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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: What did you expect? (Score 3, Insightful) 208

by MadKatAlpha (#32076182) Attached to: The Shortcomings of Google's Open Handset Alliance
Did anyone really expect the OHA to be a real collaborative effort? By getting the big names on the OHA list you bolster OEM and consumer confidence in Google's platform. It doesn't really matter if the members of the OHA have not made any meaningful contributions other than their names. The names were enough to get the product out and get people using it.

Aussie Scientists Find Coconut-Carrying Octopus 205

Posted by timothy
from the concealed-carry-in-australian-waters dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from an AP report: "Australian scientists have discovered an octopus in Indonesia that collects coconut shells for shelter — unusually sophisticated behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal. The scientists filmed the veined octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus, selecting halved coconut shells from the sea floor, emptying them out, carrying them under their bodies up to 65 feet (20 meters), and assembling two shells together to make a spherical hiding spot. ... 'I was gobsmacked,' said Finn, a research biologist at the museum who specializes in cephalopods. 'I mean, I've seen a lot of octopuses hiding in shells, but I've never seen one that grabs it up and jogs across the sea floor. I was trying hard not to laugh.'"

Comment: I regret to inform you... (Score 1) 221

by MadKatAlpha (#29305377) Attached to: How To Survive a Patent Challenge?
Sir, I regret to inform you that I already have a software patent on nifty applications that help run personal businesses and those that may be used to help run almost any business. You should look elsewhere for idea inspirations. Please note that I also hold patents on items that are useful around the house, training routines that make your dog less of a jerk and design patents on expensive machines that go "bing!"

Journal: Slashdot has a journal system. Who knew?

Journal by MadKatAlpha
Here I was, looking through the Slashdot Achievement system, thinking to myself, "Seriously? WTF?", when I noticed that there was an achievement for posting a journal entry. This seemed reasonable enough. Until it struck me. "Slashdot has a journal system? Really?". So here I am. Filling out a basically useless entry all for that extra little achievement point.
The Internet

+ - Federal District Court: TOS documents Illusionary->

Submitted by Binestar
Binestar (28861) writes "SUMMARY: On April 15, 2009, a Texas federal district court held that an arbitration provision in Blockbuster's online terms of service was "illusory" and unenforceable because Blockbuster had reserved the right to change the terms of service at any time. Harris v. Blockbuster Inc., No. 3:09-cv-217-M (N.D. Tex. April 15, 2009). If followed by other courts, the Harris decision could have significant implications not only for website operators, but also for any company that wishes to retain the right to modify its standard terms for existing customers.

Essentially, the rules for a TOS change require that a user is given notices of changes and an opportunity to accept or reject them. Websites that have unilateral wording in their Terms of Service have now had those documents struck down in court. This can have far reach consequences among the many many sites that have improperly worded Terms of Service.

The fix is easy though: Just change the wording to say that you will notify your users if the terms change and give them the ability to accept or reject the changes."

Link to Original Source

The Real Reason For Microsoft's TomTom Lawsuit 408

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the get-your-conspiracy-on dept.
Glyn Moody writes "We now know that Microsoft's lawsuit isn't just against TomTom, but against Linux too: but what exactly is Microsoft hoping to achieve? Samba's Jeremy Allison has a fascinating theory: 'What people are missing about this is the either/or choice that Microsoft is giving Tom Tom. It isn't a case of cross-license and everything is ok. If Tom Tom or any other company cross licenses patents then by section 7 of GPLv2 (for the Linux kernel) they lose the rights to redistribute the kernel *at all*. Make no mistake, this is intended to force Tom Tom to violate the GPL, or change to Microsoft embedded software.' Maybe embedded Linux is starting to get too popular."

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.