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Comment Re:What? (Score 2) 28

Option b) is imaging just the light from the planet (which we can't currently do).

It looks like option c) is imaging the combined light from the star and planet, but using the doppler shifting of the planet's light as it rotates around the star to work out the planet's contribution.


Submission + - Australia's Telstra tracking mobile Internet use (

jcl-xen0n writes: "Australia's largest telco, Telstra, has been accused of tracking the Internet use of its Next G mobile phone users and sending their internet history to a company in the United States.
Telstra says it is collecting the information for use in a new internet filter product which will be opt-in, but the current data gathering is apparently not.
One of the telco's customers discovered that when he visited a website using his Next G network in Australia, a server in the United States would visit the same address almost instantly."

Comment Re:Wait wait wait wait... (Score 2) 159

Sigh. Independent claim 7 doesn't even have a geometry processor. Filed in 2011, so it's not like it was a good idea from way back.

It's hard to see how this differs from one of their own cited prior arts patent, US7518615, which contains, for example:

> 1. A computer system, comprising: a processor for performing geometric calculations on a plurality of vertices of a primitive; a rasterization
> circuit coupled to the processor that rasterizes the primitive according to a scan conversion process which operates using a floating point
> format; and a frame buffer coupled to the rasterization circuit for storing a plurality of color values in the floating point format.

Comment Re:Disheartened Developer (Score 2) 46

I think it's probably not that bad. All software out there infringes on multiple patents.

The vast majority will never see a lawsuit for various reasons:

- The invention is not obvious (especially with software patents)
- You're not a big enough target to make it worthwhile
- The patent is only used for cross-licensing / intimidation purposes
- The patent holder would be too embarrassed to sue over a patent they shouldn't have been granted in the first place (I'd like to think this happens)

Comment Re:Idea: If patent changes hands, becomes public (Score 2) 46

There's probably a bunch of interesting ways that [software] patents could be modified to make them work better. For example,

1. Patents can only be sold by individuals. If a company owns a patent, it can only be transferred to another company if the company is bought out.

2. Once a patent has been granted you have 18 months [say] to come up with a concrete implementation and sell N units. Otherwise it lapses into the public domain.

3. You cannot sue for infringement of a patent unless you have a concrete implementation and sell N units. If people infringe, you can sue them once you've got your product out there.

4. An annual company tax on patents. The more you have, the more you pay. Tax collected goes into improving the patent system.

There are probably issues with all of the above. I haven't thought them through :-)

Unfortunately, as long as the companies that abuse the system and the government don't want change, it's not going to happen. That's why I'd also like to see some large company get smashed by another. It might make people sit up and take notice.

Comment Re:I'm happy with VirtuaWin + two extensions (Score 5, Informative) 359

I'll second the recommendation for VirtuaWin. I have a Linux background, and VirtualWin lets me set things up just as well as desktops under Fedora/KDE. Features that I like include:

- ability to define your own hotkeys to swap between desktops (I like ctrl+left/right arrow)
- ability to move windows between desktops
- ability to control window behaviour (e.g. make calendar pop-ups appear on all screens and on top)
- a nice minimalist indicator in the taskbar showing which desktop is active

Windows tends to only "see" the applications on the active desktop which is sometimes good and sometimes not. Occasionally certain applications won't recognise keyboard input when you switch to another desktop, but you can click on another application and then back to make it work. Maybe this bug has been fixed n a newer version.

Comment Re:It's not cosmic. It's from the die/package (Score 1) 277

People don't realize that lead is mildly radioactive, and the decay from solders on the connectors or chassis can also cause bit flips. Very old processed lead, such as that used for the roofs of some European cathedrals, has been used to build supercomputers since more of the radioactivity has decayed.

I'm unclear as how this "processing" of the lead has reduced its natural radiaoctivity...

"Think about how stupid the average person is. Now, realise that half of them are dumber than that." - George Carlin

OK, I guess you win!

You are in a maze of UUCP connections, all alike.