silentbrad writes "Kotaku reports some 'details' about Sony's next console given to them by a 'reliable source.' They say that the console's codename is Orbis, and it is planned for release by the 2013 holiday season. Developers are reportedly being told to plan for an AMD x64 CPU and AMD Southern Islands GPU. Further on, they mention that there will be no PS3 backwards compatibility and, like rumors about the next Xbox, will have anti-used game DRM. Specifically, 'new games for the system will be available one of two ways, either on a Blu-Ray disc or as a PSN download (yes, even full retail titles). If you buy the disc, it must be locked to a single PSN account. ... If you then decide to trade that disc in, the pre-owned customer picking it up will be limited in what they can do. ... it's believed used games will be limited to a trial mode or some other form of content restriction, with consumers having to pay a fee to unlock/register the full game.'"
jfruh writes "A French court has ruled that Google is unfairly subsidizing its free mapping products, making for unfair competition with paid services. This might seem ridiculous, but keep in mind that Google started charging for use of its mapping API once the free version had come to dominate the market."
eldavojohn writes "Amnon Marinov, a physicist specializing in super heavy elements, claims that a stable isotope of roentgenium is commonly found alongside gold, just in very small quantities that we could not measure before. To prove this, he boiled gold in a vacuum, postulating that as the gold evaporated, the roentgenium should remain. He did this for two weeks and then passed the resulting mess through a mass spectrometer and was left with several peaks that could be explained away except for one. Marinov lead the team that found the first super heavy 122 thorium isotope in nature a few years back and now claims that, despite all indications that this super heavy element shouldn't exist longer than a few seconds, he has found a stable isomer of roentgenium in nature. Is he on to something, or overlooking a simpler explanation in his quest for evidence of the island of stability long theorized by physicists?"
victorl19 writes "Microsoft is vastly expanding its efforts to prevent governments from using software piracy inquiries as a pretext to suppress dissent. It plans to provide free software licenses to more than 500,000 advocacy groups, independent media outlets and other nonprofit organizations in 12 countries with tightly controlled governments, including Russia and China."
itwbennett writes "SCO Group announced Thursday that it plans to auction off most of its Unix assets, including 'certain UNIX system V software products and related services,' ITworld reports. 'This asset sale is an important step forward in ensuring business continuity for our customers around the world,' said Ken Nielsen, SCO chief financial officer, in a statement. 'Our goal is to ensure continued viability for SCO, its customers, employees and the Unix technology.' Interested parties must submit a bid for the assets by Oct. 5."
recoiledsnake writes "The author of iPhone prototyping tool Briefs has decided to open source it after the App store submission has been in limbo for over three months. The app had got into trouble for what Apple believes is being able to run interpreted code, though the author denies it, saying all the compiling happens on the Mac. While Rob stays civil, his co-worker blasts Apple for not even rejecting the app. Three months is nothing compared to Google Voice for the iPhone though, which is still being studied further by Apple after more than a year."
tcrown007 sends along an appeals court ruling that, for once, limits the reach of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention clause. "MGE UPS makes UPS systems and software that are protected by hardware dongles. After the dongles expired, GE bypassed the dongles and continued to use the software. MGE sued, won, and has now lost on GE's appeal. Directly from the court's ruling (PDF): "Merely bypassing a technological protection that restricts a user from viewing or using a work is insufficient to trigger the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision... The owner's technological measure must protect the copyrighted material against an infringement of a right that the Copyright Act protects, not from mere use or viewing.' Say what? I think I just saw a pig fly by."
G143 and several other readers let us know that Microsoft has signed a licensing deal with ARM. "Microsoft signed an agreement with the UK-based ARM, giving Microsoft access to some of the chip designer's intellectual property. The two companies have worked together since 1997, but Ian Drew, ARM's EVP of marketing, said this is the first time Microsoft has become a licensee of ARM's architecture, a move which will allow Microsoft to design their own microarchitecture. Other licensees include Qualcomm, Marvell, and Infineon. Neither company would reveal the cost of the license. Speculation about Microsoft's intentions includes wondering whether the company is taking aim at the iPad, or perhaps looking to produce a next-generation Xbox without the 360's heat problems."
An anonymous reader writes with some discouraging news for hack-oriented purchasers of the new Droid X phone: "If the eFuse fails to verify [the firmware information (what we call ROMS), the kernel information, and the bootloader version], then the eFuse receives a command to 'blow the fuse' or 'trip the fuse.' This results in the booting process becoming corrupted, followed by a permanent bricking of the phone. This FailSafe is activated anytime the bootloader is tampered with or any of the above three parts of the phone has been tampered with."
DeviceGuru writes "European researchers are developing a cooperative traffic system, known CVIS (Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems), comprised of vehicle-, roadside-, and central infrastructure-based communications hardware and software, including vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) wireless. Among other capabilities, cars communicate with each other and with 'smart traffic signals' to smooth the flow of traffic and avoid accidents, or with 'smart traffic signs' to avoid dangerous driving conditions. The CVIS project is in the midst of undergoing field trials in Europe, and Audi has recently deployed 15 test vehicles in a similar project. The ambitious vision of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) includes goals such as reduced traffic congestion and fuel consumption, enhanced safety, and improved driver and passenger comfort. Ultimately, the developers envision a sort of Automotive Internet."
As the battle rages for control of the e-book market, publishers are starting to unite behind a common desire: a universal e-book format. David Shanks, chief executive at Penguin Group USA, said, "Our fondest wish is that all the devices become agnostic so that there isn’t proprietary formats and you can read wherever you want to read. First we have to get a standard that everybody embraces." The company's president, Susan Petersen Kennedy, explained that book publishers did not want to "make the same mistakes as the music industry, which had an epic struggle over electronic distribution and piracy and lost huge market share."
Hugh Pickens writes "The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Walgreens is slated to begin selling genetic-testing kits priced from $20 to $30 apiece that can tell people whether they're likely to get breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease, become obese, or suffer from a range of other maladies. However, to get the results of various tests, shoppers will have to fork over an additional $79 for drug-response results, $179 for 'pre-pregnancy planning' results, $179 for health condition results, or $249 for a combination of the three. Pathway Genomics and other companies already offer such tests online, but Walgreens will be the first brick-and-mortar retailer to sell them. FDA spokeswoman Karen Riley says Pathway overstepped its bounds when it announced its plans to market the tests directly to the consumer at 6,000 of Walgreen's 7,500 stores and wants Pathway Genomics to submit data showing that its tests give accurate results. 'The claims have limitations based on existing science,' says Riley, 'and consumers should not be making important medical and lifestyle decisions based on these tests without first consulting a health-care professional.' Walgreen responded that FDA clearance is not required to sell the kit in its stores; and anyway, the drugstore chain already sells other diagnostic and testing products such as pregnancy tests, paternity tests, and drug tests."
An anonymous reader writes "According to IEEE Spectrum, Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, who had previously built a robot copy of himself, has now created a new android — and it's a 'she.' Geminoid F, a copy of a woman in her 20s with long dark hair, exhibits facial expressions more naturally than Ishiguro's previous android. 'Whereas the Geminoid HI-1 has some 50 actuators, the new Geminoid F has just 12. What's more, the HI-1 robot requires a large external box filled with compressors and valves. With Geminoid F, the researchers embedded air servo valves and an air servo control system into its body, so the android requires only a small external compressor.' It's also much better looking. Has the Japanese android master finally overcome the uncanny valley?"
BanjoTed writes "We hear lots about the issues facing violent games in Australia, but the anti-games bandwagon is gathering pace closer to home — in Switzerland, to be precise. The Swiss government is gearing up to consider a total ban on mature games in the country."
An anonymous reader writes "The US Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Acer, today announced a voluntary recall of 22,000 notebook computers. Acer has received three reports of computers short circuiting, resulting in slight melting of the external casing. No incidents occurred in the United States. No injuries have been reported."