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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Odd News and End-of-Year Reviews

Here is a collection of odd news and year-end and decade-end reviews, mostly by way of Slash Dot.

IBM patents 'net abbreviation interpretation: IBM has always had an active patent portfolio. OMG, now they've patented interpretation of 'net abbreviations. ROTFL. Here is the Slash Dot article and the patent filing (USPTO).

Graphic novelist wants 'better violence' in video games: Landry Walker, a comic artist who has worked on several Disney-related publications, thinks video game violence is too unrealistic. He's annoyed that gamers are so unmoved by a machine gun blast to the head, since a few minutes on a healing pod will such minor injuries.

Top scientific discoveries of 2009 according to Wired Science: these discoveries include a successful re-visit to a failed attempt to validate a stable heavy element 114, progress towards a dengue fever vaccine, and a breathalyzer-type test for lung cancer, and others.

Ten gadgets that defined the decade according to the Engadget blog: you can probably guess some of these, the iPhone and iPod ('what's playing on my iPod?' is required on editors' and agents' blogs). There were two other precedent-setting phones and a controversial selection of the XBox 360 game machine (which had many commentors asking, 'what about the PS 2?'). Others include Windows XP & Max OSX (not a gadget IMHO) and the Tivo.

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