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Toyota Develops New Flower Species To Reduce Pollution 211

teko_teko writes "Toyota has created two flower species that absorb nitrogen oxides and take heat out of the atmosphere. The flowers, derivatives of the cherry sage plant and the gardenia, were specially developed for the grounds of Toyota's Prius plant in Toyota City, Japan. The sage derivative's leaves have unique characteristics that absorb harmful gases, while the gardenia's leaves create water vapour in the air, reducing the surface temperature of the factory surrounds and, therefore, reducing the energy needed for cooling, in turn producing less carbon dioxide."

Comment NO, Apple violates the GPL (Score 2, Interesting) 782

IANAL, but my reading of GPLv2 is that Apple violates the GPL by publishing apps compiled under GPL licenses (v2 or v3).

Apple requires that all applications on its platform are signed with a private key as part of their DRM system. The actual "object code" the end user receives is encrypted with this key (and a small bit of its own special DRM sauce, from what I hear). Therefore, under the GPL, Apple would be required to provide the key used to make this encrypted copy of the application, and the source to any other inlined (not linked) DRM code (that is, everything that constitutes part of the "source code" of Apple's 'derivative work' based on the GPL'ed app submitted by the developer). From the GPLv2:

For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable.

And to the commenters screaming "it's ok because it's GPLv2!", this would NOT require the "tivoization clause" covered by version 3 of the GPL (the requirement to provide "Installation Information" for a "User Product", because the applications in question are not part of the original User Product being sold in the first place, and so they wouldn't be covered.

The "operating system exception" (the one that provided the GPlv2 loophole for Tivo) doesn't cover the private key in an iPhone app, because the private key for a specific published app does not constitute any of "the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs".

Seems to me that a quick Cease and Desist letter to Apple from one of the original software's authors for failing to provide source to the encrypted object code would be all that's needed to settle the debate. Of course, Apple would probably err on the side of caution and pull the app anyway, rather than mess around with potentially defending themselves in court for a GPL violation on behalf of a lone developer.

Comment Re:Third-party app stores are coming, too! (Score 1) 136

Thanks for the comments, and yeah I should have mentioned that we're focusing on games specifically for now. The site is still very beta so we're still trying to figure out the best parts to focus on building and improving.

I think my biggest beef with all of the 'app stores' out there is that they already existed in one form or another.

Well, sure, but in a much lesser form. There have always been sites that can put up a bunch of Java games for sale, but I wouldn't consider those sites to be the same class of store that Apple first introduced, and that all of the upcoming 'app store competition' will offer. The huge difference is the level of integration with the device and with the user. You maintain an account with the App Store where you can manage all of your purchases, downloads and payment information, rather than just perform a one-time download of a file off a website. You also have a customized catalog application on the phone itself that makes it much more convenient to find and download new applications. Apple also included a very usable developer SDK which really paved the way for small, independent developers to start making applications themselves.

Finally, there's the huge task of creating an easy to use system through which developers can submit and publish their own paid applications, and receive a split of the proceeds. Setting this up is actually the biggest challenge in my opinion, as well as one of the biggest draws that will bring publishers to these new stores (and I assume that this is why Google took so long to open up the Android store to paid applications).

If these features are not present in the upcoming competition then it wouldn't be fair to even put them in the same category, since this is precisely what distinguishes these new efforts from the existing third-party application portal sites that have already been around for years. If all we're going to see from these is just more of the same sort of pre-App Store mobile application portals, then that would definitely be a step backward.

Comment Re:Third-party app stores are coming, too! (Score 1) 136

If you think it's limited to J2ME 'phones then have a look at who've been offering Android apps for months and aren't Google affiliated in any way.

Java != J2ME. The Android platform is most certainly also Java-based, even though it's a little different from Sun's CLDC/MIDP/J2ME platform, and third-party app stores can definitely support those devices as well, as we also have plans to down the road.

Comment Third-party app stores are coming, too! (Score 4, Interesting) 136

The company I work for launched a public beta of our third-party app store this week, called Xpressed (the site is brand new, so feedback is welcome). Unlike the app stores mentioned in this article, it's a true "third-party" app store meaning that we're unaffiliated with any device manufacturer or carrier, and so we plan to support any and all phones out on the market that allow applications to be downloaded and installed from non-proprietary websites. Right now this pretty much means most of the Java-based phones on the market (several hundred current phones, plus the hundreds more old and obsolete devices).

It will be interesting to see which model wins out after all of the industry players have their say in this growing application space - whether manufacturer-supported app stores (presumably) integrated with the devices themselves will continue to dominate, or whether third-party app stores like Xpressed will be able to find a footing, especially among developers targeting their apps across multiple platforms.

Submission + - Open Handset Alliance releases Android SDK preview (

radimvice writes: "As anticipated, the Open Handset Alliance led by Google has released an early look at the Android open-source wireless platform SDK. Google has put up an official Android developer blog and a developer discussion group, and there are also plenty of unofficial forums set up to discuss the release. Source code download, documentation, sample code and more is up at Google Code. Google has also announced the Android Developer Challenge, which will provide $10 million in awards for great mobile applications built on the Android platform over the next year."
The Courts

Submission + - Mom Sues Music Company Over Baby Video Removal 8

penguin_dance writes: A Pennsylvania mom is fighting back, suing Universal Music Publishing Group for having a home movie taken down off of YouTube. The movie, featuring her 18-month old bouncing to Prince's song, "Let's Go Crazy," was cited for removal by the Group for copyright infringement. Mom Stephanie Lenz was first afraid they'd come after her — then she got angry. She got YouTube to put the video back up and now she's enlisted the help of Electronic Frontier Foundation and filed a civil lawsuit.

"I thought even though I didn't do anything wrong that they might want to file some kind of suit against me, take my house, come after me. And I didn't like feeling afraid," she continued. "I didn't like feeling that I could get in trouble for something as simple as posting a home video for my friends and family to see."

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