Remains of the Day: Prior convictions

The big GOOG joins the battle against Lodsys, the demise of webOS devices was just as surprising to many inside HP as outside, and one Australian politician wants Apple to lower its prices. The remainders for Friday, August 19, 2011 are always a deal.

Google Reexam Requests Devastating to Lodsys (Groklaw)

The giant that is Google has stirred and stepped ponderously into the fight against patent troll Lodsys, filing a request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for reexamination of the two patents Lodsys is suing developers over. According to Groklaw, Google is contesting that the patents aren’t actually novel and is citing five pieces of prior art per patent as evidence. When reached for comment, noted patent expert Scooby Doo said: “Ruh roh.”

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Firefox 7 reaches beta, promises faster browsing

Mozilla on Thursday released a beta of Firefox 7, putting the lighter-weight browser in front of a large number of users for the first time.

According to Mozilla, Firefox 7 uses significantly less memory than Firefox 4 through Firefox 6, cutting consumption by as much as 50 percent. The savings come courtesy of a two-month-old project dubbed MemShrink designed to drive down Firefox's memory consumption and close "memory leaks," bugs that prevent memory from being released to the system when tabs are closed. Over time, those bugs can degrade the browser's performance, or in extreme cases, cause it to crash or lock up.

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Inside Prosoft’s Data Rescue Center

Earlier this week I took a tour of The Data Rescue Center, a data recovery service provider. Competing with the likes of DriveSavers, the Center opened in July in Livermore, Calif., near the Lawrence Livermore National Lab. Its services are available nationwide.

The Center is a division of Prosoft Engineering, a longtime Mac software developer and makers of Drive Genius 3, Data Rescue 3, and Data Backup 3. In addition to recovering data from hard drives that are physically damaged, users of ProSoft’s software can call upon the Center when the problem is beyond the scope of the software utility.

Step into the lobby of the Center, and you immediately encounter a view of the cleanroom. The cleanroom is where drives are taken apart and broken parts are replaced. (The Center keeps a library of old hard drives from which they pull parts.) When a hard drive mechanism is opened, it’s important to prevent air contaminants from polluting the drive, since they can cause even more damage.

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Google adds weather data to Maps

Google on Thursday announced the addition of current weather information and cloud data from around the world to its Google Maps application, by an arrangement with The Weather Channel’s and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

The new “weather layer” can be activated through a widget in the upper right corner of Google Maps. Clicking on the weather icon for a particular city opens a window with data like current humidity and wind conditions, as well as a forecast for the next four days, said Jonah Jones, a Google user experience designer, in a blog post.

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iFixit's Dozuki aims to reinvent online manuals

The geniuses of disassembly, documentation, and delightful wit behind iFixit have targeted a new tool that needs improvement: online manual and knowledge base content management. Their new project, Dozuki, lets companies use the CMS behind iFixit to build own colorful guides with step-by-step instructions.

Boasting the slogan “Teach Action,” Dozuki offers businesses a hosted service that helps them create online manuals and knowledge base articles.

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Remains of the Day: Is it a small world, after all?

Apple’s looking to make a new friend in China, someone decides to sue Cupertino over something that’s not the iPhone, and Yahoo attempts to prove an old adage. The remainders for Thursday, August 18, 2011 will take you around the world in 80 seconds (or however long it takes you to read this).

China Mobile talking to Apple on iPhones (Reuters)

I mean, they’re not talking on iPhones, because Apple’s phone still won’t run on China Mobile’s specialized TDSCDMA network, but word is that Apple is in discussions to bring the iPhone to China’s largest carrier. Apple already has one partner in the country—China Unicom, whose network runs on a much simpler three-letter acronym.

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