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Comment: Re:Dobsonian (Score 1) 187

by (#47740305) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?
I second everything in parent comment. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to get good views of the planets with anything cheap, and anything that will give you good views of the moon / planets won't give you good views of anything else (deep-sky objects).

Something worth considering is a Celestron Firstscope though. It's pretty cheap and gives nice views of the moon. You'll be able to see Jupiter's moons and just-just make out Saturn's rings with the provided eyepieces. Many of the slightly brighter star-clusters will be within view as well. Some models of it come with finder-scopes, if it doesn't a simple red-dot is cheap enough. I have one and I was quite impressed, I thought it was going to be rubbish bit I was pleasantly surprised. It's nowhere near as good as my 4.5" Orion reflector, but it's not bad.

I'm currently in the process of grinding a mirror for an 8" reflector, similar to a friend's. The endeavour is costing me the equivalent of around $150 (spread over whenever I need bits and pieces) but I'll end up with a scope of similar quality to what you can buy from $350 - $500.

Comment: Re:CMU has the right (Score 1) 85

But if CMU wins outright, it will be a clear sign to corporations that using academia as it's main R&D "arm" is bad for business...

This is only the case where corprorations try to cheat academia. Marvell had the option ~10 years ago to license the tech from CMU. They said no and used it anyway.

Comment: Re:wow (Score 4, Informative) 85

You should really just read the whole FAQ.

Basically Marvell desperately need the invention after trying and failing to come up with something that could do the same thing. CMU offered to license it to them. They declined, and then used it anyway. It completely turned around their drive business. So, only 25% of the profits for willful infringement of critical technology that they could have licensed for much less if they'd played fair back in the day doesn't really seem too bad to me.

Comment: Re:wow (Score 4, Informative) 85

Briefly from CMU's FAQ:

The size of the award was based on an analysis by Catharine M. Lawton, an intellectual property damages expert who testified on behalf of CMU during the trial along with CMU's technical and industry experts. Ms. Lawton applied several commonly used and court approved methods of determining an appropriate royalty for Marvell's infringement in patent cases. Ms. Lawton's analysis rested on a comparison of Marvell's business and economic circumstances both before and after it started to infringe. Her opinion and application of these accepted methods were based on a detailed analysis of the facts and financial records in the case, as well as the testimony of Dr. Steven McLaughlin, CMU's digital signal processing expert, and Dr. Chris Bajorek, CMU's expert in the hard disk drive industry.

Marvell earned an average revenue of $4.42 per chip and made an average operating profit of $2.16 for each of the more than 2 billion chips sold over more than a decade. Based upon her analysis of all the facts, Ms. Lawton determined that the proper value of the CMU invention was $.50 per chip.

Comment: Re:Taxpayer subsidized? (Score 1) 85

In fact, it was funded by industry.

From CMU's FAQ on the case:

"Their work was done under the auspices of CMU's Data Storage Systems Center, which was formed as a partnership between CMU and certain members of the information storage industry and through which CMU has worked closely with industry partners for decades. The DSSC was formed to and has played a critical role in preserving research and development efforts and jobs in the hard disk drive industry in the United States."

Comment: Re:Good guys and bad guys (Score 1) 85

You are correct that the specific breakdown of that 50% is entirely dependent on the percentages agreed upon when the internal invention disclosure was made, and that the assignation of those percentages between the various inventors is not dictated in any particular way by the IP Policy. What is clear, however is that 50% (minus 1/2 of the legal fees) will be distributed amongst to the two inventors.

That said, at CMU, any faculty member who tries to cut his or her grad students out of their invention disclosures will likely soon find him or herself running short on grad students, not to mention liable to be hauled into court for fraud. So there is strong self-interested impetus to make those percentages as correct as possible.

+ - CIA under investigation for monitoring Senate-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The CIA's internal watchdog is investigating allegations that the agency improperly spied on Senate staffers probing secret details of a now-defunct interrogation program.

Senator Dianne Feinstein acknowledged Wednesday the existence of the probe, which highlights a rare public clash between lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee she chairs and the US espionage community it oversees."

Link to Original Source

+ - The Tangled Tale of Mt. Gox's Missing Millions->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "What went wrong to produce the spectacular implosion of bitcoin repository Mt. Gox? Well, according to some preliminary investigation from the IDG News Service, pretty much everything. There was a lack of management oversight and "culture," the code running the sight was a mess, and the CEO seemed more concerned about his plans for a "Bitcoin cafe" than he was about his Japanese bank closing the company's account."
Link to Original Source

+ - Community-sourced news site,, goes live 18

Submitted by umafuckit
umafuckit (2980809) writes " is the new way of taking the pulse of the nerd community. Soylentnews is a grassroots-based platform with the content feeds are powered by readers like you. The objective is to highlight news stories of general importance to everyone, but especially nerds. News about technology, art, science and politics: it's all there. Soylentnews is the new kid on the block and will adapt quickly to satisfy our community's needs and and push boundaries like never before. This is a real community site: no changes in format without a general consensus from the community. Stop by and see what you think of the freshly-launched site."

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