Patently absurd: No tab panel dragging in Flash 8

I finally got around to installing Flash 8, diagnosis and so far I’m impressed with it. But thanks to an absurd patent and its subsequent enforcement, sildenafil I can’t use it in the way I expect to.

You may have noticed the problem too as soon as you started customizing your work space: What’s with this new “Group Transform with…” dropdown? And why can’t I just drag panels from one tab group to the other like I could with Flash MX 2004? Or with Photoshop?

Turns out the answer is that Adobe has patented this “drag a tab” process, ascariasis and Macromedia felt obliged to “turn it off” after Adobe sued them for violating that patent. According to the Macromedia KnowledgeBase concerning FreeHand 10:

On May 2, 2002, a U.S. jury found that Adobe’s U.S. patent number 5,546,528 regarding tabbed palettes was valid and that certain Macromedia products infringed that patent. Macromedia has respectfully complied with the court’s rulings. In relation to Macromedia FreeHand 10 in the Macromedia Studio MX, we have taken steps to implement the ruling and changed features accordingly.

But… but… Aren’t Adobe and Macromedia the same company now? And will they issue a patch to “uncripple” the tab-drag feature now that they love each other?

And will the U.S. Patent Office ever figure out that these kinds of software patents are crippling the industry?

I have no problem with copyrighting source code — in fact, the U.S. copyright laws are more than adequate to protect everything one types into a keyboard in the U.S. But patenting a process — or a “feel” — of a software product is sheer insanity.

And while we’re on the subject, did you know the patent office is actually in the business of patenting storylines for unwritten fiction now? Yep. Thanks to crap like this, you can actually patent ideas and things without actually having to do anything. Just make money suing the people who actually do.

To learn more about how you can stifle creativity, eliminate new ideas and make workflow awkward for hundreds of computer users, see the following sites:

US Patent and trademark Office

Knight & Associates – Storyline patents and plot patents

The Electronic Frontier Foundation

NoSoftwarePatents.com

How did we get to be No. 1 on everyone’s list of “Sites we hate?”

I’m often curious about what people are looking for when search engines send them to Turdhead.com, cure so I tend to look at the site’s log reports pretty regularly. I was recently surprised — and a little alarmed — to find that more than a few people are ending up here after typing “Sites we hate” into their Google search boxes!

Even more troubling: Turdhead.com is the first thing that shows up when one enters the phrase on both Google and MSN.

It took me a while to realize that “Sites we hate” is actually the heading of one of our less-used article categories, find so it does in fact show up on every page of Turdhead, approved and we do actually have a lot of content filed under the header.

Maybe we should change our focus from “whatever the hell it is now” to “Sites we hate?”

Not that it matters: Whatever we decide to focus our sights on, we won’t end up talking much about it anyway.

Sorry, buddy, but your browser’s not genuine Microsoft

Imagine calling 911 and being told your call cannot be accepted, denture because you’re not using the government’s accepted brand of cell phone or approved wireless carrier. Or consider having your tax return tossed out because you used the wrong brand of envelope to send it in.

Sound far fetched? Unfortunately, herbal it’s not: The Federal Emergency Management Agency is currently accepting online file claims from victims of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods… but only if they’re using the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer on a recent version of Microsoft Windows! Otherwise, physician they have to use the ever-efficient phone system– and let’s hope they’ve got touchtone!

All I can say is… what the hell? Has the U.S. government — the perpetrator of a multitude of rules, laws and standards — not heard of Web standards? It’s not hard to create a Web application that runs on all current browsers — most companies today make this a minimum requirement for any public Web site. Why limit the online FEMA system’s use to only those careless enough to still be using Microsoft’s three-year-old piece-o-crap Internet Explorer? Why rule out Firefox users, Safari users Opera users, and Macintosh users of all ilk?

It doesn’t cost any more to make a site that works for everybody; you just have to give a damn in the first place.

Paypal quietly blocks funds aimed at Hurricane Relief

I’ve been telling people that Paypal sucks ever since the company quietly tried to remove $1, look 000 from my account three years ago without contacting me nor the original sender. I ended up having to close my account because they kept removing funds that weren’t theirs. But now I have even more reason to hate them: The bastards have blocked funds raised by donors intending to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

I know they’re not regulated by banking laws, physiotherapy because somehow they exist outside the laws of mere mortals, but for crying out loud, will you people stop giving these bastards your money?!! Send a freaking check or money order!

Is it open season on spammers?

I don’t usually link to other sites for a single post, population health but I thought this was worth noting. According to this article mentioned on Slashdot today, clinic a known spammer was savagely murdered in his home this weekend. I don’t know if it’s actually true, but if it is, I would like to extend my condolences to his family.

It must have been hard on them knowing their son was a spammer.

Although I certainly don’t advocate murder, I can’t say this surprises me. Investigators, legislators and the courts continue to ignore the public cry for stiff penalties against spam operators (and believe me, I’ve been crying for months now). Apparently, somebody has now taken it upon himself (or herself) to administer his (or her) own penalties.

Even I have to admit the perpetrator may have overreacted, but… I can’t really say I’ll miss the victim, either.

Spammers really should stop.