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Patents

Submission + - Eolas to sue Apple, Google and 23 more->

vinodis writes: Company that won $585M from Microsoft sues Apple, Google

The company that won a patent case against Microsoft in 2003 is now using the same patent to go after 23 other companies, including Apple and Google. The USPTO has upheld the patent several times now, so the case may not be as cut and dry as some other patent complaints.

Link to Original Source
Internet Explorer

Microsoft Rushes Internet Explorer Patch 376 376

drquoz writes "Last week, it was reported that a critical security flaw was found in Internet Explorer. On Tuesday, experts were advising users not to use IE until a patch could be released. On Wednesday, Microsoft released the patch. An interesting quote from the article: 'Kandek suggests that Microsoft is at a disadvantage in updating Internet Explorer because its browser doesn't have a built-in update mechanism like other browser makers. Mozilla, for instance, just released Firefox 3.05 to Firefox users through its auto-update system.'"
Windows

British Royal Navy Submarines Now Run Windows 725 725

meist3r writes "On his Government blog, Microsoft's Ian McKenzie announced today that the Royal Navy was ahead of schedule for switching their nuclear submarines to a customized Microsoft Windows solution dubbed 'Submarine Command System Next Generation (SMCS NG)' which apparently consists of Windows 2000 network servers and XP workstations. In the article, it is claimed that this decision will save UK taxpayers £22m over the next ten years. The installation of the new system apparently took just 18 days on the HMS Vigilant. According to the BAE Systems press release from 2005, the overall cost of the rollout was £24.5m for all eleven nuclear submarines of the Vanguard, Trafalgar and Swiftsure classes. Talk about staying with the sinking ship."
Education

What Restrictions Should Student Laptops Have? 1117 1117

An anonymous reader writes "We're a school district in the beginning phases of a laptop program which has the eventual goal of putting a Macbook in the hands of every student from 6th to 12th grade. The students will essentially own the computers, are expected to take them home every night, and will be able to purchase the laptops for a nominal fee upon graduation. Here's the dilemma — how much freedom do you give to students? The state mandates web filtering on all machines. However, there is some flexibility on exactly what should be filtered. Are things like Facebook and Myspace a legitimate use of a school computer? What about games, forums, or blogs, all of which could be educational, distracting or obscene? We also have the ability to monitor any machine remotely, lock the machine down at certain hours, prevent the installation of any software by the user, and prevent the use of iChat. How far do we take this? While on one hand we need to avoid legal problems and irresponsible behavior, there's a danger of going so far to minimize liability that we make the tool nearly useless. Equally concerning is the message sent to the students. Will a perceived lack of trust cripple the effectiveness of the program?"

Comment Re:And a toddler wanders into your field of fire. (Score 1) 785 785

Is it ethical to kill the toddler?

One might argue that if you're picnicking in a war zone, you get what you deserve. Once the robot kills the toddler, I'm sure it will be forced to kill the irate parents that attack it. At that point, the robot might have preemptively done the toddler a favor by a) keeping it from being an orphan and b) not making it watch its parent's deaths.

All kidding aside, I'd like to presume that if we can build airport scanners so that TSA agents can look at naked people, we can make these robots determine whether to kill an intruder based not just on their presence, but on whether they pose a threat.

Power

Submission + - Inventor Makes Oil From Recycled Waste

cybermage writes: "An inventor by the name of Frank Pringle has invented a machine that uses microwaves to extract oil from recycled waste. If this sounds like fantasy, think again. He's moved past development and into to production for commercial orders. The machine produces nearly 18 times the energy it requires to run."
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Terry Pratchett has early onset Alzheimer's

JaJ_D writes: According to Paul Kidby's website, Terry Pratchet has been diagonsed with early onset Alzheimer's.

From the site:

would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news. I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, which lay behind this year's phantom "stroke".

Jaj
United States

Journal Journal: Republicans Seek Cancer Research / alter electoral college

As part of a signature drive by Republicans seeking to fund cancer research, they are also collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to alter California's electoral votes in their favor. People are being asked to sign a petition for cancer research and are being handed the petition for the electoral scheme. See the video

User Journal

Journal Journal: How Far Should Water Recycling Go?

In much of the western U.S., water demand vastly outstrips supply. Some municipalities are moving toward a greater use of recycled waste water as a means to stretch supply. It sounds good in theory, but how far should it go?

I'm prompted to consider the issue by a story reported in The Record, a paper in California's San Jaquin valley.

United States

Journal Journal: Understanding The Writers Strike

Unless you live under a rock, you already know that the Writers Guild of America is on strike -- a move aimed at crippling the Motion Picture and Television industries. Since many major news outlets are controlled by the same organizations the writers are striking against, it is not surprising that people are not hearing the pittance for which the writers are asking. What follows is a selection of videos to explain the issue.

First, a simple explanation of the issues:

"It might help if we ran the MBA's out of Washington." -- Admiral Grace Hopper

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