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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

UnknowingFool Re:Duration??? (158 comments)

The original mission duration was 668 sols for Curiosity. It is on 723 sols or so.

yesterday
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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

UnknowingFool Re:Duration??? (158 comments)

Plenty of missions end early, Spirit (MER-A)

Er what?
Spirit
Original Mission Parameters: 90 Mars days (sols)
Actual Mission Length: 2210 sols (lost contact)
I wouldn't say Spirit's mission ended early. It went 2100 sols past mission date. It didn't last as long as Opportunity though.

yesterday
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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

UnknowingFool Re:Someone with no brain is running NASA (158 comments)

Do your surfaces go from -150C to 20C in a single day? I would bet that your tires would not last long under those conditions. Mars conditions are not Earth conditions.

yesterday
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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

UnknowingFool Re:Someone with no brain is running NASA (158 comments)

Well mission parameters for the Mars wheel would have mostly likely been as light and thin and wide as possible. Light and thin so that it would fit the weight and space requirements. Wide so that it could traverse the sandy, dune like conditions.

yesterday
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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

UnknowingFool Re:Someone with no brain is running NASA (158 comments)

I don't think the UV and radiation is as much a factor as the huge temperature swings. Every silicon rubber I've seen can't handle going from cold to hot to cold repeatedly without breaking down. It could be somewhere between -150C to 20C depending on the location.

yesterday
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

UnknowingFool Re:agreed (413 comments)

I think one of the main issues with Vista was that it was allowed on hardware that couldn't run Aero because Intel had millions in chipsets that it would not have been able to sell. Two years after Vista most of that hardware had been sold and newer Intel chipsets could handle Aero at the basic level. This left a bad impression on top of all the bugs as it added to the notion Vista was not ready for release.

3 days ago
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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Launches Nov. 13th

UnknowingFool Re:Nothing new in this expansion (145 comments)

I used to joke in TBC that a true hunter has 30 buttons macroed, 29 of which were Feign Death.

5 days ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

UnknowingFool Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

Why do you have to find it forgivable? If it is a show you don't like, don't watch it. I don't find reality shows like the Real Housewives to have any redeeming qualities. I don't watch them.

about two weeks ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

UnknowingFool Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

There are some people who believe Fresh Prince of Bel Air truly represents African Americans. So what? That does not detract whether or not it was funny. I personally did not find it funny but it wasn't because I believed it stood for anything other than a sitcom.

about two weeks ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

UnknowingFool Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

I would argue the problem is more like, if you had a bunch of kids thinking that they understand urban black culture because they're listening to rap music, but the rap music they're listening to is Vanilla Ice.

Well most people would see that as satire and not that the elements of geekdom are to be taken literally as 100% true. There is a category for shows like that: documentaries. I would argue most TV shows does not follow subjects faithfully. Since you mentioned "Friends", I don't think people really believe that New Yorkers spend all of their time hanging out in a coffee shop. Chuck probably does not represent a true government agent any more than Will Smith was your average Bellaire teen.

Personally I thought one of the funniest episodes was "The Alien Parasite Hypothesis" where Howard and Raj decide to settle a dispute by wrestling. In real life, two people angry at each other would have actually wrestled regardless of lack of skill instead of the hilarity of two nerds circling each other endlessly.

about two weeks ago
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Satya Nadella At Six Months: Grading Microsoft's New CEO

UnknowingFool Re:apple should charge for OSX on any pc (151 comments)

apple should charge for OSX on any pc and what will happen if windows 9 flops??

Bahahahaha. Oh, you were serious? I don't see it happening. Part of what allows Apple to do what it does is the fact that they control the hardware. They've even gone as far as to design their own mobile chips. Opening up OS X to a massive number of hardware permutations will lead to support nightmares at the very least.

about two weeks ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

UnknowingFool Re:Time Shifting? (317 comments)

The AHRA requires the use of SCMS however since the source of the music are CDs which have no SCMS, how would that work? As noted by the Diamond decision, these systems permit less copying than SCMS allows as music cannot be transferred from the drive.

about three weeks ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

UnknowingFool Re:Time Shifting? (317 comments)

So the fact that Ford and GM advertise you can rip CDs into this thing makes it a DARD.

I guess I'll have to disagree on this point as my reading is the "primary purpose" of the DARD definition makes this not a DARD as recording is not the primary purpose of these infotainment systems.

about three weeks ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

UnknowingFool Re:Time Shifting? (317 comments)

Ford and GM are pretty big, but if Sony and Microsoft get involved, the AARC would be in for being tied up in court for centuries.

They could but big companies don't like spending money on lawsuits. It would be disposed rather quickly.

about three weeks ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

UnknowingFool Re:The Alliance of Artists should lose this suit (317 comments)

The CD is a derivative work containing an encapsulation and encoding of the original works*.

No, the CD is the work, it is not the derivative.

You don't actually get a license to anything, so you're not allowed to copy the works in any part, beyond the bare-minimum on-the-fly temporary copies made for decoding, and even those are debatable**

I think you really need to go back and read up on Copyright Law (17 USC). The license is implied in Copyright Law.

In essence, storing any part of a CD at any stage of decoding is prohibited without a license, even for personal or educational use***.

The Supreme Court disagrees with you: Betamax decision. The 9th Circuit also disagrees: RIAA vs Diamond.

Under the DMCA, the Librarian of Congress periodically receives comments from the public and declares what is or is not exempt from the DMCA's restrictions. During the most recent review process, the argument in favor of medium-shifting was rejected, because it basically boiled down to the commenters saying they didn't want to pay separately for both a CD form and a downloaded form, while the industry groups put forth a long argument citing legal precedent regarding the derivative-work perspective

Medium shifting is not the same for a private individual as it is for a public institution. The Library of Congress as a public institution has to be mindful of what it does. A private citizen has different obligations and considerations.

In short, what you buy when you buy a CD is the physical copy. You are not buying the information contained on that copy, so you aren't permitted to copy or transform**** it in any way. This is the key detail that so many Internet users seem to have trouble understanding. Just because you have access to information does not give you the legal basis to do anything you want with it.

Yes and no. You do have a right to transform it. You don't have a right to redistribute your transformation without permission. For example, I can make a mix of a song, even changing the structure of song like moving the chorus to a different place (if I had the skillset). If I don't publish, sell, upload, my changes, this is legal.

"Fair use" does not actually make copying legal. Rather, it's a defense to the accusation of copyright infringement. You still infringed the copyright and did something prohibited, but there's no punishment for it.

Um, no. By definition, Fair Use is not an infringement.

From 17 USC 107: Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. 106 and 17 U.S.C. 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

about three weeks ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

UnknowingFool Re:The Alliance of Artists should lose this suit (317 comments)

Unlike EULAs which you have to agree to, the license is implied as per copyright law. But copyright law as well as court cases have allowed for "time shifting" (Betamax decision) as well as "space shifting" (RIAA vs Diamond).

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

UnknowingFool Re:Fire(wall) and forget (348 comments)

From the summary: "This isn't a tremendous deal today, but with how things are going, odds are there will be e-Commerce worked into it, and probably credit card transactions... which worries the bejesus out of me."

From what I understand, having multiple layers of protection is a benefit even if it is internal. This means that an intruder simply cannot bypass one layer and then have access to everything. This is what happened at Target. Someone stole credentials from one of their vendors and was in the network where they proceeded to hack other systems.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Running Mission-Critical Servers Without a Firewall Common?

UnknowingFool Re:Fire(wall) and forget (348 comments)

But again. What IS the threat of network traffic to a port no one is listening on? None.

That's like saying what is the purpose of locking all the doors and windows in your house that no one uses? Hey if you want to keep the side windows and the garage doors unlocked, go ahead. If someone strolls in and steals your possessions, that's you own fault.

about three weeks ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

UnknowingFool Re:Good luck with that. (317 comments)

See, it doesn't apply here because the express intent of the device n the car is to record music.

The way I read it, the primary purpose of the device must be to record. The device in the car has multiple functions, only one of which is to rip music off a CD.

about three weeks ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

UnknowingFool Re:Time Shifting? (317 comments)

I think that RIAA vs Diamond does cover this. From this lawsuit:

The AHRA enacted the royalty payment requirement by prohibiting the importation and distribution, or manufacture and distribution, of any DARD [digital audio recording device] without first filing a notice with the Register of Copyrights, depositing quarterly and annual statements of account, and making royalty payments.

From RIAA vs Diamond:

Under the plain meaning of the Act's definition of digital audio recording devices, computers (and their hard drives) are not digital audio recording devices because their "primary purpose" is not to make digital audio copied recordings. . . the fact that the Rio does not permit such further copies to be made because it simply cannot download or transmit the files that it stores to any other device. Thus, the Rio without SCMS inherently allows less copying than SCMS permits. . . [t]he purpose of [the Act] is to ensure the right of consumers to make analog or digital audio recordings of copyrighted music for their private, noncommercial use.

The way I read it, Diamond was covered in 3 ways. It was not a DARD according to the Act as the primary purpose was not to make copies. Second, it does not allow copies to be redistributed to other devices as it didn't have the capability to transmit to any other device. Third, it was for private, noncommercial use.

For the first one, GM and Ford has to show that their players' primary purpose is not to make copies. Marketed as infotaiment systems, they can show that multi-faceted purposes of GPS navigation, radio (satellite and terrestrial), hands-free phone connectors, email, etc. The other two are obvious. Lastly, Ford and GM could be dismissed from the suit as they didn't manufacture the systems but bought them and used them.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Supreme Court rules for and against EPA on greenhouse gases

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about 2 months ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "In Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, the Supreme Court ruled against the EPA on some limits to greenhouse gases but also upheld other limits. In a 5-4 partial decision, the high court ruled that EPA overstepped their authority in requiring permits only for greenhouse gases for new and modified facilities using the Clean Air act. Such regulatory action can only be granted by Congress. But in the same case on a 7-2 decision, the court also ruled that the EPA can enforce greenhouse gas limits on facilities that already require permits for other air pollutants. This leaves intact the most of the new regulations proposed by the Obama administration earlier this month as many coal plants produce other air pollutants that can be regulated by the EPA."
Link to Original Source
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MS to sell Xbox One without Kinect and separate Apps from Live Gold

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about 3 months ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "Starting June 9, MS will offer a $399 Xbox One that will not be come with a Kinect peripheral. Many fans wanted the Kinect optional as they did not feel the need for it. Additionally streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube and HBO Go will no longer require a Live Gold subscription. There are some apps like Game DVR that will require Live Gold."
Link to Original Source
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Supreme Court makes it easier to get lawyers fees in patent cases

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about 4 months ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "In a pair of unanimous rulings yesterday, the Supreme Court made it easier for defendants in patent cases to collect attorneys fees if the litigation was frivolous. In the first case, Octane Fitness v. Icon Health & Fitness , the court ruled that a standard used by lower courts to award attorney's fees was impossible to meet. The original standard under Brooks Furniture Mfg., Inc. v. Dutailier Int’l, Inc. had ruled that a claim had to be both “objectively baseless” and “brought in subjective bad faith” before fees could be awarded. The high court ruled that fees should be awarded merely when the case is “exceptional” and not when the defendant must prove there was zero merit.

In the second case, Highmark v. Allcare Health Management , the Supreme Court also noted the “exceptional” standard in reversing the appellate court's decision but specifically ruled that appellate courts should give more deference to the lower courts on rulings of fact. In Highmark, the district court found that Allcare had engaged in a pattern of “vexatious” and “deceitful” conduct throughout the litigation and awarded fees. The appellate court while agreeing with the lower court about part of the case reversed the fees in their de novo review of the case. In de novo reviews, the court case is essentially retried with the higher court. The Supreme Court iterated that de novo reviews should be done typically for “questions of law” and reviews on “questions of fact” are done if there are clear errors with decisions on matters of discretion “reviewable for ‘abuse of discretion.’” In other words, the appellate courts can review a case if a lower court has not correctly interpreted law; however, they should not retry a lower case on facts unless the lower court made a clear error. Also unless the lower court abused their power in some way, the appellate court should not review their final decisions.

For example, if a person is tried for murder, an appellate court could rule that a district court misinterpreted a statute about sentencing if the person if found guilty. The appellate court should not retry the facts of the case unless the lower court had made a clear error like ruling that there was a DNA match when there was not. Also an appellate court should not reverse the lower court if they sentenced the person to a reasonable time. Now if the district court sentenced the person to 400 years for one murder, then the appellate court should intervene.

In effect the two rulings make it easier for companies to recover money should they be sued in frivolous patent lawsuits. This would make the risks greater for those who sue."

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GM announces first female CEO Mary Barra

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about 8 months ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "Right after the US Treasury Department sold off its last stake in GM, two surprises followed . First, CEO Dan Akerson announced his retirement, and the board chose long-time employee Mary Barra as his replacement as GM's first female CEO. While there will be comparisons to Carly Fiorina because of gender, there are major differences between the two situations. Barra has been with GM for 33 years and started working as a university co-op student while Fiorina was hired from Lucent. Barra started out as a plant engineer before completing her MBA and rising through the ranks to varied positions like plant manager, head of HR, and senior vice president of global product development while Fiorina was always in management."
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SCOTUS agrees to hear case to clarify software patents

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about 8 months ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "The Supreme Court agreed today to hear the case of Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International to help establish clearer guidelines on what may be patented in software. The case involves Alice Corporation who holds four patents originating in the 1990s of which was for "a computerized system for creating and exchanging financial instruments such as derivatives." These patents were challenged by CLS Bank International in 2007. The district court ruled summarily for CLS in that none of patents were valid. The Federal Circuit initially reversed the lower court; however, the full panel (en banc) voted (7 out of 10) to affirm the district court but also issued 5 separate concurring and dissenting opinions.

This confusion was noted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in its amicus brief:

" . . . the Federal Circuit has failed to implement a workable standard—or, frankly, any standard at all—as to what computer- and Internet-implemented inventions are patentable. The resulting legal instability has driven up the already-ballooning costs of patent litigation . . ."

In my opinion, it appears that main patent simply added "on the computer" to an existing process, namely in an business transaction between two parties, there is a third party that ensures that payment is made and is facilitated. The computer made the transaction faster and more automated as noted by Judge Lourie in his opinion.

“simply appending generic computer functionality to lend speed or efficiency to the performance of an otherwise abstract concept does not meaningfully limit claim scope for purposes of patent eligibility.

"

Link to Original Source
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US FDA moves to ban trans fat

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about 9 months ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "Citing growing health concerns about trans fat, the FDA today proposed measures to eliminate it from the US food supply. While trans fat can still be used, the new measures now place the burden on food processors to justify the inclusion of it in a food product as experts have maintained that there is no safe level of consumption and no health benefits. Since 2006, the amount of trans far eaten by the average American has declined from 4.5g per serving to less than 1g as restaurants and the food industry have reduced their use of it. There will be a 60 day public comment period for the new proposal."
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Blockbuster to close remaining US locations

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about 9 months ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "Blockbuster announced that it will close its remaining 300 US locations by January and discontinue the DVD by mail service. Before being bought out by Dish, the chain was slowly closing locations. From an all time high of 9,000 locations in 2004, the chain has fallen on hard times and had emerged from bankruptcy in 2011."
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Blackberry ends attempts to sell itself, will replace CEO

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about 10 months ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "Blackberry has announced it will no longer sell itself and will attempt to raise $1B from investors and shareholders. Also CEO Thorston Heins will leave in two weeks, replaced by John Chen, former CEO of Sybase. This is the second change in leadership in the last two years as Blackerry's finances have struggled against the rise of Apple and Android smartphones."
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Windows 8.1 for RT update pulled from Windows store

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about 10 months ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "After reports of update problems including bricking of some devices, Microsoft has pulled the 8.1 update for RT from their store while they investigate.



"Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1. As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and apologize for any inconvenience. We will provide updates as they become available"

While update problems are not new to software, could this be a consequence of MS not releasing 8.1 RTM to developers? Developers may have experienced problems earlier and alerted MS before it went live."
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Yale "Freakonomics" professor: Bing is not preferred 2:1 as Microsoft claims

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about a year ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "In 2009, Microsoft launched a national TV and print advertising campaign for Bing claiming that their study showed that it was preferred 2 to 1 over Google in search results in a head-to-head challenge reminiscent of the Pepsi challenges from the 1980s. MS then invited consumers to take their own test at www.bingiton.com.

Yale law professor Ian Ayres (of Freakonomics fame) and his law students published a paper On their study that found that Google was preferred over Bing 53% to 41% with 6% ties. This was far from the 2:1 ratio MS claimed. Professor Ayres matched the small sample size (1000 people). Although the commercials gives the impression that the results of the MS was a head-to-head street challenge, the results came from a online study MS commissioned through Answer Research.

Noted differences between the two studies was that the Yale study randomly assigned the user one of three different sets of searches: 1) Bing supplied searches, 2) top 25 web searches, or 3) user defined searches. One Bing searches the results were almost the same but users preferred Google in the other two sets. Another main difference is that MS has not published the methodology used or tracked individual user responses.

Legally, one conclusion of the study was that Google might have a deceptive advertising suit against Microsoft."

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Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2: With new kickstand!

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about a year ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "For consumers who had hoped that Microsoft would greatly upgrade their recent entries into the tablet market, leaks and rumors have said that both machines will receive modest hardware changes. Surface Pro 2 will sport new Haswell processors which will increase battery life to 7 hours. RAM is expected to increase from 4GB to 8GB. Surface (formerly RT) will get Tegra 4 processors. The only other confirmed change will be new kickstands that have 2 positions instead of one."
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Parallels for iPad: Game Changer for Productivity?

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about a year ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "While the iPad has been a tranformative tool for consumers and businesses, it suffers in productivity due to the focus of the device more on the consumption side than the productivity side. This gap may be bridged with a new app by virtualization software maker Parallels, Inc. called Parallels for iPad. Unlike Parallels for Mac, this program does not simply add hardware virtualization to run other OSs like Windows, Linux, etc. Instead this software installed on a desktop and iPad will act a server/client to an iPad so that the iPad can run "applified" versions of desktop software like Word, Excel, etc.

What this means is that users can now run productivity software from their desktops on their iPads. While the effectiveness using a touch GUI with applications not designed for touch has not been demonstrated, Parallels says that Parallels with translate the touch UI interactions into desktop ones. Some writers say this spells bad news for Microsoft and others. Users will not need to buy mobile app versions of their software. These are downsides to the app. First the $79.99/yr price tag. Second it requires a constant Internet connection so airplane mode is not likely possible."

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Xbox One launch delayed in 8 countries

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  1 year,6 days

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "At E3, Microsoft announced plans to launch the Xbox One in 21 countries in November. Now MS has announced that launch in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland will be delayed to 2014. Countries that are still scheduled for November release are Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand. MS has not announced a new launch date only that it would be available "as soon as possible". It seems to me that consumers in Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, and Switzerland can just cross the border into a neighboring country and get the Xbox One if they wanted."
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Microsoft: Xbox One will no longer require Kinect to function

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  1 year,7 days

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "Microsoft has reversed course on another aspect of the Xbox One. Though the console will come bundled with a Kinect sensor, the console will work without it. Critics were had suggested that an always-on video and audio sensor could be used to spy on users. This is the latest reversal from Microsoft since the E3 unveil."
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Windows 8.1 To Be Relased Mid-October

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  1 year,7 days

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "According to sources, Microsoft will release 8.1 to the public in mid-October. For those that don't know 8.1 will attempt to correct many of the issues with Windows 8. Some issues like the Start button have not been really addressed in the minds of many here on Slashdot. The release puts Windows 8.1 in time for the holiday season."
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Latest SCO Claim: Novell decision "has no bearing" on remaining case

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  1 year,9 days

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "In June 2013, Judge David Nuffer allowed SCO v IBM to continue after a long delay due to SCO's bankruptcy proceedings. He asked that SCO to file a brief on which claims were closed by the Novell judgement where Novell was found to be the owner of UNIX and UNIX copyrights. SCO filed its brief titled: "Proposed Judgment Dismissing SCO's Claims Mooted by the Final Judgment in SCO v. Novell" where they listed three claims where the Novell decision "has no bearing":
  • VI: Unfair Competition where IBM is accused to undermining and destroying UNIX and harming SCO in Project Monterrey by giving to Linux "SCO’s valuable [UNIX] source code"
  • VII: Interference with Contract where IBM supposedly encouraged others to develop Linux by reverse engineering, modifying, and creating derivative works of UNIX
  • IX: Interference with Business Relationships where IBM discouraged others from doing business with SCO. (I believe SCO suing everyone did that).

IBM not only responded that there were no claims left, they objected to the term "mooted" as IBM points out: "The claims are not moot; they are barred under principles of issue preclusion (or collateral estoppel)." From my understanding, "moot" means unsettled but unimportant which IBM points out that the claims were decided and SCO cannot re-litigate them again. IBM also points out in that Project Monterrey in VI was not a "joint venture" as SCO describes it."
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NVidia CEO: We are working on next generation Surface

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  1 year,11 days

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has told CNET that NVidia is working with Microsoft on the next generation of Surface tablets. While sales of the first generation have been poor, Huang believes the second generation will be more successful with the inclusion of Outlook."
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Descendants of Henrietta Lacks grants consent to her genomic data

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  1 year,13 days

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "In an agreement with the NIH, the descendants of Henrietta Lacks agreed to allow her genome to be used for research under certain conditions. Use of the data will require approval of a special group which two of her descendants are members.

The story is chronicle in the book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, a poor mother of five died of cervical cancer. Tumor cells were harvested before her death without her consent. Later researchers discovered that the cells thrived in the lab, one of the first ones to do so. Also the cells did not die after a few divisions (immortal). These desirable characteristics made them sought after for medical research. Named the HeLa line, it became the basis of an estimated 74,000 studies over the next 62 years including Salk's work on the polio vaccine.

The ethical problem however was that she never consented, and until the 1970s, her family did not know about their use. Also many lucrative medical advances were made that used her cells while she died too poor to afford a headstone. More recently different groups have tried publishing her entire genome to the protest of her family which seemed like another injustice."

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Best Buy to add Microsoft stores within their stores

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about a year ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes "Best Buy and Microsoft will launch 600 Microsoft stores within Best Buy retail locations in a store within a store concept. The Microsoft stores will occupy 1500-2000 sq ft within each location. The terms of the deal are not announced but I assume it benefits both as Best Buy would likely charge rent to help with declining revenue. For Microsoft, they may get cheaper facilities than building their own stores. The last I heard MS had a very ambitious plan to launch hundreds of stores a year.

I have doubts about the success of this venture considering anecdotally almost every MS store I've seen in my travels was nearly empty. Since they all were located near Apple stores the stark difference in foot traffic was apparent. The only exception was the MS store near Redmond which had a decent crowd."

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Blackberry CEO: Tablets will be dead in 5 years

UnknowingFool UnknowingFool writes  |  about a year ago

UnknowingFool (672806) writes ""In five years I donâ(TM)t think thereâ(TM)ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore," Blackberry CEO Thoratein said in an interview with Bloomberg. This is opposite to the growth that analysts like have speculated. It might be comparable to PDAs where smartphones have largely replaced them. Certainly the tablet is an in-between devices but it's not clear what will replace it in this role. It may be a case of sour grapes as Blackberry's PlayBook has failed to capture any significant market share."
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