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Sun Microsystems

+ - 212 Radius of sun more accurately measured during eclipse->

Submitted by
Anonymous Squonk
Anonymous Squonk writes "The measurement of the sun currently in use was actually calculated over 120 years ago, and is off by hundreds of kilometers. Thousands of ordinary Japanese citizens worked together to improve this estimate. By measuring the borders of the "ring of fire" effect of the recent eclipse, and using the known size and distance from the Earth of the sun, the radius of the Sun was measured as 696,010 kilometers, with a margin of error of only 20 kilometers."
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Advertising

+ - 144 Sony Patent To Stop Your Gaming To Try And Sell You Products?->

Submitted by
TheGift73
TheGift73 writes "Sony, have a patent that would allow them to stop your gaming in its tracks to try to sell you products.

The patent was filled on 22nd July 2011 and published on 10th November 2011 and would, without a doubt, be the most annoying thing imaginable when it come to immersing yourself into a game. People pay quite a bit of money these days for the latest games, so having those interrupted by dumb advertising would be a game killer. Here’s a more detailed description of how it would be implemented.

Embodiments of the present invention provide an advertisement scheme for use with interactive content, such as for example video games, entertainment software, or any other type of interactive content. In some embodiments, during game play, the game slows down, then stops, and a commercial is played. The user may be given an indication or other warning that a commercial is coming. By way of example, the indication may comprise a slowing down of the game play. This way, when the game slows down, the user knows to get ready for a commercial, the game then stops, and the commercial is played. After the commercial, the game resumes (i.e. starts again). In some embodiments the game may resume by slowly starting again, which allows the user to remember where he or she was in the game.

Abstract:

“A method for use in advertising includes initiating playing of interactive content, suspending playing of the interactive content, displaying an advertisement, and resuming playing of the interactive content. A computer program product includes a medium embodying a computer program for causing a computer to perform these operations, and a system for use in advertising includes a display and a processing system configured to perform these operations.”

Now, the good news is, is that not all patents are forthcoming, but still, what idiot though it would be a good idea?"

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Cellphones

+ - 146 Facebook Releases Instagram Clone Two Months After Acquisition->

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "Six days after the company's IPO and two months after it acquired photo-sharing app company Instagram for $1 billion, Facebook debuted a photo app of its own on Thursday, called Facebook Camera. The app is now available as a free download in the App Store, and it's currently only available for iPhone and iPod Touch owners. Facebook Camera is set up very similarly to Instagram and includes most of the same features (including photo filters), but Dirk Stoop, Facebook's product manager for photos, said Facebook was working on this application long before the Instagram acquisition on April 9."
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Patents

+ - 183 Can you patent a steak?->

Submitted by DutchUncle
DutchUncle (826473) writes "Someone at Oklahoma State University has "discovered" a new steak. By now I would have thought that every possible part of a cow was already discovered, not to mention used for something. I can understand trademarking a name for a particular cut of meat; I can understand copyrighting the published instructions on what to cut where; but can this be novel enough for a patent?"
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Google

+ - 230 What The Final Decision On Oracle v. Google Really Means->

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "The jury decided yesterday that Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents related to Android. Fantastic news — but the wider view offers little comfort, writes Simon Phipps. 'While the specific news of the patent phase verdict is good news for most people, the case still tells a sad story about software patents. The complexity found by the jury shows why software patents fail to deliver on the contract with society that they should represent. Unlike real patents, software patents contain little of value to the programmer: no sample code, only stylized algorithms. Instead, they consist mainly of a list of ways a lawyer can assert that the patent has been infringed. Even then, they are linguistically complex, leaving juries scratching their heads to interpret.'"
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China

+ - 151 China enhances military capabilities with UAVs->

Submitted by
ericjones12398
ericjones12398 writes "Last month, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) published several photos of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on a frigate as it crossed from the East China Sea into the strait of Osumi. The UAV, which was photographed in operation by a Japanese surveillance aircraft, was not owned by the United States or Israel — two major players in this segment of the aerospace industry. It is the property of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Interestingly, this unnamed UAV — which has never been seen before — was being deployed on a Chinese Type 054A missile frigate which, unlike an aircraft carrier, does not have a landing strip.
This UAV sighting is very much in alignment with the findings of a recent report published by The Teal Group. The Teal Group, a US beltway aerospace and defense research firm, has projected the worldwide unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) market to double over the next decade. This means that the current worldwide expenditures of $6.6 billion are expected to exceed $89 billion within ten years. China plans on being part of this trend, and The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has an immediate vested interest in the military application of such technologies. Traditionally, the PLA has been a long-time supporter of UAV technologies and has partnered with such firms as the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) to both reverse engineer and develop their own UAV related technologies."

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Security

+ - 224 Security Expert Fools And Records Fake Antivirus Scammers->

Submitted by ancientribe
ancientribe (1057834) writes "Phony AV scammers posing as Microsoft dialed the wrong number when they inadvertently phoned a security researcher at home. He lured them into a honeypot to study their actions, and posted the video online here. His main takeaway: they were "Stone Age" when it came to their tech know-how."
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Security

+ - 243 New Jersey Mayor and Son arrested for nuking recall website->

Submitted by phaedrus5001
phaedrus5001 (1992314) writes "The mayor of West New York, New Jersey was arrested by the FBI after he and his son illegally took down a website that was calling for the recall of mayor Felix Roque (the site is currently down).
From the article: "According to the account of FBI Special Agent Ignace Ertilus, Felix and Joseph Roque took a keen interest in the recall site as early as February. In an attempt to learn the identity of the person behind the site, the younger Roque set up an e-mail account under a fictitious name and contacted an address listed on the website. He offered some "very good leads" if the person would agree to meet him. When the requests were repeatedly rebuffed, Joseph Rogue allegedly tried another route. He pointed his browser to Google and typed the search strings "hacking a Go Daddy Site," "recallroque log-in," and "html hacking tutorial."""

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Cellphones

+ - 149 Cellphone Vibration Syndrome, Other Signs of Tech Addiction->

Submitted by
CWmike
CWmike writes "It turns out that the phantom cellphone vibration syndrome is fairly common. Ask around. See if you can find someone who believed the smartphone in their pocket was vibrating but found when they checked, there was nothing new. No call. No text. There's a growing body of research on phantom vibrations and many of the other problems associated with technology obsession, all of which is explored by Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, in his new book, 'iDisorder'. Rosen, who earned his bachelors degree in mathematics before getting a Ph.D in psychology, examines technology's impact on our lives. His book, which combines the latest research with his own experience, anecdote and observation, warns about obsessive technological use and offers practical advice for keeping tech at bay. Rosen talks to Computerworld's Patrick Thibodeau about some of the issues associated with unhealthy, or least unreasonable, levels of tech obsession."
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+ - 146 Video Maps: Driving directions in video-> 1

Submitted by
amarpal
amarpal writes "Although google maps and other maps have made it to India and you can indeed see finer details, drivings directions using these maps is still a nightmare. I came across vidteq: http://www.vidteq.com/ They have actually driven through roads in Bangalore (now Bengaluru) and have taken videos. And when you specify your stat and end points, it actually provides the video navigation. Pretty cool concept.

On a different note, I wonder if these guys could do it, what was wrong with google street view when they were stopped by the local authorities; read this: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-13853251"

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Google

+ - 142 Google Lifts The Veil On Copyright Takedowns: Reveals Detailed Data On Who Reque->

Submitted by
TheGift73
TheGift73 writes "As part of Google's ongoing Transparency Report efforts, today the company has released a whole new section on copyright takedowns, containing a huge amount of information on the many takedown requests Google receives. It focuses specifically on the takedowns for search links, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them add other areas later. As you may recall, we were among those who were victimized by a bogus takedown, and a key post about SOPA that we had written was missing from Google search for about a month.

The new transparency platform lets you dig in and see quite a few details about exactly who is issuing takedowns and what they're removing from search. It's using data since last July (when Google set up an organized web-form, so the data is consistent). It may be a bit surprising, but at the top of the list? Microsoft, who has apparently taken down over 2.5 million URLs from Google's search results. Most of the the others in the top 10 aren't too surprising. There's NBC Universal at number two. The RIAA at number three (representing all its member companies). BPI at number five. Universal Music at number seven. Sony Music at number eight. Warner Music doesn't clock in until number 12.

There's also data on which sites are most frequently targeted, which (not surprisingly) lists out a bunch of torrent search sites and file lockers and such. Don't be surprised to see some try to claim that this is an accurate list of "rogue sites" that Google should block entirely. However, if you look carefully at the data, Google also highlights the percentage of pages on those sites for which they've received takedowns, and the vast majority of them are well below 1%. In other words, no one has complained about well over 99% of the pages on these sites. It seems pretty drastic to suggest that these sites are obviously nothing but evil, when so many of their pages don't seem to receive any complaints at all."

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Android

+ - 167 Microsoft Wins Yet Another Mobile Patent Case->

Submitted by
benfrog
benfrog writes "Microsoft has won a legal battle in Germany over Google/Motorola (right after Google spent $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola and its patents) that would allow Microsoft to enforce a ban on Android products in Germany. According to Cnet, this "could signal an end to at least one long-running dispute between Microsoft and Android players" forcing Google to negotiate a settlement with Microsoft as HTC and Samsung already have."
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+ - 161 Good inexpensive LCD panel for embedded projects? 3

Submitted by
michael_cain
michael_cain writes "I've been asked (by family, friends) to consider several small embedded controller projects. A good starting point for all of them would be a backlit LCD graphics module with touch screen pre-mounted in a plastic enclosure with enough room behind the display for a custom circuit board. 320-by-240 pixels, 3.5 to 4.5 inch diagonal measure, monochrome is sufficient (but color is always cool), easily driven by an AVR or PIC type microcontroller. And priced at a reasonable point for a hobbyist! Anyone seen anything like this? Anyone else interested in such a widget?"
Space

+ - 139 Starships powered by antimatter could approach the speed of light-> 3

Submitted by
techfun89
techfun89 writes "With the increased focus on extrasolar planetary systems, there will be an increased focus on getting there to better look for sciences of life, even sentient life.

Recently, physicists Ronan Keane and Wei-Ming Zhang wrote a paper and studied on antimatter propulsion. Their latest results from computer simulators have shown that at least one key component in creating a working antimatter propulsion engine is that of highly efficient magnetic nozzles. Their studies have shown that these nozzles need to be efficient and that it is feasible to make them this way using our current technology.

Keane and Zhang also outlined how the particles would avoid a matter/antimatter annihilation as they exit the engine. Their technique relies on charged pions that result from proton-antiproton collisions. A nozzle that emits a strong magnetic field could channel the emitted charged particles into a focused stream of charged pions accelerating them to make an even stronger thrust.

Past calculations showed the nozzle's efficiency was only 36 percent, but Keane and Zhang redesigned the nozzles to be 85 percent efficient, making the a speed of around 70 percent the speed of light possible, given a pion exit speed of 80 percent of the speed of light. Such a speed gets us to Proxima Centauri 4.3 light years away in 6 years."

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