Anne Loucks has designed an ingenious apparatus that allows her cat to click "I agree" on the obnoxious EULAs that get thrown up on her computer screen. She reasons that since her cat can't form a legal contract, there's no agreement to be made there. I did the same thing when Poesy was born, getting her to flail her tiny fist into the Wiimote
so as to agree to all the terms of service that you have to click through to use your Wii.
Of course, I have created a wonderful solution to this problem. My cat, Simba, agrees instead of me. As he is not a legal entity, I don't really know how kitty's agreements would stand up in court, but I like to think he would be responsible for any breaches of contract, assuming the agreement is even enforceable. After all, he is not even of legal age, at least in human years.
The Agreeable Cat
First, we must create a way for Simba to push the button. I created a cardboard platform with a long thin protrusion for pressing the spacebar, which is sufficient to activate most onscreen buttons.
Next, I carefully place it over the keyboard of my computer.
Finally, I lure Simba over the cardboard platform with the promise of petting.
Success!! He presses the button of his own free will. Admittedly, he was coerced and rewarded, but really, nobody forced my cat to step on the button and become party to a software license agreement. At the very least, we know he was not under duress.
Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy.
Kids’ author/droid builder Kurt Zimmerman created “Artoo Deco,” an Art Deco take on R2-D2, capable of movement under radio control, and with an in-built sound-system that makes cool, droidish noises.
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Courtesy of our friends at Boing Boing, this is Negativland speaking to you. Thank you for reading about all of our deaths over the past year and a half!
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