By kdawson from Slashdot's signs-and-portents deptartment
New Scientist has a piece on the uncommon art of forensic astronomy
. Texas State University physicist Donald Olson has solved the mystery of Walt Whitman's meteor poem, thanks to clues found in an 1860 painting by Frederic Church. "Before we were done we had collected 300 records of observations [of the event]. I think this may be the most observed, and most documented, single meteor event in history. From the Great Lakes to New England, every town that had a newspaper wrote about that meteor. ... So we've got one of America's greatest landscape artists, Frederic Church, watching the meteor from Catskill, and we've got one of America's greatest poets, Walt Whitman, watching the meteor from New York City."
The field of forensic astronomy may have gotten its start more than 30 years before, when art historian Roberta Olson argued convincingly that the lifelike comet in Giotto's "Adoration of the Magi" in Padua, Italy, in fact depicted Halley's Comet
in its visitation of 1301.Read Replies (0)
By kdawson from Slashdot's milking-it deptartment
An anonymous reader notes that CSIRO has sued Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile
in — wait for it — East Texas District Court. "Australia's peak science body stands to reap more than $1 billion from its lucrative Wi-Fi patent after already netting about $250 million from the world's biggest technology companies, an intellectual property lawyer says. The CSIRO has spent years battling 14 technology giants including Dell, HP, Microsoft, Intel, Nintendo, and Toshiba for royalties and made a major breakthrough in April last year when the companies opted to avoid a jury hearing and settle for an estimated $250 million. Now, the organization is bringing the fight to the top three US mobile carriers in a new suit targeting Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile. It argues they have been selling devices that infringe its patents."Read Replies (0)
By kdawson from Slashdot's moving-walls-and-stairways-too deptartment
For a while now Apple has said it doesn't want "widget-like" apps in the store; but where is the boundary of that fuzzy statement? The developers of My Frame
, of which three versions had already been approved for the iPhone/iPad, found out that they had already crossed it when Apple pulled their app. My Frame had options to overlay data on whatever photo was displaying: a Twitter stream, weather, etc. When one of the developers wrote to Steve Jobs
on a whim to ask what unwritten rule their app had violated, Jobs wrote back: "We are not allowing apps that create their own desktops. Sorry." "I see now why people are so angry at the 'murky' nature of the App Store, and I'm starting to agree with them. My Frame was approved by Apple 3 times (once for each version we released), and... now, at version 1.2 they decide it's to be removed? How can a company be prepared to invest into a platform that can change at any time, cutting you off and kicking you out, with no course of action but to whine on some no-name blog[?] There is no alternative platform, despite what others may say about Android, it's immature and their app store(s) are a wild west nightmare. It really is Apple's way or the highway..."
A few blogs have picked up the story
.Read Replies (0)