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Space

Satellite Spotters Make Government Uneasy 439

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the other-checks-and-balances dept.
An anonymous reader found an interesting little story about satellite spotters and how, not surprisingly, their painstakingly methodical hobby doesn't exactly make gazillion dollar government agencies all that excited. Of course the article raises the very obvious point that if a guy with a pair of binoculars in his back yard can spot a satellite, so can the Chinese government.
Patents

Courts May Revisit Software Patents 259

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yeah-that'll-happen dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It looks like the courts may finally be gearing up to overturn the ruling that opened the floodgates for both software and business model patents. It's been nearly ten years since the US courts decided that business methods were patentable and that most software could be patentable — and we've all seen what's happened since then. With all the efforts to fix the patent system lately, it appears that the court that originally made that decision may be regretting it, and has agreed to hear a new case that could overturn that ruling and restore some sanity to the patent system."
Space

'Hundreds of Worlds' in Milky Way 334

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the nothing-to-eat-there-but-roddenberries dept.
Raphael Emportu writes "BBC news is reporting that rocky planets, possibly with conditions suitable for life, may be more common than previously thought in our galaxy, a study has found. New evidence suggests more than half the Sun-like stars in the Milky Way could have similar planetary systems. There may also be hundreds of undiscovered worlds in outer parts of our Solar System, astronomers believe. Future studies of such worlds will radically alter our understanding of how planets are formed, they say."

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