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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft alleged anticompetitive practices agains (groklaw.net)

andydread writes: We discussed the accusation against Microsoft by Barnes and Noble about their patent attacks on Android. The details are out on the extent that Microsoft has gone to make open source undesirable in the marketplace. Barnes and Noble says that this is not just about Android. According to B&N Its about all open source in general and they have filed a detailed complaint (PDF) with the ITC spelling out what they call "extortive practices" on the part of Microsoft against open source. Now we have a list of the actual patents in question and B&N explaining how each one of these patents are invalid.
Businesses

Submission + - Tech Site Sues Ex-Employee, Claiming Rights To His (forbes.com)

nonprofiteer writes: Noah Kravitz worked as a mobile phone reviewer for a tech website called Phonedog for four and a half years. While there, he started a Twitter account (of his own volition) with the handle @PhoneDog_Noah to tweet his stories and videos for the site as well as personal stuff about sports, food, music, etc. When he left Phonedog, he had approximately 17,000 followers and changed his Twitter handle to @noahkravitz.

This summer, Phonedog started barking that it wanted the Twitter account back, and sued Kravitz, valuing the account at $340,000 (!), or $2.50 per follower per month. Kravitz claims the Twitter account was his own property. A California judge ruled that the case can proceed and theoretically go to trial. Meanwhile, Kravitz continues to tweet.

Science

Submission + - Deep-sea camouflage tactics revealed (bbc.co.uk)

Honken writes: A recent study by scientists at Duke University has found that transparent deep-sea octopuses turn red when exposed to blue light similar to what predators emit, allowing them to hide using both transparency and by absorbing the wavelengths of the blueish light emitted by deep-sea predators. The Register quickly made the not-so-obvious connection to Kindles and squid video playback, whereas Discovery News reports of slightly more useful yet exotic applications such as fishing nets that are invisible only to the species that it intends to catch.
Apple

Submission + - Siri Protocol Cracked (applidium.com)

jisom writes: Today, we managed to crack open Siri’s protocol. As a result, we are able to use Siri’s recognition engine from any device. Yes, that means anyone could now write an Android app that uses the real Siri! Or use Siri on an iPad! And we’re goign to share this know-how with you.
Classic Games (Games)

Submission + - PETA Slams Super Mario with Tanooki Fur Game (gameinformer.com)

eldavojohn writes: In Super Mario Bros 3, gamers saw Mario and Luigi don a suit of a raccoon dog called a 'tanuki' that is native to Japan. Wag the tail and you could fly. Pretty innocent and magical, right? Well, PETA has hopped on this fresh new video game title and recently released a game where a 'player directs a bloody, skinned raccoon dog as he chases a tanuki fur-suited Mario through a surreal fur farm where raccoon dogs are routinely skinned alive for their fur. Quick reflexes and jumping skills will allow Tanooki to capture Mario and reclaim his skin.' That's from their press release, you can play the game here. Much ado about nothing, you say? Not according to PETA who aver that 'Mario is sending the message that it's OK to wear fur. We created our game to help inform people that in real life, Mario would be wearing the skin of an animal who was beaten, strangled or electrocuted, and it wouldn't give him any special powers other than the power of self-deception.' Evidently in anything-goes-China, farms of Tanukis have resulted in footage of handlers slamming raccoon dogs against the ground to kill them so they can skin them after a life of less than desirable conditions drive the poor creatures to insanity. Still, it's difficult to connect such an act to a couple of plumbers. After countless hours, I've managed to resist the urge to pounce atop a shelled animal in order to then use it as a weapon let alone brain a tanuki in order to gain its fur and non-existent flying powers.
Google

Submission + - Google Reveals Tweaks to Its Search Algorithm (nytimes.com)

Meshach writes: The New York Times has an interesting article about how Google has revealed some of the inner workings of the Google Search service. The main change is that sites that are not in English will be translated then included in the search results. Google said it has also improved the way it recognizes official Web sites, like those published by the government, and will give those sites higher ranking in search results. Google does not usually reveal such details but the article speculates governments have been pushing for more transparancy.
Security

Submission + - Windows 8 no longer automatically restarts to inst (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "We have all been victim of the diabolical, automatic 3am Windows Update restart. You might be watching a movie or you might be slaying a boss in World of Warcraft, or perhaps you simply left your computer on over night — perhaps with some unsaved work — and blam! Windows Update strikes. If you're a geek, it only happens once — usually after setting up a new computer and forgetting, yet again, to disable automatic updates — but for most consumers, it's just a fact of Windows life. But not for long! With Windows 8, Microsoft is finally fixing Windows Update to behave a little more sensibly. Starting with Windows 8, Windows Update will consolidate every restart-requiring patch into just one restart, on Patch Tuesday. Secondly, instead of popping up a system tray notification, Windows Update will now use the login screen to tell you, three days in advance, about an impending restart. Finally, Windows 8 will not automatically restart if your computer is locked, running background apps, or if you have any unsaved work. Instead, Windows 8 will wait for your next login and then begin the restart process."
Censorship

Submission + - Local whistleblower blog blocked in Argentina (google.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Leakymails, a whistleblower blog that is posting email and documents from argentinean politicians, journalist and businessmen, has became the first website to be blocked in Argentina by the government (link in spanish)
The author is looking for help to distribute the leaked material.

Security

Submission + - I'm declaring password bankruptcy

An anonymous reader writes: Once upon a time, composing passwords was as easy as saying open sesame. Not any more. Now web services all-too-often require users to beef up the security of their passwords by stipulating minimum length and numerals or just banning weak passwords (Hotmail is the latest example). But increasingly demanding password systems are themselves posing a security risk, argues this columnist as they don't take account of users' memory and storage limits. Forcing users to create more complex passwords just means users will crack under pressure — and read for the Post-It note.
Intel

Submission + - Intel Details Dynamic Resolution Rendering Tech (thinq.co.uk)

Stoobalou writes: Intel is risking the ire of hardcore gamers by suggesting that PC gaming can learn a trick or two from the world of consoles by altering a game's rendering resolution on the fly in order to boost performance.

Intel's latest chips, the Sandy Bridge series, pack some impressive graphical horsepower compared to the company's previous attempts, but still lag behind the performance of dedicated graphics from AMD or Nvidia. While that hasn't been a problem in the past — as there is a significant cost for an OEM to include discrete graphics with its product — AMD's move to the Fusion platform and the 'accelerated processing' concept threatens Intel's hold on the integrated graphics market.

The Internet

Submission + - 40GB of data that costs the same as a house (pcpro.co.uk) 1

Barence writes: "PC Pro has an infographic that reveals the extortionate cost of roaming data. They compared the cost of data typically bundled with a fixed-line broadband package (40GB) costing £15, with the cost of buying that data on various mobile tariffs. Buying 40GB of data on a domestic mobile internet tariff from Orange would cost the same as an iMac; buying the same quantity of data on O2's non-Europe roaming tariff would cost £240,000 — or the same as a three-bedroom house."
Ubuntu

Submission + - Best of the lot: My top 5 media players for Ubuntu (ubuntumanual.org)

tjavailable writes: "Ubuntu is now one of the most popular Operating Systems used in the world. The main reason behind is the open source nature of Ubuntu and the backing provided by the vast online user community. Today Ubuntu ranks in 3rd in the list of top OS’s. The Open Source wizard supports a wide variety of software including media players. Today we review some of the best media software available for Ubuntu’s latest versions."

Submission + - Climate sceptic funded by oil and coal companies (guardian.co.uk) 5

Honken writes: The Guardian reports that "One of the world's most prominent scientific figures to be sceptical about climate change has admitted to being paid more than $1m in the past decade by major US oil and coal companies."

This somewhat contradicts that Soon in a 2003 US senate hearing said that he had "not knowingly been hired by, nor employed by, nor received grants from any organisation that had taken advocacy positions with respect to the Kyoto protocol or the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change."

Idle

Submission + - Plan to test Shakespeare remains for marijuana (foxnews.com) 1

dutchwhizzman writes: A team of scientists has submitted a formal request to test the remains of William Shakespeare for drugs. Notably, for marijuana, since remains of clay pipes found in his garden have been tested positive for four-twenty. If they get permission, we may have to adjust our view on his world famous plays quite substantially.

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