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Submission East Texas judge throws out 168 patent cases- Hell freezes over->

Earthquake Retrofit writes: Ars Technica is reporting that an East Texas judge has thrown out 168 patent cases in one fell swoop. The judge's order puts the most litigious patent troll of 2014, eDekka LLC, out of business. The ruling comes from a surprising source: US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap, the East Texas judge who has been criticized for making life extra-difficult for patent defendants. Gilstrap, who hears more patent cases than any other US judge, will eliminate about 10 percent of his entire patent docket by wiping out the eDekka cases.
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Submission Edward Snowden promotes global treaty to curtail surveillance

An anonymous reader writes: in a video appearance Edward Snowden said Domestic digital spying on ordinary citizens is an international threat that will only be slowed with measures like a proposed international treaty declaring privacy a basic human right. "This is not a problem exclusive to the United States.... This is a global problem that affects all of us. What's happening here happens in France, it happens in the U.K., it happens in every country, every place, to every person," he said.

Submission NASA to announce confirmation of periodically flowing water on Mars surface

Frosty Piss writes: Accotding to CNN, on Monday, NASA will announce confirmation of periodically flowing water on the Mars surface. Three of the scientists slated for the news conference are listed as authors of a new paper [PDF] to be delivered at this week's European Planetary Science Congress, in which the researchers say analysis of imaging from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter proves that seasonal dark streaks on the Martian surface are the result of briny water periodically flowing across the planet's surface.

Submission Hajj Pilgramage Practically Defies Simulation->

agent elevator writes: In 2010, Saudi Arabia hosted an international design competition aimed at safely accommodating more pilgrims at Mecca’s Grand Mosque. One of the participants told IEEE Spectrum that the crowd densities there (6 people per square meter) bogged down off-the-shelf software so badly that simulation run times were about 10 to 20 times slower than real time crowd movement. Nevertheless, he found some work arounds that gave designers a plan to double the Grand Mosque’s peak visitor rate from 40,000 to 102,000 people per hour. Last week's stampede took place well away from the mosque, but signals sent to pilgrims telling them when to speed up or slow down could help prevent such a tragedy, the crowd simulation expert said.
    Other engineers are turning to fuzzy logic as way to predict how crowds will react in a panic.

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Submission Eavesdropping on Aliens: Why Edward Snowden Got E.T. Wrong->

An anonymous reader writes: Edward Snowden, the former contractor who leaked National Security Agency secrets publicly in 2013, is now getting attention for an odd subject: aliens. In a podcast interview with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Snowden suggested that alien communications might be encrypted so well that humans trying to eavesdrop on extraterrestrials would have no idea they were hearing anything but noise. There’s only a small window in the development of communication in which unencrypted messages are the norm, Snowden said.
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Submission USEPA To Overhaul Emissions Testing In The Wake Of The Volkswagen Scandal->

kheldan writes: From The Consumerist:

A week after ordering Volkswagen to recall 500,000 vehicles that contain “defeat devices” designed to cheat emissions tests, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would overhaul its compliance processes to ensure vehicles meet standards not only in controlled environments but in real-world driving conditions.

What may be the story-behind-the-story here, are the two Elephants in the Room: One, how many other automakers in the world have been 'gaming' the system like German automakers apparently have been all along, and Two, are these changes to the certification process at the USEPA going to 'trickle down' to the state and local levels, affecting routine emissions testing of individual vehicles?

Questions peripheral to these may include: How much is this going to affect new vehicle prices in the future, and how much is this going to affect the fair market value of used vehicles?

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Submission The 6 Best Natural Language Processing Tools in the World Today->

An anonymous reader writes: In our formative years, we master the basics of spoken and written language. However, the vast majority of us do not progress past some basic processing rules when we learn how to handle text in our applications. Yet unstructured software comprises the majority of the data we see. NLP is the technology for dealing with our all-pervasive product: human language, as it appears in social media, emails, web pages, tweets, product descriptions, newspaper stories, and scientific articles, in thousands of languages and variants.
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Submission Poll: What electronics do you want in your car 1

sleepypsycho writes: What electronics do you want in you car?
- Self driving car
- Collision avoidance
- Integrated electronics system: gps, audio,tire pressure warnings
- Completed isolate systems: gps, fuel injection
- Nothing with a computer chip
- I don't want any kind of car
- Roof mounted death ray

Submission How The Car Industry Has Hidden Its Software Behind The DMCA->

Lucas123 writes: The DCMA has allowed carmakers to keep third parties from looking at the code in their electronic control modules. The effect has been that independent researchers are wary of probing vehicle code, which may have lead companies like Volkswagen to get away with cheating emissions tests far longer than necessary. In a July letter to the U.S. Copyright Office, the Environmental Protection Agency expressed its own concern of the protection provided by the DMCA to carmakers, saying it's "difficult for anyone other than the vehicle manufacturer to obtain access to the software." Kit Walsh, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the legal uncertainly created by the DMCA "makes it easier for manufacturers to conceal intentional wrongdoing. The EFF has petitioned the U.S. Copyright Office for an exemption to the DMCA for embedded vehicle code so that independent research can be performed on electronic control modules (ECMs), which run a myriad of systems, including emissions.
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Submission Nuclear Energy: The Good News and the Bad News in the EPA Clean Energy Plan->

Lasrick writes: Peter Bradford explains what the EPA's new Clean Power Plan has in store for nuclear energy: 'The competitive position of all new low-carbon electricity sources will improve relative to fossil fuels. New reactors (including the five under construction) and expansions of existing plants will count toward state compliance with the plan’s requirements as new sources of low-carbon energy. Existing reactors, however, must sink or swim on their own prospective economic performance—the final plan includes no special carbon-reduction credits to help them.' Excellent explanation of the details of the plan, and how the nuclear industry benefits (or doesn't).
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The Wright Bothers weren't the first to fly. They were just the first not to crash.