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01.12.10

Links 12/1/2010: Arch Linux Highlighted, Many New GNU/Linux Devices

Posted in News Roundup at 9:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linuxfest Northwest 2010 Website now live!

    The LinuxFest Northwest organizing committee is pleased to announce the new LinuxFest Northwest website to kick off the countdown for the 2010 festival! Take a look around the site, as it is drastically different from years past. Attendee participation is a key theme for this year’s fest.

  • IBM software: big, blue and boring in the 2010s

    These was a company that – seemingly out of nowhere and rather contrary to its proprietary software business model before – began putting its considerable weight behind Linux when the open-source OS was still new and relatively unsupported by mainstream IT.

    In December 2000, IBM was promising to invest $1bn into Linux in that following year. IBM’s then-chief executive Lou Gerstner was telling the world that he was “betting a big piece of IBM’s future on Linux.”

    The company was raising eyebrows with a (now quite laughable) Linux wristwatch to prove the OS can go anywhere. It was vandalizing the streets of San Francisco with the slogan, “peace, love, and Linux.”

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 79

    Summary:
    · Announced Distro: SimplyMEPIS 8.5 Beta 4 Released
    · Announced Distro: Toorox 01.2010 Goes 64-bit
    · Announced Distro: First Beta of VLOS 2.0 Arrives
    · Announced Distro: Elive 1.9.56 Has Support for 3G Phones
    · Announced Distro: Download Mandriva Linux 2010.1 Alpha 1
    · Other News: Ubuntu Manual and KDE SC 4.4 RC1

    [...]

  • Linux can do that

    Ultimately, what I am seeing is proof that there is, indeed, plenty of places for Linux in the business. And not only on the server end. The argument that Linux is too difficult has washed away, and any member of the IT world who still believes Linux is too difficult, might want to return to Comp Sci class for a refresher course. In my current incarnation I have YET to come across a desktop operating system that was even remotely difficult. All desktop operating systems have reached a near-uniform level of simplicity.

  • Dell Toughens Up With Ruggedized OptiPlex PC

    The OptiPlex XE supports Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, XP, POSReady1 for point-of-sale systems and Ubuntu Linux.

  • Going Linux Podcast – Jan 10: #089 – Listener Feedback

    As always we have lots of listener feedback. This time we say we’re sorry, we get corrected on a few things and receive some excellent links to videos, articles and websites that will be of interest to all. Larry makes an announcement about SCaLE 8x.

  • Desktop

    • Toshiba NB205 Netbook review

      The NB205 does have a webcam that works well with Moblin. We tested it using the Tokbox.com video chat service. Other than these add-ons, the NB205 is not that different from other netbooks, but there were a few findings beyond the norm, and most of them are not positive compared with other models.

    • Linux Tech Support
  • Server

  • Google

  • Applications

  • DE/WM

    • Xephyr – Multiple nested X sessions

      If the title of this article sounds like something from Star Trek, you’re not far off. It’s a very geeky thing, which allows you to export X (GUI) applications as separate entities on top of your desktop. Indeed, Xephyr is an X server utility. As such, it allows you to manage your virtual consoles, without leaving the safety and comfort of your desktop.

      [...]

      Xephyr is a very neat invention. Desktop users may not find too much use for it, but it should serve developers or geeks well. Regardless of its end use, it’s a very good exercise in Linux command line for any, as it includes playing with environment variables and helps understand basic concepts in networking a little better.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Who is KDE (once more with feeling)

        Let me further quote Anselmo:

        There is a new group in Chile (their websiteisn’t ready yet) and in Argentina (google translate), people are reorganizing the community. And for a better integration, a mailing list was created for the whole latin american KDE community (kde-latam).

        Here in Brazil, besides the developers you may already know, guys from KDE-MG (MG = Minas Gerais, a Brazilian state) and KDE-BA (BA = Bahia, another state) are doing a great work in promotion.

        Combine this with the recent Latinoware conference in Brazil, which had a visit from some KDE people who came away incredibly impressed – it seems the center of gravity is shifting ;-)

        The plasma team is already experiencing this, as they have a few very active Brazillians on the team. And promo is being infiltrated as we speak ;-)

      • Configuring Plasma Theme KDE 4.4
      • Software for Making 3D Presentations

        The Dimpress 3D consists in a tool for building presentations, almost like the ones created by softwares like PowerPoint or OpenOffice Impress, the main difference here is the final result, our software will generate animated, multi-directional and visual attractive content. To catch these goals, there will be used visual resources like 3D techniques, Physics Simulation and whatever the free software community can think, ’cause we are talking about a tool that will be free software and plugin-based, which means that, anyone sufficiently interested can improve its funciontalities by writing plugins.
        The Dimpress 3D is a Work In Progress, and, the basics of the application is already done.

      • Publishing Calendar Events directly from KOffice

        One of the great things about KDE 4 is how powerful the APIs for the central components are. In particular, Akonadi and Nepomuk have become very easy to use in custom software and third party applications. I recently discovered another very powerful set of libraries: the plugin API for Koffice. Using those libraries, I recently wrote a little “docker” that lets you attach the documents you are currently working on in koffice to a new calendar event which can be used by any Akonadi-enabled application. For instance, you could publish minutes of a meeting to korganizer so that they are easier to find . . . and then sync them to your Palm Lifedrive using kpilot.

  • Distributions

    • Newbie Getting To Know Linux Distros

      I have not yet installed XBMC with the PCLinuxOS install yet, but I am not anticipating any headache with that.

      If you didn’t know, Linux Distro’s have repositories of programs to download. No need to go to the internet, find something, download it and install it. You just open a “Package Manager”, look for what you want and install it. It downloads it, gets other programs or pieces that may be required to run that program and installs it all.

    • Software review – Mandriva Linux

      Back in the 1990’s I used to use Mandrake Linux as my preferred distribution. Back in the day it had great hardware support and looked good.Mandrake merged with Lycoris and Connectiva to form Mandriva Linux.

    • Arch

      • Interview: Arch Linux Team

        A few weeks ago, we asked for the OSNews community to help with some questions we were going to ask Aaron Griffin from the Arch Linux team, and the response was glorious and somewhat phenomenal. We added those questions to our own and sent them on over, and then we were surprised by receiving not only Aaron Griffin’s responses but answers from various individuals from the team.

      • Installing Xorg and KDE on Arch Linux

        As I promised in an earlier blog entry, here are the steps to installing Xorg and KDE on Arch Linux.

    • New Releases

      • BackTrack 4 Final released

        BackTrack is a Linux-based penetration testing arsenal that aids security professionals in the ability to perform assessments in a purely native environment dedicated to hacking.

    • Red Hat Family

      • yum upgrade to Fedora 12 (and mini-review)

        Overall, it appears to be a decent upgrade. Most things appear the same and a few things have changed. This is good – it’s how a mature desktop should be. Upgrades here and there, but no more radical changes.

    • Debian Family

      • Sidux 2009.04

        Sidux is a distro I’ve never tried before. Its a Debian unstable based system with a rolling release. Basically, its based upon Debian ‘unstable’, and instead of having one big release that everyone works on, it just updates certain packages everytime a new version is released. Arch Linux uses the same system.

        Interestingly, sidux bundles both the AMD64 and the i386 version on the same disk. While this does avoid the problem of installing an AMD64 OS on a i386 machine, and then fumbling for another disk, it also means you download pretty much everything twice: whether you use it or not. The Sidux DVD is 2GB in size, far too large to fit onto a CD. There is live CD’s available in ‘lite’ editions.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter #175

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #175 for the week January 3rd – January 9th, 2010 is available.

      • Ubuntu Release Schedule Video

        After blogging about my Ubuntu Release Schedule Video project, I received a lot of awesome feedback. Some of the feedback was received a bit too late in the process (like text suggestions) to make it in the video, but is still very much appreciated. Today I finally have something to show. Alan Pope have been so kind to provided me with the missing audio for the video. Although many people offered to help, I decided to go with Alan for various reasons. These include having English as first language, being a well known voice (UK Podcast and screencasts), having quality recording equipment.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux at Bett 2010

      The Linux powered e-readers and the open EPUB electronic format will sweep away conventional text books.

    • “Business Class” Favi Pico-Projectors Run Small, Have Linux

      The RIOLED-V is actually a netbook slash projector, featuring Linux, web apps (YouTube, Flickr and a few other ubiquitous ones like weather and email were mentioned) and Wi-Fi. It kind of reminded me of that MSI projector PC the CES guys spotted out in Vegas this week, albeit a smaller, half-baked version that did not look anything like a small space ship with 1080p.

    • Phones

      • Verizon tips Pre Plus, and Palm opens WebOS

        Verizon Wireless announced Jan. 25 availability of two modified versions of Palm’s WebOS-based smartphones, the Palm Pre Plus and the newly WiFi-enabled Palm Pixi Plus. Meanwhile, Palm announced that its WebOS developer program is now open to all developers, and plans to launch a WebOS plugin development kit, says eWEEK.

      • CES 2010: Hands-on with the ELSE ACCESS Linux Platform-based smartphone

        It was way back in early 2006 when we read that ACCESS and PalmSource announced the ACCESS Linux Platform (ALP) that was initially intended to be the next Palm operating system. While Palm no longer has any ties to ACCESS, we heard in October that Emblaze Mobile Ltd. introduced the first ELSE mobile device running the ELSE INTUITION platform based on ALP. I had the chance to talk with Amir Kupervas, CEO, and Eldad Eilam, Chief Technology Officer, from Else Mobile and captured much of our conversation in the 20+ minute video you see below.

      • Lenovo spins Snapdragon Android phone

        Lenovo unveiled a Qualcomm Snapdragon-based Android smartphone aimed for a 1H 2010 release in China, says eWEEK. Meanwhile, Dell officially announced a version of the Mini 3 Android smartphone aimed at AT&T’s U.S. network, and showed off a MID-like Android “slate” prototype.

      • Android

        • Google’s Nexus One: Cheaper than an iPhone inside

          The Nexus One, manufactured by HTC, costs $529 unlocked or $179 with a two-year T-Mobile contract. The phone itself, according to a new analysis, actually contains about $174 worth of hardware — five bucks less than the iPhone 3GS.

        • Android 2.1 spins up

          Google’s Nexus is the first phone to ship with the Android 2.1 operating system. Others will follow but until then, this is what you can expect

          Kicking off the year with the release of its Nexus phone, Google has set the tone for a year which will be all about mobile phones.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Are slates going hurt Microsoft’s bottom line any more than netbooks?

        What’s going to happen with slates, the multi-touch-optimized successors to the stylus/digital-ink-dependent tablet PCs? Will Microsoft have to cut the price of Windows 7 that it offers PC makers so as to keep them from doing a Dell, which provided a quick glimpse of an Android-based, 5-inch handheld at CES? Or from coming out with a Chrome OS/ARM-based slate later in 2010? Competition is good for Microsoft’s partners: It provides them with a new bargaining chip to be used when negotiating the price per copy of Windows with Microsoft.

      • Does OLPC have a Future in ARM Smartbook Era?

        Again, it seems that a smartbook derivative should be able to play the role of an XO in an educational environment. Two of the huge advantages of smartbooks is availability and economies of scale. They are planned to be available from a host of sales channels, most notably from 3G service operators at subsidized prices. This means, that some of the smartbooks will likely come at zero initial price, only a 2 year data contract will need to be signed.

      • H.P. Develops a Netbook Petri Dish

        For one, H.P. has done away with a previous netbook model that ran the Linux operating system instead of Windows. Linux types, however, still have an option. Or put another way, everyone now has a Linux option.

        H.P. has brought the QuickWeb software it developed with the start-up DeviceVM to its netbook line.

      • Qualcomm CEO Jacobs reveals Chrome OS deal, color e-ink-like display

        Although Android was the flavor of Linux for this device, Qualcomm also lets Lenovo do its own flavor of Linux for its Skylight smartbook, which premiered earlier this week.

      • Intel’s AppUp Center Could Enhance Netbooks and Mobile Devices

        The new AppUp Center apps will also be cross-platform, meaning that they can run on a Windows-based netbook or a Linux-based MID. This is important since the low-powered devices can struggle with Windows 7, and since many consumers are reluctant to embrace Linux and its unfamiliar applications. Intel is also using AppUp to lay the groundwork for Atom- and Linux-powered smartphones. By the time the processors become low-powered enough to be jammed into a handset, Intel hopes it will have built a sizable catalog of applications capable of running on its Moblin (or any other) Linux platform.

      • Hands on: Lenovo U1 notebook/tablet review

        When the multitouch screen is removed, it’s an independent slate tablet running Lenovo’s new Linux-based Skylight operating system.

      • Are tablets the new netbooks?

        Some run Linux or Google Android while others appear to have custom user interfaces. Not all of these tablets are destined to be web-surfing buddies for the couch the way that netbooks and smartbooks are though. Some of the tablets are basically portable media players or even portable TVs, thanks to built in digital TV tuners.

      • Lenovo IdeaPad U1 is a laptop and a tablet PC

        The display has its own ARM processor and the tablet runs a customized Linux edition named Skylight.

      • Hands on with Texet’s 8.9 inch touchscreen tablet

        While CES is choc full of companies showing off tablets using ARM-based chipsets from Qualcomm, Freescale, Marvell, and NVIDIA, the folks at Texet are taking a different approach. The Texet EZB890 is an 8.9 inch touchscreen tablet with a 500MHz MIPS-based processor. It’s running a custom Linux distribution, and it’s surprisingly snappy.

      • Multitouch Gestures on Linux? You Got It!!!

        Most Linux distros don’t yet support multitouch screens out of the box, but that doesn’t matter, because France’s ENAC Interactive Computing Lab has put together a video demonstrating multitouch on a PC running Fedora 12 on what looks to be be a 10-inch touchscreen display.

      • CES 2010: Windows netbooks obscured by armies of ARM-based Linux gadgets

        While new Atom-based Windows netbooks did show up at CES 2010, the Wintel mobile PC platform so omnipresent only a year ago, got way overshadowed this time around in a blitz of announcements around Linux-based smartbooks, e-readers, and tablets running on ARM processors.

      • What’s next for the NorhTec Edubook?

        There was also a demo unit of the 8.9 inch netbook running Puppy Linux. While Windows XP and WattOS both felt pretty sluggish on NorhTec’s Edubook with its slow 1GHz XCore86 processor, Puppy absolutely flew. I’m looking forward to testing this light weight Linux distribution on the Edubook more once I get back to the home office.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Grendel: free/open source software for protecting your cloud data

    Marc Hedlund sez, “Wesabe just open sourced a project called Grendel that makes it easy for web apps to encrypt data using the user’s login password, and only decrypt that data when the user is logged in. Let’s say you’re using a word processing web app and don’t want your documents stored plaintext — the web app could use Grendel to easily encrypt your docs for you, using OpenPGP. Log in and you can edit; log out and only you can get at the data again (since only you have your password). There are some hooks for encrypting with multiple keys if you want to share docs with selected other users on the system. Since people are throwing a ton of sensitive data in web apps these days I think having some tools to help make that safer would be a good thing.”

  • California goes Open Source?

    Yes, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has passed a budget plan which proposes inclusion of Open Source software in areas like health care, prison and many other to bring down costs by considerable amounts. A policy letter issued last week by CIO Teri Takai says ,

    the use of Open Source Software (OSS) in California state government [has now been formally established] as an acceptable practice.

    California reportedly faces a budget deficit of $20 billion, which Open Source software can hardly address but we can hope for something good to come out of this.

  • A Few Resources for Women in Open Source

    When I first started programming in high school at age 15 (on a mainframe), I was one of only two or three girls in the class of perhaps 20 students. At the time, I thought that was a pretty good ratio. God knows that I never lacked for a date. Ever since then, however, I’ve been doing my best to encourage more women to get into the field. Not because I believe that the computer industry arbitrarily needs to have a one-to-one ratio, but because I love computing so very much and I want to share that excitement. My enthusiasm extends to the open source community as well.

  • In an ideal world…

    … every Free Software project should not only have developers, but also

    * graphical artists
    * usability experts
    * user support specialists
    * documentation writers/translators
    * software translators
    * bug triagers
    * marketing ninjas
    * community managers
    * release managers
    * website and wiki maintainers
    * unlimited funds…

    Amarok is very lucky to have most of those. No, not the unlimited funds, sadly, thats one of the reasons why we ask our dear users and Amarok lovers to support us with donations, it allows us for example to maintain our server, which in turn can host other Free Software projects of the KDE family like Konversation.

  • Mozilla

  • CMS

    • Intel using Drupal

      Intel Corporation, the world’s largest semiconductor chip maker, is using Drupal for its Intel Atom Developer Program, a website for developers that want to create and sell software applications for netbooks and smart phones that are using the Intel Atom processor.

  • Licensing

    • The Unlicense: A License for No License

      Whether the Unlicense will catch on widely remains to be seen, but public domain software may be more prominent than one would think. The Unlicense site has a link to Unlicensed software and well-known software in the public domain. You might be surprised by some of the software found here. SQLite, qmail, and MinGW are all listed as public domain software. netscan and Markdoc are among the short list of projects that have chosen to release code under a version of the Unlicense.

  • Programming

    • TIOBE language index: Google’s Go is the biggest climber

      Google’s Go programming language, registered the largest amount of growth among all the languages in the TIOBE Programming Community Index over the past year. Go has syntactic similarities to C and Pascal but with type safety, concurrency support and fast compilation. It was introduced in November 2009 as an open sourced language implementation. Go is only 0.01 per cent behind over Apple’s Objective-C in the rankings.

Leftovers

  • Businessman is arrested in front of wife and son… for ‘anti-gipsy’ email that he didn’t even write

    The businessman, a father of two, said last night: ‘I had a sense of total disbelief. My wife and I decided to tell my 11-year-old son I had to go with the police because I had witnessed a road accident.

  • Bradford Council reduces surveillance in fly-tipping and fraud cases

    A report to the Council’s safer and stronger communities improvement committee states that a sharp rise in RIPA cases in 2006/07 was due to a cautious approach in the investigation of noise nuisances.

    “Since April 2007 a more robust approach has been adopted, ie notifying by letter persons against whom noise complaints are registered that they will be monitored by tape recording equipment installed in their next-door neighbours’ house or by officers listening. This changes what was covert surveillance into overt surveillance and therefore outside the scope of RIPA.”

  • WOW: Fugitive Caught via World of Warcraft

    Police have been known to use social media like Facebook and Twitter to track down thieves (the IRS, too), and careless Facebooking can quickly get you arrested. But if you’re on the run from the law, there’s another online territory you might want to consider avoiding: World of Warcraft.

  • Security

  • Environment

    • Test suggests radioactive leak at Yankee

      Entergy Nuclear announced late Thursday one of its monitoring wells on the banks of the Connecticut River had detected radioactive tritium contamination, the first time such contamination has shown up at the plant.

    • Sources and resources for investigating climate denialism

      Scientist and renowned historian Naomi Oreskes describes her investigation into the reasons for widespread mistrust and misunderstanding of scientific consensus. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T4UF_Rmlio She probes the history of organized campaigns designed to create public doubt and confusion about science.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf

    • How interest groups behind health-care legislation are financed is often unclear

      Many of the Washington interest groups that are seeking to shape final health-care legislation in the coming weeks operate with opaque financing, often receiving hidden support from insurers, drugmakers or unions.

      The groups, some newly formed and others reappearing with different sponsors, have spent months staging noisy protests, organizing letter-writing campaigns and contributing to a record $200 million advertising blitz on health-care reform.

    • Secret Money Abounds in Health Reform Fight

      The group’s president, Andrew Langer, refused to offer any information about the group’s leap in funding. The Parternship to Improve Patient Care was created by the drug industry in 2008 to oppose medical effectiveness studies that might help determine what health insurance companies must cover.

    • Krugman Bites Watchdogs at FDL for Exposing Jonathan Gruber’s Government Funding

      The very independent liberal blog Firedoglake has exposed that Jonathan Gruber, an MIT academic and an influential promoter of Obama’s health reform proposals, has not been properly disclosing the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has received in government health care policy grants.

    • Jonathan Gruber Failed to Disclose His $392,600 Contracts with HHS (Updated)

      MIT health economist Jonathan Gruber has been the go-to source that all the health care bill apologists point to to defend otherwise dubious arguments. But he has consistently failed to disclose that he has had a sole-source contract with the Department of Health and Human Services since June 19, 2009 to consult on the “President’s health reform proposal.”

    • Energy Lobbyists Help Draft Polluter-Friendly Amendment

      Brendan Demelle notes on DeSmog Blog that Murkowski “has received $470,000 in campaign contributions from dirty energy and mining interests since 2005, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.”

    • Murkowski and her lobbyist allies

      And Frank O’Donnell, president of the advocacy group Clean Air Watch, said, “It’s not a total shock that ex-Bush administration officials are ghostwriting for Murkowski on climate, though she ought to come clean and admit it so we can understand that big polluters are behind her initiative.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Tintin copyrights go to war against Tintin fans

      The British lawyer who married the widow of Tintin creator Hergé has successfully sued Bob Garcia (“a detective novelist, jazz musician and Tintin aficionado”) for £35,000 for printing five short essays in appreciation of Tintin, two of which were illustrated with brief clips from the comic. The essays were distributed for free, and the two pamphlets with Tintin illustrations were printed about 500 times each.

    • Cory Doctorow: Close Enough for Rock ‘n’ Roll

      If the Internet has a motif, it is rock ‘n’ roll’s Protestant Reformation thrashing against the orchestral One Church. Rock ‘n’ roll gets lots of wee kirks built in every hill and dale in which parishioners can find religion in their own ways; choral music erects majestic cathedrals that humble and amaze, but take three generations of laborers to build.

      [...]

      But what does it cost to publish something half as good as Newsweek, say, the Huffington Post? Sure, HuffPo has brought in about $20MM in venture capital, but ignore that sum — that’s how much they can sweet talk out of the world of finance. I’m talking about how much capital it cost to build and operate HuffPo. A tiny, unmeasurable fraction of what it cost to build and run Newsweek.

    • Music companies want Pirate Bay founders to pay fine

      The Stockholm District Court should decide that two of The Pirate Bay’s founders have to pay a fine since the file-sharing site is still open and they are still involved, according to a recent filing from the music industry.

    • Fahrenheit 451… Book burning as done by lawyers

      But the legal changes introduced in the years after Fahrenheit 451 did more than just extend terms. Congress eliminated the benign practice of the renewal requirement (which had guaranteed that 85% of works and 93% of books entered the public domain after 28 years because the authors and publishers simply didn’t want or need a second copyright term.) And copyright, which had been an opt-in system (you had to comply with some very minor formalities to get a copyright) became an opt out system (you got a copyright automatically when you “fixed” the work in material form, whether you wanted it or not.) Suddenly the entire world of informal and non commercial culture — from home movies that provide a wonderful lens into the private life of an era, to essays, posters, locally produced teaching materials — was swept into copyright. And kept there for the life of the author plus 70 years. The effects were culturally catastrophic.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Dwayne Bailey, Founder and Managing Director of Translate.org.za 05 (2004)


Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 12, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Gravatar

    Ionizing radiation is never safe. If I were to make a cynical guess, the crotch bomber was allowed through to push out the unsafe scanners before further tests had the units recalled or at least more strictly regulated.

    I guess its one way to deal with the over population…

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’ve heard this theory, but wouldn’t that require massive coverup? I’m not convinced.

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    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  30. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert


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