Starting May 4, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will allow inventors to expedite their patent prosecution. The first 10,000 inventors willing to pay an extra $4000 (no discount for small entities) will be able to place their patent applications in a “Fast Track.” The new service aims to achieve a final disposition (rejection or allowance) within one year.
A few quick picks…
- Austrian physicists claim ball lighting is an optical illusion induced in the visual center of the brain by the intense magnetic fields of lightning.
- PatentlyO on the USPTO’s proposal to create a “slow,” “standard,” and “fast” lane for patent applications. Applicants will pay more for a quick examination, less if they’re willing to go to the back of the line. More from the Wall Street Journal.
- Cheaper data plans from ATT? Maybe it’s finally time to get an iPhone and immolate my miserable Windows CE phone in suitably epic fashion.
- An object is approaching the moon’s orbit from deep space – and it appears to be artificial.
- From the “if you don’t like what someone else is saying, call it hate speech and get someone to suppress it” department, this Ars Technica piece discusses a petition effort to get the FCC to censor “misinformation” and “hate speech.”
- The always insightful and usually entertaining Sharon Weinberger has an excellent piece over at Nature on the science (or lack thereof) behind the “Screening Passengers by Observation Technique” (SPOT) behavior detection scheme currently deployed by TSA to try to identify security threats. Which reminds me, it’s about time I blogged on the fascinating subject of nuclear hand grenades.
A few quick picks:
- A new radio direction finding system for deployment on Humvees was introduced last week by Southwest Research Institute.
- Claire Berlinski reporting in City Journal reports a surprising lack of interest in a couple of Russian exiles with copies of the Kremlin’s secret archives needing translation and examination.
- PatentlyO reports that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued more patents the last two weeks than ever before due to a jump in number of patents allowed. Lots of great and insightful comments from patent examiners on the reasons why, too!
- Finally from the Build Blog… it’s like Architectural Digest, but for pillow forts. See Part 1 and Part 2.