Keeping up to date with technology

Astonishing technical breakthrough: retrieve data from remote database!

Hint: if you want me to write about your company, do NOT tell me you’ve already given the story, on an exclusive basis, to someone else. Unless, of course, you are Brian Rix, and like having your trousers taken down in public.

The whole episode goes beyond farce… (this, I’m sure, couldn’t have happened on my planet, before I got abducted and brought here) – it gets into the surreal.

The story is about a patent, issued by the EU, for retrieving data from a web site. It all sounded very odd, so I got in touch with the patent holder, AllIsBlue.

Specifically, the patent is defined at AllIsBlue’s web site as follows:

The present invention is related to a method of sending or retrieving data, which are stored in a database, in relationship with a managing software application or “manager” in connection with the web/portal site of the mobile operator of the owner of said data, a central database, and an independent web site, characterised in that the sending or receiving is preferably initiated from a mobile phone.”

I did that. Nothing happened. That left me with an hour to kill. So I went back to the press release for more information.

The press release wasn’t encouraging: it was written by the Belgian company that got the patent. Essentially, it turned out it was an invitation: “Come and have lunch with us, and we’ll explain it.” Well, I didn’t have a free lunchtime, I felt I was a bit snookered.

Eventually they rang up and said: “What do you want to know?” and I said I didn’t understand it. They said: “Look on the Web site!” so I did.