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Submission + - Should a startup protect "IP"?

SonOfLilit writes: "I'm an 18 year old student thinking about forming a startup around software ideas.

Now, I'm online enough to know all the talk pro- and con- patents and especially those involving software.

I've also read claims that patents are important to software startups and claims that patents are insignificant to software startups and claims that although they are significant, anything that doesn't work without them isn't good enough.

My current view is that patents are essential in the current patent-based market, but my web conscience is bugging me.

What do you think, /.? Should a software startup apply for patents on it's ideas?

PS. I'm not referring to patents like 'triply linked list', more to patents like 'software application to increase your investment profits by saving the Africans from aids'."

Submission + - Bill Gates Predicted Vista 20 Years Ago

bobdole2k writes: The Computer Science Club at the University of Waterloo has recently uncovered a recording of a talk Bill Gates gave in 1989. In the talk, Gates makes reference to many features that are in, or were planned for, Vista. He talks about advanced piracy protection involving a 'network', as well as a relational file system, which WinFS was planned to be. The talk is available for download from the Waterloo CSC

Submission + - Google: "we're not doing a mobile phone"

thefickler writes: It looks like we won't be phoning home with a Google mobile anytime real soon. A top Google executive has denied outright that the company is developing a mobile phone.

Last week the rumor mills were working overtime after a Google official speaking in Spain said that the company was investigating offering a mobile phone and British phone analyst, Richard Windsor, claimed that during CeBIT Google staff confirmed that a Google mobile phone was being developed.

However, it seems that the Google mobile phone rumor has finally been nipped in the bud.

"We're not doing a mobile phone, I'd like to find something that is broader, rather than do yet another mobile device," said Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research.

Some Dinosaurs Made Underground Dens 124

anthemaniac writes "Scientists have long puzzled over how some dinosaurs and other creatures survived the asteroid impact that supposedly caused the KT mass extinction 65 million years ago and wiped out all the big dinosaurs. One idea has been that smaller animals, including mammals, could have endured the fallout, the big chill, the subsequent volcanoes, and whatever else by burrowing. Now scientists have come up with the first evidence of burrowing dinosaurs. They speculate that underground dens might explain how some dinosaurs got through long, dark winters at high latitudes, too."

Submission + - NASA Engineers Work on New Spacesuits

NotCoward writes: In labs at Johnson Space Center, away from the buzz about NASA's new spaceship and its new missions to the moon and Mars, a group of engineers are plodding away at another piece of the puzzle: spacesuits. Astronaut apparel has evolved over the decades from Mercury's aluminum foil-looking outfits to the bulky, 275-pound whites now used on jaunts outside the space station. While it's too early in the process to know how the new suits will look, the space agency is hoping to make new suits both high-tech and low-maintenance.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Linux Consultants need Business Sense.

David Koran writes: "I have been a Linux consultant for over 9 years now. I think it is one of the greatest developments of our time. However, as most will agree, it is not the easiest thing to sell to the CFO, CEO, and VP of any company. The Linux consultants in the world would love to design and administer Linux and not deal with marketing or selling the concept. But we still have to eat, keep the lights on and pay taxes. Many consultants are mystified by the fact that not everyone wants Linux running in their company.

The problem I see, and why Microsoft dominates the OS market, is the connection Linux makes to business. Business is about making money, no doubt about it. Microsoft is about making it easy for businesses to complete those tasks to make money. We as consultants, have to put ourselves in the shoes of the executive or decision makers, that we are trying to sell the concept.

Lets say I am an executive of a 100 employee insurance company. You pop into the door and tell me I should put Linux servers and workstations. Most likely I will show some interest because technology does interest many people who are unfamiliar with it. But I am waiting for that "perceived value", I am the CFO of a major company and I need to find out how this will reduce my expenses and generate more cash flow. I don't want to hear it is more "stable" or "immune" to viruses and hackers. But if you notice my company is using spreadsheets to gather client information, my sales team is collaborating on paper, and you offer a solution to stop all the wasted time, I will start listening. Remember if I am going to the grocery store I could care less what car I am driving , a Ford, Dodge or Toyota, it makes no difference as long as I get the task done. I want to turn the key and go. Of course if you find a shorter way to the grocery store, or even better yet, find a way to bring the grocery store to me, I'm interested!!

Microsoft learned that just selling an OS is not the future, selling the solution is. Want to see an example, go to Google and enter "Linux and Business". Most of the search results are "Taking the Linux Plunge" or "Which distro of Linux is best for your company", Who Cares!! As an executive I could careless which one you use, or your hate for Bill Gates. I am interested in what it will do for my business. I know a guy who complains he can not get a job working with Linux based company or find any clients to contract with, but he spends his time spray painting Ubunto devils on his laptop and spends all night trying to connect his blue tooth phone to Linux. He needs to learn business management, get some corporate experience then come back to Linux.

Linux consultants need to understand business. Linux needs more business development of open source financial, retail, government, and industrial solutions, and be aware of the opportunities like the new Open Document Format standard, what a great place for Linux to take a shot at, especially now that some states will not accept Microsoft file formats. Get the right information together, so they can make a better business decision, thats the name of the game."

Single Gene Gives Mice Three-Color Vision 184

maynard writes "A study in the peer-reviewed journal Science shows that mice transgenetically altered with a single human gene are then able to see in full tri-color vision. Mice without this alteration are normally colorblind. The scientists speculate that mammalian brains even from animals that have never evolved color vision are flexible enough to interpret new color-sense information with just the simple addition of new photoreceptors. Such a result is also indicated by a dominant X chromosome mutation that allows for quad-color vision in some women." A sidebar in the article includes a nice illustration of what two-color vs. three-color mice might perceive.

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