Friday, August 24, 2012

Things are not always what they seem to be

In a post New York Robbers Unmasked by Grateful Note for Their Disguise , one learns the story of how two robbers used realistic masks, which confused the police investigating the case, but the robbers were done-in by a thank-you note to the mask-maker:

For months cops thought they were looking for two white suspects, when the investigation received an important tip.

One suspect bore a striking similarity to "Mac the Guy," a silicon mask manufactured by movie-makeup company CFX Composite Effects.
When investigators contacted the company, they were told Byam had recently emailed the firm in thanks for the mask.

"I'm sending this message to say I'm extremely pleased by CFX work on the mask," Byam allegedly wrote the company, as first reported by the New York Post and confirmed by the NYPD and the company. "The realism of the mask is unbelievable."

Byam and Monsalvatge are black.

Trickery also infected the patent reform movement. From a previous IPBiz post relating a story about doughnuts in Florida to patent reform:

An AP story notes that doughnut selling lawyers were partly to blame for the demise: A county commissioner who owns a doughnut shop and two lawyers who own a new Dunkin' Donuts on Panama City Beach turned against him ... After the lawyers threatened to sue, his bosses at the Florida Health Department made him remove the anti-fried dough rants and eventually forced him to resign, [Newsom] says.

This little story evokes themes in the story of patent reform, although the patent reform saga has added complexity. In patent reform, the big doughnut sellers (eg, IBM, Cisco) are complaining about the little doughnut sellers ("trolls") and are trying to implement "reform" to favor the big doughnut sellers, rather than to get rid of the doughnuts. The popular press would have the public believe that the little doughnut sellers are the only ones selling doughnuts, and that "reform" will get rid of the doughnuts. Anybody who actually advocated getting rid of the doughnuts would meet the same fate as Dr. Newsom, likely from doughnut selling lawyers. Furthermore, the position of the big doughnut sellers would do significant harm to smaller vendors, who aren't selling doughnuts at all.


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