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Comment: Playing into the hands of the patent trolls (Score 5, Insightful) 285

by loren (#39843561) Attached to: Congress Asks Patent Office To Consider Secret Patents

Sounds like they're playing right into the hands of the patent trolls... The whole point seems to be to hope someone accidentally infringes so they can go after them later. I thought the goal of the patent system was to foster innovation. How does this do anything but impede it?

+ - Japanese Researchers Create See-Through Goldfish->

Submitted by ultranerdz
ultranerdz (1718606) writes "South Korean scientists may have created a glowing cat, but Japanese researchers have successfully developed a transparent goldfish.
The clear goldfish allows observers to see the tiny fish's beating heart, which allows scientists to observe living creatures and reduces the numbers of dissections. I wonder when they will start to make transparent humans."

Link to Original Source
Transportation

Bruce Schneier On Airport Security 582

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the he-should-know dept.
the4thdimension writes "Bruce Schneier has an opinion piece on CNN this morning that illustrates his view on airport security. Given that he has several books on security, his opinion carries some weight. In the article, Bruce discusses the rarity of terrorism, the pitfalls of security theater, and the actual difficulty surrounding improving security. What are your thoughts? Do you think that we can actually make air travel (and any other kind of travel, for that matter) truly secure?"

Comment: Re:Defective by Design (Score 5, Interesting) 386

by loren (#30479318) Attached to: DRM Flub Prevented 3D Showings of <em>Avatar</em> In Germany

Some interesting points to think about:

  • You make a film called "The XYZ Picture"
  • Millions of people download "The XYZ Picture" and see it for free without paying you a dime
  • Most of these millions of people wouldn't have paid to see in the first place. Lets say a few thousand that would have paid to see your picture don't because they found it for free yes, this costs you real money
  • Some of these millions decide to see it in theaters for various reasons:
    • it's more fun to go see it in a large groups with their friends
    • The prefer a big theater viewing experience
    • or maybe they just like the over-buttered movie theater popcorn

    and many of these people wouldn't have even known about your movie unless they found it online for free This is money you got from movie piracy that you wouldn't have gotten if it couldn't be downloaded

  • many of these millions tell the friends about it, and they go to the theater to see your movie. again more money you got from free movie piracy as advertising
  • Many of these millions decide that your movie isn't good enough, or worth the time / effort to go see in theaters, but they really liked it or want to see all your behind the scenes stuff, so they decide to buy or rent the movie on DVD when it comes out These are even MORE sales you can attribute to free movie piracy as advertising

And here is the very delicate and sensitive philosophical question

  • Do the few thousand movie tickets you lost in sales to piracy cost you more than...
  • ...the many thousand more tickets you sold because of the free advertising that movie piracy provided?

I honestly think this comes down to those movie makers who make really mediocre films being afraid that they'll loose their shirts to those movie makers that produce quality content that thrives on word of mouth advertising.

What do you think?

Hardware

+ - 10/GUI - Computer Interface Concept->

Submitted by Naznarreb
Naznarreb (1274908) writes "R. Clayton Miller has an extremely impressive GUI concept he's calling 10/GUI. Essentially, it combines the high-bandwidth input possibilities of multi-touch interfaces with the ease and immediacy of a mouse. The video is quite impressive and for me at least, pretty jaw dropping. This is a dramatic re-vision of the current mouse/screen schema, one that I think significant potential."
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First Person Shooters (Games)

Early Killzone 2 Reviews Looking Good 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the console-exclusivity-wars dept.
Reviews are beginning to appear for Guerrilla Games' upcoming first-person shooter, Killzone 2, a PS3 exclusive that has received a great deal of hype over the past several months. The reviews are mostly complimentary, but not overwhelmingly so; Ars Technica says it has "some of the best graphics yet seen on the PS3," and is a "solid take on the war-gaming genre." They also acknowledge that this is the latest game being held up as a standard for how good PS3 games can be, though the PS3 may not need such validation anymore. Edge Magazine is critical of the story, saying, "you could play the levels in random order to little ill-effect," but found the gameplay redeeming enough to warrant a 7/10. Concerns were raised early about the quality of the controls, but Guerrilla Games has affirmed that no changes will be made. Though the game won't be out for about a week yet, rumors of some fairly typical DLC plans are already cropping up. Giant Bomb recorded some video showcasing Killzone 2's multiplayer a while back.
Image

Stabbed Student Shows Up For Job Interview 6 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the forget-the-sick-days dept.
A 16-year-old student went to a job interview instead of the hospital after he was stabbed. The Staff at the King West Vets veterinary clinic noticed blood on the students leg during the co-op placement interview and called police. "He did really well on the interview and we were very proud of him for sticking to the appointment," said veterinarian Kent Ackerman. He wouldn't say if the student will get the job. You know times are tough when showing up after being stabbed doesn't land you the job.
Cellphones

How Mobile Phones Work Behind the Scenes 220

Posted by timothy
from the they-all-suck-to-different-degrees dept.
adamengst writes "We seldom think about how our mobile phones actually work, but in this TidBITS article, Rich Mogull pulls back the covers and peels away the jargon to explain why text messages work when voice calls are dropped, why your battery lasts longer in some places than in others, why you're not allowed to use phones on airplanes, why you can be notified of a voicemail message when your phone never rang, and more."

Comment: They Requested Suggestions (Score 1) 496

by loren (#24907039) Attached to: The Great Zero Challenge Remains Unaccepted

They requested suggestions... so I'm sending them this...

I recently became aware of your challenge, and I think it's a great idea. I applaud your initiative to dispell disinformation. I have to admit that, as it stands, I don't think your challenge will have any takers for three reasons:

        1) Money... While I understand that many people make great contributions to our society for little or no compensation I think, in light of what your asking, your proposed reward is much to meager; and I say that not simply in deference to greed. I realize this is a competition you are financing out of your own pocket, and you have limited ability to fund it, but the feat you are asking may take hundreds of hours of research, understanding and custom analog circuit design, specific to at least that particular model of hard drive, if not the specific revision, or even that PARTICULAR individual item (compensating for the timing and balance characteristics of that particular unit). If this feat *WAS* accomplished it's important to realize that it would have almost no marketable value to owners of other drives. Hundreds of hours of engineering is hardly compensated for by $40, a used hard drive, and a little ego-boo...
There may be some that say that if this can't be done for $100, it's not worth doing. but if the data on the drives was millions of sensitive credit card records, or resellable sensitive medical records of either celebrities (to the paparazzi) or of more mundane consumers (to medical insurance companies), or sensitive goverment secrets, the recovery of data off a single hard drive could easily be worth millions, or in some cases peoples lives.

        2) Specialization... Like I said, as I understand data recovery of OVERWRITTEN data, it's an analog matter of figuring the old values as some percentage of the current data values. This is a very specialized process probably best accomplished by the engineers who created the original drives... furthermore, it's not in THIER employers' best interest to see this myth debunked, as it prevents the market being flooded with cheap retired enterprise-quality hard drives.

        3) Limitations... I am quite convinced that this challenge cannot be accomplished without at least replacing the HD's logic board, as the process requires direct access to the raw analog induction data comming directly off the disk. Also more than 3 days may be required to determine the specific physical characteristics of balance, timing and geometry of the specific unit you are providing. While you waive this stipulation for professional recovery houses, for the common hobbyist you are essentially tying their hands and removing any chance for them to compete. I realize that the internals of a hard drive are very sensitive, I think all participants should be at least allowed to replace the drive's logic board and have a few week shot at the device.

I personally have very little vested interest in this competion. While knowing if this feat can be accomplished, and having the particulars more readily availible, might be beneficial, at least professionally. I have very little circut design experience and can barely immagine designing something myself, much more complex than a toaster. I hope my suggestions will help this challenge become more valuable simply than determining that nobody felt willing to tackel this type of challenge for a C-note and a little noteriety.

I applaud your efforts,

-Loren Osborn
  Software Engineer

User Journal

Journal: A good place to start

Journal by loren
Hmm... I once tried blogging before: Primarily as an exercise to help me get used to writting every day, so I could finally tackle that English 101 course enroute to my BS. That only lasted a few weeks. So here's attempt 2. Same reason, different day. Don't get any ideas that I care if anyone reads my journal. I'm just doing it as a writing exercise.

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