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Submission + - Don't like a patent? Help kIll it.

Camael writes: When Joel Spolsky spotted an undeserving Microsoft patent application, he didn't just let it be granted — He killed a in just a few minutes. In short, he found prior art and submitted it, and the USPTO examiner rejected the patent because of it. From TFA :- "Micah showed me a document from the USPTO confirming that they had rejected the patent application, and the rejection relied very heavily on the document I found. This was, in fact, the first 'confirmed kill' of Ask Patents, and it was really surprisingly easy. I didn't have to do the hard work of studying everything in the patent application and carefully proving that it was all prior art: the examiner did that for me." This is all under the umbrella of Ask Patents'.

Submission + - Long Range RFID Hacking Tool to be Released at Black Hat (

msm1267 writes: Next week at the Black Hat Briefings in Las Vegas, a security researcher will release a modified RFID reader that can capture data from 125KHz low frequency RFID badges from up to three feet away. Previous RFID hacking tools must be within centimeters of a victim to work properly; this tool would allow an attacker or pen-tester to store the device inside a backpack and it would silently grab card data from anyone walking close enough to it.The researcher said the tool will be the difference between a practical and impractical attack, and that he's had 100 percent success rates in testing the device. Schematics and code will be released at Black Hat as well.

Comment Re:Still illegal under NZ Constitution (Score 1) 216

Yes, warrentless wiretapping is a problem. (I'll not talk about Britain here)

But spot the difference between allowing police to track specific phones for investigations and the NSA recording all communications for everyone, forever.

The police can be held accountable. There is a paper trail of who accessed what and how often. These stats are made available. That's the difference.

Yes, the Data Retention Directive is problematic, and we should push to limit the storage time limit to 2 weeks. The fight against this directive is still ongoing, as it is costly and unnecessarily invasive to privacy.

Comment Re:Looks interesting (Score 2) 33

Well, the big philosophical idea is that ANY EOMA-68 CPU card slots in ANY EOMA-68 machine (note that EOMA is not entirely, or even primarily about tablets -- that's just the first hardware product using it), and works. That's why Luke (aka lkcl) is quite adamant there are no "optional" features in the spec -- the only exception is for interfaces (e.g. USB, 10/100/1000-BASE-T) that can fully autonegotiate in both directions, so that there's neither a slow-machine/fast-cpu-card, nor slow-cpu-card/fast-machine case where it becomes incompatible.

yup. that's about the long and short of it. although it's at first consideration a complete pain for system designers on both sides of the interface - a nuisance for CPU Card designers because they have to substitute extra ICs such as USB-to-SATA in cases where they pick a SoC that doesn't have SATA - and bewilderment for I/O Board designers because why would they use a CPU Card in e.g. a tablet that has features they don't need such as Ethernet?? - the alternatives are absolute chaos.

the advantage: you can tell the average end-user "just buy one of these, it will work".

the alternative: think about this scenario as it is in many other standards such as Q-Seven , where you allow ethernet to be "optional" and you allow the I/O boards to "recreate" ethernet say using USB-to-Ethernet. how do you route that? well, if you think about it what you have to do is actually put down an Ethernet Hub IC on *every single I/O board*, and some sort of crazed switching, as well as put down a USB-to-Ethernet converter IC and probably a USB Hub IC as well... because the designers of the I/O board will never know if an end-user is going to plug in a CPU Card that has native Ethernet or is expecting it to be left up to the I/O Board using USB.

now expand that chaos out to SATA as well, as well as any other interfaces, and you can see immediately that a non-optional standard results in instant chaos. it's fine for Q-Seven (well... it's not. not really) where the expectation is that the Q-Seven Cards will never be removed from their carrier boards, but then why build a standard where the end-user is never expected to upgrade their system without needing a specialist degree in engineering in order to assess if the upgrade will even work?

the guiding principles behind the EOMA standards are: it must be SIMPLE, it must be OPEN, and it must work in HUGE volume.

Comment Re:I wish Google would make its Maps more function (Score 1) 65

While I applaud the engineer's efforts, I wish his employer (Google), would spend a bit more of resources in making its maps aplication more functional [for me].

Here's my gripe, and I am not alone:

Why is it that there's no way to make routing avoid toll roads by default?

I have got a solution: I use Waze but worried that if Google's ambitions with it (Waze) go through, they may disable this feature.

You sometimes wonder why things so basic, take so long to implement. Why?

Because that's not a product they sell? Go to a car navigation company (TomTom, Garvin, Navit come to mind) and give them money, they do what you want. Why you expect more than something basic from a free service is beyond me.

Comment Re:General implications (Score 1) 46

Still, I think in this century materials and systems will be developed which can detect neutrinos 1000 times better than today. That opens up new possibilities in astronomy (solar neutrinos, AGN, looking past the CMB just to name a few).

Yes, neutrinos start the SN explosion according to current models. However, the timing results for SN 1987a were actually inconclusive, as observatories were not connected to calibrated precision timing systems.

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"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)