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Submission + - Patent Issued Covering Phone Notifications of Delivery Time and Invoice Quantity (

eldavojohn writes: The staggering ingenuity of the US Patent system has again been showcased by the EFF's analysis of recent patents. This week's patent and follow up patent cover the futuristic innovative idea that when you order something, you can update your order and add additional amounts to your order while it's being processed. But wait, it gets even more innovative! You may one day be able to even to notify when you would like it delivered — ON YOUR PHONE. I know, you're busy wiping all that brain matter off your screen as your head seems to have exploded. Well, it turns out that inventor and patent holder Scott Horstemeyer (aka Eclipse IP, LLC of Delray Beach, FL) found no shortage of targets to go after with his new patents. It appears Tiger Fitness (and every other online retailer) was sending notices to customers about shipments. Did I mention Professional waste-of-space Horstemeyer is a lawyer too? But not just a regular lawyer, a "SUPER lawyer" from the same firm that patented social networking in 2007, sued Uber for using location finding technologies in 2013 and sued as well as a small time shoe seller for using shipping notifications in 2014.

Submission + - Android's Alarming Worldwide 2012 3Q Numbers ( 2

eldavojohn writes: Gartner's released a report on Worldwide numbers of 2012 3Q phone sales and the staggering results posted from Android have caused people like IW's Eric Zeman to call for sanity. Keep in mind these are worldwide numbers which might be less surprising when you realize that the biggest growth market of them all is China who is more than 90% Android. It's time to face the facts and realize that Android now owns 73% of the worldwide smartphone market. While developers bicker over which platform is best for development and earnings, the people of the world may be making the choice based on just how inexpensive an Android smartphone can be. This same time last year, Gartner reported Android at 52.5% of market share and it now sits at 72.4% market share with over 122 million units sold worldwide. Only Q4 reports will tell if Android's momentum will finally begin to slow to save some chance of competition in the smartphone ecosystem or if the Quickening will be complete.

Submission + - China Begins Stockpiling Rare Earths, Draws WTO Attention (

eldavojohn writes: A report by China Securities Journal claims that that China is now stockpiling rare earths although it has not indicated when this stockpiling started. Many WTO members have complained about China's tightening restrictions on exports of rare earths while China maintains that such restrictions are an attempt to clean up its environmental problems. A WTO special conference scheduled for July 10th will hopefully decide if China's restrictions are unfair trade practices or if the US, the EU and Japan are merely upset that they can't export their pollution and receive rare earths at low prices. Last year, China granted its mining companies the right to export 30,200 tonnes but in actuality only 18,600 tonnes were shipped out of country.

Submission + - Vermont Bans Fracking (

eldavojohn writes: Vermont is the first state to ban fracking (hydraulic fracturing), a process that was to revolutionize the United States' position into a major producer of natural gas. New York currently has a moratorium on fracking but it is not yet a statewide ban. Video of the signing indicates the concern over drinking water as the motivation for Vermont's measures (PDF draft of legislation). Slashdot has frequently encountered news debating the safety of such practices.

Submission + - Florian Mueller Outs Himself as Oracle Employee (

eldavojohn writes: So you're commenting on your highly visible blog about patent case after patent case that deal with corporations battling over open source stuff, what does it matter if you're taking money from one and not the other? If you don't see any ethical problems with that, you might be Florian Mueller. Groklaw's PJ (who has been suspicious of Florian's ties to other giants like Microsoft for quite sometime) has noticed that Florian Mueller has decided to go full disclosure and admit that all his commentary on the Oracle v Google case might be tainted by his employment by Oracle. It seems he's got a bunch of consulting money coming his way from Oracle but I'm sure that won't undermine any of his assessments like Android licenses violate the GPL or that Oracle will win $6 billion from Google and Google was "at risk" of not settling despite the outcome that the charges later dropped to a small fraction of the $6 billion. Like so many other times, PJ's hunch was right.

Submission + - Dysfunction in Modern Science? (

eldavojohn writes: The editors of Infection and Immunity are sending a warning signal about modern science. Two editorials (1 and 2) published in the journal have given other biomedical researchers pause to ask if modern science is dysfunctional. Readers familiar with the state of academia may not be surprised but the claims have been presented today to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that level the following allegations: "Incentives have evolved over the decades to encourage some behaviors that are detrimental to good science" and "The surest ticket to getting a grant or job is getting published in a high profile journal, this is an unhealthy belief that can lead a scientist to engage in sensationalism and sometimes even dishonest behavior to salvage their career." The data to back up such slanderous claims? "In the past decade the number of retraction notices for scientific journals has increased more than 10-fold while the number of journals articles published has only increased by 44%." At least a few of such retractions have been covered here.

Submission + - Facebook Buys 750 IBM Patents (

eldavojohn writes: Considering IBM's portfolio gained 6,180 last year alone, it's not a huge number. But after a dispute with Yahoo a couple weeks ago, Facebook has purchased 750 patents from IBM. That's over thirteen times the 56 they were reportedly holding. The humorous rumor is that Yahoo might have been licensing these patents from IBM. If you can't beat 'em, buy the patents they're licensing from another company. Another rumor is that Facebook might just be getting started in their bid to expand their patent portfolio. No word yet on if the purchased patents directly pertain to Yahoo's infringement claims on messaging, privacy controls, advertising, customisation and social networking.

Submission + - Twisted Metal Designer Rails Against Storytelling Games ( 2

eldavojohn writes: Twisted Metal designer David Jaffe gave a DICE Summit presentation in which he argued against "games that have been intentionally made from the ground up with the intent and purpose of telling a story or expressing a philosophy or giving a designer's narrative." He went on to say essentially that it's a waste of time and resources when the focus should be on game-play, not story. While some parts of his presentation are warmly welcomed by the gaming community (like his instructions for game execs to get a bullshit filter), this particular point has some unsurprising opponents. His argument against a "cinematic narrative" was probably strongest with his comparison to the movie Saving Private Ryan where Spielberg made the Normandy Beach invasion scene as close to a documentary as possible. The audience could sit back and appreciate that. But if you made a game where the player is in that position of the soldier then that historically accurate imagery and top shelf voice acting doesn't really matter, the only thing the player should be thinking is "How the fuck do I get to that rock? How do I get to the exit?" Is Jaffe right? Have game makers been "seduced by the power and language of film" at the expense of game-play?

Submission + - Foxconn's iPad2 Design Leakers Sentenced (

eldavojohn writes: Almost two months ago three individuals were charged with selling the designs of Apple's latest tablet to Maita Electronics for 200,000 yuan (about $30,857.60 USD). They have now been sentenced in Shenzhen City: 'Xiao Chengsong, the legal agent of Maita Electronics, to 18 months in prison and fined him 150,000 yuan ($23,000) for buying the design from two Foxconn workers ... Foxconn employee Lin Kecheng, was sentenced to 14 months and fined 100,000 yuan, while another worker identified as Hou Pengna was given a two-year sentence suspended for one year and fined 30,000 yuan. All three were convicted of the crime of violating commercial secrets.'

Submission + - The End of American Industrial Research (

eldavojohn writes: In his latest blog post, Dev Gualtieri recalls a time when US industrial research and publishing papers was part of his professional life. Aside from the plug for the book Science Mart and its get-off-my-lawn-edness, Gualtieri cites his own personal anecdote on the decline of US industrial research. Companies like Bell used to employ the minds of people like Shannon and Turing while producing groundbreaking papers and researching new technologies. The blog notes that its easier for today's company to justify investing large amounts of cash in legal fees and lawyers than white papers and researchers. The accusation is that today's "Marketplace for Ideas" actually is just making us stupider (by outsourcing research) as opposed to many claims that it is inherently efficient. The commercialization of scientific research as a commodity starting in the 1980s has left our country inept and lazy on the global market as companies simply buy out the small guys who come up with original ideas or litigate them into oblivion instead of doing their own research and development. Gualtieri's sentiments echo Andrew Odlyzko in 1995 who conducted research in the once prestigious Bell and AT&T Labs. Is industrial research all but dead in the United States? Has anyone here been recently published in a journal after doing research in their company's environment?

Submission + - Apple May Have Bought 200+ Patents from Freescale (

eldavojohn writes: By way of Patently O with a bit of context at Ars, news is spreading of Apple's acquisition of over two hundred of Freescale's patents and patent applications. To clarify from the article, 'To be clear, the assignment records available only indicate that Apple received an “assignment of assignors interest.” Thus, it is unclear from the information now available whether (1) Apple obtained full title to the patents and (2) whether Apple purchased the rights or obtained them through some other type of transaction. However, a cash purchase is likely because Apple has a large multi-billion-dollar cash surplus while Freescale has a large multi-billion-dollar debt that has come due. The patents were previously mortgaged and a release of the security interest has not yet been recorded.' Is it possible that a large exchange of cash has occurred betwixt the two? Keep in mind that Apple has a lot of arrows going to and from it in the smartphone lawsuit quagmire that erupted in March of 2010.

Submission + - Fable Developer: Used Game Sales Worse Than Piracy (

eldavojohn writes: Lionhead, the developer of Fable III, told Eurogamer that used games are worse than piracy. Mike West, the lead combat designer for the latest Fable said, 'For us it's probably a no-lose even with piracy as it is. But, as I say, second-hand sales cost us more in the long-run than piracy these days.' So downloading a game is bad but apparently stopping by a second hand store to pick up a licensed physical copy of the game ends up hurting them even more.

Submission + - Square Enix to Report $148 Million Loss for FY2010 (

eldavojohn writes: It's no secret that Final Fantasy XIV took a lot of heat early on which required extensive damage control. And the Japanese tsunami (which appears to have added $7.5 million to their losses) certainly didn't help but if what early investor reports are saying is true then Square Enix is expected to report $148 million in losses for the closing fiscal year. Expect title cancellations (which might add to the hurt) and a very painful realization for the owner of Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior (PDF warning). Perhaps a move to rereleasing classics will prove more fruitful than high development cost MMORPGs?

Submission + - Google Announces One Pass Payment System (

eldavojohn writes: Riding the tail of Apple's 30% announcement, Google's Eric Schmidt has announced One Pass, a new method for users to pay for content. The BBC is reporting that Google is taking a 10% cut. One Pass will work on Google sites and on phones and tablets as the announcement notes: 'Readers who purchase from a One Pass publisher can access their content on tablets, smartphones and websites using a single sign-on with an email and password. Importantly, the service helps publishers authenticate existing subscribers so that readers don't have to re-subscribe in order to access their content on new devices.' This is to be handled through Google Checkout.

Submission + - Google to Merge Honeycomb and Gingerbread (

eldavojohn writes: In Barcelona, Google's Eric Schmidt has been revealing future plans for Google saying that the next release will merge smartphone and tablet versions of it's mobile operating system Android. Aside from bragging about Android's growth, Schmidt tiptoed around a question of Google acquiring Twitter instead offering the very nebulous statement that Youtube doubled its revenues last year.

"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings. The expectations are always high, and the results usually disappointing." -- Robert Orben