ananyo writes "Two years ago, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced that it would release details of about 13,500 molecules that had already been shown to inhibit the malaria-causing Plasmodium falciparum parasite to some degree. The molecular structures were published in May 2010, along with similar data from Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland, and the St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Researchers were encouraged to test the combined library of more than 20,000 compounds to pinpoint potential drugs, and then find out how they work so that the molecules could be tweaked to enhance their activity. Such 'open innovation' efforts have since been launched, including an effort unveiled last month which will see 11 companies sharing their intellectual property. But are such efforts working? The answer, judging by the GSK effort, seems to be a cautious 'yes.'"
Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.
xwwt writes "In response to a paper by Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics, PEGA Design & Engineering has developed a new product that is intended to replace plastic shell material in computer equipment and electronics. The product contains a combination of paper and polypropylene (PP) which aids in recycling efforts and is intended to keep non-recyclable materials out of landfills. The PP should break down in sunlight and can be reclaimed. There is concern that polypropylene cannot be separated from the paper fiber and brings into question how the material will be recycled. As poster Paul Davis points out, it might have been better to use polylactic acid. Ultimately, it raises the question: is this truly a recyclable material?"
An anonymous reader writes "A team of researchers led by McGill neuroscientist Terence Coderre, who is also affiliated with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, has found the key to understanding how memories of pain are stored in the brain. More importantly, the researchers are also able to suggest how these memories can be erased, making it possible to ease chronic pain."
An anonymous reader writes "If you grab all the public keys you can find on the net, then you might expect to uncover a few duds — but would you believe that 2 out of every 1000 RSA keys is bad? This is one of the interesting findings in the paper 'Ron was wrong, Whit is right' by Lenstra, Hughes, Augier, Bos, Kleinjung and Wachter. Quoting from the paper's abstract: 'We performed a sanity check of public keys collected on the web. Our main goal was to test the validity of the assumption that different random choices are made each time keys are generated. We found that the vast majority of public keys work as intended. A more disconcerting finding is that two out of every one thousand RSA moduli that we collected offer no security. Our conclusion is that the validity of the assumption is questionable and that generating keys in the real world for "multiple-secrets" cryptosystems such as RSA is significantly riskier than for "single-secret" ones such as ElGamal or (EC)DSA which are based on Diffie-Hellman.'" For a layman's interpretation of the research, the NY Times has an article about the paper. Update: 02/15 01:34 GMT by S : Security researcher Dan Kaminsky has commented on the paper, saying that while the survey work itself is good, it doesn't necessarily support the paper's thesis. He writes, "On the most basic level, risk in cryptography is utterly dominated, not by cipher selection, but by key management. The study found 12,720 public keys. It also found approximately 2.94 million expired certificates. And while the study didn’t discuss the number of certificates that had no reason to be trusted in the first place (being self signed), it did find 5.4M PGP keys. It does not matter the strength of your public key if nobody knows to demand it."
Grumbleduke writes "From Dajaz1 (a site that is no stranger to unjustified copyright takedowns) we learn that the popular R&B website rnbxclusive.com (warning: threatening message on site) has allegedly been seized by the Serious Organized Crime Agency, a UK law enforcement agency, and its operators arrested on fraud charges. Not only does the replacement message contain a number of factually dubious claims, it also shows the visitor's IP address, browser and operating system, and threatens to track and monitor them. At a time when copyright lobby groups are strongly pushing for even greater powers through laws such as SOPA and ACTA, one is left wondering why they think they need them, when police can shut down websites such as this at will."
New submitter pjlehtim writes "In a recent interview. Samsung's AV product manager, Chris Moseley, said, 'TVs are ultimately about picture quality. ... and there is no way that anyone, new or old, can come along this year or next year and beat us on picture quality.' Sounds familiar? There must be a change in the perceived role of television in the entertainment ecosystem before the general public starts to care about the smart TVs manufacturers are trying to push. That change is likely to come from outside the traditional home entertainment industry. It's not about technology; it is about user experience, again."
itwbennett writes "Sony on Tuesday demonstrated new 'smart sockets' that 'perform authentication whenever a device is plugged in,' said Taro Tadano, a general manager in Sony's technology development division. The company also demoed a home power grid that tracks electricity use by time and appliance." This has led to speculation that the technology will be used in some places to charge consumers for the use of electricity.
hypnosec writes "It costs developers a total of $40,000 to release a single patch on Xbox Live, making it a difficult platform for smaller developers to grow on. This revelation was made by Tim Schafer of Double Fine Studios — which recently drew a lot of charitable donations as part of a campaign to create a contemporary point and click game. He went on to say that this is just too high a fee for smaller developers to pay, making it hard for them to do well on the platform. This makes sense, since requiring just one patch could massively cut into the profits for a company."
Zothecula writes "The European Space Agency's new Vettore Europeo di Generazione Avanzata — or Vega — launch vehicle lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 10 a.m. GMT on February 13 on its maiden flight. Designed for launching small payloads, Vega is intended to complement Europe's existing family of launchers that includes the Ariane 5 heavy-lifter and Soyuz medium-class launchers. The qualification flight, designated VV01, saw the first Vega successfully carry nine satellites into orbit."
An anonymous reader sends this quote from CBC News: "Hackers based in China enjoyed widespread access to Nortel's computer network for nearly a decade, according to ... Brian Shields, a former Nortel employee who launched an internal investigation of the attacks, the Wall Street Journal reports [from behind a paywall]. ... Over the years, the hackers downloaded business plans, research and development reports, employee emails and other documents. According to the internal report, Nortel 'did nothing from a security standpoint' about the attacks."
FleaPlus writes "NASA and the White House have officially released their FY2013 budget proposal, the first step of the Congressional budget process. As mentioned previously on Slashdot, the proposal decreases Mars science funding (including robotic Mars missions) down to $361M, arguably due in part to cost overruns by the Webb telescope. The proposal also lowers funding for the in-house SLS rocket and Orion capsule to $2.8B, while doubling funding for the ongoing competitive development of commercial crew rockets/vehicles to $830M. The ranking member of the Senate science committee, Sen. Hutchison (R-TX), expressed her frustration with 'cutting SLS and Orion to pay for commercial crew,' as it would allegedly make it impossible for SLS to act as a backup for the commercial vehicles."
AZA43 writes "Amazon.com has blocked its Instant Video streaming service on BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, in an apparent effort to make its Kindle Fire device more attractive to tablet buyers. And it says Apple is the reason why it blocked the service. But the company hasn't blocked comparable Android tablets from streaming Instant Video, and Android tablets hold a much larger portion of the overall tablet market than PlayBooks. Amazon will likely succeed only in alienating customer with PlayBooks who have already purchased lots of streaming video content."
An anonymous reader writes "Following up on yesterday's story about the Canadian government's internet surveillance legislation, one of the bill's proponents is now accusing those who oppose it of standing with child pornographers. Those against the legislation include: Law professor Michael Geist, Open Media, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Council of Canadians and many others. 'Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told a Liberal MP he could either stand with the government or "with the child pornographers" prowling online.' Toews is enjoying his Parliamentary Privilege, which grants him the freedom to say pretty much anything he wants without fear of a slander suit."
An anonymous reader writes "Back in early 95 I registered a domain name and built a website for a hobby of mine. Over time the website (and domain) name have built a small but steady stream of traffic but my interest in the hobby is essentially gone and I've not been a visitor to my own site in well over two years. I'd like to sell the site/domain to a long time member who has expressed interest in taking over and trying to grow the site, however I use the domain for my own personal email including banking, health insurance, etc. How have fellow readers gone about parting ways from a domain that they've used for an email address?" More generally, what terms would you like to include (or have you included) in a domain transfer? Old horror stories could help prevent new horror stories.
New submitter sackbut writes with a story at Wired about the often-discussed concept of "cyberwarfare," and the worst-case scenarios that are sometimes presented as possible outcomes of concerted malicious hacking. According to Wired, which calls these scenarios "the new yellowcake," "[E]vidence to sustain such dire warnings is conspicuously absent. In many respects, rhetoric about cyber catastrophe resembles threat inflation we saw in the run-up to the Iraq War. And while Congress' passing of comprehensive cybersecurity legislation wouldn't lead to war, it could saddle us with an expensive and overreaching cyber-industrial complex." Writes sackbut: "Perhaps good for programmers, but not so good for rights."