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Submission + - Senate Republicans are getting ready to declare war on patent trolls (vox.com) 2

XxtraLarGe writes: Regardless of party affiliation, I think this is probably one thing most of us on Slashdot can applaud:

Republicans are about to take control of the US Senate. And when they do, one of the big items on their agenda will be the fight against patent trolls.

In a Wednesday speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) outlined a proposal to stop abusive patent lawsuits. "Patent trolls – which are often shell companies that do not make or sell anything – are crippling innovation and growth across all sectors of our economy," Hatch said.

Comment Re:Regardless of what you think of smartphones... (Score 2) 325

Furthermore, they only appeal to the part of the population that already wears glasses.

They don't appeal to me because I do wear glasses. As far as I'm aware, you can't wear Google's goggles and your glasses at the same time, unless they plan to sell it as prescription glasses as well.

The Internet

Submission + - United Nations Argue for Control over Internet (bbc.co.uk)

sl4shd0rk writes: At present, several non-profit US bodies oversee the Internet's specification as well as DNS. The Unitied Nations however, has expressed an interest in relinquishing control of the Internet from the United States. The UN's Dr Toure says any change to governance of the internet must be supported by all countries. The USA has refused, arguing that "existing multi-stakeholder institutions, incorporating industry and civil society" will continue to oversee the "health and growth of the interenet and all it's benefits". According to The Russia Today news service, the push is backed not only by Russia, but China, Brazil and India as well.

Submission + - Rob Pike on the Origin of Dot Files (google.com) 1

Nerdfest writes: From Rob Pike's Google+ post: I'm pretty sure the concept of a hidden file was an unintended consequence. It was certainly a mistake.

How many bugs and wasted CPU cycles and instances of human frustration (not to mention bad design) have resulted from that one small shortcut about 40 years ago?

Keep that in mind next time you want to cut a corner in your code.


Submission + - Codecademy Now Offering Python (codecademy.com)

XxtraLarGe writes: I received this e-mail from Codecademy yesterday:

Today, we're pleased to announce the arrival of a new programming language: Python!

Python is a great language with applications in many different fields. Its clean, readable syntax makes it a favorite for beginning programmers – say goodbye to all of those braces and semicolons.

Python is currently in use at places like Google, NASA, and Disney Animation. Also, it has an active community of developers and offers great module support — this means you can easily use code that others have written to accomplish all kinds of tasks!

Codecademy originally started out by offering JavaScript. I wonder if this is a move to try and become a serious competitor to Udacity?

The Internet

Submission + - No, Libya's Internet Shutdown Won't Kill Bit.ly (businessinsider.com)

satuon writes: Libya's blocking of the internet won't affect Bit.ly and other .ly domains, says Bit.ly CEO John Borthwick on Quora.
Bit.ly and countless other startups have chosen the cute top-level domain .ly for their startups. The only problem is that .ly is Libya's top-level domain. Libya happens to be ruled by a crazy dictator, and right now is experiencing protests that are making it shut down the internet.


Submission + - IT to buy lots of iPads; maybe some other tablets

Toe, The writes: "A November survey of business IT buyers found that 7% had outfitted employees with tablets and twice that many plan to do so in the next quarter. It is rather rare to see a market expect to triple in a few months. And while many competitors are entering the fray, the market-opener appears to be a clear favorite: about four fifths of those planning to buy next quarter plan on buying iPads. The reason can be seen in the response by the installed base: 97% report satisfaction with the iPad, while 74% are satisfied with Dell tablets, and 69% with HPs. When looking at "extreme satisfaction" those numbers change to a much starker 69%, 12% and 23% respectively for Apple, Dell and HP. Among other interesting numbers in the results: an industry-shaking 38% of iPad-deploying IT respondents report they are using iPads as replacements for laptops."

Comment Re:Oh goody (Score 1) 790

No, it isn't okay. Willfully poisoning people is murder, last I checked - or at least negligent homicide. Both of those things are violence between parties, and fall well within the bounds of government. It isn't good for business, either.

Now, to split hairs, if a company sold a product called "Poisoned scrambled eggs", and you bought it and ate it... well, neither you nor your heirs have much standing to be upset about.

Comment Re:What about this guy...? (Score 1) 241

http://games.slashdot.org/story/09/12/04/1516204/Gran-Turismo-Gamer-Becomes-Pro-Race-Driver Granted in his case the main thing that helped him was practicing consistency in hitting braking points and adherence to a proper racing line. I doubt the game actually improved his physical ability behind the wheel.

Okay, that's one guy. How many copies of the game have been sold?

Comment also GTA DWU (Score 2, Interesting) 241

There's a video on youtube of a guy who tested real vs virtual drunk driving by playing GTA 4 sober while Nico was virtually drunk, then driving with Nico sober while himself being totally smashed. Unsurprisingly, the drunk Nico-sober player combo was much more accurate, while the opposite resulted in much more destruction and mayhem.

Comment Re:My piece of space (Score 1) 96

Interestingly its that brittleness that makes the heat shield so critical to protect, and why even the slightest scratch in it can cause catastrophic problems for the crew aboard. I'm sure you've realized this by now though, but they most likely never used the capsule after they decided to tour it anyway, so you couldn't have caused any real problems (other than the obvious vandalism of a priceless artifact of some of the most important scientific missions). That kind of stuff makes me wish I had been born then to be able to see some of that as it was happening. One of the neatest things I've ever seen was a marathon that NASA TV had on a few years ago where they took all the Apollo footage and played it end to end in chronological order so that it seemed like it was actually happening (obviously sped up since there wasn't days/years between missions and broadcasts). It was long as hell (8hrs or longer if I remember correctly), but kept me watching the entire time. I wish they'd do that kind of thing more often.

Comment Makes Sense, Actually (Score 5, Insightful) 328

When you really look at it, there's no reason that Adobe shouldn't embrace HTML 5. Fundamentally, maintaining a cross-platform plug-in is not a profit center for them, it's a cost. They don't make money on the plug-ins, they make money on the Creative Suite product which allows designers to create animations, games, and the like easily. All this work of maintaining their own actionscript standards and standard library just serves to make their pay products more useful.

Imagine for a moment that at some time in the near future, Adobe has a new option on the menu "Export to HTML5". Would this make their product less useful? Of course not. Widespread adoption of HTML 5 means that their product can now be used to create content for even more devices, including several, like the iPhone, from which they have previously been locked out. And it wouldn't even be surprising if over time they transitioned entirely to HTML 5, giving up the work involved in maintaining Flash. They probably won't do this in the short run, but in the long run, it's entirely plausible.

I'm sure some people will point out that the move to HTML 5 opens them up to more competitors, and it does. But they've already got competitors even with the Flash ecosystem. There are a variety of ways to make swfs, including swftools, FlashDevelop, and the free Actionscript compiler which Adobe itself released as part of the Flex SDK. There are even a few other pay products out there. So, essentially, they already are in a market where there are a bunch of other tools which are cheaper but either can't produce complex content or require a bunch of coding to produce similar content. If they switch over to HTML5, they will likely be in the same boat, just in a bigger lake. Sure they'll be competing with DreamWeaver or whoever, but they'll have a clear and immediate advantage when it comes to "Flash-like" stuff such as animations and games.

So in summary, if they manage the transition properly, moving towards HTML5 means less costs and a bigger market. That sounds to me like a pretty clear win.

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