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+ - Formerly Respected Medical Journal Publishes Junk for Profit->

Submitted by geekmansworld
geekmansworld (950281) writes "The Ottawa Citizen reports that "Experimental & Clinical Cardiology", a formerly respected Canadian medical journal that was sold to offshore owners last year, is now printing junk science, provided that authors are willing to pay. What's worse, the junk articles are trading on the (previously) good name of the journal."
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+ - Youth Arrested for "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "In South Carolina a 16-year old boy, Alex Stone, was arrested and charged with creating a disturbance at his school, as well as suspended, for choosing to write: "I killed my neighbor's pet dinosaur. I bought the gun to take care of the business," in response to a class writing assignment. The story has attracted international attention."

+ - Scientists Email Brainwaves for the First Time

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "Researchers have successfully communicated words from one brain to another over the internet.
An international team of researchers was able to use electroencephalography (EEG) to convert the words “hola” and “ciao” from a person's brain waves into binary. That data was transmitted from a subject in India to another subject in France, where the process was successfully reversed. In other words, the researchers say they've created a brain-to-brain communication system."

+ - Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Following up on a recent experiment into the status of software engineers versus managers, Jon Evans writes that the easiest way to find out which companies don't respect their engineers is to figure out which companies simply don't understand them. "Engineers are treated as less-than-equal because we are often viewed as idiot savants. We may speak the magic language of machines, the thinking goes, but we aren't business people, so we aren't qualified to make the most important decisions. ... Whereas in fact any engineer worth her salt will tell you that she makes business decisions daily–albeit on the micro not macro level–because she has to in order to get the job done. Exactly how long should this database field be? And of what datatype? How and where should it be validated? How do we handle all of the edge cases? These are in fact business decisions, and we make them, because we’re at the proverbial coal face, and it would take forever to run every single one of them by the product peopleand sometimes they wouldn’t even understand the technical factors involved. ... It might have made some sense to treat them as separate-but-slightly-inferior when technology was not at the heart of almost every business, but not any more.""
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+ - Why didn't the Universe become a black hole? 5

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "With some 10^90 particles in the observable Universe, even stretched across 92 billion light-years today, the Universe is precariously close to recollapsing. How, then, is it possible that back in the early stages after the Big Bang, when all this matter-and-energy was concentrated within a region of space no bigger than our current Solar System, the Universe didn't collapse down to a black hole? Not only do we have the explanation, but we learn that even if the Universe did recollapse, we wouldn't get a black hole at all!"

+ - Enforcing the GPL

Submitted by lrosen
lrosen (220835) writes "I am responding to the article in Opensource.com by Aaron Williamson, "Lawsuit threatens to break new ground on the GPL and software licensing issues."

I want to acknowledge Aaron's main points: This lawsuit challenges certain assumptions about GPLv2 licensing, and it also emphasizes the effects of patents on the FOSS (and commercial) software ecosystem. I also want to acknowledge that I have been consulted as an expert by the plaintiff in this litigation (Ximpleware vs. Versata, et al.) and so some of what I say below they may also say in court.

Let's be open about the facts here. Ximpleware worked diligently over many years to create certain valuable software. The author posted his source code on SourceForge. He offered the software under GPLv2. He also offered that software under commercial licenses. And he sought and received and provided notice of United States patent claims related to that software.

Unbeknownst to Ximpleware, Versata took that GPLv2 software and incorporated it into Versata products – without disclosing that GPLv2 software or in any other way honoring the terms of the GPLv2 license. The reason Ximpleware became aware of that GPLv2 breach is because some months ago Versata and one of its customers, Ameriprise, became embroiled in their own litigation. The breach of GPLv2 came out during discovery.

Ximpleware has terminated that license as to Versata. This is exactly what the Software Freedom Conservancy and others do when confronted by GPL breaches.

That earlier litigation is between two (or more) commercial companies; it is not a FOSS problem. These are mature, sophisticated, profitable companies that have the wherewithal to protect themselves. I know that in my own law practice, whether I represent software vendors or their commercial customers, we typically provide for some level of indemnification. Perhaps Ameriprise and the other customer-defendants can count on Versata defending them against Ximpleware. Such a commercial dispute between big companies – even if it involves the GPLv2 software of a small company and separate indemnification for copyright or patent infringement – is between them alone.

But as to Ximpleware and its GPLv2 copyrighted and patented software, there are a few misunderstandings reflected in Aaron Williamson's article:

1. The notion of "implied patent licensing" has no clear legal precedent in any software licensing. While it is true that goods that one purchases include a patent license under what is known as the "exhaustion doctrine," there is no exhaustion of patented software when copies are made (even though copying of the software itself is authorized by GPLv2). For example, a typical commercial patent license nowadays might include a royalty for each Android phone manufactured and sold. Companies that distribute Android phones and its FOSS software acquire patent licenses so that recipients of their phones are indeed free to use those phones. But that isn't because of some implied patent licenses that come with Android software, but because commercial companies that distribute phones pay for those patent rights, directly or indirectly. I think it is entirely reasonable to require that commercial companies get their patent licenses in writing.

2. Versata's customers who received the (in breach!) GPLv2 software all moved to dismiss Ximpleware's infringement claims against them, pointing to Section 0 of GPLv2, which says that "[t]he act of running the Program is not restricted." What that sentence actually means is just what it says: The GPLv2 copyright grant itself (which is all there is in GPLv2) does not restrict the act of running the program. Nor could it; that is a true statement because running a program is not one of the enumerated copyright rights subject to a copyright license (17 USC 106). The authors of the GPL licenses have themselves made that argument repeatedly: The use of software is simply not a copyright issue.

3. Because there are U.S. patent claims on this Ximpleware software, Section 7 of GPLv2 prohibits its distribution under that license in the United States (or any jurisdictions where patent claims restrict its use). If Ameriprise and the other defendants were outside the U.S. where the Ximpleware patents don't apply, then GPLv2 would indeed be sufficient for that use. But inside the U.S. those customers are not authorized and they cannot rely on an assumed patent grant in GPLv2. Otherwise GPLv2 Section 7 would be an irrelevant provision. Reread it carefully if you doubt this.

The Versata customers certainly cannot depend on an implied patent license received indirectly through a vendor who was in breach of GPLv2 since the beginning – and still is! Versata ignored and failed to disclose to its own customers Ximpleware's patent notices concerning that GPLv2 software, but those patents are nevertheless infringed.

Should we forgive commercial companies who fail to undertake honest compliance with the GPL? Should we forgive their customers who aren't diligent in acquiring their software from diligent vendors?

As Aaron Williamson suggests, we shouldn't ignore the implications of this case. After all, the creator of Ximpleware software made his source code freely available under GPLv2 and posted clear notices to potential commercial customers of his U.S. patents and of his commercial licensing options. Lots of small (and large!) open source commercial companies do that. Although it is ultimately up to the courts to decide this case, from a FOSS point of view Ximpleware is the good guy here!

There is rich detail about this matter that will come out during litigation. Please don't criticize until you understand all the facts.

Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag (lrosen@rosenlaw.com)"

+ - New Jersey May Shield Drivers From Other States' Red Light, Speed Cameras->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "New Jersey may soon prohibit other states from issuing traffic citations to its residents for alleged violations caught on speed or red-light cameras.

Lawmakers in the Garden State have introduced a bill that would stop New Jersey's Motor Vehicles Commission from providing license-plate numbers or other identifying information to another state or an interstate information network for the purpose of doling out a fine.

"I've been getting loads of complaints from people," state senator Nick Sacco told The Star-Ledger , the state's largest newspaper. "They drive to Virginia to visit relatives. They go through Maryland. They come back home and start receiving tickets in the mail. And they swear that they're not speeding; that they're keeping up with the traffic."

The whole process stinks from a lack of due process. You are guilty until you can prove your innocence and your state will suspend your license without a hearing if you fail to pay out of state traffic fines."

Link to Original Source

+ - Swim Fins Inspired by Humpback Whales Boost Speed, Efficiency->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We've seen airplane wings and turbine blades inspired by whale flippers — and now the biomimicry trend is filtering down to consumer products. Speedo just unveiled a new set of swim fins with channels, holes, and ridges inspired by the flippers of hunchback whales — and they supposedly displace significantly more water than conventional designs."
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+ - Intelligent response to robocall

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A challenge: develop a machine intelligence to respond to robocalls.

Points scored for longest conversation recorded."

+ - "Canvas Fingerprinting" Online Tracking Difficult To Block->

Submitted by globaljustin
globaljustin (574257) writes "First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it.

[The] fingerprints are unusually hard to block: They can’t be prevented by using standard Web browser privacy settings or using anti-tracking tools such as AdBlock Plus.

The researchers found canvas fingerprinting computer code, primarily written by a company called AddThis, on 5 percent of the top 100,000 websites."

Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: How do I deal with a boss that can't Google?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "My new 30-something year old boss, in an administrative position, doesn't know how to use Google. And he's just as incompetent with everything else as you'd imagine of someone who can't Google. Our entire job is on a computer. What do I do?

- Stricken with shock, Australia"

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