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Submission + - Patenting open source software (outercurve.org)

dp619 writes: The tactic of patenting open source software to guard against patent trolls and the weaponization of corporate patent portfolios is gaining momentum in the FOSS community. Organizations including the Open Innovation Network, Google and Redhat have built defensive patent portfolios (the latter two are defending their product lines). This approach has limitations.

Penn State law professor Clark Asay writes in an Outercurve Foundation blog examining the trend, "Patenting FOSS may help in some cases, but the nature of FOSS development itself may mean that patenting some collaboratively developed inventions is inherently more difficult, if not impossible, in many others. Consequently, strategies for mitigating patent risk that rely on FOSS communities patenting their technologies include inherent limitations. Itâ(TM)s not entirely clear how best to reform patent law in order to better reconcile it with alternative models of innovation. But in the meantime, FOSS still presents certain advantages that, while dimmed by the prospect of patent suits, remain significant."

Submission + - Google forbids users to loan or resell Google Glass. (wired.com)

briancox2 writes: Move over DMCA. If you thought purchasing something shouldn't come with restrictions on what you can do with it, Google has taken it another step. Google is requiring people who purchase the first Google Glass. There's no word yet whether they are requiring you to keep them in your possession at all times, though it's unclear how else you can avoid breaking the terms of service if you have friends or family that like to borrow things you own.

Submission + - Cray-1 vs. AMD 7990, Then vs. Now (edn.com)

EmagGeek writes: In 1976, a Cray-1 supercomputer cost $36M (in 2013 dollars) and could execute floating point math at 160 MFLOP. The supercomputer had a 5.2V power supply that delivered almost 800 amps to the circuitry. The machine was the size of a small Volkswagen and required a refrigeration system to dissipate the 4000 watts of electricity it took to run.

The fastest PC video card on the market today costs $1000 and can execute floating point math at 8,200,000 MFLOP, consumes energy at a rate of just less than 400 watts, and is about the size of a paperback book.

50,000 times faster, 1/36,000 the price, 1/10th the energy, and about 1/5,000 the volume. It's interesting how they had to solve the enormous power requirements of supercomputers at the time, and how they have continued to solve them over the years as power densities have increased.

Submission + - Connect to Wi-Fi Hotspots for Android (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Using Android, it’s easy to connect to multiple Wi-Fi networks, so you’ll never have to connect to the web when you arrive home as the device is already connected.

Submission + - Your audio amplifier as a stable, efficient, bi-directional power supply

plawson writes: From an article in EDN (http://www.edn.com/electronics-products/electronic-product-reviews/other/4410454/CogniPower-among-the-giants-at-APEC-2013): CogniPower's Predictive Energy Balancing audio amplifier operates on a completely different principle from other switched-mode amplifiers. This new topology offers the efficiency of the most efficient switched-mode amplifiers with the fidelity of a linear amplifier. They enable better sound for cell phones, tablets and portable media players while extending battery life. These amplifiers can be significantly smaller and less expensive than the amplifiers used now. In addition, the technology is scalable from piezo speakers for cell phones to theater speakers. The PEB amplifier is essentially a bidirectional power converter. Once its capabilities as an audio amp are appreciated, it can be operated as a DC/AC or DC/DC converter. Its bidirectionality even allows it to operate as an energy harvesting device. There are many applications for this architecture such as MRI machines, switched-mode power supplies, Point of Load Converters, LED Lighting, Electric Vehicles, Smart Grid, Computers and File Servers, Solar Inverters, AC-AC Converters, etc. How would you apply this technology?

Submission + - Computer Glitch Creates Voting Precinct With No Residents (startribune.com)

phishead writes: "Barry Clegg, who chairs the line-drawing Charter Commission elaborated that the software "could not draw the line around the edge of the lake without putting a census block in the wrong ward; it would just connect along the shortest distance between two points, which meant a line across the lake.""
Apple

Submission + - Steve Wozniak exclusive online interview (techcentral.co.za)

An anonymous reader writes: In this special edition of TalkCentral’s podcast, TalkCentral, we bring you a special, half-hour interview with Apple co-founder and legendary computer industry figure Steve Wozniak.

TalkCentral editor Duncan McLeod asked Wozniak, who is in Johannesburg to speak at First National Bank’s leadership summit, for his views on the mobile platform wars, the patent disputes between Apple and Samsung, the emergence of the post-PC era and much more besides. It’s an interview you simply don’t want to miss.

Submission + - Intelligence agencies turn to crowdsourcing (bbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: IARPA — the sister agency to DARPA — is sponsoring researchers to examine crowdsourcing as a method to derive better intelligence predictions. The article says that this research will eventually be transitioned to the intelligence community to improve national intelligence estimates. Anyone can participate — even the general public. www.globalcrowd.com
Biotech

Submission + - Fathers bequeath more mutations as they age (nature.com)

ananyo writes: "In the 1930s, the pioneering geneticist J. B. S. Haldane noticed a peculiar inheritance pattern in families with long histories of haemophilia. The faulty mutation responsible for the blood-clotting disorder tended to arise on the X chromosomes that fathers passed to their daughters, rather than on those that mothers passed down. Haldane subsequently proposed that children inherit more mutations from their fathers than their mothers, although he acknowledged that “it is difficult to see how this could be proved or disproved for many years to come”.
That year has finally arrived: whole-genome sequencing of dozens of Icelandic families has at last provided the evidence that eluded Haldane. Moreover, the study, published in Nature, finds that the age at which a father sires children determines how many mutations those offspring inherit. By starting families in their thirties, forties and beyond, men could be increasing the chances that their children will develop autism, schizophrenia and other diseases often linked to new mutations (abstract)."

Submission + - Near-Field Authentication over Avian Carrier (varonis.com)

FreaKBeaNie writes: Audible range as an authentication mechanism? Chirp is an app to share images and urls using audible tones. It seems easier than joining a wifi network or pairing with blue-tooth, and trades the visual ick of a QR code for an audible intrusion in the form of a bird chirp. It's easier than whispering a link.
Hardware

Submission + - TV with 16 times resolution of HDTV passed by UN standards body (techworld.com) 1

Qedward writes: A new television format that has 16 times the resolution of current High Definition TV has been approved by an international standards body, Japanese sources said earlier today.

UHDTV, or Ultra High Definition Television, allows for programming and broadcasts at resolutions of up to 7680 by 4320, along with frame refresh rates of up to 120Hz, double that of most current HDTV broadcasts. The format also calls for a broader palette of colours that can be displayed on screen.

The video format was approved earlier this month by member nations of the International Telecommunication Union, a standards and regulatory body agency of the United Nations, according to an official at NHK, Japan's public broadcasting station, and another at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.

Security

Submission + - After Hacker Exposes Hotel Lock Insecurity, Lock Firm Asks Hotels To Pay For Fix (forbes.com)

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: In an update to an earlier story on Slashdot, hotel lock company Onity is now offering a hardware fix for the millions of hotel keycard locks that hacker Cody Brocious demonstrated at Black Hat were vulnerable to being opened by a sub-$50 Arduino device. Unfortunately, Onity wants the hotels who already bought the company's insecure product to pay for the fix.

Onity is actually offering two different mitigations: The first is a plug that blocks the port that Brocious used to gain access to the locks' data, as well as more-obscure Torx screws to prevent intruders from opening the lock's case and removing the plug. That band-aid style fix is free. A second, more rigorous fix requires changing the locks' circuit boards manually. In that case, Onity is offering "special pricing programs" for the new circuit boards customers need to secure their doors, and requiring them to also pay the shipping and labor costs.

Google

Submission + - The Worst Job at Google: A Year of Watching Child Porn and other trash (gizmodo.com)

Cutting_Crew writes: "Gizmodo puts a story together that describes the worst job that you can get at google , including watching decapitations and beastiality.

A google ex-employee who did just that tells his own story of a year long stint of looking at the most horrible things on the internet and in the end needed therapy and since he was a contractor he was let go and was not rolled over into a full time employee."

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