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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 18 declined, 5 accepted (23 total, 21.74% accepted)

Games

+ - Rare 80's Video Footage of a Ms. Pac Man Factory->

Submitted by
Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew writes " Kotaku has some really neat 80's footage of a Ms. Pac factory in action.

The footage includes everything from soldering, wiring, testing the slot where the quarters go through, putting together the cabinetry and even testing the gameplay itself.

I wonder how many of these workers were geeks or fans of the game. Most of them probably had nightmares about working there and never had the desire to play it."

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Patents

+ - It's open season on software patents(and possibly invalidating them) ->

Submitted by
Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew writes "I came across an article on Wired that explains the crowd sourcing initiative between Stack Exchange, Google and the US Patent and Trademark Office. The overall purpose gives 3rd parties the ability to search and seek out prior art in an effort to derail pending patents and even invalidate patents that never should have been granted. This effort has led to the Patents on Stack Exchange where you can make a clear case about why a patent shouldn't be accepted or reversed and even submit it to the patent office(with the help of others helping you — that's the whole point!).

I started a thread there that relates to the slashdot story about Words Inc suing Blizzard over 4 patent claims 8,082,501, 7,493,558, 7,945,856 and 7,181,690 whose overall patent claim involves "System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space”. I got some good feedback and interest but it was suggested that i take one of the claims and try to offer up evidence of prior art and if I get backing I can start on the others — instead of trying to take on all four patents at once — which are slightly different in their details. If anyone is interested, I need help with coming up with prior art that I might have missed or simply don't know about in addition to the lists of prior art that I declared in my thread.

This is also a good time for all of us to look over other ridiculous software patents that have made its way onto Slashdot before so let the patent hunting begin!"

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Space

+ - Austrian skydiver to leap from the edge of space, free fall at supersonic speeds-> 2

Submitted by
Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew writes "Austrian skydiver Felix_Baumgartner will attempt a supersonic free fall on October 8th as the worlds highest skydive.

According to the Christian Science Monitor "The current record for world's highest skydive stands at 102,800 feet (31,333 m). It was set in 1960 by U.S. Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger, who serves as an adviser for Baumgartner's mission. If Baumgartner succeeds on Oct. 8, he will break not only that mark but also the sound barrier, becoming the first skydiver ever to fall at supersonic speeds, Red Bull Stratos officials said. During the July 25 jump, Baumgartner's top freefall speed was 537 mph (864 kph) — about as fast as a commercial airliner.

Let's hope that the weather on the 8th is as good as they hope for. It would be awesome to have a real time camera feed from his helmet."

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Patents

+ - You can now file with the USTPO to shoot down and invalidate obvious patents->

Submitted by
Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew writes "Yes this is from Wired again, but as they state here today marks the first day that any 3rd party can file an injunction against patents that are frivolous, too obvious and even offer proof of prior art.

Stack Exchange has a patents forum now to help start the process as they have been working with google and also collaborating with the patent office since 2007 on testing patents.

So here is my question. Which frivolous, too obvious, downright ridiculous patent are you going to submit?"

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Apple

+ - How apple took advantage of a broken patent system->

Submitted by
Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew writes " Information Week has an interesting article about how Apple has taken advantage of a broken patent system that has not kept up with technology.

Design patents seems to have come from a case involving silverware in 1891. "Design patents are generally agreed to be more subjective. They're good for 14 years, and spring from an 1891 court case that found one silverware manufacturer had copied the pattern of another. If the "ordinary observer" can detect "substantial similarity" in one silverware pattern versus another, the original's design has been infringed, ruled the Supreme Court. And that's still the standard used in a design patent case involving two sophisticated, multi-layered electronic devices today."

Has Apple gotten too close to the patent office or does the patent office lack the kind of expertise in the ever evolving technology field to decide in an unbiased fashion to grant a patent or not?

"Until now, design patents have tended to play a much smaller role in computing and consumer electronics. For example, of the 6,242 patent examiners in the U.S. Patent Office, 99 of them are design examiners. The rest are utility patent examiners.""

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Apple

+ - The Worst Apple Store in America - An Employee Confession->

Submitted by
Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew writes "Gizmodo has a piece that describes probably one of the worst and most corrupt apple stores.

Two employees recount management exchanging brand new computers for facelifts(and other things) not just from customers but also from businesses. Everything else ranged from destroying devices repeatedly and ringing up new ones(for themselves and friends as fake customers) to outright stealing merchandise and cash.

I guess we should all make sure that we are polite when coming in for a repair just in case your "genius" help is intoxicated."

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Google

+ - The Worst Job at Google: A Year of Watching Child Porn and other trash->

Submitted by
Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew writes "Gizmodo puts a story together that describes the worst job that you can get at google , including watching decapitations and beastiality.

A google ex-employee who did just that tells his own story of a year long stint of looking at the most horrible things on the internet and in the end needed therapy and since he was a contractor he was let go and was not rolled over into a full time employee."

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+ - Is Best Buy Really Going Out of Business Gradually?-> 1

Submitted by Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew (708624) writes "As we all know brick and mortar stores have been closing left and right recently. We had CompUSA, Borders and Circuit City all close its doors within the last 4 years.

According to what I think is a great a great article on Forbes.com , it is spelled out pretty clearly why Best Buy is next in line to shut its doors for good. Some of the reasons highlighted include a 40% drop is Best Buy stock in 2011, lack of vision regarding their online services, management too concerned with store sales instead of margins and blatant disregard for quality customer service.

The best quote for me over on page 3 regarding the shortage of products for some people who had ordered online for the Christmas holidays highlights the overall issue.

"The situation that Best Buy “encountered” has “affected redemption” of some orders. Best Buy doesn’t fill online orders, it seems. Rather, customers “redeem” them. So it’s the customers, not Best Buy, who have the problem. And those customers haven’t been left hanging; they’ve only been “affected” in efforts to “redeem” their orders. It’s not as if the company did anything wrong, or, indeed, anything at all.""

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+ - AT&T Announces Wireless Data Price Hikes ->

Submitted by Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew (708624) writes "At&t has announced price hikes in their data plans. Does anyone remember when $30 got you unlimited data? Why do you have to pay extra for using the same bandwidth that you already pay for? Shouldn't we be able to use 1/3/5/100GB of data as we see fit regardless of where the data is coming from? Also if data is just data why is it more expensive(per gb) to have a lesser plan? I am also curious to know how many people that own iPads actually bought the 3G version? Why not just use free wifi on the go or at home?"
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Space

+ - World's First Spaceport in New Mexico Desert->

Submitted by
Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew writes "I am sure many of us have heard about this story here or here but it looks like Spaceport America is finally ready to take off(no pun intended). The latest construction pictures are up to view. Want to be one of the first to take a ride? It will set you back $200,000.

I don't know how many people will be able to afford such a trip, outside of Las Vegas, Hollywood, Cupertino, Redmond and few retirees but I suppose they are thinking that they can make their money back with this project in the long term. Touring the space frontier seems a little steep. A lot of people are just trying to make living in a home a reality without being foreclosed on."

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Biotech

+ - New Polyurethane material to repair car scratches 1

Submitted by Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew (708624) writes "The next time someone keys you car or runs their shopping cart into your car bumper, not all is lost. If your car is coated with a new polyurethane-coating from the University of Southern Mississippi your car might be able to repair itself within one hour. A more detailed description of the research is available at the Ars Technica website and another similar article has hit the Scientific American .

Dr. Marek Urban , a professor and chemist of the Polymer Science Department, along with Biswajit Ghosh at the university, published the research and their findings in the March 13th edition of the journal Science.

A time lapse video of the process can be found here but also reveals a drawback:

"The material effectively forms an invisible "scar" when it repairs the scratch, so it can't be scratched in the same place twice. This could limit its usefulness for handheld devices such as cellphones, which often get scratched in the same places because of the way they're set down on surfaces or slid into pockets. But it's still a working solution for cars, since scratches don't usually occur in exactly the same patch on the vehicle's body."
Space

+ - Lockheed Martin -- Building the next spaceship

Submitted by Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew (708624) writes " Lockheed Martin has won the NASA contract to build the next spaceship called the CEV or the Crew Exploration Vehicle with their proposal that they wrote up and submitted last year.
The proposal and design of the new ship submitted in May 2005 can be found here at space.com. The capsule will seat 6 and will be built for specifically for flight back to the moon and in later years help in exploration to Mars, but is not built for a flight to Mars by itself. The planned date for a trip back to the moon will be the year 2018."

"If you want to eat hippopatomus, you've got to pay the freight." -- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory

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