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Comment Re:Well what about this ? (Score 1) 622

A Slashdot-like service should be integrated in the patent review system. It appears to me that, every time there is a new software patent that makes it on Slashdot, in a matter of minutes somebody will find some relevant and non-trivial prior art. Just like the parent poster and others around did. I think that a patent should be pre-issued and be in an informal "challenge" phase. In this phase, the patent could be set up on a moderated website like Slashdot where people can point out the relevant prior art. If the patent remains unchallenged it can be granted, otherwise the patent office can take a couple more days to analyse the top "challengers".

I know that, theoretically, a system like this is already in place, since after the patent is granted it can be challenged in a court of law. However, this system is prone to abuse and too expensive.

Comment Re:Marvelous! (Score 1) 1352

Thank you Slashdot for finally giving me the needed push to stop visiting here. When tripe like this is "reported" here as news I know I'm wasting my time. And there seems to be more and more of this.

Instead of complaining, take a second to read a wealth of comments that are extremely critic regarding the methodology and conclusions of this study.

I don't see Slashdot as a source of truth, I just regard it as a forum whose participants always come up with useful insights, even on the dumbest of the stories.


Mozilla Unleashes JaegerMonkey Enabled Firefox 4 279

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla has published the first Firefox 4 build that integrates a new JavaScript engine that aims to match the performance in IE9 and reduces the gap to Safari, Opera and Chrome. This is really the big news we have been waiting for all along with Firefox 4 and it appears that the JavaScript performance is pretty dramatic and seems to beat IE9 at least as far as ConceivablyTech shows. Good to see Mozilla back in the game." The Mozilla blog gives a good overview of the improvements this brings; Tom's Hardware also covers the release.
Classic Games (Games)

How Death Rally Got Ported 89

An anonymous reader writes "Last year, I got the opportunity to port Remedy Entertainment's Death Rally to modern platforms off its original MS-DOS sources. I wrote an article about the porting process for Game Developer magazine, and now I've posted the text of the article for general consumption. 'The source software platform was DOS, Watcom C, and some Dos4GW-style DOS extender. The extender basically meant you could use more than 640k of memory, and would not need any weird code for data larger than 64k. The game displayed in VESA 640x480 and MCGA 320x200 graphics modes, all with 8-bit palettes; there was no true color anywhere. There were also some per-frame palette change tricks that emulators have trouble with. The source code was mostly pure C with a couple dozen inline assembly functions. There were a few missing subsystems, specifically audio and networking, which would have to be replaced completely anyway, as well as one file for which the source code was lost and only a compiled object was available.'"

Submission + - Hacking games using on the fly memory manipulation 1

mrstrano writes: Stanford researchers demonstrated last week at the Defcon how to attack game using on fly memory analysis and manipulation. A video that shows how to use their tool Kartograph to create a map hack for Supreme commander 2 is available from The slides are available at and a video of them that include all the demos is available here:

More Evidence For Steam Games On Linux 256

SheeEttin writes "Back in November 2008, Phoronix reported that Linux libraries appeared in the Left 4 Dead demo, and then in March, Valve announced that Steam and the Source engine were coming to Mac OS X. Now, Phoronix reports that launcher scripts included with the (closed beta) Mac version of Steam include explicit support for launching a Linux version."
Red Hat Software

Red Hat Releases RHEL 6 Public Beta 1 148

An anonymous reader writes "It was way back on 2006-09-07 when Red Hat released its first public beta of Enterprise Linux 5. Today, after more than three years, Red Hat finally releases its first public beta of its next-generation OS: RHEL 6 public beta 1. From the news release: 'We are excited to share with you news of our first public step toward our next major Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform release with today's Beta availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Beginning today, we are inviting our customers, partners, and members of the public to install, test, and provide feedback for what we expect will be one of our most ambitious and important operating platform releases to date. This blog is the first in a series of upcoming posts that will cover different aspects of the new platform.'"

Microsoft Clears MechWarrior4 Free Launch 131

Vamman writes "If you've been following the drama surrounding the free release of MechWarrior4, then you're probably aware that the initial announcement, made last summer, was a bit premature. Now, nearly a year since that announcement was made, MekTek Studios has announced that Microsoft Legal has given clearance for the free release of Mechwarrior4. This move by Microsoft Games couldn't come at a better time for the community, as the owners of MechWarrior are attempting a reboot of the franchise."

Alcatel-Lucent Boosts Broadband Over Copper To 300Mbps 160

alphadogg writes "Alcatel-Lucent has come up with a way to move data at 300Mbps over copper lines. So far the results have only been reproduced in a lab environment — real products and services won't be available for at least a year. From the article: 'Researchers at the company's Bell Labs demonstrated the 300Mbps technology over a distance of 400 meters using VDSL2 (Very high bitrate Digital Subscriber Line), according to Stefaan Vanhastel, director of product marketing at Alcatel-Lucent Wireline Networks. The test showed that it can also do 100Mbps over a distance of 1,000 meters, he said. Currently, copper is the most common broadband medium. About 65 percent of subscribers have a broadband connection that's based on DSL, compared to 20 percent for cable and 12 percent for fiber, according to market research company Point Topic. Today, the average advertised DSL speeds for residential users vary between 9.2 Mbps and 1.9Mbps in various parts of the world, Point Topic said.'"

Comment Correlation and Causation mayhem (Score 1) 561

I read this news a couple of days back and I wanted to find more about the paper, so I typed 'smokers are dumber' on Google.
The headlines of the articles appeared in the results given by Google. However, while the first three or four results correctly cited the paper
with titles like 'Smokers dumber than non smokers' around the 6 or 7 result articles like 'Smoking makes you dumber' started to appear.

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In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982