December 2014

RPX Corporation has announced that its subsidiary RPX Clearinghouse LLC has agreed to buy about 4,000 patents held by the Rockstar consortium for $900 million. This is the majority of the patents acquired following Nortel bankruptcy, the market operation behind the creation of the consortium, which includes Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony. The transfer of so many patents to RPX Corporation could score at least a truce in the tough war fought in recent years using software and hardware patents as weapons.

Doctor Who - The Krotons

“The Krotons” an adventure of the sixth season of “Doctor Who” classic series, which aired between the end of 1968 and the beginning of 1969 featuring the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. It follows “The Invasion” and it’s a four parts adventure written by Robert Holmes and directed by David Maloney.

The novel “What Mad Universe” by Fredric Brown was published for the first time in 1949.

Keith Winton is the editor of a science fiction magazine. While he’s a guest in the villa of his publisher, an experimental rocket that isn’t working as expected releases a very powerful electrical discharge that strikes him. Apparently, Keith survives with no consequences but soon realizes that something is wrong when his coins are viewed as something completely out of the ordinary and he stumbles upon an alien.

Soon, Keith becomes a fugitive because he’s mistaken for a spy in the pay of alien enemies. He manages to return to New York but there the situation seems even worse because the city is among the targets in an interplanetary war. At night there’s the most complete darkness and Keith has to face various types of danger while trying to figure out what happened to him.

On Tuesday December 30, 2014 the Euroleague Basketball 2014/2015 Top 16 is starting. The formula is the one inaugurated two years ago, with two groups consisting of 8 teams each and consequently longer than the regular season. This time a few games of the first gameday are played early at the end of this year before finishing it on January 2, 2015.

Combined image of Sun observations by NASA's NuSTAR and Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) satellites (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC)

NASA’s space telescope NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array), launched in June 2012, was built to study objects such as black holes and for this reason its sensitivity focuses on high-energy X-rays. For once, however, it was used in a way totally different from what was intended to observe the Sun in a new way.

The idea of using NuSTAR to study the Sun came to David Smith, a solar physicist and a member of the NuSTAR team, already seven years ago, during the construction of this space telescope. Fiona Harrison, the project’s principal investigator, initially thought it was a crazy idea but Smith convinced her that it made sense. The purpose of the proposal was to try to observe the faint flashes of X-rays that the Sun emits according to the theoretical predictions.