There actually is a way to legally "protect" recipes, namely something called a know-how (you don't seem to discuss this topic to much on techdirt). This angle might work if the plaintiff can prove that they took measures to actually keep the recipe a secret and that the recipe was stolen. Hard to imagine that could be applied to something as trivial as a pizza recipe, though. Still, I would expect even a half-assed lawyer to know that this is probably a better approach than a trademark dispute.
If anything, this is a remainder that using spreadsheets for stuff they weren't meant to be used for (like maintaining databases) is a sign of idiocy. Especially if the spreadsheet is buggy and heavy on control-free spellchecking.
There was a film-noir "I was a Communist for the FBI", and there was also a sci-fi comedy "I was a Zombie for the FBI". I guess along with "I was an Intern for the NSA" they would form a neat trilogy, wouldn't you say?
It's all very noble of him that he took those 15 minutes to thwart that patent; and it's very nice that anyone who cares enough could do it. But it strikes me that what this guy do was actually the job of a patent examiner. So why are those people, supposedly experts in their field and in patent law, not doing exactly that? If it takes only 15 minutes to make a search, and if most of those patent applications are this way, then why don't they just do their job? Are they dumb? Incompetent? Corrupt? Explain it to me someone.
Not being a native English speaker myself, I feel a bit silly reminding you that the phrase "is it not piracy until..." actually implies that it is piracy. Or was that your intention? I get confused...
This reminds me of one of the Feynman stories from the time he was working for the Manhattan Project. As a sort of prank-hobby, he found a way to discover safe combinations, which was relatively easy when you had a chance to temper with an open safe for a couple of minutes. He demonstrated it to some high-ranking officer in charge of one of the Uranium production facilities, and explained how it's done, recommending that all the employees should always lock their safes and never leave them open unattended. The response of the officer on the other hand was to tell all the employees who had any contact with Feynman to change their safe combinations. He learned about it during his next visit to that facility, when people started avoiding him.
I guess there is something peculiar about a government agent's mentality which makes those people defy common sense.
What I find exceptionally crazy about this one is that NSA can "retain and make use of "inadvertently acquired" domestic communications if they (...) are encrypted". Think about it for a moment. According to the FISA "court" the mere attempt at exercising your basic constitutional right to privacy makes you suspicious and therefore not eligible to privacy. Talk about circular reasoning.
I just love that "definition". If you haven't understood what it means, let me disentangle it for you. It basically says that informal economy is the thing that lies on the lower end of the scale of an economic property called "formality", which is defined as "non-informality".
That footnote doesn't make sense. If Google never received any FISA requests, they wouldn't be tied up by any gag orders, and therefore they could just say: "We never received any FISA requests". So the filing itself confirms Google received some FISA requests.
Well, maybe it could have prevented 9/11 but that would really be a tragedy, because then the US government wouldn't have a justification for taking away basic freedoms and wouldn't be able to implement the mass surveillance in the first place. Where would the US be then, huh?
This is yet another reason why our western writing system is in serious need of a reform, as many characters are confusingly similar. Another prominent example are the letters "I" and "l" which virtually any OCR system confuses and which is a huge pain in the ass when ripping English subtitles. This inconvenience is a source of waste of endless man-hours in the pirate industry.
Actually, from what I understood, Dotcom doesn't plan to sue them in any case. His idea is rather to license the patent to someone (probably some patent troll) and let them deal with it, while he gets his license fees straight away.