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Jury Finds Newegg Infringed Patent, Owes $2.3 Million
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's battle-lost-war-continues department:
Jah-Wren Ryel sends this quote from Ars:
"Newegg, an online retailer that has made a name for itself fighting the non-practicing patent holders sometimes called 'patent trolls,' sits on the losing end of a lawsuit tonight. An eight-person jury came back shortly after 7:00pm and found that the company infringed all four asserted claims of a patent owned by TQP Development, a company owned by patent enforcement expert Erich Spangenberg. The jury also found that the patent was valid, apparently rejecting arguments by famed cryptographer Whitfield Diffie. Diffie took the stand on Friday to argue on behalf of Newegg and against the patent. In total, the jury ordered Newegg to pay $2.3 million, a bit less than half of the $5.1 million TQP's damage expert suggested. ... TQP's single patent is tied to a failed modem business run by Michael Jones, formerly president of Telequip. TQP has acquired more than $45 million in patent licensing fees by getting settlements from a total of 139 companies since TQP argues that its patent covers SSL or TLS combined with the RC4 cipher, a common Internet security system used by retailers like Newegg."

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Sex Offender Gets New Hearing After Hearing Officer Rants Against Arial Font
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's at-least-it-wasn't-comic-sans department:
ericgoldman writes "People often feel passionately about fonts, but government decisions shouldn't depend on what font people choose for their written submissions. In Massachusetts, a sex offender overturned the decision of a hearing officer after it was determined that (among other possible biases) the hearing officer posted to Facebook that he 'can't trust someone who drafts a letter in arial font!' and 'I might be biased. I think arial is inappropriate for most things.' This is just the latest example of how social media rants by government workers are causing problems for the workers — and the people they deal with."

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Gift Review: Strandbeest Model Kit
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 11:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's now-that-looks-cool department:
Bennett Haselton has in years previous made some canny suggestions for tech-oriented holiday gifts; you can look forward to another one. Today, though, Bennett writes about one cool toy in particular: a kit to make your own creepy robot: "For over 20 years, Dutch inventor Theo Jansen has been building truck-sized sculptures that crab-walk
eerily across the beach, using only the power of the wind to turn fan blades that power
the gears and crankshafts and enable the walking motion. This kit allows you to assemble your own working model that 'walks' sideways across your desktop."
Read on for the rest.

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Speed Test 2: Comparing C++ Compilers On WIndows
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's for-windows-use-per-second-per-second department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "In a previous posting, developer and programmer Jeff Cogswell compared a few C++ compilers on Linux. Now he's going to perform a similar set of tests for Windows. "Like all things Windows, it can get costly doing C++ development in this environment," he writes. "However, there are a couple notable exceptions" such as free and open-source cygwin, mingW, Express Versions of Visual Studio, and Embacardero. He also matched up the Intel C++ Compiler, Microsoft C++ Compiler, and the Embarcadero C++ 6.70 Compiler. He found some interesting things — for example, Intel's compiler is pretty fast, but its annoying habit of occasionally "calling home" to check licensing information kept throwing off the rests. Read on to see how the compilers matched up in his testing."

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Ask Slashdot: Best Laptops For Fans Of Pre-Retina MacBook Pro?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's daddy-what-were-batteries? department:
stigmato writes "Once upon a time the MacBook Pro line was well-regarded amongst IT professionals for their quality, performance, serviceability & upgradeability. As appealing as the new Retina displays are, I don't want a device I cannot upgrade or repair. Glued in batteries and soldered in RAM with high prices have made me look to other manufacturers again. What are you buying, /. community? System76? Dell? Old article but still rings true with the latest models. I post this from my 2010 MBP 13" with a 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD in the optical bay, 8GB (possibly 16GB soon) and a user replaced battery."

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Have 100GB Free? Host Your Own Copy of Wikipedia, With Images
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's put-it-in-every-router department:
First time accepted submitter gnosygnu writes "Want your own copy of English Wikipedia with images? Got 100 GB of disk space? Then open-source app XOWA may be of interest to you. The project released torrents yesterday for the 2013-11-04 version of English Wikipedia. There's 100 GB of sqlite databases containing 13.9 million pages, and 3.7 million images — readable from any Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X system. Image downloads for other wikis are building, but you can still use XOWA to read the text-only version for other wikis like Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikiquote and 660 more. Next time you find yourself stranded without the internet, you can pull out your own copy of Wikipedia for use."

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Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's righteous-anger department:
theodp writes " I hope my father dies soon," Dilbert creator Scott Adams wrote Saturday in a frustrated, angry, and poignant blog post. 'My father, age 86, is on the final approach to the long dirt nap (to use his own phrase). His mind is 98% gone, and all he has left is hours or possibly months of hideous unpleasantness in a hospital bed. I'll spare you the details, but it's as close to a living Hell as you can get. If my dad were a cat, we would have put him to sleep long ago. And not once would we have looked back and thought too soon. Because it's not too soon. It's far too late. His smallish estate pays about $8,000 per month to keep him in this state of perpetual suffering. Rarely has money been so poorly spent. I'd like to proactively end his suffering and let him go out with some dignity. But my government says I can't make that decision. Neither can his doctors. So, for all practical purposes, the government is torturing my father until he dies.' Adams also had harsh words for those who would oppose assisted suicide, 'I don't want anyone to misconstrue this post as satire or exaggeration. So I'll reiterate. If you have acted, or plan to act, in a way that keeps doctor-assisted suicide illegal, I see you as an accomplice in torturing my father, and perhaps me as well someday. I want you to die a painful death, and soon. And I'd be happy to tell you the same thing to your face.' His father passed a few hours after Adams wrote his screed. Challenged later by the SF Chronicle's Debra J. Saunders, an opponent of assisted suicide, Adams stood firm on his earlier words. So, can Adams succeed in convincing the U.S. where Dr. Jack failed?"

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DragonFlyBSD 3.6 Brings AMD/Intel Graphics Drivers & Better SMP Scaling
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-just-hovering-there department:
An anonymous reader writes "DragonFlyBSD 3.6 was released [Monday] with the big new features being dports, Intel and AMD Radeon KMS kernel graphics drivers, major SMP improvements, and improved language support. Dports is the new package management system based upon the FreeBSD Ports collection and replaces pkgsrc as the default; over 20k packages are available via dports. Major SMP scaling improvements come via reducing lock contention within the kernel and other multi-core enhancements. The Intel and Radeon graphics drivers on DragonFlyBSD were ported from the FreeBSD kernel, which in turn were ported from the upstream Linux kernel."

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Washington Post: Assange 'Unlikely To Be Prosecuted In US'
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's he-never-calls-he-never-writes-oy department:
vikingpower writes "The Justice Department has all but concluded it will not bring charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing classified documents because government lawyers said they could not do so without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and journalists, according to U.S. officials." That "all but" probably wouldn't feel all that comforting if this announcement applied to me.

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23% of IT Workers Spend Thanksgiving With Coworkers
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-the-turkeys-generally-have-titles-in-management department:
itwbennett writes "A timely CareerBuilder survey finds that 23% of IT pros spend the holiday with coworkers, either in the office or at another location. But the findings vary widely by city. In Boston, for example, you're pretty sure to be on your own for the holiday — only 6% of coworkers there nosh together. While in Atlanta (35%) or Dallas (30%) things are downright chummy."

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A Co-processor No More, Intel's Xeon Phi Will Be Its Own CPU As Well
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's career-advancement department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Xeon Phi co-processor requires a Xeon CPU to operate... for now. The next generation of Xeon Phi, codenamed Knights Landing and due in 2015, will be its own CPU and accelerator. This will free up a lot of space in the server but more important, it eliminates the buses between CPU memory and co-processor memory, which will translate to much faster performance even before we get to chip improvements. ITworld has a look."

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Salesforce.com To Review Controversial Hackathon Win
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 05:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's nothing-amiss-here department:
itwbennett writes "Adding to the growing sentiment that prizes ruin hackathons, Salesforce.com has come under fire from critics who say the hackathon the company held at its Dreamforce conference was judged unfairly. Not long after the $1 million prize was handed to Upshot for a mobile app that let users to create and edit Salesforce.com reports, other contestants raised allegations of unfairness. Among the complaints: That Upshot's CTO Thomas Kim had demoed a similar-sounding application a couple of weeks before Oct. 25 cutoff; that Kim is a former Salesforce.com employee (although that isn't in violation of the rules); and that their own entries weren't evaluated by judges at all. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is now promising a thorough investigation of the hackathon."

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Tesla Model S Has Bizarre 'Vampire-Like' Thirst For Electricity At Night
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 05:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's bug-in-acpi-specification department:
cartechboy writes "The Tesla Model S, for all its technical and design wizardry, has a dirty little secret: Its a vampire. The car has an odd and substantial appetite for kilowatt-hours even when turned off and parked. This phenomenon has been dubbed the 'vampire' draw, and Tesla promised long ago to fix this issue with a software update. Well, a few software updates have come and gone since then, and the Model S is still a vampire sucking down energy when it's shut down. While this is a concern for many Model S owners and would be owners, the larger question becomes: After nine months, and multiple software updates,why can't Tesla fix this known issue? Tesla has recognized the issue and said a fix would come, yet the latest fix is only a tiny improvement — and the problem remains unsolved. Is Tesla stumped? Can the issue be fixed?"

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Science Museum Declines To Show Climate Change Film
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 02:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's i'm-not-listening-i'm-not-listening department:
sciencehabit writes "A premier science museum in North Carolina has sparked controversy by refusing to show an hour long film about climate change and rising sea levels. The museum may be in a bit of a delicate position. It is part of a state agency, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The state government has been perceived as hostile to action on climate change; last year, the legislature passed a bill forbidding the state coastal commission from defining rates of sea-level rise for regulation before 2016."

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Futuremark Delists Samsung and HTC Android Devices for Cheating 3DMark
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 12:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's serious-bar-charts-people department:
MojoKid writes "Benchmarks are serious business. Buying decisions are often made based on how well a product scores, which is why the press and analysts spend so much time putting new gadgets through their paces. However, benchmarks are only meaningful when there's a level playing field, and when companies try to 'game' the business of benchmarking, it's not only a form of cheating, it also bamboozles potential buyers who (rightfully) assume the numbers are supposed mean something. 3D graphics benchmark software developer Futuremark just 'delisted' a bunch of devices from its 3DMark benchmark results database because it suspects foul play is at hand. Of the devices listed, it appears Samsung and HTC in particular are indirectly being accused of cheating 3DMark for mobile devices. Delisted devices are stripped of their rank and scores. Futuremark didn't elaborate on which specific rule(s) these devices broke, but a look at the company's benchmarking policies reveals that hardware makers aren't allowed to make optimizations specific to 3DMark, nor are platforms allowed to detect the launch of the benchmark executable unless it's needed to enable multi-GPU and/or there's a known conflict that would prevent it from running."

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Tesla Model S Has Bizarre 'Vampire-Like' Thirst For Electricity At Night
Posted by News Fetcher on November 25 '13 at 09:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's bug-in-acpi-specification department:
cartechboy writes "The Tesla Model S, for all its technical and design wizardry, has a dirty little secret: Its a vampire. The car has an odd and substantial appetite for kilowatt-hours even when turned off and parked. This phenomenon has been dubbed the 'vampire' draw, and Tesla promised long ago to fix this issue with a software update. Well, a few software updates have come and gone since then, and the Model S is still a vampire sucking down energy when it's shut down. While this is a concern for many Model S owners and would be owners, the larger question becomes: After nine months, and multiple software updates,why can't Tesla fix this known issue? Tesla has recognized the issue and said a fix would come, yet the latest fix is only a tiny improvement — and the problem remains unsolved. Is Tesla stumped? Can the issue be fixed?"

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US Working To Kill UN Privacy Resolutions
Posted by News Fetcher on November 25 '13 at 07:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's only-criminals-need-privacy department:
schwit1 writes with a short excerpt from The Cable "The United States and its key intelligence allies are quietly working behind the scenes to kneecap a mounting movement in the United Nations to promote a universal human right to online privacy, according to diplomatic sources and an internal American government document obtained by The Cable. American representatives have made it clear that they won't tolerate such checks on their global surveillance network."

A leaked memo containing U.S. suggestions for changes to the ICCPR includes gems like (referring to intercepting communications) "Move 'may threaten' from before 'the foundations of a democratic [society]...' to before 'freedom of expression.' We need to clarify that privacy violations could 'interfere with' freedom of expression and avoid the inaccurate suggestion that all privacy violations are violations of freedom of expression." The U.S. changes are pretty much directed at making dragnet surveillance of non-citizens technically legal.

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Driver Arrested In Ohio For Secret Car Compartment Full of Nothing
Posted by News Fetcher on November 25 '13 at 05:46 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's compartment-actually-intended-for-dead-bodies department:
schwit1 writes about the hazards of driving through Ohio in a car with a secret compartment in the trunk. From the article: "Norman Gurley, 30, is facing drug-related charges in Lorain County, Ohio, despite the fact that state troopers did not actually find any drugs in his possession. Ohio passed a law in 2012 making it a felony to alter a vehicle to add a secret compartment with the 'intent' of using it to conceal drugs for trafficking."

This is the first person arrested under the strange law.

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Only 25% of Yahoo Staff "Eat Their Own Dog Food"
Posted by News Fetcher on November 25 '13 at 04:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's ms-outlook-is-godzilla department:
nk497 writes "Only 25% of Yahoo staff have obeyed the company's request to 'eat their own dog food' and switch to Yahoo Mail, a colorful internal memo has revealed. The leaked email, acquired by All Things Digital, implores staff to move over to the corporate version of Yahoo's webmail system, gently lambasting staff who refuse to part with Microsoft Outlook. The message goes on to take a swipe at what appears to be Yahoo employees' preferred mail client, Microsoft Outlook, describing it as 'anachronism of the now defunct 90s PC era, a pre-web program written at a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape with the confidence of a T-Rex born to yuppie dinosaur parents who fully bought into the illusion of their son's utter uniqueness because the big-mouthed, tiny-armed monster infant could mimic the gestures of The Itsy-Bitsy Pterodactyl.'"

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Dual-Core Allwinner A20 Powered EOMA-68 Engineering Card Available
Posted by News Fetcher on November 25 '13 at 04:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's keep-one-in-your-wallet department:
A year after the first schematics were completed and a few months after the first prototype board shipped, Make Play Live has released Improv, the first engineering card for EOMA-68 (EOMA-68 is a specification for modular systems that splits the cpu board from the rest of the system, allowing the end user to use the same core with several devices or upgrade e.g. a tablet without having to pay for a new screen shell). From Aaron Seigo's weblog post: "The hardware of Improv is extremely capable: a dual-core ARM® Cortex-A7 System on Chip (SoC) running at 1Ghz, 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of on-board NAND flash and a powerful OpenGL ES GPU. To access all of this hardware goodness there are a variety of ports: 2 USB2 ports (one fullsize host, one micro OTG), SD card reader, HDMI, ethernet (10/100, though the feature card has a Gigabit connector; more on that below), SATA, i2c, VGA/TTL and 8 GPIO pins. The entire device weighs less than 100 grams, is passively cooled and fits in your hand. Improv comes pre-installed with Mer OS, sporting a recent Linux kernel, systemd, and a wide variety of software tools. By default it boots into console, so if you are making a headless device you needn't worry about extra overhead running that you don't need. If you are going to hook it up to a screen (or two), then you have an amazing starting point with choices such as X.org, Wayland, Qt4, Qt5 and a full complement of KDE libraries and Plasma Workspaces.
< article continued at Slashdot >

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