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Gene Cavanaugh’s Techdirt Profile


About Gene Cavanaugh

Juris Doctor and registered patent attorney, specializing in small entity patenting (mostly Jepson patenting) and small entity trademarks. Skilled in large entity patenting, but avoid such work.
Former executive in several companies, with high marks for executive ability (but "too idealistic").
Semiconductor process and design expert.
My undergraduate degrees are in Math and EE (BS).
Also reasonably skilled in aerospace matters, but a long time ago.

Gene Cavanaugh’s Comments comment rss

  • Oct 3rd, 2015 @ 12:18pm

    Experian breach

    Are you sure the hacker didn't get in through a "security"
    agency back door? That seems likely to me.

  • Sep 24th, 2015 @ 8:13am

    Clinton emails

    I am an independent, and have not decided who, or what party, I will vote for. However, I am an attorney, and love both the Constitution and fair play - in this case, fair play.

    Bush/Cheney regularly sent emails they KNEW were classified in private emails. Clinton sent unclassified (though I hear four were LATER classified - to embarrass her? Don't know) emails. No evidence yet she meant harm, or thought she was doing anything wrong - otherwise for Bush/Cheney. So she MAY be "unreliable" - THEY ARE!

    So, why is the "liberal" (aka Murdoch) press interested only in Clinton? Shouldn't we be outraged at Bush/Cheney? Also, they didn't tell anyone - it came out later; just as she didn't tell anyone - came out later; but they KNEW they were sending classified material - not yet determined for her.

    Is this what you call "fair and balanced?".

  • Jun 17th, 2015 @ 1:35pm

    Autonomous vehicles

    Let's suppose we find the car in a situation like this: a collision is unavoidable, and if the car swerves to the left, let's say, it will collide with a school bus. Let's say the car computes that several kids will likely be killed. If the car swerves to the right, the passenger will be killed.
    I don't think the manufacturer could decide how to program for that. In the absence of legislation, we would need a switch that let the passenger decide which thing to do.
    That would absolve the manufacturer, but then ....

  • Apr 15th, 2015 @ 11:45am

    On peer review

    You say perhaps AI will make it HARDER to detect shady papers? Why would we use it, then? Don't you mean "easier"?

  • Dec 20th, 2014 @ 12:16pm

    Sony attacks

    Real boon for the security people. Without any risk to the public, the North Korean operatives are flushed out into the open, and our security people have an opportunity to assess both their capabilities and at least a chance to identify their operatives.
    If I were still in security, I would be popping a bottle of champagne.

  • Jun 19th, 2014 @ 11:51am

    Shutting the NSA backdoors

    I tried, but the automated response "could not recognize my zip code", then hung up.

    I will continue trying.

  • Jun 13th, 2014 @ 7:43am

    Open WiFi is an invitation? Don't think so.

    You say: "The neighbors left their WiFi open, and thus, by default, it is sending out signals that effectively say "welcome, feel free to connect to this network."".

    By that reasoning, if I leave my lawn unguarded, I am saying "here, feel free to dig up my grass?" or if I leave my car outside unlocked with a package in it (admittedly stupid, but ...) I am saying "free package, everyone".

    Don't think so. I think taking what is not yours, whether the owner knows or not, or feels deprived or not, is, and should be, criminal.

  • May 28th, 2014 @ 10:46am

    broken patent system

    Not quite right - you buy patents now; and no money - no patent. Disgusting, and I AM a"patent" attorney (properly, IP attorney).

  • May 24th, 2014 @ 5:41pm

    Tweeting your vote

    As an attorney, and a precinct inspector in elections (note,
    we are paid, if you consider about $10/hour "being paid" - and that is for INSPECTORS! Hat tip to the election clerks; they are true patriotic Americans, IMO!) - I am torn. I am sure no laws would mean vote buying, with proof required before payment - not a good thing. But I am glad that people take voting seriously.
    I would think a Judge would dismiss a case in the absence of proof of abuse - but requiring them to go to court is, to me, abuse of the citizen.
    REAL problem - I would think the authorities would use a little judgement, if the system allows it.

  • May 15th, 2014 @ 8:33pm

    Great article, but ...

    "...not true, and possibly defamatory...". You say they cannot both be true at the same time.
    Wrong - they can be; in fact, untrue statements can make defamation more actionable.

  • Mar 6th, 2014 @ 10:21am

    Keith Alexander

    As a veteran who had considerable dealings with "career" military, I understand.
    The military is a dictatorship (unless you believe that before going into battle the soldiers vote on that). Further, for career military, dictatorship works very well, and the very idea of democratic rule is abhorrent.
    Our problem is that we need CIVILIAN leaders of these agencies, it is ridiculous to expect career military to support democratic principles.

  • Mar 6th, 2014 @ 10:02am

    More NSA FUD

    As an attorney (IP, but Constitutional Law was one of my favorite courses in law school) I would FAR rather risk another 9/11 than to give up my Constitutional rights!
    1. the NSA's trampling on the Constitution is NOT making us safer; and,
    2. they are taking away our rights anyway.

  • Jan 14th, 2014 @ 11:02am

    The military hates Snowden

    Mike doesn't sound like he has been in the military, or if there, didn't learn to understand the military mind.
    The military (ANY military) is a dictatorship, and survives by an "us against them" mentality, where "them" is anyone not in the military.
    They feel (deep down) that democracy is "weak" (as Hitler put it), and contemptible, and any "member of the family" who defects to democracy is "evil".

  • Dec 31st, 2013 @ 9:44am

    NSA exploits

    NO ONE seems to understand the real threat here! These things continue to grow! Once the NSA achieves a certain level, someone with a yen for a promotion will push it to the next level, and the ultimate level?


    This has been the unvarying pattern of such things!

  • Dec 24th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    IP not important to US businesses

    As an IP attorney, I generally agree with this post. I do only small entity IP, since large entity IP is so abused I would feel unpatriotic doing it.
    When a client comes to me for IP work, I ask them to consider whether or not they actually NEED it.
    Obviously, if they have some sort of product that they can be sure other people will want to copy, they may need a patent.
    Also, obviously, if they have worked hard to build a good reputation, and the unscrupulous will want to unload junk using the good will they laboriously built up, they will need a trademark.
    I don't see, and have never seen, the need for copyright, but that could happen in some cases.
    But, by and large, most people DON'T need IP, and may be wasting their money in getting it.

  • Nov 28th, 2013 @ 9:44am

    Beastie Boys and Goldieblox

    Sounds like the Beastie Boys are ashamed of the song, and would rather be anonymous.

  • Nov 28th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    Well, there's that, but then ....

    We have to remember, Obama is part black (I think I am also, and it affects how - I think - honkies see me. Just putting the shoe on the other foot, colorless folk. Do the obvious, don't get mad, get even, like the House does).
    So, ALL the politicians from the Bible Belt, as well as several other States, are going to attack him however they can, and I think he is "gun-shy".

  • Nov 15th, 2013 @ 12:48pm

    Don't need a patent

    Let's not start with a faulty assumption, and move from that to the "logical" conclusion.
    Patent trolls threaten our innovation, and in essence, our economy. The effects are totally negative.
    However, especially with small startups, the threat of theft of an idea is substantial.
    FORMERLY patents didn't protect much - companies could "show" that they "had the idea"; and even "published", to defeat a patent. NOW we have "first to file", and the protection for a startup is SUBSTANTIAL!

  • Nov 9th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

    More NSA FUD

    First, admins often need access to other systems to get their work done, and the work is made difficult by denying it.

    Second, the NSA has a history of making up stories in which they try to show they are reliable defenders rather than fascist scavengers. One way would be to say "it's not us, it's them", in this case admins merely doing their job.

    To me, this story is bogus, with the express purpose of making Snowden look like he was doing illicit things, and the NSA being virtuous victims. I think they are throwing innocent people under the bus, to make themselves look good.

  • Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:31pm

    Salt and calories

    Two problems with this:

    1. Comparing recommended salt between nations where very hard physical work is the norm (and salt needs, due to sweat, etc., are very high) to the average American is naive. It is like saying apples are "similar" to oranges.

    2. Alcohol does NOT result in fat, just fast-burning calories. True, if you eat and drink, you tend to use the alcohol calories and store the food calories, but then, if you live in space, breathing is a problem.

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