general news Articles


Supreme court rules for innovative innovation

Yesterday was a joyous day for all related to patents and technology! The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that patents require actual innovation, lest they be considered obvious. This does not completely remove all existing ridiculously obvious patents, but it does raise the bar for obviousness to …

Chicago to be US bid for 2016 Olympics

According to an article from the Washington Post, Chicago won the US bid to host the 2016 Olympics. What a great opportunity to show off more of the country! Good luck in 2009 for the actual bid and here's my early request for friends and family in the Chicago area …

RIAA killed what they were trying to save

It's not surprising to read an article that describes the RIAA as having done something stupid, but here's an op ed piece from the New York Times by an independent record seller who directly blames them for the demise of that which the RIAA was trying to save: albums, CDs …

BusinessWeek looks at Greenpeace and Apple

Greenpeace has been leading the charge against Apple in recent years because of what it claims are their particularly bad environmental policies. However, this article from Business Week points out that Apple's more likely than not being picked on because of its position in the marketplace, not because of the …

Children and praise

I know I've promised to forward this URL to a number of people, so here's a reference to the article in New York Magazine that will be easy to find. The article is about praising children not for doing things right or behaving or anything else they can control, but …

Whither CompUSA?

I like David Pogue (tech reporter for the New York Times). He writes a good column, uses a Mac, uses dripping sarcasm, and can sing well. His article today about CompUSA's downsizing of over 50% of his stores, hits the nail right on the head.


USPTO to look to the internet for advice

According to an article from the Washington Post, the US Patent an Trademark Office (USPTO) is preparing to allow internet users to review patent applications and leave their comments. The idea looks interesting. We'll have to see what comes of it, but the pilot program will begin soon and is …

Software customer support done right

Those of us who have had to either give or receive customer support, here's a posting by Manton Reece (author of a Mac software package called "Wii Transfer") about how to provide good support (and at least one example of how not to). None of this is rocket science, but …

Thank you Sarbanes-Oxley!

It appears that Sarbanes- Oxley is having some more unintended side-effects. This time, you'll be paying $5 for 802.11n to be enabled on your Core 2 iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro and Mac Pro, because this was not a stated feature of the system before it shipped and therefore would …

More goodies from MacSanta!

It looks like MacSanta is a good place to grab the RSS feed from, because it's getting new goodies every day. Full article has some other choice software programs you should think about getting at a discount. But wait, there's more! iRecordMusic from BitCartel iRecordMusic will capture internet-based audio …


Sex sells video games

An article from Zatz Not Funny! covers a trend in the selling of the new PS3 and Wii consoles that may be as old as sales itself. It turns out that ebay requires PS3 and Wii listings be accompanied by photographic (photoshopic?) proof of ownership (receipts, photos of boxes, etc …

Marsh pit, don't you mean mosh pit?

Let your fingers do the clicking and get yourself over to The Eggcorn Database where you can see details about this and other eggcorns, such as fullproof and other greats. Some of these are from non-native speakers, but many are just misinterpretations of words never seen by the user in …


The value of the Public Domain

Lawrence Lessig comments on the Value of the Public Domain (a paper from the Institute for Public Policy Research) reminding people that Copyright is intended to encourage authors, not to discourage new work. Some good points in both his summary and the paper on which he's commenting.

US Presidential speeches tag cloud

An enterprising web author has put up an very cool dynamic web site that contains tag clouds of US presidential speeches from 1776 to the State of the Union this spring. For those unfamiliar with tag clouds, they're basically lists of words that vary in size and color based on …

Politics and the English Language

WIth less than a week before the mid-term elections here in the US, it seems reasonable to reread and think about George Orwell's excellent essay, Politics and the English Language. If you've only read 1984 and/or Animal Farm, it's worth noting that Orwell wrote prolifically as a journalist, commentator …

Happy to be back in the 'States

Carol, my folks, and I are all back from China, after over three weeks traveling from Tibet to Hong Kong. Many great stories to tell, and Carol & I managed to shoot nearly 4000 photos, so we'll be trimming that down and putting some up relatively soon. For now, we're just …

Who writes Wikipedia?

A very interesting article appeared on Aaron Swartz's blog (thanks to Daring Fireball for a pointer) where he talks about the breakdown of those creating content on Wikipedia and about how (contrary to comments by Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales) the site appears to be constructed by a very large number …