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Patents

Submission + - All 44 Blackboard Patent Claims Invalidated (mfeldstein.com)

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "The US Patent & Trademark Office has invalidated all 44 claims in Blackboard's patent. While this is a non-final action (PDF), which means that Blackboard will be able to appeal, it does represent a win for the Software Freedom Law Center which had requested the reexamination of Blackboard's patent. It is not yet known how this will affect the $3.1M judgment Blackboard won from Desire2Learn. As with so many other patent cases, that lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Texas."
The Internet

Submission + - The Curious Histories of Generic Domain Names (itworld.com)

cheezitmike writes: ITworld.com uses the Wayback Machine to document the histories of five generic domain names: music.com, eat.com, car.com, meat.com, and milk.com. "In this brave new Web 2.0 world, it's almost a badge of honor to have a Web site name that only hints at what the user will find there (see Flickr) or is so opaque as to offer no clue at all as to what the Web site is about (see del.icio.us). It's easy to forget the first Internet gold rush of the mid-to-late '90s, when dot-com domain names based on ordinary (and, investors hoped, marketable) nouns and verbs were snapped up by hopeful companies from the humble geeks who had purchased them (often ironically) in the early '90s."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Video of wild crow tool use caught with tail cams

willatnewscientist writes: "Scientists from the University of Oxford have recorded New Caledonian crows using tools in the wild for first time after attaching tiny cameras to their tail feathers. The wireless cameras weigh just 14 grammes and can be worn by the crows without disturbing their natural behavior. The trick has provided the first direct evidence of the birds' using tools in the wild and may represent an important development in animal behavior studies."
Software

Submission + - Harvard releases disruptive P2P file sharing code (harvard.edu)

Instant_Harvard_Groupie writes: Today Harvard released a program what they hope is a first peek at a new generation of P2P file sharing. Their P2P software demonstrates a 'deft trick'. It turns Internet bandwidth into a global currency.
They explore the generation of P2P beyond Bittorrent tit-fot-tat by creating a leak-free economy. They also fully integrated TOR into their software to demonstrate the fundamental flaws in tit-for-tat incentives. Quite disruptive for Youtube as they integrated video website search and you will never have visit such sites separately anymore. Features: keyword search, Bittorrent downloads, Youtube access, TOR integration, and LGPL. Platforms: Ubuntu, Mac, W95, Vista. May an army of law professors protect them from harm now and in the future because they have some serious P2P research plans..

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