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Network

Submission + - Increasing wireless network speed by 1000%, by replacing packets with algebra (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "A team of researchers from MIT, Caltech, Harvard, and other universities in Europe, have devised a way of boosting the performance of wireless networks by up to 10 times — without increasing transmission power, adding more base stations, or using more wireless spectrum. The researchers’ creation, coded TCP, is a novel way of transmitting data so that lost packets don’t result in higher latency or re-sent data. With coded TCP, blocks of packets are clumped together and then transformed into algebraic equations that describe the packets. If part of the message is lost, the receiver can solve the equation to derive the missing data. The process of solving the equations is simple and linear, meaning it doesn’t require much processing on behalf of the router/smartphone/laptop. In testing, the coded TCP resulted in some dramatic improvements. MIT found that campus WiFi (2% packet loss) jumped from 1Mbps to 16Mbps. On a fast-moving train (5% packet loss), the connection speed jumped from 0.5Mbps to 13.5Mbps. Moving forward, coded TCP is expected to have huge repercussions on the performance of LTE and WiFi networks — and the technology has already been commercially licensed to several hardware makers."
Patents

Submission + - US Patent Office Invalidates Apple's "Rubber Banding" Patent (appleinsider.com)

bhagwad writes: "The patent that was the cause of so much grief to Samsung in the recently concluded trial with Apple has been tentatively invalidated by the USPTO. The challenge was filed anonymously, but it obviously could have been filed by any smartphone manufacturer. Will this have an effect on further proceedings in the case or perhaps more importantly on the inevitable appeal?"

Submission + - When is it right to enforce a software patent?

cadeon writes: I work for a small company with a workforce management software product. We brought a fairly unique approach to market in 2004, and have developed the idea continuously since then. Our first of three patents was awarded in 2007.

At the moment we have exactly one customer. And while I can't blame our lack of commercial success on our ideas being copied — "No one ever got fired for buying $established_product" — I find myself wondering if it's time to try and enforce our patents.

Would doing so make us a patent troll, or is this the situation patents were created to help solve? If this isn't the right situation, what is?

Comment Re:I hate it when museums do this (Score 4, Informative) 52

The engines, in this case, are due to be used by the Space Launch System. They are planning on using 15 SSMEs from the shuttle program in the first launches of SLS. I'm sure a lot of the other components have similar fates, since the SLS is shuttle derived.

Aside from that, yes, I am totally with you. Seeing the Enterprise in DC was a rather empty experience. It looked like plywood.

Submission + - Large Solar Flare To Glance Off Earth (spaceweather.com) 1

JoeRobe writes: According to spaceweather.com, a major X5 solar flare is on it's way to deliver a glancing blow to the Earth's magnetic field. This is the second x-class flare to be released by the same sunspot in the past few days, the first being an X1. In both cases, the sunspot (spot 1429) was not directly facing Earth, but it is still active, and poses a threat for a large, Earth-directed flare in the next few days.
Security

Submission + - How To Get Anything Past TSA's Body Scanners (wordpress.com)

OverTheGeicoE writes: Blogger and anti-TSA activist Jonathan Corbett has just published a video showing how to bring any object through any type of TSA body scanner without it being detected. In his demonstration he places a small metal case in a side pocket of his shirt he sewed on himself. He then proceeds through two different body scanners, one millimeter-wave and one X-ray, while his video camera records through the X-ray carry on inspection process. When he returns to his bin to collect his items, he drops his metal case next to the video camera, showing that it made it through the scanner undetected. Corbett's demonstration seems to confirm the 2010 conclusions of Kaufman and Carlson, who wrote that 'an object such as a wire or a boxcutter blade, taped to the side of the body, or even a small gun in the same location, will be invisible.'

Comment Re:Price fixing... (Score 1) 507

Yes, but no.

There are other shoes that look and work like Nike shoes- therefore you can get very Nike-esq shoes from other manufacturers. Whitney wasn't allowed to sing for other labels. If someone else covers her songs, Sony can go after them (and block sales, if need be). If someone else uses similar music, they may get sued. Sure, if someone directly copied a Nike, Nike would likely send lawyers- but, short of using their trademarks and logos without permission, there's not a lot they can (or will) do. With music, it's a lot more subjective, and the threat of legal action is more than enough to not build on music that's currently with a label (unless you are also with that label).

But, more importantly, there's also the problem of exposure.

See, with shoes, there's exposure. You know you can buy shoes other than Nikes, because there are other shoes out there. With Sony's music, there is no other music. If you want pop music, you're likely buying it from them. Or from one of their close friends. This is by design.

You're unaware of the other products because you have no exposure. Everyone has feet, so everyone has shoes- but the only people allowed to broadcast music are people the labels allow to (and supply). There's very little exposure to let the public know there's music outside the major music labels.

And that, my friends, is what scares them about internet radio and piracy. It's not loss of sales, it's loss of control of exposure. As more of the public realize they can get music somewhere else, they will. That's why people who download music are pirates, internet DJs have to pay higher royalties than terrestrial radio DJs, and indie music labels are referred to as "Stepping stones" to really arriving and getting "properly" signed with a "real" label.

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