The Conversation on Patents: “Patent Schmatent”

Podcasts are an amazing concept — but there are thousands of them, and good ones can be hard to find. One guy who consistently records excellent work is “your internet pal,” Dan Benjamin.

I met Dan outside FOWA Miami. His first question was “What do you think of the iPad?” which led to an interesting conversation about the future of mobile computing, publishing, content creation contrasted with consumption, etc.

He later asked me “How much do you know about patent law and the stuff Apple is up to?”

“Dan Benjamin brings together geeks and attorneys to talk about the intersection of patents and software development, and speculate about Apple’s motivations and goals regarding their recent Android-inspired lawsuit against HTC.”

So I was a guest speaker on The Conversation, a podcast with 30-40 thousand listeners. The episode title is “Patent Schmatent,” and we talked about:

  • software patents and copyrights
  • technological innovation during the Middle Ages
  • “why have a patent system?”
  • Apple v. HTC
  • “what are they thinking?”

It seemed to go well, and I had a lot of fun talking with Dan, Dave and Wil. Hope to record more podcasts, one of these days.

Podcast: “Patent Schmatent


A First Resolution for 2010

h4. Clearing out some of the cobwebs around here, to say that I’m excited.

Excited about:


bq. What is Project52?

bq. Project52 is a personal challenge geared toward getting fresh content on your website. The goal is to write at least 1 new article per week for 1 year. Because we all know what it’s like to procrastinate on our content.

bq. All you need to do is just commit to the challenge and write the content. This site is just here to remind you of that commitment.

bq. How to Participate

* On Twitter, you can follow @p52info or use the hashtag #p52. We’ll track that as often as we can.

* Add your site to the form below. In time, we’ll gather the RSS feeds and begin sorting out who the slackers are.
* If you would like a banner to add to your site, feel free to download the logo. Be sure to link here and help spread the word. It’s time to get people writing again!
* You can also join the Google Group, if you’d like to share thoughts, ideas, and various bits of inspiration.

p. An awesome idea, whose time is overdue.


Barcamp Miami a Big Success

h3. I love “Barcamps”:http://barcamp.org/.

The energy, the people, it’s all good.

* Imagine a conference about the Web–what’s current, and what’s coming in the future.
* Imagine over “500 people”:http://barcampmiami.eventbrite.com/ attending a conference, which is completely organized and run by volunteers.
* On a gorgeous day in Coconut Grove.

That was “Barcamp Miami”:http://barcampmiami.org/ 2009.

Wonderful event, people, topics and conversations. Oh, and the locations (Anohka restaurant and the “Mayfair hotel”:http://www.mayfairhotelandspa.com/) could not be better, (although I think the restaurant was a little overwhelmed by lunch orders).

Overall, an excellent job by all the organizers and presenters.

See some “photos”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/barcampmiami and “some”:http://therealedwin.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/barcamp-miami-2009-write-up/ “words”:http://squarefactor.com/words/2009/feb/26/barcampmiami-fowa-2009/.

I’m excited about 2009, and hope to see some of the same people at “Refresh Miami”:http://refreshmiami.org/ meeting.


Upgrade Your Browser!

h2. …and set a World Record

It’s an exciting time for the web world, with some big developments coming up.

Download Day 2008

h3. Firefox 3

If you haven’t tried “Firefox”:http://getfirefox.com, the web browser better than “that other one”:http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/default.mspx, now is the time.

“Firefox”:http://www.spreadfirefox.com/ is a web browser that is faster, more secure, and customizable. And it’s free. The current version is “”:http://mozilla.com/firefox for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Even better is “Firefox 3”:http://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox3, which will be released on June 17, 2008.

The cool kids at Mozilla are trying to set a new Guinness World Record, for most software downloads in 24 hours. “Download Day”:http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/ for “Firefox 3”:http://getfirefox.com is “Tuesday, June 17, 2008”:http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/.

So, help us set a new Guinness World Record, and “Enjoy a Better Web.”

h3. Opera 9.5

Opera 9.5 logo

In the meantime, “Opera 9.5”:http://www.openoffice.org/products/desktop/ has been released. “Opera”:http://www.opera.com/ is a pretty good browser too, though web developers will probably wait for “Dragonfly”:http://www.opera.com/products/dragonfly/.

OpenOffice 3

OpenOffice logo

While you’re at it, you might want to upgrade your Office suite, as well. “OpenOffice”:download.openoffice.org/3.0beta/ is a free open-source office software suitex, for documents, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, and databases. Latest release is version 2.4.1, and “OpenOffice 3”:download.openoffice.org/3.0beta/ is in beta.

In fact, my shiny almost-new Vista laptop has never run Microsoft Office. A statement I never expected to write, but with “OpenOffice”:http://www.openoffice.org/, I don’t even miss it.