Imagination Sinkhole

Take Two Tablets, Call Me in the Morning

Against all previous precedent I’d like to present a product review.

This is not a paid review. It’s not even a particularly competent review. But if you’re at all interested in what might possess an otherwise sane person to buy into a ridiculous and expensive electronics fad and then live with it for six months, read on.

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Posted in Imagination Sinkhole | Also tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

So What's Up With That FCC Investigating Apple and AT&T Blocking Google Voice — Oh Wait, They Aren't . . .

So while I was gone, Apple and/or AT&T turned down Google’s effort to get a Google Voice Application certified for the iPhone, so the FCC launched an investigation into the matter.

Except they didn’t. Not exactly. Which is extremely important on the delicate question of FCC authority. Actually, the FCC invited three companies involved in a very high-level spat on an issue pending before the FCC in two proceedings to provide them with useful information on how the market actually works.

I know, I know, this is all boring legal stuff that folks who care just about outcomes hate with a passion — or think is just cheap legal handwaving. But these things matter, both as a matter of law and and as a matter of policy. The fact is that the FCC is very carefully not exercising authority over anyone. The companies don’t even need to respond. However, if they fail to respond, they invite the FCC (and the rest of us) to assume the worst. Because allowing industry folks to foreclose needed agency action by simply refusing to provide necessary information is a crappy outcome we’ve lived with for the last 8 years (longer, really). Far smarter to invite industry folks to respond to questions, but decide that at some point you need to move with the information you have. Heck, if the FCC pulls that trick only once, I bet we’ll see lots more folks with relevant information willing to come forward.

So while I expect lots of folks to yammer about FCC authority on August 21 when the answers are due, they’ll be barking up the wrong tree. Won’t stop ’em, of course. But for those who would like a sense of what is actually going on from a legal/regulatory authority angle —

More below . . . . .

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Posted in Spectrum, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

Everybody Lies

The ability of huge numbers of people to create digital content can only be a good thing. But what about mis-content?

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Posted in Inventing the Future, metaphysics | Also tagged , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

Of mice and pirates

I had always understood patents to be about the mechanism of the device, not it’s effect. E.g., a particular mouse trap design, not the idea of catching mice.

But what do I know? Squeak blogger Torsten turned me on to this article about some courtroom pirates suing Apple over the User Interface in their latest operating system release. The original patent was for an old Xerox UI implemented in Interlisp-D, and now owned by a holding company.

Apple’s Tiger operating system isn’t implemented in Lisp. Do you suppose the lawyers are basing their argument on Greenspun’s Tenth Rule?

Posted in Inventing the Future, Philosophical business mumbo-jumbo | Also tagged , , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

components have a name — Brie

I don’t know why software projects need meaningless codename, but they do. Maybe that’s how this ethereal stuff becomes “real.”

I can’t say that all our U.Wisconsin projects for Croquet will be named after cheese, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Not sure why Wisconsin means cheese, yet we start with a French cheese. But Brie is cool. My wife lived there for a while. The have big parties when the new cheeses come out, but you can also buy this old wrinkled stuff that you can’t get here, which my wife calls “fromage morte.”

So, what is Brie?

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Posted in Brie, Inventing the Future | Also tagged , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)
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