In the dark moments when one wonders if their research is doing enough to better the world, it’s always nice to remember you’re not a patent lawyer. The radio program This American Life did a fantastic investigation of this issue recently, highly recommended and very entertaining, so I thought I would point it out here. It explains how broken the system is, and although I don’t know how best to ensure people are compensated for their creative works, clearly we need better solutions.
The outcome of perceived or real patent fights basically moved me away from the Linux desktop. In 2006 I thought the Linux desktop would become the world standard (the other options were far from awesome). Instead the technology company that spends the least on research and development rose to prominence and essentially everyone I know who uses Linux comes from the tail end of the most affluent class of society (which probably makes them great targets for the now integrated Amazon search). Here’s hoping this mess gets cleaned up in the next few years.