Blogging History: Supreme Court DNA ruling; City demands job applicants' social media passwords; Microsoft DRM talk

One year ago today

Making sense of the confusing Supreme Court DNA patent ruling: If you can't patent a gene, but you can patent the laboratory copy of the gene, what's that mean? It's sort of like not being able to patent a novel, but being able to patent a copy of its contents that's had all the white space removed. It seems like everybody is a bit confused by this.

Five years ago today

City in Montana requires job applicants to hand over all social network logins and passwords for background checks: Bozeman City, Montana now asks all applicants for jobs to 'Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo,, MySpace, etc.,' the City form states. There are then three lines where applicants can list the Web sites, their user names and log-in information and their passwords.

Ten years ago today
Why Microsoft should get out of DRM: I gave a talk at Microsoft Research today on why Microsoft should get out of the DRM business and what they could do instead.