Tuesday, March 31, 2009

RPX and Intellectual Ventures - Patent buyers

"Like most venture-backed firms, RPX Corporation, a new company devoted solely to buying patents, hopes to make a lot of money and eventually go public.

But the strategy of the start-up, backed by the blue-chip venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Charles River Ventures, is exactly the opposite of the other patent funds. It buys patents with the expressed intention of not using them and not suing anyone else who does."


Main article: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/trolling-for-patents-to-fight-patent-trolls/

The term "Patent Trolling" is derogatory - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll#cite_note-39 and WSJ article, Inventors have rights too by Nathan Myrhvold

About RPX http://www.rpxcorp.com/company.html
RPX News http://www.rpxcorp.com/releases/index.html
RPX Blog http://rpxcorp.com/blog/

See also Nathan Myhrvold (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan_Myhrvold) former Microsoft CTO http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan_Myhrvold
Head of similar firm, Intellectual Ventures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_Ventures
Intellectual Ventures: http://www.intellectualventures.com/
Intellectual Ventures News: http://www.intellectualventures.com/news.aspx
Article on Intellectual Ventures:

Friday, March 27, 2009

How to make money from online content, even after it gets loose on third-party websites.

Embracing Piracy by Erica Nanone

"addressing the problem in two ways. First, the company is working with online ad networks to share revenue with the owner of any content that appears on an ad-supported site. Attributor is also testing code that attaches ads to articles, no matter where the article appears. A site can grab an article with permission, as long as the code that handles the ads is in place. Robinson noted that there's still a lot to work out, such as figuring out the minimum amount of compensation that the content creator should accept."

Attributor website:

Attributor White Paper: Set your content free and monetize it

SEE ALSO http://majorbenjamintalmadge.blogspot.com/2009/04/attributor-everthing-you-want-to-know.html

World Series of mountain warriors

Thomas Ricks on Gurkhans vs. Taliban:

I didn't realize the Gurkhas were fighting in Afghanistan. This is like the World Series of mountain warriors. It also is a replay of the last British small war in the region, the fighting in Waziristan in the 1930s. John Masters wrote a wonderful memoir of commanding a Gurkha unit there in his classic Bugles and a Tiger. In a subsequent volume, The Road Past Mandalay, about fighting in World War II, he recalls at one point being surrounded by a Japanese unit in Burma, and his Gurkha sergeant major turning to him and saying, "Boy, am I glad these guys aren't Pashtuns!"



Taliban attack Nato Routes

Gurkas Help Routs Taliban

Thursday, March 26, 2009

McKinsey on Recession

"All four recessions, like the current one, began with falling sales and EBITA in the consumer discretionary sector and three with similar declines in IT. Consumer staples didn’t suffer significantly in the last three or health care in the last two. The energy sector was among the latest to be hit in three of the recessions, though it was among the latest to recover in all four of them. The exhibit shows the sequence of decline and recovery in these and other sectors."


More details in the article below (must register w/ McKinsey Quarterly)


No Lie MRI NOT being offered as evidence in court


Gary Seiser to Stanford Center for Law and Bioscience:

"...Now I understand both the great potential of fMRI for lie detection, and the many hurdles yet to be overcome before it is ready for the courtroom. It has definitely been a learning experience.

As you know, this week the proponents of the evidence withdrew their request to have it admitted, thus ending the issue in our case. I won’t speculate on why they did that. I will only say I was confident that with all the help I had received, you assisting as co-counsel, and Marc Raichle on the stand, we would have prevailed. In a way, we did."

Monday, March 23, 2009

The coming censorship wars

"it's well known that countries such as China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam and South Korea all use a number of techniques to prevent their citizens gaining access to certain types of traffic. These techniques include blocking certain IP addresses, filtering traffic with certain URLs in the data packets and prefix hijacking, any of which could affect international traffic.

But according to Karlin and co, very little international traffic is routed through these countries so they pose a relatively small threat.

Less well known, they say, is that countries like Great Britain and Australia also censor traffic, albeit ona less pervasive scale. And that huge amounts of international traffic is routed through Britain.

The only country that is more influential than Britain by a measure invented by Karlin and co called the Country Centrality, is the US. The US, along with Sweden, allows wiretapping of international traffic without a warrant, not everybody's cup of tea. But routing your internet traffic to avoid the US, or Britain for that matter, would be a tricky business."


Josh Karlin website: http://www.cs.unm.edu/~karlinjf/#[[About%20Me]]

Josh Karln on "Mysteries of the Unregulated Internet" https://www.research.gov/rgov/gov/research/core/cms/news/printNewsDetail.jsp;jsessionid=R2hqJdvLG5PL915GQzMJb60hhvCJSrzQrLSnvG54F1G8TX08M7tQ!-34539227?nodePath=/BEA%20Repository/news/items/1223069797045

Scientific papers by Josh Karlin: http://en.scientificcommons.org/josh_karlin

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No Lie MRI being offered as evidence in court

"It has come to our attention that No Lie MRI has produced a report that is presently being offered as evidence in a court in Southern California. A hearing about the admissibility of this evidence is imminent.

The case is a child protection hearing being conducted in the juvenile court. In brief, and because the details of the case are sealed and of a sensitive nature, the issue is whether a minor has suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a custodial parent and should remain removed from the home. The parent has contracted No Lie MRI and apparently undergone a brain scan. ....

The defense plans to claim the fMRI-based lie detection (or “truth verification”) technology is accurate and generally accepted within the relevant scientific community in part by narrowly defining the relevant community as only those who research and develop fMRI-based lie detection. [Note: California follows its own version of the Frye test of admissibility, not the current federal test under Daubert."


"No Lie MRI licensed its technology from psychiatrist Daniel Langleben of the University of Pennsylvania. Langleben, like the company, declined to be interviewed for this article, but offered a recent editorial he co-authored in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law on the "future of forensic functional brain imaging."


For more on Daniel Langleben

UPENN website:

NPR Article on Langleben:

Neuroscientist Uses Brain Scan to See Lies Form

No Lie MRI (company) - http://noliemri.com/aboutUs/Overview.htm

See also
"Duped: Brain Scans Uncover Lies?" from Margaret Talbot of the New America Foundation

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Could China and India go to war over Tibet?

"This is the role Tibet's dispensation plays in the conflict between China and India. Indian strategist C. Raja Mohan puts it bluntly: "When there is relative tranquility in Tibet, India and China have reasonably good relations. When Sino-Tibetan tensions rise, India's relationship with China heads south." Although not widely recognized in the West, the nexus of Tibet and the unresolved border conflict between China and India ranks with the Taiwan Strait and Korean peninsula among Asia's leading flashpoints."


National Security Law for Policymakers and Law Students

National Security Law for Policymakers - Crash Course

Sense Networks Strikes Again

Sense Networks is the most popular girl at the popular tech mag ball.

See articles in Wired:

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-08/st_thompson Clive Thompson on Real-World Social Networks vs. Facebook 'Friends'
and MIT Technology Review:

http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/20247/ TR10: Reality Mining: Sandy Pentland is using data gathered by cell phones to learn about human behavior.

http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/19968/ What Your Phone Knows About You; MIT's Sandy Pentland finds surprising implications in patterns of cell-phone use

See also Sense Networks news:

"Over the course of any day, people congregate around different parts of a city. In the morning hours, workers commute downtown, while at lunchtime and in the evening, people disperse to eateries and bars.

While this sort of behavior is common knowledge, it hasn't been visible to the average person. Sense Networks, a startup based in New York, is now trying to bring this side of a city to life. Using cell-phone and taxi GPS data, the startup's software produces a heat map that shows activity at hot spots across a city. Currently, the service, called Citysense, only works in San Francisco, but it will launch in New York in the next few months."


Science brought to you by Alex "Sandy" Pentland out of MIT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Pentland

2004 Technology Review article by the man himself: http://www.technologyreview.com/web/13517/

They are funded by "hedge fund community and by founders of other leading finance and technology companies." I.e., Drobny Global Advisors and The Challenger Funds. Sounds like they made a great investment.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Siri - AI Assistant Startup

We have met our share of secretive startups over the years, but few have been as secretive about their plans as Siri, which was founded in December 2007 and did not even have an official name until today. Siri was spun out of SRI International and its core technology is based on the highly ambitious CALO artificial intelligence project. Today, Siri announced that it has raised an $8.5 million Series A financing round, led by Menlo Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures.



See also other Major Talmadge posts:



Sunday, March 1, 2009


A new museum exhibition on Genghis (Chingiz) Khan is opening in Houston.

Weatherford (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Weatherford) of author of Genghis Khan and the making of the modern world is responsible for much of the new found interest in the Mongols.

"Not by strength, by guile."