The Internet Makes DC Closer To Homer

I’m far away from Washington DC today.  Actually, I’m a lot closer to Russia than I am to DC and that makes me an expert on Russia.  Wait, someone else said that (although the people next to me and Amy at dinner last night were speaking Russian.)

But my friend the Internets (actually, the Web) brought DC closer to me today.  While I’m only involved in a handful of things related to politics and DC, several of them popped up somewhere in my world in the last two days.  So, I thought I’d share them with you.

Let’s start with software patents.  I’m still seriously bummed about Bilski – not the specific ruling, but the fact that in my opinion the Supreme Court wimped out on something that is very important.  Several friends have told me that the Supreme Court did exactly what they were supposed to – they ruled on a vary narrow and specific issue that was put before them.  A few other friends of mine, including several lawyers that know a lot about the Supreme Court, said it looked like the Supreme Court came close to making a significant and profound ruling – with plenty of hints buried in the stuff Justice Stevens wrote.  I can’t interpret any of the Supreme Court inside baseball, but I do know how I feel about software patents and expressed my frustration in an article that I co-authored with Paul Kedrosky titled Software Patents Need to Be Abolished that showed up in the Huffington Post yesterday.  In case you need more evidence around the stupidity of the whole situation, take a look at the crap van Rijn is going through.  Or maybe this patent from Microsoft on “how to turn a page in an electronic book.”

DC Topic #2 is the Startup Visa.  Inc. Magazine has a great article about the issue and the Startup Visa titled The Immigrant Advantage.  My friends Kevin Mann (British) and Thanavath Jaroenvanit (French) – both of TechStars Boulder 2008 – co-founders of – and one of my inspirations for the Startup Visa movement) are prominently featured.  And the Kauffman Foundation just came out with a study that concludes that Job Growth is Entirely Driven by Startups.  I’ve had a few encouraging conversations about the Startup Visa movement recently, including hearing about a new co-sponsor of the Senate Bill (“The Startup Visa Act of 2010”) as well as talking to a handful of prominent organizations that are close to signing up to get behind it.

Finally, LeBron James has apparently signed with the Miami Heat.  I have no idea what that has to do with DC, other than I’m sure the Wizards were trying to get him also.