A “loser pays” update to the proposed Shield Act in America would make patent trolls financially liable for all legal costs in unsuccessful lawsuits.
The revised version of the backronym-tastic Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes bill was introduced by its original sponsors, representatives Jason Chaffetz and Peter DeFazio. It aims to discourage “frivolous” lawsuits from those holding patents but not actually creating anything with them.
“Patent trolls add no economic benefit to our nation,” said Chaffetz speaking at a press conference. “They have captured part of the system, and they’re exploiting it for their own financial gain. They’re hampering the innovation that our country deserves. Literally every segment of our society’s business is being attacked by these patent trolls.”
According to the updated version of the bill, defendants would be allowed to file a motion to have the plaintiff ruled a patent troll. If successful the legal action could still go ahead but with the caveat that if the patent holder was unsuccessful they would be liable for all legal costs — in some cases, millions of dollars.
Five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries the world over.
And the situation is even worse than it appears.
Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market. What’s more, these jobs aren’t just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren’t just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers.
They’re being obliterated by technology.
Year after year, the software that runs computers and an array of other machines and devices becomes more sophisticated and powerful and capable of doing more efficiently tasks that humans have always done. For decades, science fiction warned of a future when we would be architects of our own obsolescence, replaced by our machines; an Associated Press analysis finds that the future has arrived.
Not Pacman is the Pac-Man I want to play right now. Sadly, this wicked, mind-twisting, gravity-controlled version of Pac-Man is available only for Windows, OS X and Linux. Fortunately, the source code is available, so perhaps someone will port to iOS/Android/Windows Phone as soon as possible. [Stabyourself via Crackajack via Animal NY]
A Pro Photographer With a Crappy Toy Camera Proves Hardware Doesn’t Matter
For all you aspiring photographers out there, equipment isn’t everything.
There’s a notion among amateur photographers that spending thousands of dollars on high-end DSLRs will instantly turn every shot into a masterpiece. But in reality, a talented and skilled photographer can create magic with any caliber of hardware—even a $20 Buzz Lightyear camera designed for three year-olds, as David Hobby of Strobist proves.
Accompanied by only a trio of low-end flash units, David joined DigitalRev’s Kai Wong on a Hong Kong shooting challenge that forced him to rely on his skills and resourcefulness in lieu of highly customizable hardware. And not surprisingly, the results are far more impressive than what most DSLR-touting tourists are able to capture.