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Google buys virtual imaging patents from Foxconn

Google has bought virtual imaging patents from Taiwanese supplier Foxconn that could be used in its interactive “Google Glass” devices, according to a document acquired by AFP on Saturday. No details were released on the amount of the transaction. The patents relate to a technology that permits virtual images to…

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani points to chemical weapons use in Syria

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Saturday pointed to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, several days after opposition groups said chemical strikes near Damascus killed hundreds. “The situation prevailing in Syria today and the death of a certain number of innocent people caused by chemical weapons is very distressing,”…

Do data analytics require new privacy laws?

In an Aug. 21 column in Wired, consultant Theo Priestley suggested that, while “Big Data” can be used to improve services and infrastructure, organizations often end up using data platforms to hoover up personal information for ads or marketing (…  …

‘Data is the new oil’: Tech giants may be huge, but nothing matches big data

When Nasdaq stopped trading this week, it again showed how global firms are at the mercy of a power that created them “Data is the new oil,” declared Clive Humby, a Sheffield mathematician who with his wife, Edwina Dunn, made £90m helping Tesco with its Clubcard system. Though he said…

Government report finds ‘patent troll’ narrative not straightforward

Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office released a report on patent infringement litigation, but its findings didn’t align precisely with what fighters of “patent trolls” might have been hoping to hear…  …

After three-year nap, NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) will hunt for near-Earth asteroids

An artist’s concept of Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is shown in this illustration. (JPL-Caltech/NASA/Reuters) NASA is getting set to rouse a slumbering spacecraft after a nearly three-year nap and hand it a new assignment: hunting for…  …

Striking teachers block access to Mexico City airport

Thousands of teachers severely disrupted access to Mexico City’s international airport, forcing some travelers to abandon cars and roll suitcases on foot during a protest against education reform. The striking educators descended on the capital this week from across the country, staging sit-ins at the chamber of deputies and senate…

Deadly Delhi gang-rape inspires award-winning play

Award-winning playwright Yael Farber, whose new work focuses on the fatal gang-rape of an Indian student last December, was inspired by the protests that erupted across the country after the attack. “I remember feeling this extraordinary sense of envy when I looked at India… I mean — who takes to…

Jerry Brown declares California state of emergency as huge Yosemite wildfire rages

A huge wildfire raged unchecked near California’s famous Yosemite National Park, threatening thousands of homes as officials declared a state of emergency. The blaze — named the “Rim Fire” — erupted last Saturday in the Stanislaus National Forest to the west of Yosemite, one of the most popular tourist attractions…

Greenpeace ship defies Russia, enters Arctic route to protest against oil drilling

Greenpeace has deployed its icebreaker through an Arctic shipping route to protest against oil drilling in the fragile ecosystem, defying Russian authorities, the group said Saturday. The Russian transportation ministry immediately accused the Dutch-flagged vessel of “crudely” violating Russian and international law. Earlier this week Greenpeace said Russia had refused…

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