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Government

Feds Admit Stingray Can Disrupt Bystanders' Communications 194

Posted by samzenpus
from the you're-breaking-up dept.
linuxwrangler writes The government has fought hard to keep details about use and effects of the controversial Stingray device secret. But this Wired article points to recently released documents in which the government admits that the device can cause collateral damage to other network users. The controversy has heated to the point that Florida senator Bill Nelson has made statements that such devices will inevitably force lawmakers to come up with new ways to protect privacy — a comment that is remarkable considering that the Stingray is produced by Harris Corporation which is headquartered in Nelson's home state.
Biotech

Xeroxed Gene May Have Paved the Way For Large Human Brain 93

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-at-the-big-brain-on-test-subject-35 dept.
sciencehabit writes Last week, researchers expanded the size of the mouse brain by giving rodents a piece of human DNA. Now another team has topped that feat, pinpointing a human gene that not only grows the mouse brain but also gives it the distinctive folds found in primate brains. The work suggests that scientists are finally beginning to unravel some of the evolutionary steps that boosted the cognitive powers of our species. "This study represents a major milestone in our understanding of the developmental emergence of human uniqueness," says Victor Borrell Franco, a neurobiologist at the Institute of Neurosciences in Alicante, Spain, who was not involved with the work.
Patents

Patent Troll Wins $15.7M From Samsung By Claiming To Own Bluetooth 126

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-invented-the-moon dept.
An anonymous reader writes: A jury has upheld patent claims against Samsung and awarded the patent-holder $15.7 million. "The patents relate to compatibility between different types of modems, and connect to a string of applications going back to 1997. The first version of Bluetooth was invented by Swedish cell phone company Ericsson in 1994." Lawyers for the plaintiff argue that the patents cover all devices that use Bluetooth 2.0 or later, so further cases could extend far beyond Samsung. Of course, the company that won the lawsuit wasn't the one who made the invention, or the one who patented it. The company is Rembrandt IP, "one of the oldest and most successful" patent trolls.
Patents

Algorithmic Patenting 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the monkeys-at-typewriters dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Venturebeat reports on companies using software to "create" patents. They say a company called Cloem will use the software to "linguistically manipulate a seed set of a client's patent claims by, for example, substituting in synonyms or reordering steps in a process, thereby generating tens of thousands of potentially patentable inventions." The article says, "There is reason to believe that at least some of its computer-conceived inventions could be patentable and, indeed, patents have already been granted on inventions designed wholly or in part by software."
Television

Samsung Smart TVs Injected Ads Into Streamed Video 370

Posted by Soulskill
from the reasons-to-vote-your-TV-off-the-island dept.
mpicpp sends this news from CNET: Reports are emerging that Samsung smart TVs have begun inserting short advertisements directly into video streaming apps, with no influence from the third-party app providers. The news comes just days after Samsung made headlines for another incursion into users' lounge rooms, when it was revealed that its TV voice recognition software is capable of capturing personal information and transmitting it to third parties. ... The issue has been reported on the Plex streaming service — a brand of media player that allows users to stream their own video from a personal library or hard drive and push it to a smart TV. Samsung says this was not intentional, and that they've fixed it so the ads should no longer show up.

Comment: Because it's dangerous and breaks redundancy. (Score 1) 1

by drakaan (#48885199) Attached to: Adding disks to RAID 10 array

If you were talking about a spanned volume, I'd understand why you might be frustrated. With RAID, there's a physical relationship between the organization of the blocks of data, and the number and configuration of disks in the set.

If you have 4 disks in a stripe set, then the first 4 blocks of data go to each drive in sequence. The next 4 blocks do the same. Once you're on the billionth block, and you run out of space, you can't just add a new drive into the mix without having to rearrange all but the first 4 blocks.

For RAID levels that include mirroring, doing what you want would be technically possible.

It's certainly possible that someone could write code in the RAID firmware or software to take the mirrored drives out of the array, build a new array using them and 1 of 2 newly-added drives, copy the data from the original stripe set to the new larger one, switch to the new stripe set as the active one, add the second of the 2 newly-added drives to the old stripe set, and rebuild the updated original stripe set via mirroring, but there are more than a few potential disasters waiting to happen in that scenario.

While it might be technically possible to come up with a way to tack a disk on to a RAID 10 array, it would not be safe, and safety is one of the things that the letter R in RAID brings to the table (redundancy). If the process of adding the disks breaks redundancy (which it would have to, while it was happening), then that would be something that most folks would not be looking for as an option.

+ - New Nicotine Vaccine May Succeed Where Others Have Failed->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "If you're a smoker who's trying to quit, you may recall hearing about vaccines designed to cause the body's immune system to treat nicotine like a foreign invader, producing antibodies that trap and remove it before it's able to reach receptors in the brain. It's a fascinating idea, but according to scientists at California's Scripps Research Institute, a recent high-profile attempt had a major flaw. They claim to have overcome that problem, and are now developing a vaccine of their own that they believe should be more effective."
Link to Original Source
User Journal

Journal: Well, crap... 8

Journal by mcgrew

Patty emailed me and solved the "why isn't anybody buying the Amazon ebook" question -- according to her, it's nearly impossible. She says they won't take a credit or debit card, you have to either have an Amazon gift card or that Amazon Prime crap.

So I don't know what to do. I'd just pull it and put it on the site for free like the other two books, but that would hardly be fair to the two people who jumped through Amazon's hoops.

Suggestions are very welcome.

Comment: Re:There's nothing wrong now... (Score 1) 489

by drakaan (#48855563) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

If you're saying Windows XP was a decent OS because the UI was consistent, then you will never understand why I'm saying that Windows XP was horrible. It was a kludgy, buggy, security-hole-riddled skinned refresh of Windows 2000 (most of those changes they thankfully left out of Windows Server 2003).

Windows Vista was a decent comeback with it's own personality problems, and Windows 7 fixed most of the perceived issues. Windows 8/8.1 has metro/modern silliness, but it works very well, is less crash-prone than Win7, which was less crash-prone than Win2K (no need to mention windows XP in that list), and has pretty good performance, as well.

Your points about how XP was a good OS are points I find generally unimportant to the way in which I judge operating systems, although I understand why they might be important to you.

Comment: Re:There's nothing wrong now... (Score 1) 489

by drakaan (#48851387) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?
The UI and being used to it or not is something that time can change. The suckiness of certain aspects of how the OS works (or doesn't) day in and day out is what I'm talking about when I say win2k was nice, win 7 better, and win 8.1 an improvement on that (with winxp being the biggest dud of those 4). Vista wasn't even all that bad, except for some mistakes MS made related to UAC. I spent 6 months thinking about whether to build a new PC with win7 or win8, and decided on win8. Kids didn't have trouble. I didn't have trouble. Wife didn't have trouble. Upgraded the in-laws and they even get along fine with win8. If the UI differences bug you enough for it to be a deal-breaker, then I can understand your disagreement, but they give me no trouble at all.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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