Thoughts on Intellectual Property

November 11, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: General, Personal 

A few days ago I watched a show on swedish television where two doctors in IP and creativity went visiting badly running companies and helping them get creativity back in to the company, and hence making the badly running companies back in game. The methods they used seemed fairly straight forward and I can’t really say much about them, except it seemed to be how it should be done. Bring in the people who matters, talk things over, get ideas for new business areas, get ideas on how to improve efficiency in the employees work, how to run the company, new retailable products and services, and so forth. All this is just perfect, however, there was one comment on a subject that struck me hard.

They where complaining that Sweden is one of the countries putting the most money into research and development, yet we get the least IP out of it, and for some reason they could not understand why. I work with development, and to some extent research and I’m not the least bit shocked about this. Lack of cooperation, simple as that. Humans are in a sense made to cooperate, to work as a team and to throw ideas back and forth, especially in this day when the mass of information is simply impossible to keep tabs on. There are probably more research and development papers published every day than I could read in an entire lifetime and I will never be able to read more than a small bit of everything out there in my specific area of expertise, and not even there will I be able to read everything. The problem stems, in my humble opinion, from all the IP lawyers and lobbyists getting their messages across all too well.

Let me give an example of what I mean, for the last 3-4 years, I’ve worked on 4 different projects at 4 companies. At every single one of them, we have all been brought to a big meeting with the entire project/department/company where some “IP department” representative or lawyer has stood up and told us, whenever you get an idea:

  1. Shut up about it, don’t talk to anyone.
  2. Send an e-mail (or preferably sealed envelope or actually come talk to them in person) about the idea to the IP people.
  3. They’ll discuss the idea with you, then wait for half a year or so.
  4. If the idea is patentable, wait another 2-3 years for the patent to go through.
  5. Now you can implement and start talking about the patent, and hopefully cash in on all the suckers who re-created your patent while you where biding your time.

I hope you can see the problem here. The whole idea is so completely remote from how creativity for most of us normal people work that it’s not even funny. For my own part, the best and most inventive days I’ve had, has been with friends. During my education, for example, we went out by the sea and talked mostly crap, but this is where and when we cross-breeded our ideas about cool things and how you could do them. How does a submarine work, what/how do you make it (sub)merge, how could you make it autonomous, how do you navigate, how does INS systems work, and so forth. Or whats the cheapest and simplest way to crossbreed a bicycle with a floating device so that you can bike around on water.

Not being able to talk to fellow colleagues about ideas and solutions to problems is probably among the biggest speedbumps in the entire system imho. One of the reasons I believe Google (for example) has been so successful is that the level of trust bestowed on their employees, and the level of openness within the company. People dare talk to eachother without the imminent threat of being fired or scalded for talking about the wrong thing, with the wrong person (this is actually not unheard of, where I am right now). Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s one of the impressions I have gotten, without ever being a google  employee myself.

Finally, don’t get me wrong on this subject. To live in a world, you have to adapt to the world. I’m not about to go divulge ideas and patentable IP on a whim that I hear about while at work. It is a fine line to cross between understanding and sympathizing with an ideology/theory and actually trying to live like an idealist, and it’s not one I would cross at this point of my life.

If/when I do get ideas on my own however, I would most likely not even consider the possibility of patenting it. I’d rather publish it openly so that it could benefit the world rather than try to suck the living bone marrow out of my victims. As a final thought, has anyone considered making an open source/open media “prior arts database” to, which would gather data and ideas on prior arts to patents, hence rendering current/future patents unusable?

embedded Linux seminar 25-27/11 2009

October 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Linux, Personal 

On the 25-27 of november I will be on tour with and hold a embedded linux seminar. The entrance is free, but requires a registration, see the embedded linux seminar webpage. according to the following schedule:

I will specifically do the Development using Embedded Linux track, which will be 50 minutes long. The presentation is still fairly crude and rough around the edges, but some of the bulletpoints I’m going to talk about is:

  • When to use Linux/ When NOT to use Linux
  • Pitfalls of open source vs closed source and vice versa
  • Hardware vs Development time cost decisions
  • Choosing the right hardware
  • Choosing the right software
  • Security.

I hope to see some of you at the seminars!

Site update finally here!

October 15, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under:, General 

I finally got around to finishing up a new site. As some of you may remember, I started over a year ago with rewriting the entire site from scratch after a year of pretty much not having time to fix the final touches. On top of this I realized that the site would still require a lot of time to update and maintain, which I realize was not in my main interest. So I decided to try out a few “pre-built” solutions and got hooked on wordpress. This is the final setup i’m going with. I will update the site more and more, but to get the site rolling, I decided to get it published as soon as possible.

To begin with, there isn’t much new material on the site, but this will change with some time. I have several papers and smaller projects I’d like to publish, and that I will have the ability/time to publish with the new site framework. Until then, I sincerely hope you will enjoy the new site. Any comments, please let me know!

Swedish postal services suck

February 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Economy, General, Personal 

Just a quick note, Swedish postal services suck. They are completely retarded to deal with. Since christmas, I’ve ordered 5 packages sent via “Posten”, 4 of those are lost/stolen.

I’ve spent over 8 hours on hold and in phonelines to posten trying to report these different losses etc. If you read this, and use Posten for package delivery, or you are a company sending packages to Sweden, please use another service. A list of the packages that has been lost so far:

1. An Acer Aspire One + extra ram, stolen over 1,5 months ago, still haven’t received payment for the laptop. According to my research, it could be up to 4-5 months before they get their thumbs out of their asses and pay money to me.
2. Electronics, it was delivered to package delivery, but i never got notified, and after 7 days it was returned — packages are supposed to be left for 14-30 days, and you’re supposed to get notified. Elfa was kind enough to repay me in full.
3. Cell phone, it was delivered in Alvesta since posten claims it’s my closest pickup point. For those not knowing, Alvesta is 300-400km away from me. Again, no notification. No payment done in advance.
4. Replacement cell phone, sent over a week ago. Still no notification, possibly gone?

As you can understand, I’m not happy with the services. The only package that I did receive? It was sent with inWarehouse to their own pickup point, 1,5km extra travel to pick it up, but sooo worth it.

Criminalized generation

November 22, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Personal 

So, IPRED is coming to this country, Swedens government is forcing it into effect. Even though there has been quite heavy resistance and a lot of people don’t like it. I agree. It’s a complete nutjob of a law. Before moving on, let me state that I am here discussing the Swedish implementation of the law. This is even further going than the original EU directive COM(2006)0168. The best part is, they just “softened it”. Ie, it was even worse from the beginning.

As has already been said by thousands of others, but it can’t be said enough times. The law moves the burden of the police work from the (almost) objective police to the absolutely partial owners themself. Let’s consider this: We have for centuries had a police force because they are objective. They deal with criminals and they should hopefully not take sides for either part in a case, it’s left to the court to do this.

With IPRED, the entire burden of investigating a crime is moved to the plaintiff. The plaintiff (in this case, the intellectual property owner) or someone working for the plaintiff, finds someone downloading a piece that they “own”. They then move on to demanding the name and contact information of that person from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) of the Internet address of that specific downloader. Current law does not tell the ISP that it has to comply with the demand. IPRED does. The plaintiff can now move on to the next step below.

The plaintiff are then free to send monetary demands to the “defender”, who will find out about the problem with the monetary demand. The monetary demand is formed as “pay us money or we draw you in front of a court and you will loose a lot more”. Basically, you will have a gigantic mass of people just paying out of freight “who knows, maybe my kids/spouse/visitor did download that song on my computer?”. Or how about framing someone you don’t like, it’s not gonna be hard, trust me. Don’t like your neighbour, go download a free program and hack him, then set up a bittorrent client to keep downloading/uploading from their computer.

Now, this is the basic argument people have against this new law. Unfortunately, it has been cobbled together by retards and rather IQ-free people and been compromised by to such a degree that it’s no longer coherent. One of the sideeffects of this law is that it will become illegal to buy an application or download a open source application and then run on your own computer. The same plaintiff above could sue every single owner of a Microsoft Windows Vista license (for example) if they can find a instance where Vista steps on their patent.

This comes to mind, when one reads IPRED:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

IKEA and stuffs

September 7, 2008 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: General, Personal 

Once again we’ve been to IKEA. Once again, we got back home with a ton of stuff. Picked up a lot of smaller things we needed, lights, bowls, etc. Also, we went by jysk and finally found a half-decent tv-bench. We didn’t really love it, but agreed that with some white paint, we could actually stand it for a year or two. It’s taken almost a year of bickering to finally find a tv bench that we both can agree to buy. Hilarious :).

To sum it all up as simple as possible, we have no really good space to put a tv at, either its a bad angle towards the sofa, or it’s in the middle of the floor, or we have a too small space for most tv benches. Also, I have a htpc + a huge amplifier, both are … not quite sure, but both chassis looks to be based on 4U rack-mountable machines (H16xW43xD43cm approx), and both need to fit in the tv-bench. Annoyingly, almost 90% of all tv-benches havent been planned to fit that size HTPC/amplifiers. It’s a standardized size, sure it’s the absolute largest standard size you will see on this type of hardware, but it’s still standard.

Let’s take an example, the chassis of both machines are 16cm high. Out of maybe 10 benches we found that have “high” shelfs for dvd’s etc, only 1 or possibly 2 could fit a 16cm machine. The rest where around 15,5cm, or sometimes simply not deep enough, etc. Why the hell is there a common form factor, and the designers of furniture can’t deign themselfs to look it up and design the furniture to hold the common hardware?

Anyways, we did find a few benches that could’ve worked… except… they where so freakishly ugly it’s not even funny. Take EINA avlastningsbord for example. Looks decent on the pictures there, but in reality the material/finish looks like cardboard box that’s been standing out in the rain and then dried up. Lerberg was actually a candidate, just because it was so cheap, and we only need to use it as long as we live in this apartment. Check out the max load of it though, 10kg?? We couldn’t even have put the tv on it, and we only have a 20″ LCD tv. Not to talk about the 25kg htpc or 16kg amplifier. Flärke was another really cheap option, except… it simply doesnt fit with our furniture, and it doesnt look very good, AND machines doesnt fit in the bench.

Either way, we found a bench finally – at jysk. They didnt have it in store yesterday, so hopefully I’ll be able to pick it up today at another store. Can’t find any pictures of it, so just saying it looks half decent at least :).

Plusenergi continued

August 27, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Just called them, money received. But now they want the fees also. I’m refusing. If they had sent the bill to the right address to begin with, this wouldn’t have happened.

In other news, making a new linux x86/qt4.4 compile of the tanker demo. Build environment setup, should have a binary able to run on the target platform within a few minutes. I’m having a blast with QT to be honest, as I started coding in it a while ago, and I’m really just starting to “get it”. The fast prototyping ability of new graphical user interfaces is awesome, and the customizability with both stylesheets and inherited widgets.. I like it :-). I usually avoid changing widgets, it’s a bit of a mess since I’m still rather new to the language, but I will do my best at it soon 😉 .

Cuckolding electric utility company

August 26, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Just wanted to say, f***ing electric utility company, they’re pissing me off so much right now. Plusenergi has done pretty much every single thing wrong that they can. When we moved here, they tried charging me for the actual apartment, and then my girlfriend for the basement (owned by the landlord). Then it took several phonecalls to get that right.

This time around, they’ve sent my electric bill to my old apartment. So, they send my bills to the right address for almost a year, then all of a sudden decide that my old address should have it, but still sends the bill for the right electric installation?

Anyways, I got the second notice about electrics last wednesday, paid it asap, and just checking it with my bank, it was paid this friday, and the money was docked. Today, I got a debt collection mail from svea inkasso, so I call them, tell them I’ve paid the bill, they tell me that they’ve made a remark about calling to check with plusenergi before taking any further steps (yeah right).

Not satisfied, I call plusenergi directly to ask them what’s happened. Oh, they have _hopefully_ fixed my address again, that was the first order of business. Then I went on to ask if the bill was paid, nope, it’s not according to them. Double check account numbers, reference numbers and so forth, everything checks out. Their final word “can you call us back tomorrow, maybe the money will be here then”.

No wonder Electric utility companies are so doing so freakishly well these days. The people who used to turn into pirates are today turning into representatives and executives of the electricity companies. Whatever you _ever_ do, avoid plusenergi, I’ve had it with them.

Easy stuff

August 24, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Development,, General 

Ok, I started recoding today finally. It’s rather ugly and messy code, so i’m starting by cleaning it up a bit. It’s kinda nice getting a goal again, I’ve lacked a bit of it. Also, I must say, this feels soooo easy. PHP code is a breeze, and way to forgiving, especially without 10+ guys looking over your shoulder once in a while to make sure your code is good enough *cough* .

That said, I’m not planning to use too much cross site stuff or any other heavy stuff, so it will be easy to get it to a working state again. Basically, I’m going for a simpler design, with larger flexibility as I want to add a lot of small code samples and projects to the website in the future (I kinda locked myself down there last time).

Also cleaned the fan over the stove, built more on the model (wow, you can almost see that it’s an airplane body right now 😛 ). I got a lousy glue (so sorry mac and heather, it was an awkward glue you gave me :)), need a new one, and I also need some sandpaper. Taken a walk, looked at an episode of systm. A cool show about mythbuntu tbh.

Workweek ahead. See if i manage to get into a habit of writing here or not?;)

First entry (a.k.a. I’ve joined the dark side, I’m blogging)

August 23, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Personal 

Ok, I’m blogging? Now what? 😉 . Nah, I’m hoping to use this site as a place to collect information about what I’m currently working on etc. Maybe an introduction?

Yes, I’m the idiot behind, yes i wrote the iptables and ipsysctl tutorial stuff a long time ago. It’s unfortunately a long time ago, and rather rusty. I grew very tired of it during the last update of the iptables tutorial (even earlier actually, but lets keep it simple). I’m not sure at this point if i will try to get it rolling again, but it is possible, depending on how much work it will be to update it.

Other projects i’ve been boring myself with as of late:

  • Coding (trolltech qt/qtopia calculator, notepad, other stuff to learn the qt api etc). I love QT to be honest, wonderful so far, and you can do hilarious stuff with the stylesheets. Need this for work.
  • Working on some model aircrafts (a balsa built RC one in the countryside which i only have access to very seldom and a guillow’s balsa scale Fokker DR.1 at the moment). I need relaxation from computers once in a while, this is _awesome_ stuff to relax with.
  • Still some general security stuff, been a while since, feels nice to be back on homefield once in a while.
  • Started web2.0’ing my life, Ie I now come with shiny buttons and instead of tcp sockets i come with a http api. Seriously just trying this blogging, twitter, dipity, stuff, some stuff will stay, some i’ll get bored with. EverNote will stay, _awesome_ stuff. Remember the milk will be investigated… it has potential;).
  • Some testing to do with my HTPC, using ubuntu and mythtv… this will get a lot of attention soon as I got seriously pissed at mythtv some time ago. To those gurus at it, apologies, but it sucks as far as ive seen so far, and it was a while since i did any work on it, but it needs to be revisited. Graphics was horribly buggy, some weirdness with unpacking/loading images etc which took close to 5-10 minutes on startup and so forth.

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