If you are looking for the epic motorcycle journey blog that I've written, please see the Miles By Motorcycle site I put together. 
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  • Torvalds trashes EU patent proposal
    11/23/2004 3:53PM
    From an article over at news.com:

    '"Linux creator Linus Torvalds has appealed to the EU Council to oppose a directive that would make software patentable in Europe."

    "In the interest of Europe, such a deceptive, dangerous and democratically illegitimate proposal must not become the Common Position of the member states," said the three open-source luminaries. "For the sake of innovation and a competitive software market, we sincerely hope that the European Union will seize this opportunity to exclude software from patentability."'

    These guys rock. I have always thought that these guys rocked. For more information about why patenting software and business methods is such a terrible idea check out nosoftwarepatents.com

  • Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents
    11/22/2004 6:44PM
    It's been a day of evil news ... from an article at yahoo news:

    "WASHINGTON--Next time you make a printout from your color laser printer, shine an LED flashlight beam on it and examine it closely with a magnifying glass. You might be able to see the small, scattered yellow dots printer there that could be used to trace the document back to you."

    Looks like you need a blue LED and a magnifying glass to see these. Read the full article at yahoo.

  • GPL 3 to Take on IP, Patents
    11/22/2004 2:13PM
    "With a relatively hostile environment that has pitted proprietary software against open source as a backdrop, the Free Software Foundation, the steward of the GNU General Public License, is working on the first revamp to the license in 13 years."

    Read the full article over at Eweek.
  • Open Source Biology Initiative
    11/22/2004 12:46PM
    From an article at SlashDot.org:
    "The Biological Innovation for Open Society (BIOS) initiative aims to make biological technology more readily available to biologists everywhere. The latest genetics and biology tools should be freely available to researchers over the internet, but instead access is typically restricted by commercial patents and prohibitive licensing fees. BIOS and its associated BioForge aims to overcome these restrictions to innovation by encouraging companies and public sector research organizations to contribute their research tools and technologies to the BioForge repository. In return, users of the technology are bound by an open source license to share all improvements with the original inventors and other license holders."

    hmmm, "overcoming restrictions to innovation" ...
  • U.S. Senate Passes Scaled-Back Copyright Measure
    11/22/2004 12:40PM
    From an article at Washingtonpost.com:

    '"This bill strengthens the intellectual-property laws that are vital to the ongoing growth of our economy," Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch said.'

    It's clearly not as bad as it could have been, but it does not seem particularly just or balanced to put people in a cage for 3 years for using a video camera. We'll see if it passes the house. They are still considering even more draconian copyright measures that would hold developers accountable.
    I've often wondered why an insignificant industry that represents such an small portion of the US economy is able to manipulate Congress so much and in general hurt the United States of America in the process.
    The copyright bills that are being considered, and some like the DMCA that have passed, produce a climate of fear in the one segment of the population where we, as a nation, really need there to be no fear; innovators. If I develop a technology that serves some legitimate purpose like making it easy for researchers to share large files, but that technology is then ultimately used by copyright violators to share music or movies, should Congress even consider holding me accountable? That is a threat to innovation. When innovators are afraid to innovate it's a threat to the country.
    There is probably no single thing that undermines our future prosperity more than a lack of innovation ... and the current climate here is becoming the antithesis to innovation. The highest standard of living in the world demands the highest level of progress. Unfortunately, Congress critters are continuing to pass laws that artifically protect antiquated business models and simultaneous crush innovation by producing a climate of fear. One might think strong patents on "ideas" and draconian copyright laws would spur research based on profit motive, but one would be wrong. It crushes it.
    This shortsighted and ultimately foolish behavior, if left unchecked, will eventually lead to a decline in the American standard of living.