So the crapdamn US Patent Office again showed how irrelevant it is and how little it knows about technology when it recently granted Facebook a patent for the “the feed,” which refers to that list of information happening on Facebook. This is the patent claim:
A method for displaying a news feed in a social network environment, the method comprising: monitoring a plurality of activities in a social network environment; storing the plurality of activities in a database; generating a plurality of news items regarding one or more of the activities, wherein one or more of the news items is for presentation to one or more viewing users and relates to an activity that was performed by another user; attaching a link associated with at least one of the activities of another user to at least one of the plurality of news items where the link enables a viewing user to participate in the same activity as the another user; limiting access to the plurality of news items to a set of viewing users; and displaying a news feed comprising two or more of the plurality of news items to at least one viewing user of the predetermined set of viewing users.
Why was Facebook granted a patent for this? More to the point, why do software patents exist at all? Does anybody at the patent office have even the slightest goddamn idea of what it means to make software? Do any of these crapasses even have computers?
Here’s my question: Aside from the fact that this patent, like a great number of sofware patents, is vague and relates to activities performed on a great majority of sites for a really long time (prior art, much?) it’s all built on existing languages, and all that anyone can do when building software is use existing languages and systems. And before any of you bastards say:
But, Walt, a developer could use existing tools and APIs, but they could also develop their own languages!
Let me say:
Sure, Facebook could, in this case, write a new language to power the feed. They wouldn’t in this case because it has to work on the internet, but even if they did, so what? It all eventually goes down to Assembler, and ultimately, binary. How can any piece of software imaginable not be negated due to prior art? Answer: It can’t. Software patents are stupid.
And this is aside from the fact that a patent if enforced could mean that people who develop something on their own, in private, would be prevented from actually, you know, enjoying the fruits of their labor simply because they didn’t take the time to patent what is just their daily work, or because someone else did it first, or because some jackass got a patent through that is so vague it could reflect nearly anything.
In conclusion, software patents are stupid and should be destroyed. Make it happen, crapcakes. Make it happen.
I hear that Gruber’s wearing this backpack every day, to show his love of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s a brave choice, Gruber, considering how much of a tool the model looks wearing it, but as long as you’ve got the headband on, you have my respect.
I’m not sure if “respect” is the right word. Hmm.
(In case you’re wondering why he wears this backpack, I hear it’s because he thinks it makes him look like a superhero. Apparently he thinks all those pithy hit-and-run comments he makes on his blog make him some kind of crapdamn hero, or something.)
In a move that should surprise nobody but which seems to be taking every person in the world by surprise, Apple’s making noise about more and more devices using their surprisingly popular iPhone OS. Specifically there’s a posting on their job board for an “Engineering Manager (Platform Bring-Up)”:
The Core Platform team within Apple’s Core OS organization is looking for a talented and inspired manager to lead a team focused on bring-up of iPhone OS on new platforms. The team is responsible for low level platform architecture, firmware, core drivers and bring-up of new hardware platforms. The team consists of talented engineers with experience in hardware, firmware, IOKit drivers, security and platform architecture.
Why are any of you bastards surprised by this?
According to Peter Cohen at MacWorld, Apple’s OS X userbase increased from 25 million to 75 million from 2007 – 2009. Which is fantastic, but those numbers include all flavours of OS X. That’s all well and good, because the desktop and mobile OSes are both OS X, but the interfaces are completely different, and that’s important.
Apple said recently that there are 75 million iPhone and iTouch users, so use your fertile imaginations for a moment and suppose that that means that currently there are 35 million Mac OS X users, and 75 million iPhone and iTouch users (since the number of Mac OS X users and iPhone OS users are both growing, one much faster than the other). Hell, pretend that that number (quoted by Steve when he announced the breathtaking new iPad) represents total units sold, not unique users, and knock that number down by 10 million to reflect the people who’ve already purchased multiple iPhones.
That still gets you 35 million Mac OS X users, and 65 iPhone OS users.
What does this mean, crapcakes? It means that in 3 years, Apple’s mobile OS has become more popular than the desktop OS ever has. That means more people are familiar with the iPhone OS, and think that when we’re talking about Macs, that’s what we’re saying.
Are we surprised that Apple is going to continue to expand their most popular operating system?
Wouldn’t Apple have to be colossally stupid not to capitalize on this surprisingly large cash cow in every way imaginable? Hell, Steve was even quoted once as saying “Apple will be the Nike of consumer electronics,” and this fits perfectly in line with that insanely ambitious (and arousing) goal.
Jesus, bloggers, get a clue. And then shut up.
Brian Chen has an article in Wired called “Steve Jobs’ 6 Sneakiest Statements” where he tries to make it sound as though my close, personal friend is lying to us all:
Nice one, Steve. You got us there. Actually, you’ve fooled us not once or twice, but at least six times, by our count. What follows is a list of five more famously misleading quotes that Jobs pulled from his bag of tricks.
Then Brian goes on to list six times Steve said Apple wasn’t going to release a product, but then did. He even makes fun of me for the time Steve told me that Apple wasn’t interested in making a tablet.
You know what, Brian? In general lying is a bad thing, I think, unless it’s in the service of something great or awesome, which is always the case when Steve talks, and it’s especially always the case when Steve lies. Because the reason he lies matters. Do you know why Steve lies, Brian? I do. Steve Jobs lies because he’s a showman. He needs to build hype, and also he wants to find out if he can get away with it. Which he can. Because he’s Steve Jobs.
So why don’t you point your moral compass at someone who isn’t making the goddamn iPhone, and the iPad, okay? Steve is always pointing true north, even when he’s not.
The other day at the MWC, Microsoft’s Chief Sweaty Officer, Steve Ballmer, unveiled Windows Mobile 7, the next version of their loathsome interface for mobile phones. Engadget and Gizmodo need a nap after apparently climaxing on their keyboards in their insanely positive reviews of the new software, which will be made available on a wide variety of multitouch enabled phones on, I don’t know, sometime? I don’t know, because I didn’t look that information up, because it’s a Microsoft and that makes it evil.
I don’t understand what everybody’s all excited about with Windows Mobile 7. Sure, it’s remarkable that Microsoft actually rebuilt the thing almost from the ground up in order to take advantage of the current state of the art in phones, rather than just patching a broken piece of software like they tend to, and, sure, the interface is completely rethought and looks snazzy, but so what?
Do you want to know why Windows Mobile 7 sucks? They’re copying Apple again!
- Visual Appeal – Windows Mobile 7 is visually dynamic and interesting, and seems to come as a result not just of adding glitz and glamor to a dull product, but actually rethinking the way the product should be used, and making that look pretty. That’s just about the only thing Apple does, Microsoft.
- Ease-of-use – The iPhone is a phenomenally easy device to use, and when Microsoft wants to compete again, what does it do? That’s right: it makes a phone that’s just as easy to use! Did you get through college by reading answers from other students’ tests, Ballmer?
- It’s a Compelling Product – Microsoft normally makes boring products that people use but don’t care about it. That’s their thing, even when they’re (as usual) trying to make their products look like Apple’s. So now they want to go make really interesting and compelling products? Shut up, Ballmer, you’re obviously just stealing another page from Apple’s handbook. Don’t you have an original thought in your head?
When you think about it, Microsoft’s successful attempt to come up with something new and innovative to secure their place as a contender in the mobile phone space is really pathetic.
Gizmodo can suck a lemon and die from it, after what they wrote about the Windows 7 interface compared to the iPhone interface.
I’m sorry, Cupertino, but Microsoft has nailed it. Windows Phone 7 feels like an iPhone from the future. The UI has the simplicity and elegance of Apple’s industrial design, while the iPhone’s UI still feels like a colorized Palm Pilot.
You ignorant sons of bitches. I’ll destroy you! How dare you say such a thing about the iPhone. How dare you! Do you have any idea how much effort my close, personal friend Steve Jobs put into personally designing that interface, and for what? So some Ballmer-come-lately hunk of junk can come around and get higher praise? What do you think the iPhone is, some cheap prom date you can ignore once you’ve had her on your back? No sir!
This isn’t over, Gizmodo. This isn’t over.