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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Oh Come On, it's a Press Release (Score 3, Insightful) 53

OK, no real technical data and some absurd claims here.

First all-digital transceiver? No. There have been others. Especially if you allow them to have a DAC and an ADC and no other components in the analog domain, but even without that, there are lots of IoT-class radios with direct-to-digital detectors and digital outputs directly to the antenna. You might have one in your car remote (mine is two-way).

And they have to use patented algorithms? Everybody else can get along with well-known technology old enough that any applicable patents are long expired.

It would be nicer if there was some information about what they are actually doing. If they really have patented it, there's no reason to hold back.

Cloud

Red Hat Strips Down For Docker 24

Posted by timothy
from the wearing-or-not-wearing-dockers dept.
angry tapir writes Reacting to the surging popularity of the Docker virtualization technology, Red Hat has customized a version of its Linux distribution to run Docker containers. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Atomic Host strips away all the utilities residing in the stock distribution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) that aren't needed to run Docker containers. Removing unneeded components saves on storage space, and reduces the time needed for updating and booting up. It also provides fewer potential entry points for attackers. (Product page is here.)

Comment: Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 316

The parent makes an interesting point. If the same data they ostensibly have every right to inspect in unencrypted format were printed out in its encrypted form and you agreed to open the case, would they have the right to compel you to tell them how to read it? Or would the act of opening the case and giving them the coded papers be sufficient for compliance? If they can't compel you to decode the papers after opening the case, I don't see why they should be able to compel you to decode your digital papers after handing over the device.

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 5, Interesting) 384

by FreeUser (#49192407) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Yes. They don't lose anything by becoming citizens (there are tax issues but they are pretty minor), and being a US citizen has a lot of advantages, like the support of US consulate services.

I'm a dual citizen (born American, obtained British citizenship while I lived there), and while my default position would be "you should grant them US citizenship as that opens up more options to them if they ever want to live in the US" (and despite the many issues, there are still good reasons to want to live here for many people), it should be said that the tax bullshit really is onerous, and renunciation would be expensive. It is like the US congress has built a financial Berlin wall around the country ... sure, you're free to leave, if you can pay up (and pay for expensive tax preparers who specialize in filing US taxes for expats, as the forms are by no means easy), but good luck ever getting out from under our thumb.

It's not an easy question to answer, and as someone else suggested, I would involve your 16 or 17-year old child in the decision beforehand, with good financial and legal advice on the implications pro and con. Weighing the option of living here vs. the never-ending IRS headaches of living abroad--that's a tough one.

Comment: Re:What about the race of the escapee? (Score 1) 243

by arth1 (#49188369) Attached to: Racial Discrimination Affects Virtual Reality Characters Too

No, excluded implies that steps or barriers were put in place to prevent them from participation. That is not the case here.

It may be news to you, but in many countries the population is far more homogenous than where you may be, and in some of them, black people are few and far between. That no black volunteer students participated is not due to exclusion but because of there being none to exclude.

Can you point at just one "black participant that was removed from consideration"?
In other news, they did not exclude any Sami or Maori students either.

Comment: Re:Breakthrough? (Score 4, Insightful) 421

by JanneM (#49184159) Attached to: Microsoft Convinced That Windows 10 Will Be Its Smartphone Breakthrough

Smart article yes, but it's still incredibly stupid to buy a lottery ticket.

Unless you think it's fun to play. Idle daydreaming about what you'd do if you won; the excitement as the numbers are called; the rollercoaster of emotion as you realize you may win - no you won't - oh but you did get a small price.

It's only stupid if you see it as an investment. See it as entertainment and it's no more dumb than paying to watch a movie.

Comment: Re:There might be hope for a decent adaptation (Score 3, Informative) 318

by doug (#49182515) Attached to: 'The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress' Coming To the Big Screen
The lunar colony sends food back to earth which helps keep food costs down, and thus avoids scarcity based social upheaval. Later they use continuing food shipments as a bargaining chip when trying to get recognized. I think it was effective with India and China.

Comment: Re:What about the race of the escapee? (Score 1) 243

by arth1 (#49182101) Attached to: Racial Discrimination Affects Virtual Reality Characters Too

Um, no. First of all, there is no indications that they excluded anyone. The study was done with volunteers, and presumably with the students they had available at the Italian university.

Secondly, it's not clearly "black vs white" - the situation was "white vs anything else". Black was not in a special situation, vs. brown, red, green, blue or anything else not white.

From what I can tell, the study notes a racial bias. That does not prove or preclude racism. The bias can have other causes, but this study does not tell us.

Comment: Re:Necissary, not sufficient. (Score 1) 97

by pavon (#49181093) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

I think you're misguided. The criteria for patentability has never been bad, and has actually gotten worse since the recent change to "first to file".

Yes it has been, and your following paragraphs demonstrate clearly why this is so

The problem is it's impossible for anyone to know what can or cannot be patented without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars hiring an entire team of lawyers to search through the back catalogue of patents and inventions and court precedents.
The patent office does not have enough staff to do proper research while a patent is being filed. If they did proper research, they would only be able to approve a handful of patents per year with the number of employees currently working at the PTO.

The problem with the current system is that the PTO has taken the approach of only rejecting patents if they can find documented evidence that someone has done the exact same thing before. If there is a single independent claim for which they can't find exact prior art in a timely manner, then they approve the patent, regardless of how similar it is to other prior art. They deliberately ignore the obviousness of the patent because they don't want to have to defend subjective decisions against appeal.

The recent Supreme Court rulings have forcefully asserted that this is not acceptable. The law clearly states that obviousness is one of the criteria for patentability and therefore the USPTO and courts must take that into consideration when deciding patentability. Furthermore, they have stated that if the improvement that an invention makes on prior art is not patentable by itself, then the invention is not patentable. This is a huge decision because it rules out a ton of "on a computer" and business model patents that combined things that weren't patentable on their own into something that was patentable in aggregate. This second issue is likely to have an even bigger impact as it can be applied more objectively than the first which increases the chances that the USPTO will embrace it. Furthermore, if anything these changes decrease the amount of research the PTO has to perform for an average application.

It simply isn't possible for a small company to defend themselves at all, their only viable option is to settle out of court which inevitably means nobody actually knows whether or not the patent is valid. After years of watching this issue closely I have never seen a small company defend themselves in court. Some have tried, but every single one gives up and settles out of court half way through the process.

Agreed which is why we need these reforms. They proposed two important changes. First is to strictly limit how much information the plaintiff can subpoena during discover. This prevents fishing expeditions and prevents discovery from turning into a war of attrition, which will make defending oneself against patent claims faster and less expensive. Secondly it allows defendant to challenge the validity of the patent before discovery has taken place, potentially avoiding the vast majority of the expense of defending oneself, if the patent is determined to be invalid by the new post-Alice standards.

Personally I don't see how any reform could possibly fix the problem. There are certainly ways to improve the situation but I don't think anything can truly fix it. I've never seen anybody suggest a viable solution.

I have no disillusions that these changes will magically make the patent system perfect. In fact I expect the USPTO and the lower courts to continue to be slow to adopt them, but they address the two biggest issues with the patent system today - the low standards for patents and the cost of defending against them - which is more than I can say about any other proposed changes to the patent system in the last 50 years.

Comment: Necissary, not sufficient. (Score 4, Interesting) 97

by pavon (#49177913) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

Granted, the biggest problem with the patent system has been that the criteria for patentability has been so loose, and the recent Supreme Court rulings will certainly do more to fix that root cause than the recent patent reform bills. Hopefully going forward these new rulings will improve the quality of patents approved and upheld in court, which is by far the single most important reform needed in the long run.

But in the meanwhile there are more than 20 years of bad patents that have been granted, and the costs of defending against a patent lawsuit is still far greater than the cost of settling. We need to make it less expensive to challenge existing patents if we don't want them to continue to be a burden for the next 20+ years. That is exactly what the reform bills were about. They were designed to be complementary to the Supreme Court rulings, addressing a different parts of the problem.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.

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