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Patents

Tandberg Attempts To Patent Open Source Code 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the cut-and-paste-your-way-to-innovation dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As if the current situation with software patents wasn't bad enough, it appears a new phenomenon is emerging: companies are watching the commit logs of open source projects for ideas to patent. In this case, Tandberg filed a patent that was step-by-step identical to an algorithm developed by the x264 project — a mere two months after the original commit. The particular algorithm is a useful performance optimization in a wide variety of video encoders, including Theora."
Programming

Zen Coding 175

Posted by kdawson
from the change-your-life dept.
Download Squad has a quick review, with video, of Zen Coding (Google Code project page here), an extremely well-thought-out accelerator for anyone who codes HTML. Its syntax is CSS-like. Zen Coding has been around for a while — here's its author Sergey Chikuyonok's introduction in Smashing Magazine from last November — and it has now picked up support for more than a dozen editing environments, including Notepad++ and TextMate.
Internet Explorer

Why You Can't Pry IE6 Out of Their Cold, Dead Hands 416

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-blame-the-second-amendment dept.
Esther Schindler writes "It's easy for techies to enumerate the reasons that Internet Explorer 6 should die. Although the percentage of users who use IE6 has dropped to about 12%, many web developers are forced to make sure their websites work with the ancient browser (which presents additional problems, such as keeping their companies from upgrading to newer versions of Windows). But rather than indulge in an emotional rant, in 'Why You Can't Pry IE6 Out Of Their Cold Dead Hands,' I set about to find out why the companies that remain standardized on IE6 haven't upgraded (never mind to what). In short: user and business-owner ignorance and/or disinterest in new technology; being stuck with a critical business app that relies on IE6; finding a budget to update internal IE6 apps that will work the same as they used to; and keeping users away from newer Web 2.0 sites."
Graphics

Why Flash Is Fundamentally Flawed On Touchscreen Devices 521

Posted by Soulskill
from the 'cause-it's-flash dept.
An anonymous reader passes along this excerpt from Roughly Drafted: "I'm a full-time Flash developer and I'd love to get paid to make Flash sites for the iPad. I want that to make sense — but it doesn't. Flash on the iPad will not (and should not) happen — and the main reason, as I see it, is one that never gets talked about: current Flash sites could never be made to work well on any touchscreen device, and this cannot be solved by Apple, Adobe, or magical new hardware. That's not because of slow mobile performance, battery drain or crashes. It's because of the hover or mouseover problem. ... All that Apple and Adobe could ever do is make current Flash content visible. It would be seen, but very often would not work."
Education

Open Textbooks Win Over Publishers In CA 216

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-put-them-in-a-wiki dept.
Unequivocal writes "Recently California's Governor announced a free digital textbook competition. The results of that competition were announced today. Many traditional publishers submitted textbooks in this digital textbook competition in CA as well as open publishers. An upstart nonprofit organization named CK-12 contributed a number of textbooks (all free and open source material). 'Of the 16 free digital textbooks for high school math and science reviewed, ten meet at least 90 percent of California's standards. Four meet 100 percent of standards.' Three of those recognized as 100% aligned to California standards were from CK-12 and one from H. Jerome Keisler. None of the publisher's submissions were so recognized. CK-12 has a very small staff, so this is a great proof of the power of open textbooks and open educational resources."
Handhelds

Palm Pre Is Out, Time For Discussion 283

Posted by timothy
from the post-pre-is-later dept.
caffiend666 writes "Palm Pre is out, let's discuss the status and compare stories. The first day seems to have gone as well as expected, with many selling out before noon. I bought the second at the local Sprint store, and so far I like it. Much more one-hand friendly than the iPhone. I haven't gotten the main apps to sync with Linux, but the media portion functions much like a thumb-drive with my Fedora-8 Linux system. For the Pre-verts out there, here's some Palm Pre dismantling pictures."

Comment: Re:Why would my Mom upgrade to Snow Leopard? (Score 1) 256

by Corrado (#27921833) Attached to: Apple Freezes Snow Leopard APIs

Well, with past major versions of Mac OS X we at least got some newfangled toys to play with (the Dock, Spotlight, Spaces, etc.) But with SL, we get APIs and back end stuff. That may be neat and all but it doesn't do much for me, immediately.

Now granted it will be faster and more stable, which is a good reason to upgrade, but I'm not sure its a good enough reason to pay $100. Even the "enterprise" features wont do much for the average person. I guess Apple is just using SL to get a foot into the corporate world, what with all the "enterprise" features and all. Oh well.

BTW: This "My Mom" argument may be moot after all if SL can't run on PowerPC machines. Her computer is only 2 years old and is probably one of the last PPC iMac they offered. It would suck royally if they left the PPC out in the cold so soon. :(

Comment: Why would my Mom upgrade to Snow Leopard? (Score 2, Interesting) 256

by Corrado (#27920431) Attached to: Apple Freezes Snow Leopard APIs

My biggest problem with this upgrade is that it seems more like a Windows Service Pack than a true Mac OS X upgrade. Are we going to have to pay for "new APIs" and "multi-core processing"?

How does all this help the average user (i.e. my Mom)? WooHoo! They are building a YouTube app and you can record directly off the screen! Big whoop. You can do that today without too much trouble with third party applications. Is the Mac OS X user interface and built-in apps already so perfect that they can't find things to improve?

I'm usually a pretty big Mac fan-boy but I just can't seem to get excited about this one. Hell, I'm even thinking (seriously) about ditching my iPhone and getting a Palm Pre. sigh...how the world is changing. Has Apple lost it's Mojo?

Comment: Re:Couldn't agree more (Score 1) 397

by Corrado (#25942079) Attached to: iPhones, FStream and the Death of Satellite Radio

I agree with most of your comments and am in the same boat with regard to time in my car. Our new Honda mini-van came with a free 3 month subscription and it was nice to have on our yearly summer vacation. But we most definitely had to listen to commercials during our drive and that really bothered me. Its kinda like watching 20 minutes of commercials before the movie I paid $12 to watch starts. I just feel "cheated" by having to pay *and* listen to commercials.

The other issue is quality, or lack there of. I don't know if it is just the built-in Honda receiver or what but the quality of the music coming out of satellite radio is just not up to par. It sounds like its been compressed out the a$$! Does everyone hear this or is it just me? :)

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