I think you are right that trade secrets would not provide much protection against that innovation being used by others if the invention was disclosed. Afterall, a non-patented idea was let out of the bag. However, I believe John could be challenged by a civil lawsuit if he has signed a non-compete agreement. And he's probably got a sizable pile of cash to make that worthwhile.
I wonder if this is actually a challenge under Trade Secret law rather than patent law. Depending upon what John signed as a condition of his employment, he could be in some hot water.
The last thing I read was the comic book, Escape from Prometheus. But not sure if comics/graphic novels count here.
I really didn't have an age group in mind when I wrote my own sci-fi comic but you might consider previewing it at www.escapefromprometheus.com. Comics and graphic novels can serve as a gateway to full chapter books if you have an early or reluctant reader at home. There are also many others on the market your child might enjoy.
Since the announcement of Star Wars: The Old Republic, many gamers have been hopeful that its high budget, respected development team and rich universe will be enough to provide a real challenge to the WoW juggernaut. An opinion piece at 1Up makes the case that BioWare's opportunity to do so may have already passed. Quoting: "While EA and BioWare Austin have the horsepower needed to at least draw even with World of Warcraft though, what we've seen so far has been worryingly conventional — even generic — given the millions being poured into development. Take the opening areas around Tython, which Mike Nelson describes in his most recent preview as being 'rudimentary,' owing to their somewhat generic, grind-driven quest design. Running around killing a set number of 'Flesh Raiders' in a relatively quiet village doesn't seem particularly epic, but that's the route BioWare Austin seems to be taking with the opening areas for the Jedi — what will surely be the most popular classes when The Old Republic is released. ... the real concern, though, is not so much in the quest design as in BioWare Austin's apparent willingness to play follow the leader. Whenever something becomes a big hit — be it a movie, game or book — there's always a mad scramble to replicate the formula; in World of Warcraft's case, that mad scramble has been going for six years now. "
Frank Gibeau, label president for EA Games, recently spoke with Develop about the publisher's long term development strategy. Gibeau thinks developing major games without multiplayer modes is a passing fad: "...it’s not only about multiplayer, it’s about being connected. I firmly believe that the way the products we have are going, they need to be connected online. ... I volunteer you to speak to EA’s studio heads; they’ll tell you the same thing. They’re very comfortable moving the discussion towards how we make connected gameplay – be it co-operative or multiplayer or online services – as opposed to fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you’re out. I think that model is finished. Online is where the innovation and the action [are] at."
An anonymous reader writes "During an in-depth and informative interview, Doom creator and id Software co-founder John Carmack opines on iOS game development, the economics of mobile development vs. console development, why mobile games lend themselves to more risk-taking and greater creativity, and finally, why he's not too keen on the Android Marketplace as a money-making machine. '...I'm honestly still a little scared of the support burden and the effort that it's going to take for our products, which are very graphics-intensive.'"
theodp writes "Patently Apple reports that a new Apple patent application has surfaced describing an application that would record your personal journey through a video game and turn it into a custom comic or iBook when you're done playing. Imagine how thrilled little Billy's Mommy would have been if she only had the chance to read the story of her son's foray into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas or see how he dealt with BioShock's Little Sisters."
An anonymous reader writes "According to OK Cupid's survey of 552,000 user pictures iPhone users have more sexual partners than BlackBerry or Android owners. By age 30, the average male iPhone user has had about 10 partners while female iPhone users have had 12. By contrast, BlackBerry users hover around 8 partners and Android users have a mere 6. As the blog's author's wryly observe: 'Finally, statistical proof that iPhone users aren't just getting f*@ked by Apple.'"
A 12-year-old girl who was being assaulted by her mother's ex-boyfriend used some quick thinking by sending a message on her iPod to a friend's Facebook account for help. The friend was able to contact the girl's mother who then contacted the police. 42-year-old Raymond Ernest Cesmat was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. He is being held at the Dakota County Jail on $175,000 bail.
__roo writes "According to North Korea's official news agency, a drink produced by North Korea's Moranbong Carbonated Fruit Juice Joint Venture Company can cure aging and all disease. 'It, with effects of both preventive and curative treatment, helps improve mental and retentive faculties by multiplying brain cells. It also protects skin from wrinkles and black spots and prevents such geriatric diseases as cerebral hemorrhage, myocardium and brain infarction by removing acid effete matters in time.' It also has no side-effects." Last month North Korea announced its fusion breakthrough, and now it has a super drink. One can only imagine what wonders may come in July — perhaps self-buttering toast.
Attorneys for Dominica Juliano claim that she was burned and developed psychological problems after a store clerk aimed a hand-held price scanner at her face. Store attorneys say their scanners uses a harmless LED light and that the girl had serious health problems before she was scanned. From the article: "Dominica Juliano was 12 when she and her grandmother entered the Country Fair store in Erie in June 2004. A clerk allegedly called the girl 'grumpy' before flashing his hand-held bar code scanner over her face and telling her to smile. Attorneys for Ms. Juliano and her guardian say the girl was sensitive to light and burned, and later developed post-traumatic stress and Tourette's syndrome."
Sasayaki writes "South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson claims, in an interview with Good Game, that gamers were more of a threat to his family than biker gangs. This is the man who has been the biggest opponent to Australia receiving an R18+ rating for video games and who has the power to veto any such law introducing it."
Phaethon360 writes "From Bioshock and Modern Warfare 2 to even Team Fortress 2, RPG elements are creeping into game genres that we never imagined they would. This change for the most part has managed to subtly improve upon genres that needed new life, but there's a cost that hasn't been tallied by the majority of game developers. 'The simple act of removing mod tools, along with the much discussed dedicated server issue, has made [MW2] a bit of a joke among competitive players. Gone are the days of "promod," and the only option you have is to play it their way. If Infinity Ward are so insistent on improving the variety of our experiences, they don’t have to do it at the expense of the experience that many of us already love. It really is that simple. If they don’t want to provide a good "back to basics experience," they could at least continue to provide the tools that allow us to do that for ourselves.'"
An anonymous reader sends in a nostalgic piece about Dungeons & Dragons and the influence it's had on games and gamers for the past 36 years. Quoting: "Maybe there was something in the air during the early '70s. Maybe it was historically inevitable. But it seems way more than convenient coincidence that Gygax and Arneson got their first packet of rules for D&D out the door in 1974, the same year Nolan Bushnell managed to cobble together a little arcade machine called Pong. We've never had fun quite the same way since. Looking back, these two events set today's world of gaming into motion — the Romulus and Remus of modern game civilization. For the rest of forever, we would sit around and argue whether games should let us do more or tell us better stories."