A Dollar & A Dream

Here in NC, the state has finally started a lottery. I tried to look online to see what states don’t have a [tag]lottery[/tag], but got sidetracked, and never actually figured it out. I think there’s like 8 or 9 states that still don’t have a lottery. (If you do know, post a comment saying so.)

I guess it was only a matter of time before we finally got a lottery here. Whenever one of the big lotteries (Powerball or Mega Millions) was pretty high, it made news around here. They would show people (and their money) from NC going to VA or SC to get the tickets. So why not just keep the money in state? And at least give the impression that a lot of the proceeds will be going to education. They have even gone to the extent of calling it the “North Carolina Education Lottery.” Scratch off tickets start today, then the other parts like Powerball starts later.

I have a feeling that Sharon will buy a ticket every once in a while. But I don’t think I’ll be buying that many tickets.

[tags]North Carolina, News[/tags]


FBI needs e-mail

Apparently the [tag]FBI[/tag] doesn’t have enough money to give all of their field agents e-mail accounts.

Now I’ve got about 99 GMail invites left. I’m sure if we can get together, we can get GMail for all the GMen that are without.



Time for Patent Reform

There is a good opinion piece in the NY Times discussing the need for patent reform.

Patents are a good thing when used properly. They are needed to encourage innovation, and protect people from having their work copied. But when you can patent a relationship between homocysteine levels and a vitamin B-12 deficiency, something feels out of whack. According to the piece, bodily processes are not patentable, yet that’s exactly what we see here.

Hopefully, this article will serve as another wake up call that we need serious [tag]patent reform[/tag] here. Recently, RIM ended a long court battle with NTP over RIM’s BlackBerry service. NTP is a patent holding company. Needless to say, RIM is pushing for some patent reform now.

When I think of a patent holding company, I think of a company that holds many patents on ideas. They wait for another person or company to develop the product, then sue them.

It would be easy to blame the USPTO for all these problems. But I’m guessing they are doing the best job they can do. I’ve tried to look a few patents, and as with anything related to the government, they are pretty damn hard to read.

Let’s hope that something is done to reform the patent system, or we’ll all be facing problems down the road.

[tags]News, Patents, BlackBerry, RIM, NTP[/tags]

News, Random

Another bad day for Bush

President Bush can’t get any love.

Jessica Simpson, of reality TV and bad movie fame, declined to meet the President at a Republican charity event. Why? Because it was at a political event, and she keeps her political views private. Umm, sure.

I’ve never really thought of Jessica Simpson as a political activist. Then again, I never really thought of her as a singer or TV personality. I mean, when you’re upstaged by Miss Piggy on Pizza Hut ads, your career is not looking so good.

Julia, Photos

One Month Old


Julia turned one month old on Tuesday. We also gave her a bath for the first time on Tuesday. Her umbilical cord didn’t fall off until last Monday, so we couldn’t give her a real bath until it fell off. We tried to take some pictures of Julia all dressed up for her one month birthday. Here, or here, for pictures.