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Data Storage

Japanese Scientists Develop Long-Life Flash Memory 188

schliz writes "Flash memory chips with a potential lifetime of hundreds of years have been developed by Japanese scientists. The new chips also work at lower voltages than conventional chips, according to the scientists from the University of Tokyo. They are said to be scaleable down to at least 10 nm; current Flash chips wouldn't be usable below 20 nm."
Mars

Mars Lander's Robot Arm Shuts Down To Save Itself 214

Cowards Anonymous passes along a PCWorld article that begins, "The robotic arm on the Mars Lander found itself in a tough position over the weekend. After receiving instructions for a movement that would have damaged its wrist, the robotic arm recognized the problem, tried to rectify it and then shut down before it could damage itself, according to Ray Arvidson, a co-investigator for the Mars Lander's robotic arm team and a professor at Washington University in St. Louis."
Patents

MSM Noticing That Patent Gridlock Stunts Innovation 233

trichard tips a column on the editorial page at that most traditional of mainstream media, the Wall Street Journal, arguing the point (obvious to this community for a decade) that the US patent system costs more than the value it delivers. The columnist is L. Gordon Crovitz and here is an excerpt: "New drugs require great specificity to earn a patent, whereas patents are often granted to broad, thus vague, innovations in software, communications, and other technologies. Ironically, the aggregate value of these technology patents is then wiped out through litigation costs. Our patent system [is] a disincentive at a time when we expect software and other technology companies to be the growth engine of the economy. Imagine how much more productive our information-driven economy would be if the patent system lived up to the intention of the Founders, by encouraging progress instead of suppressing it."
Communications

Alternative Uses For an Old Satellite Dish? 552

ya really writes "My family has one of those BUDs (Big Ugly Dishes) sitting in their back yard still. The other day they asked me if I would take it apart for them. Aside from simply recycling it, I was wondering if there are any alternatives for its use. It was one of the last made before DirectTV and Dish took over satellite broadcasting, and even has a digital receiver. I'd say it was made around 1996."
Privacy

Open Security Foundation To Maintain DataLossDB 34

An anonymous reader points out an announcement up at Attrition.org, that going forward their Data Loss Database will be taken over and maintained by the Open Security Foundation. From the news release: "...OSF is pleased to announce that the DataLossDB (also known as the Data Loss Database — Open Source [DLDOS] currently run by Attrition.org) will be formally maintained as an ongoing project under the OSF umbrella organization as of July 15, 2008... The project's core mission is to track the loss or theft of personally identifying information not just from the United States, but across the world. As of June 4, 2008, DataLossDB contains information on over 1,000 breaches of personal identifying information covering over 330 million records. The... DataLossDB will be free for download and use in non-profit work and research. The new website launch builds off of the current data set and provides an extensive list of new features."
Security

Fallout From the Fall of CAPTCHAs 413

An anonymous reader recommends Computerworld's look at the rise and fall of CAPTCHAs, and at some of the ways bad guys are leveraging broken CAPTCHAs to ply their evil trade. "CAPTCHA used to be an easy and useful way for Web administrators to authenticate users. Now it's an easy and useful way for malware authors and spammers to do their dirty work. By January 2008, Yahoo Mail's CAPTCHA had been cracked. Gmail was ripped open soon thereafter. Hotmail's top got popped in April. And then things got bad. There are now programs available online (no, we will not tell you where) that automate CAPTCHA attacks. You don't need to have any cracking skills. All you need is a desire to spread spam, make anonymous online attacks against your enemies, propagate malware or, in general, be an online jerk. And it's not just free e-mail sites that can be made to suffer..."
The Courts

Apple Files Suit Against Psystar 805

Reader The other A.N. Other, among others, alerts us to the news that Apple has filed suit against Psystar, the unauthorized clonemaker. (We've been discussing Psystar from the start.) The suit alleges violation of Apple's shrink wrap license and trademarks, and also copyright infringement. News of the lawsuit, filed on July 3, first surfaced on a legal blog. There's speculation that the case has been sealed.
Cellphones

First North American OpenMoko/FreeRunners Arrive 180

holdenkarau writes "The North American OpenMoko FreeRunners are starting to arrive. It would appear that the OpenMoko still has problems with some 3G networks, including AT&T. Although, in my own personal completely unscientific test, 2 out of 3 AT&T SIM cards worked. Check out the unboxing of a complete FreeRunner (along with debug board) and my experience getting the FreeRunner up and running. Or a direct link to the pictures for those of you bored with text. If you feel brave enough to take the plunge, you can buy your own FreeRunner from the OpenMoko store."

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