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Linux Software

Mount Rainier for Linux 87

Cpyder writes: "Seems like Philips is getting the "patents are bad"-picture, as they have decided to let Linux support the Mount Rainier next-generation file device system. Seems like the end of floppies+zips+cdrw+whatever is finally in sight. Check it out at The Reg."
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Mount Rainier for Linux

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  • IBM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Beautyon ( 214567 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @09:44AM (#2516092) Homepage
    This probably has more to do with IBMs incredible support for Linux and the momemntum that Linux is gathering than any enlightenment on the part of Phillips. Phillips, for example, did a crackdown on all CD pressing plants to make sure that all artwork on CDS carried the "Compact Disc Audio" logo. After this, it was impossible to press CDs at DFI in France, for example, without the CD logo. Thats more like the behaviour of the Phillips that we know.
  • Patents aren't bad! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scriber ( 89211 ) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @10:00AM (#2516110) Homepage

    Remember that it's not patents themselves that are bad. They allow you to ensure that you'll get a return on the huge amount of money you spend doing research on algorithms, processes, etc. Then, unlike copyright, they ensure that your invention is released into the public domain before several generations of people have come and gone.

    Patents are only bad when abused. By abuse I mean obtaining overly broad patents purposely, forming companies whose sole purpose is to sue everyone that does anything remotely related to patents they purchased from others, or similar. It's perfectly fine to use a patent to charge people to use your legitimate invention, however.

    Also remember that Free Software, no matter how obscure, can cut into your profits if people use it instead of your own software. Why should someone pay lots of money for your product that implements an amazing new encoding algorithm that you payed a million dollars to develop when they could use Free Software that does the same thing just because you were too nice to demand a licensing fee from "free" projects?

    Don't worry, if the technology is that good, someone will find a way around it. Look at Ogg Vorbis, for example, which implements an intelligent audio codec without anyone else's IP.

  • Mod parent up! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2001 @10:44AM (#2516155)
    Well said!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2001 @11:15AM (#2516210)
    you know, those CD's shaped like business cards. That would be cool if thus Rainier spec worked on those CD-RW's too. More convenient than floppies for sure.
  • by maynard ( 3337 ) <> on Saturday November 03, 2001 @12:24PM (#2516341) Journal
    I can't agree with this more. While I agree with your general sentiment WRT the U.S. patent office policy, I find the statement "US government is more interested in floating the stock market than in supporting economic fair play" to be particularly insightful.

    With average Dow P/E ratios hovering at 23 and, a flood of cheap money coming out of the Fed (just *look* at M3 since 9/11!), and the Treasury's recent decision to end the 30 year long bond in an effort to push down long term interest and mortgage rates, it's pretty clear that the policy is to squeeze out real estate equity inflationary (and illusory) gains through refinancing in order to float consumer spending and stock market speculation. The frightening thing about this is that it doesn't in the least promote healthy economic activity through increased productivity, it's entirely speculative -- as evidenced by the stock market continuing to rise even with ridiculous P/E ratios making stocks such an obvious bad long term bet. Which makes your analogy of the patent office creating a new "gold rush" all the more relevant: patenting obvious mathematical algorithms doesn't increase productivity as much as it creates exclusive monopolies for the big players. Sure, they get to claim the gains on their balance sheet, but it's a net loss for the economy as a whole.

    I'm worried that the Fed won't be able to maintain and prop up the credit bubble as rising unemployment creates a certain rise in consumer bankruptcies. With increasing unemployment, huge consumer credit and mortgage debt (backed by unreasonably inflated property values) defaults, I fear an unraveling from the banking system through the stock market. Never mind all the crazy derivative hedging going on making many major banks and financial institutions leveraged beyond belief. I fear a recession like we haven't seen since 1929. It could get bad.

    Of course, I could be wrong... (hope so -- I just bought a house! :) )


    ps - like your .sig.

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich