Thursday, February 26, 2009

TomTom sued by Microsoft

The whole patent field has really gone around the bend. That any of the eight patents named in the Microsoft v. TomTom lawsuit were ever granted is legal insanity. Patents on: installing a computer in a car, installing wireless network support in a car, detecting when devices are plugged in to a computer, giving automated driving directions, panning a virtual map from a viewpoint, using flash memory, using both short and long file names. If you are counting that brings us to seven, the last one is a copy of the file name patent; that's right, it's just the same patent with a different number. None of these things are inventions in any real sense.
This is the sort of thing that has driven the economy into the second great depression. If the legal system continues to extort money in this manner then civilization may collapse.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


The main computer here went kaput with a poof of smoke, so I took the opportunity to go without for the first time in years. There's always something on the internet that is entertaining in some manner, and I found myself replacing it with low quality TV shows. Eventually I ran out of fresh TV shows from the DVR and became startlingly bored. Then it became a great battle of procrastinators, who would give in and go buy a computer first? In the end I gave in first, using a birthday "gift" as an excuse, but I'm not fooling anyone, I'll be the one to use the new computer most.

Thus began the Vista woes, the Lexmark 3-in-1 printer isn't at all supported in Vista, and Lexmark basically is thumbing it's nose at customers, you can't get a Linux driver for it, you can't get a Vista driver, it might as well be a paperweight. Then re-installing programs has come up with dozens of paranoia firewall dialogs for each install. More startling, it's actually stalled the processor a few times... it's an AMD 1.8g quad core, so far I can't see much performance improvement from the old 1.8g Athlon. Thank goodness for backups, but all the registry is different, so it's password and number hunt week.