Patent Idiocy


Amazon was just granted a patent covering... brace yourselves... custom 404's.

Ok, how the hell did Amazon get a patent for a technique that existed before they did?


Anonymous said...

Actually, it's both better and worse than that. The patent actually seems to be for a client program (read browser plugin/session manager) that sits on your computer and intercepts different types of "errors," including 404's, and then interacts with an "error processing server" to display completely different content based on the bad url and the error message.

It's sort of an http try/catch paradigm. I can't decide if this is a step forward for usability--it might mean people can get to alternative/mirrored content when they would ordinarily hit a 404--or a step backward for transparency and privacy. Possibly it's both, but I say when in doubt, assume insidiousness.

Yet Another Girl said...

That's what I get for trusting the /. summary!