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Microsoft

Microsoft Sues TiVo 112

doperative notes that "TiVo [is accused] of infringing four patents. Microsoft is asking that TiVo be barred from importing the digital-video recorders, which are primarily made in Mexico and sold in the U.S... The four patents in the ITC case relate to program schedules and selection, controlling the interface, and a way to restrict use of the DVR based on the program’s rating."
Sci-Fi

BBC To Dispose of Douglas Adams Website 189

An anonymous reader writes "The BBC has announced their intention to dispose of the H2G2 website, originally founded by Douglas Adams. This comes as part of an initiative by the BBC to cut their online spending by 25%. 'BBC Online will be reorganised into five portfolios of "products." All parts of BBC Online have to fit with these. Over the past year all areas of the site have been reviewed to see where, and if, they fit. Sadly ... H2G2 does not fit in the new shape of BBC Online. However, H2G2 is unusual. It is a pre-existing community that the BBC brought into its fold, not a community that the BBC set up from scratch. So rather than closing it, we've decided to explore another option. This process has been referred to elsewhere as the "disposal" of H2G2. I'll admit this is not a great choice of words, but what is means is that we'll be looking for proposals from others to take on the running of H2G2.' One option under discussion is a community buyout."
Hardware

'Universal' Memory Aims To Replace Flash/DRAM 125

siliconbits writes "A single 'universal' memory technology that combines the speed of DRAM with the non-volatility and density of flash memory was recently invented at North Carolina State University, according to researchers. The new memory technology, which uses a double floating-gate field-effect-transistor, should enable computers to power down memories not currently being accessed, drastically cutting the energy consumed by computers of all types, from mobile and desktop computers to server farms and data centers, the researchers say."
Science

Nature Publisher Launches PLoS ONE Competitor 62

linhares writes "Nature's Publishing Group is launching a new journal, Scientific Reports, announced earlier this month. The press release makes it clear that it is molded after PLoS ONE: 'Scientific Reports will publish original research papers of interest to specialists within a given field in the natural sciences. It will not set a threshold of perceived importance for the papers that it publishes; rather, Scientific Reports will publish all papers that are judged to be technically valid and original. To enable the community to evaluate the importance of papers post-peer review, the Scientific Reports website will include most-downloaded, most-emailed, and most-blogged lists. All research papers will benefit from rapid peer review and publication, and will be deposited in PubMed Central.' Perhaps readers may find it ironic that PLoS ONE, first dismissed by Nature as an 'online database' 'relying on bulk, cheap publishing of lower quality papers to subsidize its handful of high-quality flagship journals' seems to be setting the standards for 'a new era in publishing.'"
Hardware

Thermal Nanotape Promises Cooler, Healthier Chips 48

Blacklaw writes "A team of researchers comprised of members from the Semiconductor Research Corporation and Stanford University has developed a new thermal nanotape which it claims will lead to chips that run cooler and last longer. The thermal nanotape, constructed of binder materials surrounding carbon nanotubes, promises to lead to the creation of semiconductors — including CPUs and GPUs — that don't suffer from the rigors of frequent temperature changes, known as thermal cycling."
Security

New Mega-Leak Reveals Middle East Peace Process 760

An anonymous reader writes "There's been yet another mega-leak, this time of 1,600 papers describing the Israeli/Palestinian peace process negotiations. It's independent of Wikileaks and came to light via al-Jazeera, showing perhaps that the mega-leak meme is here to stay whatever happens to Assange. The papers show a weak Palestinian side offering ever greater concessions to Israel, which flatly rejected this as being insufficient: 'We do not like this suggestion because it does not meet our demands,' Israel's then foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, told the Palestinians, 'and probably it was not easy for you to think about it, but I really appreciate it.'"
Education

America Losing Its Edge In Innovation 757

jaywhybee writes "Forbes has an interesting article about America losing its edge in innovation because engineers and scientists in the US are not as respected as they are in other countries, and thus fewer youths aspire to become one. Quoting: 'I’ve visited more than 100 countries in the past several years, meeting people from all walks of life, from impoverished children in India to heads of state. Almost every adult I’ve talked with in these countries shares a belief that the path to success is paved with science and engineering. In fact, scientists and engineers are celebrities in most countries. They’re not seen as geeks or misfits, as they too often are in the US, but rather as society’s leaders and innovators. In China, eight of the top nine political posts are held by engineers. In the US, almost no engineers or scientists are engaged in high-level politics, and there is a virtual absence of engineers in our public policy debates.'"
Privacy

Norwegian Police, Seeking Info On 2 Bloggers, Take Data From 7,000 Accounts 100

xiando writes "Norwegian police were asked by officials in Italy to get personal information about two bloggers who were using a server in Oslo. The police decided the best thing to do would be to take the server's hard drive, along with personal information from about 7,000 other users (Google translation of Norwegian original). Other ISPs say this is standard operating procedure in Norway these days."
Earth

Greenland Ice Sheet Melts At Record Rate In 2010 654

RedEaredSlider writes "A study using satellite and ground-based data is showing the Greenland ice sheets are setting a record for the areas exposed to melting and the rate at which they are doing so. NASA says 2010 was a record warm year, and temperatures in the Arctic were a good 3 degrees C over normal."
Censorship

Google Releases Software To Iran 286

eldavojohn writes "After working closely with US officials following the lifting of export restrictions, Google has announced that their Google Earth, Picasa and Chrome are now available for download in Iran. US sanctions once prevented this but now Google has created versions of its popular software that block all Iranian government IP addresses from utilizing them — thus satisfying the new restrictions."
Patents

30% More Patents Issued in 2010 77

An anonymous reader writes "The numbers are in, and the US Patent Office granted 219,614 patents last year, which is 31% higher than in 2009 and 27% higher than any year in history. This wasn't just a marginal increase in patents being approved, but a major leap. US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and USPTO director David Kappos have both stated that one of their goals is to reduce the backlog in patent approvals, and it appears that the way they're doing so is by approving more patents, more quickly with less scrutiny — with a large percentage of them being software patents. This may decrease the backlog at the Patent Office, but seems likely to increase the backlog in the court system as lawsuits are filed over a bunch of these new patents."
Apple

Fake Steve Jobs Says 'Leave the Real One Alone' 166

Stoobalou writes "Dan Lyons, who has been lampooning Apple's Steve Jobs for many years, has posted his last item as Fake Steve Jobs and signed off. Lyons, who has been impersonating the messianic Apple supremo in the notorious tech blog since 2006 and even managed to maintain his anonymity for quite some time, despite being a well-known tech hack, has parked his vitriolic pen for the last time." Most people expect FSJ to return if RSJ does.
Hardware Hacking

iPad + Macintosh Plus = Crazy Visualizer Helmet 113

An anonymous reader writes "I would like to share with you a helmet I made out of a Macintosh Plus and an iPad. Essentially, I purchased a Macintosh Plus on ebay, removed the inner parts, cut a hole in the bottom of the case, inserted the inner padding of a bicycle helmet (cut to fit), and cut a slot for the iPad to slide in. The iPad's thinness allows for plenty of room for the user's head and the inner helmet keeps the Macintosh situated properly. What started as a project for my sculpture class has now become a part of my good friend Kid Chameleon's DJ set and a way for us to showcase our visuals in a new way during live performances."
Networking

Military Aircraft To Get All-Fiber Network Gear 144

coondoggie writes "Looking to significantly reduce weight, improve on-board communications and make it easier to upgrade avionics, the US military is developing prototype phonic gear for use in all aircraft. Behind such a drastic shift is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency project with an ungainly moniker: Network Enabled by Wavelength division multiplexing Highly Integrated Photonics (NEW-HIP)."
Medicine

Airborne Prions Prove Lethal In Mouse Studies 116

sgunhouse writes "Wired has a story up on the lethality of airborne prions. It should be noted that prions (which cause 'mad cow disease' and similar disorders) are not normally airborne, and take a long time to kill the infected animal, but so far are 100% lethal if something else doesn't kill the animal first. So, they are not likely to be useful as a biological weapon (my first thought when reading their headline), but they present another safety precaution to consider."

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