Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 152

I'd love to be downgraded to the old style google search where verbatim meant verbatim instead of "there's a synonym nearby". They've made google scholar almost pointless because matching exact phrases is extremely important when you're searching for something specific.

I guess the solution is some sort of federated search dongle that submits the search query to google, gathers the results, and throws out everything that isn't actually verbatim or otherwise matching the search query.

Comment Re:And another on the ban pile (Score 2) 289

I've been in the vine program for over five years and have written a lot of negative reviews. I haven't been kicked out or anything like that and still get the occasional cool item. It is true that you get a lot more "helpful" votes for five star reviews though. It isn't that big a deal for me because I do most of my buying from amazon and have lots of opportunity to give positive reviews of things I actually like.

I once got into a pissing contest with a marketing flak over one of my reviews and they flagged that review, every one of my responsive comments, and a bunch of other reviews es as unhelpful. It's like they though they were punishing me. It made me feel pretty righteous.

Submission + - Android KitKat could be a strong deterrent to cybercrime and spying (

smaxp writes: Could hardened Android devices be a viable business for Google-owned Motorola?

With each new Android release, Google adds more security features to harden Android. Two security features in Android 4.4 KitKat are particularly notable because they are Linux kernel developments. Security-enhanced Linux (SELinux) policies are fully enabled in KitKat, and dm-verity was added. Both features improve the integrity and trust of the Android operating system.

This builds on Google's earlier work to tighten Android’s defenses against attackers, such as full-disk encryption (dm-crypt) added to Android 3.x and Address Space Layout Randomization (ADLR) and Data Execution Protection (DEP) in Android 4.1.

Submission + - World Helium Supply Is Expected to Surpass Demand Within Five Years (

Lucas123 writes: After helium supplies were artificially diminished to critical levels through an act of congress in 1996 that required the U.S. to sell of its reserves, the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 has slowed the sell-off and is transitioning helium pricing from what had been public wholesale to private rates. In addition, by 2018, new gas mining operations in the U.S., Russia and Qatar should produce helium surpluses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Helium is a critical resource in technology development where it's used in a myriad of ways, from enabling the superconducting magnets of the Large Hadron Collider and pressure purging operations in NASA rockets, to cooling silica strands the fiber optic manufacturing process.

Comment Re:version control (Score 1) 480

Assuming it's work for hire...

If it was work for hire then the client owned the rights and original poster, samzenpus, had no right to put his own copyright into the header. The new developer/maintainer wouldn't have that right either.

If it wasn't a work for hire and samzenpus was the original author, then he has a case for copyright infringement. A cease and desist letter might get the headers restored.


'Blue Waters' Supercomputer Lucky To Exist 39

Nerval's Lobster writes "One could argue that the University of Illinois' "Blue Waters" supercomputer, scheduled to officially open for business March 28, is lucky to be alive. The 11.6 petaflop supercomputer, commissioned by the University and the National Science Foundation (NSF), will rank in the upper echelon of the world's fastest machines—its compute power would place it third on the current list, just above Japan's K Computer. However, the system will not be submitted to the TOP500 list because of concerns with the way the list is calculated, officials said. University officials and the NSF are lucky to have a machine at all. That's due in part to IBM, which reportedly backed out of the contract when the company determined that it couldn't make a profit. The university then turned to Cray, which would have had to replace what was presumably a POWER or Xeon installation with the current mix of AMD CPUs and Nvidia GPU coprocessors. Allen Blatecky, director of NSF's Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, told Fox that pulling the plug was a 'real possibility.' And Cray itself had to work to find the parts necessary for the supercomputer to begin at least trial operations in the fall of 2012."

Comment Re:its normal (Score 5, Interesting) 605

What ages are most of the people in the class?

Someone in their late 20's should notice lots of qualitative differences between themselves and most relatively fresh high school graduates. That is especially true for someone who has been working for a living.

The smart move, if you're having such an easy time with the course work and acing the class, is to pick up on those youngsters. This is probably the height of their physical attractiveness (and the waning of yours). You'll never be so well positioned again either.

Submission + - Tesla, Ford, Amazon Hint at Cloudy Future for Cars (

Nerval's Lobster writes: "The automobile, once the most analog of technologies, is rapidly becoming a smartphone on wheels: Amazon announced Feb. 13 that Ford SYNC Applink-equipped vehicles will include the Amazon Cloud Player, allowing drivers to access their music libraries via voice command or dashboard controls. Ford isn’t the only automotive company seeking to integrate cloud computing into the driving experience. Tesla Motors’ Model S electric sedan boasts a 17-inch capacitive touch-screen in place of the usual dashboard buttons and dials. And who could forget Google's self-driving car? This isn't a future everybody wants—there are more than a few wannabe Steve McQueens who won’t feel complete unless they can stomp on a pedal connected to an internal-combustion engine, flick a physical dashboard knob to the radio station of their choice, and peel out their driveway in a cloud of burning rubber. But as the latest technology migrates into automobiles, it could well be the future we’re going to receive."

Comment Re:How can multiple companies send demands? (Score 1) 227

It could be N different licensing companies with the patent holder paying commissions. It could be scammers having no relationship with the patent holder at all. It could be a mix.

In a court action, the plaintiff must assert that they are either the patent holder or are holding some actionable interest in the patent (such as a license that includes the right to enforce the patent). The defendant can contest that assertion and thereby require the plaintiff to provide proof. Normally, no subpoena is needed (subpoenas generally go to third parties, not the plaintiffs/defendants). At worst, just a normal discovery request is needed. If the plaintiff outright lied about this then the judge is likely to get medieval. Only a very foolish law firm would fail to check the patent's chain of title and their client's right to sue.

Similarly, the plaintiff must clearly specify the defendant's infringing action. Failure to do so can result in near immediate dismissal of the case plus sanctions. This is particularly true with patent enforcement. That is one reason the Project Paperless letter is so laughable. It tells the defendant to do the investigation and then send money. If they sue because, as the letter says, "your company fits the profile" then the law firm filing the action could well get sanctioned without the defendant ever formally answering the complaint.

Comment My client received on of these ... (Score 2) 227

One of my clients received one of these letters. It's a pretty laughable attempt at extortion. Because:

1. You can't tell if the extortionist is related in any way to the patent holder.
2. They tell you to do your own investigation, provide some pointers, and provide bank routing money for your EFT.
3. They haven't done their jurisdiction homework (RightHaven got hammered for this).

and these are just some of the procedural problems. The prior art issues don't even come into play. I don't think their letter even supports suing for a declaratory judgment against anyone. If they sent me one of these then I'd just throw it away without giving it further consideration. On the other hand, as a patent lawyer and litigator I can afford a far riskier strategy than most.

I think the extortionists waited until the patent reexamination/review process got significantly more extensive before they started their campaign. The America Invents Act raised the fee for ex-parte reexamination to $17,750 and for inter-partes review to $27,200.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world." - The Beach Boys