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Patents

Zynga and Blizzard Sued Over Game Patent 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the swinging-for-the-fences dept.
eldavojohn writes "Thinking about developing a game involving a 'database driven online distributed tournament system?' Well, you had better talk to Walker Digital or risk a lawsuit, because Walker Digital claims to have patented that 'invention' back in 2002. The patent in question has resulted in some legal matters for the makers of 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 1 and 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: World at War, Blur, Wolfenstein, DJ Hero 2, Golden Eye 007, World of Warcraft and its expansions, Mafia Wars, and many others.' Walker Digital (parent company of Priceline.com) said it's not sure how much damages are going to be, and requested that through discovery in the court. If you think Walker Digital is not a patent troll, check out their lawsuit from two months ago against Facebook for using privacy controls Walker Digital claims to have patented. It would seem that any online competitive game that uses a database to select and reward contestants in a tournament could potentially fall under this patent — of course, those with the deepest coffers will be cherrypicked first."
Input Devices

OnLive To Be Built Into Vizio Devices 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-going dept.
Gamasutra reports that cloud gaming service OnLive has reached an agreement with Vizio to integrate OnLive directly into the hardware manufacturer's TVs and Blu-ray players. "Vizio also announced that it will introduce ... tablets and smartphones based on Google's Android operating system that integrate the gaming service through its Via Plus ecosystem. OnLive is already publicly available for Apple's iPad, but that app is exclusively for spectating other people who are playing Onlive through PCs or the MicroConsole. Perlman said Onlive is coming to Vizio's mobile devices with playable games. ... Perlman also said that thanks to the open nature of the Android platform, manufacturers are creating more traditional game controllers for Android tablets. Some resemble a gamepad cut in half, where one half snaps on either side of the table screen, Perlman said. Certain Android tablets will also potentially work with Onlive's official controller, if the mobile device supports the appropriate RF interface."
Image

Corporations Hiring Hooky Hunters 610

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-a-personal-detective-day dept.
No longer satisfied with your crinkled doctor's note, a growing number of corporations are hiring "Hooky Detectives." Private investigator Rick Raymond says he's staked out bowling alleys, pro football games, weddings and even funerals looking for people using sick days. From the article: "Such techniques have become permissible at a time when workers are more likely to play hooky. Kronos, a workforce productivity firm in Chelmsford, Mass., recently found that 57 percent of salaried employees take sick days when they're not sick — almost a 20 percent increase from statistics gathered between 2006 and 2008."
Space

TheSpaceGame — Design Your Route To Jupiter 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the try-the-clarke-kubrick-corridor dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Advanced Concepts Team of the European Space Agency is celebrating World Space Week (4-10 October 2010) with the release of 'The Space Game,' an online game for interplanetary trajectory design. The Space Game is an online crowdsourcing experiment where you are given the role of a mission designer to seek the best path to travel through space. The interactive game, coded in HTML5, challenges the players to devise fuel-efficient trajectories to various bodies of the Solar System via a user-friendly interface. The aim of the experiment is get people from all ages and backgrounds to come up with better strategies that can help improve the effectiveness of the current computer algorithms. As part of the events organized worldwide for Space Week, the first problem of the game is to reach Jupiter with the lowest amount of propellant. The best scores by 10 October will be displayed on the Advanced Concepts Team website and the three best designs will also receive some ESA prizes."
Patents

Red Hat Settles Patent Case 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the making-it-go-away dept.
darthcamaro writes "Red Hat has settled another patent case with patent holding firm Acacia. This time the patent is US Patent #6,163,776, 'System and method for exchanging data and commands between an object oriented system and relational system.' While it's great that Red Hat has ended this particular patent threat, it's not yet clear how they've settled this case. The last time Red Hat tangled with Acacia they won in an Texas jury trial. 'Red Hat routinely addresses attempts to impede the innovative forces of open source via allegations of patent infringement,' Red Hat said in a statement. 'We can confirm that Red Hat, Inc and Software Tree LLC have settled patent litigation that was pending in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas.'"
Image

Frustrated Reporter Quits After Slow News Day 178

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-this-job-and-shove-it dept.
Norwegian radio journalist Pia Beathe Pedersen quit on the air complaining that her bosses were making her read news on a day when "nothing important has happened." Pedersen claimed that broadcaster NRK put too much pressure on the staff and that she "wanted to be able to eat properly again and be able to breathe," during her nearly two-minute on-air resignation.
Google

Google Caffeine Drops MapReduce, Adds "Colossus" 65

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-upgrade dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With its new Caffeine search indexing system, Google has moved away from its MapReduce distributed number crunching platform in favor of a setup that mirrors database programming. The index is stored in Google's BigTable distributed database, and Caffeine allows for incremental changes to the database itself. The system also uses an update to the Google File System codenamed 'Colossus.'"
Wine

Wine 1.2 Release Candidate Announced 165

Posted by timothy
from the vintage-2010 dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After evolving over 15 years to get to 1.0, a mere 2 years later and Wine 1.2 is just about here. There have been many many improvements and plenty of new features added. Listing just a few (doing no justice to the complete change set): many new toolbar icons; support for alpha blending in image lists; much more complete shader assembler; support for Arabic font shaping and joining, and a number of fixes for video rendering; font anti-aliasing configuration through fontconfig; and improved handling of desktop link files. Win64 support is the milestone that marks this release. Please test your favorite applications for problems and regressions and let the Wine team know so fixes can be made before the final release. Find the release candidate here."
Earth

Dinosaur Feather Color Discovered 219

Posted by timothy
from the horsefeathers-still-a-mystery dept.
anzha writes "Do you remember being a kid and told we'd never know what colors the dinosaurs were? For at least some, that's no longer true. Scientists working in the UK and China have closely examined the fossils of multiple theropods and actually found the colors and patterns that were present in the fossilized proto-feathers. So far, the answer is orange, black and white in banded and other patterns. The work also thoroughly thrashes the idea that fossils might not be feathers, but collagen fibers instead. If this holds up, Birds Are Dinosaurs. Period. And colorful!"

Comment: ExpLab (Score 2, Informative) 122

by The Visiting Priest (#5770027) Attached to: Open Source Experiment Management Software?

I'm in precisely the same situation as Alea, so I read the suggestions here with considerable interest.

I'd like to mention ExpLab.

Though I haven't used ExpLab yet, these folks have been associated with other very high quality work (CGAL) so I expect good things. Here are three goals they list for the project:

  • to provide a simple way to set up and run computational experiments;
  • to provide a means of automatically documenting the environment in which an experiment is run so the experiment can be easily rerun (provided the same environment is still available) and the results can be more accurately compared to the results of other computational experiments;
  • to eliminate some of the tedium involved in collecting and analyzing output by providing basic text output processing tools.

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