Category: Editorial

Lewis Wolpert:

“But what I find incomprehensible, even bizarre, is how it is even possible to consider patenting a gene. It has nothing to do with patenting life as a genetically engineered bacteria for breaking down crude oil has been patented. But a gene is not an invention as laid down in the requirements.”

Editorial Jake's Brainpan

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Apple’s upcoming operating system promises to solve many long-standing problems for every-day Macintosh users, most notably introducing pre-emptive multi-tasking, and procted memory spaces…

But what do you think of the name MacOS X? When you see it, how does it sound in your head?

Editorial Jake's Brainpan

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Mini-rant:

Hardware sucks! As you may know, I had a drive die on November 12th. What you probably don’t know is that my server’s drive kicked the bit bucket a couple of weeks later. It had been my backup drive, but (stupidly) I hadn’t backed up the backup…

Among the things I lost was the database containing my first weblog, J-Space.

I sulked for a week or so, telling myself that it was OK. It was all in the past, and who would be searching for it anyway, so why bother… Then I got an email from an aquaintance who knew me in a past life – my life as a rock-star. He wanted to know what had happened to my site, and why he couldn’t get to it anymore. Whoops!

I sent a conciliatory reply, saying that the site was gone, and that there wasn’t much I could do about it. I thought it was over… I was starting over, that is.

Then a couple of days later, while doing a search for some totally unrelated information using Google, I had an epiphany – maybe my whole site is still cached on Google’s servers! Sure enough, doing an advanced search for the word Jacob on the domain jspace.org, I found all of my copy! Google saved my ass!

I downloaded all of the content to my new drive as insurance against Google’s cache expiring. It’s all there – except the pictures, which I’ll have to re-scan to replace the missing ones… But the text – the stuff that’s most difficult to recreate – is saved!

Thank you, Google!

Ok, now all I have to do is to re-assimilate the content so I can put the site up again. (This may take a little time, and I have so little these days!)

My story of the recovery of J-Space is the opposite of a story I hear all too often: “But all of my data was on your server – what do you mean there’s no way to get it back?!?!?!?”

(P.S. I backed up the backup this time!)
(P.P.S. Apparently I’m not the only one to have done this.)

Editorial Jake's Brainpan

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My PowerBook’s hard drive died late this afternoon. One minute the machine was working fine, and stupid me – I put the thing to sleep to carry it into another room. Now my computer no wakey wakey. Time for a wake.

I lost about a month of email, a few hundred pictures taken with my digital camera, and the last three days of work I’ve been doing on SOAP. What scares me more is what I lost that I don’t know I lost. I keep thinking of little things, but I’m sure that at some point I’ll think of something big, and I’ll be kicking myself for not backing it up.

Editorial Jake's Brainpan

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From today’s PRNewswire press release from Macromedia: “Macromedia, Inc. today announced it has filed counterclaims in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against Adobe Systems, Inc. for infringement of several Macromedia patents. This action was taken in direct response to Adobe’s initiation of a lawsuit against Macromedia for allegedly infringing two Adobe patents.”

What’s stupid about this is that a pair of patents, Nos. 5,151,998 and 5,204,969, “relate to visually displaying and editing sound waveforms and are infringed by its Adobe Premiere product.”

I seem to recall that there’s some significant prior art here, and that in fact the Sound-Droid, developed at Lucas Arts subsidiary, Droid Works, was the first ever digital audio editing workstation (DAW) which had the capability of displaying audio waveforms.

Sonic Solutions co-founders Andy Moorer and Bob Doris, Matthew Wood (still at Lucas), Craig Birkmaier, and others developed the Sound-Droid at least as early as 1990. Sonic Solutions was later the first company to make a business of selling high-end Macintosh-based DAWs which allowed people to edit audio graphically in a waveform view.

Editorial Jake's Brainpan

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Scott Rosenberg: “And what will be the impact of the court-ordered shutdown of Napster? These projects — small, underground efforts that grew unnoticed in the shadow of Napster the company — will be flooded with energy. Users will flock to them, and talented software hackers will work overtime to perfect them.

“From the recording industry’s point of view, it is slaying one enemy only to seed the field with a thousand new opponents — opponents who are, not incidentally, its own best customers.”

via Scripting News

Editorial Jake's Brainpan

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“Napster and its clones — including Gnutella and FreeNet, which will defy attempts at control due to their entirely decentralized nature — have overturned some fundamentals, just as the invention of internal combustion ruined the business model for the horse and buggy. Shut down Napster and a hundred other Napster-like apps will surface. That’s life, folks. Get on with it.

“The music industry loathes us. Let’s loathe it back.”

Editorial Jake's Brainpan

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