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Submission + - Chrome's Sandbox Feature Infringes on Three Patents So Google Must Now Pay $20M (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: After five years of litigation at various levels of the US legal system, today, following the conclusion of a jury trial, Google was ordered to pay $20 million to two developers after a jury ruled that Google had infringed on three patents when it designed Chrome's sandboxing feature.

Litigation had been going on since 2012, with Google winning the original verdict, but then losing the appeal. After the Supreme Court refused to listen Google's petition, they sent the case back for a retrial in the US District Court in Eastern Texas, the home of all patent trolls.

As expected, Google lost the case and must now pay $20 million in damages, in the form of rolling royalties, which means the company stands to pay more money as Chrome becomes more popular in the future.

Comment Re:Monopoly Abuse (Score 1) 557

So true. The ODF support in MS Office continues to be dismal! Even simple documents written in LibreOffice have various problems when opened in Office (I occasionally try it to see if there is any progress). I am totally convinced this is intentional. LibreOffice opens MS Office documents with far better fidelity, than MS Office opens LibreOffice documents. Microsoft could easily fix this, but it will never do so, because it wold not be in their interests. ODF support for them is just a tick box item to get past some governement procurement rules. Actual users, if they try it will soon give up with it, falsely convinced that ODF is a crap format.

Submission + - First They Got Sick, Then They Moved Into a Virtual Utopia (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: At one point not too long ago, futurists believed that Second Life was the final frontier of social media. Today, the platform is well past its peak—but it continues to host a thriving community of people with disabilities, who are able to live in Second Life in ways they cannot offline. At Backchannel, Kristen French embeds in one such community on "Virtual Ability Island," and offers up a gloriously detailed look at the utopia its residents are creating for themselves. She writes, "For many disabled residents, who may spend 12 hours a day or more in Second Life, the most important moments and relationships of their lives happen inside the virtual world. For them, the fevered fantasies of a decade ago have become reality: Second Life is where they live."

Submission + - Tim Cook teases Apple AR plans, says it could be as big as the iPhone (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: Tim Cook has dropped the biggest hint yet that augmented reality (AR) is on Apple's product roadmap in a telling interview in which the tech CEO liked the technology to the smartphone, saying it could become a global phenomenon enjoyed by everyone.

In an interview with The Independent, Cook made a number of telling comments about his vision for augmented reality and its potential for consumers. Rather than seeing it as a product, Cook said he viewed augmented reality as a "core technology" similar to that used in the iPhone.

Apple's iPhone is credited for revolutionising the mobile market when it was released back in 2007, and Cook's comments appear to suggest that Apple is aiming to bring about a similar paradigm shift with a future augmented reality product.

Submission + - Brexit Could Deny UK Access To EU-Wide GPS Project Galileo

An anonymous reader writes: The UK’s pending departure from the European Union could mean that the country loses access to the EU’s global positioning system (GPS) system, Galileo – which it helped to design and implement. Following a 15-year collaborative project between the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA), the new satellite navigation system went live at the end of 2016 as an effort to end the region’s reliance on existing GPS services owned by the U.S., China, and Russia. While Britain has suggested that it will not be leaving the 22-member ESA after Brexit, it could still lose its access to the navigation system as it is currently only available to countries inside the EU. It is expected that following Brexit, the UK will need to hold separate negotiations to re-obtain partnership to Galileo and other ESA-led space projects.

Submission + - SPAM: 20 Years of MAME

AmiMoJo writes: Way back in 1997, Nicola Salmoria merged a few stand-alone arcade machine emulators into the first Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. Could he have possibly imagined the significance of what he’d built? Over the past two decades, MAME has brought together over a thousand contributors to build a system that emulates more machines than any other program. But MAME is more than that: MAME represents the idea that our digital heritage is important and should be preserved for future generations. MAME strives to accurately represent original systems, allowing unmodified software to run as intended. Today, MAME documents over thirty thousand systems, and usably emulates over ten thousand.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: 'Father of Pac-Man,' Masaya Nakamura, dies at age 91

AmiMoJo writes: Masaya Nakamura, the founder of game developer Namco and known as “the father of Pac-Man,” has died at age 91. He founded Nakamura Seisakusho in 1955, which was renamed Namco in 1977. The company developed numerous hit video games, including “Galaxian,” “Pac-Man” and “Ridge Racer.” Pac-Man,” designed by Namco’s inhouse video game maker Toru Iwatani, is one of the most recognizable and popular video games in history. In 2005 it was listed by Guinness World Records as the “most successful coin-operated arcade machine.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re: increases exponentially (Score 1) 272

>First, we don't know how to protect humans from Cosmic radiation on even a short voyage, let alone a super long 300 year voyage.

Actually we do. A few meters of water or other hydrogen-rich substance. Very low-tech, but heavy. But a generational spaceship would inevitably be heavy, and would need a very large reservoir of water anyway. The water would not have to be hauled up from Earth, there is plenty of it in the outer solar system, in icy moons. Possibly even in our own Moon. By the time building generational starships becomes feasible, accessing extraterrestrial water resources is probably routine.

Comment The light bulb issue (Score 3, Insightful) 205

>The _only_ time an energy inefficient light source is wasting energy is when you are not heating the house. For most of the UK population, that's about 1/4 of the time.

But it is quite a bit more than that in countries south of UK! Especially if you have air conditioning, the traditional light bulbs put you in the absurd situation of using energy both to heat and cool the room at the same time... Another thing is that the light bulbs in typical lighting fixtures are inefficient as heaters. Most of the heat goes and stays near the ceiling, which is not where most people spend their time. Even ignoring that, direct electric heating is usually more expensive than other heat sources. (This of course depends on where you live).

By the way, I'm from Finland, so from my point of view the UK is one of those balmy southern European countries. And I have gradually replaced most of the bulbs in my house with compact fluorescents and LEDs. The latter have come down in price in recent years, and solve the worst annoyance of compact fluorescents: they turn instantly on with full power.

Security

Submission + - Spoken commands crash bank phone lines (scmagazine.com.au) 1

mask.of.sanity writes: A series of attacks have been made that are capable of disabling touch tone and voice activated phone systems or forcing them to disclose sensitive information.

The commands can be keyed in using touchtones or even using the human voice.

In one test, a phone system run by an unnamed Indian bank had dumped customer PINs. In another, a buffer overflow was triggered against a back-end database. Other attacks can be used to crash phone systems outright.

Space

Submission + - Australian study backs major assumption of cosmology (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: In mankind's attempts to gain some understanding of this marvelous place in which we live, we have slowly come to accept some principles to help guide our search. One such principle is that the Universe, on a large enough scale, is homogeneous, meaning that one part looks pretty much like another. Recent studies by a group of Australian researchers have established that, on sizes greater than about 250 million light years (Mly), the Universe is indeed statistically homogeneous, thereby reinforcing this cosmological principle.

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