Software Patent Troll (Not to Scale)

Another Patent Troll Bites the Dust


WC admits that Personal Audio isn’t your typical patent troll. Unlike most patent trolls, Personal Audio actually had a product, although that product failed a long time ago, and the concepts that Personal Audio tried to patent were incorporated into an actual product. It’s just that the scope of the claims were overly broad. That…

The Lost Skill of Critical Thinking


WC doesn’t want to sound like a cranky old man, but what has happened to Americans’ critical thinking skills? Recently, President Trump slipped General Kelly’s leash long enough to tweet out ad hominem attacks on Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn). Senator Blumenthal had said, “Politicizing the Department of Justice for personal ends, I think, is a disservice to the…

Striped Skunk, Salton Sea, California. The various bouquets of the Salton Sea make a skunk nearly undetectable

A Nasal Essay


WC and Mrs. WC chased reports of an Indigo Bunting and a Blue Grosbeak at Fort BoiseWildlife Management Area on Saturday. We dipped on the birds – for the second time, in fact – but there was one aspect of the trip that didn’t escape us: a symphony of stinks, a miasma of malodors. Start…

Francis Barlow's illustration of the fable, 1687

A Lie an Hour / Makes Your Credibility Dour


The Washington Post has documented 29 Trump lies in 26 hours, untruths at a rate of greater than one an hour. That was before Trump boasted that Mexico’s President had telephoned him, agreeing to pay for Trump’s Wall, a transparent lie. And before Trump claimed the Boy Scouts had telephoned him to congratulate him on his…

More News of the Subatomic Bestiary


Despite hurtful criticism of WC’s attempts to explain quarks, and Randall Munroe’s brilliant upstaging of those lame efforts, WC returns to the subatomic bestiary, with news about neutrinos. Neutrinos occupy the third row of the table of fermions. Because they are electrically neutral – by definition having no electric charge – there are only three…

Building a Cliff Swallow Nest, Step Two

Mud, Spit and Patience


One of the things that makes birds endless fascinating to WC is the whole matter of bird nests. Some birds get by with a scrape on the ground. Others build elaborate shelters to incubate their eggs and raise their kids. In the latter group is the Cliff Swallow. Cliff Swallows are very widely distributed in…