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Patents

Alice Is Killing Trolls But Patent Lawyers Will Strike Back 10

Posted by timothy
from the waiting-in-the-wings-now-patented dept.
snydeq writes The wheels of justice spin slowly, but they seem finally to be running software patents out of town, writes Simon Phipps in his analysis of how Alice Corp. v CLS Bank is becoming a landmark decision for patent cases in the U.S. 'In case after case, the Court of Appeals is using Alice to resolve patent appeals. In each case so far, the Court of Appeals has found the software patents in question to be invalid. ... As PatentlyO points out, the Alice effect is even reaching to lower courts, saving the Court of Appeals from having to strike down patent findings on appeal.' Although the patent industry broadly speaking sees the Alice verdict as a death knell for patents, some expect Alice to turn software patents into 'draftsmen's art because as you and I have seen over the years, every time there's a court ruling it just means that you have to word the patent claims differently.'

+ - Alice Is Killing Trolls But Patent Lawyers Will Strike Back

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "The wheels of justice spin slowly, but they seem finally to be running software patents out of town, writes Simon Phipps in his analysis of how Alice Corp. v CLS Bank is becoming a landmark decision for patent cases in the U.S. 'In case after case, the Court of Appeals is using Alice to resolve patent appeals. In each case so far, the Court of Appeals has found the software patents in question to be invalid. ... As PatentlyO points out, the Alice effect is even reaching to lower courts, saving the Court of Appeals from having to strike down patent findings on appeal.' Although the patent industry broadly speaking sees the Alice verdict as a death knell for patents, some expect Alice to turn software patents into 'draftsmen's art because as you and I have seen over the years, every time there's a court ruling it just means that you have to word the patent claims differently.'"
Open Source

An Open Source Pitfall? Mozilla Labs Closed, Quietly 38

Posted by timothy
from the same-people-are-still-smart dept.
mikejuk writes with this excerpt: When Google Labs closed there was an outcry. How could an organization just pull the rug from under so many projects? At least Google announced what it was doing. Mozilla, it seems since there is no official record, just quietly tiptoes away — leaving the lights on since the Mozilla Labs Website is still accessible. It is accessible but when you start to explore the website you notice it is moribund with the last blog post being December 2013 with the penultimate one being September 2013. The fact that it is gone is confirmed by recent blog posts and by the redeployment of the people who used to run it. The projects that survived have been moved to their own websites. It isn't clear what has happened to the Hatchery -the incubator that invited new ideas from all and sundry. One of the big advantages of open source is the ease with which a project can be started. One of the big disadvantages of open source is the ease with which projects can be allowed to die — often without any clear cut time of death. It seems Mozilla applies this to groups and initiatives as much as projects. This isn't good. The same is true at companies that aren't open source centric, though, too, isn't it?

+ - Scary Video Highlights Danger of Damaged Lithium Ion Batteries->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "As part of its work testing electronic components, the Japanese National Institute for Technology and Evaluation (NITE) tested batteries about the size of those used in cellphones. They were struck with a hammer then left on a work bench, unconnected from any apparatus. Later — the period of time is unclear from the edited footage — one of the batteries ruptures with a bang, flying across the laboratory. A second clip shows a similar battery erupting in a shower of sparks."
Link to Original Source

+ - A Beginner's Guide to Programming with Swift->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Earlier this year, Apple executives unveiled Swift, which is meant to eventually replace Objective-C as the programming language of choice for Macs and iOS devices. Now that iOS 8's out, a lot of developers who build apps for Apple's platforms will likely give Swift a more intensive look. While Apple boasts that Swift makes programming easy, it'll take some time to learn how the language works. A new walkthrough by developer David Bolton shows how to build a very simple app in Swift, complete with project files (hosted on SourceForge) so you can follow along. A key takeaway: while some Swift features do make programming easier, there's definitely a learning curve here."
Link to Original Source

+ - Natural Born Killers: Chimpanzees and Murder Explored

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Our fellow members of the family Hominidae, chimpanzees, have long been known to engage in murder far more frequently than most of our primate cousins. The reasons for this have been much debated, with many seeking to point blame for the phenomenon on humans, for a variety of reasons. New research suggests that the proclivity for this intra-species killing is innate [Nature abstract]. Quoting one researcher, "It's a natural behaviour — it's not something that we've induced by disturbance or intervention." The BBC also reports on the findings and the controversy."
Government

Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists 80

Posted by timothy
from the what-they-want-you-to-think dept.
HughPickens.com writes The Interecept reports that contrary to lurid claims made by U.S. officials, a new independent analysis of Edward Snowden's revelations on NSA surveillance that examined the frequency of releases and updates of encryption software by jihadi groups has found no correlation in either measure to Snowden's leaks about the NSA's surveillance techniques. According to the report "well prior to Edward Snowden, online jihadists were already aware that law enforcement and intelligence agencies were attempting to monitor them (PDF)." In fact, concerns about terrorists' use of sophisticated encryption technology predates even 9/11.

Earlier this month former NSA head Michael Hayden stated, "The changed communications practices and patterns of terrorist groups following the Snowden revelations have impacted our ability to track and monitor these groups", while Matthew Olsen of the National Counterterrorism Centre would add "Following the disclosure of the stolen NSA documents, terrorists are changing how they communicate to avoid surveillance." Snowden's critics have previously accused his actions of contributing from everything from the rise of ISIS to Russia's invasion of the Ukraine. "This most recent study is the most comprehensive repudiation of these charges to date," says Murtaza Hussain. "Contrary to lurid claims to the contrary, the facts demonstrate that terrorist organizations have not benefited from the NSA revelations, nor have they substantially altered their behavior in response to them."
Australia

Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot 76

Posted by timothy
from the even-in-the-nicest-places dept.
The Washington Post reports (building on a short AP report they're also carrying) that "[Australian] police have arrested 15 people allegedly linked to the Islamic State, some who plotted a public beheading." According to the Sydney Morning Herald, of the arrestees, only two have been charged. From the Washington Post story: “Police said the planned attack was to be “random.” The killers were to behead a victim and then drape the body in the black Islamic State flag, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. ... Direct exhortations were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in [the Islamic State] to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said at a press conference, as the BBC reported. “So this is not just suspicion, this is intent and that’s why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have.”

Google News Sci Tech: NASA's MAVEN to reach Mars this Sunday - Maine News->

From feed by feedfeeder

Maine News

NASA's MAVEN to reach Mars this Sunday
Maine News
This Sunday, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) latest Mars Orbiter Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) will reach the Red Planet following a 10-month journey of 442 million miles. The craft will help scientists to find...

and more

Link to Original Source

+ - Mozilla Labs Closed And Nobody Noticed->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "When Google Labs closed there was an outcry. How could an organization just pull the rug from under so many projects?
At least Google announced what it was doing. Mozilla, it seems since there is no official record, just quietly tiptoes away — leaving the lights on since the Mozilla Labs Website is still accessible. It is accessible but when you start to explore the website you notice it is moribund with the last blog post being December 2013 with the penultimate one being September 2013.
The fact that it is gone is confirmed by recent blog posts and by the redeployment of the people who used to run it. The projects that survived have been moved to their own websites. It isn't clear what has happened to the Hatchery -the incubator that invited new ideas from all and sundry.
One of the big advantages of open source is the ease with which a project can be started. One of the big disadvantages of open source is the ease with which projects can be allowed to die — often without any clear cut time of death. It seems Mozilla applies this to groups and initiatives as much as projects. This isn't good."

Link to Original Source
Crime

London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data 39

Posted by timothy
from the gotta-get-my-car-out-of-this-bad-area dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes A growing number of police forces around the world are using data on past crimes to predict the likelihood of crimes in the future. These predictions can be made more accurate by combining crime data with local demographic data about the local population. However, this data is time consuming and expensive to collect and so only updated rarely. Now a team of data experts have shown how combing crime data with data collected from mobile phones can make the prediction of future crimes even more accurate. The team used an anonymised dataset of O2 mobile phone users in the London metropolitan area during December 2012 and January 2013. They then used a small portion of the data to train a machine learning algorithm to find correlations between this and local crime statistics in the same period. Finally, they used the trained algorithm to predict future crime rates in the same areas. Without the mobile phone data, the predictions have an accuracy of 62 per cent. But the phone data increases this accuracy significantly to almost 70 per cent. What's more, the data is cheap to collect and can be gathered in more or less real time. Whether the general population would want their data used in this way is less clear but either way Minority Report-style policing is looking less far-fetched than when the film appeared in 2002.

+ - Latest Logitech Harmony Remotes Can Now Control Smart Home Devices Too->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "In an ongoing effort to put every device in your house under the control of a Harmony Remote, Logitech is also now claiming they're ready to take over other devices in addition to those that reside in your living room. The company stepped into the home control market, releasing two high-end home remotes and the Logitech Harmony Home Hub, which manages the traffic between the remotes and your home's door locks, garage door opener, thermostat, lights and window shades, among other devices. Interestingly, the most important part of the Logitech Harmony Home series is also one of the cheapest. The Logitech Harmony Home Hub, which will set you back $99.99, use a variety of connectivity options (including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) to send commands from your wireless remote to your thermostat and other devices. It's compatible with home automation tools from industry brands, including August, Honeywell, Kwikset, Schlage, and Sylvania (to name just a few). For controlling those devices, you have three options: an app for your smartphone, the Logitech Harmony Home Control ($149.99), or the Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home ($349.99)."
Link to Original Source

+ - US Military Unaware of Chinese Attacks Against Transport Contractors->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "The Senate Armed Service Committee released on Wednesday an unclassified version of a report (PDF) commissioned last year to investigate cyberattacks against contractors for the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM). The report alleges that the Chinese military successfully stole emails, documents, login credentials and more from contractors, but few of those incidents were ever reported to TRANSCOM. During a one-year period starting in June 2012, TRANSCOM contractors endured more than 50 intrusions, 20 of which were successful in planting malware. TRANSCOM learned of only two of the incidents. The FBI, however, was aware of 10 of the attacks."
Link to Original Source
Medicine

Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance 154

Posted by timothy
from the tastes-sweet-produce-insulin dept.
onproton (3434437) writes The journal Nature released a study today that reveals a link between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and the development of glucose intolerance [note: abstract online; paper itself is paywalled], a leading risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, citing a critical alteration of intestinal bacteria. Paradoxically, these non-caloric sweeteners, which can be up to 20,000 times sweeter than natural sugars, are often recommended to diabetes patients to control blood glucose levels. Sugar substitutes have come under additional fire lately from studies showing that eating artificially sweetened foods can lead to greater overall calorie consumption and even weight gain. While some, especially food industry officials, remain highly skeptical of such studies, more research still needs to be done to determine the actual risks these substances may pose to health.

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