Monday, September 8, 2008


Last week's (Monday's) New York Times, Business Section page 1, has an article on how the PTO is fighting lame attempts by computer companies to trademark the term "cloud computing" (basically, time-sharing re-fashioned into server farms). In August, for example, the PTO rejected a trademark application from Dell, after industry experts complained that the term had become a broadly used term associated with large numbers of companies/universities, and thus could not serve as a mark to identify one random company. Microsoft has a trademark application on "live mesh" pending. The article has a picture of, and comments from, Trademark Commissioner Lynne Beresford. One statistic: 85 percent of the PTO's trademark examining attorneys work primarily from home.

On writing personal finance haiku

I was recommended to take a personal Bills IQ quiz. It is a very straightforward, simple, and logically built. You don't need to be a financial pro to understand the questions. In fact, many questions are so realistic and challenging perception of one's financial reality that it can also serve as a polite wakeup call to clean up the bills and start taking care of the future. One's credit, debt, budget, wealth, life plan are carefully analyzed with meaningful questions. Nowadays with the mortgage crisis and its accompanying issues it behooves everyone to be ever more honest with oneself and restructure debt, stop incurring debt, and adjust expenses. The days of "live and forget" approach to living are gone: I have to be frugal with my daily, as well as monthly budget so as to be able to save for the future, to say the least for the rainy day. Insurance, the oft-neglected topic, to the point of being a total mystery, is also addressed in the Bills IQ test. What is more meaningful about the test is beyond getting another arbitrary score. In addition to a score the results yield a personalized solution table. For example, the table is custom-generated and the ailing aspects of one's finances are recommended direct action: to solve the credit card debt, contact a specific company, to get a mortgage quote, go to this specific address, to get a free credit report now, click here. Taking the test made me write a haiku. Haiku fits the theme of finance, since the concept of haiku is centered on describing objects, animals and an event (which may be continuous) in order to relate a scene or an inner state of oneself. All it needs is to have the 5-7-5 pronounced syllable per line structure. This is what BillsIQ had inspired: Money trickles away to keep castle with lady and beach ball for baby I feel better already.

How physics influenced the development of surrealism

I have long argued that all, not just most, of the artistic world should be patentable. The formal arguments aside, based on the growing science and engineering of art and entertainment, I firmly believe that one of the largest, most successful engineering-design product company in the world is Disney, and I mean for all of their products. Part of my argument is based on the numerous links back and forth between art and science, links too deep and numerous for a patentability line to be drawn - i.e., scientists are artist who use numbers instead of paint or notes. One such deep link, noted in a variety of books and theses, is between physics and surrealism. A new book published by Yale University Press titled "Surrealism, Art and Modern Science" by Gavin Parkinson, furthers the documentation of this linkage. One of Parkinson's arguments is that some of the founders of surrealism, including Salvador Dali, were inspired by the poetic attempts by astrophysicist Arthur Eddington to explain Einstein's relativity to the public, leading to such works as the very famous timeclock-melting "Persistence of Memory".