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

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.

Submission + - First They Got Sick, Then They Moved Into a Virtual Utopia (

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 (

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 + - Spoken commands crash bank phone lines ( 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.


Submission + - Australian study backs major assumption of cosmology (

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.

Nokia Releases Qt SDK For Mobile Development 76

An anonymous reader writes "Nokia has released its unified Qt-based SDK for cross-platform development for Symbian and MeeGo (plus Maemo) devices. The blurb reads: 'Today sees the release of the Nokia Qt SDK, a single easy-to-use software development kit (SDK) for Symbian and Meego application development. Developers can now develop, test, and deploy native applications for Nokia smartphones and mobile computers. The beta version of the SDK is available for download from today, ready for developers to kick off development for new devices, including the just-announced Nokia N8.'"

FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux 206

dnaumov writes "FreeNAS, a popular, free NAS solution, is moving away from using FreeBSD as its underlying core OS and switching to Debian Linux. Version 0.8 of FreeNAS as well as all further releases are going to be based on Linux, while the FreeBSD-based 0.7 branch of FreeNAS is going into maintenance-only mode, according to main developer Volker Theile. A discussion about the switch, including comments from the developers, can be found on the FreeNAS SourceForge discussion forum. Some users applaud the change, which promises improved hardware compatibility, while others voice concerns regarding the future of their existing setups and lack of ZFS support in Linux."

Submission + - Amazon Patents Changing Authors' Words

theodp writes: To exist or not to exist: that is the query. That's what the famous Hamlet soliloquy might look like if subjected to Amazon's newly-patented System and Method for Marking Content, which calls for 'programmatically substituting synonyms into distributed text content,' including 'books, short stories, product reviews, book or movie reviews, news articles, editorial articles, technical papers, scholastic papers, and so on' in an effort to uniquely identify customers who redistribute material. In its description of the 'invention,' Amazon also touts the use of 'alternative misspellings for selected words' as a way to provide 'evidence of copyright infringement in a legal action.' After all, anti-piracy measures should trump kids' ability to spell correctly, shouldn't they?

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