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Comment: Time dependent on awesomeness.. (Score 5, Interesting) 577

I think the time of the patent, software license, copyright, software NDA or other intellectual property should relate to it's "impact".

eg. Swipe to unlock. Length: About 10 secs. Hoverboard. Length: 10 years.

I would have suggested relating it to the cost of discovery, but there's some things that would not have cost much, but the impact would be huge. I'm sick of these "obvious" patents being awarded to companies, but make them last only a short period might reduce the companies from submitting silly patents.

Comment: Not the only problem with Citibank (Score 1) 371

by Eaglehawk (#36447504) Attached to: How Citigroup Hackers Easily Gained Access

For the past 3 years, I've been getting emails from another Citibank customer of the same name as me on my gmail account. First it started with "offers" but has escalated to PDF account statements.

Despite all attempts to stop this "spam", they are unable to fix the issue because "I'm not the owner of the account".

So, they happilly let customers set email addresses without verification. And continue the sending of personal information despite being told otherwise.

Time to close my account. This was the final straw.

Australia

Aussie Attorney General Says Gamers Are Scarier Than Biker Gangs 409

Posted by Soulskill
from the well-perhaps-in-some-senses dept.
Sasayaki writes "South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson claims, in an interview with Good Game, that gamers were more of a threat to his family than biker gangs. This is the man who has been the biggest opponent to Australia receiving an R18+ rating for video games and who has the power to veto any such law introducing it."
Idle

Directed Energy Weapon Downs Mosquitos 428

Posted by samzenpus
from the two-pound-hammer-and-ten-penny-nail dept.
wisebabo writes "Nathan Myhrvol demonstrated at TED a laser, built from parts scrounged from eBay, capable of shooting down not one but 50 to 100 mosquitos a second. The system is 'so precise that it can specify the species, and even the gender, of the mosquito being targeted.' Currently, for the sake of efficiency, it leaves the males alone because only females are bloodsuckers. Best of all the system could cost as little as $50. Maybe that's too expensive for use in preventing malaria in Africa but I'd buy one in a second!" We ran a story about this last year. It looks like the company has added a bit more polish, and burning mosquito footage to their marketing.
Science

Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All 269

Posted by Soulskill
from the act-now-while-supplies-last dept.
cremeglace writes with this excerpt from ScienceNOW: "You've heard the controversy. Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up the Earth — physicists say that's impossible — and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole." That said, they estimate the required energy for creating a black hole this way to be roughly "a quintillion times higher than the LHC's maximum"; though if one of the theories requiring compact extra dimensions is true, the energy could be lower.
Math

Man Uses Drake Equation To Explain Girlfriend Woes 538

Posted by samzenpus
from the less-math-more-social-science dept.
artemis67 writes "A man studying in London has taken a mathematical equation that predicts the possibility of alien life in the universe to explain why he can't find a girlfriend. Peter Backus, a native of Seattle and PhD candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, near London, in his paper, 'Why I don't have a girlfriend: An application of the Drake Equation to love in the UK,' used math to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK. In describing the paper on the university Web site he wrote 'the results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.'"
Mars

Mars Images Reveal Evidence of Ancient Lakes 128

Posted by timothy
from the older-I-get-the-wetter-mars-was dept.
Matt_dk writes "Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface, according to research published today in the journal Geology. Earlier research had suggested that Mars had a warm and wet early history but that between 4 billion and 3.8 billion years ago, before the Hesperian Epoch, the planet lost most of its atmosphere and became cold and dry. In the new study, the researchers analysed detailed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently circling the red planet, and concluded that there were later episodes where Mars experienced warm and wet periods."
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-who-knows-a-good-ps3-flight-sim dept.
bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
Windows

Michael Dell Says Windows 7 Will Make You Love PCs 627

Posted by samzenpus
from the most-improved-OS-award dept.
ruphus13 writes "In a recent talk at the Churchill Club, Michael Dell addressed several topics, including the fact that Windows 7 is poised to take advantage of the upgrade cycle. Dell has always been a strong MS OEM ally and it is now hoping to cash in again from the impending upgrades. From the post: 'Dell made plain several times that he sees the installed base of technology as very old, and sees a coming "refresh cycle" for which he has high hopes. "The latest generation of chips from Intel is strong, particularly Nehalem," he said, adding, "and Windows 7 is on its way." (The operating system arrives Oct. 22nd, although Microsoft's large-volume licensees are already getting it.) He pointed out that many business are running Windows XP, which is eight years old. "I've been using Windows 7 for a long time now," he said, "and if you get the latest processor technology and Office 2010 with it, you will love your PC again. It's a dramatic improvement."'"
Microsoft

+ - XP cheaper than Linux on new Eee PC-> 3

Submitted by
KrispyDollars
KrispyDollars writes "It sounds crazy to say this, but the XP-based version of the Eee PC 900 (the new version with the 8.9" screen) will actually be considerably cheaper than the Linux based version. At the official launch today, the company told journalists that "Microsoft has been a longstanding supporter of Asus" to explain the price discrepancy. And — get this — only the XP-based machine will be sold at mass-market retailers, while the Linux-based model will be consigned to computer stores."
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