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Submission + - File sharing entrepenuers sue cloud providers for (

maxfresh writes: Kazaa founder Kevin Bermeister and Streamcast founder Michael Weiss have formed a company called Personal Web which is pursuing patent infringement lawsuits against some of the biggest names in the cloud computing industry including Google, YouTube, Amazon, EMC, VMWare, Dropbox, NetApps, NEC and Caringo.

The lawsuits allege infringement of patents that they claim cover key elements of cloud computing, "including content addressable storage and/or distributed search engine technologies", and were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern district of Texas, which has the infamous reputation of being the preferred venue for U.S. based patent trolls.

Comment This is a grey area, and the CC license is vague (Score 2) 227

Due to the oversimplified and poorly written terms of the CC licenses, which leave many details undefined, neither the copyright owner nor the publications wishing to license the owner's work can have any certainty about which uses are permitted and which prohibited, in some borderline cases. Moreover, since the CC license is irrevocable once granted, content creators can easily find themselves unable to stop others from using their work in ways that they don't want, and didn't anticipate, or which they mistakenly believed were expressly prohibited.

This article has a good discussion of the problems inherent in the CC licenses.

Submission + - IRS Nails CPA for Copying Steve Jobs, Google Execs 1

theodp writes: Silly rabbit, $1 salaries are for super-wealthy tech execs! The WSJ reports that CPA David Watson incurred the wrath of the IRS by only paying himself $24,000 a year and declaring the rest of his take profit. It's a common tax-cutting maneuver that most computer consultants working through an S Corporation have probably considered. Unlike profit distributions, all salary is subject to a 2.9% Medicare tax and the first $106,800 is subject to a 12.4% Social Security tax (FICA). By reducing his salary, Watson didn't save any income taxes on the $379k in profit distributions he received in 2002 and 2003, but he did save nearly $20,000 in payroll taxes for the two years, the IRS argued, pegging Watson's true pay at $91,044 for each year. Judge Robert W. Pratt agreed that Watson's salary was too low, ruling that the CPA owed the extra tax plus interest and penalties. So why, you ask, don't members of the much-ballyhooed $1 Executive club like Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt get in hot water for their low-ball salaries? After all, how inequitable would it be if billionaires working full-time didn't have to kick in more than 15 cents into the Medicare and Social Security kitty? Sorry kids, the rich are different, and the New Global Elite have much better tax advisors than you!

Submission + - Why Eric Schmidt left as CEO of Google? China (

Edsj writes: It seems Eric Schmidt didn't like the decision to deliver uncensored searches in China. It is reported the decision to withdraw censored searches in China was made by co-founder Larry Page sided with his founding partner, Sergey Brin and probably an internal battle for power begun. Schmidt also wasn't happy with the “don’t be evil” policy, something the Google founders were prepared to protect anytime. Schmidt lost some energy and focus after losing the China internal battle and decided to leave the position of CEO. It is also reported that the chairman position is a temporary one until he finds another business to take care.

Submission + - Obama: What's Good for GE is Good for the USA 1

theodp writes: If you doubted that President Obama was going corporate, writes Joe Weisenthal, just look at who's been tapped to replace Paul Volcker as head of Obama's recovery panel. By naming General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt as his chief adviser on how to help U.S. companies create more jobs, Obama sent another signal that he wants to work more closely with big business. Joined by Immelt in Schenectady, a city once defined by GE, Obama toasted the creation of an estimated 350 jobs at the site of an under-construction GE battery plant, which was made possible with a reported $25.5 million Federal tax credit, $15 million in state funds, and wage concessions. Turning to Immelt to save the American worker is certainly outside of the box thinking. In 2004, Immelt boasted that 'Gecis [now Genpact] pioneered and set the standard' for offshore outsourcing as General Electric picked up a check for $500 million from VCs anxious to partner with GE in the lucrative global BPO business. Genpact has continued to lay golden eggs for GE — $100MM in 2007 and $300MM in 2010. And last tax season, even Forbes seemed aghast at how GE used overseas operations to pay nothing to Uncle Sam on $10.3 billion in pretax income. So it's no surprise that news of Immelt's appointment has drawn some skepticism. Still, in a 2009 speech, Immelt did do a turnabout of sorts, questioning the conventional wisdom of relying so heavily on off-shoring, which Immelt reiterated in his Washington Post Op-Ed on Friday. But whether Immelt will walk the talk remains to be seen. After all, less than a year ago, now-incorporated-in-Bermuda Genpact announced that GE has re-upped with its BPO creation through 2016, promising that 'Genpact will continue to have the first opportunity to provide new business process management services to GE.'

Submission + - Supposedly GPL-Compliant FAT32 ( 1

walterbyrd writes: Tuxera Inc., announced the release of a complete, GPL-compliant FAT32 replacement package for Android and Linux. But, I think the code is closed source and proprietary. Also, since the FAT file system is patent encumbered, I don't know if being GPL matters.

Comment Re:dBm vs dB (Score 1) 253

Writing "3dB" is conceptually *exactly* the same as writing "200%".

I just checked the Wikipedia article, and it is totally correct, and agrees 100% with what I stated, as does every physics text that I've ever seen. The definition is what it is, and your assertion that "3dB" is exactly the same as "200%" is simply incorrect.

I don't want to repeat myself or belabor the point, but 3dB represents a 2:1 ratio of power, and a 1.41:1 ratio of voltage. This follows simply and irrefutably from the laws of physics at work, and the underlying mathematical relationship of the quantities being measured, be they field quantities or power quantities.

Remember the basic definitions of the quantities, which is that power is proportional to voltage^2, so it is mathematically impossible for them to change together by the same ratio.

When power changes 2:1, or expressed in dB, 10 * log(2) = 3dB,

Then voltage changes 1.41:1, or expressed in dB, 20 * log(1.41) = 3dB.

I hope that you can see now that your mistaken idea that "3dB==2:1 or 200%" for both voltage and power is impossible, because power is proportional to voltage^2, it is mathematically impossible for them to both vary by 2:1 at the same time.

Comment Re:dBm vs dB (Score 1) 253

(Just for posterity, a factor of 2 == 3dB *always*.)

That last point that you made for posterity is not correct, because the definition of dB relates to power ratios, and a 2:1 ratio of power is 3dB, whereas a 2:1 ratio of voltage results in a 4:1 ratio of power and 6dB of change.

So, a factor of 2 is only 3dB when measuring power, because for power dB is defined as: dB = 10 * log(P1/P0),

and 10 * log(2) = 3

But when measuring voltage, a factor of 2 is 6dB, because for voltage ratios, dB is defined as: dB = 20 * log(V1/V0),

and 20 * log(2) = 6

Comment Re:Ordering and Convergence (Score 1) 981

"I have several pieces of fruit, one of which is a banana grown in Ecuador."

It may well be that the second piece of fruit was also grown in Ecuador, just like the first one was, but I simply don't know, so I don't make any statement about its country of origin, nor do I ask you to make any assumption or draw any inference about its country of origin. Therefore, this statement isn't deliberately misleading, because I don't know the country of origin of the second piece of fruit, as it doesn't have a country of origin sticker on it. My statement is totally true and complete to the best of my knowledge, and does not deliberately withold any information.

The way I see it, the fact that I stated that the country of origin of the first piece of fruit is Ecuador does not imply or require that the second piece of fruit is or is not from Ecuador also.

The way I read and analyze the sentence is that it is conveying complete information about just one piece of fruit, and no information at all about the other piece of fruit. I don't think that it's correct to assume any facts or restrictions not explicitly stated.

Likewise, in the original problem, "I have two children, one of whom is a boy born on Tuesday. What is the probability that the other is also a boy?"

The parent may not know what day of the week their other child was born on, for many reasons, such as separation due to war from the pregnant mother before the child was born. The father may have escaped from the conflict with one child, and only know from witnesses that his pregnant wife was captured and gave birth to a child while in a prison camp. The child born in prison may have been born on a Tuesday too, but the father doesn't know, and doesn't say. So his statement is totally true and complete to the best of his knowledge. But we can't assume that his statement says anything at all about the day of birth of the second child, nor use it in our calculation of the probability that he or she is a boy.

Comment Re:Ordering and Convergence (Score 1) 981

You offer the analogy:

I have several pieces of fruit and one of them is a banana

But the statement in the puzzle is: "I have two children, one of whom is a boy born on a Tuesday

Your example sentence is not analagous to the original problem, because the original statement provides two facts about one of the children, whereas your sentence provides only one fact about one of the pieces of fruit, therefore your argument is flawed.

The correct analogy is: "I have several pieces of fruit, one of which is a banana grown in Ecuador."

It is obvious that this statement about one of the pieces of fruit does not make any statements about the nature of the other piece of fruit, and certainly does not preclude the possiblility that the second piece of fruit is also a banana. For example, the second piece of fruit could very easily be a banana grown in Honduras, and nobody would consider the statement about the first piece of fruit to be a lie.

Submission + - New Air Conditioner Process cuts energy use 50-90% ( 2

necro81 writes: The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory has announced that it has developed a new method for air conditioning that reduces energy use by 50-90%. The DEVap system cools air using evaporative cooling, which is not new, but combines the process with a liquid dessicant for pulling the water vapor out of the cooled air stream. The liquid dessicant, a very strong aqueous solution of lithium chloride or sodium chloride, is separated from the air stream by a permeable hydrophobic membrane. Heat is later used to evaporate water vapor back out — heat that can come from a variety of sources such as solar or natural gas. The dessicants are, compared to typical refrigerants like HCFCs, relatively safe for the environment.

Submission + - Why Being Wrong Makes Humans So Smart 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "Kathryn Schulz writes in the Boston Globe that the more scientists understand about cognitive functioning, the more it becomes clear that our capacity to make mistakes is utterly inextricable from what makes the human brain so swift, adaptable, and intelligent and that rather than treating errors like the bedbugs of the intellect — an appalling and embarrassing nuisance we try to pretend out of existence, we need to recognize that human fallibility is part and parcel of human brilliance. Neuroscientists increasingly think that inductive reasoning undergirds virtually all of human cognition. Humans use inductive reasoning to learn language, organize the world into meaningful categories, and grasp the relationship between cause and effect in the physical, biological, and psychological realms and thanks to inductive reasoning, we are able to form nearly instantaneous beliefs and take action accordingly. But our use of inductive reasoning comes with a price. "The distinctive thing about inductive reasoning is that it generates conclusions that aren’t necessarily true. They are, instead, probabilistically true — which means they are possibly false," writes Schulz. "Because we reason inductively, we will sometimes get things wrong." Schulz recommends that we respond to the mistakes (or putative mistakes) of those around us with empathy and generosity and demand that our business and political leaders acknowledge and redress their errors rather than ignoring or denying them. "Once we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity, or evil intent, we can liberate ourselves from the impossible burden of trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition that we could be in error, without deeming ourselves idiotic or unworthy.""

Submission + - Britain's BPI goes after Google -- with US DMCA ! ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The BPI, the RIAA's UK counterpart, has gone up against the Holiest of Holies, American online advertising conglomerate Google, says Chilling Effects. The BPI contributed to the British government's Digital Ecomy bill, complete with its ACTA Three Strikes and you're Off The Net element, with hardly a murmur from the UK lamescream media. Now Chilling Effects quotes a missive directed at Gargle by the BPI. It states, in part, "We have identified the following links that are available via Google's search engine, and request the following links be removed as soon as possible as they directly link to sound recordings owned by our members ... " And what's even more interesting is: this British 'trade' outfity is using the American DMCA to attack Google. Can it do that?

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There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923