Friday, November 24, 2006

comfortable flying, and taking liberties with patents

Again Boeing and Airbus are offering ways to make flying more comfortable. We've heard that one before, ideas for comfort and elegance in the air that are undone when King-Albert-in-a-Can Airlines decide to maximize revenue by minimizing legroom. They'd put us in comas and stack us in the cargo hold if they could come up with a way to revive at least 95% of us safely. But at least the idea of improving pressurization and humidity in the cabins -- which presumably the purchasing airline can't undo -- might help a bit.

I also see that Boeing patented a seating configuration designed to minimize the number of people passengers have to sit next to. Good idea -- but a PATENT? That is another of the absurd patents that have been granted in increasing numbers, along with Amazon's one-click shopping, patents on swinging techniques (the kiddie playground version, not Hefner-style) and various other things that in my opinion woefully fail the non-obvious innovation test that is supposed to determine whether a pattent is granted. Hell, even I had wondered myself once, on a long miserable flight with me in the middle of a full row of five, why airplanes couldn't configure the seats better, so the non-obvious thing obviously fails.

I should've patented that.


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