In Sonny's Journal on February 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm
- I read one legal analyst compare patents to bullets last year, in that they’re cheap and quick to manufacture and they have the potential to do a LOT of damage. The past few years have seen an escalation of patent-based lawsuits, and I don’t just mean the high profile cases like Apple v. Samsung (or the latest Facebook suit). Patent based legal action has skyrocketed in all sorts of industries, but yes… mostly the tech industries. “Everybody in the hi-tech industry is picking up their patenting, but we are also seeing that litigation is slowing people down,” Gwylim Roberts to BBC in THIS ARTICLE… “We didn’t see litigation for a long time and suddenly it began. I personally think it might be peaking at the moment – it’s now starting to get in the way of business objectives.” I believe in the next few decades — as the exponential curve of tech growth continues — we will see a revamping in patent laws across the globe.
- The Curiosity Rover has drilled into the rock on the surface of Mars, and taken the first interior sample of another planet.
- Ryan Gosling is co-writing and directing an underwater fantasy called “How To Catch A Monster”. Weird.
- UNEMPLOYMENT STORIES, Volume 26: ‘I Want Hope‘ and Volume 25: ‘I Still Exist‘.
“My wife had only recently been unemployed for 4 months and has a good understanding of what it is like. Her warnings and advice have been invaluable. That said, I was not prepared for the full brunt of it. I make a point of applying for at least 2 jobs a day, maybe more. These are not necessarily jobs on my formal career path, but are jobs I am qualified to do based on my career or based on my experience over the last 15 years. Anything and everything. The Kitchen Sink approach. Throw shit at the wall and see what sticks.”
- A Fascinating ‘New’ Planet.
“Of course, astronomers have known about Mercury for thousands of years, but since NASA’s MESSENGER probe went into orbit around Mercury in 2011, researchers feel like they’ve been discovering the innermost planet all over again. One finding after another has confirmed the alien character of this speedy little world, which you can see this week with your own eyes. Mercury is emerging from the glare of the sun for a beautiful two-week apparition during the month of February 2013. The show begins about a half hour after sunset. Scan the horizon where the sun’s glow is strongest and, if the sky is clear, Mercury should pop out of the twilight, a bright pink pinprick of light. Mercury itself is not actually pink, but it is often colored so by the rosy hues of the setting sun.”
In Sonny's Journal on November 13, 2012 at 9:22 am
- I’ve been getting really into a remix project lately, and will likely come very close to finishing on my days off work this week. Seems like lately I keep having the same crisis: during instrumental breaks do I go batshit crazy with a guitar or with a turntable. Obviously this depends on the song, but it’s still hard to be clairvoyant and know which one will work better. So typically I will just record both and compare and contrast. First World Producer Problems.
- I think I’ve posted Ulises Farinas’ art here before, but it’s well worth a second mention:
- Wired has a good article about how patents actually shackle innovation, not encourage it. As is evidenced by the Apple v. Samsung lawsuits of the past year. It’s a long article, but very enlightening.
The past three decades of wanton patent-granting have created a disastrous environment for innovation. Today it’s practically impossible to build anything without violating a patent of some kind—and risking a multimillion-dollar lawsuit for your troubles. Once intended to protect lone inventors, patents now form a kind of shadow tech industry, in which billions of dollars are spent on amassing huge portfolios. (A recent New York Times article noted that Apple and Google, companies that define themselves by innovation, now invest more in patent acquisition and defense than in research and development.)
Why are companies spending so much money on patents? First, as protection. “Patents are like bullets,” law professor Chien says. “They’re cheap to acquire but can cause a lot of damage.” But if you have your own bullets, would-be assassins are less likely to target you. That’s the thinking behind RPX (Rational Patent Exchange), whose clients include Google, Microsoft, and IBM. RPX amasses patents, it says, to keep them out of the hands of lawsuit-happy competitors, and it vows not to sue anyone over them.
- I’m a massive proponent for not going to war with Iran. The problem with my viewpoint is we kinda already are at war with Iran. It’s just a sophisticated war, a secret war.
The dramatic spike in suspected Iranian cyber attacks this year also has some in the U.S. distinctly worried. While direct denial of service attacks on U.S. banks – widely seen as retaliation for US sanctions and attempts to freeze Iran from the international financial system – were seen relatively simplistic, attacks on US allies in the Gulf were more complex.
The most worrying, experts say, were those on Saudi oil firm Aramco and Qatari gas export facilities. Last month, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta described the Saudi attack as the most sophisticated yet launched on a private company, effectively destroying tens of thousands of computers – although he stopped short of blaming Tehran directly.
- And finally, Futurist Magazine Unviels Its Predictions for 2013 and Beyond.
In Sonny's Thoughts on August 2, 2012 at 7:30 am
- A follow up to yesterday’s Film Misery link on the new Sight & Sound list of greatest films, The Telegraph today:
“This week I finished making a radio documentary about the 50-year reign of Welles’s masterpiece – and heard how it might all soon be over, thanks to a change in constituency boundaries. The last time the survey was conducted, 145 mainly anglophone critics were polled. This time an 1,800-strong body of writers, curators and directors have been asked, a group representing the film cultures of most countries in the world. An electorate as broad as that might not feel the critical anxiety of influence that has kept Kane on its pedestal. Tellingly, the longlist, at 2,000 titles, is already much longer than its predecessors.”
I thought it was absolutely awesome to hear that two of Michael Haneke’s films were close to making the list: Cache and The White Ribbon. I have not seen Cache, but have wanted to for some time. It’s hard to find, and I don’t much enjoy watching movies on my computer screen. If you’ve never seen any of his movies, Haneke makes some truly disturbing images and themes come to life. Not that he does horror (Cache is the closest thing to horror; or maybe Funny Games in that it goes out of its way to essentially torture the audience), he just knows how to pick out the little details. The terrible, terrible little details. The guy is a true artist.
- Akai posted this on their Facebook today with the caption, “Save this. Trust us. You’re going to need it someday.”:
I know they’re probably starting to get outdated — especially the 2000XL series — but I’ve gotten a ton of mileage out of my Akai MPC thus far. And I’ve only had it for a couple years. It’s a great piece of hardware. I’ve got the blue one they released around 2001, I think:
- More craziness at the Apple/Samsung trial over patent infringement.
According to one of our sources, “the word ‘contempt’ was bandied about by Apple’s lawyer.” So Quinn’s personal frustration may be at least somewhat understandable.
It seems like the main thrust of the declaration is that everything from the release was “previously in the public record.” He explains that everything was “specifically addressed in open court with the media in attendance.”
Quinn also directly addressed accusations that Samsung’s legal team was trying to intentionally mislead jurors. He made the (fairly obvious, in my humble opinion) observation that jurors had already been instructed not to read any form of media relating to the case.
In Sonny's Journal on July 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm
- I’m giving the new Aesop Rock my first listen. Will probably give it a full post tomorrow. So far AM DIGGING.
- Videogame Industry expert Michael Pachter is claiming that the biggest threat to the industry is multiplayer gaming. Anyone who spends time figuring out how to get more money out of people I’m not really a fan of (“Pachter also blasted free-to-play business models and Nintendo, and praised “ripping gamers off”), but the guy is completely spot on. People get addicted to those games, they spend about 10 times more hours on Call Of Duty than they do on Arkham City. That’s not my statistic. Which is great if you’re Activision… but not if you’re a different publisher pouring more money and time and work into your product, and trying to sell that to someone addicted to an Activision game that never ends.
- A UK judge is ruling that the Samsung Galaxy tablet does not infringe on Apple because it’s “not as cool”. This is funny for lots of different reasons.
- Last night Charlie Rose had Brian Greene and Michael Tuts — both from Columbia — on his program to discuss the discovery of Higgs Boson and to talk about the the future of physics research. It was super, super interesting. Even if a lot of it goes over your head, I suggest giving it a try. Here’s THE LINK.
- Once upon a time Woody Guthrie — American folk hero — wrote a novel that never got published. It is called “House of Earth”. Now, thanks to Johnny Depp and Douglas Brinkley, it will finally see the light of day.
House of Earth is Guthrie’s only “fully realised” novel, they said, influenced by his experiences in America’s Dust Bowl, as well as John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Tracing the story of Tike and Ella May Hamlin, “hardscrabble farmers” in Texas, it is a “searing portrait of the Panhandle and its marginalised Great Depression residents”. Despite a slightly esoteric focus on the importance of adobe housing, House of Earth also includes graphic sex, including “a scorching lovemaking scene on a hay bale”.
- The Guardian asks: Why are we so happy to be entertained by movie remakes? Is our thirst for familiar stories growing, or are fresh ideas simply drying up?
In Sonny's Journal on June 20, 2012 at 8:16 am
- New Brother Ali song off the forthcoming “Mourning In America, Dreaming In Color”. I really like the combination of Jake One and Ali, they fit together very well. This gets super, super personal. When I saw Ali with his new band (who are awesome by the way, check them out if you get the chance this year) about a month ago he talked about how there was a point in his life a couple years ago that was transcendent, it changed everything. His father died, Eyedea died, and this was during his pilgrimage to Mecca. He talks about that in this track. Just like the title of the album, this song seems to be equal parts despair and hope:
- A piece on the Falun Gong movement of China. A sort of spiritual movement banned in China and “avoided by the American media”:
“Chances are you have noticed followers of Falun Gong practicing their faith even if what they were doing doesn’t look much like prayer. Whether it is an elderly woman keeping vigil in front of the Chinese embassy, or a group of ten or twelve of all ages arranged in neat rows behind the Air and Space Museum, the most distinctive feature of their practice is its apparent lack of motion. Shifting through five meditative stances at a glacial pace, the practitioners sometimes look as if they are holding hula hoops over their heads, other times as if they are making shadow puppets of swans. They hold each of these poses for periods of twenty minutes or more, which makes them, in the words of the movement’s founder, people who “practice stillness.””
- Is Scorsese for real doing a Raging Bull 2?? Oh, okay… Scorsese isn’t directing. I figured he would have more sense than that. A disturbing trend in all sorts of media (books, movies, even video games), the prequel/sequel movements are getting far beyond out of control. And if it ain’t one or the other it’s a “reboot”. I’m not against either for being what they are… but can’t we please have some limits??
- With Android climbing in profits and clout month by month, Apple looks to once again be looking to reopen their patent lawsuits:
“Apple has waged an international patent war since spring 2010, part of its attempt to either limit the growth of Google’s Android or to restrict the number of iPhone-like features that it offers. So far it has had little effect; Android has gone in that time from around 100,000 phones being activated every day to more than 900,000 a day, and from less than 8m devices in use worldwide to more than 390m. Opponents of Apple, meanwhile, say it is using patents too aggressively in its bid to stamp out competition.”
In Sonny's Journal on February 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm
- Samsung Can Continue Selling Galaxy Tabs In Germany. Apple has lost another lawsuit, this time in a German Appeals Court in Duesseldorf. The ruling marks the third attempt and loss by Apple taking legal action against competitors citing infringement of patent rights.
“Furthermore, “following the design changes undertaken by Samsung, the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1N does not contravene competition law. Apple’s iPad computers and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1N are rival products of equal value,” the court said in a statement. Earlier this month, two other courts in Germany — in Munich and Mannheim — also quashed Apple’s request to impose a preliminary ban on sales of its Galaxy Tab 10.1N and Nexus smartphone.
The two technology giants are engaged in a legal battle involving dozens of cases worldwide as they struggle for leadership in the hugely lucrative smartphone and tablet computer market.
Apple launched legal action in April last year, accusing Samsung of “slavishly” copying its iPhone and iPad designs. Samsung has focused its own lawsuits on technology patents rather than design. The South Korean giant received two legal boosts in December. A court in San Jose, California, denied Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction that would have banned the sale of three Samsung smartphones and a tablet computer. Australia’s High Court cleared the way for Samsung to sell its Galaxy 10.1 tablet in the country in time for Christmas, dismissing Apple’s bid to have a ban extended.”
The iPad 3 will come out in March I guess. It will purportedly have faster processing power and a better graphics engine.
- Artist of the day is Danny Miller. Holy shit:
- Why did everyone hate on Iron Man 2 so much? Yes, there is little action but if you want 2 hours of almost non-stop robot on robot brawling I’d recommend any of the Transformers movies. The fights are quick; much quicker than the end of the first movie, which went on way too long. The story of Tony Stark’s self-made artificial heart slowly poisoning his bloodstream (and subsequently synthesizing a new, man-made element) is a good one, and would be a fascinating run in the pages Invincible Iron Man; but I always need to remind myself, “how many people who like the Iron Man movies have read an Iron Man comic?”
It’s too bad that Favreau isn’t doing the third movie, because he’s been slowly building towards the man behind the curtain, pulling the strings, since the beginning: The Mandarin. Who, as the first movie insinuates, has been funding extremists. “The Cave of the Ten Rings”. And I’m pretty sure Shane Black is on record as saying he isn’t going to use him because he sees the character as a racist stereotype.
- This Glitch Mob/El-P combo rules:
In Music on September 18, 2009 at 4:18 pm
More Rock Band/Guitar Hero idiocy. The CEO of Guitar Hero, Inc. recently released a statement that the usage of a certain dead musicians likeness was perfectly legal. Let me back up. Months ago Nirvana fans – as well as Kris, Dave, and Miss Love – were outraged to find out that the newest version of Guitar Hero featured the unlockable character/skin of the legendary Kurt Cobain. It didn’t take long for the ex-bandmates and ex-wife to threaten legal action. The trio claimed Guitar Hero had absolutely no right to use Cobain’s likeness and told the creators they should stop using the dead man’s likeness immediately (of course, sold copies would always have Mr. ‘Bain as a playable character… unfortunately). Guitar Hero refused. In a public statement, CEO Dan Rosenweig had this to say:
“I do know that there’s absolutely a contract, and we know that the check has been cashed. I can only deal with the facts. It’s very clear what the terms are. It’s really not ‘Guitar Hero”s confusion. We went and spoke directly to the estate and made it crystal clear, got the rights, paid for the rights, and really we’ve done what we’ve always done. The fact that the rest of the band and the estate did not communicate – I’m not aware of those facts [about their communication].”
Well yeah, you dumb asshole, it’s maybe technically LEGAL (though it may not be), the problem is it’s extremely bad taste. Course, as long as there are dipshits spending enough money on the game – the same game it’s been since it’s original debut back in 2005 – they won’t change a goddamn thing.
- Over on Stephen Colbert’s ColbertNation.com visitors cans stream the upcoming Flaming Lips album in its entirety (yes, all 18 tracks!). The album comes out on October 13th, it’s called “Embryonic“. Here’s the performance from The Colbert Report, by the way the song’s called “Convinced of the Hex” and it is pretty heavy.
In Sonny's Journal on June 30, 2009 at 4:04 pm
I spoke to the guy who made my sandwich today for a while about his recent run-in with a cucumber slicer (among weather, local bars and venues, and girls). A couple days ago, he was slicing and dicing with an industrial sized destroyer of wanna-be pickles. His hand slipped, and the device cut off the fucking tip of his thumb. “Clean off”, he said, “there was hardly even any blood…. at first”. My first thought was, why the hell are you even here right now? Under his plastic gloves throbbed a thick, “nude” colored, thumb cast which grew from below his second knuckle all the way to the top. Said it would take at least 4, if not 7 or 8, months for the tip to grow back completely. But there he stood, making my sandwich (even though I offered to hop the counter and make it myself) with one good hand and a set of totally useless digits lacking an opposable one, not bitching about it at all. In fact, he probably wouldn’t have mentioned it without me bringing it up.
Where is the other employee, for the love of Man give this guy some help up here! Then the truth, the terrible truth, finally came out. He was there working all by himself. His boss left, presumably to schmooze some local bitches that he “owns” (take the term w/ a grain of pepper) a “restaurant” (take that term with some salt & pepper). I asked him if he’d be getting some workman’s compensation, or at least a few paid off days while he grows back a fucking appendage. “Nope. Boss says this sort of thing ain’t covered.” Good God man. Do any of these places treat their employees well at all??
I watched Fast Food Nation about a month ago and it didn’t quite stick until I met this dude today. Perhaps the movie was designed, by accident, to only be triggered by a sort of hypnopersonal experience akin to the Dr. Hurt‘s “Zur En Arrh” mental trigger of the Batman. Though who’s the better subliminal controller: Richard Linklater or the worldwide fast-food corporate machines? (No answer is needed here) Apparently Yum! Brands Incorporated is abusing workers rights both here and abroad, and has been for some time now. After this experience I’m NOT eating at this specific restaurant, the second largest operator globally behind “Yum!“, until further notice. I’m already banning Applebee’s from my diet for some chicken wings that looked like blackened worm intestines in the middle, I guess I can add [take a guess] to the list also. It’s too bad this guy probably can’t afford a good lawyer, cause he could take a big bite out of these mother fuckers.