An anonymous reader writes "A group of researchers including Dr. H. Shaw Warren of Mass. General Hospital and Stanford genomics researcher Ronald W. Davis have published a paper challenging the effectiveness of the "mouse model" as a basis for medical research, based on a decade-long study involving 39 doctors and scientists across the country. In clincal studies of sepsis (a severe inflammatatory disorder caused by the immune system's abnormal response to a pathogen), trauma, and burns, the researchers found that certain drugs triggered completely different genetic responses in mice compared with humans. The Warren-Davis paper was rejected by both Science and Nature before its acceptance by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, perhaps suggesting the degree to which the "mouse model" has become entrenched within the medical research community. Ninety five percent of the laboratory animals used in research are mice or rats. Mice in particular are ideal subjects for research: they are cheap to obtain and house, easy to handle, and share at least 80 percent of their genes with humans (by some reckoning, closer to 99 percent). Over the past twenty five years, powerful methods of genetically engineering mice by "knocking out" individual genes have become widely adopted, so that use of mice for drug testing prior to human clinical trials has become standard procedure."
writes "Over the weekend a torrent of the game Anodyne was uploaded to The Pirate Bay and to the delight of observers was greeted with a positive attitude from its creators. 'It’s neat that Anodyne’s here and I’m glad that means more people can play it, though of course we’d love it if you bought the game,' the author Sean Hogan commented. Adding to the fun, Hogan posted up some codes so people could download the game for free from Desura. In an interesting turn, the torrent has later disappeared. The Pirate Bay is well-known for not removing torrents to any content — maybe the uploader started to feel bad about his act later?"Link to Original Source
writes "The W3C has ruled DRM in-scope for their HTML standard. A lot of big businesses have supported advancing the Encrypted Media Extension (EME), including Google, Microsoft, and Netfix. The BBC calls for a solution with legal sanstions. The EME could well be used to implement a DRM HTML engine. A DRM enabled web would break a long tradition of the web browser being the User's Agent, and would restrict user choice and control over their security and privacy. There are other applications that can serve the purpose of viewing DRM video content, and I appeal to people to not taint the web standards with DRM but to please use other applications when necessary."Link to Original Source
writes "A federal judge in Los Angeles has suggested serious penalties for Brett Gibbs, an attorney at porn copyright trolling firm Prenda Law. Facing allegations of fraud and identity theft, Gibbs will be required to explain himself at a March 11 hearing. And if Judge Otis Wright isn't satisfied with his answers, he may face fines and even jail time.
The identity theft allegations emerged late last year, when a Minnesota man named Alan Cooper told a Minnesota court he suspected Prenda Law named him as the CEO of two litigious offshore holding companies without his permission. Worried about exposing himself to potential liability for the firms' misconduct, Cooper asked the court to investigate the situation. Cooper's letter was spotted by Morgan Pietz, an attorney who represents "John Doe" defendants in California. He notified Judge Wright of the allegations."Link to Original Source
writes "The Conservative Goverment of Canada is scrapping the controversial bill C-30 They will instead make "modest" changes to the existing Warrantless Wiretap bill. This bill was widely panned by Privacy Critics and members of the opposition. Another victory for online privacy!"Link to Original Source
writes "The Landsat Data Continuity Mission is now in orbit, after launching Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif. After about three months of testing, the U.S. Geological Survey will take control and the mission, renamed Landsat 8, will extend more than 40 years of global land observations critical to energy and water management, forest monitoring, human and environmental health, urban planning, disaster recovery and agriculture."Link to Original Source
writes "Kingston Reif analyzes GMD (Ground-based Midcourse Defense) and shakes his head over the House Armed Services Committee (last year) authorizing the Pentagon to spend $360 million more than it asked for to expand the flawed system. "The Committee also provided an additional $100 million to begin deploying existing ground-based or SM-3 interceptors — not the interceptors recommended by the National Research Council — on the East Coast of the United States by the end of 2015 to defend against potential future long-range ballistic missiles launched from Iran.""Link to Original Source
writes "From TFA:
"At a time when Apple, Mozilla and other tech giants are taking steps to prevent users from browsing the Web with outdated versions ofJava,Yahoo!is pushing many of its users in the other direction: The free tool that it offers users to help build Web sites installs a dangerously insecYahoo! has offered SiteBuilder to its millions of users for years, but unfortunately the tool introduces a myriad of security vulnerabilities on host PCs.SiteBuilder requires Java, but the version of Java that Yahoo! bundles with it isJava 6 Update 7. It’s not clear if this is just a gross oversight or if their tool really doesn’t work with more recent versions of Java. The company has yet to respond to requests for comment."Link to Original Source
writes "Mojang has officially released Minecraft:Pi Edition for the credit card sized Raspberry Pi. Back in November last year Minecraft was ported onto the Raspberry Pi and it was revealed at the time that Mojang would release a free version of the game soon. The game is completely free and is now available for download. Even though the game will carry only a limited set of features, the cost of building and hosting a Minecraft lan-party has definitely dropped ten folds."
writes "An article by some Microsofties in the latest issue of Computing Now magazine claims we have got passwords all wrong.
When money is stolen consumers are reimbursed for stolen funds and it is money mules, not banks or retail customers, who end up with the loss. Stealing passwords is easy, but getting money out is very hard. Passwords are not the bottleneck in cyber-crime and replacing them with something stronger won’t reduce losses. The article concludes that banks have no interest in shifting liability to consumers, and that the switch to financially-motivated cyber-crime is good news, not bad.
Article is online at computer.org site (hard-to-read multipage format)
or pdf at author’s site.
http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/161829/EverythingWeKnow.pdf"Link to Original Source