By timothy from Slashdot's once-in-a-while-justice-peeks-through department
We mentioned last year that FindTheBest CEO Kevin O'Connor had taken an unusual step, when confronted with a demand by patent troll company Lumen View that the startup pay $50,000 for what struck O'Connor as a frivolous patent: He not only refused, but pledged to spend a million bucks, if necessary, to fight Lumen View in court
. Now, as Ars Technica reports, O'Connor has succeeded on a grand scale
. Before trouncing Lumen View in court, Ars reports, "FindTheBest had spent about $200,000 on its legal fight—not to mention the productivity lost in hundreds of work hours spent by top executives on the lawsuit, and three all-company meetings.
Now the judge overseeing the case has ruled (PDF) that it's Lumen View, not FindTheBest, that should have to pay those expenses. In a first-of-its-kind implementation of new fee-shifting rules mandated by the Supreme Court, US District Judge Denise Cote found that the Lumen View lawsuit was a 'prototypical exceptional case.'"Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's complicated-model department
As The Next Web reports, Samsung is finally bringing to market (in Russia, to start)
a phone, the Samzung Z, running the Tizen
OS. Like Android, Tizen is based on the Linux kernel, but it's intended for HTML5 apps rather than Android apps. It's not Samsung's first Tizen device
, though; the second-generation of its Gear smart-watches are running Tizen as well. "Samsung earlier revealed plans for its first Tizen smartphones to be launched during its second quarter of business in 2014, which runs April to July, so it seems like smartphones other than Samsung Z could still be on their way. The Samsung executive said that Tizen devices could account for as much as 15 percent of Samsung’s mobile shipments per year, but Android will still be its main business."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's where-liddy-was-wrong department
, no slouch himself in bringing to public awareness documents that reveal uncomfortable facts about government operations
, says that "Edward Snowden is the greatest patriot whistleblower of our time." Ellsberg says, in an editorial at The Guardian pointed out by reader ABEND (15913)
, that Snowden cannot receive a fair trial
without reform of the Espionage Act. According to Ellsberg, "Snowden would come back home to a jail cell – and not just an ordinary cell-block but isolation in solitary confinement, not just for months like Chelsea Manning but for the rest of his sentence, and probably the rest of his life. His legal adviser, Ben Wizner, told me that he estimates Snowden's chance of being allowed out on bail as zero. (I was out on bond, speaking against the Vietnam war, the whole 23 months I was under indictment). More importantly, the current state of whistleblowing prosecutions under the Espionage Act makes a truly fair trial wholly unavailable to an American who has exposed classified wrongdoing. Legal scholars have strongly argued that the US supreme court – which has never yet addressed the constitutionality of applying the Espionage Act to leaks to the American public – should find the use of it overbroad and unconstitutional in the absence of a public interest defense. The Espionage Act, as applied to whistleblowers, violates the First Amendment, is what they're saying. As I know from my own case, even Snowden's own testimony on the stand would be gagged by government objections and the (arguably unconstitutional) nature of his charges. That was my own experience in court, as the first American to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act – or any other statute – for giving information to the American people."
Ellsberg rejects the distinction made by John Kerry in praising Ellsberg's own whistleblowing as patriotic, but Snowden's as cowardly and traitorous.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's news-for-nerds department
New submitter Bodhammer (559311)
writes "German researchers looked at the brains of 64 men between the ages of 21 and 45 and found that one brain region (the striatum, linked to reward processing), was smaller in the brains of porn watchers, and that a specific part of the same region is also less activated when exposed to more pornography."
While it's tempting to cast blame, "the study doesn't confirm whether watching porn causes the changes, or whether people with a certain brain type are inherently more apt to tune into X-rated content." The study's abstract is available
; the paper itself is pay-walled.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's maybe-your-canary-needs-a-canary department
writes "I use Truecrypt, but recently someone pointed me to the SourceForge page of Truecrypt that says it's out of business. I found the message weird, but now there's an explanation: Truecrypt has received a letter from the NSA."
Anyone with a firmer source (or who can debunk the claim), please chime in below; considering the fate of LavaBit
, it sure sounds plausible. PCWorld lists some alternative software
, for Windows users in particular, but do you believe that Microsoft's BitLocker is more secure?Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's beats-audio-without-an-apple-logo department
PC Mag reports that an upcoming laptop from HP (one that was prematurely announced in April
, and now official
) has decent-to-good specs — under 4 pounds, battery life more than 8 hours, Tegra processor, and a 1928x1080 touch screen — but an unusual operating system, at least for a laptop. The SlateBook 14 will run Android, rather than Windows (or ChromeOS, for that matter), which helps keep it relatively cheap, at $400. According to the article, Android is "a lot cheaper for HP to implement in a laptop; ChromeOS, in contrast, comes with more stringent system requirements that would cost HP a bit more." Ars Technica's mention in April
includes a screenshot taken from a video (note: video itself appears to be disabled) which shows the keyboard layout and which reveals some Android-specific changes.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's otherwise-would-have-been-huge-and-square-I-guess department
writes "Back in 2011, then-Google VP and now-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer brainstormed with BMW to sketch out an idea she had for self-driving 'little bubbles' that could ease office commutes. Here's Mayer's pitch from a BMW film short: 'All I really need is a little bubble that drives itself and when it runs into something, it doesn't hurt that much...and...you know, like it doesn't actually take up that much fuel because it's so lightweight and it's good for the environment for that reason.' So, with Google's newly-built, steering wheel-less self-driving car being described as a 'tiny bubble-car', one wonders if Google CEO Larry Page's "Tiny Bubble Car" has its roots in Mayer's 'Little Bubble Car,' especially considering the striking similarity of Mayer's concept car sketch and Google's built vehicle."
Seems to me there's been plenty of concept art
(as well as actual tiny bubble-like cars
, even if they generallly have had steering wheels) for car designers to draw on.Read Replies (0)