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Businesses

Swiss Launch of Apple Watch Hit By Patent Issue 111

Posted by timothy
from the called-dibs-too-late dept.
wabrandsma points out this Reuters story, according to which: Apple is not able to launch its new smartwatch in Switzerland until at least the end of this year because of an intellectual property rights issue, Swiss broadcaster RTS reported on its website. The U.S. tech giant cannot use the image of an apple nor the word 'apple' to launch its watch within Switzerland, the home of luxury watches, because of a patent from 1985, RTS reported, citing a document from the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.
Biotech

Lawsuit Over Quarter Horse's Clone May Redefine Animal Breeding 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the reasons-genetic-superhorses-will-take-over-the-world dept.
schwit1 sends this report from the LA Times: "Lynx Melody Too, a clone of a renowned quarter horse, is at the center of a lawsuit that could change the world of animal breeding and competition. Texas horse breeder Jason Abraham and veterinarian Gregg Veneklasen sued the American Quarter Horse Assn., claiming that Lynx Melody Too should be allowed to register as an official quarter horse. A Texas jury decided in their favor in 2013, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that ruling in January, saying there was 'insufficient' evidence of wrongdoing by the association.

The suit is among the first to deal with the status of clones in breeding and competition, and its outcome could impact a number of fields, including thoroughbred horse racing and dog breeding. The quarter horse association is adamant that clones and their offspring have no place in its registry. "It's what AQHA was founded on — tracking and preserving the pedigrees of these American quarter horses," said Tom Persechino, executive director of marketing for the association. "When a person buys an American quarter horse, they want to know that my quarter horse has the blood of these horses running through it, not copies of it."
Businesses

Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair" 305

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-your-cut dept.
journovampire writes with this story about how much artists make on Spotify. "Pandora founder Tim Westergren has claimed that the company is paying out 'very fair' sums to artists, despite its per-stream royalty weighing in at just one sixth of Spotify's. The digital personalized radio platform has previously gone on-record as saying that it pays music rights-holders approximately $0.0014 for each play of their tracks: Westergren blogged in 2013 that Pandora pays ‘around $1,370 for a million spins’. That’s around 80% smaller than Spotify’s per-stream payout, which officially stands somewhere between $0.006 and $0.0084."
Open Source

Removing Libsystemd0 From a Live-running Debian System 755

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-sides dept.
lkcl writes The introduction of systemd has unilaterally created a polarization of the GNU/Linux community that is remarkably similar to the monopolistic power position wielded by Microsoft in the late 1990s. Choices were stark: use Windows (with SMB/CIFS Services), or use UNIX (with NFS and NIS). Only the introduction of fully-compatible reverse-engineered NT Domains services corrected the situation. Instructions on how to remove systemd include dire warnings that "all dependent packages will be removed", rendering a normal Debian Desktop system flat-out impossible to achieve. It was therefore necessary to demonstrate that it is actually possible to run a Debian Desktop GUI system (albeit an unusual one: fvwm) with libsystemd0 removed. The reason for doing so: it doesn't matter how good systemd is believed to be or in fact actually is: the reason for removing it is, apart from the alarm at how extensive systemd is becoming (including interfering with firewall rules), it's the way that it's been introduced in a blatantly cavalier fashion as a polarized all-or-nothing option, forcing people to consider abandoning the GNU/Linux of their choice and to seriously consider using FreeBSD or any other distro that properly respects the Software Freedom principle of the right to choose what software to run. We aren't all "good at coding", or paid to work on Software Libre: that means that those people who are need to be much more responsible, and to start — finally — to listen to what people are saying. Developing a thick skin is a good way to abdicate responsibility and, as a result, place people into untenable positions.

Comment: Re:Mac and "PC" only...oh, I see. (Score 4, Insightful) 117

by Dr.Dubious DDQ (#49012211) Attached to: Google Earth Pro Now Available Free
UPDATE: Oh, I see what you mean. Instead of honestly saying "Huh? Linux? What's that? We've forgotten!", Google is quietly sending Linux users a copy of the previous version (6.0.something) of the "free" Google Earth (that's what's in the "GoogleEarthLinux.bin" file), and appears not to have bothered with Google Earth Pro.

I knew I shouldn't have put my pitchfork and torch away so quickly. Friggin' Google. As much as I love playing with maps, Google can take a long walk off a short pier - I'm not desperate enough for their "product" to mess around with WINE.

Comment: Re:Mac and "PC" only. (Score 2) 117

by Dr.Dubious DDQ (#49012149) Attached to: Google Earth Pro Now Available Free

It says "Mac and PC" (not "Windows PC") - we've been complaining for years that "PC" doesn't mean "Windows PC", looks like Google for once got the message.

When you click through you do get a "GoogleEarthLinux.bin", or at least, I did. (downloaded on x86_64/Arch Linux/Firefox)

I haven't tried it yet, so I don't know yet if it actually WORKS (unlike the previous version of "regular" Google Earth for me) but it looks like they are handing out Linux versions.

Comment: Re:Yes meanwhile.. (Score 1) 167

by Dr.Dubious DDQ (#48986503) Attached to: Google Quietly Unveils Android 5.1 Lollipop
...UNLESS you A)Get one of their "Galaxy" devices and B)are fairly confident that CyanogenMod or other custom ROM will likely be supported on it.

Thanks to the availability of Heimdall, you hypothetically have the ability to unlock and reflash any of the Samsung Galaxy devices (I've only tried on my ancient "Mesmerize" [a variant of the original Galaxy S] and my S4, but both worked fine).

I don't really feel confident that any of the manufacturers are going to bother keeping up with updating older devices, so the first thing I've been looking for since the harsh lesson I was taught by Motorola with my "CLIQ" [ironically still a useful device, having gained support from CyanogenMod back in Gingerbread] is the likelihood that I'll be able to update the device myself with a 3rd-party build.

Granted, that's not for everybody, but it's not as difficult as one might think.

Comment: Re:Yes meanwhile.. (Score 4, Informative) 167

by Dr.Dubious DDQ (#48986451) Attached to: Google Quietly Unveils Android 5.1 Lollipop
Based on my current, admittedly short, experience, I'm blaming Google.

I recently completely reset/reformatted my 2012 Nexus 7 and put CyanogenMod's CM12 ("Lollipop") nightly on it. I intentionally did NOT install the "gapps" (Google apps) add-on.

So far, my own 2012 Nexus 7 has been working great, better even than it was with CM11 ("Key Lime Pie"/Android 4.4.4) with all the Google bloat.

Google has been shoving more and more of the "Android" experience into their apps instead of the OS. The not only are the "apps" and "services" getting more digitally obese, but there seem to be more and more of them every release, just loading up and clogging up ram and occasionally "updating" themselves online doing who-knows-what.

I feel like I saw similar (though less obvious) improvements in performance with previous now-"obsolete" devices that I've similarly purged and custom-ROMmed without the Google Search/Play/Music/Plus/News-And-Weather/Mail/Now/etc.

You're kind of stuck with it if you're dependent on apps that are only available from the Google Play store, but I'm finding I can get everything I need from f-droid instead, or through the web browser, at least so far (and for my own needs).

Anyway, point is, so far it doesn't seem to me like it's really "Lollipop" that the 2012 N7 has a problem with...

Security

Adobe's Latest Zero-Day Exploit Repurposed, Targeting Adult Websites 203

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-what-you-watch dept.
MojoKid writes Adobe issued a patch for bug CVE-2015-0311, one that exposes a user's browser to become vulnerable to code injection, and the now infamous Angler EK (Exploit Kit). To fall victim to this kind of attack, all someone needs to do is visit a website with compromised Flash files, at which point the attacker can inject code and utilize Angler EK, which has proven to be an extremely popular tool over the past year. This particular version of Angler EK is different, however. For starters, it makes use of obfuscated JavaScript and attempts to detect virtual machines and anti-virus products. Its target audience is also rather specific: porn watchers. According to FireEye, which has researched the CVE-2015-0311 vulnerability extensively, this exploit has reached people via banner ads on popular adult websites. It was also noted that even a top 1000 website was affected, so it's not as though victims are surfing to the murkiest depths of the web to come in contact with it.
United States

Secret Service Investigating Small Drone On White House Grounds 146

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-little-off-course dept.
An anonymous reader sends word that the Secret Service is investigating a "device," described as a small drone, found on the grounds of the White House. "A small drone was found on the White House grounds overnight, two law enforcement sources told ABC News, but White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the situation 'does not pose any sort of ongoing threat.' The Secret Service is investigating the device, Earnest said. Police, fire and other emergency vehicles swarmed around the White House in the pre-dawn hours, with several clustered near the southeast entrance to the mansion. The White House was dark and the entire perimeter was on lockdown until around 5 a.m., when pass holders who work in the complex were allowed inside."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA 351

Posted by timothy
from the pure-sugar-all-the-time dept.
HughPickens.com writes Jennifer Abel writes at the LA Times that according to a recent survey (PDF), over 80% of Americans says they support "mandatory labels on foods containing DNA," roughly the same number that support the mandatory labeling of GMO foods "produced with genetic engineering." Ilya Somin, writing about the survey at the Washington Post, suggested that a mandatory label for foods containing DNA might sound like this: "WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children."

The report echoes a well-known joke/prank wherein people discuss the dangers of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide" also known as hydrogen oxide and hydrogen hydroxide. Search online for information about dihydrogen monoxide, and you'll find a long list of scary-sounding and absolutely true warnings about it: the nuclear power industry uses enormous quantities of it every year. Dihydrogen monoxide is used in the production of many highly toxic pesticides, and chemical weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions. Dihydrogen monoxide is found in all tumors removed from cancer patients, and is guaranteed fatal to humans in large quantities and even small quantities can kill you, if it enters your respiratory system. In 2006, in Louisville, Kentucky, David Karem, executive director of the Waterfront Development Corporation, a public body that operates Waterfront Park, wished to deter bathers from using a large public fountain. "Counting on a lack of understanding about water's chemical makeup," he arranged for signs reading: "DANGER! – WATER CONTAINS HIGH LEVELS OF HYDROGEN – KEEP OUT" to be posted on the fountain at public expense.
Medicine

New Nicotine Vaccine May Succeed Where Others Have Failed 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the willpower-also-an-effective-vaccine dept.
Zothecula writes: If you're a smoker who's trying to quit, you may recall hearing about vaccines designed to cause the body's immune system to treat nicotine like a foreign invader, producing antibodies that trap and remove it before it's able to reach receptors in the brain. It's a fascinating idea, but according to scientists at California's Scripps Research Institute, a recent high-profile attempt had a major flaw. They claim to have overcome that problem (abstract), and are now developing a vaccine of their own that they believe should be more effective.
Bug

Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files 329

Posted by Soulskill
from the big-oops dept.
An anonymous reader sends a report of a bug in Steam's Linux client that will accidentally wipe all of a user's files if they move their Steam folder. According to the bug report: I launched steam. It did not launch, it offered to let me browse, and still could not find it when I pointed to the new location. Steam crashed. I restarted it. It re-installed itself and everything looked great. Until I looked and saw that steam had apparently deleted everything owned by my user recursively from the root directory. Including my 3tb external drive I back everything up to that was mounted under /media. Another user reported a similar problem — losing his home directory — and problems with the script were found: at some point, the Steam script sets $STEAMROOT as the directory containing all Steam's data, then runs rm -rf "$STEAMROOT/"* later on. If Steam has been moved, $STEAMROOT returns as empty, resulting in rm -rf "/"* which causes the unexpected deletion.

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