Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Patents

+ - Inventor essentially patents USB logos->

Submitted by cosmicaug
cosmicaug (150534) writes "

Although the various embodiments of configuration aids in accordance with the present invention were described with reference to geometrical shapes and colored surfaces those skilled in the art will appreciate that numerous other embodiments are also possible For example the configuration aid may comprise any lettering numbering symbol or the like that allows a user to distinguish between the first and second sides of an electronic connector Furthermore the configuration aid may be marked on the cormector with any suitable marking means such as by printing painting dying inscription adhesive or the like.

Gosh, I wonder if one could use a USB logo for this? Too bad the USB specification doesn't tell you where to put it. Oh wait, it actually does (see section 6.5.1 of the USB 2.0 specification or simply consult the FAQ)!

This joker wants three and a half million dollars for the right to mark one side of a polarized connector differently than the other. He actually uses the USB connector as a case study and example in both patents. That is, the very same specification of what he is using as an example in both of these patents specifies the prior art which should have properly invalidated these patents: it requires putting the USB logo on the top side and not on the underside. Both patents, US 8,142,220 & US 20,110,165,792, seem to be referring to the same concept (I assume there must be some legal reason for this).

I can only assume that the patent examiner(s) never used a USB connector and could not be bothered to do a few Google searches."

Link to Original Source

Cellphones

+ - Obama's Justice Department seeks expansion of surveillance->

Submitted by
ericjones12398
ericjones12398 writes "The Obama administration was elected on a promise of "hope and change." One area where the Obama administration has not differed much from its predecessor is on the subject of surveillance. Lawyers for the administration argued Tuesday that the American public has no expectation of privacy when it comes to mobile-phone location data."
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - How to boil water without bubbles->

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "One trick to test whether a frying pan is hot enough is to sprinkle water on it. If the surface is sufficiently above the boiling point of water, droplets will skip across the pan. Those jittery beads of water are held up from the hot pan by a cushion of steam. The vapour cushion collapses as the surface falls below the 'Leidenfrost temperature', causing furious bubbling and spitting when the water droplet hits the surface and boils explosively.
The Leidenfrost effect lies behind the discovery, published today, that water can be made to boil without any bubbling if a surface is specially treated so that the vapour cushion does not break down. The key is to make the surface very water-repellent (abstract). The effect might be used to carefully control how metals are cooled and heated, or to reduce drag on ships. There's a video in the source showing the effect."

Link to Original Source
Social Networks

+ - Update on Journalist Arrested By Interpol For Tweet->

Submitted by cosmicaug
cosmicaug (150534) writes "For all practical purposes, he’s dead. Islam is going to be demanding a blood sacrifice on this one. The international attention is going to turn this into a loss of face for the clerics if it goes any other way.

Sadly, the most likely outcome is that they are going to execute this man for three tweets."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:and where is exactly the problem? (Score 4, Informative) 915

by cosmicaug (#39007757) Attached to: Journalist Arrested By Interpol For Tweet

True as that may be, what the hell was Interpol doing passing on the arrest note? Don't they at least bother to look at what it's actually for?

http://www.interpol.int/content/download/9429/69209/version/5/file/ConstitutionGeneralRegulations.pdf

Like the article says, it's against Interpol rules to be involved in something like this.

Article 3
It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political,
military, religious or racial character.

The proper thing would be to not extradite him. What will actually happen is he well be extradited because of (pre-election) politics and he stands a reasonably high chance of being executed.

Comment: Re:Did it "confirm" it was caused by man? (Score 5, Informative) 967

by cosmicaug (#37791134) Attached to: Global Warming 'Confirmed' By Independent Study

It was probably caused by man.

By measuring temperatures in dumb-ass places, the BBC link in the article sums it up nicely with a picture of a weather station next to an airplane, and you could argue that jet exhaust and black tarmacs are natural, but you can't argue that jet exhaust and black tarmacs are representative for the earth surface in average.

Actually, the heat island effect was one of the things that this study was meant to address. The climate skeptic's contentions on this are basically threefold:
- Urban heat islands exist and they are warmer than they otherwise would be if urbanization had not happened (I don't think anyone disputes this).
- Urban heat islands exaggerate warming trends.
- Unlike TV weathermen, climate scientists are too stupid to realize that urban heat island effects could affect their data and too stupid to correct the data for it (even though it is quite likely that clever TV weathermen probably read about this effect in the climate science literature in the first place).

What this group has found on the matter, to their great surprise, is that not only doesn't the urban heat island effect not exaggerate warming trends, it actually dampens them a little bit. In other words, if you are not accounting for the urban heat island effect it makes the hockey stick less steep, rather than more steep.

Which is no great surprise to me because others have already looked at this due to the stink Anthony Watts was raising and found the same thing (though I would guess Watts probably doesn't talk about that too much).

Comment: Re:thanks Princeton! (Score 1) 101

by cosmicaug (#37601182) Attached to: For Academic Publishing, Princeton Goes Open Access By Default

Researchers are pretty good about sharing their work through alternative channels. Most researchers will host PDFs of their work on their department web page. If not, email them and ask. I've never had a request for a PDF denied after contacting the author.

I've had a researcher send me an encrypted PDF which I thought was a pretty weird thing to do. It was weak encryption so no biggie. Still, pretty odd.

Comment: Re:erroneous conclusions (Score 2) 458

by cosmicaug (#37573682) Attached to: Canadian Ice Shelves Halve In Six Years

"These observations should dispel in one fell swoop any notion that recent global warming could be natural."

Really? Because climate has never, ever, not even once, shifted quickly?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

Note the huge uptick in average temperature starting roughly 11.5k years BP. I'm pretty sure the foot-powered cars the Flintstones drove didn't warm the earth, so this must've been a natural event. Saying that it's impossible for current temperature trends to be unnatural flies in the face of something that has already happened once, almost within recorded history; not to mention all the times when it happened outside of recorded history.

This is why some people, like myself, do not take climate alarmists seriously. They make these grandiose pronouncements that have little, if anything, to do with the facts.

That's not a very reassuring comparison if you want to calm down the alarmists. You know what else happened at a time when, despite what you are suggesting, temperature change was slower than what we seem to be getting now, at ~11.5k years BP? Yup, that's right, a mass extinction.

Comment: Re:Amazing (Score 1) 458

by cosmicaug (#37573598) Attached to: Canadian Ice Shelves Halve In Six Years

Scientists have been fairly unanimous in predicting warming since the mid 1970's, and so far they've been right.

No, sorry, I remember the 70's and global cooling was all the rage then. Search 'global cooling 1970s'. Global Warming has been since the 90's.

Science popularizer, Isaac Asimov, never got the memo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6tSYRY90PA

Comment: Re:Bad phrasing (Score 3, Insightful) 458

by cosmicaug (#37571588) Attached to: Canadian Ice Shelves Halve In Six Years

'The real significance of this, in my view, is that this ice has reportedly been there for thousands of years. The same is true of glaciers that have recently disappeared in the Andes. These observations should dispel in one fell swoop any notion that recent global warming could be natural.'"

How's that saying go, past performance is no guarantee of future results. The Andes used to be under water for thousands of years; the continents used to all be one big land mass. If we lived back then I'm sure we'd be hearing about Anthropogenic Tectonic Drift.

Assuming this is not some pathetic attempt at humor which I am pathetically entirely missing, do you even have any idea of the timescales involved here or are you one of those 'the earth is 10000 years old' folk?

Comment: Re:Why would that dispel anything? (Score 3, Informative) 458

by cosmicaug (#37571436) Attached to: Canadian Ice Shelves Halve In Six Years

Since you have no record of how fast ice shelves may have vanished in the past due to natural warming, it seems suspect to claim that this certainly proves the current rate of dissipation is due to unnatural warming...

Says who? At the very least, someone seems to have the idea that these particular ice masses have been around for thousands of years.

Yes there is warming, but it appears our activities are unrelated.

But then what would he know? He's only the chair of a climatology department...

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/08/murray_salby_and_conservation.php

Comment: Re:Ahead of it's time? (Score 1) 81

by cosmicaug (#35024426) Attached to: Kinect's Grandaddy Running On an Apple IIe In 1978

Still, it's impressive that he was doing this on a IIe 5 years before they were released.

Google is your friend. Runs on a PDP-8L computer. Ported to Apple in 1983.

See http://www.experimentaltvcenter.org/history/people/bio.php3?id=208

So yeah, another misleading Slashdot story. Nothing to see here. Move along!

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle

Working...