"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Free Webinar on Advanced Legal Research May 28, 2015 - Contains Link to Register

Via Technolawyer we were alerted to a free upcoming
Webinar on Advanced Legal Research, May 28, 2015
by Clio Legal Practice Management Software.

Register here to watch the one-hour seminar.
This is not an ad on our part - we are just passing along useful information.

Cognition of Geographic Information and Human Spatial Orientation and Navigation in an Age of GIS and Virtual Reality: Locomotion Wayfinding and Systems of Reference

One critical area of scientific inquiry that bears directly on our ongoing analysis of ancient rock art, megaliths, mounds, earthworks etc. as land survey markers sited by astronomy is the question of human spatial and geographic orientation in a given environment and the role of systems of reference used for this purpose. Far too little research has been devoted to this topic and it is the kind of thing that research foundations should be sponsoring and funding.

We refer here to fundamental articles in Robert B. McMaster & E.Lynn Usery (eds.), 2004/2005. A Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 402 p., ISBN-13: 978-0849327285 ISBN-10: 0849327288, eBook ISBN 978-1-4200-3833-0

and especially to Chapter 3 by Daniel R. Montello and Scott Freundschuh on the Cognition of Geographic Information, where they write, inter alia:
"Cognitive research about space and place has focused on several issues:  the responses of sensory systems that pick up spatial information, the development of spatial knowledge from birth to adulthood (ontogenesis) and upon first exposure to a new place (microgenesis), the accuracy and precision of knowledge about distances and directions, spatial language, cognitive structures and processes used during navigation, and perceptual and cognitive issues in cartography, and very recently, GIS. With the advent of new technologies like GIS, new questions about spatial perception and cognition develop, and old questions (both basic and applied) become focused in new ways. 
One of the most basic concepts in this area is that of the cognitive map. Introduced by Tolman (1948) in his work with rat spatial behavior, the cognitive map is a mental representation, or set of representations, of the spatial layout of the environment. According to Downs and Stea (1973), “cognitive mapping is a process composed of a series of psychological transformations by which an individual acquires, stores, recalls, and decodes information about the relative locations and attributes of phenomena in his [or her] everyday spatial environment” (p. 9). The cartographic map thus serves as a metaphor for spatial and environmental knowledge. Other metaphors have been offered as well, from topological schemata to cognitive collage (see Montello & Freundschuh, 1995). GIS and virtual reality provide our latest metaphors for environmental knowledge. 
Cognitive researchers are interested in comparing various sources of geographical knowledge. Montello and Freundschuh (1995) review the characteristics of acquiring knowledge from direct environmental experience, static pictorial representations such as maps (see Thorndyke & Hayes-Roth, 1982), dynamic pictorial representations (movies, animations), and language (see Taylor & Tversky, 1992). Montello and Freundschuh listed eight factors that may play roles in differentiating these sources of geographic information: sensorimotor
systems involved, static vs. dynamic information, sequential vs. simultaneous acquisition, the arbitrariness of symbols, the need for scale translations and their flexibility, viewing perspective, precision of presented information, and the inclusion of detail varying in relevance.
It is commonly thought that spatial knowledge of the environment consists of three types of features: knowledge of discrete landmarks, knowledge of routes that connect landmarks into travel sequences, and configurational or survey knowledge that coordinates and metrically scales routes and landmarks. In fact, inspired by Piagetian theory, it has often been suggested that these features represent a necessary learning sequence (Siegel & White, 1975; for an opposing view, see Montello, 1998). Landmarks in particular are thought to play an important role as anchor-points or reference points for the organization of environmental knowledge (Sadalla, Burroughs, & Staplin, 1980; Couclelis, Golledge, Gale, & Tobler, 1987).

Spatial cognition researchers have studied human navigation and orientation (Golledge, 1999). Navigation is coordinated and goal directed movement through space. It may be understood to consist of both locomotion and wayfinding processes.

Locomotion refers to perceptual-motor coordination to the local surrounds, and includes activities such as moving towards visible targets and avoiding obstacles.
Wayfinding refers to cognitive coordination to the distant environment, beyond direct sensorimotor access, and includes activities such as trip planning and route choice. Humans navigate and stay oriented both by recognizing landmarks (piloting) and by updating their sense of location via dead reckoning processes
(Gallistel, 1990; Loomis, Klatzky, Golledge, & Philbeck, 1999). Some of these processes are relatively automatic (Rieser, Pick, Ashmead, & Garing, 1995), while others are more like conscious strategies (Cornell, Heth, & Rowat, 1992).

A fundamental issue about human orientation concerns the systems of reference that people use to organize their spatial knowledge. Various possible systems have been discussed, including those that encode spatial relations with respect to the body, with respect to an external feature with or without differentiated appearance, or with respect to an abstract frame like latitude-longitude (Hart & Moore, 1973; Levinson, 1996). Several researchers have investigated reference systems within the context of verbal route directions (Allen, 1997)."

Patent Law Absurdity Continues with Gene viz. Genome Editing Patents for CRISPRs (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)

Genome editing patents are one of the negative fallouts of
  • unclear judicial decision-making by the United States Supreme Court, and
  • weak law-making in U.S. Congress regarding intellectual property law

    and both of those regrettable situations have led to the
  • continued issuance of what we regard to be absurd patents by the USPTO.
As written at the Wikipedia piece on CRISPR:
"Since 2013, the CRISPR/Cas system has been used for gene editing (adding, disrupting or changing the sequence of specific genes) and gene regulation .... By delivering the Cas9 protein and appropriate guide RNAs into a cell, the organism's genome can be cut at any desired location."
As written by Antonio Regalado at MIT Technology Review in Who Owns the Biggest Biotech Discovery of the Century?
"There’s a bitter fight over the patents for CRISPR, a breakthrough new form of DNA editing [which] turn[s] that natural machinery into a “programmable” editing tool, to cut any DNA strand, at least in a test tube." [emphasis added by LawPundit]
Once again, the patent-happy USPTO is handing out patents left and right for technology that is based on laws of nature

-- as written above by Regalado in the MIT Technology Review

-- on "natural machinery" of the genes.

As written at the Wikipedia:
"CRISPR was first shown to work as a genome engineering/editing tool in human cell culture by 2012. It has since been used in a wide range of organisms including baker's yeast (S. cerevisiae), zebra fish (D. rerio), flies (D. melanogaster), nematodes (C. elegans), plants, mice, and several other organisms.
Additionally CRISPR has been modified to make programmable transcription factors that allow scientists to target and activate or silence specific genes.
Libraries of tens of thousands of guide RNAs are now available."
In other words, CRISPRs exist in nature and have not been "invented" by any human being, even though human beings may have discovered that CRISPRs exist in nature and can be used for practical applications such as gene editing. This does not make their use for cutting genes patentable by any means.

We simply do not understand how the patent happy people at the USPTO, as well as the clueless in the legislatures and in the judiciary seem not to understand that patent protection was not created to grant people vast monopolies on the natural machinery of nature!!!!! regardless of how discovered and no matter how that natural machinery is used!!!!!

Nature is nature!

Come up with something else NEW, and then you can get a patent.

Finding out how "nature" works and how it can be used can be a great discovery, as in the case of CRISPRs for gene editing, but the "cutting" work is done by nature, not by the inventor!!! NOT PATENTABLE SUBJECT MATTER!!!!

Inventions and Prior Art: Origin of the Triple-Bar Drop-Down Menu "Air-Vent" "Hamburger" Icon Symbol Now Ubiquitous on Smartphones Facebook Apps Etc

Xerox was the modern-day so-called "inventor" of the digital use of the now ubiquitous triple-bar "air-vent" so-called "hamburger" menu icon symbol.

BBC News has the story at Hamburger icon: How these three lines mystify most people - BBC News.

The Wikipedia writes: "The triple bar, , is a symbol with multiple, context-dependent meanings...."

The triple bar is hardly a modern-day invention, being already predated by two other significant "prior art" uses in long-gone eras, as noted at the Wikipedia:
  • , Qián, the trigram of the I Ching that consists of three unbroken lines
  • Ξ, capital letter Xi of the Greek alphabet
The I Ching trigram meant "heaven, sky".

The capital letter Xi Ξ of the Greek alphabet, as we analyzed in our book, The Syllabic Origins of Writing and the Alphabet, has comparable signs in Linear B, Old Elamite, the Cypriot Syllabary, and the Samekh of the Hebrew and Phoenician alphabets, and evolved as a symbol "out of fish signs and signs representing fish drying racks having two or three levels upon which to place the fish" as also found in symbols in Sumerian, Pharaonic Egyptian, and Luwian.

Indeed, the Hebrew Samekh means "support", i.e. the function of the fish rack, a concept which surely is related to the I Ching idea of a triple bar as meaning "heaven, sky", as the "supported" firmament of the ancients.