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Google Launches a Marketplace To Buy Patents From Interested Sellers

Slashdot Updates - 11 hours 25 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Google has announced an experimental marketplace called the Patent Purchase Promotion, which aims to keep patents out of the hands of patent trolls. From the announcement: "By simplifying the process and having a concentrated submission window, we can focus our efforts into quickly evaluating patent assets and getting responses back to potential sellers quickly. Hopefully this will translate into better experiences for sellers, and remove the complications of working with entities such as patent trolls."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

That's no moon! Spacecraft mistaken for new natural satellite

New Scientist - Breaking news - 11 hours 33 min ago
For 13 hours today, astronomers thought Earth had gained a new, temporary moon – but it turned out to be the Gaia space telescope







Categories: Science & Tech News

US farms hit by bird flu - but a vaccine might make things worse

New Scientist - Breaking news - 11 hours 44 min ago
So far 8 million chickens and turkeys have been destroyed to stop the spread of H5N2, but a vaccine could encourage the spread of "silent" infections







Categories: Science & Tech News

Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

Slashdot Updates - 11 hours 45 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Pepsi believes sales of diet soda are falling because of aspartame and how the general public thinks it's a dangerous substance to consume. Even though the FDA describes aspartame as “one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved,” Pepsi has decided to stop using it. Aspartame removal is being turned into a marketing campaign of sorts, with "Now Aspartame Free" printed on cans.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Anonymous targets India's 'Telecom Regulatory Authority' after exposing thousands of emails

Game Politics - 11 hours 56 min ago

India is in the midst of a fight over net neutrality rules. The agency in charge of dealing with the issue, the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI), recently asked citizens to weigh in on the issue during a public comment period and millions of citizens responded.

But during the course of publishing those comments, the agency also published personal information of everyone who responded, incensing millions of India's population and drawing the attention of activists and even hacktivist groups in the country including Anonymous.

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How-to: Beautiful abstract graphics, really quick

Gamasutra - News - 11 hours 57 min ago

"A lot of praises has been made about the graphics in our Ludum Dare game Star Driller Ultra. How did we make such beautiful graphics in a short amount of time? It's a lot easier than you think." ...

Categories: Gaming News

'Kitty Powers' Matchmaker' developer warns YouTubers about licensed music

Game Politics - 12 hours 10 min ago

Kitty Powers' Matchmaker is proving to be a popular hit, but the dating simulation starring the larger-than-life personality may cause some trouble for YouTubers. Developer Magic Notion gave a warning to anyone thinking of making Let's Play videos and posting them on YouTube that they might find themselves the target of a copyright claim.

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Make it work: A PAX postmortem

Gamasutra - News - 12 hours 41 min ago

A detailed look back at what it takes to put on a multi-game booth at PAX -- complete with everything that happened and the costs of it all. ...

Categories: Gaming News

UK people happy to cut energy use, but wary of smart meters

New Scientist - Breaking news - 12 hours 52 min ago
A UK survey of more than 2400 people reveals that those who are most worried about electricity bills are least likely to want smart meters







Categories: Science & Tech News

"Don't be afraid to set a base price that turns some people away"

GamesIndustry.biz news - 13 hours 50 min ago
Poppermost CEO gives advice on how to avoid becoming crowdfunding's next disaster
Categories: Gaming News

Rare cannibal iguana caught snacking on a juicy juvenile

New Scientist - Breaking news - 13 hours 52 min ago
Reptiles don't usually tuck into their own kind, but harsh environmental conditions may have pushed this adult iguana to its limits







Categories: Science & Tech News

Stephen Hawking Has a Message For One Direction Fans

Slashdot Updates - 13 hours 58 min ago
An anonymous reader points out that Stephen Hawking recently gave some advice for One Direction fans. What is the cosmological effect of singer Zayn Malik leaving the best-selling boy band One Direction and consequently disappointing millions of teenage girls around the world? The advice of British cosmologist Stephen Hawking to heartbroken fans is to follow theoretical physics, because Malik may well still be a member of the pop group in another universe. The physicist took a break from speaking about his work as one of the world's leading scientists to answer the question from one upset fan during a talk at Sydney Opera House at the weekend. 'Finally a question about something important,' Hawking, who appeared via hologram, said to loud laughs from the audience. 'My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay attention to the study of theoretical physics because, one day, there may well be proof of multiple universes. It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another, different universe and, in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Google Officially Discontinues Nexus 7 Tablet

Slashdot Updates - 14 hours 19 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Google's 7-inch tablet has disappeared from the Google Store, where a note in red type simply states that the device is no longer available for purchase. "The Nexus 7 was first released back in 2013, so it's fair to say it had a good run. The Android-based tablet received great reviews, but what really made it a long-term success was the fact that it was affordable and continually received updates from Google. Manufactured by Asus, the Nexus 7 was even treated to Android Lollipop, the latest version of the operating system, although not with bug-free results. The discontinuation shouldn't come as a big surprise, however, as Google pulled a similar move back in March with the Nexus 5 smartphone, not to mention the Nexus 9 tablet's release last fall."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Pandora Paying Artists $0.0001 More Per Stream Than It Was Last Year

Slashdot Updates - 15 hours 3 min ago
journovampire writes: Pandora has revealed that it's paying a 10,000th of a dollar more to music labels and artists than it was in 2014. From the article: "Pandora has revealed that its royalty payments to SoundExchange, the US licensing body which collects performance royalties on behalf of record labels and artists, have just increased by 8%. The news was confirmed in a call with investors following Pandora’s Q1 fiscal results announcement on Thursday (April 23), in which it posted a three-month net loss of $48.3m. In what Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews called a scheduled annual step-up, Pandora has from January 1 been paying out an average $0.0014 per ad-funded stream and $0.0024 per premium stream to SoundExchange."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Nepal earthquake: How to prevent thousands more deaths

New Scientist - Breaking news - 15 hours 5 min ago
The 2008 Sichuan earthquake taught us that managing and preventing landslides could save thousands of lives in Nepal over the coming weeks







Categories: Science & Tech News

Bigpoint hires ESL veteran as software development head

GamesIndustry.biz news - 15 hours 43 min ago
Philipp Kölmel brings a strong track record in eSports to the German online publisher
Categories: Gaming News

The first complex life on Earth got eaten to extinction

New Scientist - Breaking news - 15 hours 47 min ago
Fossil evidence suggests it wasn't climate change that killed off the enigmatic Ediacarans, Earth's first complex life, but competition from Cambrian life forms







Categories: Science & Tech News

Robots Step Into the Backbreaking Agricultural Work That Immigrants Won't Do

Slashdot Updates - 15 hours 47 min ago
HughPickens.com writes: Ilan Brat reports at the WSJ that technological advances are making it possible for robots to handle the backbreaking job of gently plucking ripe strawberries from below deep-green leaves, just as the shrinking supply of available fruit pickers has made the technology more financially attractive. "It's no longer a problem of how much does a strawberry harvester cost," says Juan Bravo, inventor of Agrobot, the picking machine. "Now it's about how much does it cost to leave a field unpicked, and that's a lot more expensive." The Agrobot costs about $100,000 and Bravo has a second, larger prototype in development. Other devices similarly are starting to assume delicate tasks in different parts of the fresh-produce industry, from planting vegetable seedlings to harvesting lettuce to transplanting roses. While farmers of corn and other commodity crops replaced most of their workers decades ago with giant combines, growers of produce and plants have largely stuck with human pickers—partly to avoid maladroit machines marring the blemish-free appearance of items that consumers see on store shelves. With workers in short supply, "the only way to get more out of the sunshine we have is to elevate the technology," says Soren Bjorn. American farmers have in recent years resorted to bringing hundreds of thousands of workers in from Mexico on costly, temporary visas for such work. But the decades-old system needs to be replaced because "we don't have the unlimited labor supply we once did," says Rick Antle. "Americans themselves don't seem willing to take the harder farming jobs," says Charles Trauger, who has a farm in Nebraska. "Nobody's taking them. People want to live in the city instead of the farm. Hispanics who usually do that work are going to higher paying jobs in packing plants and other industrial areas." The labor shortage spurred Tanimura & Antle Fresh Foods, one of the country's largest vegetable farmers, to buy a Spanish startup called Plant Tape, whose system transplants vegetable seedlings from greenhouse to field using strips of biodegradable material fed through a tractor-pulled planting device. "This is the least desirable job in the entire company," says Becky Drumright. With machines, "there are no complaints whatsoever. The robots don't have workers' compensation, they don't take breaks."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Academics in Turkey call for 'Minecraft Report' to be released

Game Politics - 16 hours 5 min ago

A petition signed by academics who are part of the Turkish Chapter of DiGRA called on the country's Ministry of Family and Social Politics to release its "Minecraft report" to the public. It further notes that academics and experts who study video games should evaluate it before any attempts to seek court actions against the game takes place.

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NY Congressman introduces 'Anti-Swatting Act' today

Game Politics - 16 hours 8 min ago

Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) will introduce a bill in the House of Representatives to stiffen the penalties for those convicted of "swatting." Engel, who is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, will introduce the bill today.

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