Posts tagged politics

You have something to hide

:: politics

You’ve committed felonies.

Perhaps as many as three per day.

No one is innocent:

If someone tracked you for a year are you confident that they would find no evidence of a crime? Remember, under the common law, mens rea, criminal intent, was a standard requirement for criminal prosecution but today that is typically no longer the case especially under federal criminal law.

Faced with the evidence of an non-intentional crime, most prosecutors, of course, would use their discretion and not threaten imprisonment. Evidence and discretion, however, are precisely the point. Today, no one is innocent and thus our freedom is maintained only by the high cost of evidence and the prosecutor’s discretion.

Walking in the steps of soft interrogation

:: life, politics

For many years I visited Frankfurt Musikmesse. Roughly speaking, Musikmesse is Europe’s equivalent of the NAMM show in the US.

Folks from my company would stay north of Frankfurt at the Mövenpick Hotel in Oberursel. It was more affordable and very comfortable. The front desk staff remained the same for many years. They got to know us—the obviously American, odd musician types—and were very friendly.

A couple years ago, I’d scheduled to fly home on Sunday, in case I needed to have more meetings on Saturday. The meetings never materialized, and I took it as a free day. The April weather was unseasonably warm. I walked into Oberursel’s small “downtown” and explored it like I never had before. At some point I ended up wandering into paths that led through parks and open fields. It was very beautiful.

We need a prior art database

:: patents, politics, software, technology

Last week I visited Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. Mark Cuban and Minecraft creator Markus Persson had recently funded an additional staff attorney position, the “Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents”.

Considering this after I got home, I had an idea about an additional angle from which to attack this problem.

What if there were a sort of “prior art database”? Where people could submit and find information about first-use or discovery of techniques—whether patented or not?