westlake writes: The success of Windows 7 can be seen in the second-quarter numbers. Profits up 60% from December 08. Operating profitability in the Windows and Windows Live Division 78% in the quarter. Operating profitability for the whole company: 44%. It's been a big story in the trade and financial press, but studiously ignored on Slashdot. The Hotness of Windows 7
bizwriter writes: When it comes to knowing where wireless users are, the carriers have had a lock on the data. But a patent application shows that Google is trying to deduce the information based on packet headers and estimated transmission rates. This would let it walk right around carriers and become another source of location data to advertisers.
quaith writes: Dario Floreano and Laurent Keller report in PLoS ONE how their robots were able to rapidly evolve complex behaviors such as collision-free movement, homing, predator versus prey strategies, cooperation, and even altruism. A hundred generations of selection controlled by a simple neural network were sufficient to allow robots to evolve these behaviors. Their robots initially exhibited completely uncoordinated behavior, but as they evolved, the robots were able to orientate, escape predators, and even cooperate. The authors point out that this confirms a proposal by Alan Turing who suggested in the 1950s that building machines capable of adaptation and learning would be too difficult for a human designer and could instead be done using an evolutionary process. The robots aren't yet ready to compete in Robot Wars, but they're still pretty impressive.
from the bad-day-for-leaving-people-alone dept.
G'Quann writes "Starting next year, all communication providers in Germany will have to store all connection data for six months. This includes not only phone calls but also IP addresses and e-mail headers. There had been a lot of protest against the new law, but it was ignored by the government. Quoting: 'The content of the communications is not stored. The bill had been heavily criticized. Privacy [advocates] had organized demonstrations against the bill in all major German cities at the beginning of this week. In October there had already been a large demonstration with thousands of participants in Germany's capital Berlin. All opposition parties voted against the bill. Several members of the opposition and several hundred private protesters announced a constitutional complaint.'"
from the finally-we-can-see-the-cheese dept.
Riding with Robots writes "The Kaguya probe, now in lunar orbit, has sent down the first footage of the moon's surface from its onboard high-definition TV camera. The Kaguya mission, which consists of a main orbiter and two smaller satellites in a 100-km-high, polar orbit, is slated to officially begin its science phase in December."