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Posts for July 6, 2005


So, London gets it.  I was against it, but now I feel strangely pleased.

I think I was for it at first; I really enjoyed watching the Athens Olympics last summer, the kids enjoyed it, and the idea of having one just down the road sounded great.  But then I looked at the plans, and turned against it.  The main reason for my opposition was the effects that I think it will have on the Lower Lea (or Lee) Valley.  As far as I can tell, our beloved wilderness will be turned into bland parkland, with the associated loss of wildlife habitat.

However, it may not be as bad as all that, and there’s no doubt that the potential regeneration here in East London — in particular the transport improvements — could be great.

My other concern is, of course, the cost, and how we taxpayers may be paying for it for decades.

But what the hell: my kids will be 15 and 11 in 2012, so it  should be fantastic for them.

Software patents: dead in Europe

In other good news, over on BoingBoing, Cory is telling us that Euro software patents are dead:

The European Parliament voted 648 to 14 to reject the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive.

The bill was reportedly rejected because, politicians said, it pleased no-one in its current form.

Responding to the rejection the European Commission said it would not draw up or submit any more versions of the original proposal.

This is excellent news, though as Cory goes on to say,

Software patents have been staked through the heart before, but they keep rising from the grave. There’s too much monopoly rent waiting to be extracted by anti-competitive companies for them to simply give up and go home. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

A year or so ago the number one or two hit on Google for “software patents” was an article by an old friend of mine, John Gray, who is a Patent Attorney, in favour of them.  With well-reasoned arguments, as I recall.  Sadly the article appears to have gone now, though links to it remain.  Such is one of the weaknesses of the web, unfortunately, when you can’t trust (some) publishers to keep their URLs pointing at something.

Update: asajeffrey found a mailing list post that, if not John’s article that I was thinking of, certainly discusses the same ideas.  Thanks, Alan.  Note that I am not the “Martin” referred to in that post.