As the writer quite accurately concludes, in today's patent climate, unfortunately, you can.
Also, you still have one hand free to 'use' the patent however you like, so Andy's otherwise excellent suggestion will quickly be undone by the myriad 'uses' a clever one-handed lawyer can still discover for the patent.
Okay, here's a thought. It's just a thought at this point, however.
One of the profoundly irritating things I run into every day is the "We have changed your agreement" notice. Now I realize that any company with more than two lawyers to rub together is already smart enough to bake into its agreements/licenses/releases the ability to change an agreement pretty much unilaterally.
But it's fairly routine in some parts of the legal system to send out the revised agreement in 'markup' form, and it would be quite straightforward to require by law that all revisions to agreements be presented in this form. Ordinary ballots sometimes do this in the case of state constitutional amendments.
This would give the consumer/cardholder/employee/voter/unintended victim a fighting chance to keep up with the changes in these agreements.
And even in the "free market" of the private sector, the first thing you discover is that purchasing decisions are made by "the purchasing department", and you're not allowed to decide what gets bought. Welcome to the capitalist free market. No, not the market that's free of capitalists, the one that's...oh hell.
Underground would be best. Once you get about five feet underground the temperature is a pretty even ~55 degrees or so pretty much anywhere in the world, pretty much any time of the year. Sure it's expensive, particularly if you're using the ground as a heat sink for your overheated cooling water from the NSA Death Star, but this is war, right? Right? Hello?
You know, back in one of my previous lives I was a sysadmin for a small cluster of Unix nodes. I dealt with the problem the following way, and let everyone know I was doing it:
I never asked anyone to change their password. I simply ran every cracking program I could find, in background, on every account, over and over. When I cracked someone's password, I told them and their boss. And I sent them the password to prove it.
Worked pretty well. But of course that was early days, and it wasn't even my primary job. Maybe if I'd have a lot of formal training I could have come up with something way better. Like a bunch of increasingly angry memos about password safety from something called the "IT Department".
I think that this patent is almost certainly going to get invalidated after reexamination. The key phrase from an earlier article still rings true for me: "discloses nothing useful". Without some actual novelty, grounded in reality, the patent is just a science fiction story. "In the future, newspapers as we know them won't exist..."
But, in defence of the examiner, examiners are not allowed unlimited time to research these issues. The typical time allowed (and I mean 'allowed', as in, "you'd better maintain your rate of production or you're fired" kind of allowed) to fully prosecute a case is about 3 days (don't think every part of the federal government fits the stereotype). Whereas the attorneys' time to fight the decision of the examiner is limited only by the depth of the clients' pockets. I notice the patent didn't get allowed until 2012, sixteen years after the first filing. So I don't think the Patent Office was simply roused briefly from its torpor and handed a patent to a delighted inventor. Obviously someone in the Patent Office smelled a rat almost immediately. But with enough attorneys, and enough appeals, and enough arguments, it is -- well, I won't say 'easy', I'll just settle for 'not impossible' -- to get a patent when you don't deserve one. At every step of the process, the examiner has an easy out: give in to the attorney. The alternative is, well, you see it here: sixteen years of work, much of it done by the examiner without compensation.
Even circuit court judges are not immune to this tactic (and you all know who you are out there...), and they don't even have the excuse of time pressure. And I don't think you can sue a judge, either.
I agree that this patent is almost certainly going to get invalidated after reexamination (tough luck for all those companies that caved -- are you listening, Apple?). The key phrase from the article is "discloses nothing useful". Without some actual novelty, grounded in reality, the patent is just a science fiction story.
But, in defence of the examiner, examiners are not allowed unlimited time to research these issues. The typical amount of time allowed (and I mean 'allowed', as in, "you'd better maintain your rate or you're fired" kind of 'allowed') to prosecute a case is about 3 days, which may sound like a lot of time until you discover that this isn't the only case demanding the examiner's attention during those three days (don't think every part of the federal government fits the stereotype). Whereas the attorneys' time to fight the decision of the examiner is limited only by the depth of the clients' pockets. I notice the patent didn't get allowed until 2012, sixteen years after the first filing. I don't get the impression the Patent Office just rolled over and gave this applicant his patent. Obviously someone in the Patent Office smelled a rat almost immediately. But with enough attorneys, and enough appeals, and enough arguments, it is -- well, I won't say 'easy', I'll just settle for 'not impossible' -- to get a patent when you don't deserve one. At every step of the process, the examiner has an easy out: give the inventor a patent. The alternative is, well, you see it here: sixteen years of work, much of it done by the examiner without compensation.
Even circuit court judges are not immune to this tactic (and you all know who you are...), and they don't even have the excuse of time pressure.
Umm...not the Thais, probably. The Japanese were so pathetically eager to leave one country unconquered (so they could have their own 'coalition of the willing') that they left Thailand almost alone -- after brokering a peace treaty between the French and the Thais and securing the right to move troops across Thailand to attack Malaya. Meanwhile the Japanese ambassador to Thailand had the pleasure of watching the OSS operate right under the collectives nose of the Thai royal family....
Anyway, I would mention that this thread is getting way too far from the original point, but I understand that the Hitler restaurant in question closed for good quite a while ago, and KFC is now in the awkward position of threatening to sue a picture on the Internet -- the only legacy of the Hitler restaurant -- because some Guardian journalists couldn't be bothered to fact-check the original story.
You know, I've always thought that it just didn't make sense that Valerie Plame's husband was the intended target of her outing. I mean, this is Dick Cheney! If he wanted, he could simply arrange to have the guy found in bed, naked, drunk, with an entire Girl Scout troop as his only visible companions. And the only way he can get back at this guy is to intentionally blow his wife's cover? No, sorry, can't buy it.
What I can buy, though, is the idea that Valerie Plame herself -- who was, after all, working independently to answer that vital question of where the WMDs were in Iraq, or if they existed at all -- might have been the real problem for Cheney, and the real target. A CIA agent loses a lot of her effectiveness once everybody in the world knows she's a CIA agent. All Cheney had to do was figure out a quasi-legal way to get the information to the media.
And there you are, another whistleblower dealt with.
So let's see if I have this right: we already know that the people who were paid to collect all this NSA data have been absolutely effusive in extolling the wisdom, the farsightedness, of the people that hired them to collect it (well, except for that troublemaker Snowden...obviously not a team player). Through the mechanism of the periodic reports they sent to their managers, those managers know that 'dozens' of 'potential terrorist plots' were foiled.
And they say government can't do things the way the private sector can!
I'm guessing that a conversation that was flagged for follow-up -- but didn't lead to anything -- would constitute a 'potential terrorist plot'? After all, if it led to something more significant, it wouldn't have been 'potential', now would it?
So, now that I understand that, I guess I can ask how this massive surveillance program would have prevented Dick Cheney from ordering the interceptors to stand down on 9/11?
And now that that question's been answered ("It's because we didn't have a massive domestic surveillance program in place, you dummy! Pay attention!"), I guess I can hit the snooze button and go back to sleep?
Well, I think you can expect Scalia for one to argue (you'd almost think he was a lawyer rather than a judge, you know?) that since cameras can record 'everything' at a public place, people outside their homes already have no expectation of privacy.