SED Can Proceed

A Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has found that the Canon license for Nano SED patents still exists. Canon had tried to form a partnership with Toshiba (SED, Inc.) which the court found violated the terms of the license, but then Nano claimed that this violation dissolved the license, which the Court found to be incorrect.

Canon has reportedly doubled its workforce in SED on this ruling, so these things may finally get into production. SED TV sets were expected to be on the market three years ago, but patent litigation has held it up, much to the LCD manufacturers’ delight.

For those who are not AV geeks: SED TV’s bring CRT-level picture quality to the flat-screen form factor at lower power and (theoretically) lower cost than LCD or plasma. However, since the benefits over LCD and plasma are quite dramatic SED is expected to be priced more highly than LCD or plasma for a while. Once all the videophiles throw huge piles of cash at the nicer sets, the next step will be to be priced marginally higher than LCD or plasma, since the average consumer will clearly see the benefit, then they can proceed to meet, then undercut the LCD and plasma market. That’ll be the time to buy. Once LCD and plasma get beaten out of the market, the price will climb back up, and then LCD and plasma can come back in. So, long-term these will probably remain slightly more expensive than LCD and plasma, until the patents expire anyway (or OLED becomes competitive), then everybody will be making them and prices should fall through the floor. Mark June 14, 2024 on your calendar. It should be a good Independence Day sale!

K-Mart vs. Wal*Mart

I stopped by Newbury Comics today to buy Will a birthday present (he’s two today). I got him a Monster Book of Monsters stuffed toy he absolute went bananas for last time we were in there.

On my TODO index card in my pocket I also had ‘wrapping paper’ and ‘padded envelopes’. Newbury Comics is in the same shopping plaza as K-Mart and since I was shopping on work time I decided to just go there rather than drive down to Wal*Mart and save a couple bucks on products.

I got what I needed, but during checkout I was asked, in order:

  • for my e-mail address so I could ‘get coupons’. Three times, each worded differently.
  • for my ZIP code
  • if I wanted to apply for a Sears credit card
  • for $7.73 for the goods
  • if I would please go online and fill out a survey
  • to ‘please come back and visit us again’

They’re out of their minds. Next time I’m going to drive to Wal*Mart, and it’s not for the $2, it’s for the check out process:

  • give us this much money (incidentally, less than K-Mart)

  • “thank you, have a nice day”

CE/BCE is Stupid

There’s a move afoot to replace the terms ‘B.C.’ and ‘A.D’ to denote years with the terms C.E. and B.C.E meaning ‘Common Era‘ and ‘Before Common Era’. Anybody who’s been to school knows B.C. means ‘before Christ’ and A.D. means ‘Anno Domini’, Latin for ‘In the Year of Our Lord’. That ‘B.C.’ is based in English and ‘A.D.’ in Latin seems incongruous at best, but they’ve been used for the duration of the Gregorian Calendar and frankly serve their purpose just fine.

C.E. and B.C.E. are simply euphemisms to cover up the fact that the calendar used in most of the world is based on Christianity, specifically the birth of Jesus Christ (or Yoshua of Nazereth for the historically-minded). The Gregorian Calendar was imposed by, who’d’a thunk … Pope Gregory, and who would you think he’d base his calendar around? (Obviously the name of the calendar system will be next on the block).

There are many good arguments against the Gregorian Calendar, but that’s what we’ve got. The competing calendar standards (e.g. Mayan, Chinese) have fallen to the Gregorian, and there’s likely no turning back that tide. So, there’s no utility in trying to cover up its origins, and the cost of implementing such changes is without return. At a minimum anybody expected to ever read any historical text would have to be trained in both systems, so at best it’s a net increase in cost. If somebody wants to tackle the implementation of a better calendar, perhaps a sidereal one, go for it. You can even call its days a ‘stardate’ if you must. But until that time, nobody can claim offense at B.C. and A.D. until we take care of the ‘Tyr, Odin, Thor, Freyja, Saturn’ problem, OK?