The stylized art of patent drawings is instantly recognizable. Before the information age, the drawings were drafter's jewelboxes, designed to make the workings of new mechanical inventions legible to other inventors (and patent examiners).
When the US Patent and Trademark Office (which is funded by patent-application fees) decided that it would allow "inventors" to patent doing obvious things by adding "but done with a computer" or "done on the Internet," the art in patents underwent a transformation. Since there was no invention to speak of (c.f. one-click purchasing; scanning a document and emailing it; podcasting) the application diagrams became more fanciful, depicting "the Internet" in various guises, doing things that lent the applicant the veneer of technical respectability in a bid to disguise the fact that the "invention" amounted to "incredibly obvious thing, but with the Internet."
It's probably not a coincidence that patent examiners, whose salary came from these applicants, encouraged the practice.
These 33 patent drawings depicting the Internet (sometimes labelled "cyberspace" or even "Internet highway") are a kind of rogues gallery in line-art schematic form.
What shape is the internet? [Noah Veltman]
Olivia Jade Giannulli is the millionaire heiress of actor Lori Laughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, who are accused of paying a $500,000 bribe to the University of Southern California to secure her admission; Jade's university career was bound up with her other career as an "Instagram influencer," with sponsor deals for the decor in […]
During the bitter debate over the EU's Copyright Directive, with its mandate for copyright filters that would automatically censor anything that anyone claimed to be infringing, opponents repeatedly warned that these filters would be trivial to abuse.
Jason Scott has made the source available for every one of Infocom's classic and genre-defining text adventure games (previously) for the Apple ][+ and its successors, posting it to Github under the historicalsource account.
Seasoned chefs have a bit of a love-hate relationship with their cutlery. A really good set of knives has to prove its worth by being put through the wringer – and if they’re really good, they’ll still look great afterward. So it is with the Damasukasu Japanese 3-Piece Master Chef Hanshu Knife Set. Sitting in […]
With the intuitive software out there today, anyone can become a music producer. You’ve probably heard that from any number of laptop impresarios, but you still have to know how to use the tools – and Logic Pro X is one of the best platforms out there right now. In order to get the most […]
Believe it or not, PDF files have been the go-to format for contracts and forms of any type since 1993. And sure, they’re easily shareable – but that’s about it. When you need to edit or sign a document – and you will – that’s when frustration can set in. Luckily, there are workarounds, and […]