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

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.

Submission + - Opera Mini 6 now on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (

tincat7788 writes: Opera has recently unveiled their new Mini 6 web browser for the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch. The Opera Mini 6 have been available on Android and BlackBerry devices since March, but at least it is now available for Apple fans.

Submission + - Are socially shared photos free? (

schnell writes: "Stefanie Gordon took a now-famous photo of Space Shuttle Endeavour out the window of her airplane seat and tweeted it to friends. By the time she was leaving the airport, she was barraged with media requests. The photo has been viewed nearly one million times on hundreds of websites, but Stephanie was paid for the photo by only five news organizations. Stephanie doesn't feel slighted, but a professional news photographer would have been paid many times what Stephanie received. In today's climate, are amateur photos shared on Twitter or Facebook basically free for all websites to use? Is re-tweeting or re-sharing automatically fair use?"
User Journal

Journal Journal: My Slashdot design wishlist 2


[11/05/10] Password remembrance and in-page comment scroll search fixed. Thanks Slashdot!

[10/03/2011] It prompts to remember password if I log in via - fine. Searching comments seems fixed now: collapsed comments scroll while the expand link stays fixed.

[15/02/2011] Nothing new to report, just posting to show these items annoy me every time I log in
[28/01/2011] Added a bug list: When it breaks or hampers site experience


Submission + - Twitter Appears to Censor Wikileaks-Related Trends (

Sheep writes: This past week I found it weird that none of the words #wikileaks, #cablegate, #cables, #Assange, etc. were actually "trending" on Twitter. Today, my fears of some secret censorship going on, are slowly coming true. It appears that Twitter is censoring all these keywords, essentially trying to minimize the effect Wikileaks can have on the world through Twitter's democratized popularization of information. It's ironic that last year Twitter suspended their own scheduled server maintenance in order to not interrupt its users from tweeting on Iran's revolution, and now it appears to censor, and manipulate public opinion as it sees fit!

Submission + - Is wine ready for prime time? (

linhares writes: "Wine is now on v.1.0rc2. From what is available at their application database page, most effort is conducted in games; but wouldn't it be more appealing, from the perspective of ordinary computer users (and hardware providers), if it were concentrating on the most used windows applications (besides office and Adobe)? The 1.0 release will eventually trigger massive attention to Linux, with the obvious, perhaps naive, mentions that it now "runs windows". I wonder whether /. users think it is ready for prime time, and whether that kind of attention might eventually backlash?"

Journal Journal: Autistic Child Forced Out of Kindergarten By "Popular Vote"

Just when you thought Florida could be trusted to elect ANYTHING again, a Kindergarten Teacher in Port St. Lucie has had a 5-year old child in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome voted out of the class after ordering every other student to tell the boy what they hate about him while he stood up at the front of the class. Since the vote, the child has not returned to the sc

Submission + - Toshiba Builds Household Nuclear Reactor (

sterlingda writes: "Toshiba has developed a new class of nuclear reactor 100 times smaller than a standard reactor. These micro sized nuclear reactors could be used to power large houses, apartment blocks or some city blocks. The new 200 kilowatt reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat. The new micro reactor uses no control rods to initiate the reaction, but uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons. The whole whole process is self sustaining and can last for up to 40 years, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy. Toshiba expects to install the first reactor in Japan in 2008 and to begin marketing the new system in Europe and America in 2009."

Submission + - XP SP3 White paper released 1

duggi writes: "XP SP3 has been released. Would you like to upgrade? Note that Microsoft is not rubbing its users on their heads with IE7 by not including it in this pack.If they want to make XP more secure, and IE7 is more secure, why are they not pushing it?"

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