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Sci-Fi

New Dune Movie Confirmed 482

Posted by kdawson
from the mouse-shadow dept.
bowman9991 writes "Peter Berg will be directing a new big-budget Dune movie from Paramount. SFFMedia reports that 'although there were some doubts that they were going to get it,' the producers have secured the rights to the Dune novel from Frank Herbert's estate and are looking for writers to provide a screenplay that is true to the original text. Can't wait!"
United States

USPTO Peer Review Process To Begin Soon 116

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-like-every-einstein's-dream-come-true dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As we've discussed several times before on Slashdot, the US patent office is looking to employ a Wiki-like process for reviewing patents. It's nowhere near as open as Wikipedia, but there are still numerous comparisons drawn to the well-known project in this Washington Post story. Patent office officials site the huge workload their case officers must deal with in order to handle the modern cycle of product development. Last year some 332,000 applications were handled by only 4,000 employees. 'The tremendous workload has often left examiners with little time to conduct thorough reviews, according to sympathetic critics. Under the pilot project, some companies submitting patent applications will agree to have them reviewed via the Internet. The list of volunteers already contains some of the most prominent names in computing, including Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, as well as IBM, though other applicants are welcome.'"
Patents

Ballmer Says Linux "Infringes Our Intellectual Property" 820

Posted by Zonk
from the oh-it-is-so-on-now dept.
Stony Stevenson writes "In comments confirming the open-source community's suspicions, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Thursday declared his belief that the Linux operating system infringes on Microsoft's intellectual property." From the ComputerWorld article: "In a question-and-answer session after his keynote speech at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference in Seattle, Ballmer said Microsoft was motivated to sign a deal with SUSE Linux distributor Novell earlier this month because Linux 'uses our intellectual property' and Microsoft wanted to 'get the appropriate economic return for our shareholders from our innovation.'" His exact wording is available at the Seattle Intelligencer, which has a transcript of the interview. Groklaw had an article up Wednesday giving some perspective on the Novell/Microsoft deal. Guess we'll have something to talk about in 2007, huh?

Children Arrested, DNA Tested for Playing in a Tree? 957

Posted by Cliff
from the children-shouldn't-need-to-be-scared-this-straight dept.
skelator2821 wrote in with another account of a police action gone way overboard. From the article: "To the 12-year-old friends planning to build themselves a den, the cherry tree seemed an inviting source of material. But the afternoon adventure turned into a frightening ordeal for Sam Cannon, Amy Higgins and Katy Smith after they climbed into the 20ft tree - then found themselves hauled into a police station and locked into cells for up to two hours." skelator2821's basic question in all of this: "What is this World coming to? Do you think they went to far?" Well? Do you?

More PDF Blackout Follies 309

Posted by timothy
from the it's-even-secret-what-they-want-secret dept.
georgewilliamherbert writes "The latest installment of "As the PDF Blackouts Turn" hit today, with a U.S. government apparently releasing a redacted version of their court filing in the Balco grand jury leak case which merely stuck a black line over the text, which remains available in the document. As with prior documents, entering text cut/paste mode in a normal PDF browser such as Acrobat allows a reader to access the concealed text. Previous incidents include an AT&T filing in the NSA case." This works with Xpdf and KPDF, too; for KPDF, use the selection tool (under the Tools menu) around the redacted section, copy to clipboard, then paste into the text-manipulator of your choice.

Why Vista Release Date Really Slipped 562

Posted by samzenpus
from the better-excuses dept.
anzev writes "A team manager for Windows for 5 years has decided to write a blog-essay about what caused Windows Vista project to miss the due date. Philip tells us in the blog, that Windows developers are writing an average of 5000 lines of code (which is *only* 1200 lines less than the national average of 6200 lines of code per year). He addresses issues like the Vista code being too complicated, the processes the developers have to follow too complex and a lot more. All in all it gives a nice insight into why Vista will be late, from a different perspective. Oh, and Slashdot gets mentioned too ;-)."

Giant Ocean Vortex Discovered 141

Posted by timothy
from the holy-overstatement-batman dept.
Darkman, Walkin Dude writes "Dubbed a "death trap" by a team of scientists from The University of Western Australia Murdoch University, CSIRO and three American, French and Spanish research institutions, a 200km in diameter and 1000m deep ocean vortex has been discovered off the Rottnest Canyon. Visible from space, scientists claim is has the potential to affect the local climate and the climate further abroad, the vortex is acting as a "death trap" by sucking in fish larvae from closer to the shore."

Future of Video Games Outside the Home, DisneyQuest 103

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the taking-your-quarters dept.
gatzke writes "Some interesting developments have been coming online with new technology being developed that may lead to new and exciting gaming outside the home. DisneyQuest in Orlando mixes classic / modern video games with virtual reality and interactive games. MagiQuest in Myrtle Beach is an immersive interactive treasure hunt environment with a simple wand interface."

Can Ordinary PC Users Ditch Windows for Linux? 1483

Posted by Zonk
from the do-or-do-not-there-is-no-try dept.
Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Mark Golden, a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, tried to switch from Windows to Linux, and found it too complex for his liking. He writes: 'For me, though, using the Linux systems didn't make sense. I often send documents and spreadsheets between my home PC and the one at work, which uses Microsoft Office. And the files are sometimes complex. Meanwhile, for both personal and professional computer use, I want access to all multimedia functions. While solutions may exist to almost every problem I encountered, I was willing to invest only a limited amount of time as a system administrator. Claims by some Linux publishers that anybody can easily switch to Linux from Windows seem totally oversold.'"

T-Mobile Releases New Card, Outlaws VoIP and IM 266

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the because-we-said-so dept.
An anonymous reader writes "T-Mobile has launched a new 3G data card in the UK, and banned users from using it for VoIP or instant messaging applications." From the article: "Lock cast doubt on the sustainable viability of a mobile operator banning VoIP from its network. 'I think that eventually, if there's customer demand for this, it will happen," Lock said. "Other organizations will come along allowing VoIP. Who do you think is going to win?'"

The Real Inventor of Wireless Email? 106

Posted by Zonk
from the i-invented-the-hippo dept.
theodp writes "The NY Times reports on Geoff Goodfellow, possibly the real inventor of wireless e-mail, who says NTP was concerned that his earlier work might undermine its patent claims and went to some lengths to ensure that it did not, including gagging Goodfellow during the RIM lawsuit. Not only did high-school dropout Goodfellow - who hung out as a teen in the lab of Doug Englebart - describe wireless e-Mail in 1982, he implemented it in the early 1990's."

Useful Apps for First-Time Windows Users? 980

Posted by Cliff
from the stuff-your-desktop-shouldn't-do-without dept.
pauljoyce asks: "I'm a Mac fan who is intrigued by the possibilities of Apple's Boot Camp software. Now that I have a chance to painlessly dip into the Windows world, what I'd like to ask you is, what Windows software amazes you? I want to build a list of unique, elegant, can't-do-without apps, so all us new Boot-Camp babies can finally experience some of the great innovation happening over on the Windows platform. I roughed in a quick blogpage to collect the info, and to house any useful discussions. It'll probably deteriorate into a flame war at some point, but hopefully I can get a few contributions to each category before then. Would those interested please chime in with their list of favorites?"

Computer Science as a Major and as a Career 578

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the people-too-worried-about-everything dept.
An anonymous reader writes "IBM DeveloperWorks is running an interesting Q&A with Director of IBM's Academic Initiative, Gina Poole. In the article she talks specifically about taking computer science as a major and ultimately as a career. From the article: 'There are a couple of reasons [for the decline in science and engineering degrees]: one is a myth, believed by parents, students, and high school guidance counselors, that computer science and engineering jobs are all being outsourced to China and India. This is not true. The percentage of the total number of jobs in this space is quite small -- less than 5%. According to a government study, the voluntary attrition in the U.S. has outpaced the number of outsourced jobs to emerging nations. Further, for every job outsourced from the U.S., nine new jobs are actually created in the U.S.'"

Slashdot Design Changes for Wider Appeal 854

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the omg-i-heart-ponies-lol dept.
Our marketing department has done extensive research over the last 3 quarters and discovered that our audience is strangely disproportionately skewed towards males. Like, 98.3% males to be precise. To correct this oversight, we have decided to subtly tweak Slashdot's design and content to widen our appeal to these less active demographics. Don't worry! We'll still continue to serve our core audience, but we hope you'll work with us as we try to find a balance that will work for all.

"Life is a garment we continuously alter, but which never seems to fit." -- David McCord

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