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Submission + - Patent troll in Texas stymied by Minnesota Attorney General (

drew30319 writes: Minnesota has turned the tables on a patent troll.

MPHJ Technology Investments has agreed to stop contacting Minnesota businesses about the use of document-scanning in their offices. It appears that MPHJ was contacting businesses and requesting / demanding license fees for patent(s) owned by MPHJ.

Under this new agreement MPHJ will no longer contact Minnesota businesses about these purported licensing fees without first receiving permission from Minnesota's Attorney General.

Here's the article at Corporate Counsel:'Troll'&et=editorial&bu=Corporate%20Counsel


Submission + - Play Wii -- Become a Better Surgeon -- Profit!!! (

drew30319 writes: "NPR reports that a team of researchers at the University of Rome required a group of surgical residents to play video games on a Nintendo Wii for an hour a day, five days a week, for four weeks resulting in "statistically better" performance than a control group for laparoscopic skills. The study is available online ( ) and includes some interesting stats (e.g. while the control group showed a 10% improvement in accuracy, the Wii-playing group's accuracy improved by 83%).

The study's authors add that ''[t]he Nintendo® Wii may be adopted in lower-budget Institutions or at home by younger surgeons to optimize their training on simulators before performing real procedures.'"


Submission + - Contest winner: Video Games with a Purpose? (

drew30319 writes: Game developer's website Gamasutra discusses a video game design contest with socially redeeming qualities — is this a role for video games?

"A unique game design competition aimed at teen violence prevention has announced its winners, revealing that Grace's Diary is taking home the top prize.

The annual contest is sponsored by Jennifer Ann's Group, a non-profit organization focused on teen violence education and prevention since its founding in 2006. The game design competition, the "Life. Love. Game Design Contest," challenges entrants to design a game about the issue — without using violence itself."

The winning games are available to play online now: 2010 winning games.

Submission + - Comcast's "Usage Meter" Hits Atlanta

drew30319 writes: Today I received notice that Comcast has started providing their "Usage Meter" here in Atlanta, highlighting their 250GB monthly limit A few points that I find interesting:

1) Although Comcast advertises that with their service you can "[w]atch streaming HD movies online" they fail to mention that a single HD movie can easily be an 11GB file (e.g. "District 9" downloaded via XBL was over 11 GB) which would limit a subscriber to fewer than one movie per day.

2) Comcast doesn't mention HD movies in their AUP amendment which states:

250 GB/month is an extremely large amount of data, much more than a typical residential customer uses on a monthly basis. Currently, the median monthly data usage by our residential customers is approximately 2 — 3 GB. To put 250 GB of monthly usage in perspective, a customer would have to do any one of the following:
* Send 50 million emails (at 0.05 KB/email)
* Download 62,500 songs (at 4 MB/song)
* Download 125 standard-definition movies (at 2 GB/movie)
* Upload 25,000 hi-resolution digital photos (at 10 MB/photo)

3) My assumption is that while XBL downloads of HD movies are "counted" against usage, a comparable HD movie ordered through Comcast PPV would not "count" against usage.

4) This limit does not appear in any of the Comcast marketing material that I've seen (to include disclosures). Instead the focus is on how fast their service is; in theory the faster your download speeds are, the more data that you would be able to download. This seems deceptive to me.

I believe that either Comcast has a responsibility to either modify their marketing to explicitly and clearly specify any limits or to instead eliminate the limit. Which will act first: market pressures, government intervention, or class action lawsuits? Which will be more effective?

Submission + - Promoting social good through video games (

drew30319 writes: Kotaku writes that for the third year, the Life.Love. Game Design Challenge is asking the intriguing question "can you create a video game about teen dating violence without using violence in the game itself?" In recognition of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month, charity Jennifer Ann's Group is sponsoring the contest to increase awareness about teen dating violence.

Previous years' winners are available on the charity's website: 2009 winners and 2008 winners.

In addition to a chance at the $2,500 grand prize, the entries will be reviewed and judged by video game industry experts. Judges have included Ian Bogost, Simon Carless, Brenda Brathwaite, and Brian Crecente of Kotaku. Jennifer Ann's Group was created in memory of Jennifer Ann Crecente (Brian Crecente's niece), a high school senior who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend on February 15, 2006.

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