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US Supreme Court Invalidates Patent For Being Software Patent

termigator Cryptographic and compression patents invalid? (220 comments)

Since cryptographic and compression algorithms are mathematical in nature, would the "on a computer" apply to them so any cryptographic and compression related patent is invalid?

about 6 months ago
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Visual Studio vs. Eclipse: a Programmer's Comparison

termigator Re:Um excuse me ... (543 comments)

You're basically saying that we should let the guys in the warehouse manhandle 500kg loads by hand because they "prefer" not to use the forklifts. We should just let them do whatever they please, because that's what makes for good management, right?

Strawman

Good management advocates what makes folks productive that meets whatever production levels and goals are required for the business. Having someone manually handle 500kg loads is obviously inefficient, left alone the safety and liability concerns it raises. Warehouse operations requirements are different than software development operational requirements.

It's not even a good idea to let developers pick their favorite IDE either, because there are productivity gains to be had from consistency.

It depends on the project and personnel. A core problem I have with mandated IDEs is can cause undesired dependencies in the software build and packaging process. When I have the responsibility of setting up a software project, I make sure that the software can be built and packaged independently of any IDE. I cringe when I am on project that states you need to run this given IDE to build the software.

IDEs have their own quirks and bugs, some not that obvious. When IDE mandating exists, it promotes a blind-trust mindset on the tool, and when it is the IDE that is the source of a problem, it can consume many wasted hours of development time. When IDE "magic" goes wrong, it can go horribly wrong.

I advocate what makes the project most efficient. In some environments, have a single IDE that everyone uses may be the most efficient overall, but management must be aware that it can cripple more senior, experienced developers that can be more efficient than the IDE (hence, my base goal of the software being able to be built without the IDE). Compare the typical mindset and capabilities of a developer that has solely operated in IDEs vs those that have functioned outside them.

A good test on the skill level of a programmer is how well they can make code changes without using an IDE. In a project I have control over, I had to setup an Eclipse project because a new person management hired struggled a lot working with the project source since they mainly used Eclipse in the past. Unfortunately, that person could not set up the Eclipse project themself, so I had to do it so the person can become productive. The lesson: IDE mandating can restrict the flexibility of the developer, and when that developer moves on to other projects with different environments, they are very lost. IDE mandating may be good from a management perspective, but it can have negative impacts from a developer's perspective.

I have used IDEs (Eclipse, Netbeans, and many moons ago, even Visual Studio). But they have never been my primary go-to tool. I use them selectively when they provide something for me that is more efficient than my normal working environment (Vim and a Unix-based shell and tools). On average, IDEs slow me down, and I have never had a single complaint from management or colleagues on how I work. I normally out-perform all other team members and whatever tools/IDEs they choose to use.

One last comment: When working on projects that utilize a variety of technologies, a single IDE will sometimes not be able to adequately support all of the technologies. Hence the need for flexibility and the primary mindset that a given project is never dependent on a single IDE.

about a year and a half ago
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Patent Infringement Suit Includes Linking URLs In an Email

termigator Re:Claim 1 (124 comments)

But such email clients came after the patent date, so cannot be used as prior art.

about a year and a half ago
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Patent Infringement Suit Includes Linking URLs In an Email

termigator Re:Specific method != title (124 comments)

IANAL, but I believe the Abstract plays no real role legally. It is the claims mentioned in the patent that matter, and many times, they are much broader than what is summarized in the patent. For example, people keep mentioning URLs, but it you look at the claims, some claims (like 1) do not mention URL, so the patent is much broader. However, because it is not restricted to URLs, it opens up the patent to be invalidated by software that preexisted the Web, but performed the actions stated in the claims.

about a year and a half ago
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Patent Infringement Suit Includes Linking URLs In an Email

termigator Re:Patent not as broad as summary claims (124 comments)

The patent in the article is much more narrow than just sending a URL through an email. A key concept mentioned in the patent is that the email (plaintext or html) contains an URL in some form

The term "URL" is not used in claim 1. Basically, anything that specifies a location of a resource, so limiting yourself to a URL-only based mindset will make it hard to find any prior art before the patent date.

about a year and a half ago
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Patent Infringement Suit Includes Linking URLs In an Email

termigator Re:Difficulty in proving prior art (124 comments)

I would venture that IV is ignorant about the community at the time and the type of software that was in use, especially prior to the birth of the Web. It is highly probable there was software in use prior to the Web that can be used as prior art. The challenge is in finding it and then showing that the software was in use by the community. The digital archive of things before the web is pretty sparse, making the search task more challenging. Many folks are ignorant of the types of communities that existed prior to the web, and ignorant of the software that was in use. Maybe it is time to start pinging the greybeards.

about a year and a half ago
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Patent Infringement Suit Includes Linking URLs In an Email

termigator Re:Annoying, but courts have already ruled on this (124 comments)

Did NextMail auto-fetch such objects? Most mail clients that received messages that contain external references would prompt the user before fetching (due to security concerns). The patent claims that such retrieval is automatic. If NextMail did auto-fetch externally referenced content without prompting, and did such capabilities prior to the patent date, then you have a candidate for proving prior art. It will also help to find announcements and communication that showed the software was known about at a time prior to the patent date.

about a year and a half ago
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Patent Infringement Suit Includes Linking URLs In an Email

termigator Re:Claim 1 (124 comments)

Agree that it something an email client should never do, but I figure it may be something that a proxy service may due to for mobile customers to reduce network bandwidth. For example, the proxy service can pre-fetch the data referenced from a page (or email), and for some of the data, like images, reduce the size of the data before the actual content is delivered to the mobile device. The term "message" can be very generic, so although the focus is on email-based programs, it could apply to other contexts.

about a year and a half ago
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Best Way To Archive Emails For Later Searching?

termigator Re:try mhonarc? (385 comments)

I actually use mharc, http://www.mhonarc.org/mharc/, on my private server to archive various public lists and work-related email since it provides searching capabilities.

For work-related email, I have nmh folders I file message to for the various projects I work on and then have a cron job that runs each night that uses mharc's mh-month-pack script to copy the mail into mharc's archive area.

This system provides me an MUA-neutral way to read and search email. Since mharc keeps an mbox formatted version of all data, I can import the messages to any MUA I want, however since I still have the nmh folder data, I've never had the need.

The other advantage of my setup is I can following mailing lists w/o cluttering my inbox. I have a separate mail account I used to subscribe to lists of interest, and I archive the messages on my private server for reading and searching whenever I want.

more than 4 years ago
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SBC-Yahoo Partnership Cuts User Privacy

termigator Re:What a surprise! (217 comments)

to get it out of the way: use mozilla or opera. that popup will be nonexistant and your webmail will work just like it did in internet explorer.

Plus, you can define your own auto-proxy configuration file that blocks ad URLs. Therefore, when Yahoo changed there mail interface awhile back to be more "ad friendly", it did not really affect me. Though, I did get larger blank areas where big-assed ads should be.

BTW, for mozilla, the auto-proxy can redirect to a non-exist host:port to quietly drop ads in case you are unable to run a server to absorb ad proxy redirects. This works for my mother's PC where I did not want to mess with running a web/proxy server on.

about 12 years ago

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