Bill Gates receives a lot of credit for his humanitarian work; but at least part of that wealth seems ill-gotten. In my mind, real heroes are people like Torvalds and Stallman; relatively unknown but the impact of their contributions might have already superseded what Gates has been able to accomplish.
NB: I don't want to give the impression that I think advertising is bad or anything. I think of it like porn: fine for adults, but not something I want my daughter exposed to until she can appreciate what it is.
That's an interesting comparison. One could argue that advertising is far worse than pornography, in the sense that pornography is usually being purposefully sought out when one is exposed to it, whereas advertising is often intrusive info-pollution, going out of its way to expose us to strongly-biased and/or manipulative rhetoric.
Why? Because it was inoculation against bogus argument. It covered basic logic, logical fallacies, and gave students a solid footing in resisting and debunking nonsense in argument, advertising, and other communication. Really an invaluable life skill.
My university required everybody take a philosophy course, and I can't remember anything from it because there was essentially nothing taught. The professor assigned the absolute bare minimum and expected the absolute bare minimum since he knew people took it for only one reason: they needed to.
Seriously, I don't actually give a flying fig about the feedback and evaluation mechanisms. I care about raising skill in this kind of thinking capability in as many people as possible. That is, taught with the cultural vigor we give to skills such as literacy. I also don't mean "some kind of random class with this label slapped on it". At the time, we very clearly meant the instruction quality that we had just experienced.
2. The original justification was "everyone should learn basic reasoning". You just turned it into "kick out people who can't learn it, cause screw those guys".
However, that gets into "what does a degree really mean" and plenty of other arguments, not something I'm interested in.
: https://secure.csumentor.edu/planning/transfer/ge_breadth.as... (Under Area A)
I would definitely distinguish it from porn in that heavy sexuality is way too able to psychologically scar someone at a young age -- but learning that the Barbie in the commercial isn't as much fun to play with as the girls in the ad made it seem isn't a bad thing.
Evidence? Not sure what you mean by "heavy sexuality"... rape porn, sure, I'm inclined to agree, but anal sex, scat, orgies, etc. I'd need to see some proof. I saw all that when I was 8-9 years old, and anecdotally I have a healthy sex life now that is free of any destructive fetishes (or really any fetishes in general).
Microsoft sang a very different tune in 1991. In a memo to his senior executives, Bill Gates wrote, “If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.” Mr. Gates worried that “some large company will patent some obvious thing” and use the patent to “take as much of our profits as they want.”
It is also similar to Google warning about the patent issues with H.264 while pushing WebM and then later (through Motorola) asking for exorbitant licensing fees for H.264 patents, from Microsoft and Google. They got fined over the FRAND abuse by the courts.
Hate the game, not the players.
What about when the players made the rules you hate? The patent system was never intended to be used like this; it has been transformed into this by the very players you are telling us not to hate.
It's still illegal for corporations and unions to give money to political candidates' campaigns, or coordinate their own spending with those campaigns. They are free to give money to advocacy groups to run ads with a political message, or run their own ads, but that's not the same thing.
The issue was that Obama blessed a super PAC officially and his cabinet and campaign folks talked to the donors at their meetings.
Not respond to the tidal wave of advertising against him? Inevitably lose the election? Turn the election into a demonstration of what happens if you don't let money rule politics? Let the monied interests run rampant with the subsequent elected majority?
Oh come on. In the long run, the ideas of Free Software are hugely important. But for now, Gates is actually helping people not die through philanthropy on a level which, as far as I know, Torvalds and Stallman are not even remotely capable of achieving.
Some people look around the world and see the carpet being grabbed from beneath their feet, and the appeal of a roof and warm beds for your family is not easily ignored.
Most people don't have the luxury of sacrificing their lives for an ideology, and even fewer are willing to risk their family's lives.
For a reference of this kind of History effect, compare the common man views of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. They shared the same period in History, and worked in the same field (the electricity boom). Edison was the astute businessman with shady tactics but also with public success. Tesla, a brilliant scientist, produced the still unchallenged fundamentals for electricity transmission and for AC electric motors. Which one is considered the epitome of innovation? The shady acute businessman.
Modeling the future path of that field on its past mechinations seems silly to me. Any sensible model of future history, I think, must be built on novel, untested understandings of the new physics of information, to have even an outside chance of predictive power.
1) went to school on reservation - "Discovered" is not the word used
Always been Tesla for me, and he invented a hell of a lot more than electric motors.
Ultimately it's an apples and oranges comparison though and not especially useful.
Also, wow! I knew malaria was a big deal, but I didn't realize it was that big.
Regardless of what you think about Microsoft, you have to say, Gates isn't messing around with some vanity project. The man has come to play.
Today, almost every company thinks their first (and only?) responsibility is to their shareholders, and hence profit. That affects every decision they make, and they somehow come up with rationalizations for their behavior. Until this line of thinking changes, how can we expect anything nice to happen (nice for the common good, but terrible for short term profits)?
And if you're going to lampoon anyone who uses "ill-gotten" wealth for philanthropy... I can't see how you'll ever be happy. People do or supervise things you consider "evil," then they turn around and work charitably, but no -- it's gotta be squeaky clean all the way down?
It may be time for a reality check.
Yes. You seem to be implying that this concept is strange or ridiculous, and I don't understand why.
I don't know what your definition of 'intangible' is, but people I idolize are doing some tangible, visible work.
Good deeds don't erase past bad deeds. No amount of charity with a fortune you earned being bad makes you a good person or absolves you of past wrongs.
I feel like some people in Silicon Valley have this weird investment in the word "innovative." They have this need to justify making tons of money while essentially working in the advertising business. So they label every little engineering advancement "innovation" utterly diluting the word. But why is that necessary? There is nothing wrong about working in the advertising industry, or making a bunch of money selling people entertainment.
But, comparing Facebook to IBM (or even Microsoft) is absolutely laughable. IBM is pushing the boundaries of semiconductor manufacturing, designing new CPUs, building artificial intelligence, etc.
Google does innovate (Glass, cars, etc), but they don't make any money doing so.
American Idol was also innovative, and whatever group created the spectacle of the Superbowl and the NFL were also likely innovators. Just because it isn't hardcore technology doesn't mean it isn't innovative.
Trolling? Or merely ignorant?
See e.g. http://prestodb.io/
You might not like FB, but to claim there is not a single innovative thing they've done is laughable.
Part of that is necessarily clever marketing, but some portion of Facebook's value has to be real, new tech that makes a lot of people's lives better. If you can't point to any single thing, maybe it's the packaging of a lot of single things that is innovative?
It's essentially open source for server design.
The fact that you are ready to discount Facebook as non-innovatine tell about your personal bias. Even if they 100% advertising business it still requires lots of innovation. Including the task of capturing, analyzing and presenting the largest social graph to hundreds million people. And Facebook has significant open source contributions. Sure, it doesn't produce so many engineering advancements as Microsoft, but saying the comparison is laughable is simply wrong.
And of course, Google makes money innovating. AdWords and AdSense,arguably, are the most innovative ad platforms on the planet. You may dislike advertising all you want but don't change the meaning of words ('innovation') to rant about business models based on advertising.
"Innovation is the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulated needs, or existing market needs." - Wikipedia
The definition of an invention by the USPTO is not simply something new. In a nutshell, it needs to be novel (no prior art), non-obvious to someone skilled in the art, and not a simple combination of existing things. Making a new algo or something run and scale faster is not inherently an invention. Sadly, while a ban algorithms (mathematical forumulae) and the non-obvious requirement are in the patent doctrine, the courts have set precedents in the recent decades to allow the current software patents despite the classic interpretation that these things were not patentable.
Indeed folks are taking this current contorted patent doctrine and conflating "invention" with "innovation", bestowing on their innovative new WordPress theme the greatness of an actual patent. Sadly, much of the difficult stuff going on in the startups would not have been a patent in 1950. But if we want to focus on the "feel good" version of invention, where it's new to you, then there is a ton of "innovation" going on. FB might be scaling and have a ton of technology to do so, but the net result of being able to share cat videos faster than a decade ago isn't pushing civilization forward the same way the killer patents of the 20th century did.
> IBM has 12 research laboratories worldwide and, as of 2013, has held the record for most patents generated by a company for 20 consecutive years. Its employees have garnered five Nobel Prizes, six Turing Awards, ten National Medals of Technology, and five National Medals of Science. Notable inventions by IBM include the automated teller machine (ATM), the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, the Universal Product Code (UPC), the financial swap, SABRE airline reservation system, DRAM, and Watson artificial intelligence.
Your claim doesn't really argue against the description "old dying giants." The best response might be that IBM is still profitable, but you didn't include that.
- Apache Software Foundation (Apache WebServer, etc)
- Deep Thought
- Deep Blue
The list goes on, and on, and on.
I don't really think IBM is an old dying giant, it's just lost its way a little focusing on short-term shareholder value. Ginni Rometty might not be the right person to lead IBM.
Disclosure: I'm long IBM :)
Not sure if naive or ignorant.
The slave trade is evil.
Software patents are a real problem area of our law...but they don't rise to the level of "evil".
And as a non-American I fully see this as nothing but bribing. The only difference is that in US paying money to pass or fail bills like this is "legal".
While American politics is often seen as pay-to-play, especially after the 'Citizens United' decision by the Supreme court, it's important to differentiate situations where there is almost-direct financial ties from situations where it is more a question of political pressure. If some people (i.e. the tech-consuming public) elected to pressure our representatives more than large companies, this bill could have turned out very differently.
Political pressure in the US always boils down to two things: money and media support. And those two are almost freely convertible, provided that you are completely milquetoast and unthreatening to the status quo.
You think it doesn't happen in your country? You can rest assured your government is full of corrupt shitbags too, just like the US. There's overt corruption, covert corruption, and lots of degrees in between.
Just in Paraguay many restaurants and other public sites are prohibiting the entrance to all the corrupted senators, in Brazil public manifestations against corruption were able to label corruption as a crime against humanity; and never forget things like the apartheid and other peaceful manifestations that were able to create big changes.
That's nice and all, but do you think those evil corrupt shitbag sociopaths will change their behaviour because of that?
"WHOA! I've been taking bribes for ages, but now I see that has to stop! I shall mend my evil ways and become a bet- oh, wait, I'm a sociopath and don't have a conscience! Come to think of it, maybe I'll just keep taking bribes and destroying ordinary people's lives just like before!"
The only real "solution" is for people to let go of their belief in authority.
ActiveVideo Networks, Inc.
Advanced Technology Ventures
Allison Transmission, Inc.
Architecture Technology Corporation
Beckman Coulter, Inc.
BGC Partners, Inc.
Biotechnology Industry Organization
Brash Insight Corp.
BSA - The Software Alliance
California Healthcare Institute (CHI)
Cantor Fitzgerald L.P.
Cleveland Medical Devices Inc.
Colorado Technology Consultants
The Cummins Allison Corporation
Donohue Consulting, Inc.
The Dow Chemical Company
DR Systems, Inc.
Eatoni Ergonomics, Inc.
Eli Lilly & Company
Embedded Systems LLC
Entrepreneurs for Growth
Entropic Communications, Inc.
ExploraMed Development, LLC
Fairfield Crystal Technology
Fallbrook Technologies Inc.
ForSight VISION4, Inc.
Foundry Newco XII, Inc. (d/b/a Twelve)
GearMax USA Ltd.
General Nanotechnology LLC
Global Network Computers
Great Lakes Neuro Technologies Inc.
Illinois Tool Works Inc.
Inventors Network of the Capital Area
IP Pipeline Consulting, LLC
Irwin Research & Development, Inc. eptember 19, 2013
Johnson & Johnson
Lauder Partners, LLC
Licensing Executives Society (USA & Canada), Inc.
Medical Device Manufacturers Association
MH Systems, Inc.
Miramar Labs, Inc.
Morgenthaler Ventures-Life Sciences
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
Neodyne Biosciences, Inc.
NeuroWave Systems Inc.
NuGEN Technologies, Inc.
OL2, Inc. (OnLive)
Orbital Research Inc.
Patent Office Professional Association
Power Auctions LLC
Procter & Gamble
Prometheus Research, LLC
Rearden Companies, LLC
Restoration Robotics, Inc.
Software Partners LLC
Soleon Robotics LLC
The Foundry LLC
TM Technologies, Inc.
U.S. Business and Industry Council
The Dow Chemical Company
Fairfield Crystal Technology
Johnson & Johnson
Procter & Gamble
Insinuating that they may be a paid shill is truly obnoxious behavior.
To be fair, I don't think the author's a shill. But I've been following him since he wrote for Ars (and he's also on HN sometimes), so I can tell he certainly has drunk some Kool-aid, and it has a slight Google flavor. He interned there after all, so that may explain why Microsoft was highlighted in the headlines.
But notably, he also is (or was) a "scholar" at the Cato Institute, which believes in "limited government and free markets" and seems to have anti-IP leanings. Unsurprisingly the author's articles (even this one!) often uncritically cite the works published by academics like James Bessen, which like to paint a "sky is falling" situation with respect to US IP policies, even though these works have time and again been strongly called into question by other academics. Given that he's a scholar himself, I'd be surprised if he's unaware of that, but his articles only ever present one side.
So the Kool-aid may have other, stronger flavors as well, but he's definitely drunk some.
If a big fuss was made about such problems, they might chagne their tune.
> And few firms have larger software patent portfolios than Microsoft and IBM. These companies, which also happen to have two of the software industry's largest lobbying budgets, have been leading voices against the expansion of the CBM program.
I can believe that IBM does far more software patent lobbying than most of the firms whose core products are not directly software related
This is in part because they have a heavy patent culture, perhaps due to their legacy as a machines company.
This is what tech companies spent in Q3 2013, maybe someone else can post IBM's stats but Microsoft's spending doesn't look all that high to me.
I think the real story is how cheap the lobbying costs are.
What I completely fail to understand with all the Snowden revelations and stories like this is that Silicon Valley tech folks have enormous salaries and high disposable income.
If they would actually contribute some of that to a PAC or to the EFF, it would be way more productive than sitting in Starbucks sipping a $5 latte and posting "Not going to get the Xbox from M$. Getting a PS4 for $400 + games for $60 each instead! That's going to teach them! And Bill Gates sucks despite helping the poorest people in Africa and India!" from their latest MacBook or iPad Air on HN articles such as these(you can see those posts below).
I guess gathering HN karma feels better and is cheaper than actually trying to make a real difference on issues that people seem to write emotional posts about.
Having seen a lot of such issues and discussions from my Slashdot days, my prediction is that nothing will come out of it except a lot of hot air discussion.
... nonprofits like Crossroads GPS and trade associations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are allowed to keep their donors secret. As a result, there is a great flood of campaign spending this election cycle for which there is no official paper trail.
I don't think the proper response of rich Valley people is to ramp up their donations to PACs unless it's the Wolf-PAC which is organizing to pass a Constitutional amendment to reform campaign finance and lobbying:
Software patent reform is battling a symptom, not the cause.
Oh, and then there are the insider trading tips too.
As to this bill, it's a shame. I don't think there's a politician out there who understands B.F. Skinner.
Seriously, people need to understand that unless you are reasonably famous, people care way less about what you say than what you do. That means money. Don't give it to people and companies you don't like. Give it to people and companies you do like.
Oh and for the love of god, don't argue for silly "campaign finance" laws that restrict our ability to donate to politicians. I guarantee these large companies with armies of lawyers and lobbyists will be way more adept at finding loopholes than we the average people will be. It silences us way more than them.
Rather, you should focus your ire and spending practices on the congress people that agreed to leave the CBM out of the legislation. They care more about what you think or care about.
Or give your money to folks like the EFF that will use their lobbying power to counterweight these other folks.
Or rather.. do both; do anything we can..
Boycoting the products its also a good idea.. a very good one.. if we can get a "anti-patent" conscious citizen the same way we do with the green conscience..
The companies will fall faster, less money to spend in lobbies.. so why not?
Looking through the list of P&G brands, I can say that I haven't bought anything from them in years, even when I lived in the US.
I do agree though that boycotting every company that engages in questionable behavior would be near impossible. It's better to change the system, but if in the meantime you can avoid giving money to the most heinous companies then why not?
Hint: You've already said it.
If you buy store generic-equivalents, its quite likely your money is going to exactly the same major corporation as the name brand in pretty much the same quantity (after deducting that the part that the major corporation would be paying to marketing/advertising firms to market the name brand.)
So, while it saves you money, it may not be as effective a boycott technique as you think. Unless your boycott target is the advertising industry.
The fact of the matter is that Procter and Gamble doesn't need to "bribe" any politicians to get favorable legislation. They just have to call up a Congressman and say: "hey, we have tens of thousands of workers in your state, it would be a shame if anything happened to them."
I dropped mine last year over their copyright policies.
The only one left is Windows 7, which I can't wait to get rid of in 2-3 years, once either Ubuntu or Android come into their own as more mature mainstream operating systems.
Ubuntu has continues to improve in polish, stability and usability since then. There's no reason for you not to start making the jump now.
My recommendation is to start by replacing the applications on your Windows machine with cross-platform FOSS equivalents, if you haven't already. That way, the OS transition will be a lot easier because you will already be familiar with the software.
edit: p.s. I'm using Linux since about 97 and as primary system since sometime from mid-2000's.
This comment was brought to you by the year 2006 and the letter Q.
Except you can't afford to live in high-cost cities if your savings is only 1 mil and you want to retire on that in your thirties.
I've already decided not to renew my MAPS and MSDN subs again in December thanks to the epic crack smoking going on.
My point, is you can find something to hate about every company or group of people.
Why so much hate?
Did IBM become a legislator? Who cares if they oppose the bill or not if that's the right bill to make?
Worth watching: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/hclive02
IP Lawyers, patent clerks look at the claims and see difference. Claims have two functions. Public notice and kind of a "patent scope" of applicability. It's all very obtuse and would not be very easy I think to attach semantics via ML alone.
There have been some crowdsource attempts: http://peertopatent.org https://www.articleonepartners.com
OK, so go on the record as opposing it.
(deleted)??? no free speech on HN eh?
He still did not comment on his Monsanto investment shenanigans.