Software Patents must go!

The EFF is going to fight to have what they think are 10 most egregious internet patents thrown out. Software patents should be banned completely. As a software developer, I should be an advocate of software patents but the fact is that they do not achieve the goal of patents, namely to advance technology. Patenting a software algorithm is tantamount to patenting the steps to wash your car. Forcing people to pay you to wash their car using your instructions does not help anyone but the patent-holder. And that is not what patents were designed for. There are only a handful of ways to wash your car and if patents are granted to each one, nobody will be washing their car. Software patents do the same thing — they prevent new software from being developed. That leads to stagnation of software. Software patents have the exact opposite effect they intend.

There’s also an unnamed competitor of ours that has begun to file patents on their features on their web site, probably an attempt to increase the value of their company so they can sell it. I can’t wait til they contact us and accuse of violating their patent because they have filed for a patent this year for a feature we had on our site in 2000. When we demonstrate our prior art, they will have to go through a patent review process and may lose their patent and the money they wasted on the effort.

“Every time you think you’re walking,
you’re just moving the ground.
Every time you think you’re talking,
you’re just moving your mouth.
Every time you think you’re looking,
you’re just looking down.”

Cowboy Dan
— Modest Mouse


I enjoy stories like this about Microsoft, the long-time epitome of anti-open-source company, moving towards open source. Many old Microsoft friends who told me years ago that open source was a “fad”, “for idiots”, “communist”, “anti-American” (I’m not even lying!), etc. surprisingly forget the things they said. Ballmer himself even called it a “cancer” years ago and that same CEO is moving towards the deadly disease. Open source software won’t lead to the demise of the United States, capitalism, or society. Iraq is realizing what open source and linux will do for their country. The fact is that open source will revitalize not only the tech industry but all industries because the wheel won’t have to be reinvented every time a company is founded.

What do Recipezaar employees do when they get together? Cook, naturally.

Kathy visited Recipezaar headquarters for training this week, and we had a wonderful (and productive) time. We really couldn’t be happier with the “rest of our team”. For her last night we all cooked a mess of Recipezaar recipes, and had a blast taking photos of them. The menu included:
Green Onion Pancakes
Sichuan Pepper-Salt Prawns
Ginger Sesame Asparagus
Aromatic Sticky Rice
Best Cherry Pie

It is so nice to like the folks you work with. Just wish Kathy was closer, I’d love to do this every week!


90,000 recipes! And already, 3% of the recipes have at least one photo.

In other news, two new servers from Silicon Mechanics arrived today and should be ready and installed in our colo facility in the next few days. I also noticed that Silicon Mechanics put my blurb on their site — it’s even 100% true. 🙂