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Microsoft Patents 'Proactive' Virus Protection 169

An anonymous reader writes "InfoWeek blogger Alex Wolfe wonders whether Microsoft will go after McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, and Kaspersky for software royalties for proactive virus protection software. The technique enables security software to protect a PC against malware which isn't yet in the antivirus definition file, by comparing whether the new malware is similar to an old virus. Wolfe reports that Microsoft has been awarded U.S. patent 7,376,970 for "System and method for proactive computer virus protection," but that McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, and Kaspersky have all been selling products implementing proactive virus protection for years before Microsoft even filed for the patent. Writes Wolfe: "One often wonders about software patents. I sure wonder about this one. I also wonder whether McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, and Kaspersky are also going to be hearing from their friends in Redmond real soon"."

Submission + - Robots are as good as dogs in curing loneliness (

hackingbear writes: "A study by Saint Louis University found that a lovable pooch named Sparky and a robotic dog, AIBO, were about equally effective at relieving the loneliness of nursing home residents and fostering attachments.

Most of the elderly used Sparky, a 9-year-old, reddish-brown mutt with a white muzzle and floppy ears, as a confidant, telling him "their life story," Marian Banks said.

Those who visited with AIBO took a little longer — about a week — to warm up to the metallic creature. Over time, they grew more comfortable with AIBO, and petted and talked to him. He responded by wagging his tail, vocalizing and blinking his lights.
Good news for many readers of the this site! Very soon, robots will beat Slashdot in curing geek's loneliness problem as well."


Submission + - Bacteria Found to be Common Snowflake Seed ( 1

tobiah writes: "CBS is reporting on a new study published in Science (subscription required) finding that a significant percentage of snowflake cores are bacteria. The most commonly found bacteria was Pseudomonas syringae, which causes disease in some crops and for which there is an active effort to eradicate it. The study's first author, Brent C. Christner, is quoted suggesting that decreased rain and snowfall might be a negative side effect of this effort. But what I'd really like to know is what do bacterial snowflake look like?"

Submission + - How did you learn programming? 1

Xionn writes: There's been a lot of discussion lately on how programming should be taught. Most of it has centered around that many universities today teach introductory programming using Java and that Java is too much of an easy/safe/dumbed down language to serve this purpose well. Personally, I'm a member of the Java generation and my (academic) introduction to programming was a very Objects First approach, with encapsulation and patterns introduced early on. This is about 4 years ago and I recently picked up SICP on recommendation, it was a very enlightening read and a very different way of introducing programming than the "Java approach" i know. So the the question I would like to pose to slashdot is this: How did you get learn to program? And knowing what you know now, was it a good way?

Submission + - Akamai wins lawsuit to protect obvious patent 1

brandaman writes: Akamai, the largest CDN with about 70% market share, won it's lawsuit against Limelight Networks, second largest CDN, that asserted Limelight was infringing on Akamai's patent.

... . In accordance with the invention, however, a base HTML document portion of a Web page is served from the Content Provider's site while one or more embedded objects for the page are served from the hosting servers, preferably, those hosting servers near the client machine. By serving the base HTML document from the Content Provider's site, the Content Provider maintains control over the content.
This is not the first lawsuit Akamai has won regarding its patents [1] [2].

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