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EFF Bullshit—Yesterday and Today—They Know ‘General MIDI’ WAS Submitted

Posted on : 17-12-1996 | By : admin | In : Seer History, Technology Licensing

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Revised: 20120509

For all instant patent experts of the technosphere who just knew better, you may want to consider not speaking about subjects in which you have exposed yourselves as thoroughly, mutually and circularly uninformed.

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19961217 submissions
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Let’s spell it out one more time: The demonstrably uncreative Lessig, hapless Kwun, and erratic Cohn instinctively chose and maintained a strategy of self-promotion and demagoguery that rejected the pursuit of fact-based reality. EFF wasted seven years promulgating egregious, fanciful lies and theories without giving any consideration to account for the appearance of facts that might have disrupted their preconceived, messianic self-perceptions. Experienced lawyers pity this strategy of extended, advertised presumptuousness as a serious lapse of diligence. Except for the Washington Internet Daily, EFF’s regular farts of fantasy were sniffed up by a fawning, amateurish, uncritical clique of thoughtless journalistic wannabes desperately competing for blog fodder to “capture eyeballs” for revenue.

Seriously, how stupid, confused and simply fucked-up must you be to ignobly attack a single inventor (me)—holding his own single patent—as a supposed patent troll, while you now silently watch your internet buddies troll billions and billions of dollars worth of monopolization locking up perhaps a hundred thousand patents? EFF: Which Patent Troll Is Your Daddy? Deep thanks for your revenge-of-the-nerd IP work on behalf of the little guy, Larry: the new legislation is really working well. And now you have gone ‘to clean up Washington.’ God help us! (From an agnostic.)

If EFF had acted against Seer Systems out of sincere concern arising from their nevertheless biased presupposition of trolling of one patent, why is it struck mute and paralyzed in the midst of the greatest corporate trolling celebration in history? The answer can only be that Cindy Cohn indeed has no real scruples but for her own celebrity. As I pointed out in Seer Systems Demands Retraction from the Electronic Frontier Foundation EFF’s capriciously emotional legal strategies are unacceptable from any effective so-called public service counsel. They inevitably lead to the kinds of unprincipled, self-preserving decisions creating the humbling embarrassment EFF members must endure as their hypocritical, cowardly, and evidently retarded leadership accelerates their downward spiral into irrelevance.

Net SeerSynth Completed

Posted on : 18-07-1996 | By : admin | In : Seer History

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Allowed GM playback under server/client model.

A Painful Plan for Painless MIDI

Posted on : 26-10-1995 | By : admin | In : Seer History

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The original AHA which became the ‘274 patent:

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Evolution of the Seer ’274 Patent

Posted on : 26-09-1995 | By : admin | In : Seer History

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In recent years, the software synthesizer market has come into full swing and digital audio is something that consumers have come to expect in everything from personal computers to mobile phones and cars. In many cases, the manufacturers of these devices have been licensing technology from Seer Systems, whose intellectual property is protected by US Patent #5,886,274. (For details, see What Exactly Is the 274 Patent?)

By the time Seer was awarded the 274 patent, it had developed software synthesizer products for Intel and Creative Labs for the consumer market, and a suite of music production and playback tools for the professional musical instrument market. (As detailed in “The Best Audio Helper App You Never Heard in Your Life.”)

Seer’s retail products have not been upgraded in nearly 10 years and are still only available for Windows 95 and Windows 98. So, why did Seer shift its attention from producing synthesizer products to protecting their intellectual property? The answer is that a combination of powerful technical and business forces caused Seer to drastically shift strategy were it to survive.

First, supporting Microsoft Windows NT and 2000 was impractical. Seer’s line of professional software synthesizers used 80-bit processing and relied on access to the CPU interrupt, to which they had access until Microsoft released Windows NT. In other words, an upgrade of Reality would require more than an upgrade, it would require a rewrite with no guaranty that it would provide the same sound quality as the 80-bit resolution their customers had enjoyed. Seer considered releasing Reality as an open source product,  but legal issues have complicated that path as well. (See “Seer Considering Releasing Reality Code as Open Source.”)

By 1997, Seer’s finances were in trouble. Creative was not actively selling Seer’s software synthesizer upgrade for the Sound Blaster, so royalty payments were nowhere near their projections. Seer founder, Stanley Jungleib recalls, “I was looking for markets. I felt my job was to build something that was investable, so I didn’t work closely on Reality as a product. My product was the company.”

Jungleib had written extensively on music production systems, and even speculated about systems that could leverage General MIDI to adapt to a composition, but until Jungleib heard Seer’s new Reality engine working, even he had not envisioned the comprehensive potential of a software-based music distribution system. “I wrote it down in October, 1995: A Painful Plan for Painless MIDI. I knew it was the Grail but still too early; at the time I didn’t make a big deal about it within Engineering, because they were having enough issues dealing with Creative Labs and Windows as it was.”

Jungleib recalls how discussions with Opcode’s founders, Dave Oppenheim and Chris Halaby created the synergy to most efficiently realize the system. “They had a great sequencer with a great audio handling system and we had the best software host-based synthesizer and Windows realtime engine. We were going to use their suite of Galaxy Editors as different ‘skins’ over the Reality engine. Melding our technologies could make a tool that would solve all these distribution problems for the professional musician.

“So I wrote this 120-page specification on how that would work. How our synthesizer would interface to their sequencer to deliver a totally predictable experience for the user. I had commands such as ‘preload by bar,’ ‘preload by sound number,’ ‘unload by bar number,’ ‘unload this range of bars’…. Breaking it up so the musician would have total control over the music, over what was allocated, when, and how it was delivered. You could draw resources on-the-fly from anywhere on the net, there was a bandwidth simulator … And very importantly as a response to what was going on with mp3 theft, provision was made for the musician to protect their creation. (What you might now call DRM.)”

Unfortunately, in 1998, Opcode was purchased by Gibson, and the joint venture stopped altogether. Sales of Seer products were still suffering, and between the software piracy, and continuing issues with Creative, Seer’s ability to provide livelihoods for its staff of 25 was in jeopardy.

“Only after the company was in really dire financial trouble did I decide to ask my lawyers ‘Can I patent this?’ That was in 1997. The patent was finally awarded in 1999 after several rounds of rejections.”

Ten years on, Jungleib continues to protect Seer’s intellectual property, though some companies underestimate the extent of Seer’s investment in the technology and the validity of the patent.

“There’s a difference between imagining something (like a time machine), and actually committing resources to specifying and building it,” says Jungleib. “At the time, everyone else was committed to their own little hardware platforms. Many still are. But, with Intel as my hardware department, and a synthesizer and effects engine that could redefine itself every 10 milliseconds, I was liberated from all those arbitrary limitations.”