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Deidein JustReboot
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Deidein JustReboot

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I will be shutting this page down and going by my real name on the G+ in order to streamline my web activities.  Please join me there https://plus.google.com/u/0/114711778299060800928/posts
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Experience and Patents

15 years today was my first day at work. I've now officially been a professional software engineer for 15 years.

I've learned a few things over the years. Teamwork, tools, technologies, etc. College had prepared me for those.

However, college hadn't prepared me for the way patents have a catastrophic influence on the software industry.

Patents are supposed to encourage innovation. The underlying assumption is that there'd be less innovation without patents. And yet in 15 years I have never heard anyone say that they would only develop and ship a technology if they could patent it. Development always comes first, patents happen later. Even if someone tried to have that reasoning, they wouldn't be able to actually do it in practice: patents take several years to get granted, and in the software world that's an eternity. Software innovation happens regardless of patents, patents make no difference in the domain of software innovation.

Patents are supposed to help the public by moving technologies into the public domain after about 20 years. 20 years is an eternity in the software world. 20 years ago, we were running Windows 3.1, System 7.1 (which wasn't even called MacOS yet), and our game consoles were the Genesis and SNES. The ancestor of today's smartphones was the Psion series 3: look it up. Those are all so ancient that none of the underlying software techniques are useful any more. When software patents fall into the public domain, they are so old that they are worthless, so the public doesn't benefit from them.

Even in the ~20 years while a patent is "live", having it public is not useful. I have never heard someone bump into a problem and try to see if there was a patent for a solution that could be licensed. Not only does this not happen, it's actually strongly discouraged or explicitly forbidden in many companies, because patent law provides a very strong incentive against doing such a search for existing patents.

Patents are antithetical to the core principle of software re-use. As such, they are a very strong damper against FLOSS as well. While I rarely agree with Mr Stallman, to his credit he had identified that issue very clearly as early as 1991, whereas the Open Source definition 7 years later doesn't even hint that patents could be an issue.

All at the same time, software patents open the door for well-documented anti-competitive practices, for racketeering, for obstruction, for distraction. All that costs energy and money that could be spend innovating instead. The amount of innovation that patent prevent is staggering.

I believe that we could drop all patents today, software and hardware, related to all forms of computing devices, and see significant benefits to the general public in the form of more innovation and more competition.

It goes without saying, as usual, that none of that is my employer's opinion.

CC:BY 3.0
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Twitter broken for anybody else?
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g+ broken? no reply in 25 minutes :-) 
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Okay, having a weird issue on BAMF Paradigm where my Gapps just close at random. Probably not the ROMs fault, but still a deal breaker. Heading back to the ol' home build...
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Vote.  Please, vote.
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Getting murdered by DethBecomesYou rules.
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Dammit! I look away for several weeks and a whole buncha people circled me. Sigh... FINE I'LL DO STUPID G+ TOO.
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nope
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It will completely break my heart if there are no Google Glass models made that work on the left eye when they are released to consumers. The over-the-right-eye version would be impossible for me to read.
I am functionally blind in my right eye; it simply stopped developing when I was 4-6 years old. I can see vague colors and shapes with it, and it provides peripheral vision and depth perception, but trying to read or make out any details with it is hopeless. I've never experienced "3D".
An optometrist informed me that the nature of my condition is not correctable by any surgeries... and while I could have as good as 20/30 vision in it with lenses, at my age doing so would give me permanent and irreversible double vision due to my brain mostly ignoring it's images the majority of my life so far. In essence, I am a cyclops who carries a lousy backup eye in case I lose the good one.
I haven't experienced Google Glass, but I've been extremely excited about it since I heard about it from I/O. It seems like a world changer, and would give me the additional thrill of having something like Jordi LaForge's visor, something I envied as a kid. His visor helped him see, and even gave him an advantage over those with perfect vision in some situations - any ten year old with vision issues could relate, I'd imagine.
Of course, Google Glass couldn't give me my vision back... but I'd still get to live that childhood dream, and more importantly, get to be a part of the next revolution in mobile technology.

All that said... here's the TL;DR version.
Google, please find a way to make a left eye model of Glass, so people like me don't miss out on the next technological phenomenon.
 
My two-week review of Google Glass: it all depends on the price

This week I gave five speeches while wearing it.
I passed through airports four times (two more in a couple of hours).
I let hundreds of people try my Google Glass.
I have barely taken it off since getting it other than to sleep.

Here's my review after having Google Glass for two weeks:

1. I will never live a day of my life from now on without it (or a competitor). It's that significant. 
2. The success of this totally depends on price. Each audience I asked at the end of my presentations "who would buy this?" As the price got down to $200 literally every hand went up. At $500 a few hands went up. This was consistent, whether talking with students, or more mainstream, older audiences.
3. Nearly everyone had an emotional outburst of "wow" or "amazing" or "that's crazy" or "stunning." 
4. At NextWeb 50 people surrounded me and wouldn't let me leave until they had a chance at trying them. I haven't seen that kind of product angst at a conference for a while. This happened to me all week long, it is just crazy.
5. Most of the privacy concerns I had before coming to Germany just didn't show up. I was shocked by how few negative reactions I got (only one, where an audience member said he wouldn't talk to me with them on). Funny, someone asked me to try them in a bathroom (I had them aimed up at that time and refused).
6. There is a total generational gap that I found. The older people said they would use them, probably, but were far more skeptical, or, at minimum, less passionate about the fact that these are the future, than the 13-21-year-olds I met.

So, let's cover the price, first of all. I bet that +Larry Page is considering two price points: something around $500, which would be very profitable. Or $200, which is about what the bill of materials costs. When you tear apart the glasses, like someone else did (I posted that to my Flipboard "Glasshole" magazine) you see a bunch of parts that aren't expensive. This has been designed for mass production. In other words, millions of units. The only way Google will get there is to price them under $300.

I wouldn't be shocked if Larry went very aggressive and priced them at $200. Why would Google do this? 

Easy: I'm now extremely addicted to Google services. My photos and videos automatically upload to Google+. Adding other services will soon be possible (I just got a Twitter photo app that is being developed by a third party) but turning on automatic uploads to other services will kill my batteries on both my phone and my glasses (which doesn't have much battery life anyway). So, I'm going to be resistant to adding Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Evernote, and Tumblr to my glasses. Especially when Google+ works darn well and is the default. 

Also, Google is forbidding advertising in apps. This is a HUGE shift for Google's business model. I believe Larry Page is moving Google from an advertising-based company to a commerce based company.

The first thing I tried that it failed on was "find me a Sushi restaurant." I'm sure that will get fixed soon and, Google could collect a micropayment anytime I complete a transaction like reserving a seat at a restaurant, or getting a book delivered to my house, or, telling something like Bloomingdales "get me these jeans." 

There is literally billions of dollars to be made with this new commerce-based system, rather than force us to sit and look at ads, the way Facebook and tons of other services do.

When you wear these glasses for two weeks you get the affordance is totally different and that having these on opens you up to a new commerce world. Why?

1. They are much more social than looking at a cell phone. Why? I don't need to look away from you to use Google, or get directions, or do other things. 
2. The voice works and works with nearly every one and in every situation. It's the first product that literally everyone could use it with voice. It's actually quite amazing, even though I know that the magic is that it expects to hear only a small number of things. "OK Glass, Take a Picture" works. "OK Glass, Take a Photo" doesn't. The Glass is forcing your voice commands to be a certain set of commands and no others will be considered. This makes accuracy crazy high, even if you have an accent.

I continue to be amazed with the camera. It totally changes photography and video. Why? I can capture moments. I counted how many seconds it takes to get my smartphone out of my pocket, open it up, find the camera app, wait for it to load, and then take a photo. Six to 12 seconds. With Google Glass? Less than one second. Every time. And I can use it without having hands free, like if I'm carrying groceries in from the car and my kids are doing something cute. 

I've been telling people that this reminds me of the Apple II, which I unboxed with my dad back in 1977. It was expensive. It didn't do much. But I knew my life had changed in a big way and would just get better and better. Already this week I've gotten a new RSS app, the New York Times App, and a Twitter app. With many more on the way.

This is the most interesting new product since the iPhone and I don't say that lightly.

Yeah, we could say the camera isn't good in low light. We could say it doesn't have enough utility. It looks dorky. It freaks some people out (it's new, that will go away once they are in the market). 

But I don't care. This has changed my life. I will never live a day without it on. 

It is that significant. 

Now, Larry, find a way to make it $200 and you'll have a major hit on your hands.

(Attached are dozens of photos I shot over the past two weeks with it).
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Oh no! Moods are stupid!
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No I like them! They are so animated lol
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One pleasant thing to come out of yesterday's awful thread - I'm in a bunch of new circles :) I'm horrible with names, so do me a favor, if I know you on Twitter but haven't added you on G+, please reply to this with your twitter handle and I will fix that.
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Wall I threw together last night, I enjoy it, you might too.
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Awesome!
 
It's an +Android Open Kang Project kind of Halloween this year.
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Blogger, IT Professional, Android Enthusiast, Newbie Artist
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I am the social media manager for Team Kang, and the sole author of justreboot.wordpress.com
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Some of my wallpapers and reviews have made their way into Google Play in popular themes and in the descriptions of fun games.
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@Just_Reboot
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