New submitter Shavano writes with news that Apple's attempt to block Samsung from introducing evidence of a tablet prototype developed in 1994 has been denied by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh. Part of the reason Apple got a sales ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 earlier this year was that an Appeals Court said Apple's tablet design was significantly different from earlier designs. Now, Judge Koh has decided that the issue needs to be decided by a jury. "Samsung has argued the design was an obvious variation of tablets existing as early as 1994, including one made by Hewlett-Packard Co. The Korean company supported that argument at the trial with videotaped testimony by Roger Fidler, who heads the digital publishing program at the University of Missouri. Fidler said he started working on a tablet design in 1981. Apple sought to exclude the testimony based on the appeals court ruling. In a written declaration, Fidler said 'Apple personnel were exposed to my tablet ideas and prototypes' in the mid- 1990s when the company collaborated with Knight-Ridder Inc.’s information design laboratory in Colorado."
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theodp writes "Following up on an announcement that it would rid itself of 4,000 employees world-wide and renege on a deal with the State of Illinois, Google's Motorola Mobility unit said it has filed a new patent-infringement case against Apple, which seeks a ban on U.S. imports of devices including the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers. 'Apple's unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers' innovations,' Motorola Mobility said in an e-mailed statement."
saiful76 writes "Following mass exodus of people belonging to north-east states India from southern states of India, specially Bangalore, allegedly due to the threatening messages, the government has asked relevant agencies to scan all social media platforms to check for inflammatory and offensive content, following which, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DIT) has issued an advisory to all intermediaries in terms of provisions of IT Act and Rules to take action for disabling all such content on priority. Cellphone operators have been told to block all bulk SMSs and videos — so nobody can send a message to more than five people at a time."
New submitter perdelucena writes "Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov was arrested outside a Moscow court, where the verdict in the trial of the Pussy Riot group members was being announced on Friday, Russian police said." Update: 08/18 01:14 GMT by T : Kasparov has written an account of the arrest.
itwbennett writes "Earlier this month, the judge in the Oracle v. Google trial ordered the companies to disclose the names of bloggers and reporters who had taken payments from them. Not surprisingly, both companies have denied making direct payments to writers (with the exception of Florian Mueller of FOSSPatents, whose relationship to Oracle was disclosed in April). But Oracle has tattled on Google regarding some indirect connections. In particular, Oracle called out Ed Black for an article he wrote about the case for Forbes. And Jonathan Band, co-author of the book, 'Interfaces on Trial 2.0,' which Google cited in its April 3, 2012 copyright brief." Groklaw has an in-depth look at the filings. Oracle's fingerpointing is based in part on this BBC article and this piece at The Recorder, both of which they entered into evidence. Google's filing (PDF) affirmed that they have not paid media for articles or done any quid pro quo in exchange for coverage. However, they acknowledged that many people receive money from Google through other means (the company's philanthropy, ad business, etc.), and asked the judge if he wanted further details about those instances.
Nancy_A writes "The U.S. astronomy budget is facing unprecedented cuts, including the potential closure of several facilities. A new report by the National Science Foundation's Division of Astronomical Sciences says available funding for ground-based astronomy could undershoot projected budgets by as much as 50%. The report recommends the closure – called 'divestment' in the new document — of iconic facilities such as the Very Long Baseline Array and the Green Bank Radio Telescope, as well as shutting down four different telescopes at the Kitt Peak Observatory by 2017."
fistfullast33l writes "The Associated Press is reporting that the Justice Department, FCC, and New York State Attorney General approved portions of a deal between Verizon Wireless and cable companies Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox to sell parts of the wireless spectrum to Verizon for $3.9 billion. However, the Justice Department rejected the agreement between the two groups to allow Verizon to market cable services in its stores in markets where it also offers FIOS service. The spectrum will be used to increase Verizon's 4G LTE network coverage. Verizon will also sell some spectrum to T-Mobile. Consumer groups were very concerned about the cross-marketing by Verizon: 'When it comes to home broadband, Verizon Communication Inc.'s FiOS provides the only significant competition to cable in many areas. Yet FiOS is costly to build out, and Verizon's commitment to the technology has faltered. Consumer groups and unions that opposed the deal between the cable companies and Verizon said it showed that Verizon was further giving up on FiOS and yielding the home broadband market to cable.'"
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "At the Usenix security conference in Seattle last week, a group of researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, Oxford University and the University of Geneva presented a study that hints at the darker side of a future where we control computers with our minds rather than a mouse. In a study of 28 subjects wearing brain-machine interface headsets built by companies like Neurosky and Emotiv and marketed to consumers for gaming and attention exercises, the researchers found they were able to extract hints directly from the electrical signals of the test subjects' brains that partially revealed private information like the location of their homes, faces they recognized and even sequences of numbers they recognized. For the moment, the experimental theft of users' private information from brain signals is more science fiction than a real security vulnerability, since it requires tricking the victim into thinking about the target information at a certain time, and still doesn't work reliably. (Though much better than random chance.) But as BMI gets more sophisticated and mainstream, the researchers say their study should serve as a warning about privacy issues around the technology of such interfaces."
An anonymous reader writes "I was recently volunteered to be the network/computer admin for a small non-profit school. One of the items asked of me had to do with filtering inappropriate content (i.e. stuff you wouldn't want your mother to see). Essentially we want to protect people who aren't able to protect themselves, at least while on campus. Basic site filtering is fairly easy — setup squid with one of the many filtering engines and click to filter the categories your interested. Additionally, making the computer lab highly visible uses public shame and humiliation to limit additional activity. The real question — How do you filter Facebook? There is a lot of great content and features on Facebook, and its a great way to stay in contact with friends, but there is also a potentially dark side. Along with inappropriate content, there is a tendency to share more information than should be shared, and not everyone follows proper security and privacy guidelines. What's the best way to setup campus-wide security/privacy policies for Facebook?"
ananyo writes "Gene patents have been upheld in a landmark case over two genes associated with hereditary forms of breast and ovarian cancer. The lawsuit against Myriad Genetics, a diagnostic company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, that holds patents on the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, has bounced from court to court since 2010. In a 2-1 decision today, a federal appeals court reaffirmed their latest decision that genes represent patent-eligible matter. As noted before on Slashdot, the case will have major implications for cancer researchers, patients and drug makers."
infodragon writes "Today in the ongoing Apple vs Samsung court case Judge Lucy Koh's patience wore thin as Apple presented a 75-page document highlighting 22 witnesses it would like to call in for rebuttal testimony, provided the court had the time. As those following the case closely know quite well, the case has a set number of hours which are already wearing quite thin. As quoted by The Verge as they sat in the courtroom listening in, Koh wondered aloud why Apple would offer the list 'when unless you're smoking crack you know these witnesses aren't going to be called!'"
wiredmikey writes "Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's national oil company and the largest oil company in the world, confirmed that is has been hit by a cyber attack that resulted in malware infecting user workstations and forcing IT to kill the company's connection to the outside world. '..An official at Saudi Aramco confirmed that the company has isolated all its electronic systems from outside access as an early precautionary measure that was taken following a sudden disruption that affected some of the sectors of its electronic network,' the company wrote in a statement. This incident follows an attack on systems at the National Iranian Oil Company back in April, when a virus was detected inside the control systems of Kharg Island oil terminal, which also resulted in the company taking its systems offline. In response to continued cyber attacks against its networks and facilities, Iran earlier this month said it plans to move key ministries and state bodies off the public Internet to protect them from such attacks."
angry tapir writes "Australia's anti-money laundering watchdog AUSTRAC believes that money laundering using digital currencies such as Bitcoin and virtual worlds (such as MMOs) are possible 'emerging threats'. The organisation's latest 'typologies' report earmarked virtual worlds and Bitcoin as two areas that the agency would be monitoring, although at this stage no-one seems sure to what extent they are being used (and some of the issues with Bitcoin, such as the fluctuating exchange rate and limited options for transferring value to real-world currencies through conversion to non-digital currencies or using it to pay for goods or services, mean that it's unlikely it's being used for money laundering on a significant scale)."
Several readers have submitted news that as expected, Ecuador is formally accepting Julian Assange's request for political asylum. paulmac84 writes "The Guardian are live blogging the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister's announcement that Ecuador is to grant asylum to Julian Assange. In the announcement Minister Patino said, 'We can state that there is a risk that he will be persecuted politically... We trust the UK will offer the necessary guarantees so that both governments can act adequately and properly respect international rights and the right of asylum. We also trust the excellent relationship the two countries have will continue.' The Guardian also carries a translated copy of the letter the UK sent to Ecuador regarding the threat to 'storm' the Ecuadorian embassy." Also at Reuters.
An anonymous reader writes "Today, tens of thousands of license plate readers (LPRs) are being used by law enforcement agencies all over the country—practically every week, local media around the country report on some LPR expansion. But the system's unchecked and largely unmonitored use raises significant privacy concerns. License plates, dates, times, and locations of all cars seen are kept in law enforcement databases for months or even years at a time. In the worst case, the New York State Police keeps all of its LPR data indefinitely. No universal standard governs how long data can or should be retained."