Streaming Audio/Video patents…

Groklaw.net is reporting that Acacia Technologies has been filing litigation against websites for patent infringement on patents they received for a system for distributing video and audio over the Internet. I used pat2pdf to download the relevant patents:

The EFF have placed this patent on their list of ten most wanted patents for their patent busting effort. Ultimately, they will research and file complaints to the PTO to have these egregiously abusive patents revoked.

It seems to me that there is obvious prior art, most notably the the Princeton Engine, which I heard about during my brief time at Princeton in 1989-1991.

The KnotPlot Site

For some reason, I find knots fascinating. What’s even more fascinating is how often books about knots show up on the bargain shelves at Borders, and yet every year or so a new, nicely photographed, full color book on knots makes appears to replace them. Bizarre.

But if you want to learn about knots and their interesting mathematics, you can try The KnotPlot Site. Lots of good information.

Fahrenheit 9/11

I must admit, I’m a bit of a fluff movie-goer. I go to movies to be entertained, not to learn. When I wish to learn, I read books, news, or even the Internet. I don’t see many documentary or independent films.

I’m also not an enormous Michael Moore fan. I find some of his work to be heavy handed and manipulative. He’s does have an agenda, and it’s usually good to not forget that.

Tonight, I took my wife and my son to see Fahrenheight 9/11. If you haven’t heard about this movie, I can only ask what hole you’ve been living in, but I’ll merely say that it is Moore’s documentary on how the Bush White House has manipulated the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy and continues to market the war in Iraq as a necessary step to fight global terrorism.

Make no mistake: Moore isn’t unbiased. He’s not trying to portray both sides of the issues as regards Bush or Iraq. It would be false to claim otherwise. Moore makes no serious attempt to interview people of an opposing viewpoint or to explain the situation in Iraq through their eyes. If you are a staunch Bush supporter, you’re probably not going to like this movie.

But in most respects I think Moore is even handed in his criticism. While there are scenes which are undoubtably designed to evoke visceral, emotional responses, I think overall he reins in the desire to score only cheap shots and focuses on a number of problems which cannot be easily brushed aside.

Anything I could say about this movie would be weaker and redundant to actually seeing the film. I’ll say this: it’s good, and it’s important. Go see it. Think about it. Talk about it.