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Submission + - Cryosat Image Anomalies Prompt Icy Structure Insights

Rambo Tribble writes: Patterns appearing in images taken by the ESA's Cryosat program at first baffled agency scientists. Fearing malfunction, they poured over the data. It turns out that patterns in ice features known as sastrugi were affecting the reflection of the polarized radar used by the satellite. The sastrugi have been formed by Antarctica's prevailing katabatic winds. The BBC reports.

Submission + - Amazon Said Buying Mobile Payment Startup

Rambo Tribble writes: TechFlash is reporting on articles from TechCrunch and the Wall Street Journal indicating that Amazon is scooping up San Francisco startup, mobile-payments provider GoPago, to compete with the likes of PayPal and Square. Opinions differ as to whether this is a speculative deal or a fait accompli.

Submission + - Printing Retinal Cells

Rambo Tribble writes: The BBC reports on research that points to the possibility of using inkjet technology to print retinal ganglion and glial cells. While the research is preliminary, it is thought to hold great promise for treating certain kinds of eye problems.

Comment Flawed Procurement (Score 1) 586

Oregon's problems with the Cover Oregon site are reflective of a procurement process mired in the 1980s. Indeed, this is a problem at all levels of government, and is one of the issues to plague HealthCare.gov. The officials specing and evaluating proposals characteristically have little comprehension of modern software development, and simply give the contract to whatever proprietary vendor does the best marketing job on them.

Another recent, but unnoticed example of this skewed process, also from Oregon, is the awarding of the state's online portal development to a vendor clearly chosen, by key officials, before the process of selection even started. No consideration was given to open development or open standards, the meetings leading up to the purchase decision were just sales presentations by said vendor.

Submission + - German Court Rules Against MS FAT Patent 1

Rambo Tribble writes: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, at ZDnet, is reporting on a decision in a German court that Microsoft's File Allocation Table patent is invalid due to "obviousness". This threatens MS revenues from the mobile OS that generates the most profits for them, Android.

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