Stuff Yaron Finds Interesting

Technology, Politics, Food, Finance, etc.

BPEL, TIBCO and trademarking the English language

Issue 202 in the BPEL TC is a demand from Tibco that the BPEL TC change the word 'rendezvous' that is used as the value of an attribute in the BPEL programming language because Tibco has trademarked the word 'rendezvous'. To be clear, trademarks do not apply to 'descriptive' uses and that is exactly how BPEL uses the term 'rendezvous'. So legally speaking Tibco most likely doesn't have a leg to stand on. I do have sympathy for Tibco because one is required to 'vigorously' enforce a trademark in order to keep it. So to protect their trademark they need to be seen to be defending it, hence issue 202. But now people in the group are scared that Tibco will sue them (or their employer) if we don't change the term. Hopefully the group will stand up for the freedom to use the English language and reject issue 202 on next week's call. An even better outcome would be a change in the law that would make it illegal to get a Trademark on a common English word. The fact that Tibco could trademark the word 'rendezvous' and then try to banish its use from technical efforts is insane.

Cell Phone Health Hazards?

Two weeks ago the economist had an article more or less making fun of people who think that Cell phones might pose a health hazard. To be clear, to date there has not been any conclusive evidence that cell phones are dangerous. Instead, based on the evidence provided by the book and the article I reference below, there appears to instead be a well organized attempt by the cell phone industry (specifically the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA)) to make sure that the research done into cell phones health affects won't find anything wrong.

[Update: 10/11/2005 – A good article at Commercial Alert about Cell Phone Hazards to children.]

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Fighting the Lies – The Guardian's Editorial on Israel

The Guardian, a newspaper with a long history of hating Israel, has published an editorial which asserts that historically the Jews really never cared for Israel and anyway Jews have been treated just wonderfully throughout the world and should be happy to live without a Jewish State since all a Jewish state can apparently can do is oppress Palestinians. The really scary party is that while the author felt it necessary to trot out lies and half truths to 'prove' his first two points, the last point, that Israel's existence requires oppressing Palestinians, he didn't feel he needed to 'prove'. He felt he could just assert it since he understands, correctly, that such a belief is axiomatic in European thinking.

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