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Permanent link to archive for Friday, September 27, 2002. Friday, September 27, 2002

Ed Cone: "As the only opponent of the Berman-Coble P2P bill to speak at yesterday's hearings, Gigi Sohn got a grilling from Howard Berman. 'He took every pot shot at me he could,' says Sohn, president of an advocacy group called Public Knowledge." 

On BlogTree, Rebecca's Pocket lists Scripting News as a parent weblog. Cool. 

Le weblog de Jean-Yves sur Radio UserLand pour les utilisateurs francophones. Le rock star. 

Thanks to Charles Cooper for the good vibe. News.Com still delivers great flow.  

News.Com: "These versions of wireless networks using the Wi-Fi, or 802.11b, standard create a wireless zone of up to 12 miles long, far beyond the usual 300-foot-radius range that Wi-Fi typically achieves, Zakin said." 

Jeremy Zawodny: Google, News and Making Money

BBC: "Until a year ago, customers at the chain were able to download music and burn it onto CDs in-store." 

Russ Lipton is looking for inspiration on his Radio book. 

Lisa Rein: Give Peace a Chance

Did Microsoft patent SOAP? 

This newly issued patent (9/24/02) makes it appear that they did. However this is not the SOAP that's in use today. One clue is the date it was filed, 11/10/97. Work on XML-based SOAP didn't begin until March 1998. Further, the description is of something quite different from what we call SOAP today. People at Microsoft liked the name SOAP, and when the binary transport for COM was stillborn, they wanted to re-use it for the XML-based SOAP. I confirmed with Microsoft that they had not patented XML-based SOAP, and they said they hadn't. Another large software company told me at the time that they were sure that they had. No matter, had Microsoft wanted to patent XML-based SOAP they would have needed to get me on board, and I never gave permission to do that.

Postscript: I have confirmation from Microsoft people in the know that this interpretation of the patent is correnct. We may have some more info tomorrow.

What about patents? 

However, at lunch today with an old friend, we talked about new ideas for spreadheets, and I said if I worked on that, I definitely would file for patents. After watching so many pigs feed at the trough, I realized that being the only honorable person is totally unfair to me. Further, to other anti-patent people, generosity seems to buy no consideration. If I have some patents, they'll have to negotiate. So if I invested the time to create a better spreadsheet (just an example), I would patent it, and make my competitors pay for the right to use my ideas. Maybe I'll change my mind again, it's quite possible; and it's also possible that I'll never have a unique software idea again, so this might be moot. If you're anti-software-patents, give it some thought. You might be being a chump too.

Change in RSS 2.0 support in Radio 

This morning an esoteric update to the RSS feed generator in Radio. We now omit the xmlns attribute on the rss element because some parsers, especially homegrown parsers, can't correctly interpret it.

This issue arose when Ovidu Predescu had errors polling Sam Ruby's and Simon Fell's feeds. Anyway, the fix was to drop the xmlns attribute. It's still RSS 2.0 without it, and Radio wasn't actually using any namespaces, so there's no functionality change, and it should unbreak Ovidu's parser, and any others that have trouble with namespaces.

Now, I'm not backing off namespaces in the Scripting News feed, through its use of the blogChannel module. This way, any breakage that's reported will come just for my weblog, not for Radio users' weblogs.

I apologize for the difficulties. I promise, it's for a good cause -- if we wanted to allow modularity (we do) in the XML feeds we would have hit this problem at some point. Now if people are concerned, they can update right now and all aggregators should be happy and life goes on.


Last update: Friday, September 27, 2002 at 5:39 PM Eastern.

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