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Google Pledges Not To Sue Any Open Source Projects Using Their Patents 153

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the now-and-forever dept.
sfcrazy writes "Google has announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. In the pledge Google says that they will not sue any user, distributor, or developer of Open Source software on specified patents, unless first attacked. Under this pledge, Google is starting off with 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google. Google says that over time they intend to expand the set of Google's patents covered by the pledge to other technologies." This is in addition to the Open Invention Network, and their general work toward reforming the patent system. The patents covered in the OPN will be free to use in Free/Open Source software for the life of the patent, even if Google should transfer ownership to another party. Read the text of the pledge. It appears that interaction with non-copyleft licenses (MIT/BSD/Apache) is a bit weird: if you create a non-free fork it appears you are no longer covered under the pledge.
News

+ - SPAM: Second Earth Found? Location Is Promising

Submitted by
ourscompany
ourscompany writes "NASA announced a major milestone in the quest for life in the universe Monday: The discovery of another planet close enough to the sun it orbits to potentially support life.
Called Kepler-22b, the planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth and about 600 light-years away. And it orbits in the “habitable zone,” the region of space just far enough from a star that liquid water could exist on the planet’s surface — a discovery could have profound implications in the quest for alien life, said Alan Boss, an astrophysicist with Carnegie Melon University."

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Businesses

+ - Ready for your payroll software update?->

Submitted by SEWilco
SEWilco (27983) writes "A federal payroll tax reduction for two months is being pushed by the President. Paying less money to the government seems good, but if the law is changed it will change the payroll taxes in January and February. Here in Slashdot many of us can well imagine what that will do to the many payroll systems which are already programmed with the 2012 tax rates."
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Cellphones

+ - There are now more cell phones in the U.S. than pe->

Submitted by zacharye
zacharye (2330148) writes "For the first time, the number of wireless devices connecting to cellular networks in the United States and its territories over the past six months has surpassed the country’s total population. A semi-annual survey conducted by the CTIA found that wireless subscriber connections now total 327.6 million while the population of the U.S. and its territories is now 315.5 million people. This means the wireless penetration rate in the U.S. in now 103.9% according to the CTIA, marking the first time that wireless penetration has surpassed 100% in the U.S..."
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Hardware

+ - Punchcards to iPads: The history of input devices->

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "As we glide our fingers over the screens of our smartphones and tablets, or chatter to our computer instead of typing at it, it is easy to forget how far input devices have evolved since the first automated computing devices were introduced just over a century ago. After all, from the invention of the printing press in 1440 until the innovation of the paperback, and more recently the e-book, reading changed very little. From punchcards to Palm Graffiti to iPads, and whole lot more in between, ExtremeTech has compiled a history of every significant computer input device that is sure to bring back memories."
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Communications

WikiLeaks Publishes Cable Archive In Full 296

Posted by Soulskill
from the letting-it-all-hang-out dept.
We recently discussed news that WikiLeaks had complained of a password leak which threatened the encryption of unredacted documents contained in the Cablegate archive. Now, reader solanum writes with this update: "According to the Guardian, 'WikiLeaks has published its full archive of 251,000 secret US diplomatic cables, without redactions, potentially exposing thousands of individuals named in the documents to detention, harm or putting their lives in danger. The move has been strongly condemned by the five previous media partners – the Guardian, New York Times, El Pais, Der Spiegel and Le Monde – who have worked with WikiLeaks publishing carefully selected and redacted documents.' In the same article The Guardian gives further explanation of the controversy reported earlier, suggesting that Assange went against standard protocol in providing the master password to the newspaper."

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