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Google Patents Your Rights Online

Google Patents Staple of '70s Mainframe Computing 333

theodp writes "'The lack of interest, the disdain for history is what makes computing not-quite-a-field,' Alan Kay once lamented. And so it should come as no surprise that the USPTO granted Google a patent Tuesday for the Automatic Deletion of Temporary Files, perhaps unaware that the search giant's claimed invention is essentially a somewhat kludgy variation on file expiration processing, a staple of circa-1970 IBM mainframe computing and subsequent disk management software. From Google's 2013 patent: 'A path name for a file system directory can be "C:temp\12-1-1999\" to indicate that files contained within the file system directory will expire on Dec. 1, 1999.' From Judith Rattenbury's 1971 Introduction to the IBM 360 computer and OS/JCL: 'EXPDT=70365 With this expiration date specified, the data set will not be scratched or overwritten without special operator action until the 365th day of 1970.' Hey, things are new if you've never seen them before!"
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Google Patents Staple of '70s Mainframe Computing

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @11:01PM (#42952115)

    Google Labs is supposedly working on a next-gen programming development environment that allows source code statements to be physically manipulated like a deck of cards.

  • Re:Really! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @11:57PM (#42952537)

    Let alone patentable? I remember when the idiots at the USPTO gave a patent on the x-oring of a byte of screen memory to flash a cursor.

    Too bad we couldn't generate electricity from stupidity. We seem to have plenty to go around these days.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @12:12AM (#42952599)

    You mean they're making a remake of Solitaire?

  • by sbjornda ( 199447 ) <sbjornda&hotmail,com> on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @12:23AM (#42952641)

    I bet when all the kids were super-excited about programming on the i386 with its "OMG VIRTUAL MEMORY!!!" the older guys who had worked on mainframes just rolled their eyes. :)

    You talking about the same old grey beards that gasped when the kids opened the cover on a server and added their own memory, network adaptors, backplanes, disk drives, etc without having to call IBM out to do it?

    Yeah, and then rolled their eyes again because the kids didn't know about change control, didn't notify the users about the outage, didn't verify that their backups were good (if they even had backups), and lost 6 months worth of corporate data as a result.


  • Re:Really! (Score:4, Funny)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @05:51AM (#42954011) Homepage Journal

    The 'plurality' of chunks is irrelevant to the matter of expiring old data. What matters is that you have some sort of metadata telling the system when a blob of data that might resemble a file is to be deleted.

    The USPTO, meanwhile, keeps making me feel like blowing a plurality of chunks into a water filled receptacle where upon manipulation of a lever or chain fresh water will enter the receptacle transferring momentum to the relevant chunks causing them to exit through a drain.

  • by ChrisSlicks ( 2727947 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @08:47AM (#42954611)
    When it comes to software or computing patents they apparently spend 90% of that allotted time by playing mine sweeper.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell