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German Appeals Court Confirms Galaxy Tab 10.1 Ban
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can't-win-for-losing department:
New submitter Killer Panda sends word that a German Appeals Court has upheld the injunction prohibiting sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany. Apple convinced lower courts to issue and uphold the injunction last year by making the case that Samsung's devices "slavishly" copied the iPhone and iPad. "Samsung, which is Apple's supplier as well as a competitor, has been trying to have the German decision overturned while also seeking other means to fight Apple. It redesigned the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for the German market only and named it Galaxy Tab 10.1N to get around the sales ban. Apple challenged the reworked version but a German court last month rejected Apple's claims in a preliminary judgment." The European Union announced some more bad news for Samsung: they'll be investigating the company to see whether its use of patent lawsuits is illegally hindering other companies' use of standardized 3G technology. "Under EU patent rules, a company that hold patents for standardized products are required to license them out indiscriminately at a fair price."

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Surveillance Cameras Used To Study Customer Behavior
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's unseen-mechanized-eye department:
An anonymous reader writes "Technology Review reports on a startup with software used by stores to track, count and log people captured by security cameras. Prism Skylab's technology can produce heatmaps showing where people went and produce other statistics that the company claims offer tracking and analytics like those used online for the real world. One use case is for businesses to correlate online promotions and deals — such as Groupon offers — with real world footfall and in-store behavior."

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WikiLeaks To Ship Servers To Micronation of Sealand?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 09:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's crossing-the-line department:
Velcroman1 writes "Julian Assange's investors are in the process of purchasing a boat to move WikiLeaks servers offshore in an attempt to evade prosecution from U.S. law enforcement, FoxNews.com has learned. Multiple sources within the hacker community with knowledge of day-to-day WikiLeaks activities say Assange's financial backers have been working behind the scenes on the logistics of moving the servers to international waters. One possible location: the Principality of Sealand, a rusty, World War II-era, former anti-aircraft platform off the coast of England in the North Sea. Based on a 1968 British court ruling that the facility is outside the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, Sealand's owner has declared the facility a sovereign state, or 'micro-nation.'"

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Apple Versus Google Innovation Strategies
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's getting-it-done department:
porsche911 writes "The NY Times has a great story comparing the top-down versus bottom-up innovation approaches of Apple and Google. From the article: '"There is nothing democratic about innovation," says Paul Saffo, a veteran technology forecaster in Silicon Valley. "It is always an elite activity, whether by a recognized or unrecognized elite."'"

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Eye of Tiger Composer Sues Gingrich To Stop Campaign From Using Song
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 08:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it's-the-thrill-of-the-fight department:
First time accepted submitter Joe_Dragon writes "The composer of the Survivor hit Eye of the Tiger has sued Newt Gingrich to stop the Republican presidential candidate from using the Rocky III anthem at campaign events. The lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in Chicago by Rude Music Inc., the Palatine-based music publishing company owned by Frank Sullivan, who, with Jim Peterik, composed the song and copyrighted it in 1982. The lawsuit states that as early as 2009, Gingrich has entered rallies and public events to the pulsing guitar riffs of the song. In a lengthy section of the five-page complaint, Rude's attorneys point out that Gingrich is well aware of copyright laws, noting he is listed as author or co-author of more than 40 published works and has earned between $500,000 to $1 million from Gingrich Productions, a company that sells his written work, documentaries and audio books. It also notes Gingrich's criticism of the 'Stop Online Piracy Act' during a recent debate in South Carolina, where Gingrich suggested the law was unnecessary because 'We have a patent office, we have copyright law. If a company finds it has genuinely been infringed upon, it has the right to sue.' The suit asks for an injunction to prevent Gingrich from using the song, as well as damages and attorneys' fees to be determined by the court."

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SmartCap Reads Brain Waves to Monitor Workers' Fatigue Levels
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's wearing-the-tired-hat department:
Zothecula writes "You don't need to be an expert in occupational safety to know that worker fatigue is one of the leading causes of workplace accidents — this particularly applies to people who operate heavy machinery or drive for a living. While it would be great if all employees simply took a break when fatigue started setting in, it can sometimes be difficult for people to tell just how tired they really are. That, or they decide that they just want to push through and get the job done, drowsiness be damned. An invention from Australia's EdanSafe, however, takes the guesswork out of the picture. It's called the SmartCap, and it measures employee fatigue in real time by monitoring its wearer's brain waves."

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Building the Bionic Man
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 07:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we-can-make-him-better department:
nk497 writes "Will we soon be upgrading body parts like the components inside our PCs? 'Human enhancement' technologies are quickly evolving, making it easier to treat health conditions — and make us more powerful. Neural implants are already being used to restore vision, but in the future it could be used to give us better than 20/20 eyesight. Bionic arms will extend beyond prostheses, and be used to help boost our strength — handy for working in a warehouse and for soldiers. 'We use tools all the time to enhance our natural functions, and physical interaction is increasingly usurped by the virtual connections afforded by computers, smartphones and the internet,' said one researcher. 'So connecting these tools directly from the brain is perhaps not so far-fetched.'"

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Inside the Museum of Nonsense
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's one-man's-junk department:
coondoggie writes "Some call it the museum of failed inventions and others might just call it the stupidity museum, either way it is officially known as the Museum of Nonsense and it opened in Austria this month. It is decidedly low-tech though it does contain some high-tech ideas like a truly interesting way to anonymize identity (a piece of black card on a stick so people can't see your eyes) and a device that promises to cut down on those huge cell-phone bills (think tin cans and a string)."

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Ask Slashdot: How To Inform a Non-Techie About Proposed Copyright Laws
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's just-the-facts-mam department:
First time accepted submitter skywiseguy writes "I know someone who continues to argue that the takedown of MegaUpload shows that the existing laws are not adequate and that we *need* SOPA/PIPA to protect the movie/music industries from offshore (non-US) piracy. I keep trying to inform him of the history the *AA's have brought to bear on the copyright laws and how these bills are something that will continue the abuse of copyright instead of ending piracy as they are claiming. He has no grasp on how DNS works, much less the internet in general. What can I do to show him how destructive these bills actually are, preferably with something that is as unbiased as possible?"

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Megaupload Lawyer Says User Data Will Be Held For Two Weeks
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's on-second-thought department:
First time accepted submitter AlistairCharlton writes "Users' data on the seized Megaupload website will be saved for two further weeks, according to the website's lawyer, despite being shut down by US authorities. From the article: 'Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothken reportedly told tech blog TorrentFreak.com that users' data would be saved for at least another two weeks, after it was previously thought that the data would be deleted by Thursday, 2 February.'"

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Mechanic's Mistake Trashes $244 Million Aircraft
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 05:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's total-tool-awareness department:
Hugh Pickens writes "An accident report is finally out for the Air Force E-8C Joint Surveillance Targeting and Attack Radar System that had started refueling with a KC-135 on on March 13, 2009 when the crew heard a 'loud bang throughout the midsection of the aircraft.' Vapor and fuel started pouring out of the JSTARS from 'at least two holes in the left wing just inboard of the number two engine.' The pilot immediately brought the jet back to its base in Qatar where mechanics found the number two main fuel tank had been ruptured, 'causing extensive damage to the wing of the aircraft.' How extensive? 25 million dollars worth of extensive. What caused this potentially fatal and incredibly expensive accident to one of the United States' biggest spy planes? According to the USAF accident report, a contractor accidentally left a plug in one of the fuel tank's relief vents (PDF) during routine maintenance. 'The PDM subcontractor employed ineffective tool control measures,' reads the report. Tool control measures? 'You know, the absolutely basic practice of accounting for the exact location of every tool that is used to work on an airplane once that work is finished.' Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz just told Congress, 'there is a JSTARS platform that was damaged beyond economical repair that we will not repair.' So, if this is the one Schwartz is talking about, then one mechanic's mistake has damaged a $244 million aircraft beyond repair."

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Facebook's Oregon Data Center Uses As Much Power As Entire County
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 02:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's zynga-unveils-reactor-ville department:
1sockchuck writes "The first phase of the Facebook data center in Oregon uses 28 megawatts of utility power, local officials said this week. That's not extraordinary for a facility of that size in most data center hubs. But it stands out in Crook County, Oregon where all the homes and business other than Facebook use 30 megawatts of power. The economics of Facebook's presence in Oregon are outlined in a new study, which asserts that the Prineville facility has brought tens of millions of dollars into the local economy. The second phase of the Facebook project is now underway, and the local utility grid is being expanded to add capacity."

The study claiming economic benefits was commissioned by Facebook (reader beware).

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UCSD Researchers Create Artificial Cell Membrane
Posted by News Fetcher on January 31 '12 at 12:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's sr-819-around-the-corner department:
cylonlover writes with an excerpt from a Gizmag article: "The cell membrane is one of the most important components of a cell because it separates the interior from the environment and controls the movement of substances in and out of the cell. In a move that brings mankind another step closer to being able to create artificial life forms from scratch, chemists from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Harvard University have created artificial self-assembling cell membranes using a novel chemical reaction. The chemists hope their creation will help shed light on the origins of life."

The full paper is available in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (behind a paywall).

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Dutch ISPs Refuse To Block Pirate Bay
Posted by News Fetcher on January 30 '12 at 09:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's industry-finding-lawsuits-more-lucrative-than-not-sucking department:
judgecorp writes "Two Dutch ISPs have complied with a demand to block the Pirate Bay, but KPN and T-Mobile are refusing to block the site."

Torrent Freak has a bit more info. T-Mobile at least seems to imply they would respond to a court order, and are merely refusing to take down sites at the request of a private entity.

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Tenative Ruling Against Kaleidescape in DVD CCA Case
Posted by News Fetcher on January 30 '12 at 07:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's your-license-means-what-we-say-it-means department:
An anonymous reader wrote in with an update in the long drawn out legal proceedings between the DVD CCA and Kaleidescape, a manufacturer of a video jukeboxes. Despite a victory by Kaleidescape in 2007, they ended up back in court in November 2011. The DVD CCA insisted that ripping a DVD was in violation of the license granted to Kaleidescape; Kaleidescape disagreed since their jukebox made a bit-for-bit copy of the disc rather than first decrypting the contents. Unfortunately, in a preliminary ruling, the court agrees with the DVD CCA. Kaleidescape has released a statement.

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DHS Sends Tourists Home Over Twitter Jokes
Posted by News Fetcher on January 30 '12 at 05:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's it's-not-like-anyone-would-miss-la department:
itwbennett writes "In a classic case of 'we say destroy, you say party hard,' the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security detained a pair of British twenty-somethings for 12 hours and then sent them packing back to the land of the cheeky retort. At issue is a Tweet sent by Leigh Van Bryan about plans to 'destroy America,' starting with LA, which, really, isn't that bad an idea."

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Installation of Blue Waters Petaflop Supercomputer Begins
Posted by News Fetcher on January 30 '12 at 04:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's too-many-flops-to-fail department:
An anonymous reader writes "The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois is finally getting the troubled Blue Waters supercomputer installed. After IBM walked away from the project after 3 years of planning, Cray stepped in to pick up the $188 million contract. Now, in around 9 months time, Blue Waters should be fully operational and achieve performance of 1 petaflop or more. As for the hardware... who wouldn't want access to 235 Cray XE6 cabinets using AMD 16 core Opteron 2600 processors with access to 1.5 petabytes of memory (4GB per chip) and 500 petabytes of local storage."

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Retail Chains To Strike Back Against Online Vendors
Posted by News Fetcher on January 30 '12 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's eye-before-you-buy department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Marissa Taylor says the retail chains' worst nightmare are consumers who come in to take a look at merchandise in-store, but use smartphone apps to shop for cheaper prices online. But now stores like low-end retail chain Target plan to fight 'showrooming' by scaling up their business models and asking vendors to create Target-exclusive products that can't be found online. 'The bottom line is that the more commoditized the product is, the more people are going to look for the cheapest price,' says Morningstar analyst Michael Keara. 'If there's a significant price difference [among retailers] and you're using it on a regular basis, you're going to go to Amazon.' Target recently sent an 'urgent' letter to vendors, asking them to 'create special products that would set it apart from competitors.' Target's letter insisted that it would not 'let online-only retailers use our brick-and-mortar stores as a showroom for their products and undercut our prices without making investments, as we do, to proudly display your brands.' Target also announced that it had teamed up with a handful of unique specialty shops that will offer limited edition merchandise on a rotating basis within Target stores in hopes of creating an evolving shopping experience for customers. Target is 'exercising leverage over its vendors to achieve the same pricing that smaller, online-only retailers receive,' says Weinswig. 'This strategy would help Target compete with retailers like Amazon on like-for-like products.'"

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Sinclair ZX81 Made Out of Lego
Posted by News Fetcher on January 30 '12 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's blast-from-the-past department:
An anonymous reader writes "I used Lego's Digital Designer software to build a model of a Sinclair ZX81 — the computer that kicked me off on my interest in such matters way back in 1981. Until very recently, the software allowed you to upload your model, buy it and get a boxed set with all the pieces to build it (as well as instructions). The ZX81 model is as close to the shape of the original as I could make it, considering that Lego is quite a lo-resolution modelling tool. I even made it so that you can lift off the lid and see a representation of the PCB in side. I have also posted the model to Lego's Cuusoo site — a place where you can post ideas, and if they gain enough support they will be considered for production."

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10-Year Gary McKinnon Case To End This Year
Posted by News Fetcher on January 30 '12 at 03:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's right-to-a-speedy-trial department:
judgecorp writes "The ten-year legal quagmire surrounding Gary McKinnon, who hacked into U.S. military and NASA computers in 2001 and 2002, must end this year, a British High Court Judge has ordered. McKinnon has been appealing against extradition to the U.S., and two medical experts must report in 28 days on his mental state, ruling whether he would be a suicide risk if deported. This ruling could short-circuit an extradition appeal hearing in July."

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