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Oh dear, you're both still utterly wrong! | 756 comments | Create New Account
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A bogus patent application
Authored by: stegu on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 04:19 AM EDT

Speaking of characters and binary representation, I was bored yesterday (rainy vacation) and wrote a bogus patent application on the ASCII table. This might be a forum where people appreciate it. Or not. But here goes.

Signature bogus patent traits of this include:

  • Claim something that is trivial, but make it sound difficult.
  • Claim something that is obvious to anyone with any skill in computer science.
  • Claim something that has been in common use for ages, and fail to mention relevant prior art.
  • Claim something that is smply a computerized version of a very ordinary process.
  • Laboriously use uncommon terms or invent new words instead of calling anything by its common name.
  • Claim incredibly complex processes as if they were simple extensions.

Method and apparatus for representing numero-alphabetics in an analytical engine: encoding, storage, processing and retrieval

Modern analytical engines commonly operate according to the bi-valued principle and represent data as a bi-valued digits, henceforth referred to as "bigits". One bigit can be interpreted as either the complementary logical values "true" or "not true", or the numbers zero (0) and one (1). To represent numbers other than 0 and 1, a multiplicity of bigits are commonly employed in succession, as presented by several teachings in prior art.

Numero-alphabetics is defined as a bounded but potentially large ordered set of alphabetic letters, numerical symbols, diacritical marks and other symbols, said ordered set of symbols being used for placing into storage or presenting for processing or communication an arbitrary long but bounded passage of language, the definition of language including at least human language, computer language and language of hitherto undiscovered language-using intelligent or semi-intelligent entities of biological or synthetic origin, terrestrial or extra-terrestrial, as well as language of entities with a communicative role but possessing only simulated intelligence.

Our method and apparatus for representing numero-alphabetics utilizes the prior art observation that a bounded group of N bigits can be employed to represent any whole number, henceforth referred to as "non-fractional quantity", of value no less than zero and no greater than the number two taken to the mathematical power of N, less 1.

By our non-trivial, novel and inventive method, these non-fractional quantities from a strictly bounded set of pre-negotiated values can be uniquely mapped through an apparatus, the "correspondence vector" (see Fig. 1) in a manner such that each non-fractional quantity corresponds to no more than one numero-alphabetic symbol in the vector. A correspondence needs not be established for every non-fractional quantity, i.e. the mapping needs not be strictly injective nor surjective, provided that the non-fractional quantities which do not correspond to a numero-alphabetic symbol are not used, and that a mapping is defined at least for the subset of numero-alphabetic symbols required for representing the particular text and the particular language of the application at hand.

By deciding on such a pre-negotiated correspondence vector between non-fractional quantities and numero-alphabetic symbols, an ordered and bounded sequence of such non-fractional quantities comprise a sufficient method for representing text as bigits.

Section 2A: Encoding

In one embodiment, the invention comprises a multiplicity of switches, possibly but not necessarily arranged in the manner of a conventional typewriter for reasons of familiarity to a human operator, where each switch is connected to one line of an encoder circuit of logic gates, the closing of one switch creating a pattern of bigits on a multiplicity of outputs, said multiplicity typically but not necessarily representing a smaller multiplicity than the multiplicity of switches. The correspondence vector is implicitly encoded in a combination of several discrete but interdependent design details of the apparatus: i) the routing of individual switches to the input lines to the encoder circuit of logic gates, ii) the functional design of the circuit of logic gates, and iii) the enumeration of each of the outputs of the circuit of logic gates. Care needs to be taken to design all these non-trivial parts of the apparatus in conjunction to make the embodiment of the invention function as intended.

Section 2B: Retrieval

In one embodiment, the invention comprises a read-only memory (ROM) whereby the input sequence of bigits is applied to the address lines of said ROM, and a corresponding, typically but not necessarily longer, output sequence of bigits is retrieved from the data output lines of said ROM, the output forming a pattern of zeroes and ones that, when arranged in a pre-defined ordered rectilinear grid, represent a discretized graphical image of the glyph suitable for presentation on a digital indicator panel with a rectilinear arrangement of individual visualization elements, each with a human-interpretable visual representation of the two states "on" and "off". One possible embodiment of such an indicator panel would comprise an array of lights, where "on" and "off" would be visualized as "light" and "no light". Note that we do not claim all embodiments of such indicators, we only claim their use for visualization of numero-alphabetic symbols by means of a correspondence vector based on a representation as non-fractional quantities encoded as bigits. The correspondence vector is implicity encoded in the ROM as a correspondence between a non-fractional quantity and a human-interpretable pattern of bigits. The human-interpretable pattern of bigits is not primarily intended for interpretation by an analytical engine, but such interpretation is possible. We claim such an application as an extension of our original claim. This would facilitate conversion to the native representation of the analytic engine when that representation has been lost, or when automated interpretation of written text is beneficial, regardless whether such text is typeset and printed, created by means of a typewriter or potentially hand-written by a human.

Section 2C: Storage

In one embodiment, the invention comprises a methodology of using a fixed length sequence of bigits for representing the non-fractional value corresponding to a certain symbol. In such an embodiment, the sequence length can be, but need not be, chosen as an even multiple or divisor of the otherwise natural design choice for grouping bigits together to form larger sets of bigits in the analytical engine whereupon the apparatus is based.

Section 2D: Processing

While encoding, storage and retrieval of language by means of an analytical engine is in itself useful and novel, the nature of analytical engines is that information can be processed according to a pre-defined machine-interpretable set of rules, an "operational sequence". While the construction and operation of such rules are in the prior art, their applications to operating on written language are enabled by the claims of this patent and tightly dependent on our claimed inventive step, namely the correspondence vector. We therefore claim all analytical engine operations on written language encoded by our claimed method as contained in our teaching of using a correspondence vector. Possible operations include, but are not limited to, counting the number of letters in a written passage, comparing the groups of symbols against a pre-stored assembly of allowed groups of letters to detect language mistakes, translation from one language (human or otherwise) to another (human or otherwise), detection and deletion of unwanted or disallowed words and phrases from a digitally encoded passage of language, e.g. literature, and replacing all occurrences of a certain symbol or sequence of symbols with another sequence, possibly of zero length.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Oh dear, you're both still utterly wrong!
Authored by: Ian Al on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 01:46 PM EDT
Computers understanding bits and numbers? I never heard such nonsense!

Human beings (well, engineers, actually) decided to call some voltage a symbol
of binary one and another a symbol of binary naught.

An AND gate magically turns into an OR gate if the engineer swaps over the
symbols in his head. No electric circuits are changed during the conversion.

The astonishing thing is that a computer works even though the concept of '1'
and '0' symbols is a complete mystery to it. Not that a computer knows what a
mystery is or even finds anything mysterious.

As for numbers, well, which way is up? Why is one end of a series of bit symbols
ever considered by folk to be more significant than the other end (whichever end
that may be).

Computers know nuffink. They do what they electrically do and humans study the
display to try and work out what it all means.

Still, it does help those lawyer folk if you tell them that a computer has
almost as much understanding of numbers as does a calculator. Shame about the
decimals, though!

Ian Al
Software Patents: It's the disclosed functions in the patent, stupid!

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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