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]
Hudson Yards is a notorious (and spectacularly badly timed) new "luxury housing development" in New York City: a massive, gated, privatized "neighborhood" in Manhattan, a city that has been literally hollowed out by runaway luxury real-estate speculation, to the exclusion of working people and mere millionaires alike.
Censorship before or censorship after? The EU Copyright Directive rekindles the oldest fight in the history of free speech debates, first waged by John Milton in 1644. Then, like now, policy-makers were considering a radical change in censorship law, a switch from censoring material after it was published to requiring a censor's permission to publish […]
Today marksed the largest street protests ever in the history of internet freedom struggles, with more than 100,000 Europeans participating in mass demonstrations across the region -- more than 50 cities participated in Germany alone! From Netpolitik's early summary (English robotranslation): "In Berlin, the demonstration was about half an hour, if you waited along the […]
Got a vision to put on film? The Film & Cinematography Mastery Bundle shows you how to put it there, with classes covering gear, lighting, production – even marketing. Even in this age of indie cinema, filmmaking can seem like an exclusive world for the chosen few. But with the right eye – and the […]
If you’re into tech at all, you should definitely consider unleashing your inner tinkerer on a Raspberry Pi board. If you’re intimidated, don’t be. It’s a statistical probability that people half your age have created cooler things than you can imagine with the versatile kit. Not sure where to start? The Complete Raspberry Pi 3B+ […]
Are you super organized? You’re going to love the Genius Pack G4 and its seemingly limitless, well-placed compartments. Not that organized? You’re still going to love this piece of luggage because it’s so well thought out that it practically does the packing for you. We’ve all tried to stuff a piece of carry-on so full […]