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Inventor battling U.S. over patents sought in 1970s PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KEN RITTER, Associated Press   
Sunday, 23 March 2014 06:52

LAS VEGAS (AP) — One by one, Gilbert Hyatt pointed to the adding machine, the first-generation Sony PlayStation console, the television, the handheld video recorder and the telephone switching device arrayed on the conference-room table.

Each has technology that he invented and patented, he said.

Hyatt, 75, of Las Vegas, said he has obtained more than 70 patents since the 1960s, including one on a single-chip microcomputer that was widely licensed and became a component of the many products on the table.

Now, Hyatt is fighting patent officials, accusing them of stalling two applications that he sought more than 40 years ago and are still pending.

He filed a lawsuit in January against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in federal court in Las Vegas seeking a final decision on the applications he submitted in 1971 and 1972 for a device he calls a square-wave signal processor. He said the device converts analog and digital signals in control systems on machines, including those that make circuit boards and integrated circuits.

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Obama signs relief from flood insurance hike PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press   
Saturday, 22 March 2014 06:42

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeowners living in flood-prone areas are getting relief from big spikes in insurance costs under legislation President Barack Obama signed into law Friday.

Lawmakers from both parties supported the measure in response to angry homeowners who faced sharp premium hikes after an overhaul of the government's flood insurance program two years ago.

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey said he was hearing from constituents still reeling from Superstorm Sandy, "many who came to me in tears, expressing horror stories of skyrocketing flood insurance premiums that threatened to force them from their homes."

The 2012 rewrite was aimed at weaning those in flood-prone areas off of subsidized rates and required extensive updating of the flood maps used to set premiums. But its implementation left homeowners along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and in flood plains facing often unaffordable rate increases.

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Icy Lake Superior means slow shipping season start PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 23 March 2014 06:45

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — This year's shipping season is getting off to a slow start due to record levels of ice on the Great Lakes, including ice that's five feet thick in some parts of the Duluth harbor.

Coast Guard cutters and local tugs are working hard to break up the ice, but maps from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that as of last week, 90 percent of Lake Superior was still covered by ice. That's down from a peak of 95 percent earlier this year.

"Because of the severe ice conditions, several fleets have delayed their first sailing until early April," Jim Sharrow, with the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, told KSTP-TV.

Nine Coast Guard cutters across the Great Lakes are prepared to clear channels and escort ships, and two more cutters are on the way from Canada, Sharrow said.

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Obama reassures Internet CEOs on tech privacy PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press   
Saturday, 22 March 2014 06:40

WASHINGTON (AP) — A week before a self-imposed deadline for a review of National Security Agency programs, President Barack Obama sought Friday to assure leading Internet and tech executives that his administration is committed to protecting people's privacy.

CEOs from Facebook, Google, Netflix and others spent more than two hours with Obama in the Oval Office discussing their concerns about NSA spying programs, which have drawn outrage from tech companies whose data have been scooped up by the government. Joining Obama and the CEOs were Obama's commerce secretary, homeland security adviser, and counselor John Podesta, whom Obama has tasked with leading a review of privacy and "big data."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his colleagues departed the White House without speaking to reporters. The White House said Obama gave the CEOs an update on the big data review, which is examining the complex and evolving relationship between the government, its citizens and their private information.

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