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Comment Enormous Potential (Score 1) 109

I thoroughly enjoyed Mirror's Edge the first time around. The movement system was absolutely phenomenal and jumping from building to building was a lot of fun. I don't understand why reviews were so mixed or sales so poor. DICE's innovation made the game unlike anything I had played before. Had I known the sequel would be canned, I'd have bought 2... or 5 copies. DICE has the engine now, they could really push it with a sequel and bring the rest of the game up to par (online multiplayer, longer campaign, more stunts). It's a shame this awesome franchise will fizzle out because of budget constraints...

Are Google's Patents Too Weak To Protect Android? 257

An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian published an opinion piece written by former-NoSoftwarePatents-activist-turned-controversial-patent-blogger Florian Mueller. He lists 12 patent lawsuits instigated against Android last year, says there are many more to come, and believes that Google's portfolio of only 576 US patents is dwarved by those of Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and others. So Google can't retaliate against aggressors such as Oracle. Consequently — he argues — Android makers will have to remove functionality or pay high license fees, and the operating system will become unprofitable for handset makers. Even the app ecosystem could suffer, he says. Since Google received only 282 new US patents in 2010, the gap between Google's portfolio and those of its competitors is widening further: Apple produces about twice as many, and Microsoft gets more than 3,000 new ones a year. Let's discuss this: is Android really in for so much trouble? Can't Google find other ways (than owning many patents) to defend it than countersuing? How about its vast financial resources?"

Submission + - Language barriers are falling down (

kingkaos69 writes: It appears that language barriers are going to be broken sooner than we expected. Not long ago we published an article about the Word Lens translator which is able to translate text in real time on your iPhone screen. Now Google has announced the alpha version of its new service Google Translate Conversation Mode, which allows..

Submission + - Why there is no lossy image format with alpha? ( 8

ciantic writes: Almost every web developer would benefit from image format that has the capabilities of JPEG and Alpha Channel like in PNG. But why there is not any? Google is developing WebP but it seems like it does not include this killer feature, and as it is discussed it gets to stand still when engineer asks something specific. What is the main issue here? Clearly web is missing this kind of format. From my naive stand point of view the alpha channel would be just like RGB channels, with slight exception the extreme values of Alpha should not be compressed. If you need examples why such format is needed, there is not shortage of that in web. Common example for this kind of need is tilted Polaroid picture with transparent background, and gradient fading in photographs.

Submission + - Polynomial Time Code for 3-SAT Released, P==NP (

An anonymous reader writes: Vladimir Romanov has released what he claims is a polynomial-time algorithm for solving 3-SAT. Because 3-SAT is NP-complete, this would imply that P==NP. While there's still good reason to be skeptical that this is, in fact, true, he's made source code available and appears decidedly more serious than most of the people attempting to prove that P==NP or P!=NP. Even though this is probably wrong, just based on the sheer number of prior failures, it seems more likely to lead to new discoveries than most. Note that there are already algorithms to solve 3-SAT, including one that runs in time (4/3)^n and succeeds with high probability. Incidentally, this wouldn't necessarily imply that encryption is worthless: it may still be too slow to be practical.

Comment Re:An answer in search for a problem? (Score 4, Informative) 475

2. Who knows what chemicals are left behind on the sticker.

4. Stickers get toss into the garbage. Or worse if you are eating on the run just littered.

There are no chemicals. The stickers are made of starch, are printed on with edible dyes and are stuck on the fruit with a thin layer of glucose. They are in fact perfectly edible and biodegradable. It's quite possible laser etching (by heating the fruit) will produce more dangerous compounds. Frankly, this isn't even a problem, people just like the lasers because they look cool.

Comment Shelf Space (Score 5, Insightful) 100

Brick and mortar stores have something called "shelf space". Having 80 different copies of Pride and Prejudice in a real store wouldn't make any sense. This is simply Amazon doing the same thing, but online. Just because they have unlimited digital shelf space, doesn't mean they HAVE to carry your book. The user experience comes first, and if I walked into a brick and mortar store and was met with 80 different publishings of Pride and Prejudice, I wouldn't be so happy either. So quit bitching, Amazon is entirely within its rights.

Comment Amazing Engineering (Score 5, Insightful) 157

That this rover landed in 2004 with a planned mission of 90 Martian days and we're now in 2009 still amazes me. To keep these rovers functioning for that long is an engineering triumph. Even with equipment failures, dust storms, broken wheels etc. the engineers at NASA manage to make the best of these rovers and learn more about Mars. If we're lucky, the rovers will still be working when we land there, one day. It's nice to see such human ingenuity.

Comment Re:Standards and the futility of (Score 5, Interesting) 170

Hate to say it, but I think Microsoft Office is a flat out better product than It starts up faster, it has the whole macro system, it's just a lot more powerful.

What makes you think there isn't free-market competition right now? users can open MS files and save to the format as well. There are a few bugs, but those are true among Microsoft products too (open the same document in Word 97 or Word 2000 or Word 2003 and they look different). Open standards are great, but I highly doubt it will make a dent in Microsoft's hold of the office software market.

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To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley