The definition of a heuristic is a commonsense rule (or set of rules) intended to increase the probability of solving some problem. Ok, so heuristics -- commonsense rules -- can be patented now. This is so far from the original patent intent that they should basically now be considered as a legal stand-over right rather than as a protection of a novel invention.
They probably used the illicitly gained profits to do more R&D, resulting in the terrible situation of having even better LCD displays for even lower prices.
According to the Japanese site: http://www.fixstars.com/products/gigaaccel180/price.html you can get their CBE card for around 900,000 yen ($9.5k USD), or a million if you get it as part of the Lenovo workstation set.
They charge 45,000 yen per year for a Linux licence (~ $450 USD). Anyone know if they contribute their changes back into the public Yellow Dog distro? http://www.fixstars.com/company/press/20080916.html
jamie pointed out a really impressive creation from the LittleBigPlanet beta. The game allows the creation of puzzles from a collection of simple objects and tools. A player called upsilandre used 610 magnetic switches, 500 wires, 430 pistons, and a variety of other objects to create a functioning calculator that will do decimal/binary conversions as well as addition and subtraction. The creation does well to illustrate the potential for amazing creativity in level design. Another user recently designed a level to play the Final Fantasy X theme song. LittleBigPlanet is almost finished and set to be released later this month, though the controls may be refined in a future patch. We recently discussed a student level-design event at the Parsons New School for Design and Technology.
uneek writes "I have been programming for several years now in a variety of languages, most recently C#, Java, and Python. I have never had to use threads for a solution in the past. Recently I have been incorporating them more in my solutions for clients. I understand the theory behind them. However I am looking for a good book on programming threads from an applied point of view. I am looking for one or more texts that provide thorough coverage and provide meaningful exercises. Anyone have any ideas?"
OriginalArlen writes "NASA's next-generation rover, the nuclear-powered, laser-equipped Mars Science Laboratory is reported to be at a serious risk of cancellation due to budget and schedule overruns, including non-delivery of vital parts by a subcontractor. Costs are running over $2B so far, and the already thin schedule of Mars missions planned for the next decade — with budget ring-fenced for an outer-planets flagship mission — is in danger of further cuts."
SolarSells writes "Solyndra makes funky-looking cylindrical solar cells that resemble compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Their products are meant for office buildings, and are made from a thin coating of copper indium gallium diselenide on glass tubes. Although they might not be able to fill them till 2012, the company has already received $1.2 billion in orders. Their manufacturing tricks make the cells so cheap that they may be competitive with other forms of power even after solar subsidies are phased out."
CR0WTR0B0T writes "Richard Garriott, AKA Lord British, will be part of three experiments on the International Space Station. 'Garriott has a ticket to the space station because he is an orbital spaceflight client of Space Adventures, the only company that provides commercial human space missions ... Garriott will be the first person in space who has had photorefractive keratectomy eye surgery. NASA has approved the PRK procedure for astronauts but has not yet been able to test its effects. Garriott will help scientists figure out if visual acuity of a PRK patient changes in orbit as inner eye pressure increases by up to 50% during space flights.' Mostly, NASA wants to know if he can heal himself or provide resurrection to the other astronauts in case the experiments goes awry."