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Media

Roku Finally Gets a 2D Menu System 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-look dept.
DeviceGuru writes "Many of us have griped for years about Roku's retro one-dimensional user interface. Finally, in conjunction with the release of the new Roku 3 model, the Linux-based media streaming player is getting a two-dimensional facelift, making it quicker and easier to access favorite channels and find new ones. Current Roku users, who will now begin suffering from UI-envy, will be glad to learn that Roku plans to push out a firmware update next month to many earlier models, including the Roku LT, Roku HD (model 2500R), Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS, and Roku Streaming Stick. A short demo of the new 2D Roku menu system is available in this YouTube video."
Google

Google Pledges Not To Sue Any Open Source Projects Using Their Patents 153

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the now-and-forever dept.
sfcrazy writes "Google has announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. In the pledge Google says that they will not sue any user, distributor, or developer of Open Source software on specified patents, unless first attacked. Under this pledge, Google is starting off with 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google. Google says that over time they intend to expand the set of Google's patents covered by the pledge to other technologies." This is in addition to the Open Invention Network, and their general work toward reforming the patent system. The patents covered in the OPN will be free to use in Free/Open Source software for the life of the patent, even if Google should transfer ownership to another party. Read the text of the pledge. It appears that interaction with non-copyleft licenses (MIT/BSD/Apache) is a bit weird: if you create a non-free fork it appears you are no longer covered under the pledge.
Transportation

More "Miles Per Acre" From Bioelectricity Than Ethanol 223

Posted by timothy
from the all-depends-on-the-details dept.
CarnegieScience writes "Scientist calculate that, compared to ethanol used for internal combustion engines, bioelectricity used for battery-powered vehicles would deliver an average of 80% more miles of transportation per acre of crops, while also providing double the greenhouse gas offsets to mitigate climate change."
Google

+ - Google reinvents Wikipedia-> 1

Submitted by teslatug
teslatug (543527) writes "Google appears to be reinventing Wikipedia with their new product that they call knol (not yet publicly available). In an attempt to gather human knowledge, Google will accept articles from users who will be credited with the article by name. If they want, they can allow ads to appear alongside the content and they will be getting a share of the profits if that's the case. Other users will be allowed to rate, edit or comment on the articles. The content does not have to be exclusive to Google but no mention is made on any license for it. Is this a better model for free information gathering?"
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Former Wikipedia COO had criminal record

Submitted by Goobergunch
Goobergunch (876745) writes "The Register is reporting that Carolyn Doran, Chief Operating Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation from January to July of this year, was a convicted felon, with a criminal record in four states. Wikipedia general counsel Mike Godwin said that he had "no direct knowledge" of her record. Responsibilities of the Chief Operating Officer included ensuring effective audit trails and approval of Foundation expenditures."
Role Playing (Games)

+ - The Real-Life Colossal Cave->

Submitted by
Jason Scott
Jason Scott writes "While working on my documentary on text adventure games, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dennis Jerz, who has dedicated part of his scholarly studies to Colossal Cave/ADVENT, the original text adventure. This game is based on an actual cave system in Kentucky (part of the Mammoth Cave system) and Jerz actually traveled to this cave, took photos, and worked on a great paper discussing not only the similarities of the cave system, but the differences in approach to the game between the original creator of Adventure (Will Crowther) who was a caver, and Don Woods, who was not. The paper just got published online and is a great read. It turns out you can't just "xyzzy" your way in..."
Link to Original Source
Announcements

+ - Put the Amiga Demoscene in your DVD Player

Submitted by
Jason Scott
Jason Scott writes "Four years ago, the crew at Hornet put out a collection of PC demos spanning 10 years on a DVD, and called it "Mindcandy". Everyone asked when they'd come out with a DVD of demos for other platforms, and just four short years later, they've announced MindCandy 2: Amiga Demos. It's got 30 Amiga demos rendered on the original hardware, a documentary about how a demoparty is run, and even 5.1 surround remixes of all the music. Additionally, they're sponsoring a rare US demoparty this April called Blockparty. It's a great year for demos!"
Wii

+ - Wii sells 600,000 in 1 week! 75 percent get Zelda

Submitted by
Wowzer
Wowzer writes "Nintendo today announced the Wii sold through more than 600,000 units in the Americas in just its first eight days of availability. That's a rate of nearly one per second continuously since the November 19 launch! From the article: "Including just first-party software and accessory sales, Wii instantly has become a $190 million business in the Americas. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a favorite of avid gamers, already has achieved sales of more than 454,000 units in the Americas." What games did you get?"
Portables

+ - Thousands of Gadgets Left in Taxis

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A global survey of 2000 taxi drivers from eleven major cities around the world shows thousands of valuable mobile phones, handhelds, laptops and USB Sticks are forgotten in taxis every day. In the last six months alone, Londoners have forgotten a staggering 54,874 mobile phones, 4,718 handhelds, 3,179 laptops and 923 USB sticks at the back of licensed taxi cabs and that's just the ones that have been reported as lost!"
Portables

+ - Thailand government cancels OLPC participation

Submitted by
patiwat
patiwat writes "Thailand's new junta-appointed Education Minister has cancelled Thailand's participation in the One Laptop Per Child project and scrapped a plan to give a 2B1 laptop to every primary school student. He has also cancelled plans to roll out computers and a broadband connection to every single school in Thailand. The cancellation of half a million scholarships for needy students is being studied. He cited the lack of readiness of teachers and the need to focus on basic education standards. "We will not focus too much on technology and materials. We will focus on substance," he said. This comes on the heels of the cancellation of the Thai government's open source policy. How important is high tech for education in developing countries?"
Music

+ - RIAA Subpoenas Son's Computer & Calls His Empl

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer
Patents

+ - Obivous test for patents questioned

Submitted by bulled
bulled (956533) writes "news.com Is currently running a story about a case coming before the US Supreme Court on testing new patents for "obviousness". The decision has potential to significantly impact the High Tech industry. The usual gang of idiots have lined up on both sides of the issue."
Biotech

+ - 16 Year old forms pro-animal testing campaign

Submitted by
MattSparkes
MattSparkes writes "Animal testing is an extremely controversial issue, but any rational person must condemn violence towards humans — which is what many animal rights protesters commit. There have been bombings, threats, vandalism and bribery perpetrated by protesters, and despite this a 16 year old boy has founded a pro-animal testing campaign. Whether or not you agree with testing, you have to admire this bravery. The truth is that many people have had their lives improved or saved by science developed during animal tests."

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley

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