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Submission + - Why Chimps Are Stronger Than Humans (

kodiaktau writes: A quick Scientific American video describes why chimpanzees are stronger than humans. The video explains that chimps have less grey matter or neurons controlling muscles. Humans on the other hand have more refined muscle skill and fine motor control because we have more neurons controlling smaller bundles of muscles. In effect when a chimp engages its muscle mass it is an all or nothing proposition.

Submission + - Google and Apple spent more on Patents than R&D last year (

parallel_prankster writes: NYTimes has an interesting article about how patents are really stiffling inovation in the tech industry. Today, almost every major technology company is involved in ongoing patent battles. Of course, the most significant player is Apple, industry executives say, because of its influence and the size of its claims: in August in California, the company won a $1 billion patent infringement judgment against Samsung. Former Apple employees say senior executives made a deliberate decision over the last decade, after Apple was a victim of patent attacks, to use patents as leverage against competitors to the iPhone, the company’s biggest source of profits. At a technology conference this year, Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, said patent battles had not slowed innovation at the company, but acknowledged that some aspects of the battles had “kind of gotten crazy.” It is a complaint heard throughout the industry. The increasing push to assert ownership of broad technologies has led to a destructive arms race, engineers say. Some point to so-called patent trolls, companies that exist solely to sue over patent violations. Others say big technology companies have also exploited the system’s weaknesses. “There are hundreds of ways to write the same computer program,” said James Bessen, a legal expert at Harvard. And so patent applications often try to encompass every potential aspect of a new technology. When such applications are approved, Mr. Bessen said, “the borders are fuzzy, so it’s really easy to accuse others of trespassing on your ideas.” The number of patent applications, computer-related and otherwise, filed each year at the United States patent office has increased by more than 50 percent over the last decade to more than 540,000 in 2011. Google has received 2,700 patents since 2000, according to the patent analysis firm M-CAM. Microsoft has received 21,000.

Submission + - Lock-pick hotel rooms with a James Bond-like dry-erase marker (

colinneagle writes: At the Black Hat security conference, a hacker picked Onity hotel keycard locks in less time than it takes to blink. These locks are in about 22,000 hotels worldwide, leaving about four million vulnerable to hacking.

Lock manufacturer Onity boasts that its locks secure rooms in about 22,000 hotels worldwide, but hacker Cody Brocious said at BlackHat that it's "stupidly simple" to hack them. He added, "It wouldn't surprise me if a thousand other people have found this same vulnerability and sold it to other governments. An intern at the NSA could find this in five minutes." To exploit the lock, Brocious plugged an Arduino microcontroller into the DC power port located underneath the keycard lock. He discovered he could read the 32-bit key stored in the lock's memory location and was able to spoof the type of portable programming device used by hotels to set master keys.


Submission + - Rovio And Lucasfilm Team Up For 'Angry Birds Star Wars' (

redletterdave writes: "Rovio’s Angry Birds have conquered construction sites, mines, Rio, the Golden Pistachio, a slew of international holidays and all four seasons, and after their most recent trip to space, it looks like the furious fowls will fly off even further to a galaxy far, far away. On Monday morning, Finland-based Rovio Entertainment announced “Angry Birds Star Wars,” a new game for iOS and Android devices, set to release on Nov. 8. Players have downloaded more than 650 million “Angry Birds” games, and with two of the biggest pop culture brands from recent memory colliding in a brand-new game, Rovio may see its franchise skyrocket to new heights."
United Kingdom

Submission + - UK To Get 200Mbps '5G' Test In 2013 (

judgecorp writes: "Britain doesn't even have 4G networks yet, but by the end of 2013, it will have a trial of the next generation, 200Mbps ''5G'. The University of Surrey has a £35 million grant and will use it to set up a 5km square 5g "playground" including the city of Guildford. The researchers expect to hit 10Gbps per cell, but the actual technology in question is still in development, and no commercial roll-out of 5G is expected until about 2030. Just as well, as it will probably take that long to get 4G implemented."

Submission + - Activision Blizzard secretly watermarking World of Warcraft users. (

kgkoutzis writes: "A few days ago I noticed some weird artifacts covering the screenshots I captured using the WoW game client application. I sharpened the images and found a repeating pattern secretly embedded inside. I posted this information on the OwnedCore forum and after an amazing 3 day cooperation marathon, we managed to prove that all our WoW screenshots, since at least 2008, contain a custom watermark inside. This watermark includes our userIDs, the time the screenshot was captured and the IP address of the server we were on at the time. It can be used to track down activities which are against Blizzard's Terms of Service, like hacking the game or running a private server. The users were never notified by the ToS that this watermarking was going on so, for four years now, we have all been publicly sharing our account and realm information for hackers to decode and exploit. You can find more information on how to access the watermark in the aforementioned forum post which is still quite active."
Open Source

Submission + - GitHub finally raises funding: $100M from Andreessen Horowitz (

vu1986 writes: ""GitHub is ready to take a huge step forward. After successfully bootstrapping its operation since 2008, the open-source code hosting site is set to announce Monday that it has accepted $100 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz in order to improve and expand a platform that has become an industry standard for managing and finding code on the web.""

User Journal

Journal Journal: Copyright For Dummies

An interesting video was passed to a friend of a friend who subsequently passed it on to me about the original intent and virtues of copyright in America. Not surprisingly the video outlines the original intent of copyright to encourage the creators to bring new content and protect them for a period of time. As the video points out one of the largest instigators of the new rules on time privilege for creators was the Disn


Submission + - User Journal Quantum Random Numbers (

tqft writes: "What the world needs is more truly random sources of numbers. Here are some more:

" We do this by splitting a beam of light into two beams and then measuring the power in each beam. Because light is quantised, the light intensity in each beam fluctuates about the mean. Those fluctuations, due ultimately to the quantum vacuum, can be converted into a source of random numbers. Every number is randomly generated in real time and cannot be predicted beforehand. So if you need some really random numbers, use the link below!""

Submission + - Mitch Altman parts ways with Maker Fair over DARPA Grant (

SWroclawski writes: "Well known hacker and hackerspace advocate, Mitch Altman has decided to temporarily part ways with Maker Faire over their involvement with DARPA (as reported on Twitter and Facebook). This public parting of ways raises the question of what role government, especially the military, should play in working alongside hackers and educators."

Submission + - The First Cell Phone Call Almost Got Bloody (

pigrabbitbear writes: "On April 3, 1973, Motorola researcher Martin Cooper was perched on a New York City street corner on his way to a press conference, when he pulled out an enormous prototype phone in front of a few reporters and placed the first ever cell phone call, to a competitor at Bell Labs. And in the process of stepping into telecommunications history, he almost got killed."

Submission + - First flying car completes test flight ( 1

MrSeb writes: "The Terrafugia Transmission, the world’s first commercial flying car that will hopefully go on sale later this year, has taken its first test flight. The flight, which took place at Plattsburgh International Airport in New York, lasted eight minutes and reached an altitude of 1,400 feet (425m). The flying car (which is technically called a roadable aircraft has a standard unleaded gasoline engine that can propel the car to 100 knots (105mph) in the air, and has a highway efficiency of 35 mpg. If everything goes to plan, the Transmission will soon enter full-scale production and hopefully hit the market before the end of 2012. It will have a price tag of $279,000, though if you have $10,000 spare Terrafugia is already taking down payments. Terrafugia is primarily targeting members of “fly-in” communities that are only reachable by plane or ferry, such as Martha’s Vineyard."

Comment Re:Brings a tear to my eye (Score 1) 342

Agreed. The 1.1 and 1.3 versions of OS/2 were really like the Windows product. OS/2 was really stunning when we moved to 3.x and 4.0 Warp. It was still a heck of a lot easier to program for the interface using the ICLUI tool set than anything MS had at the time. I remember Borland coming out with OWL for Windows in a parallel timeframe - it tried to mimic ICLUI but was really a pain to develop with.

Comment Re:Brings a tear to my eye (Score 2) 342

Funny thing happened on my way to the forum. A few years back I had to get some information out of a OS/2 help file, and had no install. I ended up downloading a copy of the OS from the internet to quickly get access - I did end up uninstalling as I had no other use for the install. Still I wonder if it is worth having a box laying around to tinker with.

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