Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Let's get rid of software patents 

This is becoming one of those self-evident truths that underpin our society.

Patents are supposed to protect the inventor, promote innovation and
thereby advance society and life in general.

Software patents do none of the above. They penalize those seeking to
implement broadly useful solutions that advance society; they allow
big companies to inhibit the work of small innovators; and small
innovators find that even with patents they are powerless to
enforce or pursue them.

This article in eWeek agrees:-

And added to this we see big companies trying to poison innovation
in the open source community by crippling the OASIS specification
process by tainting it with IPR mechanisms:

The future of software is open collaborative communities - that
has become the nature of information technology in the 21st
Century. We need to recognize that and remove this chronic
and potentially dehabilitating disease from the equation.

I hold two US patents filed ten years ago now, and I have
long since given up on the USPTO once I realized what
a pathetic and embarassing process it has turned into.

The notion of software invention has become a shallow
concept defined by patent lawyers and not software
engineers. But software has reached the point where
any future developments, by the very nature of
software process are connected to components that
someone else has developed, and thus for someone
to claim a true software invention is now


Monday, February 21, 2005

Hybrid Cars - and HCH (Honda Civic Hybrid) 

Well this January the old family Ford Aerostar van was making it clear that the constant abuse on Maryland roads was taking its toll.

So on my wife's insistence we went shopping for high mileage vehicles. We drove every hybrid out there, but as soon as I drove the Honda Civic manual I fell in love (it was the last one too!). The European handling and manual transmission are just a joy to drive. And it lives up to its numbers - you really can get 48mpg on a regular basis driving normally - eg not like a granny! The winter weather does knock down that. Worst we had was 39mpg week when the temperatures were in the 5'F range and I was driving at 5:30am to the train station every day.

My favourite site for Hybrid info is: - http://www.greenhybrid.com/ followed by

If you want to review how switching to Hybrid can help the planet (less emissions) and your wallet (less $ paid for gas) try the Calculator on this link:

Of course the Civic is my favourite; my wife liked the Ford Escape but we worried about build quality in it first production year; the Prius I liked - more traditional American handling, but my wife did not like the visibility out of it; the Accord is a beauty 225BHP and luxury handling but we were budgeting $20K. Result - Honda Civic manual clear winner for us. I love this car - a driving gem.

Go Hybrid!


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