Apple hit by a patent suit over A7 chip

Apple is no stranger to patent suits, but the latest one alleges legal issues with the brains behind the new iPhone and iPad.

Filed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) on behalf of the University of Wisconsin, the suit claims that Apple's A7 chip violated its 5,781,752 patent known as "Table based data speculation circuit for parallel processing computer," PatentlyApple reported on Monday.

The patented technology is described as follows:

A predictor circuit permits advanced execution of instructions depending for their data on previous instructions by predicting such dependencies based on previous mis-speculations detected … Read more

How Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin survived murder, fires, constant change

SPRING GREEN, Wis. -- Is it possible for a masterwork of architecture to be best known for a grisly murder?

In the case of Taliesin, architect Frank Lloyd Wright's longtime home, the answer may well be yes.

In 1911, Wright built a stunning home on a terrific piece of land with a steep drop on one side and a gentle descent on the other. He built it for Mamah Borthwick, a client's wife with whom he had fallen in love. Needing to escape Oak Park, Ill., where he had lived and worked, but where the client lived, he … Read more

Did Frank Lloyd Wright create America's greatest office?

RACINE, Wis. -- There's always stiff competition for the title of America's best workplace. But when it comes to the country's best work space, the lucky people who spend their days in the administration building at SC Johnson headquarters may well have the bragging rights.

Designed by celebrated architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the building in this town just south of Milwaukee defies logic -- and, some thought, physics. Its signature element is 60 21-foot-tall columns that fill its famous half-acre open Great Workroom.

Together, the columns resemble a lily pad, and seem so light and airy that … Read more

CNET Road Trip 2013: Geek culture in America's heartland

After seven years and tens of thousands of miles, I've had the rare opportunity to explore much of the best of the United States (and some of Europe) during my annual CNET Road Trip.

Since 2006, I've explored the most interesting destinations for technology, the military, architecture, aviation, and much more, in the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest, the Southeast, the Rocky Mountain region, the Northeast, Western Europe, and the West Coast. But that means that the U.S. Midwest has (so far) been ignored.

Until now.

Starting Monday, I'll be on Road Trip 2013, and will be … Read more

Where should CNET Road Trip go in the Midwest?

Summer is still three months away, but here in Northern California, with bright sunshine outside (and windows to keep the chilly wind out), it already feels like it's just around the corner.

That's also because I've already started the planning for Road Trip 2013, my eighth-annual journey to highlight some of the best destinations around for technology, military, architecture, science, nature, and so on.

For six of the past seven years, CNET Road Trip has taken me all around the roads of the United States, giving me the opportunity to visit the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest, the … Read more

Engineers harness power from human respiration

The airflow of a typical human breath travels at less than 2 meters per second. Instead of lamenting its weakness, engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison decided to try to make a material that could react to this airflow in such a way as to convert it to electrical energy.

So they turned to polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), a material in which an electrical charge can build up in response to applied mechanical stress. (There's even a name for this: the piezoelectric effect.) The trick, then, was to get this material thin enough to be sufficiently stressed by human breath.

"We calculated that if we could make this material thin enough, small vibrations could produce a microwatt of electrical energy that could be useful for sensors or other devices implanted in the face," says Xudong Wang, a materials science and engineering assistant professor who reports on these findings in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

Wang's team had go about thinning this material very carefully, so as to preserve its piezoelectric properties. They used an ion-etching process that, with some improvements, might eventually enable them to control thickness to the submicron level.

The obvious benefits of using respiration to power biomedical devices (think blood glucose monitors or pacemakers) are that the source is local and it is consistent.… Read more

Google may face antitrust probes in Ohio, Wisconsin

Google could find itself the target of two separate antitrust probes launched by Ohio and Wisconsin, according to a story published today by Bloomberg.

Concerned over the search giant's business practices, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is "evaluating the facts to determine if it's something we want to review," his spokesman Dan Tierney told Bloomberg.

Tierney confirmed the information to CNET, saying that the attorney general's office is "reviewing the facts regarding the matter to determine if there's any action that needs to be taken."

Asked if the attorney general is looking … Read more

The 404 769: Where Jill has a microphone and you don't (podcast)

The 404 Podcast has a symbiotic relationship with "Aunt" Jill Schlesinger aka The Financial Decoder for CBS Moneywatch: she helps our listeners create a foundation for their financial future, and we answer her tech questions about her Twitter account and yesterday's Apple iPad 2 announcement.

And sometimes she brings us cookies...giant, half-pound cookies from Levain Bakery!

You'll have to hold your breath for the iPad 2 discussion, though, because first we want to tell you guys about Jill's new podcast on the radio, appropriately called Jill On Money!

Episode 1 is already posted on the Moneywatch.com Web site; it's an hour-and-a-half broadcast where Jill answers plenty of questions about paying off mortgages, rising gas prices, and tips on how to maintain a good credit score. Plus, a little Cheryl Dunn in the morning ain't hurting anyone.

If you have a financial question for Jill, make sure you give her a call at 855-411-JILL (855-411-5455) and she'll schedule time to ask it live on the show, or you can also send her an e-mail at askjill(at)moneywatch.com or tweet her.

With Jill getting more involved in the tech side of broadcasting, she asks us for advice on whether she should buy the new Apple iPad 2. The way we see it, her buying decision depends on what she'll ultimately do with the tablet.

Since she already has a MacBook, she can either dish out $350 on a refurbished iPad 1 or spend $150 more for the 16GB iPad 2. Tune in to hear our advice, and as usual, we don't all agree on one path to take.… Read more

WTF? Bloggers cause Wisconsin Tourism Federation to change name

Sometimes, it's hard to resist the relentless pressure of bloggers.

They make jokes about you. They spawn commenters who make even more jokes about you. Until you finally decide that your are the serf and the bloggerati and commenterati are your whip-wielding masters.

So it has proved for the dedicated and passionately committed staff of the Wisconsin Tourism Federation. Since this Web thing has spread around the world like swine flu, more and more witty folks have made japes about the WTF being, well, you know, I mean, WTF!!!!

So, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the organization sat … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 916: Fiber to the butt

Natali opens with some rage against Verizon Fios over a billing problem after she canceled the service. She feels somehow, well...Jason explains it best in the show. We also get a Molly rant over Ireland's new content filtering on the Internet and TechCrunch's reporting that Last.FM was giving data to the RIAA. Which it was not.

Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 916

Microsoft asks for severance back from laid off employees http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-10169119-75.html

Workers ’stealing company data’ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7902989.stm

Xbox Live denial … Read more