Is the United States Patent Office becoming useless and ignorant?

Yesterday I saw a post on slashdot (slashdot link) about how Amazon was able to extend their “1-click” patent to include contacting customers after an order either by phone or email. Here is the diagram that was submitted: link to diagram. Be careful on your e-commerce sites, try not to email your customers or call them.

This is not the first time we have seen the USPTO so disconnected with reality, especially in regards to the internet space. Shall we list some other examples?

  1. Hyperlink patents — Did you know coloring your hyperlinks may be in violation of several patents?
  2. JPEG patent — The JPEG scandal, has everyone switched to PNGs yet?
  3. Domain name patent — Did you know there is an email and domain name patent and there was actually a lawsuit against Network Solutions and Register.com, I’m not sure of the outcome of that case, but still.
  4. Rich media patent — this company claims to have a patent on all Rich Media (Flash, Flex, Java, AJAX and XAML).
  5. Peanut Butter and Jelly patent — What? Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich with no crust is patentable?

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New WordPress Theme, and how dumb is this?

So I transformed my site from a money maker to a personal blog, yea go figure! After searching through hundreds and hundreds of themes I finally found one I liked, Hemingway. So I installed and began messing around with it, now I am a valid semantic freak so when I noticed there were errors and warnings on the page I hit the code and started fixing them. BTW, if you use this theme a major error is found in the designby() function, it seems that the author tried to mask the website link, so you couldn’t search by it easily, using concatenation the problem of course is that he has an extra period (.) in his code which does not validate. The best idea is to remove the concatenation.

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