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Submission + - Former Google lawyer Michelle Lee to run US patent office (bbc.co.uk)

Tigger's Pet writes: The BBC report that "Google's former top patent lawyer has been put in charge of America's patent and trademark office (USPTO). Michelle Lee was made deputy director of the USPTO this week and will run the agency while it seeks a new boss. Ms Lee joined the patent office after leaving Google in June 2012 but said the opinions of her former employer would not guide her work."
Maybe she will use her knowledge from some of the insanity she has seen to actually tackle the current situation of patents, patent-trolling and lawsuits, so that companies can concentrate on true development which benefits all their users, not just the lawyers.

Submission + - Row over US mobile phone 'cockroach backpack' app (bbc.co.uk)

Tigger's Pet writes: A US company claims that its "Electronic Backpack" which allows kids to control the movements of a cockroach from their mobile phone "...the insects are treated humanely and ... does not harm them.". This is despite the fact that "Sandpaper is used to remove the waxy coating on the shell of the insect's head" then "...a needle is used to poke a hole in their thorax in order to insert a wire. Their antennae are then cut and electrodes are inserted..."
And this is supposedly being sold to encourage children to take an interest in neuroscience. Sounds more like encouraging the practice of pulling legs off creatures just to see how they react.

Submission + - Google starts tracking retail store visits on Android and iOS

recoiledsnake writes: Google is beta-testing a program that uses smartphone location data to determine when consumers visit stores, according to agency executives briefed on the program by Google employees. Google then connects these store visits to Google searches conducted on smartphones. If someone conducts a Google mobile search for “screwdrivers,” for instance, a local hardware store could bid to have its store listing served to that user. By pairing that person’s location data with its database of store listings, Google can see if the person who saw that ad subsequently visited the store.It is easiest for Google to conduct this passive location tracking on Android users, since Google has embedded location tracking into the software. Once Android users opt in to location services, Google starts collecting their location data as continuously as technologically possible.

Submission + - EFF Launches Petition Against Software Patents (defendinnovation.org)

Tigger's Pet writes: I urge everyone to take one minute out of their busy lives to read and then sign this petition from the EFF for patent reform. It's very simple, and very well thought out. Many big players and developers already support this. Please do your part as an a member of our great community to stop the patent tyranny that Apple has taken advantage of.


Please reshare this to everyone and every forum you know

Comment Re:They won't get me (Score 1) 158

Well done - you can track my previous postings on /. Do you want a prize? I'm now accepted as one of the 6.5 million people in the UK who have their DNA on record because this country stores DNA samples from everyone convicted (and many who are not convicted). Assuming of course that I'm not just posting things to try and make a point and gain Karma points - just like all the people on here who post about "My wife had this happen to her..." - we know that they haven't got a wife or they wouldn't be on here ;=P

Comment They won't get me (Score 2) 158

I'm not on FB, Twitter, MyCloud or whatever else, so there's no data out there about me. If there's nothing to harvest then they can't harvest it - I'd rather be classified as 'boring' or 'not with it' (whatever the fuck 'It' is), than have stuff out there that might come back to bite me in the ass in 10 or 20 years time.

Comment Bored (Score 3, Interesting) 124

I've been a /. reader for over 8 years now and have noticed the change in the type of story discussed here. I keep seeing people saying things like "Why are we talking about FB - this is suppsed to be a techie site and we should discuss techie things". I tend to find myself agreeing with them most of the time.
Then a story like this comes along - which should be "manna from heaven" for Nerds and Geeks and I try to read TFA - only to find myself yawning and giving up coz it's dry, tedious and badly written.
I can't even win in an argument with myself anymore - must be a sign that I'm getting old.

Comment What if you can't have an account? (Score 1) 301

What concerns me with all this is his comment about "Who doesn’t have a Facebook profile?".
I'll tell you who - anyone convicted of a sexual offence. You may not think someone in that situation deserves any pity - however think of this. You're not just talking about serial rapists and paedophiles, but the 16year old boy who has sex with his 14year old girlfriend and gets reported by her parents. Is he seriously trying to suggest that as well as everything else that gets in his way, he also has his credit rating ruined for life - AND an account created for him by the 'Bank of Facebook'?

Yeah - that sounds fair.

Comment Re:RTFA (Score 1) 98

Did you actually read what you typed? Posting as an A/C to avoid a flamebait tag. You say about the UK/US being 'attacked' - no-one has suggested that they can't defend themselves, but that's got nothing to do with this article. As for other countries being attacked - your way of thinking is what leads to governments doing whatsoever they wish. There's a very slim line between the US/UK accessing e-mails whenever and wherever they wish under the guise of 'preventing terrorism', the Chinese government deciding to block whatever web-sites they want to under the guise of 'preventing civil uprising' and the Libyan government shutting down all Internet access because they don't want the truth about the atrocities they are carrying out reaching the outside world.

    Opinions are like arseholes. Everybody's got one and they're usually full of shit.

Comment Re:RTFA (Score 2) 98

It shouldn't be government regulation. No one country has the right to try and regulate the Internet, even though both the US and the UK seem to think they do far too often.
This is yet another reason why we (that's the global 'we', not just the few) need a totally independent Internet regulation authority, funded by every government, to oversee the whole thing. They could make decisions for the good of the Internet, not for the good of their own little corner of the world, or because industry is threatening to withdraw funding for their next election campaign.

Comment RTFA (Score 3, Informative) 98

I just hope that the many people who will post on here, with all their different opinions will actually take the time to read the article first. I know that is asking for a lot on /. but I can hope. Moxie Marlinspike (what a great name by the way) has really done a great piece of work here and it deserves to be read and digested before being critiqued.

Comment Dropbox is, indeed, useful ... (Score 1) 168

... but I would never put anything on there that I wouldn't be just as happy nailing to my local telegraph pole for everybody to read. If it's in the 'cloud' then it cannot possibly be considered to be secure as somebody has physical access to the server holding my data. If I really want to put something 'personal' on DropBox, Ubuntu One or whatever, then I encrypt it, archive it with a password, then upload it as something else innocuous-looking.
Anyone who actually believes there's any level of security to something that's 'out there' then they need their head examining.

Comment Good on the judge (Score 1) 54

Given a couple of recent stories here on Slashdot which involve juries and seem to end up with people discussing various ways of getting out of jury duty (of which 'being openly racist / homophobic' etc seem to be the suggested routes) maybe the judge has also been loitering here and read the same posts?

Comment I'm not convinced by either (Score 2) 344

I've preferred to use Gnome over recent years as I just found KDE to be not right - couldn't get on with it. With the way both are now going, I can see myself having to switch again. Given my recent hunting round, I really hope that the Enlightenment crew actually get their shit together and get a stable, solid release that can be used as it is simple, clean, easy to use, easy to configure and add gadgets to.

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