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Software

+ - Microsoft, BSA and Others Push for Appeal on Oracle vs. Google Ruling->

Submitted by sl4shd0rk
sl4shd0rk (755837) writes "In 2012, Oracle took Google to court over the use of Java in Android. Judge William Alsup brought the ruling that the structure of APIs could not be copyrighted at all. Emerging from the proceedings, it was learned that Alsup himself had some programming background and wasn't bedazzled by by Oracle's thin arguments on the range-checking function. The ruling came, programmers rejoiced and Oracle vowed Appeal. It seems that time is coming now, nearly a year later, as Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp, et al. get behind Oracle to overturn Alsup's ruling citing "destabilization" of the "entire software industry"."
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Programming

+ - Ask slashdot: What programming language should an old hack REALLY dig into? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I was a consultant for nearly 20 years and I got into projects where I had to work with a huge variety of software, operating systems, hardware, programming languages, and other assorted technologies. After retiring from that I have spent the last 10 years in a completely different sector. Now I find myself wanting to really focus on coding for personal reasons. You can imagine how out-of-touch I am since I never really was more than a hack to begin with. I can learn syntax and basics in a weekend, question is, what Language should I become native to? Never liked anything 'lower-level' than C, and I don't have the funds to 'buy' my development environment....help me slashdot..you're my only hope..."
United Kingdom

+ - Unblocking The Pirate Bay The Hard Way Is Fun For Geeks->

Submitted by
TheGift73
TheGift73 writes "Now that The Pirate Bay is being blocked by ISPs in the UK, millions of people have a new interest in accessing the site, even if they didn’t before. The reasons for this are simple. Not only do people hate being told what they can and can’t do, people – especially geeks – love solving problems and puzzles. Unlocking The Pirate Bay with a straightforward proxy is just too boring, so just for fun let’s go the hard way round."
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Medicine

+ - Indian pharmaceutical Cipla slashes cancer drug prices by 76%->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Indian generic drug company Cipla said Friday it had slashed by up to 76 percent prices of three anti-cancer medicines in what it called a "humanitarian" move and promised to cut the costs of more products. There are 2.5 million cases of cancer diagnosed in India each year, according to the World Health Organisation, with most patients receiving inadequate treatment as drugs are priced beyond their reach. "Business is business, but it has to be linked with one's social responsibilities. This initiative of price reduction is a humanitarian approach by Cipla to support cancer patients," company chairman Y.K. Hamied said. The family-led company first hit headlines in 2001 when it offered to supply life-saving triple therapy AIDS drug cocktails at prices sharply below those of multinational firms with Hamied saying the move was for "social reasons". Cipla has been pushing the Indian government to allow widespread use of so-called "compulsory licences" for production of life-saving patented drugs to overcome barriers for people in accessing affordable medicines. Compulsory licences are allowed under the World Trade Organization's TRIPS Agreement, which governs trade and intellectual property rules. Analysts said Cipla's move could prompt a price war in the 15-billion-rupee Indian drug market — challenging multinationals which sell costly patented medicine and Indian firms whose generic range is less expensive but not as cheap as Cipla's."
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Australia

+ - The Lengthening Arm of Uncle Sam's 'Pirate' Justice->

Submitted by
TheGift73
TheGift73 writes "Figures....

File-sharing was firmly on the agenda when the head of the US Department of Homeland Security touched down in the Australian capital last week. The four new agreements – promptly signed before Secretary Janet Napolitano flew back out of Canberra – were less about sharing season two of Game of Thrones and more about sharing the private, government held information of Australian citizens with US authorities."

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Privacy

+ - Almost 800 Major Companies support CISPA Bill-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "World Real News has compiled an alphabetic list of 796 companies that support the CISPA cyber-intelligence sharing bill currently waiting in the senate. A cursory glance at the list of supporters reveals that almost everybody who is anybody in the corporate world is behind CISPA, from IBM, Intel and AMD, to Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and Facebook, to Exxon, Ford, Fujitsu, Goldman Sachs, General Electric and NTT Docomo. The picture that emerges from studying this list is almost tragic: While most grassroots internet users want to see this bill killed, because it would seriously encroach on everybody's right to internet privacy, just about every major corporation in the world seems to want to see CISPA pass, and backs it openly. It seems that the "war for the internet" may have turned into a "war between ordinary internet users, and large corporations/multinationals". Who will win this war at the end of the day is anybody's guess, but the list of corporate CISPA supporters sure is impressively long."
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Power

+ - Efficiency Record Advances Spray-on Solar Cells->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Advancing solar technology is a trade-off between the efficiency of the cells themselves and the cost of producing and installing them. Quantum dot solar cells, which use nanoscale semiconductors to produce electricity, promise low-cost production and, because they can be sprayed or painted on, big benefits in terms of installation. In the efficiency stakes quantum cells don't score as well as silicon-based or CIGS solar cells, but a new efficiency record for colloidal quantum dot solar cells represents a big step towards narrowing the gap. This breakthrough isn't about the quantum dots though, it's about the wrapping."
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Technology

+ - Chip Manufacturer Pioneer Dies->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Julius Blank, who helped found Fairchild Semiconductor, died on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2011. To paraphrase: Fairchild became a prototype for high-tech start-ups and a training ground for a generation of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs; they scrounged parts, improvised equipment and tooled a set of machines that essentially became the first assembly line for the basic building blocks of the electronic world: electronic circuits made from wafers of silicon, or silicon chips."
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Software

+ - TOSAmend: Counteroffer Terms of Service Agreements->

Submitted by BigSlowTarget
BigSlowTarget (325940) writes "Are we simply subject to whatever a software provider demands of us in their clickthrough TOS agreement or are they real contracts where we can counteroffer our preferred terms and expect a refund if they are rejected? One blogger has come up with an applet to change TOS agreements and automatically submit the changes for approval (or rejection). Even he is not sure of the legal standing for the offer, but with these contracts so common they have been featured on South Park the issue certainly could be coming to the courts soon."
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Medicine

+ - Can fetus feel pain before 35 weeks? 1

Submitted by RogerRoast
RogerRoast (1914292) writes "According to a new study published in Current Biology, human brain wiring does not mature until 35-37 weeks of gestation. The authors tested the changes in brain activity during the maturation of pain and touch discrimination in the preterm infant. Brain activation by tactile and painful stimulation occurs from an early preterm stage but there is a shift in the pattern and specificity of the response with age. The studies were done on pre-term infants. Based upon the results, fetuses are unlikely to feel pain before 35 weeks of gestation!"
Science

+ - Aboriginal genome rewrites human migration theory->

Submitted by bazzalunatic
bazzalunatic (1840666) writes "A genetic study confirms that Aborigines were the first people to cross Asia out of Africa and arrive in Australia about 75,000 years ago. It also confirms that they are the oldest continuous culture in the world and branched off from Europeans in a separate wave out of Africa, rather migrating in a single wave."
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IT

+ - NoSQL Gaining Ground on Old-Time RDBMSes->

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "The relational database may never die, but its days of glory appear to be over, as IT organizations are increasingly turning to NoSQL and 'NewSQL' approaches over traditional RDBMSes, according to a report from InfoWorld. 'Relational databases, long a critical piece of enterprise software deployments, are now forced to share the stage with technologies better geared to accommodate newer data structures and modern hardware systems. Stalwart RDBMSes remain in place from software vendors such as IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle, all of which will continue to dominate such core functions as financial transactions. But NoSQL databases, as well as big data technologies such as Apache Hadoop and MapReduce, are where the action is.'"
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