This is the first week of July, 2012
ACTA ( Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ) was defeated in European Parliament with vote 39 in favor and 478 against. An agreement that was largely worked on in secret, and actively supported by the MPAA. It was a treaty to, among others, establish draconian methods for enforcement of copyright infringement across nations including spying. Many MEPs held signs that read, “Hello Democracy, Goodbye ACTA” on the vote held on July 4th. In a joint press release by several international organizations, “Such a vote must also resonate with policy makers across Europe, acting as a wake-up call, urging them to break away from an endless cycle of repressive policies. It is time to reform copyright and patent regimes in favour of citizens and contributors to culture and innovation.”
Charles Arthur of The Guardian reported on the 4th that Apple can not ban some of HTC products from being sold in the UK, ruled by the high court in London. The “slide to unlock” patent has been invalidated. John Naughton at The Guardian reported on June 30th that US appeal court judge Richard Posner, after dismissing a case of Apple sueing Google over a patent, said, “Apple’s argument that a tap is a zero-length swipe, is silly. It’s like saying that a point is a zero-length line.” In an interview with Dan Levine of Rueters on the 5th, Posner said, advances in software and other industries cost much less, and the companies benefit tremendously from being first in the market with gadgets – a benefit they would still get if there were no software patents.
Senator Dianne Feinstein replied to a letter I sent expressing my concerns about software patents and how it is a problem for innovation of video on the web. In the letter she drew attention to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act that was passed in the Senate last September with a vote 89 to 9, and signed into law by President Obama. And that it adds a process for third parties to submit “prior art” during patent application review, and is the most significant reform in 60 years. However she did not express how it was relevant to the particular topic of software patents, and didn’t address the important difference between software and hardware, and that software can include thousands of ideas, a whole operating system, and can be distributed at zero cost. I’ve edited all the clips together from this segment over the last two months into twelve minutes about software patents, it’s available at aweplanet.com/braydon
Wikipedia has been working to improve the user-experience for editors. Particularly complex pages on Wikipedia can reportedly take over 20 seconds to render when the page is edited, and is confusing editors in thinking that it’s not responding. A lesser known, and multi-paradigm programming language, Lua, is here to save the day with the needed performance boost that meet the demands of the challenge. Scribunto is an extension for MediaWiki to be able to embedded scripting languages into the software. Late last month, founder, Jimmy Wales drew attention to a new visual editor for WikiMedia to increase the percentage of contributing users that might otherwise be unfamiliar with wiki markup. However I’d argue that understanding markup is a superiour way to edit, as it can be done using exclusively a keyboard and vastly more effiecient because less time is spent switching input devices such as mouse and keyboard, which on average takes 0.4 seconds.
July 6th, 2012 / The Tom Coston Show with Red Rosie / ©2012 Poobah Records, available under the terms of an Attribution license.