An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have silenced the extra copy of a chromosome that causes Down syndrome in laboratory stem cells, offering the first evidence that it may be possible to correct the genes responsible for the disorder. The discovery provides the first evidence that the underlying genetic defect responsible for Down syndrome can be suppressed in cells in culture."
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coondoggie writes "Two dead stars smashing into each other and releasing massive amounts of energy may have created all of the heavy elements such as gold found on Earth. That's the main conclusion of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) researchers who estimated such a collision and subsequent blast of energy known as a gamma-ray burst produced and ejected as much as 10 moon masses worth of heavy elements — including gold."
crazyvas writes "The New York Times has published an article on the FTC's plans to investigate the patent system, and likely patent trolls such as Intellectual Ventures. From the article: 'To its defenders, Intellectual Ventures is a revolutionary company unfairly viewed, in the words of its co-founder Peter N. Detkin, "as the poster child of everything that is wrong with the patent system." To its critics, it is a protection racket otherwise known as a patent troll. This summer, the Federal Trade Commission is expected to begin a sweeping investigation of the patent system after the agency's chairwoman, Edith Ramirez, urged a crackdown. She has singled out a particular kind of miscreant, one that engages in "a variety of aggressive litigation tactics," including hiding behind shell companies when it sues.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Peru is looking to provide free electricity to over 2 million of its poorest citizens by harvesting energy from the sun. Energy and Mining Minister Jorge Merino said that the National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program will provide electricity to poor households through the installation of photovoltaic panels."
pacopico writes "A former Ford executive has taken his unique brand of factory training to the public. According to Businessweek, Hossein Nivi has set up a new company called Pendaran that forces people to endure a week-long, manic training simulation that's meant to produce safer, better workers. The participants — lots of people from the tech and military fields — get yelled at by actors while they try to assemble things like golf carts and airplanes in a simulation that mixes virtual tasks on computers with real world tasks. After their spirits get broken, the workers actually start functioning as a well-oiled team. It sounds both awesome and bizarre."
sciencehabit writes "The newest source of battery power for your cell phone is both cheap and abundant. Scientists report that microbial fuel cells using human urine can directly power a cell phone battery. However, the devices are not quite portable enough to come in handy during a marathon pub crawl. One consists of six, 4-inch-long ceramic cylinders; the other is a network of 25 smaller fuel cells borrowed from the team's waste-fueled EcoBot. And urine-powered conversations would have to be short and sweet. After 24 hours of charging, a Samsung phone stayed alive for 25 minutes—enough to send several texts and make a 6-minute, 20-second call."
theshowmecanuck writes "According to the Montreal Gazette, 'The owner and operator of a well-known 'real gore' website is charged with corrupting morals for posting a video allegedly depicting the murder of student Jun Lin by Luka Magnotta. Magnotta, 30, is currently in custody charged with first-degree murder in the death of the 33-year-old Chinese international student, who was killed in Montreal in May 2012. The victim's severed limbs were then mailed to political parties and elementary schools, and his torso found inside a discarded suitcase.' A news interview with the detective in charge of the case, airing on CTV as I type this, says he believes the web site hosts a lot of racist content and unimaginable violence. You should note that Canada has less free speech than in America (we have 'hate crime laws'), but there will likely be some arguments in this vein. The charge against the operator is quite rare and no-one so far remembers it ever being used before."
GovTechGuy writes "The Department of Justice maintains it does not need a warrant to track an individual using location data captured from their cellphone. 'Cellphone location records are currently lumped under Title 1 and Title 2 of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (PL 99-508), which cover stored communications and call details. Accessing those types of information typically requires only a court order, rather than a warrant, as is required for the contents of a phone call or digital message under Title 3.' That has prompted Maine and Montana to pass laws banning warrantless cellphone tracking; unfortunately, Congress doesn't appear close to doing the same."
MTorrice writes "A new study suggests there's more to nanoparticle toxicology than cell life and death. Although immune cells treated with iron oxide particles appeared healthy in standard toxicology tests, they struggled to perform one of their key jobs: engulfing pathogenic bacteria. The researchers wonder if exposure to significant levels of the nanoparticles could lead to dysfunction in people's immune systems."
New submitter coyote_oww writes "A ComputerWorld analysis article suggests that Microsoft should stop worrying about one product cutting into another product's sales, and concentrate on putting their best foot foward regardless of the impact on product lines. The big impact would be the price of Windows: '... Microsoft must, at least in the main, sell devices based on lower prices. And the only significant component of a Windows-powered device that can be cut further — hardware margins are at or very near the bone, and have been for years — is the Windows license.' It's still possible they could sell Windows versions at different rates for different devices, but that could get hard to justify to consumers over the long haul."
New submitter SkiTee94 writes "Many people, perhaps millions, in and around NYC were loudly awoken shortly before 4am this morning by an activation of the Wireless Emergency Alert system. As the New York Times is reporting, the alert was related to an ongoing search for a missing child. Given that the alert asked people to look out for a 'Tan Lexus ES300' with NY Plate 'GEX1377,' many New Yorkers are questioning the logic of waking up the whole city to ask them to look for a car. Normally such alerts are reserved for road-side signs. While emergency authorities have yet to give a precise reason for why the decision was made to wake up the city, many have taken the step of deactivating these alerts to avoid future jolting mid-slumber alarms (likely not the intended result of last night's exercise)."
sciencehabit writes "When surgeons can't determine the edges of a tumor, it's a problem. Cut too much, and they risk hurting the patient. Cut too little, and they may leave stray cancer cells behind. Now, researchers have developed a surgical knife that can sniff the smoke made as it cuts tissue, almost instantly detecting whether cells are cancerous or healthy. The 'intelligent knife,' or iKnife could distinguish normal and tumor tissues from different organs, such as breast, liver, and brain, and could even identify the origin of a tumor that was a metastasis, a secondary growth seeded by a primary tumor elsewhere in the body."
An anonymous reader writes "David Reese provides an interesting analysis of just how far Canada's new anti-spam legislation goes, and its implications for business. This may provide a valuable template for citizens of other countries, and may also encourage Canadians to prepare for the inevitable push-back from spammers. It is not clear from this analysis whether the legislation would affect telemarketing, but even if it does not it provides a useful precedent for future regulation in that area."
Nerval's Lobster writes "BitTorrent Sync has reached its Beta milestone. The tool, which allows for secure file-syncing between devices, has been under development for quite some time: BitTorrent released a limited pre-Alpha program in January, planning to use any feedback to refine the software before release. Key features include the use of peer-to-peer technology for direct synchronization, rather than storing files in the cloud—a key differentiator from similar storage services on the market. 'It fits into our overall goal of making a better Internet using P2P,' BitTorrent Inc. told TorrentFreak when that pre-Alpha rolled out. In the intervening months, of course, former federal contractor Edward Snowden leaked a variety of top-secret documents about NSA surveillance to The Guardian, kicking off several weeks' worth of discussions and handwringing over government snooping. Several of those documents suggested that an NSA program codenamed PRISM siphoned user data from nine major technology companies, including Google and Microsoft; the named companies have stridently denied any involvement. Those revelations about the NSA—even if totally unsurprising to the paranoid—could kick off renewed interest in software tools capable of securing data against prying eyes. In other words, this could be just the moment for something like BitTorrent Sync to hit the market. 'Sync is a response to what we see as real, fundamental challenges to personal data movement: the limitations on speed, size, space, privacy, and security that come with cloud dependency,' read a July 17 note on the BitTorrent Blog."
HonorPoncaCityDotCom writes "BBC reports that cases of an incurable illness called valley fever are multiplying at an alarming and mystifying rate in the American south-west. Few places have been hit as hard as Avenal, a remote city of 14,000 people, nestling in a dip in the floor of the San Joaquin Valley in what experts refer to as a 'hot zone' for coccidioidomycosis — an illness caused by the inhalation of tiny fungal spores that usually reside in the soil. 'On windy days you are more conscious of it,' says Enrique Jimenez. 'You breathe in through your nose, and try not to breathe in as much dust. I worked in the fields for a long time, my father managed a few crops out here, and we took precautions, wearing bandanas.' Valley Fever is not easy to treat. Anti-fungal drugs are available for serious cases but some patients don't respond and it can take years to clear up. It never leaves the body and symptoms can be triggered again. Some patients are on the drugs for life, at a crippling financial cost. During World War II, German prisoners held at a camp in Arizona fell ill. Germany reportedly invoked the Geneva Convention to try to get them moved. Longstanding concerns about valley fever were heightened recently when a federal health official ordered the transfer of more than 3,000 exceptionally vulnerable inmates from two San Joaquin Valley prisons where several dozen have died of the disease in recent years. Dale Pulde, a motorcycle mechanic in Los Angeles County, said he contracted the disease three years ago after traveling to Bakersfield in Kern County and was coughing so hard he was blacking out; he spit blood and couldn't catch his breath. For two months, doctors tested him for everything from tuberculosis to cancer until blood tests confirmed he had the fever. 'When I found out that health officials knew about (this disease) and how common it is, I was beside myself,' said Pulde. 'Why don't they tell people?'"
DeviceGuru writes "Linaro has just published videos and slides from keynotes, technical presentations, and panel discussions at last week's Linaro Connect Europe 2013 event held in Dublin, Ireland. Linaro is a nonprofit organization focused on consolidating and optimizing open source software for the ARM architecture, including the GCC toolchain, the Linux kernel, ARM power management, graphics and multimedia interfaces. The conference's sessions spanned a wide range of topics, including Android, Builds and Baselines, Enterprise, Graphics and Multimedia, Linux Kernel, Network, Project Management Tools, Training, and more." The list of videos, hosted on Youtube and many with slides available.
An anonymous reader writes "New observations (PDF) from ESO's Very Large Telescope show for the first time a gas cloud being ripped apart by the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The cloud is now so stretched that its front part has passed the closest point and is traveling away from the black hole at more than 10 million km/h, whilst the tail is still falling towards it."
garymortimer writes "German tabloid newspaper The Bild has unearthed new video from a herons eye view of a 2010 taxi accident in Afghanistan. According to Bild a junior officer put the Heron into auto start and then was unable to stop it. The incident occurred at Mazar-i-Sharif on Mar. 17, 2010 Watch the ground crew get out of the way quick!"
New submitter Landy DeField was the first of many of write in about Network Solutions' website and DNS outage: "If your website does not load this morning you need to ask yourself do we use Network Solutions? Because all of their servers are all currently down. You can confirm this by visiting this site." The only solid information from Network Solutions is a post on their Facebook page: "Network Solutions is experiencing a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack that is impacting our customers as well as the Network Solutions site. Our technology team is working to mitigate the situation. Please check back for updates." There have been several reports that the outage is causing hosted DNS to fail, leading to a number of unresolvable websites.
DavidGilbert99 writes "Marissa Mayer has been in charge at Yahoo for one year now. In that time she has seen the share price rise 70% and she's made some headline grabbing acquisitions — notably Tumblr for over $1 billion last month. However, look beneath the surface and things are not going so well. In this week's quarterly results, we saw ad sales fell by 12% year-on-year and as Alistair Charlton says in IBTimes UK: ' Yahoo earned $846m in cash by redeeming its shares in the group, representing a significant chunk of Yahoo's $1.07bn revenue for the quarter, down 1% on last year. ... The next few years will be a balancing act as the stabilizing wheels are removed and Yahoo, with dozens of acquired startups patching up the rust, will have to make progress under its own steam.'"
Gunkerty Jeb writes, quoting Threatpost: "A former Cal State San Marcos student was sentenced to a year in prison this week for election tampering by using keystroke loggers to grab student credentials and then vote for himself. Matthew Weaver, 22, of Huntington Beach, Calif., stole almost 750 students' identities to try and become president of the San Diego County college's student government. His plan went awry when the school's computer technicians noticed an anomaly in activity and caught Weaver with keystroke loggers as he sat in front of the suspicious computer."
theodp writes " The lack of education in computer science is an example of an area of particularly acute concern,' Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith told Congress (PDF) as he sold lawmakers on the need to improve 'America's access to high skilled foreign talent'. Smith added that Microsoft also wants to 'help American students and workers gain the skills needed for the jobs that will fuel the innovation economy.' Towards that end, Microsoft will award $100,000 worth of donations to five technology education nonprofits 'who teach programming and provide technical resources to those who might not otherwise get the chance.' So, how will Microsoft determine who's most worthy? With a popularity contest, of course! At the end of October, the top five vote-getting nonprofits — only Windows AzureDev Community members are eligible to vote — will split the Microsoft Money. By the way, currently in second place but trying harder is Code.org, the seemingly dual-missioned organization advised by Microsoft's Smith which has reached out to its 140,000 Facebook fans, and 17,000 Twitter followers in its quest for the $50,000 first prize."
super_rancid writes "In a 7,000 word interview with Raspberry Pi's founder posted on TuxRadar.com, Eben Upton talks about the challenges of managing such a successful project, what may be in the Raspberry Pi mark 2, and why he wishes he'd backed the Parallela Kickstarter." On interesting answer: "We were thinking of booting into Python or booting into Scratch. For younger kids, boot into Scratch. Have an environment where it’s Linux underneath, boots into Scratch and hold down a key at a particular point during boot and it doesn’t boot into Scratch it just drops into the prompt. So you can play with Scratch for six months, once you’re happy with Scratch you turn over the page and 'Hold down F1 during boot,' and it’s like 'Oh look - it’s a PC!' So I think that’s something we’d really like to do."
judgecorp writes "Google has fixed a vulnerability in its Glass device, which made it possible to fool the wearable gadget into joining malicious Wi-Fi networks, through the use of fake QR codes. Google fixed the flaw fast, following a tip-off from researchers — but there are two warnings to take from this. There are other weaknesses in Glass (such as the absence of a lockscreen), and this sort of weakness will increasingly hit as the Internet of Things takes hold and the number of communicating devices multiplies."
First time accepted submitter rpopescu writes "Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame has pulled his solo album 'Eraser' (as well as music made as Atoms for Peace) from the music streaming service Spotify, as a protest at how much it pays the artists. Quote: '"Make no mistake. These are all the same old industry bods trying to get a stranglehold on the delivery system."'"
MojoKid writes "Microsoft is smarting in the wake of the Guardian's discussion of how chummy it's gotten with the NSA over the past few years, and the company wants permission to clarify its relationship with the federal government. To that end, the company has sent a follow-up letter (PDF) to the Attorney General's office, asking it to please address the petition it filed in court back on June 19. Redmond is undoubtedly cringing at the accolades being heaped on Yahoo and its repeated court battles on behalf of its users, and wants an opportunity to clear the air. But Microsoft has gone farther than simply asking the government to hurry up and rule on its petition — it has also issued a series of clarifying remarks regarding its relationship with the NSA. Microsoft refutes some of the Guardian's claims strongly. It insists it does not provide encryption keys or access to Outlook's encryption mechanisms, and that the government must petition MS to provide information via the legal process."
An anonymous reader writes "Picking up the code from a failed Direct3D 10/11 implementation for Linux, a working Direct3D 9 state tracker has been implemented for Linux. The Direct3D 9 support works with open-source Linux GPU hardware drivers via Mesa's Gallium3D and can run games for the open-source Radeon and Nouveau drivers without simply converting the Direct3D commands into OpenGL. Unlike the experimental D3D10/11 code from the past, this D3D9 state tracker is already running games like Skyrim, Civilization 5, Anno 1404, and StarCraft 2. With Linux games not natively targeting D3D, Wine was modified for using this native Direct3D implementation."
An anonymous reader writes "I recently (within the past couple years) graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and currently work as a programmer for a large software consulting firm. However, I've become gradually disillusioned with the financial-obsession of the business world and would like to work for the overall betterment of humanity instead. With that in mind, I'm looking to shift my career more toward the scientific research side of things. My interest in computer science always stemmed more from a desire to use it toward a fascinating end — such as modeling or analyzing scientific data — than from a love of business or programming itself. My background is mostly Java, with some experience in C++ and a little C. I have worked extensively with software analyzing big data for clients. My sole research experience comes from developing data analysis software for a geologic research project for a group of grad students; I was a volunteer but have co-authorship on their paper, which is pending publication. Is it realistic to be looking for a position as a programmer at a research institution with my current skills and experiences? Do such jobs even exist for non-graduate students? I'm willing to go to grad school (probably for geology) if necessary. Grad school aside, what specific technologies should I learn in order to gain an edge? Although if I went back to school I'd focus on geology, I'm otherwise open to working as a programmer for any researchers in the natural sciences who will take me."
Dave Knott writes "A tiny, previously unknown moon circling Neptune has been spotted by astronomers using the Hubble telescope. The moon, which is currently known as S/2004 N1, was found on July 1 by Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., NASA announced Monday. It is less than 20 kilometres wide and its orbit is 105,000 kilometres from Neptune, between those of Larissa and Proteus, two of Neptune's other 14 known moons. It circles Neptune once every 23 hours."
New submitter Aras Esor writes "When a network is broken — an electrical grid, the World Wide Web, your neurological system — one math model created by a PhD student at Northwestern University suggests that the best way to fix it may be to break it a little more. 'Take the web of interactions within a cell. If you knock out an important gene, you will significantly damage the cell's growth rate. However, it is possible to repair this damage not by replacing the lost gene, which is a very challenging task, but by removing additional genes. The key lies in finding the specific changes that would bring a network from the undesirable state A to the preferred state B. Cornelius's mathematical model (abstract) provides a general method to pinpoint those changes in any network, from the metabolism of a single cell to an entire food web.'"