I went to the FFII demonstration against software patents in Europe last year in Brussels. Despite some success—the European Parliament has repeatedly rejected the patentability of software—the European Commission, apparently awed by corporate behemoths, continues to attempt to bring in the unwanted, unneeded and harmful software patents. It’s going our way at the moment, but I get the feeling that, no matter how many times they get knocked back, they are going to keep trying to bring software patents in, even if it takes them a hundred times before they succeed.
Apart from moving house and playing WEBoggle, I’ve also spent much of the past two weeks working on a BitTorrent tracker. It might seem like a strange thing to be doing, particularly in a week in which one person was fined USD 1 million for running a BitTorrent tracker/aggregator site. But don’t worry: I’m not in any danger. Contrary to what some people appear to believe, peer-to-peer technology does have substantial legitimate uses.
I just found a humorous and well-written Observer article by a long-time British resident of Paris explaining how to deal with France’s notoriously obstreperous service workers without getting taken for un con.