Jul 01 2012

EU Patents

Category: Business,PatentsTeknovis @ 8:40 am

It looks like the EU leaders have finally agreed to proceed with a single EU patent, according to EU leaders agree to introduce a single european patent. You can read a brief overview of the torrid time EU patents have had in European Union patent.

I think that the idea of a single streamlined EU patent is brilliant! I think that it is vital for encouraging innovation and economic activity!

Unfortunately, I think that the politicians are going to dilute the idea to suit their own national interests. For example, I am already disappointed with the following aspects of it:

  • The court will be split between London, Paris, and Munich :( One court, in a single location, would be far better!
  • The official languages will be English, French, and German. It should be English only! Languages are important, and they are an integral part of our culture. However, patenting activity is not a cultural activity! One language facilitates communications (both within and outside the EU), and it reduces unnecessary costs.
  • It appears that Italy and Spain will remain outside of the EU patents. I would prefer if they were included, but ultimately I think that their self-exclusion will hurt themselves more than anybody else!

This really cannot happen soon enough!

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Nov 25 2011

Global Debt

Category: MoneyTeknovis @ 5:22 pm

A nice interactive graphic from the BBC showing who owes what to whom: Eurozone debt web: Who owes what to whom?

It feels a bit depressing for a Friday afternoon :(

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Oct 25 2011

A Visualization of United States Debt

Category: MoneyTeknovis @ 7:51 pm

Fascinating, if not somewhat scary, visualisations of the US national debt – A Visualization of United States Debt.

I bet it would make people from the PIGS countries feel a lot better if their debts were also shown to scale!

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Feb 03 2011

Location Aware Facebook

Category: Location Based ServicesTeknovis @ 6:10 pm

Facebook is becoming location aware on mobile devices in the EU (or at least in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain).

For more details see Facebook Deals Launches in Europe.

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Feb 16 2009

Italian Criminals Start Using Skype

Category: SecurityTeknovis @ 11:14 pm

Italian criminals are increasingly using Skype to make their business phone calls. They are not choosing Skype for the free PC-to-PC calls, or the video conferencing facilities :P They are choosing it for the security that it offers them compared to conventional phone systems (land line or mobile)!

I have no doubt that this is frustrating the authorities. However, I am a strong believer in privacy, and I would be appalled if I discovered that Skype was colluding with authorities to circumvent its security.

More details about this can be read in Italy police warn of Skype threat.

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Jan 02 2009

Period Tracking Application for the iPhone

Category: iPhoneTeknovis @ 9:33 am

I read a very interesting article about a new period tracking application for the iPhone. The application is called I am a Man, and it enables the user to keep track of the periods of several women. Its main features are described as:

  • Trace your girlfriend’s periods
  • Set a master password for the whole program
  • Set personal passwords for every girl
  • Make calls by simply tapping on her name

Here is a sample screenshot:

I am a Man Application Screenshot (courtesy of VentureBeat)

I am a Man Application Screenshot (courtesy of VentureBeat)

For more details about this application see An iPhone app to track the menstrual cycle of your girlfriend(s). (Yes, you read that right).

I think that the application seems to be quite useful! My only negative comment is that the application title is a bit sexist, because it seems to be very focused on male users. Surely more females track periods than males!

Unsurprisingly, the application is getting a lot of negative attention. For example, Pat Phelan expresses his opinion in Farts and periods, Apple finally reaches the bottom of the barrel, and many of his Irish readers agree with him.

I understand why people have these negative opinions. Furthermore, I think that most of my Irish friends (both male and female) would have similar opinions.

However, I think that this application will be viewed differently by people from different cultures and backgrounds. For example, I know females who feel that information regarding their periods is not particularly private (of course they do not make a public announcement about it either). It is just not a big deal to them, and it is certainly not taboo. Indeed, some of these females already track their periods using their computers or mobile devices. Finally, it is not uncommon for them to know when their colleagues are having theirs.

So are these friends all exceptional? I do not know, but perhaps their attitudes are influenced by the fact that they come from Spain and Italy :o

I will try and convince some of my female friends to post their opinions of this application here :)

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Dec 12 2008

Google Zeitgeist 2008

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 7:33 pm

Google published the Zeitgeist 2008 earlier this week. This shows the most popular searches on Google during 2008.

The results are broken down into separate results for each country, which is probably more useful than the overall results. One of the interesting things that I noticed is that the term Google is in the top 10 in many countries! I do not know why people search for this using Google, but my guess is that these people are not searching directly on the Google webpage. For example, I have Firefox configured so that I can type my Google search terms directly into the address bar.

It is also very interesting to see that certain terms that are directly related to well known websites, such as YouTube, appear in all of the EU results. Yet nearly all of the EU results have terms that are specific to the country or language. I do not recognise a lot of these ones!

The most popular search terms in Ireland were:

  1. Bebo
  2. Youtube
  3. Hotmail
  4. Yahoo
  5. Google
  6. Games
  7. You tube
  8. News
  9. Map
  10. gmail

Unfortunately, none of these search terms relate to Irish websites :(

The fastest rising search terms in Ireland were:

  1. Facebook
  2. utube
  3. google maps
  4. Youtube
  5. Nasza klasa
  6. Wiki
  7. RTE
  8. Maps
  9. Irish Times
  10. Yahoo! mail

Perhaps the most interesting search term on this list is for the Polish social networking website Nasza-Klasa. (This is the most popular search term in Poland.)

There is also an interesting observation about the list of most popular politicians in Ireland in Politician Declan Ganley more popular than Bertie says Google.

More details about the popular search terms in Ireland can be read in “Sarah Palin” the most searched query on Google. Unfortunately, Ireland is not included in the Google Zeitgeist page, and I am unable to find the official source!

The results presented by Google have been filtered to remove terms related to adult searches. I recall hearing that pornography related searches are by far the most popular. However, it seems that Google did not get the filtering totally right this time for the UK results. The original list (see Palin beats Obama in Google’s ‘zeitgeist’ rankings or 2008 Year-End Zeitgeist Around the World until the mistake is noticed) contained the term cam4 under the Fastest Rising category. Let me say that cam4 is certainly not suitable for viewing in work :o For more about this see Ooops, Google Zeitgeist lists a porn site.

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