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Star Wars Prequels

BioWare Targeting Spring 2011 For Star Wars: The Old Republic Launch 82

MTV's Multiplayer blog reports on comments from BioWare employee Sean Dahlberg, which indicate that they are aiming to release the game in spring 2011. He said, "While we have not announced a specific date, we can confirm that we are targeting a spring 2011 release for Star Wars: The Old Republic. We've got a lot of exciting updates and reveals planned throughout 2010, including the first-ever hands-on testing for the game. ... We can't wait to share more about the game with you as we progress through the year, so make sure you stay tuned to the official website for details." Recent posts to the game's developer blog provide details on the Imperial Agent and the Jedi Knight. They also released a video which gives insight into their design process for the Dark Side.

Submission + - Microsoft faces injunction on selling Word (

thesp writes: Microsoft faces an injunction on, among other things, "selling, offering to sell, and/or importing in or into the United States any Infringing and Future Word Products that have the capability of opening a .XML, .DOCX, or .DOCM file ("an XML file") containing custom XML". Further, the Texan judge, Judge Davis, hit the software giant for $200 million compensatory and $40 million punitive damages. The decision is appealable, however, and may well be overturned in the light of the recent In Re Bilski decision.

Patently O has the writeup.

Operating Systems

Submission + - Mathematical proof of OS kernel code 1

felix.rauch writes: "about an iTWire article:

Breakthrough software testing technology hailed by a Cambridge University expert as a tool able to deliver "currently unimaginable standards of reliability" to software has been unveiled by NICTA chief executive officer Dr David Skellern. [...] researchers last week completed the world's first formal machine-checked proof of a general purpose operating system. In short the technology is a way for developers to test that the software they have designed works the way it is expected to, before it is put into production. According to Dr Skellern, NICTA's formal verification research team has completed the world's first mathematical proof of a general purpose operating system kernel. The Secure Embedded L4 (seL4) microkernel is being initially targeted at applications in defence and safety-critical sectors.

Is it finally time to switch our desktops to microkernels in order to get bug-free OSs?"


Submission + - Microsoft looses patent fight for Word

EMB Numbers writes: Microsoft infringed U.S. Patent No. 5,787,499 on "document architecture and content."

Judge upholds $200,000,000 Verdict, adds $40 million for willful infringement, $37 million in interest, and $144,060 per day until the date of final judgment. Most importantly... Judge's injunction prohibits Microsoft from selling some Microsoft Word products.


Will Microsoft change sides in the software patent battle of mutually assured destruction?

Submission + - Palm Pre reports your location, usage, to Palm ( 1

AceJohnny writes: "Joey Hess found that his Palm Pre was ratting on him. It turns out the Pre periodically uploads detailed information about the user, including installed apps, application usage (and crashes), as well as GPS coordinates to Palm. This, of course, without user consent or control. The only way he found to disable this was to modify system files."

Submission + - Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word 1

fractalVisionz writes: A judge on Tuesday ordered Microsoft to stop selling Word, one of its premier products, in its current form due to patent infringement.

Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a permanent injunction that "prohibits Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML," according to a statement released by attorneys for the plantiff, i4i.

Submission + - Australia Plans to Shoot 650,000 Camels

Ponca City, We love you writes: "Explorers first brought camels to Australia from India and the Middle East in the 1840's and today there are more than 1 million of the one- and two-humped feral animals in the outback with a population that doubles every nine years devastating large swaths of the outback, eating every plant in their path and causing damage to sacred Aboriginal sites. Scientific American reports that last month the Australian government allocated $16 million to cull the camels, which rank as Australia's largest invasive species and is now considering the most effective way to cut back camel numbers. One of the most popular plans is an aerial cull, which is regarded as the most effective and humane method of killing large numbers of camels at one time although using helicopters is expensive, and push the cost of each kill to around £50 per camel. Animal rights groups are upset about the proposal, but Tony Peacock of the University of Canberra's Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Center brushes off their concerns. "To be shot from a helicopter is actually quite humane, even though that sounds brutal," says Peacock. "If I was a camel, I'd prefer to just get it in the head." Other proposals for cutting back on camel numbers include taking tourists on camel shooting safaris, setting up mobile abattoirs to turn camel meat into pet food and even encouraging Australians to consider throwing a camel steak on the barbie."
Social Networks

Submission + - Analyst, 15, creates storm after trashing Twitter (

Barence writes: "A 15-year-old schoolboy has become an overnight sensation after writing a report on teenagers' media habits for analysts Morgan Stanley. Intern Matthew Robson was asked to write a report about his friends' use of technology during his work experience stint with the firm's media analysts. The report was so good the firm decided to publish it, and it generated "five or six" times more interest than Morgan Stanley's regular reports. The schoolboy poured scorn on Twitter, claiming that teenagers "realise that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless". He also claimed games consoles are replacing mobile phones as the way to chat with friends."

Submission + - Company Poses as You on Online Dating Services (

Joe Tracy writes: "A new company has launched that has their dating experts pose as you on online dating services. This includes answering emails, fostering relationships, and arranging first dates. All you have to do is show up for the date. What's next, a company that sends a representative on a date for you to make sure they meet your expectations? This is one strange story and one of those likely to get a lot of publicity because it's so unbelievable. The story is here."

Submission + - GPS, Cars, and Big Brother (

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently, since gas consumption is going down and fuel efficient cars are going up, the government is looking into a new form of taxing us to create revenue for transportation projects. This new system is a "by the mile tax" requiring GPS in cars so it can track the mileage Once a month the data gets uploaded to a billing center and you are conveniently taxed. Not only will they have all your information, and possibly credit card info for all you automatic payees. They now can see, where your car has been as well.
Linux Business

Submission + - Linux Netbooks: 3 paths to a bright future (

erlik writes: "Last week I made a summary of the current state of the Linux netbook market. Today I will show you that Linux netbooks are at a crossroad. They can reach a bright future and a significant market presence through 3 different paths: the smartbook path, the cheap path and the power path. I will explain how each path will lead the Linux netbook to market dominance in a specific niche. Complete story"

Submission + - RIAA Victory Over Usenet In Copyright Case

ozydingo writes: The RIAA scored a victory in a decision on a copyright case that the RIAA filed on October 12, U.S. District Judge Harold Baer ruled in favor of the music industry on all its main theories: that is guilty of direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement. In addition, and perhaps most important for future cases, Baer said that can't claim protection under the Sony Betamax decision stating that companies can't be held liable of contributory infringement if the device is "capable of significant non-infringing uses." Bear noted that differed from Sony in that the sale of a Betamax recorder was a one-time done deal, while's interaction with its users was ongoing relationship. The RIAA stated in a brief note 'We're pleased that the court recognized not just that directly infringed the record companies' copyrights but also took action against the defendants for their egregious litigation misconduct.'

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The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.