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Published my book electronically, under a Creative Commons license

My book No Lobbyists As Such - The War over Software Patents in the European Union is now available for download:

The PDF file has a size of approximately 2 megabytes. In order to read the document, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader. By the way, I have also published a German edition of my book on

Originally I had planned to self-publish my book in print. After the official announcement of my book in late …

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Senior researcher at Chinese Ministry of Commerce believes software patents stifle innovation

The FFII’s Swpatcnino page continues to be the most up-to-date and complete collection of links to news items concerning software patents. Here’s an interesting article that I became aware of on that page: Shanghai Daily - IPR protection hot potato not black and white

The article talks about IPRs (intellectual property rights) in general, and patents are only one of the legal devices that are counted among them. With respect to software, I prefer a clear distinction to be made between copyright and patents, and only in a few exceptional cases I consider it accurate to refer to copyright, patents and other rights by the collective term IPRs.

A significant part of the article, which was written by a senior researcher at the Chinese Ministry …

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MyComponents: Version 2006.4.4 released - Maintenance Release

It gives us great pride to announce the release of MyComponents V4.4 native Delphi/Kylix VCL suite. This update includes mainly fixes to issues as it has been reported to Support and on this and other forums.

What's new?

New: RemObjects' DataAbstract driver 3 and 4 API included.
Fix: Various issues as has been reported to SciBit Support

This update is free of charge for all customers whom own a 2005.4.x MyComponents serial. Everyone still using a pre-2005.4 MyComponents may upgrade to the newest version by logging into their Secure accounts: simply click the Secure link at the top of this page.

Previous articles concerning MyComponents 4.x are:

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ZDNet article on EU patent policy mentions my concerns about the EPLA

There has been some confusion in the media in recent days, following some statements made by European Commission vice president Verheugen at a pro-patent propaganda event in Brussels. Verheugen’s remarks could be interpreted as signs of optimism that the EU Community Patent (a unitary patent for the Single Market) might materialize in the foreseeable future. However, at a closer look it seems that the Commission is already trying to position other legislative measures as the near-term priority. One of them is the London Protocol, which would bring down the language requirements for European patents, and the more important one is the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA).

I have given some comments about this to ZDNet for this article.

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Sorry, no Normalization or Sakila Videos

After looking through my raw files, the audio for the Database Normalization session at the MySQL UC2006 was missing. In addition I never managed a recording of the Sakila session due to the laptop crash.

All is not lost, interested viewers can see the Normalization session from PHP Quebec 2005 and my Rough Version of the Sakila session as subsitiutes.

Managing Hierarchical Data Session Now Online

I have finished the rendering on the Managing Hierarchical Data With MySQL session:

Requires Flash

Camera Envy

On top of everything else I saw at the MySQL UC, I saw enough snazzy digital SLRs to make me green with envy (curse you Stewart, Mike, George, Colin, Jeremy and Julian!)

So, I decided to whip up a way out-there camera wishlist to rule them all! I may not actually have any of this, but when some generous millionaire buys it all for me I shall have the mightiest setup of all at the next uc!

Ok so it is just an excuse to play with the wishlist plugin for wordpress.

UC2006 Closing Thoughts

This post recorded mid-day on Friday.

The MySQL User conference has ended and I find myself waiting for my flight home — a good time to gather thoughts.

I personally think the conference was a great success. We had over 1500 attendees and the feedback I heard on the conference was very positive. I did hear a few asking for the sessions to be longer than 45 minutes and I do agree that 45 minutes can be a bit cramped, especially for a speaker who is re-using a session previously delivered in a longer block, but overall the response was great.

I had three sessions this year, and those sessions seemed well received by the attendees I spoke to. I am *very* glad that I backed up my slides to a keychain drive and ghosted my drives before leaving as it made the crashing of my laptop an annoyance rather than an unmitigated disaster. I worry that the distraction of a laptop crash may have left me at less than 100% for my sessions …

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New Speaker/Book Photo

Update: High Res Versions at

This year there was a nice little bonus, Julian Cash was on hand to take photos of the staff with a proper studio setup. I’ve seen some of his work before and liked it, and was looking forward to a session. When the photo sessions were announced, we were asked to bring a prop that represented ourselves or our work or personality. I actually forgot about the prop requirement but went for a session on the way to my Hierarchy talk and walked in carrying a stack of books to give away. Julian took one look and pronounced ‘Great Prop!’ upon seeing my stack of books. It was not planned as a prop, but seeing as I am a technical writer and …

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Scaling with Mixi

Mixi is a massive social networking site in Japan, nice user interface demo.

Began in late 2003 with 10,000 users and 600K pageviews a day. As it became clear that the site was viral, the question became how to scale out before getting overwhelmed.

In the first year they went from 600 users to 210,000 users.

2,000,000 users in the second year.

Now 3.7 million users, with 15,000 new users per day. Japan has 86.7 million users.

Site has 70% active users (logging in at least every 72 hours). Average user spends 3 hours 20 minutes on mixi a week. 35th on Alexa worldwide, 3rd in Japan.

Mixi now gets more traffic than Amazon Japan.

Mixi uses LAMP (perl), memcache, squid. Fedora for Linux.

Requests go mod_proxy to mod_perl, then either memcache or a set of MySQL servers divided by blogs, messages and other.

Using more than 100 servers, 10 new servers per month. All done …

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Showing entries 31 to 40 of 85
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