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Twitter

Submission + - Twitter Gives Power To Developers With Innovator Patent Agreement (itproportal.com)

hypnosec writes: Microblogging service Twitter announced yesterday an internal patent agreement that gives engineers and designers more artistic control over their patents — allowing them to be used ‘defensively' as opposed to ‘offensively'. As many a techie will know, the industry is filled with plenty of patent infringement lawsuits — but a new policy dubbed the Innovator's Patent Agreement (IPA) vows that Twitter will not use the patents for offensive litigation purposes without first seeking permission from those responsible for developing them. "It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees' inventions in offensive litigation without their permission," Twitter stated.
Businesses

Submission + - Nokia Is Almost "Junk", Says Moody's (itproportal.com)

hypnosec writes: Moody's rating agency pointed out that Nokia's steep decline in the Q1 of this year justifies a serious downgrade. Consequently, Nokia Corp.'s long-term rating is now at Baa3, which means a warning for investors to stay away. The situation was caused by Nokia's fall in revenue by 35 per cent. Meanwhile, Nokia's shares fell by 20 per cent, after the agency last week issued a profit warning. This critical situation for the Finnish smartphone maker could potentially get even worse if Nokia does not show signs of recovery in the following months.
Google

Submission + - Google Secretly Supporting CISPA (thehill.com) 3

ProfessionalTech writes: The controversial cybersecurity bill CISPA, which would let the government to spy anyone of their choosing, has been revealed by GOP chairman to be secretly backed by Google. CISPA, which has been made to combat theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property and personally identifiable information, has been said to be even worse for privacy and your rights than SOPA. A Google spokeswoman has declined to comment about their alleged secret support of the privacy violating bill.
Space

Submission + - Cosmic Rays still a mystery as IceCube array fails to find Neutrinos (newscientist.com)

Fluffeh writes: "The failure of ghostly subatomic messengers called neutrinos to show up at an Antarctic telescope has knocked down a major astrophysical theory involving some of the most dramatic explosions in the universe. The IceCube telescope monitors a cubic kilometre of iceMovie Camera beneath the South Pole for neutrinos of various types, including the cosmic variety. Vertical strings of detectors frozen into the ice watch for flashes of blue light emitted when neutrinos strike. The energy of the neutrino determines its source. One source of neutrinos was thought to be explosions known as gamma ray bursts (GRBs) and IceCube has been looking for neutrinos occurring at the same time as GRBs. From May 2009 to May 2010, gamma-ray satellite observatories saw 190 GRBs. Theory predicts that IceCube should have seen a handful of neutrinos at the same time, from the same region of the sky. But today IceCube reports that it saw absolutely nothing – a serious blow to a cascade of processes astrophysicists thought they understood."
Games

Submission + - If You Resell Your Used Games, The Terrorists Win (hothardware.com) 1

MojoKid writes: "Game designer Richard Browne has come out swinging in favor of the rumored antipiracy features in the next-gen PlayStation Orbis and Xbox Durango. "The real cost of used games is the damage that is being wrought on the creativity and variety of games available to the consumer," Browne writes. Browne's comments echo those of influential programmer and Raspberry Pi developer David Braben, who wrote last month that "...pre-owned has really killed core games. It's killing single player games in particular, because they will get pre-owned, and it means your day one sales are it, making them super high risk." Both Browne and Braben conflate hating GameStop (a thoroughly reasonable life choice) with the supposed evils of the used games market. Braben goes so far as to claim that used games are actually responsible for high game prices and that "prices would have come down long ago if the industry was getting a share of the resells." Amazingly, no game publishers have stepped forward to publicly pledge themselves to lower game prices in exchange for a cut of used game sales. Publishers are hammering Gamestop (and recruiting developers to do the same) because it's easier than admitting that the current system is fundamentally broken."
Twitter

Submission + - Twitter plans to give control of their patents to their engineers (twitter.com)

Acapulco writes: "With the IPA (Innovator's Patent Agreement) employees can be assured that their patents will only be used as a shield rather than as a weapon." Said Twitter's Engineering VP.

In the blog he also said "Like many companies, we apply for patents on a bunch of these inventions. However, we also think a lot about how those patents may be used in the future; we sometimes worry that they may be used to impede the innovation of others. For that reason, we are publishing a draft of the Innovator’s Patent Agreement, which we informally call the “IPA”."

The BBC has other details on the story.

The Courts

Submission + - Verizon sued for false advertising about broadband (paidcontent.org)

Fluffeh writes: "It seems that the days of getting "Up to" this or that speed may be coming closer to the end. A suit against Verizon, which is trying to become a class action suit, is putting some of these many shadier promises to light. This isn't just about the "up to" speeds being marketed though. In this case, a woman was convinced to upgrade her account from a 768k top speed account to a 1.5 Mb top speed account — at $10 more per month — only to find that her line could only handle the 768k, based on her distance from the CO. She then had a Verizon rep tell her she should downgrade her account, but the company was unwilling to reimburse her for the higher fees she paid on a level of service she couldn't technically get."
Blackberry

Submission + - Panopticon Jr: A psych prof captures daily communication of 175 Texas teens (forbes.com)

nonprofiteer writes: A University of Texas-Dallas developmental psychology professor has used a $3.4 million NIH grant to purchase Blackberries for 175 Texas teens, capturing every text message, email, photo, and IM they've sent over the past 4 years.Half a million new messages pour into the database every month. The researchers don't "directly ask" the teens about privacy issues because they don't want to remind them they're being monitored.

So many legal and ethical issues here. I can't believe this is IRB-approved. Teens sending nude photos alone could make that database legally toxic.

And then there's the ethical issue of monitoring those who have not consented to be part of the study, but are friends with those who have. When a friend texted one participant about selling drugs, he responded, “Hey, be careful, the BlackBerry people are watching, but don’t worry, they won’t tell anyone.”

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