☆ Pratchett Does Sci-Fi

My attention was drawn to a new direction that fantasy author Terry Pratchett is taking. His Discworld series has been a huge success among a wide circle of people who find the Tolkien-informed, politically-aware stories clothed in a rambling fantasy universe compellingly funny. He’s now working on a collaboration with serious sci-fi author Stephen Baxter. The […]

☆ Is Windows to blame for viruses?

A historical post, for a change. A comment on a mailing list tonight – that something was “rather like blaming Windows for getting viruses” –  sent me exploring my recollections of CPU security on Intel chips from my days at IBM. I went scurrying to find a half-remembered explanation from the past of why, in […]

☆ IPEG-SA Announces Tapeworm Licensing

Following news that MPEG-LA have generously offered to sell patent licenses to implementers of the latest 3D-capable video standard, MVC, the world’s tapeworms announced they have formed a new collective inspired by the same principle. Dubbed IPEG-SA (Intestinal Parasites Exploitation Group – Service Administration), they will offer humans the opportunity to license suitably sanitized tapeworms […]

☆ A Tax Whose Time Has Come

Dubbed “the world’s most popular new tax”, this proposal has gathered an amazing breadth of support globally, including world political and business leaders. Indeed, France and Germany are both committed to implement it during 2012 (although we need to scrutinise their commitments carefully looking for loopholes). It sounds like one of the things that should […]

☆ How To Fight ACTA

Now that the US bills SOPA and PIPA have been put on ice, attention has returned to their parent, an international treaty called ACTA. I’ve written extensively about ACTA before, but in summary it is an international treaty that has been secretly negotiated to ensure as little input as possible from the citizens of any […]

☆ Help OSI Transform

As I explained at FOSDEM (blog post coming!), the Open Source Initiative is switching to a member-led governance. For that, it will need members. The OSI Board would be very grateful if you would complete the totally anonymous survey which will help us understand what attributes you would like from OSI membership in the future. […]

☆ Patents and Innovation

An interview with a pharmaceutical industry analyst on the BBC today illustrated a key point about patents and reminds us they are about stimulating, not rewarding, innovation. Explaining why AstraZeneca were having difficulties that were making them plan large layoffs, the analyst talked about the “patent cliff”, and the interviewer insightfully observed that it was […]