Booting Up: Grifters Be Grifting Edition

(Photo: Shirley Hornstein via TechCrunch)

“It feels as if the technology innovation wars are no longer over one piece of technology or another, but over us humans.” [CNN]

Exposing a Valley grifter and her horrible Photoshop skills. [Techcrunch]

Zynga’s chief creative officer is leaving the company to launch his own startup. Oh pretty please can it be another Facebook game company? We need one of those. [AllThingsD]

Another Lulzsec hacker has been arrested, and we assume cops did not do so for the lulz. [BBC]

Google ruined the simple design of its homepage with a tacky ad for the Nexus 7. [New York Times]

Patently Absurd

Anyone Shilling for Google and/or Oracle Might Want to ‘Fess Up Now


These patent cases are really starting to get the goats of America’s fine judicial personalities. Back in June,¬†Judge Richard Posner dismissed the Apple v. Motorola battle royale, saying neither could “establish a right to relief.”

Now PaidContent reports that William Alsup, who’s stuck presiding over the final stages of Oracle’s case against Google, is laying down the law on the subject of disclosures. Specifically, he wants the two companies to provide complete lists of any bloggers and/or journalists they might have on the payroll. Shady!

The order says: Read More

Patent Wars

TechStars Adopts Twitter’s Patent Agreement

Mr. Cohen

Look out, Microsoft: patent troll haters are emerging in full force, and by golly they will not let you stifle innovation. After yesterday’s news that Twitter had adopted a Patent Agreement¬†meant to stymie the patent wars, everyone practically fell over themselves in an effort to congratulate Twitter on its innovative thinking. The new agreement says that Twitter will not use patents offensively, and any company that acquires patents from Twitter has to get the innovator’s consent before using them offensively. It’s a smart PR move, and will no doubt further endear engineers and tech watchers to the microblogging service.

Now, startup accelerator TechStars has announced that it intends to insert these patent hack provisions into its own policy, and encourage all of the startups it incubates to do the same. Read More

Patently Absurd

Paul Graham Invents a ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Pledge to Shame Patent Trolls


Is there anything Paul Graham can’t do? He developed the first ever web app, co-founded Y Combinator, knows how to be zen about the competition, and now, Mr. Graham has figured out a way to stop the patent wars–without waiting around for Uncle Sam. Rather than rely on federal reform around the way patents are issued, Mr. Graham suggests interceding further downstream at the the point where the patents are being used.

And what better way to do that by making any would-be patent trolls publicly accountable? Read More