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Back in the US, and Daniel’s interview

Misc: So I was travelling last week — a very productive trip to the UK visiting the main work dev office, and getting a little socialising in too while I was at it. A pretty good trip overall, especially since I seem to have figured out how to use my frequent flyer miles effectively to get great seats! ;)

Here’s a good interview with SpamAssassin PMC chair, Daniel; well worth a read if you want to see what we in SpamAssassin think about the state of the onion in spam-filtering.

In not-so-good news, it seems Charlie McCreevy has managed to push the software patent directive through, despite massive EU Parliament unhappiness. Third time around at the Fisheries meeting, naturally; and there’s some serious questions about the legitimacy of the procedural rules invoked by the Commission in refusing to take the directive off the A-item menu. Now that’s what I call democracy…

It can still be defeated, but it’s an uphill battle now — for it to be thrown out in the second reading at the European Parliament, it’ll need a two-thirds majority of all MEPs (not just the MEPs present), reportedly.

In the meantime, thanks to the FF and PDs’ bullying tactics, Ireland’s small but growing pool of homegrown software developers are being ignored, and the Irish software industry looks more like a lame import operation for the likes of Microsoft. Our reputation is dragged through the mud for a few multinationals, and the rest of Europe resents us for it. Wonderful.

BTW, even if it does pass, there are ways to fix it — directives must be implemented into national law in each country. This means that Ireland could still write their implementation of the directive to exclude software inventions (even the ones where it’s supposedly a patent on hardware like ‘a CPU connected to a hard disk, with such-and-such software running on the CPU’). However, given McCreevy’s obvious bias in favour of getting this specific text into place, how likely is that going to be?