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Dolby sues RIM over alleged patent infringement, seeks injunction in 7.1 surround

There's a new patent war brewing on both sides of the Atlantic, now that Dolby has filed a set of lawsuits against RIM. At issue is the audio compression technology RIM uses in its BlackBerry phones and PlayBook tablets. Dolby claims this intellectual property is protected under patents that several other smartphone makers have already licensed, and that RIM should be forced to do the same. The company's lawsuits, filed yesterday in both the US and Germany, seek financial damages and an injunction that would stop all sales of allegedly infringing products. RIM declined to comment on the suit, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as the battle unfolds. Head past the break for Dolby's press release.

Continue reading Dolby sues RIM over alleged patent infringement, seeks injunction in 7.1 surround

Dolby sues RIM over alleged patent infringement, seeks injunction in 7.1 surround originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 16 Jun 2011 11:23:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Attack of Who are you, what are you doing here and why do you keep looking at me? [DrugMonkey]

Three years ago Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science asked his readers a simple question:

1) Tell me about you. Who are you? Do you have a background in science? If so, what draws you here as opposed to meatier, more academic fare? And if not, what brought you here and why have you stayed? Let loose with those comments.

2) Tell someone else about this blog and in particular, try and choose someone who's not a scientist but who you think might be interested in the type of stuff found in this blog. Ever had family members or groups of friends who've been giving you strange, pitying looks when you try to wax scientific on them? Send 'em here and let's see what they say.

I found the comments in response to this fascinating and used the excuse to meme it here. Things kinda took off after that.

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Not the Big Chinese Power Dam [Aardvarchaeology]


The rivers run almost dry in Qingtian prefecture, Zhejiang province, China, because of recently built power dams. This particular dam on a tributary of the main river was completed three years ago. The resulting lake is 100 meters deep above the drowned villages on the valley floor.

And if they didn't build these dams? Either burn coal, build more nuclear plants or stay an undeveloped nation.

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IBM turns 100, brags about bench pressing more than companies half its age

IBM is quite possibly the only tech company around that might have genuine difficulty whittling a list of its industry defining contributions down to a mere 100. And it's an impressively diverse collection at that, including the floppy disk, the social security system, the Apollo space missions, and the UPC barcode. All of this self-congratulation is not without cause, of course. IBM was born 100 years ago today in Endicott, New York, as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, a merger between three companies, all peddling different technologies. That diversity has helped define IBM from its inception, and has offered a sense of flexibility, making it possible to keep in step with technology's ever-quickening pace for a century.

In 1944, the company helped usher in modern computing with the room-sized Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, and 37 years later, it played an important role in defining the era of home computing with the much more manageable IBM Personal Computer. In 1997, IBM introduced a machine that beat the world's reigning chess champion, and earlier this year, it created one that trounced two of the greatest players in Jeopardy history. These days, when the company is not building machines dedicated to outsmarting mankind, it's looking to promote sustainable development through its Smarter Planet program. So, happy centennial, Big Blue, and here's to 100 more, assuming your super-smart machines don't enslave us all in the meantime.

IBM turns 100, brags about bench pressing more than companies half its age originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 16 Jun 2011 08:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A Simple Guide to Improving Web Typography

With the advent of much improved browsers, text rendering and high-resolution screens, technology is no longer an excuse for poor typography. In many ways typography can be elegant and an expression of the designer’s ideas when chosen wisely.

Today I will not only present you with guidelines to consider in mastering typography for the web, but give you the useful tools, techniques and resources to help you achieve effective designs.

Feel free to suggest any other tools or resources in the comments section.


In Context

To set the tone of the message you wish to communicate, you must first choose your typefaces wisely.

  • It allows the reader to adjust to the right setting and encapsulates the information conceptually.
  • The evaluation of picking the right font should start at this level and then break down into technical bits.
  • Keep the nature of content in mind during this process and see if and how the type reflects that content.
  • Read the text your given to figure out the best method of integrating and conveying its full potential on the site.

This article explains choosing type wisely very well.


Create Hierarchy

Every site needs a well-developed hierarchy: indicators of where to start reading and how to proceed.

  • Your typography can provide that hierarchy as long as you know your hierarchical order ahead of time.
  • By thinking about size and typefaces, you can highlight a piece of text as a headline in a way that different placement in the design just can’t provide.

Whenever Possible, Use Sans-Serif

Sans-serif is almost always the best option to use on-screen, whereas serif fonts may become blurry or pixelated. Although it’s common to use serif’s in web typography, by using sans-serif’s for longer bodies of text you put a lot less strain on your readers eyes. Verdana is a great option for a web font as it was designed to be displayed on the computer.


As you know, leading is the amount of space between two lines. Every web page differs, but here are some general rules to keep in mind:

  • Long lines of text may require extra leading.
  • Bold face or sans-serif type require more leading.
  • Type set at very small sizes, say 8 point or below, may require extra leading.
  • Leading affects the density of your page, so if your page seems a bit dark, try adding more leading.
  • Headlines may require negative leading, where type actually (or almost) overlaps.Negative leading, in other words a line-height value of less than 1, can be used on short pieces of text provided care is taken to ensure ascenders and descenders do not collide. For example:

It should be noted that some browsers add a little leading by default: Safari and Internet Explorer for example; whereas others, such as Camino and Firefox, do not.


By default, browsers will render the <h1> text to view on your page as bold. The text will also be formatted in a large font size. And the text will reside on its own line with automatic line breaks above and below it (similar to a double-spaced heading, typed in your word processor.)

  • Contrasting colors stand out more, so use them for main section headings.
  • It’s not all about size. Experiment with color changes, lightness/darkness, and font styles such as italics and bold.
  • The larger the heading, the more interesting the font face can be. This can be a great opportunity to use a cool custom font. For smaller headings, keep it simple.
  • Search engines like Google regard the text contents of this tag to be extremely important, so it is an essential tag to use on your Web pages.

Check out this article for 20 fonts designed for big, powerful headings.

Choosing a Font

The following are resources I’ve found to help you choose your fonts wisely.

Type Tester

Type Tester is an online application that allows you to test different typefaces. You have three columns of text and can modify the typography any way you please. You then get the CSS that accompanies your selections.

CSS Type Set

CSS Type Set is a handy tool that lets you preview your CSS text as you modify it, and it generates the code for you immediately.


This tools enables you to preview fonts installed on your system online.

Flipping Typical

This is a nice way to explore the popular typefaces you have on your computer and see which one fits the project you are working on. This is done by creating text that is displayed using various typefaces from your computer.

Typographic Techniques

The following are resources I’ve found to help you develop efficient typographic techniques.

10 Examples of Beautiful CSS Typography and How They Did It

A lot of great websites out there have beautiful typography using only CSS. But simply looking at them gives you only half the picture. This post showcases examples of good clean typography using nothing but CSS, and it explains what the designers did to achieve this beautiful type.



Advanced Typography Techniques Using CSS

This post is a great example of what you can do by combining and tweaking type using CSS. Different techniques are introduced: reflections, drop characters, handwriting, newspaper headlines and more.


With typeface.js, you can embed custom fonts on your Web pages so that you don’t have to render text as images. What makes it different is that it’s JavaScript only, not JavaScript and Flash like sIFR, or JavaScript and PHP like FLIR.


You need a typeface poster


Typography is an art form that has been around from early on. In choosing your typefaces, carefully study and test your fonts under different scenarios. One of the most important factors in web design is readability and legibility, so be creative but also make smart decisions in regards to those two factors. The best web typography lends a meaningful purpose behind the content it illustrates while triggering emotions in your readers in the process. Feel free to leave a comment if you found other resources for improving your web typography.


Japan Nuclear Disaster Update 28: Mostly about contamination, of the sea, and around the world [Greg Laden’s Blog]

There is an increase in reports of activity of scientists studying the extent and impacts of radiation spilled or otherwise transferred into the ocean from Fukushima. TEPCO, in the meantime, seems to have a need to put a lot more water, possibly decontaminated to some degree, into the sea. Similarly, there is a plan afoot to release previously sequestered air from Reactor 2, with filtering to lower contamination applied to the air before the building's doors are opened. Venting began about four days ago.

Another report has been released confirming that not only did Reactors 1, 2 and 3 melt down, they also "melted through" (a.k.a. China Syndrome) to some extent, having breached their containment vessels. But TEPCO was quick to apologize. Earlier, we reported evidence that in the case of at least one of the reactors, nuclear material may have gone beyond the safety vessels designed to capture melt-through from the reactor vessels. This has not been confirmed. Or denied.

There is a lot more news on contamination, evacuation plans, mutant bunny rabbits, and the increasing cross talk between agencies regarding various issues in Ana's Feed (below).

The IAEA has not released an update on reactor status for almost two weeks, so we can't report that. We have little evidence, however, that any significant additional controls on the current situation other than releasing more radiation have occurred. Generally, when you read news reports over the last few days that say "things are improving but still bad" you should edit that in your head: "Things are ... still bad" because there is not much changing on the ground.

Here is an interesting video with a simultaneous translation (right speaker English, left speaker Japanese) for those of you wishing to bone up on your foreign language, whichever that may be:

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NCSE wants a climate specialist [Thoughts from Kansas]

The National Center for Science Education is hiring a Climate Change Programs and Policy Director:

NCSE seeks candidates for our Climate Change Programs and Policy Director.

The Climate Change Programs and Policy Director's duties will include:

* counseling teachers, administrators, parents, and other concerned citizens facing challenges to climate change education;
* providing information on climate change, climate literacy, and related issues to the general public, the press, and allied educational, scientific, and environmental organizations;
* developing materials pertaining to climate change education for print and web;
* speaking to the press and general public
* representing NCSE to the climate science, climate literacy, and environmental education communities;
* coordinating with policymakers, advocacy groups, educators, and scientists regarding policies which could harm or benefit accurate climate science education.

Candidates must have at least a college degree; advanced degrees in climate science or climate science education are pluses. A record of involvement in climate literacy efforts, and of addressing attacks on the scientific consensus about climate change, is also a plus. Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, are necessary, as are a high degree of computer literacy (including the use of social media) and the ability to work cooperatively. Travel and public speaking will be required.

This is a full-time permanent position with medical, dental, and retirement benefits in Oakland, California, to start as soon as possible. Telecommuting is not an option. Salary will be commensurate with skills and experience and comparable with similar positions in similarly sized non-profits in the Bay Area.

Send c.v., brief writing sample, and the names of three references to NCSE, either by mail to NCSE, 420 40th Street, Suite 2, Oakland CA 94609-2509, by fax to (510) 601-7204, or by e-mail to No calls, please. Materials must arrive by August 15, to be considered. Anticipated start date is mid-September. NCSE is an equal opportunity employer.

Please spread the word to qualified candidates. We're excited about this.

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Attention Netroots Nation 2011

The Professional Left is in the house.

So we've got that going for us.

Which is nice.

Atlas Slumped

Like all of you I'm sure, I'm deeply concerned about the revelations that emails were exchanged between Anthony Weiner and a porn star and what that all means for the future of the Republic. (Thankfully, she's finally weighed in on whether or not he should resign for lying about it. I'll be able to sleep tonight.)

Still, this seems a bit troubling as well:

It's official: The housing crisis that began in 2006 and has recently entered a double dip is now worse than the Great Depression.

Prices have fallen some 33 percent since the market began its collapse, greater than the 31 percent fall that began in the late 1920s and culminated in the early 1930s, according to Case-Shiller data.

The news comes as the Federal Reserve considers whether the economy has regained enough strength to stand on its own and as unemployment remains at a still-elevated 9.1 percent, throwing into question whether the recovery is real.

"The sharp fall in house prices in the first quarter provided further confirmation that this housing crash has been larger and faster than the one during the Great Depression," Paul Dales, senior economist at Capital Economics in Toronto, wrote in research for clients.

According to Case-Shiller, which provides the most closely followed housing industry data, prices dropped 1.9 percent in the first quarter, a move that the firm interpreted as a clear double dip in prices.

Moreover, Dales said prices likely have not completed their downturn.

I suppose that could just be a bump in the road, but it feels more like a huge, gaping sinkhole to me.

Not to worry too much though. Society's producer heroes are coming to the rescue:

Candy Spelling's sprawling estate in Holmby Hills, which has bragging rights as the most expensive residential listing in the U.S., reportedly has been sold to a 22-year-old British heiress.

Spelling, widow of legendary TV producer Aaron Spelling, put the 4.7-acre residence up for sale more than two years ago at $150 million, and she held firm to that price despite one of the worst real estate downturns in generations.

Now, Petra Ecclestone, the daughter of British billionaire and Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone, is in escrow to buy the property, according to the Wall Street Journal...

The home was completed in 1991 and was built to the Spellings' specifications. Candy Spelling supervised the construction. The mammoth home boasts a bowling alley, a flower-cutting room, a wine cellar/tasting room, a barbershop and a silver storage room with humidity control, among other spaces.

Outside is a tennis court, a koi pond, gardens, a citrus orchard and a swimming pool with a pool house. The motor court can accommodate 100 vehicles and there are 16 carports. A service wing houses the staff in five maids' bedrooms and two butlers' suites. The house is believed to have more than 100 rooms.

Spelling will be moving into a 16,500-square-foot penthouse condo in Century City. She agreed to pay $47 million for the top two floors of a 41-story building in 2008 but subsequently got a price break, closing the deal last year for $35 million.

Maybe the parasites could learn a little something from this and go out there and be creative entrepreneurs. Maybe they too could be 22 year old heiresses some day.

Seriously, every day we see more and more stories of the gluttonous indulgences of the super-rich in the midst of this disastrous assault on the middle class. Allusions to France 1789 are overdone. But not by much.


Budget 2.0 Appears Destined for Governor’s Desk

Photo courtesy John Myers, KQEDThe reworked, gimmicked-up budget appears set for the Governor's desk, after the Assembly passed the bill cutting the Redevelopment agencies.  But John Myers tweeted a rousing finale on those redevelopment arguments:

That looks 2 be it. Legislature, mostly but not all on Dem votes, approves #cabudget bills on time & off they go 2 Guv.
36 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

#Redevelopment nix bills pass Assembly. Running 2 rework NPR national story & do KQED work.. #cabudget
42 minutes ago

Furutani & Wagner go face 2 face. Wow..everyone rushes in. #cabudget Photo:
1 hour ago

#Redevelopment debate in Assembly turns volatile. Wagner (R) seems 2 makes some sort of Mafia reference..Gatto (D) & Furutani (D) explode
1 hour ago

KQED_CapNotes John Myers, KQED
Hard 2 see full #cabudget not going 2 Guv at this point. Assembly Dems can afford more defections on #redevelopment nix. But...
1 hour ago

Nothing like a good mafia reference to get everybody's blood boiling, but it looks like everybody settled down and remebered that they are aging, out of shape dudes that weren't going to look anything but foolish.  Incidentally, my money would have been on Gatto in that little dispute.  He's young and agile.

I imagine that Brown is going to let the bills sit on his desk as he tries to play Houdini and cobble something together to get the budget he really wants.


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