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ChainedFei writes "In what can only be called a changing of tune, Microsoft has put forward 30,000 pages of Microsoft Development Documents previously held under Trade Secret and available only to vendors that agreed to such discreteness.
Microsoft is providing a covenant not to sue open source developers for development or non-commercial distribution of implementations of these protocols. These developers will be able to use the documentation for free to develop products. Companies that engage in commercial distribution of these protocol implementations will be able to obtain a patent license from Microsoft, as will enterprises that obtain these implementations from a distributor that does not have such a patent license.
Could this be a result of the competition with Google, who has long had a good relationship with the OSS community? Or did Microsoft just get a twinge of conscience?" Link to Original Source top
ChainedFei writes "Over at Tech Crunch, They report that Google has added new functionality onto the vaunted Google Earth project.
The new feature allows users to browse the stars in the sky the same way they are able to browse the earth. From the Google Earth page,
Today, I'm excited to announce we are launching Sky in Google Earth. You can now explore the universe from the comfort of your chair. Zoom in to distant galaxies hundreds of millions of light years away, explore the constellations, see the planets in motion, witness a supernova explosion; it's like having a giant, virtual telescope at your command — your own personal planetarium!
ChainedFei (1054192) writes "From Wired News, In a surprising turn for the Spectrum auction, the FCC have stated that the minimum bid for the C-block spectrum being offered in the auction will be $4.6 billion, which coincidentally was the amount that GOOG fronted as a minimum bid to endorse certain open standards for the spectrum being sold.
It is essentially a move to shut out smaller possible competitors while also maximizing the money the auction will generate for the grade-A areas of the spectrum. In addition, any single bidder wishing to purchase the entirety of the spectrum must front a minimum of $10 billion." Link to Original Source top
ChainedFei (1054192) writes "While currently in the experimental stages, Scientists at Germany's Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience are using MRI Imaging in order to detect higher level decision making as it occurs in the brain before the thought is put to action. Civil Libertarians are naturally concerned as to the usage of such technology, should it come to fruition.
Civil Libertarians are, quite understandably, uneasy of such technology. The initial proposed usages of such technology has been put forward as better Airport Security measures as well as Criminal Interrogations, though the possibility of a Minority Report style use loom throughout."