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Comment: Re:USA Patents: First to file, not first to invent (Score 1) 249

by johnm1019 (#34342842) Attached to: Coder Accuses IBM of Patenting His Work

Remember that US patents are given to the first to file for a patent and not the first to invent, as can be demonstrated by the US patent for the incandescent lightbulb: http://www.coolquiz.com/trivia/explain/docs/edison.asp or the telephone: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention_of_the_telephone

Of course, the first one shows that the US patent office can issue a patent for something already patented elsewhere in the world.

This is blatantly WRONG. Unlike most of the world, the US is a first to INVENT system. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_to_file_and_first_to_invent http://inventors.about.com/od/firsttoinvent/First_to_Invent_Rule.htm and I could keep going with google results 3, 4, and 5.

Transportation

Trojan-Infected Computer Linked To 2008 Spanair Crash 324

Posted by Soulskill
from the blue-screen-of-literal-death dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Two years ago, Spanair flight JK-5022 crashed shortly after takeoff in Madrid, killing 154 of its 172 passengers and crew. El Pais online newspaper reports that the ground computer responsible for triggering an alarm after three failures are reported in a plane failed to do so. The computer was infected with trojans (Google translation of Spanish original)."
Earth

Nuclear Power Could See a Revival 415

Posted by kdawson
from the comforting-bremsstrahlung-glow dept.
shmG writes "As the US moves to reduce dependence on oil, the nuclear industry is looking to expand, with new designs making their way through the regulatory process. No less than three new configurations for nuclear power are being considered for licensing by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The first of them could be generating power in Georgia by 2016."
Earth

Spray-On Liquid Glass 293

Posted by kdawson
from the smooth-move dept.
bLanark writes with news of a new substance that can be sprayed on for a durable, easy-to-clean film on almost any substance, hard or soft. The liquid glass is essentially pure silicon dioxide, and it goes on in a layer 15 to 30 atoms thick. It is breathable and flexible, but waterproof and resistant to bacterial growth. The patent is held by a German company, Nanopool, which is in discussion with many parties about a wide range of uses: keeping public spaces sanitary, keeping restaurants clean, and keeping cars or trains clean. "The spray forms a water-resistant layer, meaning it can be cleaned using only water. Trials by food-processing companies showed that sterile surfaces covered with a film of liquid glass were equally clean after a rinse with hot water as after their usual treatment with strong bleach."

Comment: Re:Another reason not to fly via Heathrow (Score 1) 821

by johnm1019 (#30996228) Attached to: "No Scan, No Fly" At Heathrow and Manchester

I largely agree with you, a fear of nakedness can never be an excuse for less security.

Why not? Why should the handful of people who set up security measures be allowed to tell everyone else what a sufficient level of decency & dignity is for them? Being able to tell someone when they're allowed to be dressed or not is extremely personal, and more-or-less the last hurdle to cover before you as-good-as own them.

I really don't see why you think you have all these rights when flying. People just keep forgetting that flying is not a right. Nope, not guaranteed anywhere. It's not that we are giving a few people the power to see anyone naked at any time. These people are going to be looking at naked people ALL DAY. What a _horrible_ job, no? John/Jane Q Public, naked, all day?!? Not only will they be massively desensitized, and probably would encourage the average slashdotter to move through the machine more quickly than not --- the least we can do is deprive them a 30 second grin when a nice body walks through. After all, they are the ones charged with keeping us safe -- whether you like it or not.

PlayStation (Games)

PS3 Hacked? 296

Posted by Soulskill
from the another-one-bites-the-dust dept.
Several readers have sent word that George Hotz (a.k.a. geohot), the hacker best known for unlocking Apple's iPhone, says he has now hacked the PlayStation 3. From his blog post: "I have read/write access to the entire system memory, and HV level access to the processor. In other words, I have hacked the PS3. The rest is just software. And reversing. I have a lot of reversing ahead of me, as I now have dumps of LV0 and LV1. I've also dumped the NAND without removing it or a modchip. 3 years, 2 months, 11 days...that's a pretty secure system. ... As far as the exploit goes, I'm not revealing it yet. The theory isn't really patchable, but they can make implementations much harder. Also, for obvious reasons I can't post dumps. I'm hoping to find the decryption keys and post them, but they may be embedded in hardware. Hopefully keys are setup like the iPhone's KBAG."
The Internet

Geocities Shutting Down Today 396

Posted by kdawson
from the goodbye-and-thanks-for-all-the-blinkies dept.
Paolo DF writes "Geocities is closing today. Its advent in 1995 was a sign of the rising 'Internet for everyone' era, when connection speeds were 1,000x or 2,000x slower than is common today. You may love it or hate it, but millions of people had their first contact with a Web presence right here. I know that Geocities is something that most Slashdotters will see as a n00b thing — the Internet was fine before Geocities — but nevertheless I think that some credit is due. Heck, there's even a modified xkcd homepage to mark the occasion." Reader commodore64_love notes a few more tributes around the Web. Last spring we discussed Yahoo's announcment that Geocities would be going away.
Education

New Bill Proposes Open Source Requirement for Publicly Funded Books 317

Posted by timothy
from the return-to-the-commonwealth dept.
fsufitch writes "On September 30th, the 'Open College Textbook Act of 2009' was introduced to the Senate and referred to committee. The bill proposes that all educational materials published or produced using federal funds need to be published under open licenses. The reasoning behind it takes into account the changing way information is distributed because of the Internet, the high price of college and textbooks, and the dangerously low college graduation rates in the US. Will a bill such as this endanger publishing companies in the same way Internet journalism endangers traditional journalism?"
Censorship

US Tests System To Evade Foreign Web Censorship 219

Posted by timothy
from the worthy-objective dept.
D1gital_Prob3 excerpts from a Reuters story that says "The US government is covertly testing technology in China and Iran that lets residents break through screens set up by their governments to limit access to news on the Internet. The 'feed over email' (FOE) system delivers news, podcasts and data via technology that evades web-screening protocols of restrictive regimes, said Ken Berman, head of IT at the US government's Broadcasting Board of Governors, which is testing the system. The news feeds are sent through email accounts including those operated by Google, Microsoft's Hotmail, and Yahoo. 'We have people testing it in China and Iran,' said Berman, whose agency runs Voice of America. He provided few details on the new system, which is in the early stages of testing. He said some secrecy was important to avoid detection by the two governments."
Space

Inflatable Tower Could Climb To the Edge of Space 296

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the out-of-breath dept.
MonkeyClicker writes with mention of a proposal that could see an inflatable tower helping to carry people to the edge of space without the need for rocket propulsion. This would function in place of previous space elevator designs which featured a large cable and could be completed much faster, if proponents of the project are to be believed. "To stay upright and withstand winds, full-scale structures would require gyroscopes and active stabilization systems in each module. The team modeled a 15-kilometer tower made up of 100 modules, each one 150 meters tall and 230 meters in diameter, built from inflatable tubes 2 meters across. Quine estimates it would weigh about 800,000 tonnes when pressurized — around twice the weight of the world's largest supertanker."
Input Devices

Microsoft Debuts Full-Body Controller-less Gaming At E3 242

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the just-don't-throw-yourself-through-the-tv dept.
quintin3265 writes "At today's Electronic Entertainment Expo press briefing, Microsoft unveiled Project Natal, a technology that eliminates the controller from gaming on the Xbox 360. In one demo, a player used her arms and legs to hit balls in an attempt to destroy a brick wall, and in another game, an employee threw virtual "paint" on a canvas to create a painting, even drawing an elephant using a silhouette feature. An accompanying video also demonstrated automatic login using facial recognition, videoconferencing with other Xbox Live members, and participating in a gameshow against another family through the Internet using speech recognition."
Medicine

How Common Is Scientific Misconduct? 253

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-steal-plutonium-from-terrorists dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The image of scientists as objective seekers of truth is periodically jeopardized by the discovery of a major scientific fraud. Recent scandals like Hwang Woo-Suk's fake stem-cell lines or Jan Hendrik Schön's duplicated graphs showed how easy it can be for a scientist to publish fabricated data in the most prestigious journals. Daniele Fanelli has an interesting paper on PLoS ONE where she performs a meta-analysis synthesizing previous surveys to determine the frequency with which scientists fabricate and falsify data, or commit other forms of scientific misconduct. A pooled, weighted average of 1.97% of scientists admitted to having fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once — a serious form of misconduct by any standard — and up to 33.7% admitted other questionable research practices. In surveys asking about the behavior of colleagues, admission rates were 14.12% for falsification, and up to 72% for other questionable research practices. Misconduct was reported more frequently by medical/pharmacological researchers than others. 'Considering that these surveys ask sensitive questions and have other limitations, it appears likely that this is a conservative estimate of the true prevalence of scientific misconduct,' writes Fanelli. 'It is likely that, if on average 2% of scientists admit to have falsified research at least once and up to 34% admit other questionable research practices, the actual frequencies of misconduct could be higher than this.'"
The Internet

Canada's Conference Board Found Plagiarizing Copyright Report 232

Posted by timothy
from the no-no-we-got-it-from-the-internet dept.
An anonymous reader writes "There is a storm brewing in Canada as the prestigious Conference Board of Canada has been caught plagiarizing US copyright lobby group documents in a report on copyright reform. The report was funded by the Canadian copyright lobby as well as by the Ontario government. The Conference Board has acknowledged some errors, but stands by the report, while the Ontario government admits spending thousands of dollars and it now wants some answers."

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