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The Binary Code In Canada's Gov-Gen Coat of Arms 486 486

Lev13than writes "Dr. David Johnston, formerly the president of the University of Waterloo, was installed as Canada's new Governor-General on Friday. As de facto head of state and the Queen's representative in Canada he is required to design a personal coat of arms. One modern detail has attracted particular attention - a 33-digit palindromic binary stream at the base. Efforts to decode the meaning of the number using ASCII, Morse, grouping by 3/11 and other theories has so far come up empty (right now it's a toss up between random, the phone number 683-077-0643 and Morse code for 'send help - trapped in a coat of arms factory.') Is 110010111001001010100100111010011 the combination to his luggage, or just a random stream of digits?"

Comment: Re:No, but thanks for playing (Score 1) 381 381

Sorry, the excerpted portions were not displaying in my browser, so it was not clear to me that you had reviewed the specification at all.

It seems clear to me from the claims and the specification that the patent, if issued as written, would cover the use of the method to disable phones that have been jailbroken. "Jailbraking" has a particular meaning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS_jailbreaking) which indicates that it is the rightful owner of the phone that has modified the phone in a manner not intended by Apple to allow the device to run unauthorized software.

I agree that the primary motivation described in the specification is to stop theft, but to stop jailbreaking seems like a pretty important motivation as well.

Comment: Re:Get the summary right. (Score 2, Informative) 381 381

As I posted elsewhere on this forum, the patent specification does expressly mention jailbraking. Do a text search, and you will find it near the bottom of the specification where the patent application discusses potential uses for the claimed method.

Comment: Re:No, but thanks for playing (Score 1, Troll) 381 381

You are wrong. The patent specification expressly contemplates remote locking of phones that are jailbroken. From the patent specification: To detect an unauthorized user, process 610 of FIG. 6 b can determine whether particular activities are identified at step 612 . As described above, the particular activities can include any activities indicating suspicious behavior such as, for example, entering an incorrect password a predetermined number of times in a row, entering an incorrect password a predetermined number of times within a period of time, hacking the electronic device, ___jailbreaking___ the electronic device, unlocking of the electronic device, removing a SIM card from the electronic device, moving the electronic device a predetermined distance from a synced device, or any combination of the above. If a particular activity is identified, the current user can be detected as an unauthorized user at step 614 . If, however, a particular activity is not identified, process 610 can end at step 616 .

Comment: Re:slashdot readers (Score 1) 234 234

Dude, you need to work on your understanding of counting a bit. When 33% of people say that they are never getting the Wii, that means a majority, 67%, are planning on getting the console at some point. I'm a bit surprised that it is that high, really, considering that there are a number of options out there to get your game on.

George Lucas To Quit Movie Business 520 520

CaroKann writes, "Variety is reporting that George Lucas is getting out of the movie business. Mr. Lucas laments that today's big-budget franchise films are too expensive and too risky. He believes American audiences are deserting their movie going habits permanently. Instead of making major films, Lucasfilm will instead focus on television. Lucas states that for the price of one $200 million feature movie, 'I can make 50-60 two hour movies' that are 'pay-per-view and downloadable.' Notably, he does not plan on distributing movies online, calling online distribution a 'rathole.'"

Netflix Sues Blockbuster for Patent Infringement 268 268

StrongGlad writes "Is the concept of renting movies over the Internet an original idea that deserves patent protection? Netflix claims it is, and is suing Blockbuster for patent infringement, alleging they are copying its seven-year-old online movie-rental business method. Netflix argues that it has patents covering its many online features, including allowing subscribers to keep DVDs for as long as they want without incurring a late fee, obtaining new DVDs upon return of those already watched, and prioritizing their own personal movie list. Blockbuster, for its part, has counterclaimed, insisting that Netflix is trying to monopolize the online movie-rental industry and stifle competition. Blockbuster also alleges that Netflix obtained its patents fraudulently by failing to disclose pertinent information to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and further contends there is nothing original about renting videos online in the first place."

Facebook Scrambles after Unexpected Privacy Fumble 196 196

bart_scriv writes "Facebook is responding to the recent uproar among its users by deploying better privacy protections and control, as well as being more open about future changes. This could be a case study for other social networking sites on how to avoid or deal with similar problems in the future." From the article: "A week before launch, when asked if he was concerned about a privacy backlash, he appeared surprised, saying, 'No, these people share stuff already and they get something out of sharing.' They've shared all right. And Facebook is listening. On Sept. 7, the site is ratcheting up privacy protections--the result of around-the-clock coding. On their privacy settings page, people will be given greater control over what items will or won't be included in news feeds." Relatedly, an anonymous reader writes "A recent Reuters article mentions that Facebook user Igor Hiller, 17, a freshman at University of California, Santa Barbara is organizing a real-world demonstration next Monday at Facebook's downtown Palo Alto headquarters." Read below for Zuckerman's Open Letter to the community.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Delayed Again 174 174

eldavojohn writes "An electrical short cause the space shuttle Atlantis to be delayed since a lightning strike to the pad and Tropical Storm Ernesto caused delays. From the article: 'Liftoff was only hours away Wednesday morning when engineers reported a short in one of three fuel cells that supplies electricity for all the on-board systems, including the crew compartment.' It also points out that 'The faulty cell is currently operational even with the short. But after the 2003 Columbia disaster, which killed all seven astronauts, NASA says it has adopted an aggressive, safety-conscious approach to launching.' It causes one to wonder whether pre-Columbia-disaster NASA would have just replaced the fuel cell on the fly without telling anyone — and whether or not that is an ethically sound choice."

HP Spying Incident Included Journalists 177 177

rufey writes "It is now being reported that the HP boardroom spying incident that occurred earlier this year also involved obtaining phone records of journalists from at least two news outlets. Journalists from CNET and the Wall Street Journal had their phone records obtained through a method called 'pretexting' to see who, if any, of the HP board members the journalists may have been in contact with."

Xerox Reveals Transient Documents 246 246

Heartless Gamer writes "Xerox has lifted the veil from some of its research and development work in the field of printing. They demoed the very intriguing 'transient documents.' These offer the prospect of reusable paper in the sense that the content is automatically erased after a period of time, ready for fresh printing. Inspired by the fact that many print outs have a life-span of a few hours (think of the emails you may print out just to read, or the content you proof read on the train journey back home), the specially prepared paper will preserve its content for up to 16 hours."

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.