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+ - Vizio, Destroyer of Patent Trolls->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: We read about a lot of patent troll cases. Some are successful and some are not, but many such cases are decided before ever going to court. It's how the patent troll operates — they know exactly how high the litigation costs are, so even without a legal leg to stand on, they can ask for settlements that make better financial sense for the target to accept, rather than dumping just as much money into attorney's fees for an uncertain outcome. Fortunately, some companies fight back. TV-maker Vizio is one of these, and they've successfully defended against 16 different patent trolls, some with multiple claims. In addition, they're going on the offensive, trying to wrest legal fees from the plaintiffs for their spurious claims. "For the first time, it stands a real chance, in a case where it spent more than $1 million to win. Two recent Supreme Court decisions make it easier for victorious defendants to collect fees in patent cases. The TV maker is up against a storied patent plaintiffs' firm, Chicago-based Niro, Haller & Niro, that has fought for Oplus tooth and nail. ... For Vizio, the company feels that it's on the verge of getting vindication for a long-standing policy of not backing down to patent trolls."
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+ - Security Companies Accused Of Exaggerating Iran's Cyberthreats Against The U.S.->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A widely-read report accusing Iran of hundreds of thousands of cyberattacks against the U.S. is being criticized as hugely inaccurate as well as motivated by marketing and politics, according to a new whitepaper and critics around the security industry. The original report, solicited by a conservative think tank and published by Norse in the lead up to the RSA Security Conference, hit the front page of the New York Times by calling handshakes and network scans "sophisticated cyberattacks."
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+ - Hubble finds something astronomers can't explain

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted the explosion of a star that does not fit into any theory for stellar evolution.

The exploding star, which was seen in the constellation Eridanus, faded over two weeks — much too rapidly to qualify as a supernova. The outburst was also about ten times fainter than most supernovae, explosions that destroy some or all of a star. But it was about 100 times brighter than an ordinary nova, which is a type of surface explosion that leaves a star intact. "The combination of properties is puzzling," says Mario Livio, an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. "I thought about a number of possibilities, but each of them fails" to account for all characteristics of the outburst, he adds.

We can put this discovery on the bottom of a very long list of similar discoveries by Hubble, which this week is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its launch.

+ - NASA teams scientific experts to find life on exoplanets->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie writes: As the amount of newly discovers planets and systems outside our solar systems grows, NASA is assembling a virtual team of scientific experts to search for signs of life. The program, Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) will cull the collective expertise from each of NASA’s science communities including Earth, Planetary, Heliophysicists, Astrophysicists and key universities to better analyze all manner of exoplanets, as well as how the planet stars and neighbor planets interact to support life, the space agency stated.
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+ - Chimpanzees now have (some) human rights->

Submitted by ugen
ugen writes: According to a New York judge, two chimpanzees now have a right that until Monday was reserved for humans. issued the writs on behalf of Hercules and Leo, the Stony Brook chimps. It’s the first time habeas corpus, historically used to free slaves and people wrongly imprisoned, has ever been extended to a species other than Homo sapiens.
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+ - One-Way Streets Have Higher Accidents Rates, Higher Crime, Lower Property Values

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Emily Badger writes in the Washington Post that a study shows that one-way streets are bad for everyone but speeding cars with an analysis done on the entire city of Louisville, comparing Census tracts with multi-lane one-way streets to those without them. The basic pattern holds city-wide: They found that the risk of a crash is twice as high for people riding through neighborhoods with one-way streets. What is more interesting though is that crime is higher and property values are lower in census tracts with one way streets..

First, they took advantage of a kind of natural experiment: In 2011, Louisville converted two one-way streets near downtown, each a little more than a mile long, back to two-way traffic. In data that they gathered over the following three years, Gilderbloom and William Riggs found that traffic collisions dropped steeply — by 36 percent on one street and 60 percent on the other — after the conversion, even as the number of cars traveling these roads increased. Crime dropped too, by about a quarter, as crime in the rest of the city was rising. Property values rose, as did business revenue and pedestrian traffic, relative to before the change and to a pair of nearby comparison streets. The city, as a result, now stands to collect higher property tax revenues along these streets, and to spend less sending first-responders to accidents there.

Some of the findings are obvious: Traffic tends to move faster on a wide one-way road than on a comparable two-way city street, and slower traffic means fewer accidents. What's more interesting is that crime flourishes on neglected high-speed, one-way, getaway roads and that two-way streets may be less conducive to certain crimes because they bring slower traffic and, as a result, more cyclists and pedestrians, that also creates more "eyes on the street" — which, again, deters crime. "What we’re doing when we put one-way streets there is we’re over-engineering automobility," says William Riggs, "at the expense of people who want a more livable environment."

+ - Why the journey to IPv6 is still the road less traveled->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg writes: The writing’s on the wall about the short supply of IPv4 addresses, and IPv6 has been around since 1999. Then why does the new protocol still make up just a fraction of the Internet? Though IPv6 is finished technology that works, rolling it out may be either a simple process or a complicated and risky one, depending on what role you play on the Internet. And the rewards for doing so aren’t always obvious. For one thing, making your site or service available via IPv6 only helps the relatively small number of users who are already set up with the protocol, creating a nagging chicken-and-egg problem.
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+ - Automakers to gearheads: Stop repairing cars->

Submitted by Mr_Blank
Mr_Blank writes: Automakers are supporting provisions in copyright law that could prohibit home mechanics and car enthusiasts from repairing and modifying their own vehicles. In comments filed with a federal agency that will determine whether tinkering with a car constitutes a copyright violation, OEMs and their main lobbying organization say cars have become too complex and dangerous for consumers and third parties to handle. The dispute arises from a section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that no one thought could apply to vehicles when it was signed into law in 1998. But now, in an era where cars are rolling computing platforms, the U.S. Copyright Office is examining whether provisions of the law that protect intellectual property should prohibit people from modifying and tuning their cars.
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+ - FBI can't cut Internet and pose as cable guy to search property->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Harrah for some common sense:
A federal judge issued a stern rebuke Friday to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's method for breaking up an illegal online betting ring. The Las Vegas court frowned on the FBI's ruse of disconnecting Internet access to $25,000-per-night villas at Caesar's Palace Hotel and Casino. FBI agents posed as the cable guy and secretly searched the premises.

The government claimed the search was legal because the suspects invited the agents into the room to fix the Internet. US District Judge Andrew P. Gordon wasn't buying it. He ruled that if the government could get away with such tactics like those they used to nab gambling kingpin Paul Phua and some of his associates, then the government would have carte blanche power to search just about any property.

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+ - Oklahoma says it will now use nitrogen gas as its backup method of execution->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Yesterday, Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin signed into law a bill that approves the use of nitrogen gas for executions in the state. The method, which would effectively asphyxiate death row inmates by forcing them to breathe pure nitrogen through a gas mask, is meant to be the primary alternative to lethal injection, the Washington Post reports.

Fallin and other supporters of the procedure say it's pain-free and effective, noting that the nitrogen would render inmates unconscious within ten seconds and kill them in minutes. It's also cheap: state representatives say the method only requires a nitrogen tank and a gas mask, but financial analysts say its impossible to give precise figures, the Post reports.

Oklahoma's primary execution method is still lethal injection, but the state's procedure is currently under review by the Supreme Court. Earlier this week, Tennessee suspended executions statewide following challenges to its own lethal injection protocol.

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+ - Twitter moves non-US accounts to Ireland away from the NSA-> 1

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: Twitter has updated its privacy policy, creating a two-lane service that treats US and non-US users differently. If you live in the US, your account is controlled by San Francisco-based Twitter Inc, but if you're elsewhere in the world (anywhere else) it's handled by Twitter International Company in Dublin, Ireland. The changes also affect Periscope.

What's the significance of this? Twitter Inc is governed by US law, it is obliged to comply with NSA-driven court requests for data. Data stored in Ireland is not subject to the same obligation. Twitter is not alone in using Dublin as a base for non-US operations; Facebook is another company that has adopted the same tactic. The move could also have implications for how advertising is handled in the future.

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+ - GNU Hurd 0.6 Released->

Submitted by jrepin
jrepin writes: It has been roughly a year and a half since the last release of the GNU Hurd operating system, so it may be of interest to some readers that GNU Hurd 0.6 has been released along with GNU Mach 1.5 (the microkernel that Hurd runs on) and GNU MIG 1.5 (the Mach Interface Generator, which generates code to handle remote procedure calls). New features include procfs and random translators; cleanups and stylistic fixes, some of which came from static analysis; message dispatching improvements; integer hashing performance improvements; a split of the init server into a startup server and an init program based on System V init; and more.
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+ - Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser #2->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan writes: Published on Apr 16, 2015
Get your first look at the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser #2!

Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as “Star Wars” returns to the big screen with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Episode VII in the Star Wars Saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters December 18, 2015.

Official Site: http://www.starwars.com/thefor...

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