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Patents

+ - USPTO Gives Microsoft Credit for Lotus' Homework

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "On Tuesday, the USPTO granted Microsoft a patent for 'Email Emotiflags' despite ample evidence of a circa-1996 Lotus Notes precedent called Mood Stamps, sender-chosen emoticons that appear next to inbox messages. Among those seemingly aware of the existence of Mood Stamps is Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, who appears to have fielded questions about the feature while at Lotus. While simply Googling for 'Email Emotiflags' would have turned up evidence of this prior art (including a /. discussion), the USPTO came up empty after instead going with the more-upscale Google Scholar and patent databases for its search effort. Can we count on Ozzie to do-the-right-thing and give the USPTO a heads-up?"
Networking

+ - When Accredited Domain Name Registrars Drop Dead! 1

Submitted by
Mike
Mike writes "What do you do when your accredited domain name registrar drops dead? What happens to your domain? Mouzz Interactive at mouzz.com is an ICANN accredited registrar, but on July 19 their domain name expired and their website disappeared. I found out because I have domains registered with them, and I was in the process of renewing a domain name that expires next month, when I was unable to complete the transaction. Now their site is unreachable, so I have no access to my control panel. I cannot renew my domain, and because it's locked, I cannot transfer it. I cannot contact Mouzz because none of their contact emails will work. So now my site, which is listed on google's front page for imporatnt search terms, is going to disappear too. I have contacted ICANN and pointed out that they are listing an accredited registrar that doesn't exit, but they have made no response. I have complained to InterNic whose response is that they will forward my complaint to the registrar (duh... how they didn't say) How am I going to get my domains back? How many people like me are now completely screwed because they have lost control of their domains? If you don't think this is an interesting story then consider this. It could happen to your domain, or even slashdot.org"
Idle

+ - Yelling At Telemarketers Is A "Terroristic Thr->

Submitted by
BotScout
BotScout writes "An Ohio man, fed up with deceptive junk mail, made the mistake of losing his temper while on the phone with a St. Louis company pitching an extended auto-service contract. Now he finds himself behind bars, where he is charged with making a terrorist threat and is being held on $45,000 bond. According to court documents, Charles W. Papenfus, 43, allegedly told a sales representative during a May 18 telephone call that he would burn down the building and kill the employees and their families. He was indicted for making a terrorist threat, a Class D felony; and he could be sentenced to up to four years in prison if convicted. I get a lot of this kind of junk mail too, but I usually just call their 800 number and waste as much of their time as possible."
Link to Original Source
XBox (Games)

+ - UFC Threatens to ban EA MMA fighters?->

Submitted by
Andy Anderson
Andy Anderson writes "This disheartening bit of news first came from Golden Boy at the UG. "I hear that all mma managers were informed that if any of their clients not currently under contract with the UFC..... sign to be a part of the EA game.......the will forever be banned for fighting in the UFC." Sounds like a simple rumor right? Albeit from a pretty reputable source, these things should be taken with a grain of salt. But wait. Later in the forum post, MMA Uber agent Ken Pavia of MMAAGENT.com says this. "It's true. And they told me they want the word out." In any case, if 100% true, this just plain blows. So let me get this straight, if I am an up and coming fighter fighting for an MMA organization not named UFC, I have to turn down money that I could feed my family with just for the very slim chance that one day the UFC may sign me to a contract. What happens to current UFC fighters that still own their image rights like Randy Couture and Lyoto Machida? This is just mind blowing to me if true."
Link to Original Source
Biotech

+ - "Schitzophrenia gene" linked to creativity

Submitted by
mcgrew
mcgrew writes "New Scientist is reporting that creativity is linked to a gene that has also been linked to schitzophrenia. Szabolcs Kéri, a researcher at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, carried a study of creative people.

Kéri examined a gene involved in brain development called neuregulin 1, which previous studies have linked to a slightly increased risk of schizophrenia. Moreover, a single DNA letter mutation that affects how much of the neuregulin 1 protein is made in the brain has been linked to psychosis, poor memory and sensitivity to criticism. About 50 per cent of healthy Europeans have one copy of this mutation, while 15 per cent possess two copies

People with two copies of the neuregulin 1 mutation — about 12 per cent of the study participants — tended to score notably higher on these measures of creativity, compared with other volunteers with one or no copy of the mutation. Those with one copy were also judged to be more creative, on average, than volunteers without the mutation.

They hypothesize that people with this gene with high IQs are creative, while those with lower IQs are simply prone to the hallucinations that characterize the disease."

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

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