DaveNet: James Gleick on the Patent Crisis.
There's also an XML version of the favorites structure, it's updated every hour, after the hourly scan, as are the other Weblogs.Com XML files. With this info, other developers can do six-degrees type browsers that should be quite interesting. It's open, have fun!
Press release: TheBrain.com Receives Patent on Graphical Interface for Linked Information. "In recognition of the innovative and unique nature of TheBrain, the U.S. Patent Office awarded Patent No. 6,031,537. The patent is the first issued of several filed by TheBrain.com. Its issuance creates a significant barrier to entry for companies considering developing similar technology and solidifies TheBrain.comís position as the leading provider of visual information environments."
Jim Roepcke: "I have been a customer of Natrificial for a couple of years now. I use The Brain just about every day. I am very disappointed that you intend to use your patents as a barrier to entry for other people who might create competing products."
Jim's comments are interesting, since he's a weblogger, I'm wondering if it would make sense to have an index relating weblogs to products they cover. I didn't know that Jim used The Brain. It would be interesting to get that bit of information recorded in a usable way in the Category Browser in Weblogs.Com.
It might also be interesting to have a weblog that "shadows" each company that is active in patents. This would allow someone who wants the full story on the company to get it. The press release was three levels off the home page on the Natrificial site. Neither Amazon or Geoworks are advertising that Amazon is part-owner of Geoworks. On a shadow site this information would be easy to locate.
There's more we can do than sign petitions and send emails. Information is key. Until this morning I thought that The Brain was a friendly product.
Ask Slashdot, 10/24/99: "I am writing a Linux and PalmPilot clone of a Windows program (The Brain by Natrificial - www.thebrain.com). It has come to my attention that there are patents pending on 'all fundamental aspects of The Brain.' What exactly does this mean for me?"
Newsweek: The Great Amazon Patent Debate: "Yes, the law, as well as the prevailing corporate ethic, may be on the side of Jeff Bezos and his current course. But Amazon.com has become a globally known brand valued at $21 billion not because of exclusive technology but by its vision, its aggressive focus on customer service... and its embrace of the Internet, which offers an alternative ethic of sharing technology. Who better to break the mold of predatory patent litigation than its celebrated founder?"
In the true spirit of the Internet, Andrew Wooldridge proposes a short list of truly significant web apps.
Pokemon League: "Toy's R Us in San Mateo joins the website today. They play on Saturdays from 9:30am to 11:30am." This site is being run by UserLand's Bob Bierman and his son Alex.
And, congrats to the Blogger team, esp designer Derek Powazek, for a great redesign of the Blogger site. They've raised the bar on sites for managing Weblogs. As always, an inspiration!
Weblogs pointing to the new remote editing page on Blogger.
Late last night I did a redesign myself. James T. Kirk says once again, "To boldly go where no man has gone before." Jeff Bezos's eyes loom over the landscape. Dorothy is nearby saying "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." My heroes, Mr Ed, Mahatma Gandhi and the Spicy Noodles get ready to defend the honor of the Internet. The Zeldman icons assemble. Mark Cuban reclines, in faux relaxation, not knowing what to do with himself after sucking billions out of the Internet. And Stewart Alsop grins, beneath the shadow of George Bush the Elder, on behalf of all the VCs who seek non-volatile competitive advantages through the legal system.
NY Times: Chairman of Amazon Urges Reduction of Patent Terms. "At the least, Mr. Zittrain said, Mr. Bezos is trying to make the best of a possible image problem. 'He took a P.R. problem and turned it into a P.R. opportunity,' he said."
Luke Tymowski says it very well. "If [Amazon] really respected what Tim had to say, they would say they're not enforcing their patents, apologise for taking advantage of a wacked out PTO, and work publicly to get rid of software patents. Instead they blame the PTO for the mess, and refuse to let go of their half-witted patents."
Like many others I am watching this space.
Stewart Himself: "I say 'shouting in the dark' on my banner because Iím not sure there is anybody out there listening. So right now thatís what this site is like. But hopefully if I just keep shouting into the darkness, some passersby will stop, maybe even have similar interests and wish to join the discussion ó join the shouting."
Press release: Netmarket Group Inc. Issued U.S. Patent for Hagglezone E-Commerce System. "Hosts start off the bidding process close to the manufacturer's suggested retail price, but the consumer can offer any price they want. The Host instantly responds to their offer with a new price -- sometimes the Hosts accept the first low-ball offer. Shoppers can always get better deals by honing their haggle skills through repeat visits."
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