writes "Back in 2001, I coded HeapCheck, a GPL library for Windows (inspired by ElectricFence) that detected invalid read/write accesses on any heap allocations at runtime — thus greatly helping my debugging sessions. I published it on my site, and got a few users who were kind enough to thank me — a Serbian programmer even sent me 250$ as a thank you (I still have his mails). After a few years, Microsoft included very similar technology in the operating system itself, calling it PageHeap. I had more or less forgotten these stuff, since for the last 7 years I've been coding for UNIX/Linux, where valgrind superseeded Efence/dmalloc/etc. Imagine my surprise, when yesterday, Googling for references to my site, I found out that the technology I implemented, of runtime detection of invalid heap accesses, has been patented in the States, and to add insult to injury, even mentions my site (via a non-working link to an old version of my page) in the patent references! After the necessary "WTFs" and "bloody hells" I thought this merrits (a) a Slashdotting, and (b) a set of honest questions: what should I do about this? I am not an American citizen, but the "inventors" of this technology (see their names in the top of the patent) have apparently succeeded in passing this ludicrous patent in the States. If my code doesn't count as prior art, Bruce Perens's Efence (which I clearly state my code was inspired from) is at least 12 years prior! Suggestions/cursing patent trolls most welcome."
writes "NASA today said Boeing had adopted software the space agency developed to boost fuel savings. The software, known as Direct-To was developed at NASA's Ames Research Center and promises to let airlines to save fuel and reduce emissions by identifying flight route shortcuts that are acceptable to air traffic controllers."Link to Original Source
Somewhat Delirious (938752)
writes "Wikileaks has just released a document from the CIA which expresses worries that the perception of the United States as an exporter of terrorism may lead to barriers to extrajudicial judicial activities of the American intelligence services abroad: "If the US were seen as an exporter of terrorism, foreign partners may be less willing to cooperate with the United States on extrajudicial activities, including detention, transfer, and interrogation of suspects in third party countries."
It also shows how the US forces other countries into bilateral agreements to insure immunity for US citizens from International Criminal Court prosecutions: "Foreign perception of the US as an “exporter of terrorism” also raises difficult legal issues
for the US, its foreign allies, and international institutions. To date, the US is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and instead, has pursued Bilateral Immunity Agreements (BIAs) with other countries to ensure immunity for US nationals from ICC prosecution. The US has threatened to terminate economic aid and withdraw military assistance with countries that do not accede to BIAs.""Link to Original Source
writes "South Carolina sure knows how to pick'em. Alvin Greene is a broke, unemployed guy facing a felony obscenity charge. Oh, he is also the brand new Democrat Senate nominee from South Carolina. Tom Schaller at FiveThirtyEight.com does a detailed analysis of how a guys like this wins a primary race and much of the signs point to voting machine fraud "Those three are Darlington, Horry and Marlboro, and there are two others, Bamberg and Fairfield, with zero residual GOP votes (i.e., the total number of GOP voters in the county is identical to number cast in the GOP gubernatorial), which McDonald informs me is very, very rare."
Techdirt.com points out (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100609/1616099761.shtml) that South Carolina uses ES&S voting machines which have had strings of problems before and has no audit trail.
Is this the first documented case of voting fraud via voting machines?"Link to Original Source
writes "My 90-year old neighbour is very much into clocks, and maintains our local church clock here in North Woochester, UK. As it's quite a way up the spire and he isn't getting any younger, he would like to monitor the accuracy of the clockwork using his computer from home.
I've come up with the following solution: An Alix 2d3 with a Huawei E220 3G modem attached to it, and Zeroshell installed on the Alix. That all works well, Zeroshell connects to my VPN and I can place the thing in the church spire as they have electricity up there. We also installed a micro switch on a part of the clock that rotates once every 5 minutes, and we get a switch on / off from that micro switch.
Now comes the hard part: I need some sort of component that I can plug into the USB port of my Alix 2d3 and connect it to the micro switch so can capture the event, timestamp it and write it to a remote database.
Any ideas? Can I use something like a USB mouse and mod it?"
writes "Geek.net, the parent company of SourceForge.net, Slashdot.org, ThinkGeek.com, Geek.com, freshmeat.net, and ohloh.net, has told employees that it will be closing freshmeat.net and ohloh.net. This information has not yet been released to the public, but we've heard it from more than one Geek.net employee. The company also reportedly laid off 25% of its staff this week. After the story was posted at devx.com, a Geek.net Vice President emailed this response to its author: 'If you're asking whether or not the sites are for sale, the answer is no. However, we are looking to create better ways for our community to interact with the information on these sites, likely through SourceForge.'"Link to Original Source
writes "A team of archeologists scanned the jungle of Belize with lidar. Although most of the reflections came from the jungle canopy, some light reflected off the ground surface. Using this, suddenly hidden pyramids, agricultural terraces, and ancient roads are revealed, at 6-inch resolution. The NY Times has the story."Link to Original Source
writes "I searched Google News and Slashdot and nobody seems to think that the absence of a major open source project is news worthy. I, and a number of other people I've spoken too haven't been able to get to www.gimp.org for nearly a week. What gives?"