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Submission + - Beware the king of patent trolls (

E5Rebel writes: If you haven't heard of Intellectual Ventures, you will do. Set up by ex-Microsoftie Nathan Myhrvold, with investments from Microsoft among others, it is basically a patenting machine – filing and buying them in huge quantities. Note that it doesn't actually *use* these patents – except to threaten people with. In other words, Intellectual Ventures is a patent troll – or, rather the King of the Patent Trolls.

There is no defence against this sort of thing. This isn't patents being used to protect someone's hard work and insight, it is naked greed.

Comment Re:efficient asynchronous communication (Score 1) 373

I wish I had mod points to vote this up!

femion precisely hits the problem with texting. It isn't asynchronous. People will be out at a cafe, in a restaurant, or having dinner and THE INSTANT that text message comes in, the recipient will read it and respond. Right then. Now. They'll happily break the conversation and ignore people they're actually with.

"Old folks" complain because this behavior carries over into the workplace. Texting is a huge distraction.

Comment Re:You can shoot people, son, but don't blog! (Score 4, Insightful) 202

Does your employer frequently take you to foreign countries for extended periods of time? Where there are no computers other than those owned by the company? Where there is no internet access other than what's provided by the company?

I didn't think so.

When someone is deployed to a combat zone (Iraq, Afghanistan) they should be able to keep in touch with their friends and family. It's a mental health issue. Twenty years ago soldiers/sailors/marines would write letters (delivered by the Post Office) and make an infrequent phonecall to their parents, spouse, or significant other. Those days are gone.

People now expect to be updated via blogs, social-networks, and to a lesser extent email. That's the world we live in and those expectations (social needs) don't go away just because someone's deployed.

Comment Is Apple borrowing the "logic" of gun control? (Score 1) 495

The only people who care whether a particular action is legal or not are the people who (generally) follow the law. If someone's prone to ignore the law they're prone to ignore the law. If someone's prone to follow the law they're prone to follow the law.

Changing the legality of owning a cracked iPhone doesn't change the legality of crashing a cell tower.


Submission + - Social Networking Sites Must Improve Security (

An anonymous reader writes: Sophos has called upon social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook to do more to protect their millions of users, as new research is published examining the first six months of cybercrime in 2009. The report reveals that IT teams are worried that employees share too much personal information via social networking sites, putting their corporate infrastructure — and the sensitive data stored on it — at risk. The findings also indicate that a quarter of organizations have been exposed to spam, phishing or malware attacks via sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace.

Submission + - OnStar 'ignition block' to disable stolen vehicles (

suraj.sun writes: AutoWeek :

OnStar, General Motors' in-vehicle safety and communications system, has launched a service to keep car thieves from starting a vehicle that has been reported stolen.

As of July 20, three stolen cars had been disabled by the technology, called "remote ignition block."

The feature is available on select 2009 and 2010 GM models. Subscribers must report their vehicles stolen to police officials and request assistance from OnStar, which then sends a signal that prevents the car from restarting.

The block adds to a suite of stolen-vehicle products, ranging from tracking by global positioning systems to a service designed to curtail high-speed police chases by conveying a signal that idles a stolen vehicle.

OnStar Press Release :

The process for deployment:

        * An OnStar subscriber reports their vehicle stolen to authorities and requests stolen vehicle assistance from OnStar.
        * Law enforcement provides confirmation to the OnStar Advisor that the vehicle is in fact stolen.
        * The OnStar Advisor pinpoints the vehicle's exact GPS location and sends a remote signal to prevent stolen vehicle from starting the next time someone attempts to start it.
        * On select models, authorities can also request Stolen Vehicle Slowdown if they have a clear line of sight of the stolen vehicle and confirm that conditions are safe to slow down the vehicle.

Comment Re:40 Years After the Wright Brothers... (Score 1) 220

I think he's speaking in metaphor and playing fast and loose with the dates.

40 years after we sent a man to another planet, we're trying to recreate sending a man to another planet (either back to the Moon or Mars). And maybe ~40 years after that we'll send someone to yet another planet.

Then again, maybe I'm misunderstanding the original comment.

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