[Beowulf] dollars-per-teraflop : any lists like the Top500?

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Thu Jul 1 08:29:45 PDT 2010

On 7/1/10 6:47 AM, "John Hearns" <hearnsj at googlemail.com> wrote:

> On 1 July 2010 14:25, Nathan Moore <ntmoore at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> (1) to a certain extent, intellectual/scientific prestige was very
>> important to the culture of the place.  Promotions were/are based in
>> part on how many patents you generate (not dissimilar to a
>> publications count), but at least superficially, patents don't seem like
>> a major revenue stream.
> You should go to a Richard M Stallman talk on software patents
> sometime. (They're always on software patents).
> Software patents are used by companies as leverage in legal disputes
> between themselves - therefore a company
> which has many patents can 'defend' itself against others by
> threatening to counter-sue for infringment of their patents.
> The more patents you have the better.
> RMS's argument of course is that software patents (he deals with
> software - don't extrapolate to other types of patent)
> should be ended.

RMS is an interesting guy.  He does tend to stake out one extreme on the
intellectual property rights spectrum.  I've had many a stimulating(?)
discussion with folks who advocate a form of Marxism for software: that is,
all software should be freely available to all, and magic elves/the
state/some entity will ensure that the writers of such software will have a
roof over their heads and food to eat, because it's a sharing of a societal
good thing.  Sadly, even in the halls of academe such a situation doesn't
really exist.  RMS knows this and has a finely nuanced way to deal with it.
The same cannot be said of his philosophical adherents.<grin>

Such as it is, the IP world we live in is the one we have to work in.  We
can't rely on the Renaissance patronage approach, or the aristocratic
gentleman of independent means approach for support.  Government support is
sort of the new "patronage", but it is a fickle master (although perhaps,
now that I think about it, not any more fickle than Prince Ludivico of
Milan, etc.).  For the rest of us, the enormous number of technology and
science developers in the private world, the value of IP ("goodwill" on the
books) is that with which a profit making entity justifies the original
investment, and with which they pay your salary, which lets you put that
roof over your head etc.

With respect to software patents, IBM gets bunches o' patents on hardware
too, and has always done so.

The modern trend to building a portfolio as a strategic weapon against other
portfolios (e.g. So you have something to cross license with) is somewhat
worrying, because it tends to favor the big boys. That is, if you have 100
patents in your quiver and someone knocks a few out, you've still got 90+ to
beat them over the head with.  If you have 1 patent....

It's an interesting topic...

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