Dan sez, "Macaroni and cheese seems like a pretty docile product -- I mean, it's just pasta and orange powder in a box. But Kraft and others use the fun macaroni shapes to help market the products, and to protect their marketing tool, they often seek patents for their shapes. Yes, patents. And... they get them. A Google Patent Search shows about 2,000 patents for shaped pasta."
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.