Saturday, July 23, 2011

Patently absurd

Here's a really good article from NPR about the sad state of patent law in the U.S.. Especially software patents and tech companies. It appears tech companies are buying patents to defend themselves against the other guy's patents, and all the cost is really doing very little to spur innovation or bring anything new to market because so many patents are vague, broad, and obvious.

from the article:

"we talked to a half dozen different software engineers. All of them hated the patent system, and half of them had patents in their names that they felt shouldn't have been granted. In polls, as many as 80 percent of software engineers say the patent system actually hinders innovation. It doesn't encourage them to come up with new ideas and create new products. It actually gets in their way.

Many patents are so broad, engineers say, that everyone's guilty of infringement. This causes huge problems for almost anyone trying to start or grow a business on the Internet.

"We're at a point in the state of intellectual property where existing patents probably cover every behavior that's happening on the Internet or our mobile phones today,"

iPads instead of stacks of printed presentations

Here's an interesting article on a small local government buying Apple iPads to distrubute meeting documents and is doing away with printed agendas and presentations for meetings.

from the article
"At the end of the day, when you are printing agendas around 200 pages apiece and after the meeting they go into the recycling bin, you say, “Why are we doing it like this?” We have to run 20 agendas at 200 pages per agenda. That’s 4,000 pages just on that one, and that’s not including the time to put it together. And you usually don’t get it right the first time because everything changes. I would think it takes over eight hours per packet. "

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quote: Paul Tudor Jones

I was re-reading Paul Tudor Jones' interview in Jack Schwager's book "Market Wizards" and came back across this quote which I remember from the first time I read it. He pretty much called the 2008 financial collapse more than a decade in advance.

"Everything gets destroyed a hundred times faster than it is built up. It takes one day to tear down something that might have taken ten years to build. If the economy starts to go with the kind of leverage that is in it, it will deteriorate so fast that people's heads will spin. I hate to believe it, but in my gut that is what I think is going to happen."

"I know from studying history that credit eventually kills all great societies. We have essentially taken out our American Express card and said we are going to have a great time.... (snip) We borrowed against the future, and soon we will have to pay."

- master trader Paul Tudor Jones - interviewed approx 1989-1990.