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Daily updates
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tidge.com blog

Prometheus Unbound / Perpetual Dilettante

Finally liberating my books from their long captivity after my exodus from Manhattan and am discovering many things, such as:

Note that's no Budge/Dover bullshit, but Gardiner's Egyptian Grammar. Nothing but the best for the perpetual dilettante.

We did read Book II of Herodotus at St. John's College, which is all about Egypt, which the ancient Greeks practically venerated, but St. John's was all about the Great Books (some of which the ancient Greeks apparently wrote). St. John's was more interested in Great Books than understanding history, context, or humanity. I used to say that St. John's taught us to worship Great Books, but not to recognize them. That's unfair to all of the insightful and always interesting graduates of St. John's; however, my focus was St. John's underlying myth of an immutable canon of Great Books, as if such "greatness" was not subject to the vagaries of the ever-changing fads, fetishes, and the fickleness of human judgment. Now that's an interesting conversation.

Status Update: I am not dead

For the one person occasionally looking at this website (my deceased mother), I offer the following:

In re-learning website coding dynamics, I am finding this website is so out of date it'll be easier to build a new one. In the meantime, I'm leaping back into social media through testing how it's all supposed to work ...

1st Quarter / FY2019 / Series 8500 - 1/nnn
Japanese Prints: Inventors under Adversity!!

These just tickle my fancy, mostly based on what I'm imagining they're about. You can find them on the Library of Congress website, prints & photographs collection, and reading the notes, you will find they are Japanese woodcuts, dated "between 1850 and 1900," donated by a Mrs. E. Crane Chadbourne to the Sackler Gallery of Art in 1930.

I imagine the prints to be part of the society-wide remaking of Japan before, during, and after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, when the Japanese "westernized" themselves with a vengeance. One of the prints has typewritten notes at the bottom, indicating that the "Department of Education" was somehow involved. These prints are the equivalent of medieval morality plays and Soviet posters from the 1920's; they are proselytizing pieces of propaganda, intending to teach the viewer how to think about things. They were trying to create a new ethos. An "innovation nation" perhaps? Yes, but the real thing, not the pro-"entrepeneurship" schlock that seems to ooze from every corner of the corporate media machine nowadays.

What I find funny is that all of these Western inventors/innovators seem to be beseiged or a little crazy in every woodcut: are we really supposed to emulate them?

James Watt,
Inventor of the Steam Engine

This is "James Watt, inventor of the steam engine, collect[ing] steam from a boiling kettle while his aunt rebukes him for his nonsense." Wha-a-a-at?!? I have no idea if this is based on any historical reality. See Watt's Wikipedia entry.

Bernard Palissy,
Inventor of Enamelled Pottery

"Bernard Palissy, inventor of enamelled pottery, burns chairs to keep the furnace going" while his wife flees in terror and his child flees in good humor. True that. See Palissy's Wikipedia entry:

At times he and his family were reduced to poverty; he burned his furniture and even, it is said, the floor boards of his house to feed the fires of his furnaces. Meanwhile, he endured the reproaches of his wife, who, with her little family clamouring for food, evidently regarded her husband's endeavors as little short of insanity.

Richard Arkwright,
Inventor of Spinning Machiney

"Arkwright sending his wife to her parents because she deliberately broke his spinning wheel." But, why, honey, why?!?! No idea if this happened or not. See Arkwright's Wikipedia entry (with juicy patent fights!!).

Thomas Carlyle,
Author and Historian

"Carlyle horrified to see his manuscript burn after his dog upsets a lamp." No idea if this happened or not. See Carlyle's Wikipedia entry.

John James Audubon,
Bird Naturalist

"Audubon discovering that his work was eaten by a rat." See Audubon's Wikipedia entry ("After his return to Kentucky, he found that rats had eaten his entire collection of more than 200 drawings").

John Heathcoat,
Inventor of the Knitting Machine

"Heathcote [sic] displaying the first successful result from his knitting machine to his wife." I admit she doesn't seem horrified, disgusted, or royally pissed off. But, on the other hand, he's the only guy on the list I'd never heard of, so fame may depend on adversity. See Heathcoat's Wikipedia entry

The War over Subject Matter Patentability (or 'Eligibility') Continues!!

The Feds have vacated their previous decision CLS Bank Int'l v. Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. (Fed. Cir. July 9, 2012), which was their first decision interpreting the Supremes' March 20, 2012 Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., 566 U. S. ___ (2012)—the case where the Supremes clarified that patent claims "must add enough" to natural processes/natural laws in order to be patentable under §101 (subject matter), but failed to clarify how any other court can determine what is "enough." See, e.g., Right Result, Wrong Reason.

The lower court in the CLS Bank appeal had ruled that the computerized trading method, system, and media claims were invalid for failing to claim eligible subject matter. CLS Bank Int’l v. Alice Corp., 768 F. Supp. 2d 221 (D.D.C. 2011). In CLS Bank Int'l v. Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. (Fed. Cir. July 9, 2012), the majority (Linn, author, and O'Malley) of the Federal Circuit 3-person panel reversed the trial court's ruling, holding "that the system, method, and media claims at issue are not drawn to mere 'abstract ideas' but rather are directed to practical applications of invention falling within the categories of patent eligible subject matter defined by 35 U.S.C. §101" (p. 2).

The third judge, Prost, dissented, stating not only that "the asserted patent claims are abstract ideas repackaged as methods and systems," but that the majority was effectively ignoring "the Supreme Court’s unanimous directive to apply the patentable subject matter test with more vigor" (referring to Mayo). CLS Bank Int'l, dissent, pp. 1, 2.

Today, the Feds' vacated the split CLS Bank decision, and requested the parties (and the PTO and anyone else who cares to) address the following questions:

a. What test should the court adopt to determine whether a computer-implemented invention is a patent ineligible "abstract idea”; and when, if ever, does the presence of a computer in a claim lend patent eligibility to an otherwise patent-ineligible idea?

b. In assessing patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 of a computer-implemented invention, should it matter whether the invention is claimed as a method, system, or storage medium; and should such claims at times be considered equivalent for § 101 purposes?

Here's another question one might ask: does this have anything to do with yesterday's N.Y. Times article The Patent, Used as a Sword, making the argument (based, as usual, on anecdotes and one or two "expert" opinions) that the "software patent system ... is so flawed that it often stymies innovation." That article did refer to Judge Richard A. Posner's recent anti-patent decision (dismissing the N.D.Ill. Apple v. Samsung case), recent anti-patent article (Why There Are Too Many Patents in America - The Atlantic - July 12, 2012), and several personal email responses and a telephone interview from Judge Posner himself.

tidge.com
and forget it.

recent posts

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tidge.com
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