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Businesses

How Infighting Hampers Innovation At Microsoft 450

Posted by timothy
from the rather-a-broad-brush dept.
Garabito writes "Dick Brass, former vice-president at Microsoft, published an op-ed in The New York Times, where he states that 'Microsoft has become a clumsy, uncompetitive innovator' and how 'it has lost share in Web browsers, high-end laptops and smartphones.' He attributes this situation to the lack of a true system for innovation at Microsoft. Some former employees argue that Microsoft has a system to thwart innovation. He tells how promising and innovative technologies like ClearType and the original TabletPC concept become crippled and sabotaged internally, by groups and divisions that felt threatened by them."

Comment: Microsoft is a zombie (Score 1) 306

by YouDoNotWantToKnow (#30847852) Attached to: Jeremy Allison Calls Microsoft Dangerous Elephant
Ever since Bill Gates left, and possibly a while longer _causing_ him to leave, Microsoft has been a symbol of whats wrong with the economy. Company gets built around an innovative idea by a bunch of enthusiastic experts, grows big because it actually sells useful products that make peoples lives easier. Then it all goes awry, clueless MBA types (hi Ballmer) take over pushed forward by vulture capitalists, monetizing, marketing, market share hogging and patent litigations take over the core business of making useful stuff and the company turns into yet another corporate zombie.

Comment: Re:I wouldn't want a HTML5 only Web now (Score 1) 265

by YouDoNotWantToKnow (#30847712) Attached to: YouTube Offers Experimental Opt-In HTML5 Video
Your Symbian phone has been around for 5+ years. Android and iPhone have been out for almost 2 and Flash still does not work there. This, aside from the obvious software freedom versus proprietary lock-in should be the main reason for switching. I want to play video on my G1 and it is Adobe's fault I can't.
NASA

NASA To Cryogenically Freeze Satellite Mirrors 47

Posted by Soulskill
from the ain't-it-cool dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA said it will soon move some of the larger (46 lb) mirror segments of its future James Webb Space Telescope into a cryogenic test facility that will freeze the mirrors to -414 degrees Fahrenheit (~25 K). Specifically, NASA will freeze six of the 18 Webb telescope mirror segments at the X-ray and Cryogenic Facility, or XRCF, at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, in a test to ensure the critical mirrors can withstand the extreme space environments. All 18 segments will eventually be tested at the site. The test chamber takes approximately five days to cool a mirror segment to cryogenic temperatures."
Patents

HP Patents Bignum Implementation From 1912 144

Posted by kdawson
from the can-you-spell-prior-art dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The authors of GMP (the GNU Multiple Precision Arithmetic Library) were invited to join Peer-to-Patent to review HP's recent patent on a very old technique for implementing bignums because their software might infringe. Basically, HP's patent claims choosing an exponent based on processor word size. If you choose a 4-bit word size and a binary number, you end up working in hexadecimal. Or for a computer with a 16-bit word and a base-10 number, you use base 10,000 so that each digit of the base-10,000 number would fit into a single 16-bit word. The obvious problem with that is that there's plenty of prior art here. Someone who spent a few minutes Googling found that Knuth describing the idea in TAOCP Vol. 2 and other citations go back to 1912 (which implemented the same algorithm using strips of cardboard and a calculating machine). None of this can be found in the 'references cited' section. Even though the patent examiner did add a couple of references, they appear to have cited some old patents. The patent issued a few months ago was filed back in October of 2004, and collected dust at the USPTO for some 834 days."

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