Archive for April 19th, 2006

Regarding patents

It’s really pissing me off seeing companies having to pay gruesome sums of money for ruled US patent infringments. Microsoft had to pay over $5.5 billion so far and this situation will become worse as times goes by.

However, as I have written in the past, I am not against patents. Patents do serve a purpose and bolster research. But I am fully against the US patent system, which is one of the things that USA does really badly. Want to see a good patent system? Go check Japan’s. An international company that has been awarded 50 US patents, it only managed to get 2 in Japan. All the trivialities are trimmed out, because it seems that japanese actually read the bloody application before they stamp it as “approved”.

Either the US patent clerks never read the filed applications, or they don’t understand what they are reading. Both cases are sad.

What a messy day

Since last night, our internet connection stopped working. This morning apparently it worked only when I tried to connect the cable modem directly to my PC and not through our router. Placing the router back up, the connection went dead again. I then changed our Linksys router with our Netgear router, and soon enough I found out the problem: both the DNS servers we used to use for years are now dead (or temporarily DoS’ed). Configuring the routers to use DHCP also for the discovery of DNS, made the problem go away. I am too lazy to go change all the cabling again and put back the Linksys router though, so I think we will stay with the Netgear one, which is a more recent model (and I just upgraded its firmware too…). The Linksys router is a 802.11b server, but it is more compatible with Comcast’s modems, which is the reason we kept using it over the Netgear 802.11g model (which in the past it wouldn’t connect with the motorola modem, but it now works with our new RCA modem).

The second messing up of the day was about a review item. I was sent a PDA battery for a review at TuxTops.com, but I ordered the wrong thing. Instead of getting the battery for the HP iPaq rx-31xx series, I got it for the 31xx series. See the difference? Damn HP for their poorly named PDA series. >:(

OSNews Mobile: the project of a lifetime

Everyone knows how much I boast about the mobile version of OSNews, but few know that I consider it the project of my lifetime (well, so far). You see, OSNews Mobile is the most unique independent site (e.g. not-made-by-a-carrier) on the web today. Sure, there are many mobile sites out there, but most of them have no design whatsoever. They are a bunch of links and text on a white background (news.bbc.co.uk, Gmail anyone?). Another improtant point is that all the mobile sites out there don’t have an automatic detection, the user has to know a special URL. As for the sites that use WURFL for their detection (very few of them use it [un]fortunately), they leave out the text-mode browsers and mid-90s browsers. OSNews Mobile supports all of them and when the new CSS-based OSNews goes live, many more old browsers will be forced to use the mobile version (e.g. NetPositive, Dillo etc). JBQ (who works for Openwave’s mobile browser division) keeps telling me that he likes the mobile version of OSNews not because it’s the most “fabulous” site out there (it’s not), but because “it proves what is possible if web developers took the time to design properly for mobile“.

Today, the well-known site MobileBurn.com posted a review of the new Sony Ericsson W810i walkman phone. The editor, Michael Oryl, was very kind to send me over 2 screenshots of OSNews rendering on the phone’s brand new version of Netfront, v3.3. The phone has a resolution of only 176×220, but OSNews renders beautifully as you can see. Thanks Michael!