Leisure Suit Larry creator Al Lowe, who is working with Replay Games and Kickstarter to bring Larry Laffer to a whole new generation of computers. They'll maintain the original Larry style of being naughty without crossing the line into porn, which is appropriate for an 80s game about a 70s dork who wears a (shudder) leisure suit. You can donate to this effort through Kickstarter if you like. (We aren't getting paid to say this, and it's a labor of love for Al, too, who is more recently famous for running the hokey daily comedy email newsletter, CyberJoke 3000.)
Velcroman1 links to this coverage of Drew Curtis's explanation of how his company, Fark, managed to beat a patent troll's lawsuit alleging infringement of a patent on distribution of news releases by email. From the article: "It boils down to one thing: don't negotiate with terrorists," Curtis said during a talk at the TED 2012 conference in Long Beach, Calif."
An anonymous reader writes with this extract from a Reuters article: "In early 2010, a spike in cases appeared at Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael, and it was soon determined to be an outbreak of whooping cough — the largest seen in California in more than 50 years. Witt had expected to see the illnesses center around unvaccinated kids, knowing they are more vulnerable to the disease. 'We started dissecting the data. What was very surprising was the majority of cases were in fully vaccinated children. That's what started catching our attention,' said Witt."
garymortimer writes with this excerpt from sUAS News: "The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science announced today that community-generated open source maps — captured from kites and balloons — have been added to Google Earth. The 45 plus maps are the first aerial maps produced by citizens to be featured on the site, and are highlighted on the Google Lat Long Blog. The Public Laboratory is an expansion of the Grassroots Mapping community. During an initial project mapping the BP oil spill, local residents used helium-filled balloons and digital cameras to generate high-resolution D.I.Y 'satellite' maps documenting the extent of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — at a time when there was little public information available. Expanding the toolkit beyond aerial mapping, Public Laboratory has been growing into a diverse community, both online and offline, experimenting with new ways to produce information about our surroundings. The lab's DIY kits cost less than $100 to assemble."
An anonymous reader writes with this dose of nice news (untranslated from the PR-ese) on the Linux-in-business front: "Mark Shuttleworth has announced at the OpenStack conference that Canonical has received a ringing endorsement from HP in the form of certification for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on the ProLiant server systems. Responding to customer demand, HP has decided to officially support the popular flavor of Linux giving sysadmins another flexible software option to leverage their current and future hardware."
eldavojohn writes "So you're commenting on your highly visible blog about patent case after patent case that deal with corporations battling over open source stuff, what does it matter if you're taking money from one and not the other? If you don't see any ethical problems with that, you might be Florian Mueller. Groklaw's PJ (who has been suspicious of Florian's ties to other giants like Microsoft for quite sometime) has noticed that Florian Mueller has decided to go full disclosure and admit that all his commentary on the Oracle v Google case might be tainted by his employment by Oracle. It seems he's got a bunch of consulting money coming his way from Oracle but I'm sure that won't undermine any of his assessments like Android licenses violate the GPL or that Oracle will win $6 billion from Google and Google was "at risk" of not settling despite the outcome that the charges later dropped to a small fraction of the $6 billion. Like so many other times, PJ's hunch was right."
thecarchik submits this interesting bit of flame: "Many are keen on the concept of open source electric cars — that is, electric cars where the built-in software can be tweaked, parameters can be changed, and in theory, the cars can be improved. Only it's a really, really bad idea. ... Even carmakers themselves have trouble with software — Fisker has issued a recall and apology recently with its Karma — so allowing average Joe to tweak the car's inner workings seems like a bad idea. Changing the characteristics of an electric car isn't as simple as re-jetting the carbs or swopping out the air filter." Whether software is controlling electric cars or not seems to me beside the point; access to the underlying software doesn't guarantee improvements, but blocking access to it doesn't stop car makers from making software mistakes — it only ensures that those few interested hackers who might be able to work around them have a harder time of it. (Not that tweaking car software is new, or going away.)
nk497 writes "The first official expert witness in an inquiry into network-level filtering of porn was a Sun advice columnist called Dear Deidre. A group of MPs has been pushing to censor the UK web to prevent children from seeing porn, but reading the full report reveals the weakness of the evidence. It also features Dear Deidre defending the topless model on Page 3 of her own newspaper, saying, 'the Editor of The Sun thinks it's okay' and 'nine million people read it.'"
Fluffeh writes "The case involves an online game, MapleStory, and some people who set up an alternate server, UMaple, allowing users to play the game with the official game client, but without logging into the official MapleStory servers. In this case, the people behind UMaple apparently ignored the lawsuit, leading to a default judgment. Although annoyed with MapleStory (The Judge knocked down a request for $68,764.23 — in profits made by UMaple — down to just $398.98), the law states a minimum of $200 per infringement. Multiply that by 17,938 users of UMaple... and you get $3.6 million. In fact, it sounds like the court would very much like to decrease the amount, but notes that 'nevertheless, the court is powerless to deviate from the DMCA's statutory minimum.' Eric Goldman also has some further op-ed and information regarding the case and judgement."
techgeek0279 writes "The Cybram 001 Cybernetic Brain Artery Model simulates the functioning of the cerebral blood vessels, so doctors can practice performing actual operations on the brain. Developed through joint research by Fuyo and the Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, the life size plastic body contains a blood vessel system that runs from the groin to the cerebral artery, as well as a circulation pump and pressure control circuit used to realistically simulate blood flow and pressure in the body."
judgecorp writes "Millions of Britons have lost access to Ceefax, the real time information service that has piggy-backed on blank lines of the analogue TV signal since the 1970s. Analogue TV is being switched off, and the low-res news service looks to be going with it. From the article: '“Although we won’t be saying our proper goodbyes to Ceefax until later in the year when switchover is complete across the country, I wanted to send a note of reassurance and a reminder: our digital text service, available via the red button to people who use cable, satellite or Freeview, provides national, local and international news, plus sport, weather and much else besides,” said Steve Hermann, editor of the BBC News website.'"
ananyo writes "Condensed-matter physicists have managed to detect the third constituent of an electron — its 'orbiton'. Isolated electrons cannot be split into smaller components, earning them the designation of a fundamental particle. But in the 1980s, physicists predicted that electrons in a one-dimensional chain of atoms could be split into three quasiparticles: a 'holon' carrying the electron's charge, a 'spinon' carrying its spin and an 'orbiton' carrying its orbital location. In 1996, physicists split an electron into a holon and spinon. Now, van den Brink and his colleagues have broken an electron into an orbiton and a spinon (abstract). Orbitons could also aid the quest to build a quantum computer — one stumbling block has been that quantum effects are typically destroyed before calculations can be performed. But as orbital transitions are extremely fast, encoding information in orbitons could be one way to overcome that hurdle."
itwbennett writes "After almost a week the ICANN system for applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) is still down, and it is unclear when it will reopen, although ICANN said it would provide an update by Friday, according to an IDG News Service report. The system was taken offline after a software glitch was found that 'resulted in some users being able to see some other users' file names and user names.'"
hypnosec writes "Toshiba Information Systems has been given a slap on the wrist by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), following a data spillage. This happened during an on-line competition that Toshiba organized last year. Back in September 2011, a concerned member of the public contacted the ICO and informed the body that some data pertaining to those registered for the competition was accessible. In fact, the personal details of 20 entrants were compromised in a security flaw on the site. Those details included names, addresses and dates of birth, along with other contact information. The ICO investigated and found that Toshiba's security measures weren't thorough enough, and hence, didn't detect the vulnerability — from a mistake, made by a third-party web designer. A fine hasn't been levied, but Toshiba has signed an undertaking to ensure this doesn't happen again."