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The web rich media patent

16 years and 11 months ago · listen

Everyone is talking about the patent granted by the US Patent Office to Balthaser, covering "methods, systems and processes for the design and creation of rich-media applications via the Internet." A lot of FUD is going on, with people saying that AJAX, Java and even Flash will need to be licensed in the near future.

So, I decided to read the patent, and it's not that bad: the usage of rich-media applications is not covered under this patent. Instead, what Balthaser is patenting is a hosted application which enables normal people to build rich-media websites (or applications), there is, a rich-media website, that previously demanded designers, flash programmers and coders, can now be accomplished by anyone.

So, Balthaser is defending is own tool, pro:FX. The thing is, isn't this patent to broad? What is the definition of "rich-media application"?

In the same day, Google launched is new service, Page Creator, a website that enables you to create your own website, with the easiness and simplicity we know from Google. And after a peek to the Page Creator interface, my first question was: "Is this under the Balthaser patent?".

If is considered that Google (and others) must license this kind of technology to Balthaser, than we have just created a strong break on innovation, and I strongly believe that is not the objective of patents. They exist to encourage innovation, by protecting intellectual property, not for some guy to decide that put a Dreamweaver on the web is innovation. That was too damn obvious to be considered as an inventive idea.

I just hope someone get is senses, meanwhile, I'm happy to live in Europe.

Multi-touch interaction experiments

16 years and 11 months ago · listen

From Maik, a great movie on the future of computer interaction. And it’s closer than we think, as Apple has patented something of the kind.<iframe title="Multi-touch interaction experiments" width="480" height="300" data-src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zp-y3ZNaCqs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Portuguese Digg

16 years and 11 months ago · listen

Digg is a huge success, so every one is trying to make a clone of it. The first one to win a lot of attention was Meneame, a spanish implementation of Digg, since they decided to deliver there code under the GPL license.

With free code available, it became a simple matter of time for other clones to pop up trough the net like mushrooms. And Portugal is no different: there is at least two new ones, ouvidizer.com and domelhor.net.

The latest is Paulo Querido's new project, and caught my attention due to some great links I have found there:

  • Belgium researchers were able to play the surrounding sound that was present during the painting of a south american vase with more the 5 centuries. You can hear people laughing, watch the video (in french);

  • Following Tetris, Russia give us a new form of addiction, Putin Chess. The link from domelhor.net points to a portuguese written page, more on Putin Chess here;

  • After Segway, Dean Kamen invented two devices, one able to purify 1000 liters of clean water a day, and the other one is a power generator able to make a kilowatt of anything that burns. More on CNN Money.

As you can see, it adds value, by helping one find news of interest, but the design of any of the webpages can be a lot better. Well, best wishes for everyone.

Rojo FeedShare

16 years and 11 months ago · listen

Recently, Rojo lunched a new service, called FeedShare, which enables bloggers with similar interests to promote each other. The ideia works something like this: you add a banner on your blog promoting other blogs, and they do the same. See some screenshots and a more detailed explanation in Feedshare page.

Food poisining

16 years and 11 months ago · listen

update: If you got here because you need to know more about food poisoning, please bare in mind that probably you misspelled it. You will get better results if you search for food poisoning on Google. If you are here to read this article, please continue.

Something we ate tuesday wasn't that good, so we spent the last couple of days trying to get the fluids levels back. Meanwhile, the heart beat returned to normal, so I was able to take some time and make some improvements on this site:

  • Licensed this webpage under the Creative Commons License. In summary, you can do whatever you want with work from this site, since you maintain the attribute of the original work. The specific license can be read here;

  • Added de de facto icon for RSS sindication. It's more user friendly this way, and brings a little color to the site. Another advantage is to turn more visible the search results - guess orange squares moving are more eye catching than grey and blue text;

  • Since not everyone knows what RSS is, below the sindication icons is now a link pointing to a page explaining what RSS is. The idea was inspired in Ivo Gomes blog. Any comments on the text are welcome;

  • Added access keys to the site, is now possible to navigate using the keyboard. You can read all about this in the colophon page. Next steps are implement access keys for post commenting and search results, any ideas?

  • Updated the colophon page, and added a site history section.