Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rotten Office Fridge Cleanup Sends 7 To Hospital

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday May 13, @02:21PM

from the step-away-from-the-handle dept.
bokske writes"An office worker cleaning a fridge full of rotten food created a smell so noxious that it sent seven co-workers to the hospital and made many others ill. Firefighters had to evacuate the AT&T building in downtown San Jose on Tuesday, after the flagrant fumes prompted someone to call 911. A hazmat team was called in. Just another day at the office."

iTunes Prohibits Terrorism

Posted by samzenpus on Monday April 13, @07:59PM

from the great-songs-come-with-great-responsibility dept.
Afforess writes"A recent closer look at the oft-skimmed EULA agreement for iTunes has an interesting paragraph in it, Gizmodo reports. 'You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of missiles, or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.' Although humorous, some readers suggested that this may be a defense measure to previously discussed price changes in the iTunes music store."

Novel Therapy May Prove Effective In Treatment Of 30 Percent Of Cancers

ScienceDaily (May 14, 2009) — A ground-breaking Canada-wide clinical trial led by Dr. Katherine Borden, at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Universit√© de Montr√©al, has shown that a common anti-viral drug, ribavirin, can be beneficial in the treatment of cancer patients.

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Liquid Lens Creates Tiny Flexible Laser On A Chip

ScienceDaily (May 14, 2009) — Like tiny Jedi knights, tunable fluidic micro lenses can focus and direct light at will to count cells, evaluate molecules or create on-chip optical tweezers, according to a team of Penn State engineers. They may also provide imaging in medical devices, eliminating the necessity and discomfort of moving the tip of a probe.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Schneier Says We Don't Need a Cybersecurity Czar

Posted by timothy on Wednesday May 13, @02:40PM

from the but-sir-these-polls-show-that-you're-winning dept.
SecurityGovernmentUnited StatesPolitics
Trailrunner7 writes" reports that security guru Bruce Schneier says not only should the NSA not run cybersecurity for the federal government, no one should. 'Really what I think is it shouldn't be anybody. We do better without a top-down hierarchy. Our economic and political systems work best when there isn't a dictator in charge, when there isn't one organization in charge. My feeling is there shouldn't be one organization in charge. Not only shouldn't it be the NSA, it shouldn't be anybody,' Schneier said."

Funding For Automotive Fuel Cells Cut

Posted by kdawson on Tuesday May 12, @06:47PM

from the goring-entrenched-oxen dept.
TransportationGovernmentPowerUnited States
rgarbacz writes"The US will stop funding research on automotive fuel cells and redirect the work towards stationary plants, because of slow progress on the research. Developing those cells and coming up with a way to transport the hydrogen is a big challenge, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in releasing energy-related details of the administration's budget for the year beginning Oct. 1. Dr. Chu said the government preferred to focus on projects that would bear fruit more quickly. The industry and the National Hydrogen Association criticized the decision and declared their intention to fight for funding. Dr. Chu also announced that funding for a coal gasification pilot project, cut by the Bush administration, will be reinstated. The Obama administration will also drop spending for research on the exploration of oil and gas deposits because the industry itself has ample resources for that, Dr. Chu said."

WHO Investigates Claims That Swine Flu Resulted From Human Error

Posted by Soulskill on Wednesday May 13, @10:55AM

from the bacon-is-innocent dept.
Tom DBA writes"Bloomberg reports on claims that the swine flu could have been accidentally made in a lab, which are now being investigated by the World Health Organization. Quoting: 'Adrian Gibbs, 75, who collaborated on research that led to the development of Roche Holding AG's Tamiflu drug, said in an interview today that he intends to publish a report suggesting the new strain may have accidentally evolved in eggs scientists use to grow viruses and drugmakers use to make vaccines. Gibbs said that he came to his conclusion as part of an effort to trace the virus's origins by analyzing its genetic blueprint. ... Gibbs and two colleagues analyzed the publicly available sequences of hundreds of amino acids coded by each of the flu virus's eight genes. ... [The CDC's Nancy Cox says] since researchers don't have samples of swine flu viruses from South America and Africa, where the new strain may have evolved, those regions can't be ruled out as natural sources for the new flu.'"Time has a related story evaluating the World Health Organization's response to H1N1.

Body Movements Can Influence Problem Solving, Researchers Report

ScienceDaily (May 13, 2009) — Swinging their arms helped participants in a new study solve a problem whose solution involved swinging strings, researchers report, demonstrating that the brain can use bodily cues to help understand and solve complex problems.

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IE Losing 10% Market Share Every Two Years

Posted by Soulskill on Wednesday May 13, @12:20PM

from the slowly-but-surely dept.
Internet ExplorerMicrosoftMozilla
mjasay writes"Mozilla's Asa Dotzler points to some interesting long-term trends in browser market share, noting that 'browser releases aren't having any major impact on the macro trends,' which suggests that a better IE will likely have little impact on its sliding market share. The most intriguing conclusion from the data, however, is that Firefox could surpass IE market share as early as January 2013 if Firefox continues to gain 5 percent every year, even as IE drops 5 percent each year. In the past, Microsoft might have fought back by tying IE to other products to block competition, but with the EU keeping a close antitrust eye on Microsoft and the US Obama administration keen to make an example of an antitrust bully, Microsoft may have few good options beyond good old fashioned competition, which doesn't seem to be working very well for the Redmond giant, as the market share data suggests. Microsoft's loss of IE market power, in turn, could have serious consequences for the company's efforts to compete with Google on the Web."

Connections Between Diabetes And Alzheimer’s Disease Explored

ScienceDaily (May 13, 2009) — Modern societies face the increasing burden of age-related diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). There is some evidence that the causes underlying both diseases are linked. Do AD and T2D represent the endpoint of aged, exhausted, and dysfunctional cells having reached their maximal life expectancy or are AD and T2D the consequences of living in superabundance including excessive food supply, work demands, psychosocial stress, and an excessive sedentary life style?

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Global Warming Inadvertently Curbed In Past By Lead Pollution, Scientists Find

ScienceDaily (May 13, 2009) — Lead pollution in the air stimulates the formation of ice particles in clouds. A team of scientists from the USA, Germany and Switzerland has found that particles containing lead are excellent seeds for the formation of ice crystals in clouds. This not only has a bearing on the formation of rain and other forms of precipitation but may also have an influence on the global climate. This is because the heat given off from the earth's surface is more efficiently radiated into space by ice clouds (cirrus) with lead-containing particles than has been hitherto realized.

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Home Energy Savings Are Made In The Shade

ScienceDaily (May 13, 2009) — Trees positioned to shade the west and south sides of a house may decrease summertime electric bills by 5 percent on average, according to a recent study* of California homes by researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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Meditation May Increase Gray Matter

ScienceDaily (May 13, 2009) — Push-ups, crunches, gyms, personal trainers — people have many strategies for building bigger muscles and stronger bones. But what can one do to build a bigger brain?

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Microsoft Raises $3.8B in Bond Sale

Posted by kdawson on Tuesday May 12, @03:28PM

from the name-is-bond-cheap-bond dept.
MicrosoftThe Almighty Buck
pfleming writes"Microsoft quietly, or not so quietly, raised some cheap cash in bond sales yesterday. For a company that already has a huge cash war chest and doesn't carry debt, what is the incentive to sell nearly $4 billion in bonds? From the article: 'Microsoft is sitting on $25 billion in cash, so the company doesn't need the bond proceeds "unless they have something big in mind," says Reena Aggarwal, professor of finance at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.'"

D.I.Y. wireless power project unleashes your inner mad scientist

by Joseph L. Flatley, posted May 12th 2009 at 1:28PM

Before he was the patron saint of electric cars and GPUs, Nikola Tesla invented the AC motor, the Tesla coil (or, as he called it, the "coil"), and demonstrated that power could be transferred wirelessly. A hundred-plus years later, companies like Solaren Corp are angling to beam electricity down to earth from outer space -- quite possibly solving our energy crisis with science fiction means that would even make ol' Nicky T. look twice. But why should the big companies have all the fun? You too can experiment with wireless power, albeit on a significantly smaller scale, with merely a square wave generator, some coiled wire, a 60 watt bulb, and a few other low priced thingamabobs. Don't believe us? Hit that read link and see for yourself.

[Via Make]

More Evidence For The Benefit Of Exercise In Cardiovascular Disease -- And Even In Heart Failure

ScienceDaily (May 12, 2009) — Exercise is one of eight preventive measures identified by the European Heart Health Charter and features prominently in the scientific programme of EuroPRevent 2009, the congress of the European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, which takes place in Stockholm, Sweden, from May 6 to 9. In new studies presented at the congress exercise is shown to improve markers of heart disease in patients following coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), to improve event-free survival rate in coronary patients better than stent angioplasty, and to improve markers of disease in heart failure patients, a group usually thought amenable to little more than palliative care.

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High-pressure Compound Could Be Key To Hydrogen-powered Vehicles

ScienceDaily (May 12, 2009) — A hydrogen-rich compound discovered by Stanford researchers is packed with promise of helping overcome one of the biggest hurdles to using hydrogen for fuel--namely, how do you stuff enough hydrogen into a volume that is small enough to be portable and practical for powering a car?

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Women Have A More Powerful Immune System Than Men, Study Shows

ScienceDaily (May 12, 2009) — When it comes to immunity, men may not have been dealt an equal hand. The latest study by Dr. Maya Saleh, of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and McGill University, shows that women have a more powerful immune system than men. In fact, the production of estrogen by females could have a beneficial effect on the innate inflammatory response against bacterial pathogens. These surprising results were published May 11 in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Changes In The Sun Are Not Causing Global Warming, New Study Shows

ScienceDaily (May 12, 2009) — With the U.S. Congress beginning to consider regulations on greenhouse gases, a troubling hypothesis about how the sun may impact global warming is finally laid to rest.

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Teenagers Are Becoming Increasingly Logical, Swedish Study Finds

ScienceDaily (May 12, 2009) — A research project at the University of Gothenburg has been testing large groups of 13-year-olds in Sweden since the early 1960s using the same intelligence test. The tests have taken place at approximately five year intervals and consist of an inductive-logic test, a verbal test and a spatial test.

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Ultra-dense Deuterium May Be Nuclear Fuel Of The Future

ScienceDaily (May 12, 2009) — A material that is a hundred thousand times heavier than water and more dense than the core of the Sun is being produced at the University of Gothenburg. The scientists working with this material are aiming for an energy process that is both more sustainable and less damaging to the environment than the nuclear power used today.

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Monday, May 11, 2009


by Joseph L. Flatley, posted May 11th 2009 at 2:33PM

Well, we thought this might happen -- especially after the news that Acer's Z5600 all-in-one will be shipping with Windows 7 pre-loaded, come October 23rd of this year. And now it's official: Windows 7 is on track to be released this "holiday season." Now, this announcement may be officially vague, but it is official. Sometimes in this business (as in life) we take what we can get.

Terminator head DVD player returns from the future to stop itself from playing a DVD of 'The Terminator'

by Joshua Topolsky, posted Aug 15th 2008 at 5:28PM

Color us stumped and incredibly excited. We've discovered this totally useless yet endlessly amazing DVD player / Terminator head out in the wilds of the internet, but finding any information deeper than people exclaiming "this is awesome" is, in a word, difficult. Look, we're not saying that we want to find the company that makes these, order 100 of them, rip out their guts and replace them with those electronic rat brains, swap the eyes for stereoscopic cameras, tack on Darth Vader-esque voice boxes, and then mount them to the unkillable bodies of an army of robotic warriors we've been building, but... uh, well... okay you got us.

Baby Monitors Killing Urban Wi-Fi

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday May 11, @10:55AM

from the along-with-my-full-night's-sleep dept.
Wireless Networking
Barence writes"Baby monitors and wireless TV transmitters are responsible for slowing down Wi-Fi connections in built-up areas, according to a report commissioned by British telecoms regulator Ofcom. The research smashes the myth that overlapping Wi-Fi networks in heavily congested towns and cities are to blame for faltering connection speeds. Instead it claims that unlicensed devices operating in the 2.4GHz band are dragging down signals. "It only requires a single device, such as an analogue video sender, to severely affect Wi-Fi services within a short range, such that a single large building or cluster of houses can experience difficulties with using a single Wi-Fi channel," the report claims."

Windows 7 RCs Shut Down to Force Updates

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday May 11, @11:38AM

from the please-resume-download dept.
nk497 writes"The release candidate for Microsoft Windows 7 will expire June 2010, and the software giant will let users know they need to pay to upgrade by shutting down the system every two hours for three months. According to Microsoft: "The RC will expire on June 1, 2010. Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start. To avoid interruption, you'll need to install a non-expired version of Windows before March 1, 2010. You'll also need to install the programs and data that you want to use.""

Emailaholics Reveal Their Habits

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday May 11, @10:12AM

from the wonder-which-group-i'm-in dept.
KentuckyFC writes"People can be accurately classified according to their email habits, say scientists from Yahoo Research in NYC, who have been studying the way 125,000 people use email on university campuses in the US and Europe. The team found that people fall into two clearly distinct types of emailer. The first group, "day labororers", tend to send emails throughout the normal working day between 0900 and 1800 but not at other times. On the other hand, "emailaholics" tend to send emails throughout the waking hours from 0900 to 0100. These groups are pretty stable: roughly 75% of users stay in the same group over a 2 year period. That gives a pretty good way of classifying individuals that could be used by demographers. Interestingly, the technique can also be used to spot spambots which do not fit into either group."

Nanocrystal breakthrough promises more versatile lasers, world peace

by Darren Murph, posted May 11th 2009 at 8:02AM

For the longest while, scientists have been flummoxed by the incessant coruscating emitted by individual molecules; no matter their methods, they could never quite seem to overcome a troubling optical quirk known sensibly as "blinking." Thanks to a brilliant crew at the University of Rochester, however, we now understand the basic physics behind the phenomenon, and together with a team from Eastman Kodak, a nanocrystal has been created that can constantly emit light. In theory, the discovery could lead to "dramatically less expensive and more versatile lasers, brighter LED lighting, and biological markers that track how a drug interacts with a cell at a level never before possible." Indeed, one could envision that future displays could be crafted by painting a grid of differently sized nanocrystals onto a flat surface, making even OLED TVs look chubby in comparison. Now, if only we had a good feeling that such a device was destined for a CES in our lifetime...