Reader John Hamilton contacted Sneak following the recent item about Microsoft's controversial double-click patent, which seems to have secured rights to a most basic method of input. "I am most confused over the patent on using a 'pattern' of mouse/screen clicks to control functions," he writes. "Can I please put a patent on using Morse-code taps on a PDA screen as a data input method?" Well, almost certainly you can, John, as the US Patent & Trademark Office seems to hand out patents like toffees, after all. "Recognising patterns of input to identify requests was well established even long before Morse's useful code on telegraph lines," Hamilton adds. "I know folks arriving at my door simply by their knock." And oddly enough, the same principle works with the doorbell, too.
Molybdenum ditelluride is a two-dimensional material that can be easily stacked into multiple layers to create a memory cell
New light-guiding nanoscale device can control and monitor a nanoparticle trapped in a laser beam with high sensitivity
Optical traps are scientific instruments in which a focused laser beam is used to exert an attractive or repulsive force on a microscopic object to hold it in place
Scientists estimate that the exoplanet has already lost up to 35 per cent of its mass over its lifetime
The observations were made using the Atacama Array in the Chilean desert