our "evil" taxes pay for the development of speculative ideas (public universities), fund a healthy workforce (public healthcare), allow unpopular and uncomfortable artistic expression (artists' grants), and provide a motivation for reporting the truth regardless of who's footing the bill (public broadcasting). Even in the states, some of your most significant developments, including building the Internet (DARPA), going to the moon (NASA) and harnessing atomic energy (Manhattan Project) have been publicly funded.

    The problem with the "every person for themselves" attitude is that every person is never for themselves. Sure it starts out with everyone on a more or less equal footing. But eventually, over generations, you get a series of feedback loops. Everyone starts equal, and then a few enterprising individuals create their own wealth. This leads to them passing it on from generation to generation, giving their children more opportunities, better education and better health care. Soon you end up back where you started with an obscenely rich, but relatively small, group that controls most of the power and wealth.

    The fundamental mistake most Libertarians make, in my opinion, is that they don't realize that unless there are social equalizers (like public health care, or public research) then their ideal society quickly becomes an aristocracy when in the context of normal human behaviour - that is, investing the most amount of resources into the survival of your families, instead of the society as a whole. This is a good short-term, survival-based reaction, but in a long-term stable society it is actually detrimental. The irony is that for Libertarianism to survive it requires a strong middle class, while it promotes a society where the middle class is eroded as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

  • Hillarious (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @05:04AM (#30441758) Journal

    Just imagine, the roads being maintained by Microsoft. The FDA run by Apple. The city water utility by IBM.

    If you know nothing about history, then I suppose those ideas might appeal. To those of use with a brain, it is a nightmare.

    IBM would decide that a watertap is only worthwhile selling to big business, not to individual consumers.

    Microsoft would make roads only drivable by Ford cars and then only the current model.

    Apple would come up with legaleese to tell you that should your stomach explode, they are in a no way to blaim.

    No, somethings are meant to operate slowly and ineffciently. If society was run efficient, we would raise all kids in centralized institutions and kill old people once they are no longer productive. I take my goverment lumbering, out of date and inefficient thank you very much. For the alternative, see 1939-1945 and current day China.

  • Re:laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aceticon (140883) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @05:38AM (#30441910)

    To avoid this, careful group membership selection, or harsh enforcement are required.

    At which point all those "someone [who] will be selfish enough to game the system for his own advantage" will gravitate to positions where they are the ones doing the selection and/or harsh enforcement.

    Which is what happened in all so called communist countries.

    More in general, communism (the utopia where everybody is equal and has the same) is a metastable [wikipedia.org] state: even if a completely equal society was magically created in an instant, sooner or later, somebody smarter/sneakier would outsmart/deceive somebody which was less so and end up with more and the other with less. Said person, seeing his/her own success and the benefits of that action would do it again, while other smart/sneaky people also seeing it would copy it. Eventually the whole thing society would move to a state where some have more and some have less.

  • Re:laughable (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @05:59AM (#30441998)

    careful group membership selsection does not solve the problem. the probability of misuse tends towards 1 with more people added to the group. harsh enforcement does not help as well because the power for enforcement corrupts the people (even if they started with an idealistic mind)
    The only way seems to be to limit the group itself to a size where personal relationship and accountability can be a counterpart to the underlying tendency towards misuse. But that restricts the number to less than 20-30 people or so. Just like small villages in tribal areas around the globe. Any bigger than that and you start to have hierarchical systems with the known problems

  • by Tim C (15259) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:18AM (#30442070)

    You're an optimist; I see the future as one in which the big boys patent absolutely everything and anything, so they can cross-licence with each other while crushing the little guy.

    Yeah, I'm a pessimistic cynic; 10 years in the industry can do that to a person.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@s[ ]hdot.org ['las' in gap]> on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:44AM (#30442202)

    I tried to live by these rules, when building up my life from nothing again.

    And there is a fundamental flaw in this order of priorities. The “self-esteem and stuff” category has a fundamental and deep property to it, that makes you worry about it very very early. Essentially, it is in a somehow intertwined way also the very first thing to think about.

    I haven’t really found out why and how. I just know that it’s completely impossible to just focus on the lower things, until you got them handled.
    Maybe because it takes forever until they are handled. Maybe because it’s not that “step one, then step two, ...” but rather “much of step one, a little bit of stop two... then a bit less of step one, a little more of step two...”. Meaning that you already try to handle all steps at the very beginning.

    I myself lose the ability to even handle the basic stuff, when I don’t have the ability to pursue the higher stuff from time to time. I simply can’t stand it, and feel like I’m not really alive, but a zombie.

    So Maslow is definitely wrong here. But if you lower the resolution of your look at it, he appears to be right.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @07:52AM (#30442520)
    You could be thinking of FA Hayek, in "The Road to Serfdom". I like what he says about laws. A good law is where no one can predict who will benefit from the law. In other words, everyone benefits from the law equally. That would be fair.

    IP law is about as unfair as can be. Just think "Disney".
  • Re:laughable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zoolander (590897) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @08:53AM (#30442844)

    The reason that Communism fails on a large scale is that given enough people, someone will be selfish enough to game the system for his own advantage, and refuse to play nice.

    Phew, good thing I live in a capitalist country, where that never happens.

  • Re:laughable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Acron (1253166) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @09:35AM (#30443156)
    What you take away you can not use. This fails the basic "bad people" problem, that is, how will you stop bad people from abusing the system? At the end of the day it is force. Sending someone to jail is a physical threat (isolation/restraint/etc). Enforcement always ends or promises to end at permanently removing your ability to infringe. Perhaps then to say that force may not be a right but a need. If someone infringes your rights and needs, then force must be a possibility on your list. The US citizens would do well to remember that, that tyranny must be opposed, by force if necessary. If we are not willing to take up arms, then we cede our liberty and freedoms to those that are.
  • by tqisjim (1074635) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @10:50AM (#30444044)

    An attorney friend recently explained that problems aren't patentable, only solutions are. That is, you can't patent the idea of a cure for cancer, and then claim the rewards when someone finally accomplishes that task. Clearly, that philosophy is outdated, as this patent has apparently thrived.

    The inventor, Dr. Doyle, has a PhD and was employed at UCBerkeley, seems more legitimate than your average troll. Nevertheless, he didn't describe any technical implementation e.g. a scripting language, dynamic libraries, or even IO redirection of an external app. Obviously, he must have intentionally avoided patenting a specific invention in order to cast a wider net.

    Ironically, none of the defendants actually sells a product that infringes. The objectionable products are all provided for free. AJAX and the rest are neither critical nor valuable. Damages? In Microsoft's case, I'd have to guess the $500M award was entirely putative. The only defendant that even indirectly benefits from the technology is Adobe.

    All of the described functionality existed prior to 1994. The supposed "innovation" is describing the browser as a virtual platform. So '906 patents the browser. Mosaic was already available. The premise must be that, prior to this invention, the browser was limited to reading HTML documents.

    There are so many defendants, I don't expect this case to be settled. In spite of the recent decisions, which only seem to have heightened Eolas's hubris, the legal merits of this case are much flimsier than most— even patents that seem painfully obvious. I expect this case to be a real watershed for software patent disputes.

  • Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FriendlyPrimate (461389) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @10:51AM (#30444054)
    Seriously? As others have already mentioned, the private sector has only one interest...maximizing profit. You only have to go as far as looking at your local cable company to see "private sector efficiency" in action.

    If the DOT were run by a private company, all roads would be tolled....heavily. You would have to pay lots of extra fees like "exit ramp usage fees". If you wanted to go to another state, you'd have to purchase a "subscription" to use those roads. You'd only be allowed to drive certain kinds of cars on those roads....those from car companies that have made cross-licensing agreements with the road companies (and those cars would cost quite a bit more then too). Safety concerns would take a back seat to profits (i.e. unsafe conditions would only be fixed if the costs of lawsuits outweigh the costs of repairs). And you can totally forget about aesthetics....cheap and ugly is what all your roads would look like. etc....etc...

    So sure, from a pure efficiency standpoint, the private sector can do things more effectively and efficiently than government. But in the end, consumers still end up paying more from services provided by the private sector. The only time this isn't true is when prices are strictly controlled by government (e.g. here in North Carolina, electric rate hikes must be approved by the state). But then that's considered governmental interference in the marketplace, right?
  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by farble1670 (803356) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @03:51PM (#30448832)

    Why would, or should, we be obligated to provide anything to another person?

    because it is in the long-term best interest of society, of which you are a part of, right? don't take my word for it, it is something that every modern society has figured out to some degree or another.

    e.g., you might not think you should have to subsidize public education through your taxes, but when children grow up uneducated and can't work in the economy you depend on, it becomes your problem. it is also your problem when their lack of affluence causes them to turn to a life of crime, of which you might be the victim. and so on.

  • Re:laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by burnin1965 (535071) on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:41PM (#30451196) Homepage

    What you describe is not Socialism, it's Keynesian economics

    No, Keynesian economics [thecanadia...opedia.com] is not concerned with social programs or the basic needs of the citizens, it deals with the variable inputs that can be used to address fluctuations in consumption, employment, investment, etc.

    Controlling the interest rates is Keynesian, building roads is Keynesian, lending capital to automotive manufacturers is Keynesian, but these are all temporary means of controlling variables in the economy to control serious recessions. Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, etc. are not Keynesian, they are Socialism.

    What I am describing is a type of socialism more like that proposed by Fourier [wikipedia.org] who suggested that in a socialist economy workers would be compensated based on there input, I am not describing the type of authoritarian socialism portrayed during the red scare [wikipedia.org] and espoused by Babeuf [wikipedia.org], Engels [marxists.org], or anyone proposing communism.

    I am not redefining Socialism the problem is you seem to only be aware of the type of Socialism that is meant to frighten people with visions of Gulags [wikipedia.org].

    our standard of living is higher than ever because of the efficiency with which private goods can be produced in a capitalist economy

    I'm not as familiar with the long term economic situation in Canada but I can tell you the standard of living in the United States is more than acceptable. So when I look at individual median incomes from the 1940s to today and see that, based on inflation measured by the CPI, in the United States the median income has decreased some 30% from the mid 1970s to today I wondered how this standard of living could be maintained.

    The answer lies in personal debt. From the 1940s up to the 1970s personal debt in the United States was only a fraction of the GDP value, 30% or less, but after median individual income started to slide personal debt rapidly increased and today in the United States personal debt is equivalent to if not exceeding the national GDP. That is over $14 trillion in individual debt alone!

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg

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