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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 11 declined, 2 accepted (13 total, 15.38% accepted)

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Submission + - E-book Agency Model struck down (

icebike writes: Federal Judge rules against the Agency Model devised by publishers to fix the price of e-Books (as well as paper books) by preventing retailers from setting their own prices, offering loss-leaders, or sales. Still not agreeing to the settlement is Apple, whose entry into the e-book business gave the publishers their foot in the door to impose the Agency Model. (Some suggest Apple may be in bigger trouble than the publishers). Refunds are likely to be imposed for book buyers. Link above contains entire ruling.

Submission + - The Twitter Patent IPA - Will it work

icebike writes: The Register has a story covering the Twitter Proposal for an Innovators's Patent Agreement (IPA) to put an end to endless patent wars. The agreement is meant to be signed by inventors working for corporations, when they assign the invention over to the corporation. The Agreement becomes from that point on similar to a covenant in a real estate purchase, binding on all parties, successors and heirs. The Full Text of the proposed IPA can be found on Github.

The operative portion of the IPA stipulates that "Company, on behalf of itself and its successors, transferees, and assignees (collectively “Assignee”), agrees not to assert any claims of any Patents which may be granted on any of the above applications unless asserted for a Defensive Purpose." It then proceeds to define "defensive purposes".

  It would seem that it would pretty much end any chances of monetizing the patents due to the promise not to use them as a first strike weapon in court, thereby allowing anyone to use the patent without fear of lawsuit.

Will this actually work, and would any companies actually adopt this method of Patent Assignment?

Submission + - Somali Pirates Attack Navy Ship 1

icebike writes: In what must rank high in the Dumb Criminals Hall of Fame, a skiff load of Somali Pirates Attack a Spanish Navy Ship. The ship, The Patino has markings characteristic of naval ships and twin helicopter hangers on the rear deck. The weapons systems include two Oerlikon 20mm guns and two Izar FABA Systems Meroka 20mm close-in weapon systems (CIWS). Spanish sailors returned fire, wounding all but one of the attackers, launched their choppers and arrested the entire group.

Submission + - presidential Limo trapped on ramp (

icebike writes: The BBC has footage of the Presidential Limo being trapped on a steep ramp while exiting a gate at the US Embassy in Dublin. The odd part of the video, is that it seems to suggest that rather than simply dragging its belly, the car seemed to trigger some sort of protective action.
Rather than grating to a stop, as anyone who has high-centered a car remembers, the car stops abruptly and completly.
The front wheels collapsed into the wheel wells, to the point where the car with 6 to 8 inches of clearance between the road and car frame suddenly appears to have less than 3, and the back end jumps into the air and stays high. If the vehicle was high centered, the front wheels should be hanging down, as the weight would be born by the rear wheels and the belly of the car. Instead the front wheels remained collapsed into the wheel wells, and the security detail brings a bus in front of the car so as to cut off the camera view, and provide some protection.

The car appears later in the video seemingly moving under its own power.


Submission + - Noctilucent clouds likely caused by Shuttle Launch (

icebike writes: "We recently covered the hysteria of Noctilucent clouds here, where there was some suggestions that these were the product of Global Warming due to moisture being lofted high into the atmosphere due to warming.

It now may be that these are simply the product of Shuttle launches.

Science News is reporting in a story about the Tunguska blast that:

"Each launch of a space shuttle, which burns a combination of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as fuel, pumps about 300 metric tons of water vapor into the atmosphere at altitudes between 100 and 115 kilometers. Soon after the January 16, 2003, launch of the shuttle Columbia, a liftoff that took place just after the height of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, noctilucent clouds appeared over Antarctica. Similarly, a widespread display of the night-shining clouds showed up over Alaska two days after the shuttle Endeavour blasted off on August 8, 2007. Previous studies show that in both instances those clouds included material from the shuttle plumes." So Man made after all?"


Submission + - Does Windows Vista Firewall contain a Tarpit?

icebike writes: "While testing some TCP network software recently I noticed that an attempt to connect to the software on a Vista machine will take forever (greater than 45 seconds) to time out when the software is NOT actually running AND a firewall exception is in place, or when a firewall exception was specifically not allowed.

However, tearing down windows firewall will let the connection fail quickly (less than 5 seconds) when the target software is NOT running.

All other windows platforms (XP,2K, 9x) appear to fail the connection quickly when the software is not running AND a firewall exception is configured.

I can find no mention of this behavior in Microsoft's site or in any KB article.

This amounts to a defacto Tarpit which seems undocumented.

The software in question is designed to listen on a specific port for a TCP/IP connection, and display information sent from the other end (chat program). I tried several other similar software products with the same result."

Submission + - SCO Delisting warned

icebike writes: SCO has been notified by NASDAQ that it currently fails to meet the requirements for continued listing on NASDAQ due to its price being below 1 dollar for the last 30 days.

This means that if the stock price can not be held above 1 dollar for 10 consecutive days out of the next 180, SCO will be delisted. It would then join the Pink Sheets, where penny stocks are traded, (and usually hyped by untold volumes of spam promising a big campaign). 60

Just another step in the downward spiral of a company with few customers, and little to sell, and a business model based on litigation.

Submission + - David Harris Drops Pegasus Mail

icebike writes: David Harris, the New Zealand developer of Pegasus Mail has announced he's calling it quits. The Pegasus Email client and Mercury Email server which have been under active development since the 80s have seen their last release.

Aways a secure product (on a scale of one to Outlook) Pegasus had a faithful following world wide, but a small share, and insufficient funding for it to continue.

From the announcement page at David announces
  "It has been a privilege to be of service to the Internet Community for such a long period of time — I am only sorry that I am not able to continue doing so."

Always a class act, Harris gave away Pegasus. If you wanted to help fund the development you could buy manuals. His product did not contain any annoying advertising, and handled Pop and Imap elegantly with a simple clear interface.

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