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Jury Finds Google Guilty of Standards-Essential Patents Abuse Against MS
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '13 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's within-a-framework-of-law department:
recoiledsnake writes "A federal jury in Seattle ordered Google to pay Microsoft $14.5 million in damages for breach of contract for failing to license at reasonable terms standard essential patents covering wireless and video technology used in the Xbox game console. Motorola had demanded Microsoft pay annual royalties of up to $4 billion for use of patents that are part of the H.264 video and 802.11 wireless standards, which are baked into Windows and the Xbox video game console. Microsoft said it was willing to pay royalties but not at the 2.25 percent of the product price that Motorola sought. We previously covered Motorola's exorbitant demands."

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PayPal Freezes MailPile's Account
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '13 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's saving-them-from-the-root-of-all-evil department:
rysiek writes "Remember MailPile the privacy-focused, community-funded FOSS webmail project with built-in GPG support? The good news is, the funding campaign is a success, with $135k raised (the goal was $100k). The bad news is, PayPal froze MailPile's account, along with $45k that was on it, and will not un-freeze it until MailPile team provides 'an itemized budget and your development goal dates for your project.' One of the team members also noted: 'Communications with PayPal have implied that they would use any excuse available to them to delay delivering as much of our cash as possible for as long as possible.' PayPal doesn't have a great track record as far as fund freezing is concerned — maybe it's high time to stop using PayPal?"

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Jonathon Fletcher: The Forgotten Father of the Search Engine
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '13 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's original-search department:
PuceBaboon writes "If you were under the impression that Brin and Page invented the search engine while working out of a garage somewhere in Silicon Valley then think again. The first practical web-crawler with a searchable index, JumpStation, was running out of Stirling University, Scotland, twenty years ago this year, long before Google came into existence. In a tale all too typical of the U.K. tech industry through the years, JumpStation's creator, Jonathon Fletcher, was unable to find funding for his brainchild and commercial exploitation of the idea fell to others. Jonathon, who was a panel member at the ACM SIGIR conference in Dublin earlier this year is now quite serene about the missed opportunity, despite his frustration at the time. Meanwhile, Stirling University is quoted as 'now looking at a way to mark' Jonathon's achievement."

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Jonathon Fletcher: The Forgotten Father of the Search Engine
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '13 at 04:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's original-search department:
PuceBaboon writes "If you were under the impression that Brin and Page invented the search engine while working out of a garage somewhere in Silicon Valley then think again. The first practical web-crawler with a searchable index, JumpStation, was running out of Stirling University, Scotland, twenty years ago this year, long before Google came into existence. In a tale all too typical of the U.K. tech industry through the years, JumpStation's creator, Jonathon Fletcher, was unable to find funding for his brainchild and commercial exploitation of the idea fell to others. Jonathon, who was a panel member at the ACM SIGIR conference in Dublin earlier this year is now quite serene about the missed opportunity, despite his frustration at the time. Meanwhile, Stirling University is quoted as 'now looking at a way to mark' Jonathon's achievement."

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Computer-Designed Proteins Recognize and Bind Small Molecules
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '13 at 02:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's building-it-better department:
vinces99 writes "Computer-designed proteins that can recognize and interact with small biological molecules are now a reality. Scientists have succeeded in creating a protein molecule that can be programmed to unite with three different steroids. The achievement could have far wider ranging applications in medicine and other fields, according to the Protein Design Institute at the University of Washington. 'This is a major step toward building proteins for use as biosensors or molecular sponges, or in synthetic biology — giving organisms new tools to perform a task,' said one of the lead researchers, Christine E. Tinberg, a UW postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry."

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What Marketers Think They Know About You and What They Really Do
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-don't-even-know-you-anymore department:
mattydread23 writes "Data broker Acxiom did something a little unusual this week. It launched a service that lets you see the data they've collected on you. CITEworld writer Ron Miller checked it out, and found it to be mostly laughably inaccurate. Among the things they got wrong included his religion, his interests, and the number of kids he has. But worst? It pegged him as a Windows user."

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Court Orders Retrial In Google Maps-Related Murder Case
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 09:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lets-try-this-again department:
netbuzz writes "Ruling that a judge erred in blocking two computer security experts from testifying that an incriminating Google Maps search record found on the defendant's laptop was planted there, a North Carolina appeals court has ordered a new trial for ex-Cisco employee Bradley Cooper, convicted two years ago in the 2008 strangulation death of his wife Nancy. 'The sole physical evidence linking Defendant to Ms. Cooper's murder was the alleged Google Map search, conducted on Defendant's laptop, of the exact area where Ms. Cooper's body was discovered,' wrote the appeals court. 'We hold ... that erroneously preventing Defendant from presenting expert testimony, challenging arguably the strongest piece of the State's evidence, constituted reversible error and requires a new trial.'"

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Leaked Documents Detail Al-Qaeda's Efforts To Fight Back Against Drones
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's drone-down department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post reports, 'Al-Qaeda's leadership has assigned cells of engineers to find ways to shoot down, jam or remotely hijack U.S. drones ... In July 2010, a U.S. spy agency intercepted electronic communications indicating that senior al-Qaeda leaders had distributed a "strategy guide" to operatives around the world advising them how "to anticipate and defeat" unmanned aircraft. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reported that al-Qaeda was sponsoring simultaneous research projects to develop jammers to interfere with GPS signals and infrared tags that drone operators rely on to pinpoint missile targets. Other projects in the works included the development of observation balloons and small radio-controlled aircraft, or hobby planes, which insurgents apparently saw as having potential for monitoring the flight patterns of U.S. drones... Al-Qaeda has a long history of attracting trained engineers ... Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, holds a mechanical-engineering degree ... In 2010, the CIA noted in a secret report that al-Qaeda was placing special emphasis on the recruitment of technicians and that "the skills most in demand" included expertise in drones and missile technology.'"

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Ken Wallis Autogyro Pioneer Dies At 97
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's fare-thee-well department:
First time accepted submitter gb7djk writes "Wing Commander Ken Wallis the developer and promoter of small autogyros died peacefully today 4th September, aged 97, at his home in Norfolk. Ken is mainly remembered for 'Little Nellie', the tooled up autogyro that took on some helicopters in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice. He made the breakthrough discovery of the offset rotor head that made autogyros stable as well as many other aviation inventions. More info here and a video of him flying one of his creations (at the age of 95)."

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Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we-have-clearance-clarence department:
dcblogs writes "Amazon has more than 100 job openings for people who can get a top secret clearance, which includes a U.S. government administered polygraph examination. It needs software developers, operations managers and cloud support engineers, among others. Amazon's hiring effort includes an invitation-only recruiting event for systems support engineers at its Herndon, Va., facility on Sept. 24 and 25. Amazon is fighting to win a contract to build a private cloud for the CIA. The project is being rebid after IBM filed a protest. In a recent federal lawsuit challenging the rebid, Amazon took a shot at IBM, describing the company as 'a traditional fixed IT infrastructure provider and late entrant to the cloud computing market.' Among the things IBM says in response, is that the government didn't look at Amazon's outage record. An analyst firm, Ptak Noel & Associates, concluded, in a report about the dispute, that CIA officials 'too casually brush off Amazon's outages' in evaluating the proposals."

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MyOpenID To Shut Down In February
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's end-of-the-line department:
kriston writes with news about an email sent to myOpenID users letting them know that it will be shut down February 1, 2014. The email reads:"
Hello,

I wanted to reach out personally to let you know that we have made the decision to end of life the myOpenID service. myOpenID will be turned off on February 1, 2014.

In 2006 Janrain created myOpenID to fulfill our vision to make registration and login easier on the web for people. Since that time, social networks and email providers such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and Yahoo! have embraced open identity standards. And now, billions of people who have created accounts with these services can use their identities to easily register and login to sites across the web in the way myOpenID was intended.

By 2009 it had become obvious that the vast majority of consumers would prefer to utilize an existing identity from a recognized provider rather than create their own myOpenID account. As a result, our business focus changed to address this desire, and we introduced social login technology. While the technology is slightly different from where we were in 2006, I'm confident that we are still delivering on our initial promise – that people should take control of their online identity and are empowered to carry those identities with them as they navigate the web.

For those of you who still actively use myOpenID, I can understand your disappointment to hear this news and apologize if this causes you any inconvenience. To reduce this inconvenience, we are delaying the end of life of the service until February 1, 2014 to give you time to begin using other identities on those sites where you use myOpenID today.

Speaking on behalf of Janrain, I truly appreciate your past support of myOpenID.

Sincerely,

Larry



Larry Drebes, CEO, Janrain, Inc.
"


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New Smartphone Tech To Alert Pedestrians: 'You Are About To Be Hit By a Car'
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's for-when-looking-with-your-eyes-is-too-old-fashioned department:
cartechboy writes "Usually, smartphones are a problem for humans transporting themselves — a massive distraction. But Honda is working on a way to use smartphones to protect pedestrians from bad drivers. The 'V2P' (Vehicle-to-Pedestrian) tech uses a smartphone's GPS and dedicated short range communications (DSRC) to warn drivers when a pedestrian say, steps out from behind a parked car. So the driver sees a dashboard message warning of an approaching pedestrian (which also notes whether said walker is using phone, texting or listening to music — which sort of shouldn't matter as you, uhm, brake.) The lucky pedestrian gets an alert on their phone telling them there's a DSRC-equipped car coming – that's if, say, actually looking at the road isn't telling you that already."
The lesson here is to always keep your eyes on your smartphone when you're crossing the street. If you get an alert, stop where you are and read it! Relatedly, there's another phone app in development to help you avoid gunfire.

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Monster Storm Reveals Water On Saturn
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's cassini-is-the-best-probe department:
cold fjord sends this news from NASA:
"A monster storm that erupted on Saturn in late 2010 – as large as any storm ever observed on the ringed planet -- has already impressed researchers with its intensity and long-lived turbulence. A new paper in the journal Icarus reveals another facet of the storm's explosive power: its ability to churn up water ice from great depths. This finding, derived from near-infrared measurements by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, is the first detection at Saturn of water ice. The water originates from deep in Saturn's atmosphere. 'The new finding from Cassini shows that Saturn can dredge up material from more than 100 miles [160 kilometers],' said Kevin Baines, a co-author of the paper who works at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. 'It demonstrates in a very real sense that typically demure-looking Saturn can be just as explosive or even more so than typically stormy Jupiter.'"

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FOI Request Reveals UK Houses of Parliament Workers' Passion For Adult Content
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's sounds-about-right department:
Anita Hunt (lissnup) writes "Hot on the heels of Dave Cameron's demands to make such content universally 'opt-in,' the Independent reports 'Westminster computers were prevented from accessing sex sites 114,844 times last November alone and on 55,552 in April, while February saw just 15 and in June officials blocked 397 attempts.' No explanation has been offered for the variation, although it would be interesting to know if the fall in the number of recorded/reported attempts coincides with the date the FOI request was filed."

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Genetic Convergent Evolution: Stunning Gene Similarities Among Diverse Animals
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's science-is-beautiful department:
Toe, The writes "It has long been understood that completely different animals can end up with very similar traits (convergent evolution), and even that genes can converge. But a new study shows an unbelievable level of convergence among entire groups of genes. The study shows that animals as diverse as bats and dolphins, which independently developed echolocation, converge in nearly 200 different genomic regions concentrated in several 'hearing genes.' The implications are rather deep, if you think about it, delving into interesting limitations on diversity or insights into the potential of DNA. And perhaps more importantly, this finding goes a long way toward explaining why almost aliens in the universe look surprisingly identical to humans (though still doesn't explain why they all speak English)."

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Nuclear Trashmen Profit From Unprecedented US Reactor Shutdowns
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-about-the-radioactive-benjamins department:
mdsolar sends this quote from Bloomberg:
"More than 50 years into the age of nuclear energy, one of the biggest growth opportunities may be junking old reactors. Entergy Corp. (ETR) said Aug. 27 it will close its 41-year-old Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in 2014, making the reactor the fifth unit in the U.S. marked for decommissioning within the past 12 months, a record annual total. Companies that specialize in razing nuclear plants and hauling away radioactive waste are poised to benefit. Disposal work is 'where companies are going to make their fortune,' Margaret Harding, an independent nuclear-industry consultant based in Wilmington, North Carolina, said in an phone interview. Contractors that are usually involved in building reactors ... 'are going to be looking very hard at the decommissioning side of it.' [T]he U.S. nuclear fleet of 104 units is shrinking, even as Southern Co. and Scana Corp. build two units each. ... During a reactor decommissioning, the plant operator transfers radioactive fuel rods to cooling pools and, ultimately, to so-called dry casks for storage. Workers clean contaminated surfaces by sandblasting, chemical sprays and hydrolasing, a process that involves high-pressure water blasts, according to King. 'You do get to a point that you need someone to come in that has the equipment and the technology to actually dismantle the components,' she said. 'That typically is hired out.'"

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Samsung Unveils Galaxy Gear Smartwatch
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's quick-everybody-complain-before-trying-it department:
MojoKid writes "The smartwatch race heated up today, as Samsung showed its Galaxy Gear smartwatch at the Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin. Samsung's take on such a device has been eagerly anticipated. Samsung announced the Galaxy Gear as a companion to the new Galaxy Note 3 (or any Galaxy device). The Gear lets users make and receive calls hands-free with the built-in speaker, and it notifies you of any incoming texts, emails, and alerts and gives you a preview of whatever is coming through. A Smart Relay feature will display the full content on your Galaxy device. The Galaxy Gear sports an 800MHz processor and 1.63-inch display (320x320) AMOLED display with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, a speaker, and two microphones with noise cancellation. There's a 1.9MP camera with a BSI sensor and autofocus, and it connects via Bluetooth 4.0 + BLE. Sensors include an accelerometer and a gyroscope. Samsung plans to launch the smartwatch in October for $300."

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Sleep Found To Replenish a Type of Brain Cell
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-you-need-me-i'll-be-replenishing department:
New submitter wrackspurt writes "Sleep deprivation has long been thought to be prevalent in the industrialized world. A new study (abstract) explains one very good reason why at least seven hours of sleep a night is necessary. Quoting the BBC: 'Sleep ramps up the production of cells that go on to make an insulating material known as myelin which protects our brain's circuitry. ... The increase was most marked during the type of sleep that is associated with dreaming - REM or rapid eye movement sleep — and was driven by genes. In contrast, the genes involved in cell death and stress responses were turned on when the mice were forced to stay awake.'"

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Martin Luther King Jr's Children In Court Over MLK IP
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-have-a-sad-depressing-dream department:
cervesaebraciator writes "Slashdot has reported before about the copyright nightmare of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' Speech. Now, questions of intellectual property and the legacy of Dr. King have caused his children to go to court. The estate, run by King's sons, claims the rights to the intellectual property and memorabilia of Dr. King as assets. Accordingly, it has filed suit against the non-profit Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change, run by King's daughter, for plans to continue using King memorabilia once a royalty-free licensing agreement expires, (which the estate says will be in September). As is the case with increasing frequency, one is left to wonder about the implications intellectual property claims have for free speech when they can be applied to so public a figure as Dr. King."

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Fire At Hynix FAB May Bump DRAM Prices
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '13 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's new-business-model department:
Lucas123 writes "A fire that engulfed portions of a major Hynix memory FAB in Wuxi, China earlier today did not do as much damage as reports originally claimed and the company said it expects to be back in production soon. According to a Hynix statement, the fire occurred during equipment installation at around 16:50 Korean time and it was extinguished in under two hours. The company said while published photos showed the FAB facility surrounded by smoke and engulfed in flames, 'the damage is not as severe as it seems as the smoke created was because the fire was concentrated in the air purification facilities that are linked to the rooftop of the fab.' The company also said that there is no material damage to the fab equipment in the clean room, and Hynix expects to resume operations in a short time period, so overall production and supply volume should not be 'materially affected.' Even so, the spot price of DRAM is expected to leap as a result of the news."

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