has worn out it's welcome as far as I am concerned. Everyone speaks of Microsoft being this big, bad company but the legal maneuverings of Amazon are making me furious.

In another case of pulling one over on a very technically naive judicial system, Amazon and its army of lawyers won a series of patents for “affiliate programs technology”.

They had previously bewildered a judge into granting them the patents for its “One-Click technology” which allows a customer to quickly buy books and other items from Amazon.

The reason this is so ridiculous is because these “technologies” are more like general concepts or ideas than specific methodologies. That’s like Target Stores coming out and announcing their new patent on discounting prices on consumer goods.

And it make me so angry because I can just picture the patent judge sitting there being dazzled by Amazon’s presentation and conceding that they make a very good case without really realizing that it isn’t a technology at all. These judges and 95% of the population do not understand the difference between a principle and a technique.

Here’s a link to the article at c|net

I don’t know if anyone out there will be watching this on Sunday, but MSNBC is having a big Summit in Silicon Valley that will include some big names in the industry: Marc Andreessen, Loudcloud & Netscape; Jeff Bezos,; Stephen Case, AOL; John Chambers, Cisco; Christos M. Cotsakos, E*Trade Group; Andrew Grove, Intel Corporation; Craig Mundie, Microsoft; Ted Waitt, Gateway Inc.; Jay Walker,; Meg Whitman, eBay Inc.; and Jerry Yang, Yahoo! along with some big-time reporter-types: Tom Brokaw, MSNBC; Kurt Andersen; Ken Auletta, The New Yorker; Karen Breslau, Wired Magazine; Michael Kinsley, Slate Magazine; John Markoff, New York Times; Brock Meeks,; and Kara Swisher, Wall Street Journal.

The premise is neat I guess but I believe that they really won’t even scratch the glossy surfaces of the issues they are claiming to be covering. Issues like: Will the Internet mean an end to privacy? Will it break society down into isolated segments? Will hackers wipe out financial institutions or government records? Can technology close the gap between haves and have-nots? Should the government intervene to ensure that the public is protected from these threats? And if more and more commerce is moving to the Web, shouldn’t it be taxed? would take days if not weeks to discuss thoroughly. I may tune in anyways just to see how it is unfolding.

You can let your opinion on some of these issues be heard by voting, too.

Finally, Are you sick of paying close to $2/gallon for gas. Well you can either get working on that solar car in the back of the garage that you started in the 70’s or go to and visit everyone’s favorite space explorer, Bill Shatner. While you are there check out their latest service (launching on my birthday, May 20) that allows you to name your price for gas. Yup you say $.99/gal and if you are lucky you can drive to your neighborhood Amoco and filler up.