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The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

Posted by samzenpus
from the nice-day-for-a-flight dept.
skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."
Mars

4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-a-look dept.
SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."
Google

Google Pledges Not To Sue Any Open Source Projects Using Their Patents 153

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the now-and-forever dept.
sfcrazy writes "Google has announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. In the pledge Google says that they will not sue any user, distributor, or developer of Open Source software on specified patents, unless first attacked. Under this pledge, Google is starting off with 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google. Google says that over time they intend to expand the set of Google's patents covered by the pledge to other technologies." This is in addition to the Open Invention Network, and their general work toward reforming the patent system. The patents covered in the OPN will be free to use in Free/Open Source software for the life of the patent, even if Google should transfer ownership to another party. Read the text of the pledge. It appears that interaction with non-copyleft licenses (MIT/BSD/Apache) is a bit weird: if you create a non-free fork it appears you are no longer covered under the pledge.

Comment: Re:Contact an atty. (Score 3, Informative) 347

by PT_1 (#42779337) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Patent Trolls Seeking Wi-fi License Fees?

> this patent was filed in 1993, making it a 17 years from issue date patent. Based upon it's issue date of April 9, 1996, it expires (dies) on April 9, 2013.

if that is true then how come the mp3 patent hasn't expired? It was filed in 1992...

It's because there is no 'mp3 patent'. There are several patents applicable to the format; some have already expired, and some have yet to do so.

From Wikipedia:

The various MP3-related patents expire on dates ranging from 2007 to 2017 in the U.S.[52] The initial near-complete MPEG-1 standard (parts 1, 2 and 3) was publicly available on 6 December 1991 as ISO CD 11172.[53][54] In the United States, patents cannot claim inventions that were already publicly disclosed more than a year prior to the filing date, but for patents filed prior to 8 June 1995, submarine patents made it possible to extend the effective lifetime of a patent through application extensions. Patents filed for anything disclosed in ISO CD 11172 a year or more after its publication are questionable; if only the known MP3 patents filed by December 1992 are considered, then MP3 decoding may be patent-free in the US by September 2015 when U.S. Patent 5,812,672 expires which had a PCT filing in Oct 1992.[55][56][57]

Comment: Re:FRAUD? I don't know how it was accomplished. (Score 1) 151

by PT_1 (#42253513) Attached to: Four Cups of Coffee A Day Cuts Risk of Oral Cancer

Consider this: How did Slashdot become a medical web site?

Slashdot has always been a science and technology website; science includes medicine. Search Google including the term site:slashdot.org. You'll find plenty of medical stories on the site from 10 years ago and earlier.

Comment: Re:Don't complain about crime then (Score 1) 254

by PT_1 (#41720699) Attached to: Facebook Won't Take Down Undercover Cop Page In Australia

Police reaction to speeding in the UK and US is often quite different. The last time I took the wheel in the UK I made a 220 km journey, over mostly M roads, in an hour and got no tickets despite passing several marked police cars. I presume it's because I always stayed left except to pass, was diligent about signaling and generally being polite in my driving behavior aside from the speed.

In contrast, a co-worker of mine received a ticket for 2 mph over the limit last year in the US.

Are you sure it was police you passed and not Highways Agency traffic officers? Their vehicles are marked similarly, but the traffic officers are there to attend to accidents on the motorways, maintain traffic flow etc., and not to arrest people. If you passed the police whilst travelling at 137 mph (almost double the maximum speed limit in the UK), it is very unlikely that you'd be spared a trip to court.

Comment: Re:*facepalm* (Score 3, Interesting) 100

by PT_1 (#41679159) Attached to: UK Police Fined For Using Unencrypted Memory Sticks

Oh wait... isn't it the government who receives the payment for the fine? ;)

All this does is shift money. The government is just paying itself. It doesn't cost the taxpayer any more.

To some extent.

However, in the UK the police are funded partially through central government funds and partially through local council funds. People here pay income tax, which goes to central government, and a smaller amount of 'council' tax, which is for use on local services, police, fire departments etc.

What these fines do, in effect, is to take money that residents of the area have paid to police the local area and give it back to central government. The health service is currently fighting a similar £325,000 (over $500,000) fine.

These organisations should be held accountable for privacy breaches, but taking money away from residents and patients is not the answer.

Comment: Re:Money for nothing ...... (Score 5, Interesting) 331

$60 a year for doing what? Nothing? Surely marking a number as unlisted in the subscriber database is a once-off 30 activity of at most 5 minutes. So who's being paid $720 an hour for doing it?

I doubt it's even a 5 minute job. I work for a large telco in Europe. If a customer over here asks for their number not to be printed, we have to honour that request and we're not allowed (by law) to charge a cent for doing so. The phone directory is based on a database, which is linked to our customer care software. If a customer asks for their number to be removed from the phone book, a customer care agent clicks the button on their screen and the database is updated overnight. Factoring in a staff member's time, overheads for running the call centre etc., a call like this costs on average the equivalent of just over $4. Charging $60 per year is outrageous.

Comment: Re:Meaningless (Score 1) 107

Indeed, on nature.com I would have expected something clearer like exponential notation. Eric's answer to the first comment is even weirder:"It would be in Celsius. We’re metric around here. Cheers, Eric" I'm pretty sure they work in Kelvin, for a US audience it would of course have been expressed as Rankin.

I believe the last record was reported in short-scale, so 4 trillion = 4 x 10^12

So I suspect this one must be 5 x 10^12 unless they've broken the record by a significant amount. :-)

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