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Patents

Red Hat Settles Patent Case 76

darthcamaro writes "Red Hat has settled another patent case with patent holding firm Acacia. This time the patent is US Patent #6,163,776, 'System and method for exchanging data and commands between an object oriented system and relational system.' While it's great that Red Hat has ended this particular patent threat, it's not yet clear how they've settled this case. The last time Red Hat tangled with Acacia they won in an Texas jury trial. 'Red Hat routinely addresses attempts to impede the innovative forces of open source via allegations of patent infringement,' Red Hat said in a statement. 'We can confirm that Red Hat, Inc and Software Tree LLC have settled patent litigation that was pending in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas.'"

Comment Re:2014? (Score 1) 180

Android is quite likely the biggest winner over the next few years. What I'm personally watching for is what RIM does. While RIM has the corporate market, they've been trying to break out of that. I'd expect the major battles to be between Android, RIM and Windows 7 Phone.

Yes, I'm watching RIM and Android carefully as well. Currently, I get crappy EDGE service at home (in Gainesville, FL) and have to resort to UMA (WiFi-based cell service) on T-Mobile in order to make/receive calls. Since Android should support SIP natively (eventually), there ought to be a Google Voice/SIP combination that replicates my UMA/Blackberry experience. Unfortunately, it looks like things will go backward for a bit before moving forward as T-Mobile plans to deprecate UMA and does not offer it on Android. It also does not look like Google Voice/SIP on Android is ready for prime time at present.
Australia

Fine-Structure Constant Maybe Not So Constant 105

Kilrah_il writes "The fine-structure constant, a coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction, has been measured lately by scientists from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and has been found to change slightly in light sent from quasars in galaxies as far back as 12 billion years ago. Although the results look promising, caution is advised: 'This would be sensational if it were real, but I'm still not completely convinced that it's not simply systematic errors' in the data, comments cosmologist Max Tegmark of MIT. Craig Hogan of the University of Chicago and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., acknowledges that 'it's a competent team and a thorough analysis.' But because the work has such profound implications for physics and requires such a high level of precision measurements, 'it needs more proof before we'll believe it.'"
Operating Systems

OpenSUSE 11.3 Is Here 156

lukehashj writes "The openSUSE Project is pleased to announce the release of the latest incarnation of openSUSE, with support for 32-bit and 64-bit systems. OpenSUSE 11.3 is packed with new features and updates including SpiderOak to sync your files across the Internet for free, Rosegarden for free editing of your audio files, improved indexing with Tracker, and updates to Mozilla Firefox, and Thunderbird."
Windows

New Crossover Release With Improved Compatibility 104

solanum writes "On March 2nd Crossover 9.0 was released. CrossOver 9 features a new user interface that focuses on making installation of Windows software quicker and easier than previous versions. Another new feature is CrossOver's ability to download installation 'recipes' directly from CodeWeavers online Compatibility Database. 'If another CrossOver user has figured out how to use CrossOver to install a Windows application, they can upload that installation recipe to our database,' said Jeremy White, CodeWeavers chief executive officer. 'As we go forward, and build this online storehouse, CrossOver will begin to automatically install that same application for other users. This enables us to move closer to a world where CrossOver will begin to run the majority of Windows apps, and not just an officially supported subset. In other words, our diabolical plot for world domination is going exactly as planned,' he added. Early reviews and comments are positive, and my own experience is that many more Windows applications work in this new version than previously."
Cellphones

BlackBerry Bold Tops Radiation Ranking 189

geek4 writes with this excerpt from eWeek Europe: "Data from the Environmental Working Group places the BlackBerry Bold 9700 as the mobile device with the highest legal levels of cell phone radiation among popular smartphones. Research In Motion's BlackBerry Bold 9700 scores the highest among popular smartphones for exposing users to the highest legal levels of cell phone radiation, according to the latest 2010 Environmental Working Group ranking. Following the Bold 9700 are the Motorola Droid, the LG Chocolate and Google's HTC Nexus One. The rankings still put the phones well within federal guidelines and rules."
Graphics

64-Bit Flash Player For Linux Finally In Alpha 172

Luchio writes "Finally, a little bit of respect from Adobe with this alpha release of the Adobe Flash Player 10 that was made available for all Linux 64-bit enthusiasts! As noted, 'this is a prerelease version,' so handle with care. Just remove any existing Flash player and extract the new .so file in /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins (or /usr/lib/opera/plugins)."
Novell

Novell Bringing .Net Developers To Apple iPad 315

GMGruman writes "Paul Krill reports that Apple's new iPad could be easier to write apps for, thanks to Novell's MonoTouch development platform, which helps .Net developers create code for the iPad and fully comply with Apple's licensing requirements — without having to use Apple's preferred Objective-C. This news falls on the footsteps of news that Citrix will release an iPad app that lets users run Windows sessions on the iPad. These two developments bolster an argument that the iPad could eventually displace the netbook."
Games

Whatever Happened To Second Life? 209

Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."
Software

MIT & Harvard On Brain-Inspired A.I. Vision 27

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from TGDaily: "Researchers from Harvard and MIT have demonstrated a way to build better artificial visual systems with the help of low-cost, high-performance gaming hardware. [A video describing their research is available.] 'Reverse engineering a biological visual system — a system with hundreds of millions of processing units — and building an artificial system that works the same way is a daunting task,' says David Cox, Principal Investigator of the Visual Neuroscience Group at the Rowland Institute at Harvard. 'It is not enough to simply assemble together a huge amount of computing power. We have to figure out how to put all the parts together so that they can do what our brains can do.' The team drew inspiration from screening techniques in molecular biology, where a multitude of candidate organisms or compounds are screened in parallel to find those that have a particular property of interest. Rather than building a single model and seeing how well it could recognize visual objects, the team constructed thousands of candidate models, and screened for those that performed best on an object recognition task. The resulting models outperformed a crop of state-of-the-art computer vision systems across a range of test sets, more accurately identifying a range of objects on random natural backgrounds with variation in position, scale, and rotation. Using ordinary CPUs, the effort would have required either years or millions of dollars of computing hardware. Instead, by harnessing modern graphics hardware, the analysis was done in just one week, and at a small fraction of the cost."
Image

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

Comment Re:Why switch to openSuse? (Score 1) 207

This is nice and all but that's a pretty standard distro release, can anybody tell me why i would want to switch from a similar distro, say ubuntu 9.10 or fedora 12 to openSuse?

I've been running opensuse since 9.3 (when it was just SUSE 9.3). I don't know about switching from fedora, but opensuse 11.2 has a very nice kde 4.3 implementation. And you can run kde 4.3 without using pulseaudio which is a plus in my book since I don't see the need for pulse on my standard desktop. Of course YMMV.
Mars

Radar Map of Buried Mars Layers Confirms Climate Cycles 114

Matt_dk writes "A radar instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has essentially looked below the surface of the Red Planet's north-polar ice cap, and found data to confirm theoretical models of Martian climate swings during the past few million years. The new, three-dimensional map using 358 radar observations provides a cross-sectional view of the north-polar layered deposits. 'The radar has been giving us spectacular results,' said Jeffrey Plaut of JPL, a member of the science team for the Shallow Radar instrument. 'We have mapped continuous underground layers in three dimensions across a vast area.'"
Science

Entanglement Could Be a Deterministic Phenomenon 259

KentuckyFC writes "Nobel prize-winning physicist Gerard 't Hooft has joined the likes of computer scientists Stephen Wolfram and Ed Fredkin in claiming that the universe can be accurately modeled by cellular automata. The novel aspect of 't Hooft's model is that it allows quantum mechanics and, in particular, the spooky action at a distance known as entanglement to be deterministic. The idea that quantum mechanics is fundamentally deterministic is known as hidden variable theory but has been widely discounted by physicists because numerous experiments have shown its predictions to be wrong. But 't Hooft says his cellular automaton model is a new class of hidden variable theory that falls outside the remit of previous tests. However, he readily admits that the new model has serious shortcomings — it lacks some of the basic symmetries that our universe enjoys, such as rotational symmetry. However, 't Hooft adds that he is working on modifications that will make the model more realistic (abstract)."
Toys

Polaroid Lovers Try To Revive Its Instant Film 443

Maximum Prophet nods a NY Times piece on a Dutch group living the retro dream: they are trying to bring back Polaroid film. This group has the machinery to make the film packs, but needs to recreate the chemicals. Polaroid Inc. stopping making the specialized chemicals years ago, after having stockpiled what they would need for their last production runs. "They want to recast an outdated production process in an abandoned Polaroid factory for an age that has fallen for digital pictures because they think people still have room in their hearts for retro photography that eschews airbrushing or Photoshop. 'This project is about building a very interesting business to last for at least another decade,' said Florian Kaps, the Austrian entrepreneur behind the effort [in Enschede, The Netherlands]. 'It is about the importance of analog aspects in a more and more digital world. ... If everyone runs in one direction [i.e. digital photography], it creates a niche market in the other.'"

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