cathyreisenwitz writes: "A Yale study found that the U.S. patent office is approving new software patents at an approximate rate of 40,000 a year. That's more than 100 new software patents every day. Tracking every software patent to make sure one is not in violation would be an utter impossibility without a full-time team of lawyers on staff.
Uniloc, which purchased the patent in question at a bankruptcy proceeding, declined an interview request for this piece. But on their website, they brag about a victory over software giant Microsoft resulting in $388 million in damages (though this amount was later lowered in an appeals court). Despite the enormous risk, and the enormous cost just to defend against a patent suit, Meyer is resolved to do so.
"I will not simply give somebody money that endorses the idea that they should sue people for doing something amazing," says Meyer. "It must be stopped at some point.""
netbuzz writes: "Educause members and 7,000 university websites are being forced to change account passwords after a security breach involving the organization’s.edu domain server. However, some initially hesitated to comply because the Educause notification email bore tell-tale markings of a phishing attempt. “Given what is known about phishing and user behavior, this was bad form,” says Gene Spafford, a Purdue University computer science professor and security expert. “For an education-oriented organization to do this is particularly troubling.”"
An anonymous reader writes: Whether or not you’re an owner of Microsoft’s Xbox 360, chances are you find the Kinect accessory intriguing, since you don’t even need the company’s console to use it. That’s why there’s so much excitement surrounding the console’s successor, codenamed Durango: it will feature Kinect 2.0, the specifications for which allegedly leaked today. The new device will reportedly be able to track players with a height of one meter, feature a mode for both seated and standing players, detect hand states (such as open or closed), as well as extra and rotated joints. As for improved features, it will be able to supposedly track six rather than two active players, occluded joints, and sideways poses. This will all be possible thanks to an increased field of vision, 1920×1080 color stream, 512×424 depth stream, an added infrared stream, USB 3.0, and 60ms latency.
Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The NY Times reports that while online college classes are already common, on the whole, the record is not encouraging because there are two big problems with online teaching. First, student attrition rates — around 90 percent for some huge online courses — appear to be a problem even in small-scale online courses when compared with traditional face-to-face classes. Second, courses delivered solely online may be fine for highly skilled, highly motivated people, but they are inappropriate for struggling students who make up a significant portion of college enrollment and who need close contact with instructors to succeed. Research has shown that community college students who enroll in online courses are significantly more likely to fail or withdraw than those in traditional classes, which means that they spend hard-earned tuition dollars and get nothing in return. Worse still, low-performing students who may be just barely hanging on in traditional classes tend to fall even further behind in online courses. "Colleges need to improve online courses before they deploy them widely," says the Times. "Moreover, schools with high numbers of students needing remedial education should consider requiring at least some students to demonstrate success in traditional classes before allowing them to take online courses." Interestingly, the center found that students in hybrid classes — those that blended online instruction with a face-to-face component — performed as well academically as those in traditional classes. But hybrid courses are rare, and teaching professors how to manage them is costly and time-consuming. "The online revolution offers intriguing opportunities for broadening access to education. But, so far, the evidence shows that poorly designed courses can seriously shortchange the most vulnerable students.""
coondoggie writes: "The Federal Communications Commission said it wants to make up to 195 megahertz of additional spectrum in the 5 GHz band available to unlicensed wireless devices with the idea that such a move would enable Wi-Fi equipment that can offer faster speeds of one gigabit per second or more, increase overall capacity, and reduce congestion."
Lasrick writes: David Axe at Wired's Danger Room explains: "For the first time, America’s top-of-the-line F-22 fighters and Britain’s own cutting-edge Typhoon jets have come together for intensive, long-term training in high-tech warfare. If only the planes could talk to each other on equal terms."
An anonymous reader writes: Recently, I had found out (through my log files) that my wireless router was subject to a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) brute force PIN attack. After looking on the Internet and discovering that there are indeed many vulnerabilities to WPS, I disabled it. After a few days, I noticed that I kept intermittently getting disconnected at around the same time every day (indicative of a WPA deauthentication handshake capture attempt). I also noticed that an evil twin has been setup in an effort to get me to connect to it. Through Wi-Fi monitoring software, I have noticed that certain MAC addresses are connected to multiple WEP and WPA2 access points in my neighborhood. I believe that I (and my neighbors) may be dealing with an advanced Wi-Fi leech. What can I do in this situation? Should I bother purchasing a directional antenna, figuring out exactly where the clients are situated, and knocking on their door? Is this something the local police can help me with?
kkleiner writes: "Planetary Resources last year boldly claimed that they would build a futuristic business out of mining space asteroids. To that end, the firm recently completed the Arkyd-100 satellite prototype. The satellite will use its telescope to look for suitable near-Earth asteroids from low-Earth orbit. Later expeditions will rocket out to prospective real estate, do spectral analysis, and if the asteroid contains valuable resources, lay claim with a beacon."
The Bad Astronomer writes: "A team of astronomers have announced the discovery of the smallest exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star yet found: Kepler-37b, which has a diameter of only 3865 kilometers — smaller than Mercury, and only a little bigger than our own Moon. It was found using the transit method; as it orbits its star, it periodically blocks a bit of the starlight, revealing its presence. Interestingly, the planet has been known for some time, but only new advances in asteroseismology (studying oscillations in the star itself) have allowed the star's size to be accurately found, which in turn yielded a far better determination of the planet's diminutive size. Also, the asteroseismology research was not funded by NASA, but instead crowd funded by a non-profit, which raised money by letting people adopt Kepler target stars."
Lasrick writes: The Bulletin has an interesting article about the likelihood of terrorists obtaining nuclear material. "Since 1993, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has logged roughly 2,000 cases of illicit or unauthorized trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material. Thirty illicit radioactive trafficking incidents were reported in the former Soviet region alone from 2009 to 2011. As Obama said in December, "Make no mistake, if [terrorists] get [nuclear material], they will use it.""
Syobon writes: Addendum (added Feb. 10, 1:50PM EST): I’ve decided that the way I’m going to deal with this is by doing disk forensics on my computer and moving on, continuing my life as normal. I am not going to slip into total paranoia because of this incident. I have a history of attempted entrapments, of border interrogations and of surveillance, and with this incident, here’s what I’ll say: If any agency is continuing to monitor me because of Cryptocat, you are invited to meet me under honest pretenses and have a cup of coffee with me. Just don’t lure me in with lies and don’t backdoor my computers. Be honest with me and I will have no problem discussing my work with you. I am not a criminal, I am an upstanding citizen. If you want answers, then contact me and be honest about it. You have nothing to fear from me. In order not to cause unnecessary drama, to protect my privacy and to lessen my stress levels, I’m removing this blog post until further notice and investigation. This attracted way more attention that I wanted it to. I just wanted to protect myself, not cause a media uproar. Thank you everyone for your support. This is already a stressful situation and the huge level of attention to this blog post is just making everything more stressful to deal with.
SrLnclt writes: AutoDesk has begun contacting owners of websites with Revit in their TLD name, and accusing them of trademark infringement. For those unfamiliar with this software package, Revit is a 3D modeling tool designed to model buildings and their MEP and Structural systems, which is currently owned by AutoDesk. It is widely used by architects and engineers for this purpose, and has supplanted AutoCAD in the building design fields for many users. One such domain revitforum.org is an independent non-profit, user to user support forum. Typically users on this site are already familiar with Revit, have purchased licenses, and are looking for help, tips, or tricks in using the software. One of AutoDesk's lawyers has contacted [PDF, Registration Required] the site owner, who has responded [PDF, Registration Required] and plans on fighting this issue. Additionally, they are currently looking for legal help from anyone with a legal background willing to donate some time.
walterbyrd writes: "Yesterday there were numerous amicus briefs filed all on the same day and all in support of Oracle against Google in Oracle's appeal at the Federal Circuit. None of the briefs are posted publicly yet, but they should be available soon.
Microsoft has filed one, together with EMC Corporation, and NetApp, Inc. Scott McNealy has filed one with Brian Sutphin. Can McNealy be a witness for Oracle at trial, which he was [PDF], and also file an amicus brief? Well, he has. The Picture Archive Council of America, Inc. has filed one with the Graphic Artists Guild. Also there's one from the BSA. And finally Eugene Spafford, Zhi Ding, and Lee A. Hollaar have filed an amicus in support of Oracle. Hollaar seems to file a lot of amicus briefs.
So why do these entities and individuals care about this Java API case, do you suppose?
Brian Sutphin was the VP at Sun Microsystem who in 2003 signed the deal with SCO Group's (then Caldera) then-CEO Darl McBride just days after Caldera filed its suit against IBM. I know. It kind of makes your skin crawl, doesn't it? He also testified at trial for Oracle. Both he and McNealy told the court with straight faces that Jonathan Schwartz's corporate blog was personal, not a company blog. All filed on the same day. Less than a week after Oracle filed its appeal brief. Before Google even files its responding brief. Does it feel a little bit coordinated to you?
The company Oracle keeps these days takes one's breath away. Who would ever have predicted an Oracle-Microsoft buddy system?"
Zothecula writes: How many times have you been shivering on a winter day, and wished that you were capable of simply not feeling the cold? Well, that’s just what scientists at the University of Southern California have done to a group of lab mice – they disabled the animals’ ability to sense cold, while leaving their ability to sense heat and touch intact. It is hoped that the research could lead to more effective pain medications for humans.
DustyMutant writes: Due to lack of a public roadmap and basic schedule it was uncertain for fans of Tizen whether Bada featurephone operating system takes center stage for Samsung's Tizen as the popular rumors say. With the final 2.0 release important milestone of the merge has been finalized. Bada's "Open Services Platform" frameworks (APIs and implementation) have been merged into Tizen, thus forming a hybrid of HTML5 runtime environment and Bada advanced featurephone application layer, all siting on top of Linux Kernel and system libraries. What worries is that it happened silently without prior discussion or at least announcement what may be unexpected because Tizen is promoted as a project under umbrella and maintenance of the Linux Foundation, employer of Linus Torvalds.
Visiting Tizen 2 and Bada 2 platform web documentation is enough to notice that Tizen 2 native developer experience evolved into what was known as the Bada advanced featurephone OS. For a quick comparison, a simple screenshot has been published.
Is there a chance for Tizen to become a real Linux operating system we all know, capable of running existing free software, not just HTML pages and Bada apps? There is IF the community takes over areas where Linux Foundation is passive. While there is no official support for these third-party frameworks, according to the explanation on the Tizen SDK page:
Tizen applications for mobile devices can be developed without relying on an official Tizen IDE as long as the application complies with Tizen packaging rules.
Still, is this declaration enough to gain trust in the community? Just before the release, Carsten Haitzler aka rasterman, Samsung's Principal Engineer working on Tizen and EFL guru in one person, showed some signs of irritation (an excerpt from an Tizen IRC log, original typos corrected):
tizen is not meego or maemo, it is not related
i've been working on this os now for like over 4 years
i have spent years saying "release ports to existing products"
no action, years saying what you say, i don't bother anymore
what will happen — will happen
i have no chance to change it because at least [in] samsung all decisions are top-down ie. some executive with zero connection/knowledge of OSS is going to decide all the technical details
as i mentioned tizen is SLP [Samsung Linux Platform], SLP is a continuation of Limo
Limo is something that existed alongside and/or before maemo did
it has been in competition internally, no ball was picked up, it's a separate ball
it was renamed to tizen and put under a [Linux Foundation] banner and Intel then joined in
Intel has pushed for things to be much more open and to use OBS [Open Build System] and much infra that was used before for meego
tizen uses enlightenment and efl, thus why its then "zero porting":)
that doesn't mean you will be able to use efl in apps you port/write
i do this for my own amusement, YOU may be stuck with a phone that is locked down and that doesn't allow installation of native apps at all
Tizen, and what is in it (technically), is controlled by/decided on by the TSG [Technical Steering Group].
The TSG is a committee of executives (Samsung and Intel — you can read up on it — Imad and JD). They decide what will happen, and that's how it works. It's a top-down thing with VP's in charge. How and what they decide is up to them entirely.
I have no idea what they will decide, when or where. Well officially I don't. What I may, or may not know is simply rumour and not for me to disclose, as decisions are made by the executives in charge (as above) as they see fit (which is not here in public, like on these mailing lists, IRC etc.).
This (Tizen) is not like open source projects (let's say like E/EFL, Qt, GTK+, Xorg, Linux Kernel etc.), where I, or any developer, is free to talk about plans for the future and work being done, (or for that matter even knows or can find out). I understand that you are coming from that perspective, and thus logically asking those questions here, expecting answers like you would with pretty much any OSS project, but Tizen is not like that.
jooncheol Open Services Platform !!! jooncheol bada !! jooncheol hmm jooncheol bada... jooncheol omg Stskeeps looks like a good compromise, EFL on the inside, OSP on outside raster hehe * Stskeeps envisions raster being taken away in a white straightjacket to the funnyfarm raster they did that years ago raster i then escaped raster and wrote a wm raster and trust me rasterits not efl on the inside rasterefl is nothing mroe than a glorified wrapper around windows and then a simple surface compositor Stskeeps sorry to hear that raster everything else above that is not efl raster so u may want to reserve judgment until u've seen it all
In addition to governance and technical aspects it becomes clear that Tizen's licensing model looks complicated at the moment. Tizen is presented as an open source and standards-based operating system with popular media praising its openness when compared to Android. However Tizen's SDK contains a mix of open and closed components released together under a non-open-source Samsung's licence.
Pale Dot writes: After weeks of struggle I finally figured out a way for the apps on my rooted Android tablet to recognize an SD card I had formatted as Ext4 but with the default journaling option turned off. The problem at first was getting the SD card to mount at all (technically this was the "external" SD card as the tablet also has a built-in "internal" SD card). Apparently, the Android automount facility, the evil-sounding vold daemon, does not support any filesystem besides Microsoft's VFAT. From variousonline sources, I learned that the CyanogenMod Linux 3.x kernel itself does support mounting Ext4, at least via the terminal "mount -t ext4" command.
A second problem soon cropped up. Apps, such as VLC and the AardDict offline dictionary, that rely on some sort of automagic scanning of the device storage space would not index the media and database files I copied to the SD card. It turns out that the simple solution, or the "hack" as it stands, is to mount the SD card under the directory created for the internal VFAT-formatted SD card, i.e. as "/storage/sdcard0/extsd" rather than the more direct "/storage/sdcard1". This works probably because subdirectories inherit the file permissions of the parent.
As part of my Google (re)search into the problem, I came upon this Google+ post by an Android developer curiously named Dianne Hackborn about the design decision not to support anything besides the Redmond-certified filesystem: "The external storage when on a SD card is FAT. Period. You are just going to cause yourself a mess if you try to do otherwise. The basic semantics of how external storage is used relies on it being fat — no permissions, case insensitive, etc."
So, is Google right about not supporting Ext2/3/4 for removable flash media, even if the base system itself often uses one of these Linux-native filesystems? Supposed issues about the frequent media access needed by a journalised filesystem don't apply to Ext2, which has no journal, or Ext4, which has an "-O ^has_journal" (no journal) formatting option. Perplexing still is that my tablet is advertised as having support for yet another Microsoft-patented invention, the ExFat filesystem. Unfortunately, there's still no way for a non-rooted Android tablet or smartphone to mount an SD card formatted as Ext2 or Ext4.
DavidGilbert99 writes: "Google has opened up pre-orders for its much south-after Google Glass headset to "creative individuals" calling on them to tell the company why they deserve one by saying what they would use it for. Accompanying the announcement is a new video of the interface, being shown off in a variety of settings such ranging from hot-air ballooning to downhill skiing and everything in between..."
An anonymous reader writes: Real Racing 3's international release is just days away, and in the run up, Firemonkey's development director sat down to explain just what it takesto make such a graphically intensive game for mobile. Each car takes a month to make and render, but the team are still planning to add more in DLC, as well as more real world tracks to race on. He also takes the time to discuss futureproofing and how they build the game to support Apple's next, unreleased iPhone and iPad. "It'll also be ready for new hardware that we anticipate being released in the future," he says.