Member Since: March 21, 2012

Country: United States

  • See the invisible dentist for quick, pain-free treatment!

  • I'm extremely wary of arguments that any complicated system that has evolved over time can be quickly fixed by the application of common sense or a person who isn't tainted by association with the existing system. This is how we've ended up with a government run by the current set of inexperienced, incompetent clods. Your analysis seems to be informed only by your experience in electronics design, which does change rapidly enough to make a shorter patent term seem reasonable. On the other hand, the whole point of the patent system is to encourage publication of solutions to problems so that others can build on them. In a field that is rapidly advancing, patents should be made obsolete relatively rapidly by new inventions, which has the natural effect of devaluing the older patents. In a field like pharmaceuticals, which is my field, the long time between invention and the completion of all the testing required to market a new drug in the US makes the 20 years after filing go very fast indeed. Did you know that it usually takes about 10 years to get a drug through all the necessary trials? I think the biggest issue around patents is in the issuance of overbroad claims and subsequent rent-seeking , which as been a huge issue in software recently. I take some encouragement from the fact that in the much more mature field of pharmaceuticals, this has been pretty close to eliminated by careful examination of claims by the examiners and a whole lot of lawsuits over the years, which have eliminated wildly broad claims. It may just take time for new technologies to be processed by our system.

  • The warm wetness spreading across Dave's palm put the lie to the bird in the hand platitude.

  • Pictured: a couple of dim bulbs. And a string of lights.

  • Abandoned Sparkfun recruiting poster, "Work at Sparkfun, it's a hoot!"

  • The Sparkfun Embigulator kit, demonstrated.

  • I asked and didn't get an answer in the forums, so I hacked together my own country oscilloscope (Arduino with a sketch using an interrupt to detect transitions) to determine that this device is properly set up with a 10K pullup resistor to +5V, at which point, it idles at 0V and cleanly outputs 30ms positive pulses in the default configuration.

  • Sparkfun employee Bob Shabotnik prepares to cauterize a newly sterilized fruit fly.

  • Took that last corner so durn fast muh hat done turned side-e-ways!

  • The rarest of sightings: a functional Jeep and a cowboy hat in Detroit.

No public wish lists :(