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+ - Questionable Patents From MakerBot-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "OpenBeam USA is a Kickstarted company that builds open source aluminum construction systems (think erector sets). One of the main uses for the system is building 3D printers, and creator Terence Tam is heavily involved in the 3D-printing community. He's now put up a blog post about some disturbing patents filed by MakerBot. In particular, he notes a patent for auto-levelling on a 3D printer. Not only is this an important upcoming technology for 3D printers, the restriction of which would be a huge blow to progress, it seems the patent was filed just a few short weeks after Steve Graber posted a video demonstrating such auto-levelling. There had also been a Kickstarter campaign for similar tech a few months earlier. Tam gives this warning: 'Considering the Stratasys — Afinia lawsuit, and the fact that Makerbot is now a subsidiary of Stratasys, it's not a stretch to imagine Makerbot coming after other open source 3D manufacturers that threaten their sales. After all, nobody acquires a patent warchest just to invite their competitors to sit around the campfire to sing Kumbaya. It is therefore vitally important that community developed improvements do not fall under Makerbot's (or any other company's) patent portfolio to be used at a later date to clobber the little guys.'"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Also allows for checking out the content (Score 5, Insightful) 122

by KFW (#45840697) Attached to: Are High MOOC Failure Rates a Bug Or a Feature?

I've signed up for MOOC classes that seemed interesting, but once I started I realized the subject matter wasn't what I had thought, or that the instructor's style didn't suit me. So I abandoned those classes. I guess I show up as a "failure" as far as the MOOC goes, but I don't think it really reflects my inability to master the material. So it's not just about being able to repeat until mastery is obtained - it's about being able to check courses out. /K

Comment: Re:X-actly (Score 1) 298

by KFW (#43920265) Attached to: TSA Decides Against Allowing Small Knives On Aircraft

Good thing no terrorist can afford to fly first class where they still have metal utensils with meals. And good think no terrorist would think to bring aboard a duty-free liquor bottle they could smash into a sharp weapon. Good thing that the scissors, screwdrivers, canes, high heels, stems of eyeglasses, etc., etc. people are allowed to bring on board couldn't possibly hurt anyone. Good thing the TSA has protected all of us from all possible harm on flights with their wise and discerning policies. /K

Software

Ubuntu Replaces F-Spot With Shotwell 361

Posted by timothy
from the such-pretty-pictures dept.
climenole writes "Finally! The much discussed F-Spot vs. Shotwell battle is over. The new default image organizer app for Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is going to be Shotwell. This is a much-needed change; F-Spot was simply not enough. Most of the times when I tried F-Spot, it just keeps crashing on me. Shotwell on the other hand feels a lot more solid and is better integrated with the GNOME desktop. Shotwell is also completely devoid of Mono."
Piracy

Study Claims $41.5 Billion In Portable Game Piracy Losses Over Five Years 316

Posted by Soulskill
from the fair-and-balanced dept.
Gamasutra reports that Japan's Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association conducted a study to estimate the total amount of money lost to piracy on portable game consoles. The figure they arrived at? $41.5 billion from 2004 to 2009. Quoting: "CESA checked the download counts for the top 20 Japanese games at what it considers the top 114 piracy sites, recording those figures from 2004 to 2009. After calculating the total for handheld piracy in Japan with that method, the groups multiplied that number by four to reach the worldwide amount, presuming that Japan makes up 25 percent of the world's software market. CESA and Baba Lab did not take into account other popular distribution methods for pirated games like peer-to-peer sharing, so the groups admit that the actual figures for DS and PSP software piracy could be much higher than the ¥3.816 trillion amount the study found."
Math

7 of the Best Free Linux Calculators 289

Posted by timothy
from the open-in-tabs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One of the basic utilities supplied with any operating system is a desktop calculator. These are often simple utilities that are perfectly adequate for basic use. They typically include trigonometric functions, logarithms, factorials, parentheses and a memory function. However, the calculators featured in this article are significantly more sophisticated with the ability to process difficult mathematical functions, to plot graphs in 2D and 3D, and much more. Occasionally, the calculator tool provided with an operating system did not engender any confidence. The classic example being the calculator shipped with Windows 3.1 which could not even reliably subtract two numbers. Rest assured, the calculators listed below are of precision quality."
OS X

Apple Patches Massive Holes In OS X 246

Posted by timothy
from the well-it-wouldn't-be-polite-to-patch-windows dept.
Trailrunner7 writes with this snippet from ThreatPost: "Apple's first Mac OS X security update for 2010 is out, providing cover for at least 12 serious vulnerabilities. The update, rated critical, plugs security holes that could lead to code execution vulnerabilities if a Mac user is tricked into opening audio files or surfing to a rigged Web site." Hit the link for a list of the highlights among these fixes.

Comment: Re:Captain TwatObvious (Score 2, Insightful) 541

by KFW (#29710207) Attached to: For Some Medical Workers, a Flu Shot Or Possible Job Loss

This is only partly true (only a very small part) and much less so now.

The drug companies did sponsor some thin "throw-away" quick reference books on narrow topics. With the crackdown on drug companies, this is much less true now.

Drug companies didn't and still don't fund or write any of the major medical reference texts that are used primarily. They would sometimes buy them to give away to doctors (again, this happens much less now), but they didn't have input on the content. I've edited major medical texts, and know the editors of other leading texts, and know that drug company concerns had nothing to do with the content.

Space

New Class of Galaxy Discovered 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the give-peas-a-chance dept.
fructose sends along this excerpt from Space Daily: "A team of astronomers has discovered a group of rare galaxies called the 'Green Peas' with the help of citizen scientists working through an online project called Galaxy Zoo. The finding could lend unique insights into how galaxies form stars in the early universe. ... Of the 1 million galaxies in Galaxy Zoo's image bank, only about 250 are in the new 'Green Pea' type. Galaxy Zoo is claiming this as a success of the 'citizen scientist' effort that they spearheaded. ... The galaxies, which are between 1.5 billion and 5 billion light years away, are 10 times smaller than our own Milky Way galaxy and 100 times less massive. But surprisingly, given their small size, they are forming stars 10 times faster than the Milky Way. 'They're growing at an incredible rate,' said Kevin Schawinski, a postdoctoral associate at Yale and one of Galaxy Zoo's founders. 'These galaxies would have been normal in the early universe, but we just don't see such active galaxies today. Understanding the Green Peas may tell us something about how stars were formed in the early universe and how galaxies evolve.'"
Sun Microsystems

Oracle Buys Sun 906

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the there-can-be-only-one dept.
bruunb writes "Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Oracle will acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun's cash and debt. 'We expect this acquisition to be accretive to Oracle's earnings by at least 15 cents on a non-GAAP basis in the first full year after closing. We estimate that the acquired business will contribute over $1.5 billion to Oracle's non-GAAP operating profit in the first year, increasing to over $2 billion in the second year. This would make the Sun acquisition more profitable in per share contribution in the first year than we had planned for the acquisitions of BEA, PeopleSoft and Siebel combined,' said Oracle President Safra Catz."
Image

Woman Claims Ubuntu Kept Her From Online Classes 1654

Posted by samzenpus
from the learning-is-hard dept.
stonedcat writes "A Wisconsin woman has claimed that Dell computers and Ubuntu have kept her from going back to school via online classes. She says she has called Dell to request Windows instead however was talked out of it. Her current claim is that she was unaware that she couldn't install her Verizon online disk to access the Internet, nor could she use Microsoft Word to type up her papers."

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