As you may have intuited from some previous posts, I am a big proponent of free software (or free/libre/open source software (FLOSS)). For many involved in this arena, the interest spills over into intellectual property issues like copyright and patent reform. That is why I license all original content on my blog with a Creative Commons license. Well, there was a very interesting story on Morning Edition this morning about the patents filed on the atomic bomb. Of particular interest to me was the conflict between filing the patents and keeping the designs secret. The Manhattan Project went to great lengths to compartmentalize information, using code words for all aspects of the project and distributing knowledge on a purely need to know basis. For obvious reasons, the Manhattan Project patents were labeled secret and never even reviewed. Nonetheless, they all sat in a single safe at the patent office. So all the carefully de-tangled information within the project was compiled in one location over at the patent office. I hope there were no "inappropriately curious" contractors at the patent office at that time.

Update: this story got picked up by Slashdot.