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Please join the Electronic Frontier Foundation ( EFF.org ) and the fight for your rights on the Internet. I have not received any National Security Letter.
The late Howard Zinn's book, "A People's History of the United States", will help you understand US history. It also helps place current political and social threads into the context of history. Highly recommended.
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For years now the US Patent Office (and other country patent offices) have been allowing software patents.
Basically this is simply a mistaken understanding (by the legal profession) of what software is. It is also a mistake that is harming the US and the world, but I will not further mention the harm side of the issue here (though the harm issue is important). No, I am not a lawyer. But I have an opinion anyway!
Software is mathematics. At every level of software in any computer you own. Whether a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or a pad device. It is purely mathematics. As such is is ineligible for patent protection.
What "software is mathematics" means is subtle and I make to attempt to describe it. I doubt if I could do so properly (my first attempt here was possibly incorrect).
Support for software-as-math is in a series of groklaw.net articles referenced from http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=Patents2 . Unfortunately the impossibility of private email (given all the NSA has done and is doing) has led PJ (of groklaw) to decide to stop updating groklaw.net as of August 2013.
George Mason University economics professor Alex Tabarrok argues that software patents are wrong in the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkWPGwfuQcM&feature=youtu.be
Stanford Law professor Lawrence Lessig has written extensively about software patents and I highly recommend his articles. For example, at www.lessig.org: this is a useful introduction to the problems with patents.
There are lots of resources on software patents, but lots of them are just nonsense based on a misunderstanding of what software is. Probably the best overall resource for those opposed to software patents is groklaw.net. A page that gives links to many resources (for and against patents, though PJ at groklaw.net is opposed to software patents) is groklaw.net software patent references page.
Another good source about the issue is The Electronic Frontier Foundation. See for the EFF's campaign to modify software patents, though I believe this modification notion is misguided for the reason I state above.