ENTRIES TAGGED "patents"

Four short links: 23 March 2011

Four short links: 23 March 2011

Health Prediction, Fake Ads, Bogus Patents, and Realtime Graphing

  1. The Heritage Health Competition — Netflix-like contest to analyze insurance-claims data to develop a model that predicts the number of days a patient will spend in hospital in the coming year. $3M prize. (via Aza Raskin)
  2. Historically Hardcore — fantastic fake Smithsonian ads that manage to make the institution sexy. Naturally they’ve been asked to take them down.
  3. Another Plato Innovation Ignored — turns out the above-the-fold doodle has a long and glorious history, culminating in a fantastic demonstration of our broken patent system.
  4. GraphiteEnterprise scalable realtime graphing. Apache 2.0-licensed, written in Python. (via John Nunemaker)
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Developer Week in Review

Developer Week in Review

Unix IP on the block, AT&T can't keep a secret, and take one tablet and call me in the morning

This week, Unix was for sale, then it wasn't, then it was again. AT&T announced the most poorly kept secret in the history of secrets. And the tablet was all the rage at CES.

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Four short links: 15 September 2010

Four short links: 15 September 2010

CC Privacy Info, Magic with iPads, SSL in Javascript, and Reading Patents

  1. Privacy Commission Uses CC License For Content — The office of the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner is releasing its content under the CC-BY license, including fact sheets, newsletters, guidance, case studies, howtos, and more.
  2. Magic iPad Light Painting (BERG London) — continuing their stunning work, this concept video uses a form of long-exposure stop-motion to turn the iPad into visual magic.
  3. Implementing TLS and Raw Sockets Using Only Flash and Javascript — interesting first steps to implementing non-trivial security in Javascript (“The Language Of The Future ™”). (via ivanristic on Twitter)
  4. How to Read a Patent in 60 Seconds (Dan Shapiro) — quick guide to the important parts of a patent. For more detail, check out the more detailed docs from the PatentLens.
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Four short links: 30 August 2010

Four short links: 30 August 2010

H.264 Patents, Pakistan Flood Crowdsourcing, YouTube to MP3, Bloom Filter Tips

  1. Free as in Smokescreen (Mike Shaver) — H.264, one of the ways video can be delivered in HTML5, is covered by patents. This prevents Mozilla from shipping an H.264 player, which fragments web video. The MPEG LA group who manage the patents for H.264 did a great piece of PR bullshit, saying “this will be permanently royalty-free to consumers”. This, in turn, triggered a wave of gleeful “yay, now we can use H.264!” around the web. Mike Shaver from Mozilla points out that the problem was never that users might be charged, but rather that the software producer would be charged. The situation today is just as it was last week: open source can’t touch H.264 without inviting a patent lawsuit.
  2. Crowdsourcing for Pakistan Flood Relief — Crowdflower are geocoding and translating news reports from the ground, building a map of real-time data so aid workers know where help is needed.
  3. Dirpy — extract MP3 from YouTube. Very nice interface. (via holovaty on Delicious)
  4. Three Rules of Thumb for Bloom Filters — Bloom filters are used in caches and other situations where you need fast lookup and can withstand the occasional false positive. 1: One byte per item in the input set gives about a 2% false positive rate. For more on Bloom Filters, see Maciej Ceglowski’s introduction. (via Hacker News)
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Four short links: 9 August 2010

Four short links: 9 August 2010

Robot Needs, Twitter Paper, Relationship Detection, and Doublesided Tablets

  1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Robot Needs — born to be a t-shirt. (via waxy)
  2. paper.li — read Twitter as a daily newspaper. An odd mashup of the hot new tech and the failing old. Will newspapers live on with modern meanings, like “records” and “cab”?
  3. Eureqa software tool for detecting equations and hidden mathematical relationships in your data. Appears to be a free-as-in-beer service with open source client libraries. (via Pete Warden)
  4. Samsung Patents Tablet with Front and Rear Touch InputThe idea is to let users control the device without touching the screen, and perhaps allow them to perform multi-touch inputs from the screen side and the rear side at the same time. (via azaaza on Twitter who says he worked on it at Samsung four years ago)
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Why software startups decide to patent … or not

Why software startups decide to patent … or not

Berkeley Patent Survey finds first-mover advantage trumps patents for some.

Researchers Pamela Samuelson and Stuart J. H. Graham discuss key results from the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey, including how software startups perceive, use and are affected by the patent system. Of particular note, startups find that first-mover advantage and complementary assets are more important than patents.

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Four short links: 14 July 2010

Four short links: 14 July 2010

Cloud Data Ingest, Microbiome, Patent Blindness, Russian Open Data

  1. Flume — Cloudera open source project to solve the problem of how to get data into cloud apps, from collection to processing to storage. Flume is a distributed service that makes it very easy to collect and aggregate your data into a persistent store such as HDFS. Flume can read data from almost any source – log files, Syslog packets, the standard output of any Unix process – and can deliver it to a batch processing system like Hadoop or a real-time data store like HBase. All this can be configured dynamically from a single, central location – no more tedious configuration file editing and process restarting. Flume will collect the data from wherever existing applications are storing it, and whisk it away for further analysis and processing. (via mikeolson on Twitter)
  2. How Microbes Defend and Define Us (NYTimes) — there’s been a lot of talk about the microbiome at Sci Foo in the last few years, now it’s bubbling out into the world. Turns out that “bacteria bad, megafauna good” is as simplistic and inaccurate as “Muslim bad, Christian good”. Fancy that. (via Jim Stogdill)
  3. Startup Model Patently Flawed (Nature) — “There is a lot of stuff that academics are realizing isn’t patentable but they can commercialize for themselves by starting a company,” says Scott Shane, an economist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a co-author of the study. Because surveys of entrepreneurial activity — including government assessments — typically focus on patent activity, they may be significantly underestimating academics’ efforts, he notes. (via pkedrosky on Twitter)
  4. Open Data on Russian Government Spending (OKFN) — a group outside government is adding analytics to the data that departments are required to release.
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Four short links: 3 June 2010

Four short links: 3 June 2010

Passionate Users, Mail APIs, Phone Hacking, and Patent Data Online

  1. How to Get Customers Who Love You Even When You Screw Up — a fantastic reminder of the power of Kathy Sierra’s “I Rock” moments. In that moment I understood Tom’s motivation: Tom was a hero. (via Hacker News)
  2. Yahoo! Mail is Open for Development — you can write apps that sit in Yahoo! Mail, using and extending the UI as well as taking advantage of APIs that access and alter the email.
  3. Canon Hack Development Kit — hack a PowerShot to be controlled by scripts. (via Jon Udell)
  4. 10TB of US PTO Data (Google Books) — the PTO has entered into a two year deal with Google to distribute patent and trademark data for free. At the moment it’s 10TB of images and full text of grants, applications, classifications, and more, but it will grow over time: in the future we will be making more data available including file histories and related data. (via Google Public Policy blog post)
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Four short links: 31 March 2010

Four short links: 31 March 2010

Messaging, Predicting, Visualising, and Patenting

  1. ZeroMQ — bold claim of “Fastest. Messaging. Ever.” LGPL, C++ with bindings for many languages, past version 2 already. (via edd on Twitter)
  2. Prediction Market News (David Pennock) — HSX is going to be a real marketplace with real $. The real HSX will of course say goodbye to the virtual specialist and the opening weekend adjust, two facets of the game that make it fun to play, but that create significant amounts of (virtual) wealth out of thin air. The Cantor Gaming group is engaged in other interesting initiatives. They are taking over a sportsbook in Las Vegas and turning it into more of a derivatives exchange with live in-game betting, a step toward my dream of a geek-friendly casino. Interestingly, another company called Veriana Networks is close to launching a competing Hollywood derivatives market called the Trend Exchange.
  3. A Pivot Visualization of my WordPress Blog (Jon Udell) — using pro-am data exploration tools from Microsoft (Pivot) to work with information from his blog. Contains the scripts he used to do it.
  4. Select Committee Report on Patents Bill (PDF) — New Zealand Government select committee recommends no software patents in NZ. We recommend amending clause 15 to include computer programs among inventions that may not be patented. We received many submissions concerning the patentability of computer programs. Under the Patents Act 1953 computer programs can be patented in New Zealand provided they produce a commercially useful effect [footnote: Under the Patents Act 1953 mathematical algorithms as such are not patentable. They may be patented under the Patents Act when used in a computer, so long as they produce a commercially useful effect.] Open source, or free, software has grown in popularity since the 1980s Protecting software by patenting it is inconsistent with the open source model, and its proponents oppose it. A number of submitters argued that there is no “inventive step” in software development, as “new” software invariably builds on existing software. They felt that computer software should be excluded from patent protection as software patents can stifle innovation and competition, and can be granted for trivial or existing techniques. In general we accept this position.
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How do we measure innovation?

How do we measure innovation?

In response to the IEEE’s report on Patent Power, which lists the top companies ranked by number of patents, Ari Shahdadi and Brad Burnham made trenchant comments in email that I thought were worth sharing (with their permission): The main article is sad to read, with choice quotes like this: “Clearly, the global recession seriously hampered innovation in the United States.”

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