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Comment Re:In other words... (Score 2, Interesting) 94

It's great to see the judgment for this case, however, it will not stop virtual patents in the pharma world (or in software either). Patent lawyers know the system very well, and will use what they learned here to make sure that all virtual patents are tied to a mechanical process or an apparatus. In this case, specifically for US Patent 6420139, evaluating the safety of immunization could become using a simple lab on a chip (the apparatus) that will take the samples from all patients and evaluate their effectiveness in correlation with the schedule of treatment*. The lab on a chip will be novel for detection of a certain disease, virus, etc., which will allow this to be patentable for each new immunization/screening that is needed (with minor tweaks of course).

*Note: this has been written about now, therefor prior art now exists. You may not use this to validate this patent, or others.

Submission + - Watching cities in 4D 1

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Computer scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Microsoft Research have developed 4D Cities, a software that shows the evolution of a city over time. New Scientist writes that you can see a city change in four dimensions. So far, the team has only modeled Downtown Atlanta by scanning historical photos. The software automatically sorts these snapshots into date order and then builds an animated 3D model that shows changes. This application will be useful for architects, historians or town planners. Now the researchers want to develop models for other cities. Read more for additional references and a 4D map of Downtown Atlanta."
United States

Submission + - IRS Tracking Party Affiliation (thenewstribune.com) 1

cybermage writes: "According to the News Tribune, the IRS is tracking the party affiliation of taxpayers in the over twenty states that require identification of party affiliation on voter registration forms. The IRS is using the voter registration data to try to locate tax cheats. Some in Congress are looking to take steps to have the IRS purge such information and put a halt to IRS plans to outsource collections until the issue is resolved."
United States

Submission + - New York Plans Surveillance Veil for Downtown (nytimes.com)

plaxion writes: Let the Orwellian commentary commence because New York is now planning a London-style Big Brother surveillance system for Downtown. Article Quote: "By the end of this year, police officials say, more than 100 cameras will have begun monitoring cars moving through Lower Manhattan, the beginning phase of a London-style surveillance system that would be the first in the United States...Three thousand surveillance cameras would be installed below Canal Street by the end of 2008, about two-thirds of them owned by downtown companies." But wait, there's more! "Pivoting gates would be installed at critical intersections; they would swing out to block traffic or a suspect car at the push of a button."

Submission + - UK Skycraper generates 380-kilowatts from the sun

morpheus83 writes: "The facade of a Manchester skyscraper was originally covered with small mosaic tiles, but after 6 months they began to detach and fall. The tiles were replaced with a much greener solution — 7,244 Sharp 80 Watt solar panels to be precise. Interestingly only 4898 of these panels while the rest are dummy panels. Not only do the solar panels provide a weatherproof barrier but also provide 380-kilowatts of electricity which is enough to power 1000 PC's for a year. Additionally there are 24 wind turbines on the roof, which provide 10% of the total power used by the building."

Submission + - Prison releases felon after getting phony fax

twigles writes: "Officials released a prisoner from a state facility after receiving a phony fax that ordered the man be freed, and didn't catch the mistake for nearly two weeks." Apparently even the most rudimentary steps are overlooked when technology is in play.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - What is open source hardware?

ptorrone writes: "What is open source hardware? In this article MAKE magazine divides up electronic hardware into layers, each of which has different document types and licensing concerns: Hardware (mechanical) diagrams, schematics & circuit diagrams, layout diagrams, core/firmware, software/API — each layer has an example provided and links to many of the open source hardware projects currently being worked on."

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman