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Reclaim Invention PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 25 March 2019 22:32

Reclaim Invention

When universities invent, those inventions should benefit everyone. Unfortunately, they sometimes end up in the hands of patent trolls, companies that serve no purpose but to amass patents and demand money from other innovators and inventors.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is asking universities around the country to protect their inventions from patent trolls by signing the Public Interest Patent Pledge. The PIPP is a promise that before selling or licensing its patents to a third party, a university will assess the business practices of that party and make sure that it will use those patents responsibly.

Ask your university to sign the PIPP.

Stupid Patent of the Month: Storing Files in Folders

This month’s stupid patent provides a good example of why. US Patent No. 8,473,532 (the ’532 patent), “Method and apparatus for automatic organization for computer files,” began its life with publicly-funded Louisiana Tech University. But in September last year, it was sold to a patent troll. A flurry of lawsuits quickly followed.


Last Updated on Monday, 25 March 2019 23:41
European Copyright Directive PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 25 March 2019 22:27

European Copyright Directive


During the week of March 25, the European Parliament will hold the final vote on the Copyright Directive, the first update to EU copyright rules since 2001; normally this would be a technical affair watched only by a handful of copyright wonks and industry figures, but the Directive has become the most controversial issue in EU history, literally, with the petition opposing it attracting more signatures than any other petition in’s history.

What is Article 11 (The "Link Tax")?

Article 11 seeks to give news companies a negotiating edge with Google, Facebook and a few other Big Tech platforms that aggregate headlines and brief excerpts from news stories and refer users to the news companies' sites. Under Article 11, text that contains more than a "snippet" from an article are covered by a new form of copyright, and must be licensed and paid by whoever quotes the text, and while each country can define "snippet" however it wants, the Directive does not stop countries from making laws that pass using as little as three words from a news story.

Article 11 has a lot of worrying ambiguity: it has a very vague definition of "news site" and leaves the definition of "snippet" up to each EU country's legislature. Worse, the final draft of Article 11 has no exceptions to protect small and noncommercial services, including Wikipedia but also your personal blog. The draft doesn’t just give news companies the right to charge for links to their articles—it also gives them the right to ban linking to those articles altogether, (where such a link includes a quote from the article) so sites can threaten critics writing about their articles. Article 11 will also accelerate market concentration in news media because giant companies will license the right to link to each other but not to smaller sites, who will not be able to point out deficiencies and contradictions in the big companies' stories.


What is Article 13 ("Censorship Machines")?

Article 13 is a fundamental reworking of how copyright works on the Internet. Today, online services are not required to check everything that their users post to prevent copyright infringement, and rightsholders don't have to get a court order to remove something they view as a copyright infringement—they just have to send a "takedown notice" and the services have to remove the post or face legal jeopardy. Article 13 removes the protection for online services and relieves rightsholders of the need to check the Internet for infringement and send out notices. Instead, it says that online platforms have a duty to ensure that none of their users infringe copyright, period. Article 13 is the most controversial part of the Copyright Directive.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 March 2019 22:31
The 12 Principles of Animation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 11 July 2014 10:10

From the Sitepoint folks:


Way back in the 1930's two Disney animators -- Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson -- established the '12 Basic Principles of Animation'.


These principles -- ideas like 'squash & stretch' and 'anticipation' -- are as important and relevant today as they were in the 30's.



Keep this site handy as you are working animation into your own interfaces.


I think subtle motion touches like these can turn good interfaces into incredible interfaces.


Alex Walker
SitePoint Design Channel

Good Users and Bad Passwords PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 11 July 2014 03:38
Further to my other article about passwords, here is an update on what constitutes a good password:

Good Users and Bad Passwords
Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 03:43
Live Views from the International Space Station PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 01 June 2014 07:58
Live video from the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control.

Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below.

› Watch on UStream→

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 June 2014 09:00
The Smallest to the Biggest thing in the Universe! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 01 June 2014 09:01
A video going from the smallest known distance to the biggest thing in the universe in proportional size.

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 June 2014 09:09
Typing Macrons PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 26 April 2013 00:10
In New Zealand when entering words in Māori there are a number of words that use a macrons over certain characters. A macron is a horizontal bar over the character. This is used to emphasise the pronounciation of the word. In most cases it lengthens the sound. You can get more advice on their use from website for Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission).

Here are some examples of words that use macrons:


Tēnā koe

Ngā mihi

What's the problem?

The Māori macron is part of an extended Character Set that requires the implementation of what is called Unicode, or more specifically UTF-8. Originally text characters were encoded ( ie given numbers that computers deal with) in the range of 0 to 255, in what was called ASCII. This did include some latin characters used in French and German. These were based on a computer using just one byte ( giving the 256 character range) per text character.

With other languages needing to use computers, ie Chinese, Japanese, and Middle Eastern, extended character sets were created that used 2 or more bytes per character - some even vary the number of bytes per character of text to optimise file sizes. UTF-8 uses one byte for any ASCII characters, which have the same code values in both UTF-8 and ASCII encoding, and up to four bytes for other characters

Last Updated on Friday, 26 April 2013 02:19
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