Linus Torvalds quote

"Software patents, in particular, are very ripe for abuse. The whole system encourages big corporations getting thousands and thousands of patents. Individuals almost never get them."

Linus Torvalds

Born: December 28, 1969

Occupation: Software Engineer

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More quotes of Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds

I love making friends.... it's people I can't stand.

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Linus Torvalds

I am not out to destroy Microsoft, that would be a completely unintended side effect.

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Linus Torvalds

I will, in fact, claim that the difference between a bad programmer and a good one is whether he considers his code or his data structures more important. Bad programmers worry about the code. Good programmers...

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Linus Torvalds

Talk is cheap. Show me the code.

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Linus Torvalds

Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.

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Linus Torvalds

Software is like sex: It's better when it's free.

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Linus Torvalds

Let's put it this way: if you need to ask a lawyer whether what you do is right or not, you are morally corrupt. Let's not go there. We don't base our morality on law.

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Linus Torvalds

Theory and practice sometimes clash. And when that happens, theory loses. Every single time.

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Linus Torvalds

Those that can, do. Those that can't, complain.

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Linus Torvalds

If Microsoft ever does applications for Linux it means I've won.

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Linus Torvalds

There are lots of Linux users who don't care how the kernel works, but only want to use it. That is a tribute to how good Linux is.

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Linus Torvalds

Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program.

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Linus Torvalds

In my opinion MS is a lot better at making money than it is at making good operating systems.

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Linus Torvalds

Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done.

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Linus Torvalds

The Linux philosophy is 'Laugh in the face of danger'. Oops. Wrong One. 'Do it yourself'. Yes, that's it.

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Linus Torvalds

Microsoft isn't evil, they just make really crappy operating systems.

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Linus Torvalds

Any program is only as good as it is useful.

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Linus Torvalds

When you say 'I wrote a program that crashed Windows,' people just stare at you blankly and say 'Hey, I got those with the system, for free.'

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Linus Torvalds

See, you not only have to be a good coder to create a system like Linux, you have to be a sneaky bastard too.

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Linus Torvalds

I try to avoid long-range plans and visions - that way I can more easily deal with anything new that comes up.

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Linus Torvalds

I'm generally a very pragmatic person: that which works, works.

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Linus Torvalds

Making Linux GPL'd was definitely the best thing I ever did.

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Linus Torvalds

You won't get sued for anticompetitive behavior.

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Linus Torvalds

A consumer doesn't take anything away: he doesn't actually consume anything. Giving the same thing to a thousand consumers is not really any more expensive than giving it to just one.

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Linus Torvalds

Artists usually don't make all that much money, and they often keep their artistic hobby despite the money rather than due to it.

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Linus Torvalds

I want my office to be quiet. The loudest thing in the room - by far - should be the occasional purring of the cat.

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Linus Torvalds

My name is Linus, and I am your God.

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Linus Torvalds

The memory management on the PowerPC can be used to frighten small children.

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Linus Torvalds

I don't try to be a threat to MicroSoft, mainly because I don't really see MS as competition. Especially not Windows-the goals of Linux and Windows are simply so different.

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Linus Torvalds

Programmers are in the enviable position of not only getting to do what they want to, but because the end result is so important they get paid to do it. There are other professions like that, but not that...

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Linus Torvalds

Finnish companies tend to be very traditional, not taking many risks. Silicon Valley is completely different: people here really live on the edge.

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Linus Torvalds

I do get my pizzas paid for by Linux indirectly.

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Linus Torvalds

I think of myself as an engineer, not as a visionary or 'big thinker.' I don't have any lofty goals.

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Linus Torvalds

That's what makes Linux so good: you put in something, and that effort multiplies. It's a positive feedback cycle.

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Linus Torvalds

In many cases, the user interface to a program is the most important part for a commercial company: whether the programs works correctly or not seems to be secondary.

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Linus Torvalds

Fairly cheap home computing was what changed my life.

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Linus Torvalds

Hey, I'm a good software engineer, but I'm not exactly known for my fashion sense. White socks and sandals don't translate to 'good design sense'.

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Linus Torvalds

I actually think that I'm a rather optimistic and happy person; it's just that I'm not a very positive person, if you see the difference.

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Linus Torvalds

I don't expect to go hungry if I decide to leave the University. Resume: Linux looks pretty good in many places.

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Linus Torvalds

I don't have any authority over Linux other than this notion that I know what I'm doing.

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Linus Torvalds

I don't think I'm unusual in preferring my laptop to be thin and light.

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Linus Torvalds

I like to think that I've been a good manager. That fact has been very instrumental in making Linux a successful product.

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Linus Torvalds

I see myself as a technical person who chose a great project and a great way of doing that project.

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Linus Torvalds

I spend a lot more time than any person should have to talking with lawyers and thinking about intellectual property issues.

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Linus Torvalds

I think, fundamentally, open source does tend to be more stable software. It's the right way to do things.

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Linus Torvalds

I very seldom worry about other systems. I concentrate pretty fully on just making Linux the best I can.

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Linus Torvalds

I'm a technical manager, but I don't have to take care of people. I only have to worry about technology itself.

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Linus Torvalds

I'm interested in Linux because of the technology, and Linux wasn't started as any kind of rebellion against the 'evil Microsoft empire.'

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Linus Torvalds

I've been employed by the University of Helsinki, and they've been perfectly happy to keep me employed and doing Linux.

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Linus Torvalds

I've been very happy with the commercial Linux CD-ROM vendors linux Red Hat.

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Linus Torvalds

I've never regretted not making Linux shareware: I really don't like the pay for use binary shareware programs.

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Linus Torvalds

If you start doing things because you hate others and want to screw them over, the end result is bad.

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Linus Torvalds

Linux has definitely made a lot of sense even in a purely materialistic sense.

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Linus Torvalds

No-one has ever called me a cool dude. I'm somewhere between geek and normal.

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Linus Torvalds

Once you start thinking more about where you want to be than about making the best product, you're screwed.

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Linus Torvalds

Part of doing Linux was that I had to communicate a lot more instead of just being a geek in front of a computer.

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Linus Torvalds

Shareware tends to combine the worst of commercial software with the worst of free software.

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Linus Torvalds

The economics of the security world are all horribly, horribly nasty and are largely based on fear, intimidation and blackmail.

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Linus Torvalds

The thing with Linux is that the developers themselves are actually customers too: that has always been an important part of Linux.

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Linus Torvalds

What I find most interesting is how people really have taken Linux and used it in ways and attributes and motivations that I never felt.

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Linus Torvalds

Before the commercial ventures, Linux tended to be rather hard to set up, because most of the developers were motivated mainly by their own interests.

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Linus Torvalds

I often compare open source to science. To where science took this whole notion of developing ideas in the open and improving on other peoples' ideas and making it into what science is today and the incredible...

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Linus Torvalds

People enjoy the interaction on the Internet, and the feeling of belonging to a group that does something interesting: that's how some software projects are born.

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Linus Torvalds

The cyberspace earnings I get from Linux come in the format of having a Network of people that know me and trust me, and that I can depend on in return.

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Linus Torvalds

An individual developer like me cares about writing the new code and making it as interesting and efficient as possible. But very few people want to do the testing.

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Linus Torvalds

By staying neutral, I end up being somebody that everybody can trust. Even if they don't always agree with my decisions, they know I'm not working against them.

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Linus Torvalds

Every once in a while an issue comes up where I have to make a statement. I can't totally avoid all political issues, but I try my best to minimize them. When I do make a statement, I try to be fairly...

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Linus Torvalds

Helsinki may not be as cold as you make it out to be, but California is still a lot nicer. I don't remember the last time I couldn't walk around in shorts all day.

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Linus Torvalds

I don't actually go to that many conferences. I do that a couple of times a year. Normally, I am not recognized; people don't throw their panties at me. I'm a perfectly normal person sitting in my den...

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Linus Torvalds

I get the biggest enjoyment from the random and unexpected places. Linux on cellphones or refrigerators, just because it's so not what I envisioned it. Or on supercomputers.

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Linus Torvalds

I used to be interested in Windows NT, but the more I see it, the more it looks like traditional Windows with a stabler kernel. I don't find anything technically interesting there.

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Linus Torvalds

I'd much rather have 15 people arguing about something than 15 people splitting into two camps, each side convinced it's right and not talking to the other.

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Linus Torvalds

I'm perfectly happy complaining, because it's cathartic, and I'm perfectly happy arguing with people on the Internet because arguing is my favourite pastime - not programming.

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Linus Torvalds

I'm sitting in my home office wearing a bathrobe. The same way I'm not going to start wearing ties, I'm also not going to buy into the fake politeness, the lying, the office politics and backstabbing,...

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Linus Torvalds

I've actually found the image of Silicon Valley as a hotbed of money-grubbing tech people to be pretty false, but maybe that's because the people I hang out with are all really engineers.

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Linus Torvalds

I've felt strongly that the advantage of Linux is that it doesn't have a niche or any special market, but that different individuals and companies end up pushing it in the direction they want, and as such...

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Linus Torvalds

In many ways, I am very happy about the whole Linux commercial market because the commercial market is doing all these things that I have absolutely zero interest in doing myself.

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Linus Torvalds

It's a personality trait: from the very beginning, I knew what I was concentrating on. I'm only doing the kernel - I always found everything around it to be completely boring.

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Linus Torvalds

Software patents, in particular, are very ripe for abuse. The whole system encourages big corporations getting thousands and thousands of patents. Individuals almost never get them.

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Linus Torvalds

The thing I love about diving is the flowing feeling. I like a sport where the whole point is to move as little as humanly possible so your air supply will last longer. That's my kind of sport. Where the...

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Linus Torvalds

There were open source projects and free software before Linux was there. Linux in many ways is one of the more visible and one of the bigger technical projects in this area, and it changed how people...

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Linus Torvalds

There's innovation in Linux. There are some really good technical features that I'm proud of. There are capabilities in Linux that aren't in other operating systems.

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Linus Torvalds

To be a nemesis, you have to actively try to destroy something, don't you? Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect.

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Linus Torvalds

To be honest, the fact that people trust you gives you a lot of power over people. Having another person's trust is more powerful than all other management techniques put together.

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Linus Torvalds

Turtles are very stable and have been around forever. But they have problems adapting. When humans came along, turtles came under serious threat. Biodiversity is good, and I think it is good in technology...

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Linus Torvalds

What commercialism has brought into Linux has been the incentive to make a good distribution that is easy to use and that has all the packaging issues worked out.

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Linus Torvalds

When it comes to software, I much prefer free software, because I have very seldom seen a program that has worked well enough for my needs, and having sources available can be a life-saver.

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Linus Torvalds

If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it.

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Linus Torvalds

Avoiding complexity reduces bugs.

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Linus Torvalds

In open source, we feel strongly that to really do something well, you have to get a lot of people involved.

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Linus Torvalds

In real open source, you have the right to control your own destiny.

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Linus Torvalds

All operating systems sucks, but Linux just sucks less

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Linus Torvalds

Don't hurry your code. Make sure it works well and is well designed. Don't worry about timing.

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Linus Torvalds

If you want to travel around the world and be invited to speak at a lot of different places, just write a Unix operating system.

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Linus Torvalds

A lot of people want to have market share numbers, lots of users, because that's how they view their self worth. For me, one of the most important things for Linux is having a big community that is actively...

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Linus Torvalds

On the internet nobody can hear you being subtle.

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Linus Torvalds

Only wimps use tape backup. REAL men just upload their important stuff on ftp and let the rest of the world mirror it.

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Linus Torvalds

Bad programmers worry about the code. Good programmers worry about data structures and their relationships.

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Linus Torvalds

Non-technical questions sometimes don't have an answer at all.

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Linus Torvalds

Developers have the attention spans of slightly moronic woodland creatures.

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Linus Torvalds

Portability is for people who cannot write new programs

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Linus Torvalds

A computer is like air conditioning - it becomes useless when you open Windows

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Linus Torvalds

An infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never make a good program.

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Linus Torvalds

We all know Linux is great...it does infinite loops in 5 seconds.

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Linus Torvalds

One of the questions I've always hated answering is how do people make money in open source. And I think that Caldera and Red Hat - and there are a number of other Linux companies going public - basically...

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Linus Torvalds

It just makes it even harder for people to even approach the (open source) side, when they then end up having to worry about public humiliation.

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Linus Torvalds

I have an ego the size of a small planet

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Linus Torvalds

So I decided that if the architecture is fundamentally sane enough, say it follows some basic rules like it supported paging , then I would be able to say, yes, Linux fundamentally supports that model.

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Linus Torvalds

The idea of abstracting away the one thing that must be blindingly fast, the kernel, is inherently counter productive.

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Linus Torvalds

If you want an application to be portable, you don't necessarily create an abstraction layer like a microkernel so much as you program intelligently.

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Linus Torvalds

Today, I will offer free web hosting and developpement helps for projects under Sourceforge

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Linus Torvalds

I started Linux as a desktop operating system. And it's the only area where Linux hasn't completely taken over. That just annoys the hell out of me.

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Linus Torvalds

No problem is too big it can't be run away from

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Linus Torvalds

The bulk of all patents are crap. Spending time reading them is stupid. It's up to the patent owner to do so, and to enforce them.

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Related quote

Linus Torvalds

Software patents, in particular, are very ripe for abuse. The whole system encourages big corporations getting thousands and thousands of patents. Individuals almost never get them.

Read more


Linus Torvalds

The bulk of all patents are crap. Spending time reading them is stupid. It's up to the patent owner to do so, and to enforce them.

Read more


Larry Wall

I think software patents are a bad idea. Many patents are given for trivial inventions.

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Richard Stallman

Fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.

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Nathan Myhrvold

It's very hard for individual inventors to get paid. For the same reason that private equity is valuable - broadly, that's a good thing - in the case of patents, many that own them aren't in a good position...

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Nathan Myhrvold

In the early days of the software industry, people cared about copyright and didn't give a damn about patents - they copied each other willy-nilly.

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Nathan Myhrvold

If people don't get paid for their inventions, that's not a good thing. In the case of many patents, there are people who aren't in a position to take them to the next level. If you don't enforce your...

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Niall Ferguson

Between 1980 and 2000 the number of patents registered in Israel was 7652 compared with 367 for all the Arab countries combined.

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Miguel de Icaza

The software patent problem is not limited to Mono. Software patents affect everyone writing software today.

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Bob Frankston

Patents? Disappointed? Don't think of it that way. Software patents weren't feasible then so we chose not to risk $10,000.

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Laurance Labadie

The "health, education, and welfare" section of government is another boondoggle. First we manufacture indigent and superfluous people by legal monopolies in land, money and idea patents, erecting tariff...

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Thomas Jefferson

The movements of nature are in a never ending circle. The animal species which has once been put into a train of motion, is still probably moving in that train. For if one link in nature's chain might...

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Jacki Weaver

I love gay Mardi Gras in Sydney, which is a big parade, a big march that thousands and thousands of people participate in. And there's one little group... well it's not little, it's got hundreds of people...

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Larry Hagman

I have thousands and thousands of hats. Some are the most outrageous hats in the world. They are my disguise. I hide beneath them.

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Charles Spurgeon

The bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. Some have been the chief of sinners and some have come...

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Alex Haley

Many a young person tells me he wants to be a writer. I always encourage such people, but I also explain that there's a big difference between being a writer and writing. In most cases these individuals...

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Dennis Kucinich

It's time for us to review the circumstances under which corporations gain rights superior to that of individuals in our society. It's time for us to look at the practices of corporations and holding them...

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Vandana Shiva

I describe what is happening as 'food fascism' because this system can only survive through totalitarian control. With patents on seed, an illegitimate legal system is manipulated to create seed monopolies....

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Mark Hall

The infrastructure of today's computing environment is for good or ill structured around the Windows operating system. Can you get around that? Yes you can, but you have to work harder to do that and most...

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Miguel de Icaza

Our strategy in dealing with patents in Mono is the same strategy that any other software developer would take. In the event of a patent claim, we will try to find prior art to the claim of the patent.

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Jerome K. Jerome

It is a curious fact, but nobody ever is sea-sick - on land. At sea, you come across plenty of people very bad indeed, whole boat-loads of them; but I never met a man yet, on land, who had ever known at...

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