June 30, 2003

Tech Update

Infoworld has an interesting article about the Supreme Court's refusal to grant cert. on a case regarding a CAD software patent and EULA dispute. The patent issue doesn't appear to be a big deal, but Infoworld claims this case may open the door for enforcing EULAs for breach of contract.

The Bowers case is an example of a good plaintiff -- in this case, an independent software developer going up against a bigger company -- not contributing to good law, she added. "This guy's got to be the most sympathetic plaintiff in the world," Copenhaver said. "This is the kind of guy you really want to protect."

The Register has an article disagreeing with my assessment that Software business interests don't appear to hold as much clout in the EU as media corporations do in the US. Should be interesting to see what happens come September 30.

Manic Monday

Did you know that the Bangles are still alive and kicking?

I'm tired. Stupidly, I didn't go to bed as early as I should have last night. I'm paying for it today. Oh well, what else is new?

Bag and Baggage informed me of the 78 page Intel V. Hamadi decision. I'll probably print it and add it to the half-read pile containing Gratz and Grutter.

The hilarity of the fact that I'm behind on my pleasure case reading is not escaping me. We'll call it prep for law school.

Thankfully, I have a two long flights to the East Coast and a few days of unplanned time during my Fourth of July trip. Ahhh...blissful reading time. Maybe I'll make myself finish the cases before I immerse myself in my other books. Nah...I'll probably just go straight into Jefferson's Writings, and take breaks from it to continue my treks through the bite sized chunks of fun in the Science Fiction Short Story Anthology (that R lent me over 6 months ago), and Metamagical Themas.

The cases will be good for when I'm killing time at work. Which, by the way, is not right now. Enough with the blog.

June 29, 2003

Spam update

The SPAM experiment has returned some results. BEWARE to all who post their email address on the Web. So far, I've received:

  • An email titled "The Messiah Comes" from "Signs from God." It's comical and uncomprehensible (serious translation problems, methinks). It links to more comical mad German ramblings here.
  • A version of the Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud from danjumauseni3@mail.co.za aka Danjuma Useni.
  • Two emails from a sina.com address that use a characterset unsupported by hotmail.
  • TGIS

    So, my friday with no plans morphed into a long drive to go hang out in my home town with my family. I had a home town family party where my attendance was required on Saturday (and, by extension, E had to go as well). Originally, E and I had planned to drive on Saturday AM, go to the party, stay the night and drive back on Sunday. But, on Friday night, better sense prevailed (thanks in no small part to my sister-in-law) and we realized that driving at night was much preferable given the 100+ degree weather. So, my friday of no plans became friday of packing, driving, and orchestrating details. Cold beer and cool night temperatures greated our arrival and confirmed our good decision.

    The family party was fun, but hot. My father was happy because first of all, he loves a good party, and second of all of his children and his grand-child made all of the necessary appearances and gestures. We shook hands, hugged, and repeated the easily understood details of our lives, "I'll be going to law school in the fall." Having a niece to run interference at the event was a strategic coup. Much less was required of us children than used to be. Bless my brother and his fertile sperm.

    After the party, we waited out the heat and drove home. So, now it's Sunday and I can finally relax like I had planned to do on Friday.

    June 27, 2003


    Today was a busy, busy day. It came on the tail end of a busy, busy week. I'm very glad to have NO plans for tonight.

    Despite learning an important lesson on Wednesday, I managed to repeat it in a new form today by claiming a system as a whole instead of claiming the one novel component. Who infringes a claim to the system? The customer. Who infringes claims to the one novel component? The manufacturer. Who would the client rather have protection from? Duh. I'll keep repeating the lesson here as long as it takes me to learn it.

    In other news, five grammar questions earned me this (my bruised ego will take the positive reinforcement anywhere it can find it...):

    [take the test] - [by krystaljungle.com]

    Thanks to JCA for the link.

    If you are any kind of grammar dork, you must see Bob's Quick Guide to the Apostrophe, You Idiots!. I laugh harder each time I see it.

    June 26, 2003


    It's a good thing I celebrated the garlic fries last night because I certainly am not celebrating them right now (neither, I imagine, are my co-workers).

    Yesterday's post about avoiding claims that only your customers infringe seems particularly germane in light of the RIAA's latest plan to sue hundreds of file-swappers. RIAA is making more and more friends every day. Can you say "desperate, last-straw, attempt to squeeze blood from the stone of the old music industry business model"?

    And finally, at the risk of cursing myself, I almost feel comfortable at the firm today. Like I actually may be getting a clue (gasp)! Sure, yesterday's mistake was huge, but I fixed it in short time and out to the client it went with only one word edited on my second draft. Hmmm... a good sign.
    Raindrops on Roses and...

    Let's not talk about how the team performed. Instead, let us celebrate the wonderful dinner of Gilroy Garlic Fries and beer. Ahhh, these are some of my favorite things...

    June 25, 2003

    Today's Lesson

    If the only way you find to get around the cited references is by adding operating conditions to your claims, keep thinking. The people who infringe will be your customers. Not a good way to make friends. And I was so proud that I found a way to make claims that were distinguished over the prior art.

    Back to the drawing board.
    One Percent?

    Even though everyone said the Feds would do it. I'm shocked.

    June 24, 2003

    Zaurus returned

    My 2nd Zaurus arrived yesterday. Audio quality is good and the MP3 player works. Now, I can finally get down to business on the very important task of ripping my MP3 collection for my commute to school.

    In short, I was upset that the first one didn't work. But, I was happy that the on-line vendor accepted my return and sent me a new one, although it did take approximately 2 weeks and I had to pay for return shipping. I guess that's what you get for bargain hunting.

    I have no friends at work.

    Okay, so that's not entirely true. I have acquaintances at work with whom I am friendly. But we only exchage brief words on a daily basis. The sum of all my non-work conversations is about 10 minutes per day. I'm not one to need tons of face-to-face interaction, but 10 minutes in 8+ hours? It would be preferable even just to have interesting work-related conversations on a daily basis. I can maintain my active social life outside of the office, no problem. It's being there for hours on end without any human stimulation that's difficult. I suppose it would be different if I had so much interesting work to do that I barely noticed the lack of conversation. But, alas, as previous posts have indicated, that is not the life of a summer associate, even one in my shoes. Hence, this blog...

    Of course, I didn't realize that I had no friends at work until the other night when out with friends of mine who work together. They discussed their day, and the surprising feeling of jealousy showed me that some of the malcontent I feel at work has absolutely nothing to do with the work. At every job prior to this one, I've had at least one work friend with whom I could commiserate, go to lunch, and laugh. Here, it's heads down for all, and there's no one with whom I've particularly bonded. I sit in the busiest, and therefor quietest, corner of the office. There are no other summer associates or younger associates near me. It's not as if I haven't gone to lunch on occasion with a few of the associates, but definitely less often than once a week.

    Unfortunately, while I can say that this malaise has nothing to do with the work, that's not entirely true. Patent prep and pros is a quiet, heads down job. The people who do it are generally introverts. I sit on that edge between introvert and extrovert. I need more interaction than I'm getting here. The days I get to go to client sites or training are the days I enjoy the most. That realization alone is worth the summer. If I accept a job that is entirely patent prep and pros without any litigation or other legal work to spice it up, I run a serious risk of being unhappy.

    Again, I find myself grateful that I'm not in a normal summer associate job. If I was, I'd be getting enough lunch invitations that I'd never notice the reality of the office and I might not understand how it could make me unhappy.

    June 23, 2003

    Supreme Court UMich Admissions Decision

    Jurist reports that the UMich affirmative action decisions are now available. The Law School Opinion, where the law school's affirmative action policy was ruled constitutional by 5-4 is 95 pages. The Undergraduate School Opinion where the University of Michigan's college of Letters, Arts, and Sciences point-based admissions policy was struck down by a 6-3 vote is 68 pages.

    A friend of mine, D, just graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and was one of the authors of the amicus brief that the law school submitted. While she obviously had an opinion, she was receptive to my concerns that the point system was too blatant and seemed somehow unfair. Each time that she and I discussed the issue, we both agreed that it's an ugly problem with no easy answers. Someone is going to be left out. Choosing that someone is never an easy thing. We both believe that people who claim that it's a simple problem with an obvious solution are blind to, ignoring, or just not aware of some of the important points.

    I am happy that by the numbers, it appears the the Justices understand the complexity of the problem and didn't find it easy to make a unanimous decision in either case. I think I want to live in a world that allows for moderate preferences based on socio-economic disadvantages. Defining moderate is the problem. The UMich point system seemed to go to far, in my opinion. But, from what I understood about the law school's policy, I'm not certain that it was bad or good policy. I believe that if it's not obviously bad policy (again, difficult to define), we should leave it to the educational systems, employers, etc. to offer moderately preferential treatment to socio-economically disadvantaged people as they chose. In short, I think I'm happy about today's decisions. But, I need to read the opinions in full before I can completely commit to that statement.

    June 20, 2003

    More on SCO

    First and foremost, the most informative source of info that I've found on SCO vs. IMB is the twiki.iwethey.org SCO vs. IBM page--Detailed background and appears to be updated very regularly.

    Ian Lance Taylor has an excellent summary at Linux Journal of what he's allowed to say about his visit to SCO as an analyst.

    His opinions about the code he was shown were particularly interesting:

    Here is what I think I can say about the code I saw. The code is fairly trivial--the kind of stuff I wrote in school. The similar portions of the code were some 80 lines or so. Looking around the Net, I found close variants of the code, with the same comments and variable names, in sources other than Linux distributions. The code is not in a central part of the Linux kernel. The code does not appear to have been contributed to Linux by SCO or Caldera. The code exists in current versions of the Linux kernel.

    The real question is, how easy will it be for litigators to make this point, or mutate this point into nothingness, before a judge and/or jury.

    Also interesting are his feelings in response to the code:

    I admit that SCO's example unsettled me by what it implies. Although in itself trivial, it does suggest that some Linux contributors may have been careless about copyright infringement. That is unfortunate.

    And finally, his comments on the mutually assured destruction that he sees software patents to be are particularly fascinating:

    It's worth noting that the people running SCO and their lawyers may not appreciate the power of software patents. In my experience, few people outside the profession understand the degree to which every program of any scope violates patents. The software industry today survives only through an unstated agreement not to stir things up too much. We must hope this lawsuit isn't the big stirring spoon.

    In the same vein, Gary L. Reback's Summer '02 article on the patent system is sobering and depressing.

    Is there a way to define a career for yourself as a patent litigator and/or prosecutor who only fights bad patents or prosecutes good ones? Unfortunately, much like criminal defense, I think the answer is no. The system is supposed to work, and it only works if the players do their best regardless of where they are placed in the field. But, perhaps my conscience will take enough of a beating that I'll actually try to find a career for myself where I fight the good fight. Given that in the last two years I've tried to volunteer with the EFF twice (as both a technical volunteer and legal volunteer for free) and I haven't even gotten an email reply, I imagine that positions for qualified lawyers fighting the good fight that pay enough money to support a family are few and far between.
    Summer Madness

    This week was a whirlwind of client site disclosure meetings, training, training rescheduled, firm and non-firm social events, the office action I still haven't finished, more preliminary invalidity contention charts, and not enough sleep. I have no plans for tonight but a vague idea of a stop at the gym and some food. And off to bed early.

    The rest of the weekend is a tsunami of firm and non-firm social commitments including 2 barbeques, which will total 3 in 4 days. The only weekends before school without travel or multiple major social commitments are July 12th and July 26th. That's it. Every other weekend is guaranted to be fun and fatiguing to the point of exhaustion. This happens every summer. I love summer fun so much that I forget to say no, even when I should.

    June 18, 2003

    If you are a blog addict, you will laugh at Robert Scoble's Simple guide to A-list bloggers.

    The future of EU patents

    Infoworld has a summary of the upcoming debate about the EU patent standard. Looks like the US and Japan may end up with a less stringent standard for patentable software. Discussion at slashdot.

    I find it interesting that media corporations were very efficient at getting the US to move copyright extension in line with European Term Limits (or at least that was their claim). Software business interests don't appear to hold as much clout in the EU as media corporations do in the US.

    June 17, 2003


    Today was a gorgeous day. I had 3 reference patents, an application, and an office action to read and highlight in prep for making a response. I also had a headache. I packed up my bag and left for home at 2:30. The receptionist asked if I was coming back and I said, "Nope."

    Ibuprofen, sun, all my reading is done, plus a little yoga and my headache is gone. I'm also done with the work earlier than I would have been if I had tried to finish it in the office since I undoubtedly would have distracted myself with something online. That's one good thing about working in the sun. Not much else to do if you only bring your water and your reading material.

    The experiment is this--will anyone other than the receptionist
    A) notice or be informed that I took off?
    B) care?
    C) request that I not do so again?
    D) none of the above?

    I think it's a useful test. If they go for D, it's just another point in their favor. A-C I'll explain my way through, it's not like I accomplished anything less than I would had I stayed. I suspect that it will be D, but only because my Supervising Attorney is out today and its unlikely that any of the others stopped by to give me work. Unfortunately, the life of a summer associate is not usually so relaxed. In general, it is my job to be there when and if they need me. I deal so poorly with this notion...control freak that I am...this summer is a learning experience in more ways than one.

    Hate marketing-jargon-fluff-MBA-speak?

    Check this out. The irony of the source is easily half the joke.

    IBM's curt responses

    IBM's response to SCO's revocation of the AIX license is three paragraphs of concise english like, "IBM's Unix license is irrevocable, perpetual and fully paid up. It cannot be terminated. This matter will eventually be resolved in the normal legal process. "

    Their 18-page response to the Utah filing was just as terse, if I remember correctly.

    I change my opinion. This isn't going to get much uglier, fast. It's going to get uglier, slowly. I predict that if they don't settle, the case will not be finished before I'm out of school (May 2006).

    June 16, 2003


    Word on the street is that SCO actually revoked (or at least tried) IBM's AIX license.

    This should get much uglier. Fast.

    Funny Stuff for Monday

    I laughed so hard at what was probably Jeff Goldblum's big break... a 2 second speaking part in Annie Hall, (Whining into a huge white phone in the middle of a very L.A. party) "I forgot my mantra."

    My apologies to the person who followed the best Google referral so far: "poker mistress tongue." No doubt they were quite disappointed.

    And, in the champagne category... I finally have an inbound link, according to technorati. Wierd that Blogger's changes.xml doesn't take template edits into consideration. I'd imagine that the best algorithm would be one that ranks template links higher than in-line links. But, what do I know? Anyways, thanks to Bag and Baggage for the link. It's great to finally be somebody.

    Back to work--navigating corporate phone systems in order to harass engineers for details and the every-quarter-hour-walk down the hall to see if the partner that I'm working for is free (hint--statistics say no) to go over my latest stuff.

    June 15, 2003

    Glorious Weekend Weather

    Ahhh... sun. By Sunday morning I am already as relaxed as I usually am by Sunday night. The french decontracter is exactly how I relax. I start tightly wound, and over the course of hours of friends, food, wine, sun, sleep, reading, movies, and whatever else I do between Friday PM and Monday AM, I loosen. My muscles clench less. My stomach churns less. My head spins webs of thought-traps less. And eventually, I am completely un-contracted.

    Over the course of Monday AM to Friday PM, with breaks in the evenings, I re-contract. And the cycle repeats. I suppose the ideal would be to attain a state of existence where I swung less on the pendulum. Perhaps one day...

    I'm in an interesting place with regards to my summer associate gig. From other summers I talk to, it seems that I'm doing more work, I have more expected of me, and I'm having less fun/wining and dining than most. But then again, my situation isn't exactly normal. I think I prefer the way I'm doing it. I may be more stressed than the others, but I also think I'm getting a better idea of the real life of an associate at my firm than those in summer programs that cloister the summers into a cocoon world of splendor. Who knows. Maybe I'll try to get one of those gigs for at least one summer so that I, too, can enjoy the excess. But, from the stories I've heard, the more they wine and dine you, the more likely they are to work you to death if you sign on after your JD.

    Given how great I feel today, I am concerned that school or future work may not allow me my 2/7 of the week recovery. I suppose, like everything else, that problem will resolve itself in its own time.

    Today, I'm just relaxing.

    June 13, 2003

    Almost Google Whack

    Google hit of the day: "cardio soup".

    I thought it was a google whack, but apparently two words in quotes don't count. Huh...Cardio soup? One can only imagine.

    In other news, I went to a long leisurely lunch with a friend this afternoon to celebrate the fact that she is halfway through her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. I took surface streets instead of one of the many freeways between me and the restaurant. Big mistake. If I ran the world, many more street lights would be timed. Thankfully, D is an amazing girl of infinite patience and when I did arrive, she merely commented on how happy she was to bask in the sun.

    We were seated in one of the dining rooms of PF Chang's and proceeded to enjoy our meal. Something wasn't quite right, but I wasn't certain what it was. The decor was not offensive. The staff was competent. The food was excellent. Oh, right, we were SHOUTING at each other. As soon as I realized just how bad the accoustics were, every noise increased my awareness. A fork lightly dropped on a plate was magnified into a loud bell. Each chair scoot was a tractor plowing. When I commented on the horrid accoustics to D, she laughed and said, "Yeah. You know, I've worked at work sites that were quieter than this but were required to make employees to wear ear-plugs due to the noise level." Poor Friday lunch servers, they will probably suffer hearing loss. I left a big tip. I also won't be going back there. Except maybe for take-out and then off to the park.
    Slashdot recently linked to A question and answer session with Lawrence Lessig and Matt Oppenheim of the RIAA. The question and answer session is worth reading.

    June 11, 2003

    I get paid to read this?

    While some of the work I've been doing lately is repetitive, boring, and uninspiring, I love that at times I get paid to read US Supreme Court opinions. A very elated me just spend an hour reading, digesting and applying Graham v. John Deere Co.--a brief history of the patent system and the test for non-obviousness all rolled into one 8-page opinion.

    The references to Jefferson in Graham pushed me over the edge. I caved in and ordered Thomas Jefferson : Writings : Autobiography / Notes on the State of Virginia / Public and Private Papers / Addresses / Letters. I think the title could use a little work, but that doesn't mean I'm any less excited about devouring it.

    Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of
    society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual
    brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. ...He who
    receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who
    lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely
    spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man,
    and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently
    designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without
    lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have
    our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then
    cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the
    profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may
    produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience
    of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody.

    --VI Writings of Thomas Jefferson, at 180-81 (Washington ed.).
    Google Hits

    Unlike other blawgers who seem to get hits somewhat relevant to the content they post. I keep getting people from searches like "biting tounge in sleep". I suppose that by writing about this, I will only increase the likelihood that those hits will keep coming. What an interesting self-referential problem I am.

    June 10, 2003

    On Hold

    So, despite several rave reviews of the sound quality of the Zaurus mp3 player, mine has a barely audible stream of sound that is unable to be altered from the volume panel. Everything else seems to work just fine (address book, calendar, to-do list, etc.)

    I called the support line for Zaurus. Navigated the phone system. 24 minutes on hold, and then the system hung up on me. Okay, I can deal with this... I called back. Pressed zero for an operator and asked to be put through to Zaurus support. He did so, I went back into the horrible music hold loop and was hung up on after 14 mintues of waiting. I'm on hold number 3 right now, the system said I should be on hold for 9 minutes. It's been 10:46. I don't have much hope. But, I guess that's what speakerphone is for.

    Back to work/hold.

    June 9, 2003


    My Zaurus arrived!
    Attitude Adjustment

    I friend of mine mentioned that he was concerned about the stress of the law firm getting to me. And I suppose that in the wake of my recent health issues it is a fair concern. Of course, I like what I'm doing and immediately tried to qualify the stress I'm under as something that will no longer exist when I'm a real associate at a firm, should I choose to become one.

    The things that I find most stressful as a summer associate are (in no particular order):

    1. Being held to a 40-hour work week instead of a "project-is-finished" work schedule.
    2. Sitting at my desk and doing nothing in order to fulfill #1 when I have finished my projects and am waiting for feedback or more work.
    3. Not being empowered to make decisions about my own time management when the people who are empowered are generally too busy to do so.
    4. The fact that, no matter how they try to hide it, it really is a long-as-hell interview.
    5. The fact that social events are a requirement, again, regardless of how they try to hide it.

    If you look at those complaints, they are pretty minor. In fact, they most likely comprise a shorter list than the one I would have come up with at my previous position in the real world where I did have some power to make decisions and manage my own time. The hilarious fact is that being a summer associate is not any more stressful than any other situation I've been in, I've just been focusing on things I dislike. Every day that I could have taken my work home but instead had to sit in the office and work for face time, I have made a point of thinking about how much I'd rather work at home and how stupid it was that I had to stay. Of course, I stayed anyways because that is what I'm supposed to do. So, basically, I'd just waste a few minutes of each "unnecessary" hour in the office being annoyed. I'd look at the real associates and seeth with jealousy of their freedom. Of course, it doesn't help that I'm roughly the same as the younger associates in terms of age and professional experience (many of them have significantly less experience than me).

    But, I am happy to report that as of this weekend, I realize just how dumb I was being. I really wanted this job. I'm very lucky to have it (who gets a summer associate position before they go to law school?). In order to have this job, I had to give up the ability to decide the exact schedule of my work, and the rewards of being efficient. I did it unknowingly, but I'm still lucky to have this job and I still like it. The grass on the associate side of the fence is greener, but that's a good thing. I'd rather put up with things that annoy me for 3 summers than for the rest of my life.

    And as for the social events and the long interview. Those things I did know about ahead of time. I did sign up for them. And really, they are true of just about any job in the world that I would take, even if the other jobs are better at pretending. It's not like working as a contractor, consultant, or even full-time employee is really any different than a very long interview. And, it's also not like beers with the boss is ever actually an optional event.
    No appropriate term

    The Love of My Life. Life Partner. Soulmate. Significant Other. -- I have one of those. We have a very strong commitment to one another and will probably augment that commitment with a legal marriage one day (assuming the marriage tax repeal becomes permanent). In the mean time, I have a hard time coming up with a term that is appropriate in professional conversations. While I view our commitment as just as binding as a legal contract, I can't actually use wife/husband and be telling the truth. Boyfriend and girlfriend makes me feel and sound childish. All the others make me feel as if I'm hiding my sexual orientation. I just want a term that is the truth and that doesn't immediately cause someone to look at me and think, "ah, yes, I thought you were young".

    June 8, 2003


    On Friday, I spoke with an associate who's leaving my firm. I picked his brain about working for the government (which he did for 6 years) vs. the firm vs. in-house, where he's going. He was full of useful pointers and anecdotes.

    One story in particular caught my attention:

    They always say that if you join a firm you should stay for at least a year. If you leave before the one-year mark, it looks bad and you probably haven't learned enough to know whether or not you actually like it. But, there are exceptions.

    I had a friend who went to work for a BIGLAW firm out of school. He hated it. By month 9 he was actively interviewing for any other position he could find and the firm let him go. Today, he's in Burmuda as in-house counsel to an insurance firm. I'd say it worked out okay for him...

    June 6, 2003

    Lesson Learned

    When given 3 projects of roughly equal priority, do not finish them in order of interest. I have no one but myself to blame for the fact that I'm spending my Friday trying to keep myself interested in the most boring work I've done this week.
    Survey of Life on a Friday

    Negatives: slight dizzy spells and nausea, uninspiring project

    Positives: Health much better, 6 hours 'til freedom, classical music, gorgeous weather, casual dress, Zaurus on its way, family and friends all doing well, too many other things to list...

    June 5, 2003

    First Client Feedback

    Yesterday, I dropped a completed Response to Office Action on my supervising attorney's desk. It was so DONE, and I felt excellent.

    Except, of course, it wasn't done. My SA walked into my office and said, "Counsel." He then lightly tossed the document on my desk. It was open to a page where he had circled a portion of one of my arguments and questioned why I had introduced that limitation to the prosecution history. He was right. Another page showed a similar error. The interesting thing to me was my reaction to the word "Counsel." No one had ever called me counsel before (well, duh). But, I guess I am counsel to this client. I will be signing this correspondence with my own USPTO registration number. The full weight of that word, coupled with the mistakes I had been completely unaware of was impressive. I have quite a bit of power to REALLY screw up. And I don't know enough to stop myself from doing it. Useful lesson.

    As soon as I looked at what he had circled, I knew what I had done wrong. I doubt I'll make mistakes as blatant like as that anytime in the near future (but then again, who knows, I was proud of the draft I gave him).

    The story has a very happy ending, though. I fixed the document according to his comments and cleaned up a few of the arguments even further. When I brought him draft 3, he read it quickly and leaned back in his chair, saying, "Not Bad. Not Bad." If I've learned anything about him over the last few weeks it's that "not bad" is a compliment.

    I sent the document to our client. His response was full of elixir to my bruised ego in the form of phrases like, "very distinct and well described" and the "remarks are just great".

    So, the milestone of sending work to a client has been passed. In fact, it was passed with flying colors thanks in no small part to the vigilance of my SA. I think I'm enjoying myself a little bit here...

    June 4, 2003

    Still on the mend

    For someone who prides themselves on a superb immune system (although my doctor pointed out that it could just be a superb tolerance for pain and my stubborness) getting over my current health issues is a serious drag. Obviously, I'm thankful that my health is otherwise fine and that these issues are transient. But, boy, there is nothing to make you appreciate just how good you have it than to suffer from pain, lingering infections, and fatigue (not to mention the restricted diet for a month) for two weeks plus. One particularly interesting side effect is that any image issues I may have been heading towards have been completely eradicated. Yup, I probably have gained a few pounds over the last few years. Yup, I probably would look better if I lost them and increased my muscle tone. But do I feel bad about how I look? Hell no! When my current health issues are completely gone (I had a slight taste of freedom yesterday but a relapse this AM) I will be elated with my returned health and VERY comfortable in my skin.

    It's sad that I had to get sick to be reminded of just how silly our societal fixation on appearance is. It's also sad that despite what I'd like to think, I'm not immune from societal pressures. I probably have it better off than most in terms of exposure to societal pressures, but I've still got some minute issues. How much worse is it for the attractive teenage TV-a-holic wanna-be model? Bummer

    June 3, 2003

    PDA hunt complete

    After much soul-searching between reading pages of Festo, I made up my mind. The Zaurus should arrive in 2 days. Woo-hoo. I can't wait to rip myself a decent MP3 collection of classical music for the commute to school. For those of you who are interested, I couldn't take any more of a risk than I'm already taking by going with an upstart OS in the PDA category. The YOPY is probably pretty cool, but I'm going to have enough trouble getting what I need out of the OpenZaurus community without having to deal with internationalization issues and early-adopter issues that will undoubtedly plague the YOPY for another 6 months to a year. Perhaps the next gen will be a YOPY, but I think the Zaurus will get me through the next three years of school just fine.

    More on the PDA hunt

    So, the PDA hunt continues as the remaining pages of my paper calendar dwindle. At this point, I think I'm leaning towards the Zaurus. Although the newest versions of the YOPY look oh-so-cool, they are a bit expensive. But, they have a car charger. What I'm actually suffering from is the fact that the longer I wait, the cooler and cheaper the gadgets will be. But...I actually NEED (or at least want enough to purchase in the next month) a PDA. One route I could go is to get a cheap palm for now and just wait. But the MP3 player... it's calling my name.

    Here's what I'm comparing so far:

    YOPYZaurus SL-5500


    4.0 X 2.7 X 0.75 in

    6.0 oz.

    128 MB RAM

    ARM linux w/package manager

    handwriting recognition

    bigger keyboard

    fold-out/protected screen

    Can't read the User Manual due to a font problem

    Other Korean/English small user community problems


    2.9 x 5.4 x 0.7 in.

    6.8 oz.

    64 MB RAM

    Embedded linux--package manager if OpenZaurus

    User Community/OpenZaurus/software

    Comes with: USB connected cradle; AC adapter

    Petition to Reclaim the Public Domain

    As I mentioned in an earlier post (to which I'd love to link, but I've been too lazy to get archives working on blogger) Lawrence Lessig's plan to introduce a bill that charges minimal maintenance fees for copyright will most likely spawn a niche market of copyright maintenance service providers. However, it is a step in the right direction to point out that we need SOME solution to the problem of copyrighted content held captive by the law (not at the owner's choice). So, I suggest you go take a look at the Petition to Reclaim the Public Domain and add your name if the idea strikes you as better than the current situation.

    June 2, 2003

    One good, One bad

    Decreased Regulation of Media Ownership made it through the FCC in a 3-2 (Republicans vs. Democrats) vote. Frustrating

    The Supreme Court reversed the judgement of the 9th Circuit in Dastar v. Fox in what appears to be a nice big win for fair use. Note that the previous link points to SCOTUSblog, and not the unanimous opinion penned by Justice Scalia.
    Still need bed rest

    But, I'm doing that American thing and working a full hard day today to make up for the work I missed. I still have the two projects I took home on thursday (nothing accomplished thus far) as well as the additional work tossed on my desk this AM. But, it's interesting work, so It's not too bad. I'll just crash when I get home.

    In other news, who would have thought that they'd ever find Eric Rudolf. My boy from Atlanta claims that while camping in the woods in 1996 or 1997 the FBI showed up looking for Eric on the run. They never found him, but my boy tells of bumper stickers and plenty of back-woods support. Appalachian wierd.