Can you own a word.
Well, according to the american patent office, you can. Its the most bizarro system I have ever seen , but it does exist. The original idea of patenting was to protect inventors from having their ideas stolen by others. But it has , thanks to a lowlife breed of patent layers, degraded into a parody of that original concept. Where once it was a proud institution to protect those who shone the light of progress into the future, it now is rapidly becoming a stuck hand-brake on the chariot of progress, with evil layers sucking up the fumes of the burning asbestos.
Because patenting is no longer about original idea's, its about going to court, getting a patent approved for the most ridicules thing and then suing everybody in a 300 mile radius if only they dare to THINK about your patent. And why ? As a source of income of course. Now if all of this was just to keep legal departments occupied, we would just give both parties sticks with pointy nails and tell them to get it over with. But patenting (in its sick and twisted form) is slowing down progress. Cause not only can you patent products, you can also patent idea's, concepts, even WORDS.
Apple tried to sue several company's a few months ago for the use of POD in their company name. Podcastready.com felt the burn, Ipodder had to switch its name and suddenly PODcasters where getting nervous. What if apple started sending around cease and desist letters to all of us too. Some thought to duck the bullet by changing the term Podcast to Netcast ( I think thats a lame word btw ) but they had good reason. Cause in the whole system you don"t HAVE to be right. Its just a matter who has the most layers, the most money, and the time and balls to fight it out in court. Who cares if the judge rules in your favor after you've sold your house to pay your legal fees.
So the question remained : Can you own a word ? Dave Gray decided not to wait for an answer. With the "pod-patent" in limbo he took some balsy action and wrote to Steve Jobs, sending him a letter in which he explained he would like to continue to use the word "podcast" and included a cheque of one dollar to cover those expenses. Now writing to Apple is like writing to santa. Sure he gets your mail .. but he never writes back… Or does he ?
The kid that got the letter back from Santa.
Surprise surprise when yesterday a letter popped into the mailbox from Apple where they sent him back his money and stated IN WRITING that they would not sue over the term PODCASTING. A ripple of rumor vaulted through cyberspace as the news was noted. This might have big repercussions for future court-cases and to the shows of many pod-casters who feature the word "podcast". Can we rest easy now ? I do not now, there are always legal loopholes in loopholes in loopholes, but the core of the story is : No matter who you are, where you live or what you do . It are those with the guts to be bold that get the rewards of the few.
Yesterday I picked up the phone and did something I had never done before. I made a reservation .. for a Gameconsole ! Yep , its official, The Knightcastle is proudly expecting the arrival of one Nintendo Wii ! What else is new, I hear you mumble, well , for me thats kind of a big deal since I have not owned a game console since 1984 (Trusty Atari 2600 ) . I have passed up all the Sega"s so far, All the Dreamcasts, the Cubes, the Playstations (god forbid) and the X-boxes. Why ? Because I thought that gameconsoles where a complete waste of time. Sitting on the couch with some lame ass controller in your hands , hunched over while trying to steer some stupid little car through a maze was not my idea of a good time. If i did want to do something non-productive and de-stressing, a good game of Wolfenstein or Halflife on my PC would do the trick. And even that has been ages ago.
So why change my mind. I seldom play games, hate most console games anyway and whenever i"m NOT behind the computer, I kinda NOT want to be behind a computer. And the whole Graphics hype left me hot or cold aswell. Who cares that Laura Crofts breasts are now made up of 78 polygons instead of 23 ? If a girl like that ever existed in real life I doubt she would be able to do all those flipflops with a rack-like-that. I even dare to presume that standing UP would be her biggest challenge. Many arguments ( for example with one of our loyal listeners DJ Sharky) where about the spectacular evolution of graphic design but the stagnation in gameplay.
When I saw the Wii , it blew my mind. Not only did I applaud nintendo for their great innovations in gameplay on the Nintendo DS (A device I found utterly useless until I saw the Braingame) the hook line and sinker for me was that : This was a console for the family. Me and my wife love playing games together (retract mind from gutter please) and can get very competitive. We where looking at setting up a multiplayer Lan at home to talk out our differences over a good shoot-em-up, but Nyana doesn't really fancy the blood-and-gore. So imagine playing tennis together, bowling with the family, conducting an orchestra and all that jazz. The Wii would be the device for us, not only because of the freaky console but because of the "famlily centered" nature of the machine. Its not for nothing that the Wii is pronounced as WE (as in US). The gameconsole has torn the family apart for the last five years, and the Wii is going to glue them back together. I wonder what we will be taking along to this years christmass dinner at the inlaws… To keep everybody including ourselves, occupied.
Trackback to my first WII post : Things that make you go Wii
The Knightcast Episode 37 : Remote Domination part 2,
Direct link to the show. http://www.knightwise.com/podcasts/kc_24112006.mp3
Summary : Join us for episode 37 : Remote domination part 2 as we dive further into the world of remote controlling your computers. Learn how to use Hamachi to become the ultimate road-warrior, Set up remote assistance scenario’s or roll out your own severfarm across the net.
Hamachi : http://www.hamachi.cc/
HamachiX : http://homepage.mac.com/lxr/homepage/spaceants/hamachix/
Wiki Hamachi : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamachi
Hamachi on Security Now : http://www.grc.com/sn/sn-018.htm and http://www.grc.com/sn/sn-019.htm
Screencasts Online : http://www.screencastsonline.com/sco/Shows/files/category-10.html
Use Hamachi and VNC : http://www.help2go.com/Tutorials/Software_Utilities/Remote_Control_Another_PC_Securely_with_VNC_and_Hamachi.html
Setup Hamachi on a linux system : http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=135036
Alienation : Morning Sky
B-4 Now : Tresspasing
Just before the week is out, a quick roundup of what has been going down on Casa Del Knightwise. Be warned, that if you are offended by bad language, pornographic content or adult material, you might not want to read this specific post. You also might want to consider never coming outside again, blowing up your tv and radio, burn all your magazines and glue your ears and eyes shut with glue before sealing yourself in a coffin that is parked in the top left corner of the church. Only that way will you never be offended again.
The reason for this warning is a funny event that happened this week with the Knightwise.com website. As you know we keep logs of who visits the site and from where they are redirected. These stats ( Gracefully set up and checked by Codemonkey Rob) tell us where our visitors come from, what they like .. and what they search for. While digging through our logs, Rob found some very strange searchterms that led users to our site. Before I go on , let me quickly disclose how a search engine works. A seachengine like Google send out a Spider program that litelary "reads" through somebody's website and indexes the content accordingly. Mostly these spiders just look at the words but not exactly at the context they are written in. This lead to some 'unintended conciquences' following the combination of our BRUNO article and our MSN article. Suddenly we found visitors stumbling onto the Knightsite, their fingers still sticky after typing in all kinds of NAUGHTY searchterms. After typing in TEENAGE MSN WEBCAM SLUTS the Knightwise.com website popped up on ranking number seven. GAY HARD WEBCAM brought people to our "coin du www" using some other obscure searchengine. How come ? Well , since searchengines READ the posts , the found these specific words either in one post (the MSN post) or in a combination of 2 posts ( MSN and Bruno). Talk about disappointment for these pornsurfers when they got here. So what is the conclusion ? Sex sells. So hello there fellow internauts looking for scandly clad girls behind webcams. I'm sorry to disappoint you but you might want to stick around and see if there is anything else you want to learn today. Cause lets face it .. there is more out there then just sex …. No wait … There isn't !
Closing the post the haunting thought dooms on me that , because I have used so many words like xxx, webcam, sex, porn, teenagers, slut, gay, hard, core and so forth.. This will probably get me in even more of these x-rated search results .. Oh well … Like the song says : The internet is for porn.
Some people ask me : Knight, how come you know all this stuff. Mostly they are referring not to my intricate knowledge of quantum-mechanics and the fact that a cup of cappuchino holds the key to the secrets of the universe, but .. Other stuff.
I hate to disappoint their faces everyday when the come and run up to me with the hottest news on the web either about some new peace of software hitting the market, or for example, the juicy story behind Steve Balmer getting his eyebrows plucked. " Yeah .. I know" I answer them in a blasé way, only to give them the full details on the story. They look at me as if struck by lightning : How Do You Know All That. ?? they manage to mumble. I dramaticly turn my head , ruffle my nonexistant evil poncho and whisper … " I have my Sources ".
One of those sources is a little elf that has been sitting on my shoulder, whispering information into my left ear whenever the sun hits the skyline every morning. Well , perhaps not an elf, but a loyal podcaster by the name of Andy McCaskey who religiously hosts a podcast called "Slashdot Review " (now christened SDR News) where he reads the headlines of the most popular geek news websites on the internet. For more then two years now I have been a daily listener. Most of my comutes start out with " This is Slashdot review for …." as the first thing that pops out of my ipod. 15 minutes later , after andy has given me a quick roundup of the "real news" (not the one on the radio) I am mostly up to speed with the web as it exists today.
What is quite funny is that, through my membership of the Techpodcast Network , I've gotten to know Andy personally and he is the coolest geek alive. Being a gazillion time the age of most average geeks and podcasters, Andy is somewhat considered the "Godfather" of the TPN Scene, but his modesty prevents him from rolling out his powers and sending out his thousands of listeners to … thrash Appelby's or something. I was very honored yesterday when the episode of SDR-news ( now with the headlines of Digg, Slashdot , and others) picked up my little story about Cyber archeologists . So if you are interested : Here is the link to the show.
Thus if you want to stay tuned to whats goin down on the digital frontier, be sure to subscribe to this one. Regular as clockwork, accurate as a laserscalpel and clear as mountain dew. Andy McCaskeys .. SDR News.