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Apple-Motorola Judge Questions Need For Software Patents
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-boys-go-on-home-now department:
imamac sends this quote from a Reuters report:
"The U.S. judge who tossed out one of the biggest court cases in Apple's smartphone technology battle is questioning whether patents should cover software or most other industries at all. ... Posner said some industries, like pharmaceuticals, had a better claim to intellectual property protection because of the enormous investment it takes to create a successful drug. Advances in software and other industries cost much less, he said, and the companies benefit tremendously from being first in the market with gadgets — a benefit they would still get if there were no software patents. 'It's not clear that we really need patents in most industries,' he said. Also, devices like smartphones have thousands of component features, and they all receive legal protection. 'You just have this proliferation of patents,' Posner said. 'It's a problem.' ... The Apple/Motorola case did not land in front of Posner by accident. He volunteered to oversee it."

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Amazon Reportedly Plans Smartphone
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 05:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's remember-when-companies-just-did-one-thing department:
AlistairCharlton writes "Online retailer Amazon is developing its own smartphone to take on the Apple iPhone and handsets that run the Google Android operating system, according to media reports 'Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. (2038), the Chinese mobile- phone maker, is working with Amazon on the device, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. Amazon is seeking to complement the smartphone strategy by acquiring patents that cover wireless technology and would help it defend against allegations of infringement, other people with knowledge of the matter said.'"

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Former Microsoft Exec: Microsoft Has "Become the Thing They Despised"
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's your-own-worst-enemy department:
zacharye writes "Microsoft has a long and storied history of leadership in the tech industry, and the company has driven innovation for decades. In recent years, however, Microsoft has fallen behind the times in several key industries; the company's mobile position has deteriorated and left it with a low single-digit market share, and Microsoft won't launch Windows RT, its response to Apple's three-year-old iPad, until later this year. In a recent piece titled 'Microsoft’s Lost Decade,' Vanity Fair contributor Kurt Eichenwald analyzes the company’s 'astonishingly foolish management decisions' and picks apart moves made during the Steve Ballmer era."

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BitTorrent Usage Increases In Europe, Following the Pirate Bay Blockade
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-didn't-want-to-until-you-told-me-I-couldn't department:
MrSeb writes "In a twist that will surprise no one except the RIAA, MPAA, BREIN, and other anti-piracy lobbies, the amount of BitTorrent traffic has stayed the same or increased in Europe following the blockade of The Pirate Bay in the UK, Netherlands, and other countries. This news comes from XS4All, one of the largest European ISPs, which has published a graph of the network traffic associated with the BitTorrent protocol — and sure enough, since the Dutch Pirate Bay blockade began in February 2012, traffic has stayed the same or increased slightly. There are probably a few reasons for this: a) The European blockades created a lot of publicity (and no publicity is bad publicity); b) TPB isn't the only torrent site out there, and many of its torrents are available elsewhere; and c) Internet denizens are a lot more savvy (proxies, VPNs, etc.) than the MPAA and co give them credit for."

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Crowd Sourced Malware Reverse Engineering Platform Launched
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 12:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's work-together department:
wiredmikey writes "Security startup CrowdStrike has launched CrowdRE, a free platform that allows security researchers and analysts to collaborate on malware reverse engineering. CrowdRE is adapting the collaborative model common in the developer world to make it possible to reverse engineer malicious code more quickly and efficiently. Collaborative reverse engineering can take two approaches, where all the analysts are working at the same time and sharing all the information instantly, or in a distributed manner, where different people work on different sections and share the results. This means multiple people can work on different parts simultaneously and the results can be combined to gain a full picture of the malware. Google is planning to add CrowdRE integration to BinNavi, a graph-based reverse engineering tool for malware analysis, and the plan is to integrate with other similar tools. Linux and Mac OS support is expected soon, as well."

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Ask Slashdot: How To Get Old Commercial Software To Be Open-Sourced?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's set-it-free department:
First time accepted submitter Optic7 writes "Many gamers have probably dreamed about the idea of an old favorite game or other no longer supported or developed commercial software being converted to an open-source license so that it could be updated to add new features, support new hardware, other operating systems, etc. However, this type of change of license seems exceedingly rare, unless the copyright holder itself decides on its own that it would be beneficial. The only examples I could think of or was able to find in a brief internet search were Blender (3D animation software that had its source code bought from creditors after a crowd-funding campaign) and Warzone 2100 (Game that had its source code released after a successful petition). With those two examples of different strategies in mind, have any of you ever participated in any efforts of this kind, and what did you learn from it that may be useful to someone else attempting the same thing? Even if you have not participated, do you have any suggestions or ideas that may be useful to such an effort?"

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Implants May Improve Therapy For Neurological Disorders
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 08:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's a-chipped-brain-is-a-happy-brain department:
ericjones12398 writes "Breakthrough new research out of Massachusetts General Hospital shows that the use of magnetic field stimulation from microscopic devices implanted into the brain may be able to boost brain activity and alleviate symptoms of several devastating neurodegenerative conditions. Researchers leveraged the use of magnetic stimulation, which has been used for years to diagnose and treat neurological disorders. However, transcranial magnetic stimulation often generates fields by hand-held coils outside the skull, which ends up activating undesired parts of the brain, and makes delivery specificity to certain parts of the brain difficult."

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Ron Paul's New Primary Goal Is "internet Freedom"
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's open-the-tubes department:
Charliemopps writes "Ron and Rand Paul are shifting the central focus of their family's libertarian crusade to a new cause: Internet Freedom. From the article: 'Kentucky senator Rand and his father Ron Paul, who has not yet formally conceded the Republican presidential nomination, will throw their weight behind a new online manifesto set to be released today by the Paul-founded Campaign for Liberty. The new push, Paul aides say, will in some ways displace what has been their movement's long-running top priority, shutting down the Federal Reserve Bank. The move is an attempt to stake a libertarian claim to a central public issue of the next decade, and to move from the esoteric terrain of high finance to the everyday world of cable modems and Facebook.' This seems like welcome news to me. Lets see if they can get more traction here than they did with the Fed."

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Dark Matter Filament Finally Found
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's there-it-is department:
An anonymous reader writes "Everyone is talking about the recent Higgs boson announcement by the scientists at CERN, but another significant scientific discovery was revealed this week as well. In a study published online in the journal Nature on Wednesday, scientists show that they have successfully found the first dark matter filament."

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Apple Wins Patent For Head-Mounted Display Tech
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-want-my-iglasses department:
redletterdave writes "It appears that Google is no longer alone in exploring the realm of wearable tech solutions. Apple was granted a patent on Thursday in relation to 'peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays.' While Google Glass places a piece of smartglass right above the user's eye, Apple's solution uses two peripheral lights to show two different images to each eye 'to create an enhanced viewing experience for the user.' Apple's patent also attempts to address the biggest problems with head-mounted displays (HMDs), particularly tunnel vision and motion sickness."

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Microsoft Engineer Discovers Android Spam Botnet, Google Denies Claim
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's yes-you-did-no-we-didn't department:
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft engineer Terry Zink has discovered Android devices are being used to send spam. He has identified an international Android botnet and outlined the details on his MSDN blog. A closer look at the e-mails' header information shows all the messages come from compromised Yahoo accounts. Furthermore, they are also stamped with the 'Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android' signature. Google has denied the allegations. 'The evidence does not support the Android botnet claim,' a Google spokesperson said in a statement. 'Our analysis suggests that spammers are using infected computers and a fake mobile signature to try to bypass anti-spam mechanisms in the email platform they're using.'"

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Japanese Parliament: Fukushima a Man-Made Disaster
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's who's-to-blame department:
Bootsy Collins writes "The predominant narrative of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster has been that the accident was caused by a one-in-a-million tsunami, an event so unlikely that TEPCO could not reasonably have been expected to plan for it. However, a Parliamentary inquiry in Japan has concluded that this description is flawed — that the disaster was preventable through a reasonable and justifiable level of preparation, and that initial responses were horribly bungled. The inquiry report points a finger at collusion between industry executives and regulators in Japan as well as 'the worst conformist conventions of Japanese culture.' It also raises the question of whether the failed units at Fukushimi Daiichi were already damaged by the earthquake before the tsunami even hit, going so far as to say that 'We cannot rule out the possibility that a small-scale LOCA (loss-of-coolant accident) occurred at the reactor No 1 in particular.' This is an explosive question in quake-prone Japan, appearing in the news just as Japan begins to restart reactors that have been shut down nationwide since the disaster."

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New Version of the MaControl Trojan Spotted In the Wild
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 02:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's little-beady-coyote-eyes department:
EliSowash writes "A new version of the MaControl malware has been reported in the wild. More information on the malware, its behavior, and the attack campaign is available from Kaspersky Labs, who discovered this variant. As more malware authors become motivated to attack OS X it is likely that we will continue to see targeted attacks such as this in the future. Just like with PC malware, a combination of exploits and social engineering tricks are generally the most effective; it won't be surprising to see a spike in such attacks soon."

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Dutch ISP Discovers 140,000 Customers With Default Password
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 02:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's remove-fingers-from-dike-and-type-new-one department:
bs0d3 writes "In Holland, a major ISP (KPN) has found a major security flaw for their customers. It seems that all customers have had the same default password of 'welkom01'. Up to 140,000 customers had retained their default passwords. Once inside attackers could have found bank account and credit card numbers. KPN has since changed all the passwords of the 140,000 customers with weak passwords. They also do not believe anyone has actually been burglarized since discovering this weak spot in security."

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Japanese 13-Year-Old Arrested For Virus Creation
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 01:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's at-least-it's-not-singapore department:
An anonymous reader writes "Last year, Japan criminalized virus creation and just saving a virus on [one's] own computer. According to Yomiuri Shimbun, Kyoto police have arrested a 13-year-old (Japanese language original), second grade of junior high school student from Tokyo, for allegedly creating a computer shutdown virus and operating an exchange board of hackers. Kyoto police also arrested 23-year-old construction worker for allegedly teaching a how to make a virus on their board and saved a virus on his computer."

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Feds Plan 'Fog of Disinformation' To Track Information Leaks
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 12:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's surely-this-is-a-very-old-technique department:
skipkent tips a story at Wired's Danger Room, according to which "Pentagon-funded researchers have come up with a new plan for busting leakers: Spot them by how they search, and then entice the secret-spillers with decoy documents that will give them away. Computer scientists call it it 'Fog Computing' — a play on today's cloud computing craze. And in a recent paper for Darpa, the Pentagon's premiere research arm, researchers say they've built 'a prototype for automatically generating and distributing believable misinformation and then tracking access and attempted misuse of it. We call this "disinformation technology."'"

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Another Death in the Cloud As Apple Kills Off iWork
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's ways-of-knowing department:
Google is retiring the iGoogle page, but on a much shorter time scale, Apple is shutting down an iService of its own: the cloud-storage site iWork.com (linked to Apple's office apps suite iWork) is slated to go offline at the end of this month. Says the article, over at SlashCloud: "As of that date, 'you will no longer be able to access your documents on the iWork.com site or view them on the Web,' reads Apple’s note on the matter, followed by a recommendation that anyone with documents on iWork download them to the desktop." Both of these announcements remind me why I covet local storage for documents and the ability to set my own GUI prefs.

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Linux Played a Vital Role In Discovery of Higgs Boson
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's more-nobel-juice-for-linus department:
An anonymous reader writes "Scientific Linux and Ubuntu had a vital role in the discovery of the new boson at CERN. Linux systems are used every day in their analysis, together with hosts of open software, such as ROOT. Linux plays a major role in the running of their networks of computers (in the grid etc.) and it is used for the intensive work in their calculations."

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Seagoing Servers Hit the Rocks
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 11:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's flotsam-is-ones-jetsam-is-zeros department:
1sockchuck writes "A plan to build data centers on ships is now defunct. Startup IDS, whose ambitions to convert cargo ships into server farms prompted debate on Slashdot in 2008 and 2010, is in bankruptcy. Google filed a patent for a water-based data center, but it's not clear that the company ever took the concept seriously, and has even spoofed the idea."

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First iOS Malware Discovered In Apple's App Store
Posted by News Fetcher on July 05 '12 at 10:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's still-a-pretty-good-track-record department:
New submitter DavidGilbert99 writes "Security experts have discovered what is claimed to be the first ever piece of malware to be found in the Apple App Store. While Android is well known for malware, Apple has prided itself on being free from malicious apps ... until now. The app steals your contact data and uploads it to a remote server before sending spam SMS messages to all your contacts, but the messages look like they are coming from you."

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