Ban the internet! It's full of worms and iPlayers

And Google shows patent disdain

The Beeb launched its iPlayer service on Friday. Well, sort of. Most people still can't use it, and it's apparently not very good anyway. Many have become frustrated as a result. You weren't exceptions:

Of course, if they'd written one that was only available on Linux to start with, they'd have had a smaller user base and would have had less problems with the demand, plus a significant proportion of users would be a bit more technical and able to work things through.


I am on the iPlayer Beta and I have to say the way it is done is not very good.

Sure it looks slick but having to download the files to my comp, why? I can stream on 4od and that is good enough for me.

Is iPlayer supposed to be competing with Sky +?

James Barber

I got into the beta yesterday... so I excitedly logged in only to find that it wasnt working!

I was getting an "unexpected error" and told to try again later.


Also I found that, ontop of it requiring Windows to run, it requires you to view the page in IE :(

Its just like them bringing out a new channel you can only watch with a Sony freeview box

Matt Jordan

I tried the beta when my invite came through on Friday, downloaded 2 episodes of hyperdrive (the only show I could see that I was vaguely interested in. Download speed was good but the shows encode was AWFULL, there are literally hundreds of better rips available online these days, why does the bbc have to screw up the video so badly, I know there stuck with using .wmv, but there are some very high quality wmv rips available so it's just them encoding there episodes to resemble a LEGO recreation.


Google called for a reform of the US patent system, saying the Patent Office is "overburdened" and that too many businesses do almost nothing but use patents to make money. You agreed, but couldn't agree on how to fix it:

As much as I hate to I gotta side with Google on this one. The system is broken and has begun to have a negative impact on innovation. Google's problem is with the patent system and if you read closely you'll see that IBM and Apple's problem is with the legal system. Both of these companies make mega bucks through the patent system and get slammed by the legal system. It's a pretty lame argument from IBM and Apple.


If there really were many successful small inventors, the status-quo folks wouldn't have to keep trotting out the intermittent-wiper guy.

How is "stripping patent rights away from those who can't afford to produce the invention" worse, or even very different, from the current system that strips all rights from those who cannot afford millions in legal fees to withstand the onslaught of corporate lawyers who are past-masters in running out the money clock.

The best a small inventor can hope for is to be buggered only by the biggest guy in the yard, who will then keep the others away.

The whole _point_ of the patent system is to use the force of law (i.e. people with handcuffs and guns) to prevent people using the fruits of their own creativity if someone else has a better lawyer. Remember, independent invention (despite being one of the key bits of evidence of obviousness) is no defense.


Sadly , there is a cure for patent trolls , but it requires the creation of a central world wide patent registrar with radical powers and authority to enforce the rules fairly across all countries boundaries outside the local court system , and a radical application of new ideas to remove the old one country ad hoc rules that apply today , where in one country software and basic human genome building blocks of life can be patented , and yet in another the answer is bollocks to the same idea!

Unfortunately for all , since no one countries politicians will even surrender one iota of his/or her countries deemed basic sovereign rights(including those from past international treaties signed off by previous ruling governments to themselves) even at gun point(explains the inherent imminent failure and implosion of the current United Nations , due to conflicts of perceived interests , like it's predecessor the unfortunate "League of Nations") , this will never happen in this fractured world we live in(whilst the self same politicians are very willing to abuse the freedoms and rights of all local persons under their absolute control or poor citizens who just happen to reside in the newly acquired resource rich foreign sovereign territories or countries)

Also , far too many vampires with vested rights want to keep the current messy system status quo , because to them where else can they make a such a decent living from the unproductive leeching off all the workers in the current landscape , unless confusion reigns supreme!

As the late infamous notorious Oz Bandito and Bushranger Ned Kelly in the nineteenth century was once reputed to have said "Such is Life" !


Patents are intended to protect original inventions, not ideas, discoveries of natural law, and so on.

The basic problem is that the US Patent Office has been granting patents for things that would not be granted a patent in another country.

There are various ways small inventors can protect themselves. Patents are not expensive to register. The point of them is to licence them to a large company that can exploit them. If a large company simply rips off the patent, a fee-for-win lawyer can take on the case.


What is a patent troll?

According to some a patent troll is a firm who licenses patents they do not themselves commercialize. Yet many of the large firms who are most critical of the practice do it themselves. Out licensing is now an important profit center of most every firm. Often, as a result they end up licensing out patents covering technologies they themselves do not use as they are not consistent with their corporate plan. Rather hypocritical isnt it?

Still, there is nothing illegal or unethical about a small entity only licensing or selling their inventions. In fact, the traditional approach for many if not most independent inventors is to solely license or sell the rights to their invention. This is because most inventors, while they may be quite creative and even have genius in their field, are not always so adept at business, such as marketing or manufacturing, or simply lack the money. Inventors frequently find they are better off leaving the business end of it to someone else. Then again, some just love inventing and don't want to be bothered with the business end of it so that their time is fully focused on invention, not on business. Edison himself, one of the world's most prolific inventors, most often sold or licensed his patents to others that they might commercialize his inventions. No one derided him as a "patent troll". Many times when he attempted to manufacture and/or market his products himself he struggled with profitability. Therefore, the argument by large multinationals and other parties that there is something wrong with inventors solely selling or licensing their inventions is mere dissembling or only signals a lack of understanding in invention and inventors. So they should stop this childish name calling.

Sadly, some legislators and other parties have been duped by these slick firms and their well greased lawyers, lobbyists (some disguised as trade or public interest groups), and stealth PR firms. Don't be surprised to find the Washington lobbyist scandal spreading into the patent deform proceedings.

All this talk of "patent trolls" is then but a red herring fabricated by a handful of large tech firms as a diversion away from the real issue...that they have no valid defense against charges they are using other parties' technologies without permission. The objective of these large firms is not to fix the patent system, but to destroy it or pervert it so only they may obtain and defend patents; to make it a sport of kings. Patents are a threat against their market dominance. They would rather use their size alone to secure their market position. Patents of others, especially small entities, jeopardize that. For example, the proposed change to eliminate the use of injunctions would only further encourage blatant infringement. Any large company would merely force you to make them take a license. They would have little to lose. Everything would be litigated to death -if a small entity can come up with the cash to pursue. That's what these large multinationals are betting against.

When corporate America agrees to not use our inventions without consent, American inventors and small entities will agree to stop suing them.


Stephen Wren


And with that, we shall retire to continue work on an invention that will change the world: a beer mat that lifts your drink to your mouth for you. It'll be called the bMat. We've already filed for a patent covering the way it works. In the US, naturally. ®

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