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Mark Zuckerberg, Inventor

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the seventeen-year-monopoly dept.

Patents 140

theodp writes "Move over, Thomas Edison. Here comes Mark Zuckerberg, inventor extraordinaire. Zuck's still waiting for that elusive first patent to be issued, but take a gander at the Facebook founder's patent application for Dynamically Generating a Privacy Summary to get an idea of what's in the works. After you check boxes on a form to indicate that 'Everyone from San Francisco, CA, Social Network Provider, and Harvard' can see your profile, Zuckerberg's 'invention' will miraculously display: 'People from San Francisco, CA, Social Network Provider, and Harvard can see your profile.' How dare Rolling Stone question his inventiveness!"

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140 comments

Slashdot stories have gotten very sarcastic lately (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23873421)

Some deserve it. But I don't read this site for editorials, I read it for some of the scientists and engineers that will comment after the fact.

But this kind of initial submission makes it hard to even read the front page.

Re:Slashdot stories have gotten very sarcastic lat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23873495)

Five bucks says kdawson's real name is Mark Zuckerberg. I mean, really, in order to be an 'inventor extraordinaire,' don't you need to have already invented something tangible? That's like me saying I'm the next Warren Buffet because I've got 'big plans!' Lame.

Re:Slashdot stories have gotten very sarcastic lat (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873551)

That's like me saying I'm the next Warren Buffet because I've got 'big plans!' Lame.

More like saying you're the next Warren Buffet because you own a share of Disney, and have the certificate framed in your cubicle to prove it.

Re:Slashdot stories have gotten very sarcastic lat (2, Insightful)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873569)

Did you RTFS? Is your sarcasmometer calibrated incorrectly? And did you read the GP? He wasn't calling Mark Zuckerberg "inventor extraordinaire seriously.

Re:Slashdot stories have gotten very sarcastic lat (0, Offtopic)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873595)

Bloody hell, I clicked the wrong reply button. Sorry.

Re:Slashdot stories have gotten very sarcastic lat (0, Offtopic)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873605)

No wait, no I didn't. /. just displayed it strange until I refreshed. Feel free to take all of my karma now.

Re:Slashdot stories have gotten very sarcastic lat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23873735)

Feel free to take all of my karma now.
Done.

Re:Slashdot stories have gotten very sarcastic lat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874105)

My bad. My sarcasmometer is calibrated correctly, but it was set to accept that kdawson is a soulless husk without a sense of humor, so it didn't detect anything. I'll readjust it to think that kdawson is a soulless husk with a sense of humor so this won't happen again.

Re:Slashdot stories have gotten very sarcastic lat (5, Funny)

mujadaddy (1238164) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874747)

Wait, this site has thingies above the comments? Never noticed.

What a genius... (5, Funny)

edwebdev (1304531) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873441)

Maybe Mark should also patent using a database to store information.

Re:What a genius... (3, Funny)

Roy Hobbs (1267752) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873589)

I'm still waiting on my patent for my public toilet preparation methodology.

Re:What a genius... (3, Funny)

lottameez (816335) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874277)

Is that where you stuff toilet paper in every available gap so that no one can see thru the cracks to see what you are doing? If so, I hate to inform you there's a guy that works at Fannie Mae that has prior art on that one.

Re:What a genius... (3, Informative)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874165)

I believe that patent was once held by Honeywell (please correct me if I'm wrong), so, fortunately, that's one area Mark wouldn't be able to get his hands on. Plus the prior art would be ridiculous.

Re:What a genius... (3, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874871)

...'cause the prior art on this won't already be ridiculous...

Seriously though - this whole situation is bonkers. Can we just start making people take IQ tests of some sort before being allowed to apply for a patent? Sort of the intellectual equivalent of "must be this tall to ride this ride". Or maybe they just need to add a new department to the USPTO that performs a "Is this completely f***ing retarded" test on all IT patent applications before the rest of the office even sees them.

Re:What a genius... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874421)

His name is Zuckerberg. Can you blame him for trying to Zucker other people into accepting his Zucky patent?

WOW (1)

Z_A_Commando (991404) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873457)

I thought you weren't allowed to get a patent for something that's considered basic functionality? Or is he exempted because it's a "legal document"? However, one can never underestimate the stupidity of the common American. After all, we wouldn't need a "Do not use while sleeping" warning on hair dryers unless there was litigation around it.
Now appearing on all the new business-oriented, online, create-a-law-document websites: Privacy Statements!

Re:WOW (4, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873573)

I thought you weren't allowed to get a patent for something that's considered basic functionality?

No, you aren't allowed to patent something that is either prior art (someone else did it first) or obvious to someone skilled in the trade.

This would fall in the latter category. It's obvious that anyone who develops Web sites that you can do dynamic pages, so that means you can do dynamic legal agreements.

Duh.

Re:WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874249)

you aren't allowed to patent something that is either prior art (someone else did it first) or obvious to someone skilled in the trade.

The patent office has shown very little regard for these restrictions. In the real world, whether or not you are "allowed" to patent something has very little to do with whether or not you will be granted a patent.

Re:WOW (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23875077)

SWEET!
I'm going to patent the door!
All you f***ers are going to be climbing out of windows by the end of the year!

Did that lawsuit ever get settled? (1)

DanWS6 (1248650) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873483)

By the students who claimed they helped code the initial version and he ripped them off?

Re:Did that lawsuit ever get settled? (3, Informative)

slew (2918) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873863)

Although there is a rumor going around about a settlement [alleyinsider.com], apparently, at least something [justia.com] is still on-going....


The last entry in June 4, indicates a hearing and exihibits were being submitted so there's a probably a settlement conference on this, but maybe it hit some sort of last minute snag...

Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (3, Interesting)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873531)

I read the Rolling Stone article and it was a hoot. All the challengers to Mark Zuckerberg come off as self-important and jealous douchebags.

For example, Aaron Greenspan claims to have invented the concept of an online facebook and is trying to cancel Facebook's trademark. Greenspan dismissed Zuckberg by writing, "Gates was shrewd, calculating and insanely competitive, bordering on autistic. Mark was inarticulate and naive."
Yeah, Mark was so naive he stole your idea and made himself into a billionaire.

There were lots of social networking sites before Facebook. The idea wasn't new. Mark Zuckberg pushes a product that is faster, more reliable, and for a while was less annoying to use than its competitors. His competitors just come off as incredible losers here.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (5, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873627)

I don't really understand the view that because someone succeeded they must be smart. This isn't necessarily true at all. Success is often a matter of luck or timing that had nothing to do with skill.

For example, Apple didn't succeed with their Newton handheld but Palm computing did with their Pilot. Most people agree its a case of market timing, even though the Newton was unarguably a more powerful device all-round.

Whether Mark stole an idea or not should be argued on its own merits, whether he succeeded in the resulting application of that theft or not.

People (with money) steal ideas all the time and then hire people to implement it for them leaving true inventors empty handed. Ask the inventor of the Yo-yo how his patent fights against big companies have been for example.

No matter what you were told in school, market forces are NOT fair. They may determine several things, but determining who DESERVES credit or compensation is not one of them.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (3, Interesting)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873783)

I agree with you: ruthless capitalism doesn't determine if you're right or not. Mark Zuckerberg may not be a smart dude and his rise to power may not be fair.

However, the critics cited in the Rolling Stone article are saying that Mark Zuckerberg was not a ruthless capitalist, which is plainly ridiculous. I mean, Greenspan said the following about Zuckerberg: "The way he talked, the way he dressed, everything about him screamed immature. He seemed unprofessional. I had run a company since I was 15. It just didn't seem like he got it. That whole persona just didn't impress me." This guy, who ran a company since he was 15, did not approve of Mark Zuckerberg. Yet Zuckerberg is the 24-year old BILLIONAIRE and Greenspan isn't. For Greenspan and the others to trash Zuckerberg's business acumen is the height of stupidity.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (5, Interesting)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873901)

For Greenspan and the others to trash Zuckerberg's business acumen is the height of stupidity.
Really? No one ever succeeded through dumb luck? Success is a guarantee of competence? I suppose the fact that you aren't a billionaire proves you are incompetent? Zuckerberg is a schmuck who lucked out, nothing more.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874635)

There are 3 facts about success.

1 - it about WHO you know and WHO knows you. Having the right network will make you a CEO.

2 - it's all about timing. I dont care how innovative your idea or product is, if it's not the right time for it, it will fail.

3 - Dumb luck. Many successes confound everyone. Twitter for example, what an inane idea, yet people are taking to it like flies.

Being a genius, inventor, or guru means NOTHING. Look at Tesla. he actually invented radio, AC power, and 90% of what we use today. Problem is other turds like Marconi used Tesla's ideas (and patents) to beat him to the patent office. Yet History still shows incorrectly as Marconi as the inventor of radio, even though congress and other bodies overturned the claims and gave it to Tesla. He died a pauper alone in his apartment. Tesla was as smart as Einstein if not smarter. He had bad timing and was did not have the right network.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (1)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874925)

When you say "Dumb Luck," what you appear to actually mean is "an unexpected desire for a product by an unexpectedly large number of consumers." Luck may play a part, insofar as nobody can really predict with any accuracy the thoughts and actions of millions of whims, but I haven't seen any popular products whose popularity can't actually be explained. Just because you don't care for twitter doesn't have anything to do with why other people like and use it.

And by the way, I can't help but think that advertising--in any and all forms--would trump anything else as most annoying thing on the internet. ;)

--Ted

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875899)

Luck may play a part, insofar as nobody can really predict with any accuracy the thoughts and actions of millions of whims, but I haven't seen any popular products whose popularity can't actually be explained.

Pet Rocks. Everybody Loves Raymond. Cabbage Patch Kids. Tila Tequila. George W. Bush. Perhaps in hindsight you can explain them, but that is meaningless. Does your explanation provide any predictive power, or does it just fit itself to observed facts?

Sometimes, the only thing that makes a product popular is the fact that it is popular. It's the network effect. Most of the time, when people are free to do what they choose, they choose to imitate other people. Things become popular just because random fluctuations in popularity lead to a runaway feedback loop of imitation.

But Lumpy was talking about luck in general terms. Sometimes people know the right people, have the timing right, even have a good idea, but they still don't get the break. On the other hand, luck can trump everything else. Think of the inventions that were found while looking for something completely different.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875227)

There's an episode of "The Simpson's" Homer's Enemy [wikipedia.org] where one of Homer's co-workers at the nuclear plant throughout the episode tries to expose Homer as incompetent. He eventually goes nuts and ends up electrocuted to death. I think that pretty much sums it up.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874073)

And Ballmer is billionaire too.

Also commonly associated with a monkey.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874961)

business acumen

Zuckerberg's nose isn't *that* big, so maybe that's how Greenspan misjudged him? :)

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873869)

Yeah, but the Newton wasn't just a handheld, it was fruit and cake!

wait...

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (4, Insightful)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873917)

> I don't really understand the view that because someone succeeded they must be smart. This isn't
> necessarily true at all. Success is often a matter of luck or timing that had nothing to do with skill.

It has everything to do with skill. It just not necessarily the skill you have, so it might look like magic to you instead. Could I have invented Facebook, for example? Technically, sure. There's nothing difficult about it; I would probably have even done a better job with the implementation. Why didn't I? Because I don't need it and I can't imagine why it would be useful, and so wouldn't have ever thought of it as a sellable idea. In fact, I still can't understand what all those social networking sites are for. It's not an idea that has any meaning to my generation. Yes, I tried it. I have a MySpace profile. I puttered around the site for a few days and just couldn't figure out what the big fuss was about. It took some serious amount of cultural knowledge to see that this idea would sell. I don't know why it sells, but that's why I'm not the Facebook owner. It is not about luck or timing here. It's about knowing things I do not.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874475)

So you're stupid and Zuckerberg knows things you don't. That doesn't make him smart. And don't assume that everyone in your generation is as stupid as you are.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (0, Offtopic)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874741)

I don't see the "value" in these things either. Same goes with text messaging. A coworker of mine is glued to his phone texting all the time. And he's the same age as me.

Maybe its because I'm introverted, and prefer fewer close relationships to millions of bffs that I've never met, and probably wouldn't want to.

I actually learn things here on slashdot that help me in my life. Its not just idle chit chat.

However, there is clearly a need for things like twitter, myspace, facebook, and these things, but maybe it was a fad like the elderly people that needed a 4x4 SUV to go to church and grocery store.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (2, Insightful)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875095)

It's interesting that even though you more or less evenly admit that you don't understand why social networking is popular, there's still an implicit disapproval or condemnation of it. That attitude seems to be really popular here on this particular social network.

The bottom line is that new generations bring new attitudes and ideas--I'm sure you know that, but we have to also admit that there's nothing inherently wrong with new and different attitudes. We could certainly decry a lack of enthusiasm for learning and erudition (I know I do), but show me any generation of "youth" in the history of humanity that has displayed that. It's an all-too-common generalization. Slashdot's get-off-my-lawnism ignores this. Every generation will have learnéd scientists and poets, and in every generation they will be a tiny minority.

Zuckerman is neither a scientist nor a poet. He's young. He's young and came up with an idea that appeals to the young. The idea made sense to him and, lo and behold, it makes sense to a whole bunch of people in similar ages (and beyond--my grandma's beginning to see the appeal!).

Let's focus criticism on the implementation, not the audience. For the record, sites like Facebook and MySpace are only useful and entertaining if you have lots of friends and family on the site also (and even then may be of limited use for any given individual).

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (1)

nx6310 (1150553) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875271)

Because I don't need it and I can't imagine why it would be useful, and so wouldn't have ever thought of it as a sellable idea.

As an Iraqi 1000km away from home and not a unique case in that (4 million Iraqis are displaced and/or immigrants), the day I came across Facebook I immediately found a place where I can track down most of my friends and recently childhood friends from countries other than Iraq, since I grew up in the States, the fact Facebook makes it easy to track down long lost friends and acquaintances makes it so beneficial for me to use. Its not a matter of leisure to me, its social networking at its best. And I consider Zuckerberg's implementation to be one of brilliance, especially with the ability to browse friends' friend list. It reunited many, and is still doing so.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (1)

phreakhead (881388) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875743)

Social networking is incredibly useful in general because it provides a level of communication with your friends that was not possible before. The technology connects people and brings them closer together more easily.

For example, a lot of my friends are musicians and the way I find out about when they are playing shows is through MySpace bulletins or Facebook events. Facebook events are especially useful since you can make a centralized repository of information that all your friends can see, and when they invite their friends your event can get more exposure than old-fashioned word-of-mouth or flyering or newspaper ads or whatever. Most the bands I know don't even put up physical flyers anymore, only digital ones on social networks, and their turnouts are usually way better because the people who actually care (or are socially connected to ones who care) are the ones who get informed, not just randoms on the street.

The news feed also offers another level of exposure that was not possible before. You can automatically see who is going to a show and decide if you want to go too... another reason why Facebook is so successful, IMHO.

Obviously, to someone of your generation who doesn't go to events and parties all the time it may not seem so useful, but this is the future and Zuckerberg saw it early and ran with it.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23875881)

But it is luck and timing. Otherwise livejournal or one of the other early social networking sites would be the big one. Now skill also plays it's part. It's not like he accidently made and marketed facebook but it's also not like he's the only one who could think of it or even necessarily the one who did it best. He just happened to have the right one at the right time.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874579)

Ask the inventor of the Yo-yo how his patent fights against big companies have been for example
Somewhat OT, but the yo-yo's been around for thousands of years, so not the best example:

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa120297.htm

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (2, Insightful)

Comboman (895500) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874841)

For example, Apple didn't succeed with their Newton handheld but Palm computing did with their Pilot. Most people agree its a case of market timing, even though the Newton was unarguably a more powerful device all-round.

While I generally agree with your comment, I don't agree with the example. Palm was not just less powerful than Newton, it was also less power-hungry. The Palm was just powerful enough to do the basic applications that users at that time wanted, which gave them longer battery life, lower weight and smaller size. That is ultimately why it succeeded where Newton failed (that and Newton's poor handwriting recognition). Unfortunately, Palm held onto that "just powerful enough" strategy a little too long, as technology improved and users began demanding more.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (1)

ThanatosMinor (1046978) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875517)

Ask the inventor of the Yo-yo how his patent fights against big companies have been for example.

You might have trouble asking the inventor since the yo-yo [wikipedia.org] has been around for a long, long time

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (4, Insightful)

NilObject (522433) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875897)

I think a lot of the success of Facebook is attributable to the fact that it was college-only at first. It was a walled garden, which was a huge draw for people who wanted the social networking features without dealing with insane 14-year-olds and 50-year-old perverts. By the time Facebook opened up to both groups, however, college students were too heavily invested in it to be bothered to switch. And there wasn't much else to switch to, really.

I really miss the old days of Facebook, when you updated your profile all the time and joined/created all kinds of crazy groups for goofs. It was a lot of fun back then. Now my entire family has added me as a friend and all my exes reload my profile all day waiting to see if, by chance, I've become a miserable hermit. I can't post a picture without mentally making sure it's ok for my entire extended family and all future potential connections (bosses, etc.)

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (5, Interesting)

ThinkComp (514335) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874543)

Hi there,

I don't know who you are, but I'm Aaron. So I thought I'd clarify something.

The Rolling Stone article got a lot wrong unfortunately. In my book [thinkpress.com], which sadly the reporter did not read too closely, I referred to Mark as naive in reference to a specific event: his not knowing A) what Viacom was, B) that MTV was part of it (despite having ambitions to create the next MTV), and C) that Viacom purchased other companies. To me, that seemed to illustrate a certain level of naivete at the time. I'm sure Mark is more familiar with Viacom now, since they offered to buy Facebook long ago.

Also, for the record, Mark is a paper billionaire, not a billionaire yet. I have to give him some credit for that, but when the methods of achieving that kind of success amount to theft and deception on a such a grand scale, it's hard to give too much credit.

You're free to think whatever you want about me, of course, but I did want to make sure that people have their facts straight.

Aaron

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (4, Funny)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875665)

but I did want to make sure that people have their facts straight.
You must be new here.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874725)

I remember hearing a quote that was attributed to Oprah: "Good luck is being prepared when the right opportunity arises."

In other words, you do have to be smart to make it big, but that is only a requirement. You also need the elusive luck. That means that there are plenty of other smart people who didn't/won't make it big because they never got the luck. That doesn't mean that Mark isn't a smart guy, too. He's just a lucky one.

Re:Grapes Taste Bitter To You? (1)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874737)

I loved this line: "as easy to use and as addictive as any drug."

I'm gonna have to disagree. Heroin takes way more work to use (and is far more expensive) and is thousands of times more addictive :p

--Ted

Re:faster, more reliable (1)

3p1ph4ny (835701) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874805)

faster, more reliable and for a while was less annoying to use than its competitors
Really? I'm not really big into social networking (although I am a member of facebook). I've not used a whole lot of other social networking sites, but I can't imagine any of them are any more or less reliable than facebook.

I think the primary difference between facebook and everyone else is scale. Facebook is successful because it's already successful. The only reason I'm a member is because everyone else I know is already a member. If everyone in my social group picked Orkut or something else to share their kegger times, I'd sign up for that instead.

Sounds like an ACL (2, Insightful)

zappa86 (1288842) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873593)

This sounds exactly like an ACL which have been around for awhile. I have many different data elements, I want to only certain people or certain groups, or combinations there of to be able to access it. Hmm, what else could that be? Oh, I know. MySQL can do that do with its permissions table, file systems can do that with ACLs, Apache can do that, hell, if the "data elements" were sockets or ports, even IPTables could do that. PRIOR ART! anyone know what the copyright date of getfacl was?

Re:Sounds like an ACL (2, Informative)

zappa86 (1288842) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873679)

My man page for getfacl says may 2000, which means that its been out long before that. Sorry mark, at least 8 years too late, but more like 38 (hell thats older than you)!

Edison is a pretty good comparison (5, Interesting)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873621)

While I know its heresy to say it... Edison did just plain steal a lot of ideas and then pass them off as his own inventions. In fact the lack of global patent protection was a major reason for Edison becoming the person he did, in reality he lived off the inventions of others.

Edison was a patent troll ;)

Re:Edison is a pretty good comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23873983)

Reminds me of how Marconi took credit for the invention of the radio when it was actually Nikola Tesla.

It isn't about the technology (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873659)

Facebook is a really good business idea. Technically it's uninteresting, but socially it's brilliant.

It also has more revenue per employee than almost anything else. Facebook, the company, is tiny. For their growth period to a billion-dollar company, they were in a little 3-story building on Litton in Palo Alto, between a yoga studio and a beauty salon. (There something about those few downtown blocks of Palo Alto. PayPal, Facebook, Alta Vista, and a host of other well-known names all started within a three block area. PayPal started above the bike shop. )

Facebook seems to hire based on Facebook. The women coming out of the building are good looking and the guys are hunks.

Re:It isn't about the technology (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873879)

Facebook seems to hire based on Facebook. The women coming out of the building are good looking and the guys are hunks.
I think you're confused. The people you're seeing coming out of the building are coming from the yoga studio and the beauty salon. The Facebook employees come and go through the back door under the cover of darkness, like all geeks.

Re:It isn't about the technology (2, Funny)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873921)

PayPal started above the bike shop.
...and extorted 3.4% every time they sold a bike. Pretty soon, everyone on the street was paying their dues. You know why? Respect.

Re:It isn't about the technology (2, Insightful)

Sanity (1431) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874343)

It also has more revenue per employee than almost anything else. Facebook, the company, is tiny. For their growth period to a billion-dollar company
You realize that the "billion-dollar" number is a valuation, it doesn't have anything to-do with their revenue. Do you have anything to substantiate your "more revenue per employee" claim? I heard that they were losing money, although they were within an order of magnitude of breaking even (better than you can say for many tech startups). Of course, they've pretty-much saturated their market, and they seem to be having a hard time making it profitable. I also have friends that had some success writing Facebook apps, but now they say that users are tired of those apps and interest in them has collapsed.

Re:It isn't about the technology (1)

Mia'cova (691309) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874531)

I disagree with your statement that it's technically uninteresting. I think it's a fine example of what a web application should strive for from a technical perspective. They've done many interesting things. Like how they handle authentication between the main site and the image caching Akamai provides. They were the first to do that. Akamai had to write a lot of custom code to support them. Each little part is simple in function but when you consider the scale and distributed nature of what they do, I think they have an extremely interesting architecture.

Re:It isn't about the technology (1)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875175)

The women coming out of the building are good looking and the guys are hunks.
Wait, what? What does that have to do with Facebook?

PATENT TROLL! (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873661)

I looked at the application and this is about as "obvious" as it gets. It does not even come close to meeting the standards for a patent.

What do you want to bet that the clueless idiots at the PTO actually give this serious consideration?

He is going to get it. (-1, Troll)

willyhlll (1310949) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874207)

He is a fucking Jew and many Jewboy lawyers and U.S. ZOG (zionist occupied government) officials are going to help him.

Have you wonder why the color of facebook is blue and white? Hint: it resemble the flag of a certain country in middle east.

--
[twitter: Erris Mactrope gnutoo inTheLoo willeyhill westbake Odder ibane deadzero freenix] See my homepage for info

Re:PATENT TROLL! (1)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874563)

What do you want to bet that the clueless idiots at the PTO actually give this serious consideration?
Since this is a USPTO it will be granted in no time.

OMG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23873681)

like, what would life be worth without facebook?

Mark Zuckerberg, patenter (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23873737)

Can we please not use interchangeably the words "inventor" and "patenter"? The two terms are orthogonal, and these days they even seem to be negatively correlated.

Best quote FTA (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873753)

Zuckerberg is a "Nietzschean superdork"! Sounds sweet, where do I sign up to become one of those? Oh wait, I have to make a site where I game people's personal info to advertisers and profit from their disclosures? On second thought, I'll pass.

ConnectU (5, Funny)

thebonafortuna (1050016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873755)

If this guy is the Thomas Edison of the 21st century, its no wonder we don't have flying cars.

Don't hate the player, hate the game. (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873827)

Seriously, hate the game, i.e. the patent system. It makes a lot of sense for companies to patent everything they possibly can, if only for defensive purposes. If the patent is accepted, cool, you have another patent to sit on. If it's not accepted, oh well, you lost some time and money. There's no real reason not to try to patent any little thought that passes through your mind, no matter how stupid or banal.

There are probably other reasons to hate this guy. Being even somewhat responsible for Facebook is probably enough. But filing for frivolous patents is just the way you do business these days, so nothing to get excited about there. It's just an indication that (in case you haven't figured it out) the patent system is in serious need of reform.

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game. (1)

neuromancer23 (1122449) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874017)

Agreed. It's simply the cost of defending yourself in a marketplace that is completely corrupt. In a free society, patents would not exist and neither would the government. So if youre, going to point your finger, at least point it at the people who are to blame.

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game. (1)

dk90406 (797452) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874093)

Don't they have the option to just publish, and thus establish prior art, instead of seeking a patenet?
But granted, a patent is a better protection in case someone sues - a patent gives them a possible opporunity to countersue.

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game. (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875717)

But granted, a patent is a better protection in case someone sues - a patent gives them a possible opporunity to countersue.

Yes, that's the whole point. Defensive patents aren't necessarily about protecting yourself from being sued for using the technology you're patenting (though it may be that it's easier to legally establish that you've patented it than it is to establish prior art). It's so when someone comes after you and claims you're infringing on their obscure/stupid little patent, you can say, "Oh yeah? Well you're infringing on 75 of my stupid little patents. Do you want to fight this out, or do you want to leave me alone?"

This is the basic way that big companies (Google, Apple, IBM, Novell, Microsoft, etc) protect themselves from each others' patents. Unfortunately, it doesn't really protect against real patent trolls, who have produced no product and therefore cannot be accused of infringing on a patent.

Re:Don't hate the player, hate the game. (1)

Vornzog (409419) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874641)

But filing for frivolous patents is just the way you do business these days... It's just an indication that... the patent system is in serious need of reform.

The pathology runs deeper than you are implying. Mike Dillon , general counsel for Sun, goes so far as to compare patent portfolios to a cold war style nuclear arms race [sun.com]. Far from being 'frivolous', most companies today think that if they don't try to patent every little thing, they'll be sued into oblivion by the companies that do. It is this defensive mentality, not the patent trolls, that has lead to the current state of the patent system.

As someone whose first patent was published just this week, it is a little bittersweet. I'm happy that I was involved in a project that generated some truly innovative stuff, and that I've actually made a little money from the licensing of the rights to the patent. But the innovative parts of the project are not what got patented, the company that licensed the technology appears to be sitting on it as part of their defensive war chest, and I've had to battle their legal counsel to avoid their repeated attempts to get a patent on the software that I wrote for the project (which is useful, but not even remotely innovative).

I think as a patent holder, I see the needs for reform even more clearly now. Much like the cold war, I don't see the 'arms race' slowing down until company is holding so many patents that no one can make a move in any arena for fear of being destroyed by someone else. Mutually assured destruction is a technique for maintaining the status quo, and eventually, it will kill the ability to truly innovate in America. And when it does, another number of other nations will gladly step in and relieve us of our 'superpower' status.

Best Invention? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23873945)

The best invention is, of course, THE FIRST POST! Hells yeah, bro, hells yeah. Let's hear it for the FIRST POST. Let's hear it for the FIRST POST CREW! Yay

Software patents again... sigh. (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873951)

Zuck's still waiting for that elusive first patent to be issued, but take a gander at the Facebook founder's patent application for [ software idea ]
NEXT!!!

Prior Art (2, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#23873989)

This was filed on July 25, 2006. So we need an example of a similar thing from July 25, 2005 or earlier to qualify for prior art. And this is so ridiculously simple that there's got to be some prior art somewhere. I don't think this would qualify since it is on an intranet, but my company's intranet has an internal policy editor that lets users set which affiliates get to see the policy. So if you want Policy X to be seen by A, B, and C, but not D, you check off those checkboxes and click OK. The database stores the permissions and the users searching for policies get the appropriate policies on their screens. I don't remember when we launched that, but I'm sure that it was before 2005. This should be a ridiculously easy patent to find prior art for.

Re:Prior Art (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875495)

It looks like the patent is basically converting privacy settings stored somewhere (probably in a database) to text. Wouldn't this be the same as any other reporting tool? Crystal Reports is probably the most well-known, and it's been around for many years.

Sounds like it's time for... (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874053)

The age old Windows repair solution. Format the Patent and Trademark system and start over. Maybe switch to Linux while they're at it. Any PTO officer who can handle using that may actually have the elusive quality of common sense.

The Real Story Behind Facebook (1)

ThinkComp (514335) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874309)

It's hard for me to read posts like this. The real story is at:

http://www.thinkpress.com/authoritas/index.html

comparing Mark Zuckerberg to Bill Gates (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874315)

Both are Harvard dropouts, one havent gotten fabulously rich on software and the other about to. Both wrote good software in their days. Both are accused of stealing their best ideas from other people. Both seem to have a touch Aspergers. And one is trying to buy the other out. So is Mark going to be eventually as good as Bill in the computer business?

I clicked on the print link in TFA (1)

anexium (591672) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874337)

I clicked on the print link in TFA so I didn't have to wade through 8 pages of adverts - and the 'printable' page had flash adverts on it... Now I know printers are getting good, but...

Some Pig. (0)

JoshDM (741866) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874361)

Zuckerberg's famous pig! Patent hog.

FUCKING JEW PIG! Jew is a cancer (-1, Flamebait)

willyhlll (1310949) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874425)

How ko$her is pig? Very.

We shall rise and fight against the Jewish Cancer!

The Battle of Truth & Falsehood

" ... Ever since Allah created this life, it is a conflict between Truth and Falsehood, a continuous battle between good and evil, and a constant struggle between those who are good and those who are evil. On this holy land, we witness one of the chapters of this holy battle, the battle between Truth and Falsehood.
We are the good, people of Truth, who defend it with our blood and souls. We defend our rights, we defend our land, and our holy places. On the other hand, our enemies are evil, people of Falsehood who fight using the sword of Falsehood. We will beat them, because victory will be that of Truth, Allah willing."

Jews Had to be Destroyed

"Oh servants of Allah, history repeats itself. When the Prophet [Muhammad] entered Al-Madina, he entered it in order to establish the Islamic state. But he found serpents there, disseminating their venom among the Arabian tribes, in order to destroy their kinship and spark war between the Arabs and the brothers [i.e. The Muslims].

"When the Prophet saw the situation of the Arabs, he found that they were not capable of establishing the Islamic state... He looked around and saw the flame of civil strife raging through the Arabian tribes. Brother fighting brother, and tribe fighting tribe.

"When he investigated the cause of these civil wars, he found that the Jews were behind them. The most grave thing the Prophet saw was the war raging between the Aws and Khazraj tribes. When he investigated the cause of this great war between the two largest tribes, he found a Jew behind it. A Jew named Shas sparked the fire of civil strife between the Aws and Khazraj.

"The prophet had to have a good plan in order to establish his Islamic state. He based his plan on two elements. The first of them was to make peace between the Arabs and brotherhood among the Muslims...
The second element the Prophet had to deal with was the Jewish existence in Al-Madina, with which no Islamic state could ever be established.

"The Prophet received an instruction from the Lord of heaven and earth, Who knows the nature of the Jews, who forever live off the fire of civil strife and disseminating their venom among the brothers, Muslims, and friends. Allah ordered him to forge his plan to take care of the Jewish existence in Al-Madina.

"The prophet could not fight the Jews immediately following his emigration to Al-Madina, because his security, military, political, and economic situation did not permit him to wage war against the Jews, at that time.

"The Prophet had three stages in taking care of the Jewish existence: The first was political. One should deal with the Jews politically to defend oneself from their evil. The Prophet dealt with them politically and signed pacts with them, even though he knew they treat the Muslims ruthlessly, but this was an unavoidable stage.
Oh Allah's servants, it was an unavoidable political stage in order to strengthen the Muslims, because wars weaken the Muslims if they are not strong enough to begin with. The second stage was harder for the Muslims: The stage of tolerating the damage caused by the Jews, who again, began violating the pacts and spreading their poison among the Muslims...

"Then came the great battle of Badr, where the Muslims grew stronger. This brought the third stage of dealing with the Jewish existence in Al-Madina. We have tolerated you for a long time - you offspring of apes and pigs! We have tolerated you for a long time. After the battle of Badr, verses came down ordering the Prophet to fight the Jews...
The Jews lived in fortresses and in various tribes. The Prophet said: 'By Allah, I fear the Qaynuq'a tribe.' Meaning, 'I fear the civil strife they spark.' We must first teach the Qaynuq'a tribe a lesson that will deter those behind them...

"Mixing with the Arabs gave the Jews an Arab trait - courage. Praise Allah. Imagine - the Qaynuq'a Jews were the bravest Jews in Al-Madina because they mixed with the Arabs. They won this courage from their neighboring Arabs. Thus, there was no choice but to begin with the strongest among the Jews so they will serve as a lesson to those who follow them - the Jews of Khaybar, the [Banu] Nadhir tribe, and the rest of the Al-Madina Jews."

The Jews' Evil Deeds Led to Their Downfall

"Then an incident took place that was a turning point regarding the Jewish existence in Al-Madina. They started! And they bear the responsibility for their bad deeds and for the venom they spread in the heart of Al-Madina. A Muslim woman went to the Qaynuq'a tribe to sell something. They asked her to uncover her face but she refused. The Muslim woman refused to uncover her face in front of Jews. When finished with the sale, she sat down next to a Jewish jeweler, and this jeweler tied the edge of her garment in the back, so when she rose up, some say her face and others say her legs were revealed. She screamed and cried for help. Then, a noble Muslim came, who could not bear the humiliation of this woman. He rose to defend the Muslim woman's honor, drew his sword and struck that Jew, the lowly jeweler. He struck and killed him. The Qaynuq'a tribe turned against this Muslim and killed him. They killed this Muslim who defended a Muslim woman's honor.

"[The Prophet] prepared his army and went to the Qaynuq'a [tribe]. He laid siege to them for 15 days until they came out and surrendered. The Prophet rejected [their surrender] unless all their men were killed, and only the women and children be allowed to leave Al-Madina.

"Hypocrisy also played a role. Abdallah bin Ubai, Allah's curse upon him, asked to spare their lives. The Prophet did not want civil strife in the ranks of the Muslims and said, 'I accept, provided they leave Al-Madina.' The Prophet expelled them from Al-Madina, so they would serve as a lesson to those who follow. This was the first lesson of the Jews of Al-Madina. Later, there were many other lessons.

"Time does not permit us to discuss the rest of the Jewish tribes. But we must learn the lesson of the Prophet with regard to the Jews of Al-Madina, whom he expelled. His strategic choice was: 'Fight them, Allah will torture them [at your hands]' and also, 'Make ready against them [all] the force and horsemen that you can.'"

Jews Seek to Conquer Saudi Arabia

"The Jews today - there is no doubt - are avenging their ancient forefathers, the sons of apes and pigs. Some of the extremist Jews are demanding today their property in Al-Madina. There are even those who have requested to be buried at the southern edge of Palestine. When the one-eyed Dayan was on his deathbed, he instructed that he be buried at the southern edge of Palestine. When asked why, he said, 'So that I will be close to Al-Madina.' This is the extremist tendency of the Jews. They are the extremists, they are the terrorists. They deserve death, and we deserve life, because we are the people of Truth.

"They avenge their forefathers; they take revenge on us, the Muslims, by taking our holy places and by taking our lands by force. Only last week, this bloody week, they killed from among the sons of our people, children and women, some 40 Palestinians, in front of the entire world, and no one lifted a finger."

Arab States are Abandoning the Struggle

"In light of these massacres, I tell you, I congratulate our people and brothers in Jordan, and bless them for the ties they are establishing with the Jews, and for laying the cornerstone ... on the day of the massacre, at the time the massacre was being carried out on the land of Palestine, in Bureij, Nusseirat, Rafah, and Jenin.
At these moments, they lay the cornerstone and inaugurate a science institute in order to normalize relations between Jordanian and Jewish students. Blessings to you, the people of Jordan, blessings for the American supervision of this successful project, and blessings to our people in Libya and blessings to all the Arab peoples, as we are slaughtered here on the land of Palestine."

We will Fight the Jewish Cancer

" ... We will fight them with Allah's help. The Jews are the ones of whom Allah, who knows them best, said: 'You strike more fear into their hearts than Allah does.' Oh Muslims, it is Allah who tells you this. And this is what we see and know well. But the Arabs and Muslims must know that this is a Qur'anic truth. We strike more fear into their hearts than their Maker. Who stated this fact? The Lord of heaven and earth. Allah is the one who created them and knows their nature well.

"Allah knows that they love life: 'None preserves life more than them' - life, no matter what kind of life. Even if it is a life of humiliation, disgrace, and submission, they preserve it.

"This preservation of life roots miserliness and cowardice in them. The Jews are disseminating their venom, and history repeats itself. They disseminate their venom in the Arab countries, because they cannot live in the Middle East like a cancer, spreading in this land, unless they spark the fire of civil strife and war among the Arabs and the Muslims. And indeed, they spark this fire.

"Furthermore, they incite the world superpowers against the Arab countries. Israel incites the U.S. against Syria. Syria will face great, heavy pressure and we say to them: Be patient and Allah will be with you. Our people in Syria, our brothers in our struggle and our Jihad against this cancer on this land... Our brothers in Lebanon, in Jordan, in Egypt, in all countries of the world, we will never desert them, as long as they fight this cancer.

"We reach our hand out in peace, as the Prophet reached his hand out in peace, but they act ruthlessly towards the Muslims."

The Palestinian Mother Wishes to Receive Her Son as a Corpse, but Not Butchered

"We, the people of Truth, reach out our hand in peace. But they accuse us of being terrorists. Terrorists, because when the Palestinian mother welcomes her martyred son, she wishes to receive him as a corpse. She does not want him to be alive. But she does not want this corpse butchered. The wish of the Palestinian mother is to see the body of her son the martyr.

"Are we terrorists? We, terrorists?! We face burning rockets that leave the martyr no flesh, bone, head, or foot. When the news of the death of her son reached the martyr's mother, she said to the youths: 'I want to see my son.' They were patient with her and took him to the cemetery to be buried. She learnt of this, and went there, asking: 'Where is my son?' Her son is a pile of flesh in a container, in a small sack. She watched while they buried him, and she said: 'If only a foot remained, I would kiss it.' Allah Akbar, is she a terrorist?! A terrorist, this woman who wants to find the foot of her son so she can kiss it before he is buried?! With these statements, Umm Muhammad broke the hearts of those present.

"Where are the hearts of the world?! Where are the hearts of the Arabs? Where are the hearts of the Muslims in light of these sights? By Allah, if they didn't see them, we would say, 'Never mind.' But the entire world saw how our martyrs are burned in their cars on the road. Our children - their heads are cut off. Despite all this, we will be patient, because we are a people that deserves triumph, Allah willing."

Just another jew abusing IP laws (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874401)

When will we have had enough? These people have made a mockery of our legal system so they can exploit the public for money.

Even Microsoft has prior art on this (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874511)

in the form of the dialog in Windows that allows you to select which users and groups have access to files and folders.

My application (3, Funny)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874859)

With something this obvious being patented, I think I'm going to patent my method of inspiring air in order to convert suspended iron into iron oxide in a liquid medium in order to live. I'll make a mint!

I'll bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874969)

There's a makeup shotgun with his name on the app, too.

Lawyer's Idea!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23875751)

Does anybody else think that maybe his lawyers were like Hey Mark "You can probably file a patent for this."

Zuckerberg is a kike scum (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23875921)

These kind of kike scums control the Wall Street, the media, so the entire USA.

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