I'm Canadian and it's not a good feeling to look down on American healthcare. I know that there's pressure to bring the awesome American healthcare system to Canada. I don't think Canadians would ever allow that (anyone attacking Canada's public healthcare system is basically unelectable thankfully), but it's still a frightening thought.
Also, the American healthcare system puts pressure on our system. Doctors will often move to the U.S. to make more money, we have difficulty getting affordable drugs and medical equipment when the American system pays so much, etc.
No, Google was my idea! I came to me while I was drinking with a friend in university in 1990. I think I said "Wouldn't it be great to, like, be able to search for, like, information... and FIND it?" Although I passed out moments later after finishing my shot and some of the words were a bit slurred, the meaning was clear. From that moment on I owned all search related concepts so Google and every other search engine that ever existed owe me all their profits forever. Lawsuit coming.
Yeah, I was thinking of getting a WiiU to replace my kids Wii, but I think I'll pass now. Doesn't seem like much of an upgrade, anyways. They're pretty casual gamers, so doesn't seem worth the money, especially if there's hassle involved.
Pandora is my favourite online music service. LOVE Pandora. I've found so many new artists there in the past because of the way its music recommendation engine works. No other service offers recommendations like it that I'm aware of, and I've tried last.fm and a couple others. Sadly, it's no longer available in Canada due to copyright issues, so the amount of new music I get exposed to has dropped off massively. Thanks RIAA! :(
P.S. Did I suddenly go back to the record shops when Pandora Canada disappeared? Nope. Still searching for an equivalent internet alternative.
Yeah, I love how you can snail mail in your parking ticket fees for free (excluding the stamp), but if you pay for them online or over the automated phone interface, you've got to pay a $1.50 "convenience fee". Inefficiency rules. Pure genius.
Can't blame that one on our current clown of a mayor, though, although he is a complete jackass.
Ah, the Disney "vault". My coworker and I (we both have kids) have had a few good laughs over that one. I.E. OMG, it's in the "vault"! Wow, there's no way of getting to that Disney flick now! What is a person who wants to see that movie to do? LOL.
I AM a programmer (20 years and counting) and we try to find the simplest solution to every problem and quite often they are new and innovative (at least to us). Is it possible that techniques we have come up with have been done before and infringe? Yes, of course. Do we search for patents that we might be infringing on? No freaking way. A) see "willful infringement" B) most patents are such a hodgepodge of gobbledygook and legalese that they could be used to cover a much wider range of software processes than was actually built. (IF it was actually built.) C) do you have any idea how long it would take to search these things?
We don't care if other companies use the same techniques as us. It's not our business model to sue someone who uses the same techniques. All we care about is serving our customers and building solid software. In fact, it would make no difference if they copied our entire codebase. Good luck with that as just having the same code doesn't mean you can run it, support it, or maintain/enhance it. For that, you need the people that built it. It's not monkey code that flips photos on your desktop. The patent system provides no incentive to us, nor most software companies when they focus on serving their customers and not suing their competitors.
Having sat in on a couple of patent submissions and watching the patent lawyer make the language as ambiguous as possible so as to cover the widest range of interpretations, it's an absolute fools game, unless you're looking to sue someone or build up a war chest of patents to use in the event that you are sued...