Consumer media is losing its gods-damned mind.

Every morning I pop open Google News in one of my browser tabs and mainline the top 100 stories to get a sense for what’s happening in the world and what general sort of day I’m in for. Last week the Associated Press announced that it would be modifying the content it makes available on the Net in such a way that they can (hypothetically) control how it can be read, where it can be read, and who can read it. They say they want to be able to monitor how the content they make available to everyone …

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Working around patent licensing problems with evolutionary algorithms.

Evolutionary computer algorithms are good at solving a relatively common set of problems through trial and error - the set of problems that we know of with a large number of equally valid possible solutions, of which some subset of those are faster or more efficient. The only way to see which of these solutions will do what you want is to try one and mess around with it for a while, and then try a slightly different approach. In other words, by tinkering, tweaking, and hacking around, which is great on a small scale but when you're looking at a …

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Microsoft patents the end-all-be-all of spyware; open source community gears up in response.

A couple of days ago it came to light that Microsoft, everyone's favorite software powerhouse took out a patent on what very well could be the spyware to end all spyware - a system which scans information stored on a workstation and sends it Someplace Else for analysis... to generate advertising specifically geared for the person logged into the box. The patent describes a system integrated not only into the operating system and user interface, but all of the applications linked against this functionality that would look at every document on the machine, every e-mail sent or recieved, multimedia files' metadata …

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Nakamatsu Yoshiro's patents.

EDIT: Google link fixed! Chris, one of my readers, was kind enough to fire over to me a link to Nakamatsu Yoshiro's portfolio of patents, courtesy of Google. There is some fairly mundane stuff in here, like a couple of patents related to golf clubs, a device for increasing the activity of the human brain, and some just plain nifty stuff. I get the feeling that this is only a partial list, because he's reputed to have a couple of thousand under his belt.