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Linux

Submission + - Supreme Court of Mauritius: GPL Have No Copyright ->

An anonymous reader writes: Somebody, under oath is stating at the Supreme Court of Mauritius, that GPL-Licensed software (which the Linux kernel definitely is), has no copyright restrictions. From the published document — Licenses of open-source software like "Linux" and "Asterisk" have no copyright restrictions which in effect puts no restrictions on their use or distribution. As a consequence, any work which is derived from the open source software as conceptualized, created, installed and managed, by the Applicant becomes the ownership of the Applicant.
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Space

Submission + - Newly Discovered Quasar Defies Age of Universe->

jjp9999 writes: The brightest and most distant quasar ever discovered is giving astronomers a window to space 12.9 billion years old. The findings were published in the June 30 issue of the Journal Nature. Joshua Philipp wrote in his blog, TechZwn, that "the age of the quasar poses some difficult questions" as its intense light helped researchers conclude the black hole at its center has the mass of two billion suns. Matching its age and size with the Big Bang theory, however, the quasar is similar to “finding a 6-foot-tall child in kindergarten,” as noted by astrophysicist Marta Volonteri, in Science News. The European Southern Observatory (ESO), which found the quasar, wrote on its website “This very high mass is hard to explain so early on after the Big Bang."
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Programming

Submission + - The Most Dangerous Programming Mistakes->

snydeq writes: "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister discusses the most dangerous programming mistakes, and what can be done to avoid them. 'Even more than input validation errors, this year's top 25 list is rife with application security blunders of all kinds. Some of them sound fairly esoteric, such as "inclusion of functionality from untrusted control sphere." But of all such errors, the highest-ranking one on the list is "missing authentication for critical function" — in other words, the attacker was able to gain access because there was no lock on the door to begin with,' McAllister writes. 'With the pace of Internet attacks accelerating, now is not the time to cut QA staff or skimp on testing and code review.'"
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Space

Submission + - Bizarre expanding light halo seen by Hawaii webcam->

The Bad Astronomer writes: "A webcam mounted at the CFHT observatory in Hawaii caught a strange, expanding halo of light on the night of June 22. Announced on the Starship Asterisk forum, readers quickly honed in on the likely culprit: the terminal charge from the third stage of a Minuteman III missile. Very similar to the Norway Spiral of 2009, and scientific sleuthing at its best!"
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Science

Submission + - A Beetle With Screws for Legs-> 2

sciencehabit writes: Researchers have discovered the joint of a beetle leg that turns inward and outward like a screw. The legs of the beetle, which belong to a species known as the Papuan weevil, have circular threads covering 410 degrees—more than one full rotation around the leg. The inside of the joint has corresponding threads. Muscles control how much the leg can turn on the screw threads. They suggest that the unique features of the joint, which they've now pinpointed in multiple species of weevil, give the beetle extra flexibility when feeding on twigs and foliage, and extra stability when it's in a resting position. It's much harder, they say, to dislocate a screw than a round-ball-and-socket joint.
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Software

Submission + - NYC mayor demands $600M refund on software project->

alphadogg writes: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is demanding that systems integrator Science Applications International Corporation reimburse more than $600 million it was paid in connection with the troubled CityTime software project, a long-running effort to overhaul the city's payroll system. "The City relied on the integrity of SAIC as one of the nation's leading technology application companies to execute the CityTime project within a reasonable amount of time and within budget given the system's size and complexity," Bloomberg wrote in a letter Wednesday to SAIC CEO Walter Havenstein. CityTime was launched in 2003 at a budget of $63 million, but costs swelled dramatically as the project stumbled along for nearly a decade.
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The Internet

Submission + - 40GB of data that costs the same as a house-> 1

Barence writes: "PC Pro has an infographic that reveals the extortionate cost of roaming data. They compared the cost of data typically bundled with a fixed-line broadband package (40GB) costing £15, with the cost of buying that data on various mobile tariffs. Buying 40GB of data on a domestic mobile internet tariff from Orange would cost the same as an iMac; buying the same quantity of data on O2's non-Europe roaming tariff would cost £240,000 — or the same as a three-bedroom house."
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Crime

Submission + - Bill would make streaming movies online a felony-> 1

GovTechGuy writes: The Senate Judiciary Committee reported a bill from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that would make it a felony to illegally stream movies online. S. 978 would punish 10 or more instances of streaming copyrighted works for commercial purposes over a 180-day period with up to five years in prison. Cracking down on online piracy and illegal streaming has broad support from both parties and the White House.
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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft caught with hand in cookie jar-> 1

dlane writes: "Representatives of the NZ Open Source Society have successfully opposed a Microsoft software patent application related to XML use in representing productivity data. This was a very broad patent, found subject to prior art: i.e. a very low quality patent that shouldn't have been submitted much less granted. As it was, it took the NZOSS members and their legal team 8 years to get MS to abandon the application.

This isn't the first time they've tried this: another bad application (http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/F68C4D35A4AE5DD5CC257038000F4A24) was submitted to NZ's patent office although it had been disallowed in other jurisdictions (including US) due to prior art. NZOSS representatives challenged the application and were able to force MS to change the wording to the point where it was no longer seen as a threat to developers.

Whenever Microsoft claims support for "improved quality patents" realise that what they mean is "other people's patents". Feel free to highlight their hypocrisy."

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Comment I was at the event (Score 2, Interesting) 165

There are some points that were brought up in the meeting that I thought were pretty important. Someone correct me if I'm mistaken on any points, IANAL or too politically savvy. Many of the people who had seen pieces of the draft kept coming back to several points:

- Some speculated that this has more to do with future trade agreements with countries NOT involved in ACTA talks than those in it.The idea was that this would be used to strong arm developing countries into agreeing to the terms to enter into future trade agreements with any ACTA countries in the future.

- Patents are also in ACTA, and could potentially impact international trade of pharmaceuticals. Many public health organizations such as Doctors Without Borders are worried about the impact on getting generic drugs to 3rd world countries.

- While this supposedly won't change any US laws, it will impact future court decisions on infringement cases, which will in effect change the law by setting precedence.

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